Picking out a shotgun

DarthRevan

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I’ve started shooting trap at Georgetown the last month and I’m starting to get a hang for it, third time out and scored a 20 on one of my rounds. Seeing as I’m currently borrowing a Browning Citori I went looking at prices knowing full well this isn’t a poor mans sport by any means. I’d like to try all of the sporting clay games at some point, do I have to worry about type specific shotguns for specific games or can I get by with any semi or o/u?
If by some miracle I continue to improve and decide to go competitive where would I start looking for organized shoots beyond local club nights?
 

turbo38gn

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Welcome to my new Obsession!! I recently got into shooting trap and have purchased about 10 shotguns.. I started with a semi, Franchi, by Bennelli… liked it, but bought a new Benelli Super Sport after shouldering one at Kittery trading post.. Shot that for about 15 rounds, got up to 19-20.. then tried a Browning Citori, liked the breakopen design much better, so I picked up a used older Citori.. liked that a lot. Then I was introduced to a BT99 by Browning.. ended up buying about 6 different models of the 99 including the BT100's, fell in love with the higher rib on the 100.. was very happy with it, since it was a single shot, I also kept my Browning CXT O\U in case I shot something other than Trap. In the end I spent a bunch on a Browning 725 unsingle combo, so that I could shoot the unsingle for trap and have the O\U barrels for other sporting clays.

I now have a couple of BT99's and a BT100, both single Trap guns for sale if you are interested.. I'm keeping 2 of my other BT100's and one BT99.. I'm still a gun hog..:)
 

boilermaker

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do I have to worry about type specific shotguns for specific games or can I get by with any semi or o/u?
Any o/u or semi will allow to shoot trap, skeet & five stand. As Turbo38 shows, some people prefer some guns for some games. But you can go out and shoot any game with your Citori.
 

DarthRevan

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I’ve been looking at Beretta’s and I like their A3/400s or maybe a 690 if I could find one used. It’s going to take me a while to set aside enough money for one.
 

turbo38gn

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Any o/u or semi will allow to shoot trap, skeet & five stand. As Turbo38 shows, some people prefer some guns for some games. But you can go out and shoot any game with your Citori.

Absolutely right on here.. For me, I want to have the best chance of breaking clays, no matter what form of shooting clays I participate in. I found shooting the semi, I could find a good rhythm, but the procedure to unload and load a semi distracted me. The more I shoot, the more I realize how important concentration is. Fumbling with a semi on the line, doesn't work for me. Shooting with a break open, O/U simplified that part of my game. When I began shooting the BT99 single barrel, it seemed even simpler. I plan on focusing on Trap, hence, my choice to stick with a single barrel. I also found that the length of barrel also plays a part in our game. Trap shooters prefer 34" barrels, hence another reason why I chose the single barrel, 34" for trap. Sporting, skeet and other forms of clay shooting, the barrel length of choice is 30-32" max, so when choosing a gun, keep those numbers in mind as well... I am far from a pro, but those are the basics I have learned in my short stint in this great sport. It doesn't mean you can't shoot a 26" O\U well, but I try to learn from the guys that are successful.
 

johnnymac101

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I picked a Citori CXT during a Black Friday sale and Browning rebate two year back. I shoot trap with occasional doubles, so the one gun is perfect.
Good luck with the hunting process!!

The ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association > Home) and MATA (Massachusetts Amateur Trapshooting Association) should give info on matches.
When you hit the Megabucks you can join Minuteman Minute Man Sportsman's Club – Minute Man Sportsman's Club Is One Of The Finest Privately Owned Shotgun Only Facilities On The East Coast
 

turbo38gn

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I picked a Citori CXT during a Black Friday sale and Browning rebate two year back. I shoot trap with occasional doubles, so the one gun is perfect.
Good luck with the hunting process!!

The ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association > Home) and MATA (Massachusetts Amateur Trapshooting Association) should give info on matches.
When you hit the Megabucks you can join Minuteman Minute Man Sportsman's Club – Minute Man Sportsman's Club Is One Of The Finest Privately Owned Shotgun Only Facilities On The East Coast
That CXT is a beautiful all around shotgun. 30 or 32" I hated selling mine, but with the 725, I just couldn't hang onto it. If you look around, Gunbroker or online, I'm sure you can find one of those for a reasonable price. I purchased mine off GB used, with 2 rounds of trap through it for $1350.. just have to be there when they pop up.
 

MisterHappy

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OP: Find a gun that fits. If it has 2 barrels, or is a pump or autoloader, you can shoot all the clay sports.

It's not a poor person's game, but you don't have to be rolling in the dough to get going.

Once, someone asked me, "I have $1000, and want to shoot Trap. What sort of gun should I buy?" My reply: "A $300 shotgun, and $700 in ammo. By the time you've used that up, you'll have an idea of what you want and need, and won't have to ask."

I'm not an A-level shooter, but I've turned in more that one 25 with an old beater Browning A5 or a Smith & Wesson 1000. If the gun fits you, and you follow the fundamentals, you'll be fine.

When 1 target out of 100 makes a real difference, then you need a specialized gun.

As for competitions: when you can shoot a round of Trap without thinking too much, moving out of turn or scaring the other shooters, you're good to go. The Mass State shoot is coming up in June. Ask around your Club to see who is going. It's a busy place, and having a sensei is a good idea, your first time. Since you have no official score (as far as teh ATA is concerned, you'll probably in in the B or A Class (it's in the program that they send out), so coming home with hardware is unlikely. However, play the Lewis (see under my avatar [laugh]). It's a way of giving everyone a chance at a prize!

One note about "real" competitions: You will have 100 or 200 shots to fire. The bigger shoots is 4 rounds in the AM, 4 in the PM. It's a long day. Fatigue is a factor. If you're shooting at the Club, make sure that you get on (4) squads, back to back, to get a feel for it. If the "real" shoot is running perfectly, (4) squads will take a bit over an hour. At a normally run shoot in the real world, it's about 90 minutes. If you're not used to it, it can be tough.

If you have confidence in whatever gun you use (it fits you physically and mentally), you relax, and have fun. One of the best shooters I ever saw was at the Mass State Shoot a few years back. 28" barrel on a Winchester Model 12

Winchester Model 1912 - Wikipedia

It's not the arrow, it's the indigenous person with the arrow . [wink]
 

C. Stockwell

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OP: Find a gun that fits. If it has 2 barrels, or is a pump or autoloader, you can shoot all the clay sports.

It's not a poor person's game, but you don't have to be rolling in the dough to get going.

Once, someone asked me, "I have $1000, and want to shoot Trap. What sort of gun should I buy?" My reply: "A $300 shotgun, and $700 in ammo. By the time you've used that up, you'll have an idea of what you want and need, and won't have to ask."

I'm not an A-level shooter, but I've turned in more that one 25 with an old beater Browning A5 or a Smith & Wesson 1000. If the gun fits you, and you follow the fundamentals, you'll be fine...
Just wanted to add onto this: there's tons of used Remington 1100s out there and the gun was designed for trap and skeet. They can be bought for like $300-450 in decent condition.
 

mac1911

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Shotgun choice or "set up " plays a huge roll in what you get.
If you want to dabble in all games get a O/U with removable chokes from open to full.
Now quick and dirty
Trap= targets are hit going out and up so "trap" guns are "set up" to shoot high. Or a "built in lead" ...thats why you see high ribs and raised comes. Also why the combs are parallel . This keeps your eye " the rear sight" the same height when you mount the rifle. Trap generally is a full choke game. Double Trap you might toss in a modified for your first shot.

Skeet : the targets are always crossing you and are close shots. So cyl or skeet choke and quicker swings hence shorter barrels
Although while where at it if the next Olympic champion uses a 34" barrel to win skeet you can bet your going to see the 3 4" barrels on the line soon enough, once upon a time 24-26" barrels for skeet where plenty long enough.
Chokes in skeet are generally open,skeet
Now if you intend to go full tilt to play skeet and compete its a 4 gauge game 12,20,28,410 dont worry they make "sub gauge tubes" for most O/U's or get a 4 barrel set $$$$


Sporting clays...well what can you say. Theres so many different target presentations you need to carry chokes and different shells depending on the target and presentation.
When I go to "play" shooting clays I often bring my 28" 870 field gun and a handful of chokes and do my best.

i would say give it a few months and use club guns and other shooters guns. Poke around and read up on shot gun fit.

In the end if you try to fit one gun for all the games you going to have to know the holds/swings for each game and target It will lean towards a "flat" shooting field gun. Then you just have to accept your limitations in each event.

I shot trap for years with the 870 but had to pass the bird to hit it. So I started adding to my rib and used mole skin on the comb to "raise" my point of impact.
i also like 32" barrel for Trap . Its not a "swing" to the target like skeet. Its more of a short smooth turn/rise

My trap gun is set up in such a way that the target is above the barrel (looks like you will miss) but it crushes them as its set up to shoot "high"
 
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citoriguy

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I love my Citori - bought it new in the mid-90s, have tried many other shotguns, but keep going back to my warhorse.

You can shoot OU/SS/pump/semi-auto at all disciplines. I find that 28-30" barrels to be good for just about everything. Also, make sure you have an appropriate choke for what you're shooting that day. I carry the chokes for the Citori and my Beretta 682 every time I go out because I may end up shooting something other than what I planned that morning.

I'm not a fan of trap, but I do shoot it on occasion. Try skeet - that's where the fun is!
 
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I used to shoot skeet at the NLRG back in the day, started with a Browning pump, went to a semi, and then discovered the world of o/u's Beretta 686, Browning Citori, Ruger Red Label, Weatherby Diana and Orion, Charles Daly, god, i can't remember them all but to me o/u's are the bset looking guns made. This was before sporting clays was invented , so yes the barrels were shorter... And Reloading i had to learn real fast to buy a reloader the bushings, shot, powder, primers, wads. lol. I miss it so much but too expensive to start all over along with too old and broken..lol Thank You for the memories.
 

turbo38gn

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Just saw this thread brought back to life .... Darthraven ..... did you ever pick up a gun? As for me.. I've been through a few more since I 1st posted. Shortly after this thread began.. I picked up 2 Kreigoff KX5's .. one with a pull and the other with a release trigger .. immediately fell in love with the release trigger model, sold the pull trigger model to my friend, who incidentally shoots 25's with it just about every time out. Shot it all summer, but in the end... I just sold the KX5 release trigger gun and am sticking with the 725 with the higher rib. Just need to send it out and have it modded for a release trigger. Also picked up an almost new 30" Citori CXS with the low rib for shooting Skeet.. Also ... couldn't resist picking up a BT99 with a release trigger off GB for a good price... so got lots of guns to play with this winter, still shooting 2-3 times a week weather permitting and hoping by springtime to be ready to go!
 
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I started shooting Trap in Haverhill rod and gun club they closed it a few years ago. I was lucky got to try out a lot of shotguns I shoot the best with Beretta 686 I got a nice one with 32 inch barrels then I got a A400 Excel I just got a Beretta A400 upland for hunting. I shoot at different clubs. I really like the A400 black they have out. I'm been shooting sporting clays now they have a sub caliber shoots now I use my 20 gauge too.
 

Bison

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I am looking for an O/U for Trap for my almost 14 YO son who is just starting the sport. What would be the best way to get a gun that fits him? Are there gunshops in the Lowell area that would be a good place to start? We do not mind travelling to get to a better shop.
 

C. Stockwell

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I am looking for an O/U for Trap for my almost 14 YO son who is just starting the sport. What would be the best way to get a gun that fits him? Are there gunshops in the Lowell area that would be a good place to start? We do not mind travelling to get to a better shop.
The rather obvious problem is that he's going to grow significantly between 14 and 18, 19.

Gun Fitting Guide: How to Fit a Shotgun to Yourself | The Yorkshire Gent

I don't know anyone in northern Mass/southern NH for gun fit, but there is Cole's in Maine and Mitch Schultz in CT. How much are you trying to spend? How good and interested is he?
 
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MisterHappy

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Depending on the kid's size, a Trap O/U may be on the muzzle-heavy side. My recommendation would be an 1100 with a shortened stock, if they need room to grow. Remember: a REAL ATA event is 100-200 shots, and a heavier gun will tire the shooter more quickly.

My son was large and strong enough at 9 to take over a full-size 12ga. auto, but did not transition to an O/U until ~16. Then, he was good enough to know what he wanted.
 

mac1911

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I am looking for an O/U for Trap for my almost 14 YO son who is just starting the sport. What would be the best way to get a gun that fits him? Are there gunshops in the Lowell area that would be a good place to start? We do not mind travelling to get to a better shop.
Most off the shelf shotguns are of neutral cast and in the middle of proper pitch.
What makes a "trap" gun a trap gun is its designed to shoot "high" as your targets are always rising.
To get an idea of how a shotgun will fit off the shelf it needs to have a mid bead.
Take your shotgun of choice off the rack. With eyes closed mount the shotgun as if you where setting up on the trap line. Now open your eyes. If the beads are not ligned up left or right the cast is wrong. If the rear bead is under the front bead it will have a "high" impact . If the front bead is level with front bead its flat shooting and if the front sight is you cant see the front bead the shotgun will shoot low. Basically your rear sight is your eye so if you see a good amount of "rib or barr el " between the beads your eye is "high" if you dont see "rib" your eye is low.
You can also look down the barrel as the shooter is mounted and see where the beads are in relation to the center of the eye.
Pitch is another angle that is pretty "flat" on off the shelf guns. You know pitch is off if the muzzle jumps and you get that slap on the cheak feeling after a shot. Its easy to fix with pitch spacers.

 
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mac1911

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The rather obvious problem is that he's going to grow significantly between 14 and 18, 19.

Gun Fitting Guide: How to Fit a Shotgun to Yourself | The Yorkshire Gent

I don't know anyone in northern Mass/southern NH for gun fit, but there is Cole's in Maine and Mitch Schultz in CT. How much are you trying to spend? How good and interested is he?
i think one of the best trap guns you can buy for the entry into it is a BT99 or a BT99 micro. They can be found used for decent prices. If the day comes they loose interest or want to up grade you can recoup your cost pretty well.
Years ago there was a $8k BT 99 around our club. It had been sold so many times ovevthe years for about $600 we figured its made its way through $8k worth of sales!
 

Bison

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I ended up getting my son a Browning Citori CXT Micro Adjustable LOP : Citori CXT Micro Adjustable LOP

We looked at many different guns and brands. Some new, some used. The micro fit him the best and he liked it better than the BT99 Micro. I liked the Adjustable LOP. it can be adjusted up to 1-1/8 inches so it gives room to grow. I can also get a full sized stock at some point when he outgrows this one: Youth Growth Insurance Offer 2020

Thanks for the insight.
 

moojpg2

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I have a Franchi, shoots great, have a few thousand shells through it, not just all low brass either, hundreds of pheasant loads, turkey loads, and some buckshot here and there. Never given me any trouble and it's a nice looking shotgun and it didn't break the bank. The LOP is a little long for me with a winter jacket on, but most guns are so I've learned to deal with it without cutting the stock.
 

mac1911

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I ended up getting my son a Browning Citori CXT Micro Adjustable LOP : Citori CXT Micro Adjustable LOP

We looked at many different guns and brands. Some new, some used. The micro fit him the best and he liked it better than the BT99 Micro. I liked the Adjustable LOP. it can be adjusted up to 1-1/8 inches so it gives room to grow. I can also get a full sized stock at some point when he outgrows this one: Youth Growth Insurance Offer 2020

Thanks for the insight.
Thats a nice set up, now go wear that thing in.
 

Bison

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Shot again yesterday. He patterned the gun. It is making a nice high pattern that is well centered, maybe 80/20. He shot 14/25 on his last round. It is going to be fun!

I do not have enough target shells ...
 

mac1911

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Shot again yesterday. He patterned the gun. It is making a nice high pattern that is well centered, maybe 80/20. He shot 14/25 on his last round. It is going to be fun!

I do not have enough target shells ...
That stinks, owell when the smoke clears buy a 1/2 pallet. Try to find a club doing a bulk buy. This is about the time of year they will put thier bulk order in for spring/summer delivery
 
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