Trap gun for a beginner

d2wing

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Nov 10, 2008
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I already shared how my grandson is using my New version Browning A5 for trap. He shot a 20 with it Sunday and it's only his 6th time ever shooting trap. My son has decided to shoot too and while he used to shoot with an 11-87 he now is using my Francki 612. I am happy to see them do well and am glad they are using my guns. I always thought that for shooting targets that using my field guns was best. But now I am thinking that these guys don't hunt much at all and maybe the grandson should get a dedicated trap gun. What would you trap shooters suggest. Although they both mentioned they would like a "Wicked Wing".
 
Scribner

As far as I know the BT 99 is still being imported (made by Miroku, Japan) by Browning. Parts are still readily available for the BT 99 (made since 1969), and with the quality and reliability that go into such a solid performing shotgun, means you're going to get many years of trouble free use out of it.
 
Used guns are hard to find around here. I see mostly O/U's at the range but he doesn't want one.
 
The shotgun itself does not matter….(of course it does for a variety of reasons)….take the gun of choice and and your grandson to a good ‘fitter’. Fit will do more than the gun itself. Not knowing your grandson’s age… I will guess there is still some growing to do, so an adjustable stock will probably save some money….
 
I already shared how my grandson is using my New version Browning A5 for trap. He shot a 20 with it Sunday and it's only his 6th time ever shooting trap. My son has decided to shoot too and while he used to shoot with an 11-87 he now is using my Francki 612. I am happy to see them do well and am glad they are using my guns. I always thought that for shooting targets that using my field guns was best. But now I am thinking that these guys don't hunt much at all and maybe the grandson should get a dedicated trap gun. What would you trap shooters suggest. Although they both mentioned they would like a "Wicked Wing".
Here is what I'm getting for occasional recreational trap shooting. It's easy on my wallet and my vintage body.



Maybe an O/U:
 
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Wasn’t the BT-99 discontinued? No parts?

No, they are still made. Parts are easily obtainable for most BT-99s from Midwest Gun Works, which 8s also the Factory Repair Center for Browning.
Here is what I'm getting for occasional recreational trap shooting. It's easy on my wallet and my vintage body.


Haven't shot it yet, have you? 555s are notorious for savage recoil, pun intended.
 
The 20 gauge guns??? I'll be shooting 3/4 oz loads and seldom more than 50 birds any given day...budget constraints.

BTW, loved the pun! :rofl:
 
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Please consider all options. 20 gauge gives up 1/4 ounce of shot and, usually being lighter, recoils like a 12. A semi auto, like the 1100, (my two granddaughters shoot them) don’t recoil much and are reliable. A BT99 with choke tubes would be my first choice. My last one was $650 used.
Shop around and don’t get in a hurry. In the last ten years I’ve bought a Browning Lightning Superposed for $800. A Remington 3200 with all the upgrades for $1000. A 1974 BT99 for $650. And a Beretta 686 Essential for $750. Add in an870 TB for $350.
Guns are there. Be patient and carry cash
 
Please consider all options. 20 gauge gives up 1/4 ounce of shot and, usually being lighter, recoils like a 12. A semi auto, like the 1100, (my two granddaughters shoot them) don’t recoil much and are reliable. A BT99 with choke tubes would be my first choice. My last one was $650 used.
Shop around and don’t get in a hurry. In the last ten years I’ve bought a Browning Lightning Superposed for $800. A Remington 3200 with all the upgrades for $1000. A 1974 BT99 for $650. And a Beretta 686 Essential for $750. Add in an870 TB for $350.
Guns are there. Be patient and carry cash
I had a bad left shoulder injury that left me in a 7-8 on the 10 scale constant pain, and have 25% of my prior usage, so a light trap gun shooting light loads is in the cards. I can't hold a barrel heavy pig of a trap gun (can you tell I'm a quail/wild chukar hunter?) up long enough to shoot anything but my toes. ;)

I honestly do appreciate what you're saying. It's good advice for many. Most trap shooters shoot thousands of rounds and call it a short shoot. I know this first hand. As a young guy I worked the satellite store for The Sportsman in Reno out at Harold's Gun Club during major trap shoots and was friends with Dan Orlich. The Golden West Grand was an amazing shoot with the world's best at Harold's. I watched Dan set records. He said the only cuss words I ever heard come out of him while practicing with a new gun with a release trigger. o_O

Recoil was never much of a consideration for me...no brain/no pain...until recently. I cut my teeth with a light Savage 220 20ga single shot and shot a Lot of upland game, back when we had a lot here in NV. A light 20ga with a high comb would still be a pussycat for me, but I'm not everyone else. The last thing to do to a young shooter is to scare him with recoil, for sure. A soft 1100 with a proper stock would serve him well.
 
In 2013 I was in an upper body hard brace due to infected vertebrae and discs and there is no way to describe the pain.
I shot my old1100 with1 ounce loads and didn’t hurt y average one per cent.
 
I know that @entropy and i both have 1100sporting comp guns.
adj stock
choke tubes
light recoil
reliable
economical compared to o/u's and high end trap guns.
I would recommend one of them in a heartbeat....but they're pretty scarce.
I really love this gun and have broken lots of targets with it.
My #1 son broke 50x50 with it as a rank greenhorn trspshooter at tge Illinois state shoot several years ago.
20170101_132903.jpg

I have been out of the loop on trapshooting since about 2000 when my boys started pursuing baseball and girls instead :thumbdown:.
I did a four year stint as a high school trapshooting coach.
Some of the kids parents had sprung for TRISTAR (imported) trapguns. They seem to work fine, and had some features unique to trapguns....I don't know about their durability.
A buyer might at least look at them?
They would be a budget ....starter gun .
 
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Although they both mentioned they would like a "Wicked Wing".

If you're looking to encourage them, and it fits the budget, get them what they want. Their tastes and preferences will change as they develop and they'll probably shoot many guns before settling on what works best for them.

Maybe it won't be the perfect gun - so what? Sell it and buy another... Kids are like that, grandkids even more so. :thumbup:
 
I am out of the loop but there used to be some relatively inexpensive synthetic adjustable comb stocks for Remington 1100 and 870. One of those and a second hand rabbit gun would set you up.

My 1100 TA breaks as many targets as anything else, although I did prefer an O/U for doubles when I was shooting every week.
 
I had an 1100 Trap and the comb was reduced. Still clicked me now and then.
The weight made it a little more comfy than my 1100 Magnum.
However the Magnum never bopped my cheek and it cycled heavy target loads fine.......and old magnums came w recoil pads :)

I still have an 1100 and shot some trap with it, shorter hunting model. Nope.
Its got a synth stock (factory field type) and a 26" barrel. Id rather have a wood stocked (heavier) w 30" bbl for trap.

Having said that, my choice tomorrow will be (again) my Citori Hunter 28" 20 gauge.
Im not serious, and find the smaller gun a lot more fun.
Plus going to new clubs, a breakopen just shows everybody the gun is safe.

In fact I tossed my 1100 shell catcher in the trash last week.
 
I know that @entropy and i both have 1100sporting comp guns.
adj stock
choke tubes
light recoil
reliable
economical compared to o/u's and high end trap guns.
I would recommend one of them in a heartbeat....but they're pretty scarce.
I really love this gun and have broken lots of targets with it.
My #1 son broke 50x50 with it as a rank greenhorn trspshooter at tge Illinois state shoot several years ago.
View attachment 1205270

I have been out of the loop on trapshooting since about 2000 when my boys started pursuing baseball and girls instead :thumbdown:.
I did a four year stint as a high school trapshooting coach.
Some of the kids parents had sprung for TRISTAR (imported) trapguns. They seem to work fine, and had some features unique to trapguns....I don't know about their durability.
A buyer might at least look at them?
They would be a budget ....starter gun .


As Armored Farmer says, if you can find an 1100 Competition, they are a great all around clays gun. Snap one up if you find one.

As for the Tri Stars, the TT-15 line has improved over the years. They are a good 'testing the waters' gun, but the jury is still out on long term durability compared to Browning or Beretta O/Us. These have steel receivers.
Unfortunately, many parents buy their kid a Tri Star Setter or Trinity field gun for trap. These guns have aluminum alloy receivers, and the metallurgy isn't up to what it should be. They are also harder on firing pins than even Brownings, and break them often. They are a fair choice for the guy who will shoot maybe one round of clays to warm up for hunting, and fire a box in the field the whole year. Not a gun to take to Argentina for doves!
The CZ O/Us, also made in Turkey, are a much better choice for the couple hundred more in price.
As always, I recommend trying several different shotgun types and makes. Often, club members will volunteer their guns to try out if you show interest and or mention you're looking for a different gun.
Just don't ever ask to shoot a Ljutic. You will be enchanted by it, and will eventually acquire one, even if it takes 40 years. Well, it happened to me anyway.

P_20200628_173236_vHDR_Auto.jpg
 
I found a Jack West trap stock on flea bay and used it to assemble a sorta comp 1100 when I was rehabbing my back in '13. They are out there. I have a quiver of 1100 barrels from slug through i.c., mod, full. Rather have one with tubes but that might just be too modern for me.
As I said before, both of my granddaughters are shooting 1100s that I have trapified with trap stocks, shell catchers or knockdown pins and improved triggers.
A friend just got his CZ single barrel trap and I will report on it after getting it set up for him.
 
I already shared how my grandson is using my New version Browning A5 for trap. He shot a 20 with it Sunday and it's only his 6th time ever shooting trap. My son has decided to shoot too and while he used to shoot with an 11-87 he now is using my Francki 612. I am happy to see them do well and am glad they are using my guns. I always thought that for shooting targets that using my field guns was best. But now I am thinking that these guys don't hunt much at all and maybe the grandson should get a dedicated trap gun. What would you trap shooters suggest. Although they both mentioned they would like a "Wicked Wing".

Like field guns - always.

If only points matter - play tennis or golf.
 
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Having said that, my choice tomorrow will be (again) my Citori Hunter 28" 20 gauge.

A club member was having less recoil fun as the years went on, so he had one 20 gauge Purbaugh tube put in the bottom barrel of his Browning Broadway for 16 yard singles. Didn't seem to hurt his scores.

Just don't ever ask to shoot a Ljutic. You will be enchanted by it, and will eventually acquire one, even if it takes 40 years. Well, it happened to me anyway.

Anecdote Alert #1:
In my most active Trap years, there was a well known Lady shooter from Georgia who moved up to a Ljutic, complete with engraving and gold inlay. Which I thought looked odd on the rather "industrial" Ljutic, but she had the money to pay for it. I guess it improved her style and prestige but did not help her scores.
I overheard one of her cronies to say:
"Miss Eula, that single barrel is beating you up. You need to go back to your 1100."
"Oh, dahlin', Charles said that if he ever had to clean an 1100 again, he would quit bringing me to shoots."
No mention that she could well have afforded to pay to have a gas gun cleaned so as to shoot in comfort.

AA #2:
Elgin Gates, perhaps best known as the Daddy of Handgun Metallic Silhouette, was an avid shotgunner.
He shot a Remington 1100 for all purposes, ATA Trap, ISU Trench, Wobble Trap, and Live Pigeon. It wasn't an ordinary 1100, he had picked a barrel for an even pattern, well centered; not all shotgun barrels are straight. He had an Anton stock carved to fit; I always thought those looked odd and bulky, but it worked for him.
He cleaned frequently, even obsessively; flushing his trigger group with solvent and brushing the chamber and gas cylinder every hundred birds. And oh, almost as an aside, he said that every other year he would put his barrel and stock on a new action.
 
Thanks guys. Lots of wisdom shared. 20 gauge is not an option. He is big enough to do well with my A5 12 gauge. I offered a 20 gauge but his coach wants them to use 12's. I did a search and found stock options for the 1100/11-87 and 870. Also the CZ trap gun is attractive. I do have a Berretta 686 Onyx but he doesn't want an O/U. He and my son are a little stubborn like me and will only shoot what they want, limiting options.
Thanks again for good advice.
 
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You would not believe the variety of guns that show up in the hands of the high school team I coach. I had to discourage on kid and his father from trying to use a Mossberg 20 ga youth model. The kid stands 5' 10" and weighs at least 180. They did have with them a full size 500 12 ga (with a skeet tube). Supposed to have a mod in it this week.
Another has a bolt action Stevens with a pitted chamber and flimsy extractor. I goodbyes dad how to polish the chamber as I was not going to allow the squad to be disrupted by his having to ramrod the empty out.
Many reasons I wish the sport admins would allow a couple of non-shooting sessions to let us check gun fit, suitability, and go over theory in detail. I did buy the Terry Jordan wall chart and it has opened many eyes.
Edit: The Stvens, even after polishing, was rough. The dad, kid, and I agreed that if it failed to extract more than three times in a round he'd have to replace it. The dad smiled, nodded and showed me the Benelli he brought.
By the end of his second station, he was shooting Benelli and did way better than with the Stevens. One kid shoots an absolute mint Belgian Auto 5 and is nearing 40%. His first year.
This is fun.
 
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