Trap Gun Advice

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Jan 2, 2003
I am very new to shotgunning and am researching my first gun. What is the difference between trap or sporting guns and field guns?
I was told that trap/sporting guns are designed to have more shells fired, that they have beefier internals. It kind of makes sense since most trap shooters put more shells through their guns in a single day than most hunters I would imagine.
I was thinking of either the Remington 110 Classic Trap or the 870 Classic Trap. Would these also be suitable as general purpose (duck, pheasant, even occasional turkey) guns or should I go the other way and get the field version of whichever gun I choose and use it for trap as well? Thanks in advance for the help.
The two guns you mention are both excellent choices for a trap gun, but neither have "beefed up internals" as compared to their field gun counterparts. (I use an older 870 Competition Trap gun, and love it!)

I would say that the trap guns are just too doggone pretty to carry in the field, highly polished with very nice wood and 30" barrels.
Trap guns are generally longer, around 32+in barrels, they'll have high ribs and are designed to shoot high. Trap guns are meant to be pre-mounted so their butt pads are setup accordingly

Sporting gun, can vary in barrel length, 26-30in depending on personal choice. They'll have low ribs and are set up not to shoot high. Depending on the game, you may need to mount the gun, so the butt pads are shaped differently. They're also generally much more fancy than field gun with nicer wood and fancy engraving.

Field guns barrel length really depends on what you're going after, they can be short 21in to around 28in. They are more utilitarian hence the reason they are cheaper.

Well my advice, is to get a regular 870, either an older express or one of the wingmasters, you can easily use this gun for hunting, clays and HD. Save the money you would've spend on a trick trap gun and spend it on a ton shells and bunch of rounds of clays. If you feel you want to start competing then go ahead and get the trick gun.


Good advice so far. Here's mine...

My 870TB is too darn pretty to take into a swamp.

It'd work well, I like a high shooting field gun and for a trap gun the TB is just marginally high, about 60/40. A little heavy, but I could tote it fairly well. At some point in the future, I may take it on a dove shoot to see how I fare with it.

But a field 870 setup to shoot a bit high would be easier to carry and quite versatile. For clay sports, I'd add one or two of the homemade recoil reducers from past threads on TFL just to keep the swing swinging and cut the kick a bit.

IMO, for a FIRST shotgun, an 870 field style works fine, is quite versatile, durable beyond belief, and with the proper choke and load, suitable for HD, CD, hunting, clays and so on.

A minor note, lots of us find multiple 870s in our safes and closets. They don't breed, but they seem to propagate.

You have been warned(G)...
Thanks for the advice. It seems an 870 is a logical choice and affordable as well, so maybe I can get an 870 and...(insert any item from wishlist here) :)

One last question, what is the difference between the 870 Wingmaster and the Express?
Express-are the cheaper 870 model, dull rough finish, hard wood stock, but the mechanism and internal parts are the same. New around $200.

Wingmasters-have a nice polished blue finish, nice walnut stocks, New around $400.
You're forgiven for not buying an 870 first, John. You'll get around to it eventually(G)...

Seriously, the 391 is a darn good shotgun. I do not care for the stock, but it may work better for someone built closer to standard.

Bruce and the other guys at Shotgun Report are shotgun-cognizant. Their opinions are informed, to say the least...

Now take that 391 and have fun. BA/UU/R...
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