Trap Gun Options


December 27, 2012, 12:00 PM
Looking to get more serious about trap. I shoot a Tikka 412 12ga and do really well with it. But, I have the itch for something new.

My budget is $1200 and I definitely want an o/u. I'm leaning towards a citori, but wanted to hear some opinions from you guys. I'd be more than happy with something used as well.

So, lets hear it!


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December 27, 2012, 12:27 PM
hard to beat a citori... if you are leaning that way i would say you are making the right decision

December 27, 2012, 01:44 PM
IF all you are shooting is trap singles, you might want to also consider the browning BT-99. It is made, and only good for, trap singles, but it will go a million rounds; otherwise look at TARGET models. There are field models in your budget, but they will be lighter (more recoil), and shoot flatter (tougher for rising trap targets), and they do no seem to hold up quite as well as the target versions(probably from being lighter).

December 27, 2012, 01:55 PM
I like the BT-99, but want the option to take it out for skeet or sporting clays if the opportunity arises.

December 27, 2012, 02:09 PM
Browning makes about 20 bazillion models of the Citori line and Cynergy. Find the ones that fit you best and then decide from there. Another to consider is the Beretta 68X series. I have seen field guns in your price range(new) and some older target models (used). You might want to look for a Browning Gti - they were the daddy to the 325, 425, 525, 625 series. Mine is 18 years old, I could sell it for about $1200, even with the 250,000 rounds I currently have through it. At 8.25#, it is a great weight target gun, takes the Invector Plus chokes, and flat out just keeps working

December 27, 2012, 02:48 PM
I like the Browning Citori line of guns as well..../ but like OneOunce said I think there are 39 models of the Citori now ....

For Trap specifically ...I like the Citroi XT Trap with 32" barrels, adj comb, and around 10 lbs....but its too heavy for a general purpose gun..

For a general purpose gun, I like the Citori XS Skeet model, 30" barrels and its available in 12ga or 20ga with an adj comb. Its around 8 lbs ...and a much better gun at Skeet or sporting clays or on live birds.../ but new they're listing for $3,600 and selling in my area for around $3,200 ..

I would certainly recommend a used one ...if you can find them !
On the used market there are a lot of the older Citori Lightning models around....its their entry level field gun...and while they're up around $2,000 new .../ they're still solid guns - and often found on the used market. New in the late 1980's they were about $ 750 ....and they still command, in good shape, at least $ 1,250 on the used market.../ but it would be a good buy - if that style of stock will fit you properly.

Burt Blade
December 27, 2012, 04:08 PM
I use the Citori XT for Trap. Darn good gun. Way over your stated price range, however.

I have tried a few BT-99s Good single-shot gun.

The Remington 1100 is a good gas-operated self-loader.

December 27, 2012, 04:22 PM
BT-99's ....and the older BT-100's ...are both pretty nice guns - but they're both single barrel break open guns... / I have an older model BT-100....but it isn't going to work for you - if you want to shoot some skeet and sporting clays as well.

December 28, 2012, 08:20 PM
If you want to get serious about trap, you are going to need a dedicated trap gun that has a raised comb and rib that gives you a built in lead. This will allow you to see the target and still have enough lead. A new trap gun so configured would probably be out of budget range, but you should be able to find a good used one within it.

December 28, 2012, 09:25 PM
What natman said.

If I was seriously thinking about getting back into trap shooting, I would be looking for a nice used BT-99. I even found a pretty decent one on with a Buy-It-Now price of $900. For skeet, sporting clays, or hunting, I would be wanting an over/under like a Beretta 686 or a Franchi Renaissance.

December 28, 2012, 09:39 PM
Thanks for all the feedback guys.

It's funny you brought up the Franchi. I've been looking at the but the renaissance is a bit out of my price range though.

Anyone one have experience with the Franchi Instinct? Seems like a nice gun.

December 28, 2012, 10:11 PM
Franchi , IIRRC, is a long recoil, gun. If true, it is something you really need to try to see if you like that action style. Personally, I would gravitate towards a gas gun if on a tight budget, or a good O/U otherwise.

My Browning Gti is 18 years old, bought new in 1994 as it was being discontinued., paid an even $1000 for it, a lot of money back then. Currently has right at 250,000 rounds through it. Figuring costs as follows: each round from factory to reloads over those years- $.15 each , each target, from practice to registered over those years.- $.25 each, or a total of $.40 for each pull of the trigger. At 250,000 rounds, that is $100,000 over 18 years. I have spent right at $250 for repairs over all that time.

The point of all this is, buy quality once and don't worry, or buy cheap, and replace and replace.......

Like my sig line, just something to consider as you determine which gun to buy.

December 28, 2012, 10:35 PM
I can't argue with that oneounce. Seems like those GTI's are as rare as hens teeth. I'll keep a look out. There's a nice one going on gunbroker right now for a buy it price of $1250. Of course it won't be there when I'm ready to buy, unfortunately.

December 29, 2012, 01:49 AM
I would buy a Citori, even if that meant waiting a little longer to save more. They are fine firearms, pointing and swinging naturally. You will not be disappointed if you buy one.

December 29, 2012, 11:05 AM
Thanks for all the feedback guys.

It's funny you brought up the Franchi. I've been looking at the but the renaissance is a bit out of my price range though.

Anyone one have experience with the Franchi Instinct? Seems like a nice gun.
I have a Franchi Renaissance and I love it, but it has an aluminum receiver and is a bit lightweight for a trap gun. Great for carrying all day, not so good for shooting all day, even with the terrific recoil pad.

You really will want a steel receiver for extra recoil absorbing weight and durability. Aluminium is fine for hunting, but you will shoot more rounds in an afternoon of trap than a pheasant hunter will shoot in a year.

Again, if you are buying a gun especially for trap, you should definitely buy a trap gun with high comb and trap rib ( Otherwise you should just keep the gun you have until you can afford one. Yes, it makes that much difference.

December 29, 2012, 02:47 PM
Since my average is over a 23, I really saw no sense in getting a dedicated trap gun since the gun I currently shoot is a field gun. I'm afraid of I change to a dedicated trap gun like the BT-99 you posted that I would have to learn all over again. That's why I've been leaning towards a nice field model that can handle some rounds.

Since I shoot my Tikka 412s so well, I was even thinking about upgrading to the Valmet 512 which is just a nicer version of the Tikka. I need to get my butt into some sporting goods stores and shoulder some of these guns you guys have mentioned.

December 29, 2012, 03:26 PM
In general ...a "field" gun refers to most any shotgun that has an angled stock ....and as long as it fits you - you can shoot that style of stock for any game you want.

The issue on "Field" or angled if you shoot in the summer in a T shirt and the winter in a heavy coat ....then your face moves up or back on the comb ...and the muzzle rises or drops accordingly ....and that changes your point of impact...maybe by 2 feet or more at 35 yds. That's why most of us have recommended parallel comb guns the Citori XT Trap, BT 99, BT 100, or even the Citori XS Skeet model.

But guns like the Citori Lightning ...have a "field stock" on them ....and they're affordable especially in the used market.

But yes, you can shoot a "Field" stock for trap...they usually give you a 50%/50% pattern over point of impact so you need to cover the bird as you move to it and pull the trigger with some follow thru. Where most of us like to "float" the bird over the front of the gun vs cover it ....either will work just fine.

A parallel comb stock / is parallel to the rib once you adjust it for the point of impact that suits you ....and set it so it might shoot a 70%/30% pattern over the point of impact means, since its parallel ...if you move up or back on the comb 1/2" in a T shirt or a heavy doesn't change your point of impact.

With Trap not having a lot of left to right barrel movement....most of us want to go to a longer and heavier gun a 32" O/U and around 10 lbs...because with less left to right movement of target...the longer sight plane and heavier weight ...give the gun some momentum making follow thru smoother. If we go to lighter or shorter guns ...we tend to "slap" at targets vs making a smooth follow thru. Remember on moving shot is not ove when you pull the trigger...its over as you follow thru...

For Skeet, sporting clays ...where there is more left to right movement on targets...we go a little shorter on guns and a little XS Skeet model in 30" barrels at around 8.5 lbs is a better sporting or skeet gun. A 10lb trap gun with 32" barrels, in my buddys words, feels like you're trying to swing a big ole sewer pipe shooting it for sporting or skeet.

But these are just "general guidelines"...what fits or suits me at 6'5" and 290 lbs vs my buddy at 6' and 180 lbs can be 2 different buddy like his skeet guns shorter 26" but heavier at 10 this combination of shorter and heavier works for him ...he thinks my 8.5lb skeet gun with 30" is ok, but he likes his better.

December 29, 2012, 06:33 PM
Thanks bigjim. I always wondered why the different stocks for each discipline.

December 29, 2012, 06:58 PM
You're welcome....and a lot of this is personal preference / and the concept of "Fit" on a shotgun, is something most gun shops have no idea about.

In shotguns...your eye is the rear a gun simply "Fits" when it hits where you look. Unless you have a lot of experience - and know exactly what stock dimensions fit you ...length of pull, drop at comb, drop at heel - or parallel comb....trying guns in a shop is ok / but you won't really know until you take it to your local club and shoot some shells at the pattern board -with a full choke find the point of impact vs where you look - shooting at a 3" dot at 25 yds or so. If the point of impact is high or low....there are some comb pads / or changes in recoil pads that you can do - to make a shotgun "Fit" you. But a parallel comb shotgun - if its in your budget range....will fit 99.9% of the shooters out there..if you have the adjustable comb insert move it up or down and left and right.../ like the adj comb insert that is on a Browning XT or XS Skeet / although they make guns with and without it - I suggest a gun with it for a target gun.

Even in the "field" for live birds...I shoot my primary sporting clays or skeet guns my primary hunting gun for upland birds is a Citori XS Skeet, with 30" barrels ...and I have them in a 12ga, 20ga, 28ga and a .410 ....the 20ga, 28ga and .410 were all built on the 20 ga receiver...( they're all stand alone guns ) .....but there are also systems ( full length sub gague tube sets - sold by Briley and Kolar...) where you can turn a 12ga gun ...into a 28ga gun, etc by inserting this tube set that is fitted to the gun. Don't confuse "full length tube sets" with "screw in changeable choke tubes".

By the way, I would not recommend you buy a shotgun - that does not have changeable screw in chokes - so its more versatile. That way you can use one gun ( with a Mod choke in it for Trap singles, with a Skeet choke in it for Skeet, with maybe an Imp Cyc and a Mod in it for sporting clays). I buy a set of 10 choke tubes for each of my guns ...a pair of Cyclinder, pair of Imp Cyclinder, a pair of Skeet, pair of Mod, one Imp Mod, one Full...( some guns come with 5 chokes, some come with 3, some come with only 1....) and they're about $ 50 each take into account what chokes the gun has if you're buying it used. There are a lot of used guns out there -with fixed chokes still made prior to the mid 1980's or so ...when Browning and others brought this concept to the market.

Watch chamber length too ....remember shot shells are measured after they are fired. A lot of "Trap" guns are chambered in 2 3/4" shells --- you can't shoot a 3" shell in a 2 3/4" chamber ( but a 3" shell will fit into a gun with a 2 3/4" chamber ) but when fired, the folds on the crimp won't have room to open properly significantly increasing the pressure in the barrel - maybe with disastrous consequences.

I was just in a used gun shop this afternoon ...and 2 brothers were looking for a SXS shotgun experience, buying solely on price ...until one guy told them, it has 2 1/2" chambers in that old gun ....can't shoot common 2 3/4" shells in it...or steel shot ....and they had no idea what he was trying to tell them -- so a couple of us helped them look at some guns ...with different chamber lengths, screw in chokes, etc...and I don't know what they bought ...but at least they knew more than just price. The shop was a madhouse...hard to get customer service during this buying frenzy going on right now. As experienced shotgunners - we all need to help out a little when guys are new to this part of the hobby. The owner thanked us for helping out.../we're regulars - coming in looking at whatever somebody might be trading in to add to our ever growing collections ......but sadly no high end revolvers, or 1911's caught my interest...and I have 25 or so shotguns, so I sure as heck don't need any more shotgus....but you have to keep your eyes on these used gun stores...stuff comes in every day ...and you just never know, when something might want to follow you home...:D

December 29, 2012, 08:24 PM
HunterDad,, if you are just shooting for grins and giggles and not registered, then shoot what you want. However,, if you are shooting competition,a 23 average will guarantee you last place every time

December 30, 2012, 01:55 PM
Since my average is over a 23, I really saw no sense in getting a dedicated trap gun since the gun I currently shoot is a field gun. I'm afraid of I change to a dedicated trap gun like the BT-99 you posted that I would have to learn all over again. That's why I've been leaning towards a nice field model that can handle some rounds.

I must have misunderstood. I thought you wanted to get serious about shooting trap. ;)

It's perfectly fine if you just want to shoot for fun with a field gun, but then I don't see what you stand to gain with a new gun over what you have now.

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