Converting Trap Gun to Sporting Clay Gun


El Guero
June 29, 2005, 11:00 PM
Alrighty, I have an 11-87 premier trap with the 30" Target Barrel and Monte Carlo stock that I want to reconfigure for sporting clays. I have shot clays before and I love it, but I was hoping I could get some input on what to do with this gun.

I already know I want to change the stock. This isn't my main problem, I'll just try and snag a good deal on a normal-style stock and call it good. I've started to be more worried about the barrel though...

Is that barrel going to be too much for sporting clays? And what chokes should I get, i.e cylinder or IC? Thanks for any help!

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Dave McCracken
June 30, 2005, 04:06 AM
Trap guns are shot at rising targets. SC guns are shot at risers, droppers, etc, and should be more flatshooting.

Remington's recent target guns are flat shooting. Pattern and see how it hits for you if you have not already done so.

Many folks using autos for SC use 30" barrels. My SEG is it'll work for you.

Use a Light Modified tube for most shots. I'd get either a Skeet, Cylinder or IC for the close shots.


June 30, 2005, 05:47 AM
What Dave says, and I'll second the 30" barrels for sporting use. Around here an I/C choke will do almost the whole range, with a cylincer choke and a light mod or mod for the occasional shot.

June 30, 2005, 08:38 AM
The only problem with your 30" barrel is that it isn't 32" long. Long barrels are a good thing for sporting too.

Bill B.
June 30, 2005, 08:30 PM
Someone correct me if I am wrong but I was thinking that the newer Remington Trap barrels with chokes had different bore dia.'s than the regular Remington field barrels or sporting clay barrels. The choke my fit the threading but the pattern will not be what is given for the choke. Is this right or wrong? :confused:

El Guero
June 30, 2005, 08:32 PM
Thanks for the input... I didn't really want to buy a new barrel and it's good to know it'll probably work for me.

Another question though: What brand of chokes would you guys recommend? I'm not entirely sure I want to invest in a big set of extended tubes but I guess it couldn't hurt...

June 30, 2005, 10:52 PM
Hastings. Extended wrenchless HIGH QUALITY choke tubes without the silly prices. They are as well made as anything else on the market, and available in .004" steps from Cylinder to Trap Full. Each number in the model is .004" x the model # = constriction in inches. A #2 is [2x.004"=.008"] or .008" of constriction, and a #6 is [6x.004"=.024"] or .024" of constriction. Pick up a #2, #4, and a #6, these approximate a 'Improved Cylinder/Skeet 2', Light Modified and Light Full. Makes a great set to get going and you have enough choke for anything you might see on a target field.

Hastings chokes are as good as anything made yet at midrange prices, a great value and a darn good choke tube.

El Guero
June 30, 2005, 11:57 PM
Bill, I've heard the same thing so I guess I'll have to find time to pattern it and see how it goes. I don't think they've made 11-87 Traps for a few years though, so if it's just the newer ones I may be alright. If I remember right, I don't think it even came with a trap choke. Or maybe it did... I need to check these things again, haha

Dave McCracken
July 1, 2005, 04:09 AM
Here's the scoop on overbore Remington barrels. In the 80s, Big Green made a number of Target barrels that ran well over standard size, about .745" compared to the .729" widely regarded as true 12 gauge. So they could use standard Remchokes, the bores narrowed down to .729" just before the choke.

Thusly, these barrels started off with 16 POC choke. Trap barrels used specially marked tubes that were much more open than one would think. A standard Modified tube in these barrels would be hideously overchoked for trap.

On a newish 11-87, 1100 or 870, disregard. Remington's experiment ended in the early 90s.

As usual, H is right about Hastings. Good stuff at good prices.

July 5, 2005, 07:50 PM
Previous posts seem to answer the barrel length and choke questions. As far as the stock goes, you might lower the comb to get a flatter shooting gun. To some degree, lengthening the length of pull can also help flatten out the pattern. I have a Browning 425 an used it mostly for trap and cut its length of pull from 14-5/8" to 14-3/8". Got bored with trap and now shoot sporting, I recently added a thicker recoil pad to get back to the original length of pull and am breaking more targets.

July 26, 2006, 10:07 AM
I've been thinking I need two guns for clays - one longer barrel with full(er) choke for trap, and one shorter more open choke for skeet and SC. I have always assumed a longer barrel shot a tighter pattern at the same distance than a shorter barrel, assuming the same choke and load. Based on what I have read on these forums, that assumption is wrong. Will someone confirm that is correct? A 26" barrel with full choke will shoot the same pattern at 30 yards as a 32" barrel with full choke (disregard the fact that no two guns shoot the same, we're talking theory here)?

If that's true, the 870 Wingmaster TC Classic Trap I've been drooling over, with 30" VT barrel and IC, Mod and Full chokes will work just fine for trap, skeet and SC. (Also, disregard the pumping action issue, I've only really shot pumps my whole life.)


July 26, 2006, 10:16 AM
It is correct that a 26" and a 32" barrel with a full choke will pattern the same at 30 yards.

July 26, 2006, 01:10 PM
The reason for a different barrel length is the swing speed of the gun. It's more like getting a different length/weight of golf club than a different barrel length in a rifle.

Longer barrels can improve muzzle velocity a tiny bit, but hardly enough to matter.

26" barrels swing fast (skeet and flusing birds); 34" barrels on a break action or 30" on a receiver swing smooth (trap and passing geese)

You can use a 34" barrel for shooting quail, but it's hardly ideal. Ditto for using a 26" to shoot trap.

The reason you see a lot of 28" pump and semiauto guns is that 28" splits the difference between snappy 26" and smooth 30".

A lot of SC shooters use long barrels. I'd change the stock first, and worry about the barrel later. If it works for you, keep it as-is. Also, some people use trap combs for Sporting Clays. I'd try the gun as-is first, and change only what seems to be a problem. It might work fine for you.

eBay has some stocks, BTW.

July 26, 2006, 06:00 PM
IMO....If your thinking about converting to SC only with your gun that's one thing. If you planning on switching back and forth from trap to Sc and visa vera, that's another. Changing the stock to say a straight comb will most deffinetly change the way the gun points and shoots. I see it this way. If SC is all you want to do and keep the same gun go for it. If your gonna be a switch hitter(like myself) learn to shoot a SC model and use a dead on hold for your targets. It takes some training if your used to a monte stock and a gun that you dont cover the bird with.

Dave McCracken
July 26, 2006, 10:06 PM
Barrel length has zero effect on patterns. Choke and load affects patterns.

Barrel length is connected to weight and balance. These affect swing and ability to either track a target or adjust if the target offers a fleeting opp or changes vectors.

Lots of 30" barrels used in SC, including by me.

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