Trap Shooting advice

Status
Not open for further replies.

357smallbore

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
931
Location
Leavenworth KS
I have a 26in pump Imp Cyl shotgun. It's the only shotgun I own. I hope to use it for Pheasant.
Buddy wants to go trap shooting. Will this gun work shooting trap? Like the closest shooting line to the trap house?
 
IC isn't a trap choke but it can be effective from 16 yards. The trick is to get onto your targets early and not ride them. In other words pick up the targets fast and shoot them. It's all about range to your targets. The farther they get from your shooting position the more choke you need. If you're an accomplished trap shooter mod or full will be your choice but we're not talking about that here, are we?

For pheasants you need to give us some more information. Hunting with dogs may give you closer shots. That depends on your dog also. Flusher or pointer. Pointers will give you some close shots so IC will work just fine. Flushers might need more choke. Out west with wild pheasants you need more choke. Planted birds not so much. I want mod/full with wild birds.

I like IC as a good all around choke. Used to be mod and full was considered the best but modern plastic shot cups have changed that. I have a grouse gun with no choke and it's magic for <20 yards.

As someone eluded to, most people over think their choke. Actually most people don't even know how their chokes pattern because they've never put those on a pattern plate.

I've watched sporting clays shooter who are obsessed with changing chokes at different stations. If they were really a world class shooter choke wouldn't matter. Modified would be just fine.
 
Last edited:
I shot my first few rounds of trap with a bone stock 870 police with an 18.5" barrel and an IC choke. Your buddy won't win any competitions, might get some sneers at the trap range, but it will give the chance to see if they enjoy it enough to get a better setup down the road. Pickup the right shells and enjoy the trip.
 
Your first round?
Your gun will be fine.
Be courteous. Be safe. Watch a round or two before you walk up to the line with your gun. You do what they do....
Get a feel for the timing and the birds.
One shell in your gun....don't close the action until it's your turn to shoot.

Don't be the guy that's going to show all those regular shooters how it's done.....you won't.
Enjoy
 
When it is your turn, aim 3 or 4 feet above the trap house before calling "pull". That give me a little lead to make up for reaction time! Just what I have found that helps me and I am nowhere good at shot gunning.

Above all, have fun :)
 
You will be fine. Like others stated have fun. Don't over think it. I started shooting trap with just such a shotgun. And still do, I have been known to use some unusual shotguns on the trap range. From a 24V in 222/ 20ga (only using the 20ga), SPAS12, and a bulpup mossberg. As long as you know the pattern of your shotgun you will be OK.
 
Your first round?
Your gun will be fine.
Be courteous. Be safe. Watch a round or two before you walk up to the line with your gun. You do what they do....
Get a feel for the timing and the birds.
One shell in your gun....don't close the action until it's your turn to shoot.

Don't be the guy that's going to show all those regular shooters how it's done.....you won't.
Enjoy
know w
Hr
e is telling you straight. watch someone else, be courteous, ask questions and have fun. after a couple of rounds you will get the feel for it. it seems simple but so does golf and pool. you will definately know why the teach trig and geometry in school!
 
have a 26in pump Imp Cyl shotgun. It's the only shotgun I own. I hope to use it for Pheasant.

Might work for game farm birds that you have kick to get to fly. Wild Birds? Not so much. Mod or better there.

Buddy wants to go trap shooting. Will this gun work shooting trap? Like the closest shooting line to the trap house?

My son, who is a heck of a shot on game birds, tried shooting Trap with his 26" Imp. Cyl. 1100. shot a 15 from the 16, and 7 from the 25. (50 round Jackpot shoot) And to get those few, he had to pop them as quick as he could. He took my 1100 Competition out the next round, and shot 20 from the 16" and 17 from the 25. Everytime he comes over, he bugs me to give him that gun.

you will definately know why the teach trig and geometry in school!

If you're trying to figure trig and geometry out while the birds are flying, you will hear "LOST" a lot. The best trapshooters don't think after they call "PULL".
 
When it is your turn, aim 3 or 4 feet above the trap house before calling "pull". That give me a little lead to make up for reaction time! Just what I have found that helps me and I am nowhere good at shot gunning.

Above all, have fun :)
NO, NO, NO, NO! Not with an IC choke. And not when you don't know the exact angle the birds are rising out at. I actually place my barrel up that high, and then track them from there with my full choked guns, but with that IC choke 3 or 4 feet above the traphouse , by the time you pick up the bird it is at 30 yards. When the shot hits it, 32 yards, and that's if you are fast at getting over to it. You're already at the limits of Improved Cylinder at that point, even for a seasoned shooter.
How do I know this, you ask? Every fall after leagues are done, I bring my 18" Cyl. bore HD shotgun out and shoot a round of trap with it. My average score for these rounds is about 15. My regular average with a 34" in. full choke is 23.
 
Nice to see the advice about patterning the gun and the load. Patterning is an easy and important thing to do and an even easier thing to ignore.
Don’t ignore it.
Remember the old adage that you do not aim a shotgun, you point it. Very true. I came to Trap from Bullseye pistol and small bore prone rifle. My first round of trap was with an old Mossberg pump gun, modified choke. I hit precisely two. One of the fellows that I was with, an experienced Trap shooter, took me aside : “You are aiming the gun like it is a rifle. Don’t do that.” Then he gave me the advice that I passed on earlier. The next round I hit six. The third round sixteen. Each round of Trap brought an improvement.
 
No don't do it. You will be wasting your time and money. IC is too wide for trap. It will work ok for pheasants if you are hunting over pointing dogs. The only trap guy I know had some extra tight loading trap loads, with green dot, 1 1/8 loads and he had a hard time with an Improved choke.
On the other hand, you would do just fine shooting skeet. Also try patterning your loads with that gun by shooting at different distances and you will learn very quickly what distance will give the best pattern.
 
Stick with the basics....keep your face on the gun, keep the gun moving and watch the clay break over top of the barrel (finish the shot) before lifting your head from the stock.
 
My son shoots sporting clays with IC choke, generally >92/100. He uses the same choke to shoot trap at +85/100. He acquires a target lightning fast.

Shotgunworld polled their trap shooters. The largest block preferred IM, but not by a majority, followed by full & mod.
 
I think you mean skeet. 92/100 for Sporting either means the course is a joke, or your kid is shooting world class level. And your next sentence proves he isn't. 85/100 is a D class shooter. SW has some actual Trap shooters, but not many. Every poll on TS.com ends up with a resounding majority for Full.

Didn't know you were a member here, Randy. ;)
 
IC will work for trap to get your feet wet. I would look for #8 1/2 or 9 shot, 8 at the largest. If you can find steel #7 trap load, this will likely pattern tighter from your choke.

The problems you will encounter are that most new shooters are anything but lightning quick at acquiring targets. You'll be firing at the target distance where a full choke would definitely be an advantage. You will get "dusted" targets that do not break, you may even get some that fly through your pattern unscathed. The bigger problem is that you will not get proper positive and negative feedback on your hits and misses. You may be breaking targets on the fringe of your wide pattern and think you're "on". You may also be missing some in the pattern where you were on. The best solution would be to make some buddies at the range, and see if one of them has a properly choked model you may be interested in purchasing at some point (mossberg or Rem 870 would be top picks for a budget gun) that you could try out. An even better option would be to find a skeet range. I find skeet more fun, interesting, and better practice for real life hunting shots, but they don't grow skeet ranges everywhere unfortunately. IC is absolutely appropriate for skeet.

For now, go out, shoot, have fun, concentrate on your stance and follow through until finances allow for an interchangeable choke or second fixed Mod barrel. If you get one with tubes, you may never take the Mod out, but it will be more versatile than fixed IC. That said, I do 90% of my hunting with an IC or skeet choke (similar to IC pattern). About the only time I switch in the field is when shooting diver ducks (specialty waterfowl choke) or skittish pheasants (modified). I shoot trap, including 16 yard mostly with full unless the targets are very jumpy due to wind, then I use a mod.
 
Pete D. Said shotguns are pointed, not aimed.

I disagree. I aim a shotgun. People say shotguns are not aimed because they only have a front bead. Well, I have two beads on my gun and they need to be in alignment with a little space in between. That shows me the gun is properly placed on my shoulder. And the back sight of a shotgun is the human eye. When all that is lined up properly the gun's pattern will center and hit the target and 'smoke' them.
 
Last edited:
When all that is lined up properly the gun's pattern will center and hit the target and 'smoke' them.
That works fine with a stationary target but if it is a bird flying and you need 3 feet of lead, that bird will always fly away. Pointing is shooting where the bird or target is going to be, and aiming is where it was. Try shooting night games clay targets where the clays are lit up and you are in the dark and can't see the barrel at all. If the gun fits the shooter he points where the target will be and birds just seem to break.

Completely different story when slug hunting or shooting turkeys that are standing still, aim is the game, just like a rifle.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top