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What makes a shotgun a trap shotgun? I have a youngster that wants to get into the 4h program in a year or so and I was wondering what makes a shotgun a trap shotgun?

I have several 870 Wingmasters and would like him to start with a good gun. Is there a special barrel? Stock configuration?
 

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Specialized trap guns tend to be heavier than field guns, have higher combs on the stock and have ribs that are higher in the rear and slope down toward the muzzle. The weight dampens recoil in a gun that is shot a lot but not carried a whole lot like an upland gun. The high comb makes the gun easier to sight like a rifle rathe than point like a shotgun (more cheek weld). The sloping rib makes the gun shoot high which makes it easier to hit a rising target. If one wanted to shoot trap as an end in itself, the specialized trap gun would be a benefit. If one would view trap as fun and practice for field shooting it would be of less value since that person would be practicing the wrong thing, that is shooting at the target rather than leading it.


Drue
 

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I agree with most of what Drue said with the exception of Trap not being very useful for field shooting. I think this mostly depends on WHAT you are hunting. I find that trap is most useful for practice if you plan on hunting Pheasants, whereas Skeet has been more useful to me for quail and doves.
Since I am neither an expert at Pheasants or Quail I can only base this on the birds I have hunted locally which are pen raised, planted birds on our club property.
 

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The high comb makes the gun easier to sight like a rifle rathe than point like a shotgun (more cheek weld). The sloping rib makes the gun shoot high which makes it easier to hit a rising target. If one wanted to shoot trap as an end in itself, the specialized trap gun would be a benefit. If one would view trap as fun and practice for field shooting it would be of less value since that person would be practicing the wrong thing, that is shooting at the target rather than leading it.
I disagree with that. The first and best criticism given to me when I started shooting Trap was to stop shooting like I was handling a rifle. I was told in no uncertain terms that one points a shotgun as opposed to aiming it like a rifle. When I started pointing, I started hitting.
The entire reason that many, many Trap shooters have their stocks fitted precisely to their physique is so the gun will shoot where they are looking - where the gun is pointed. The point about the rib and comb allowing easier shooting at rising targets is so but those elements also allow for a clearer view of the bird.
One does not shoot at a target in Trap in the sense of rifle-like shooting. Leading the moving target is basic to hitting it. If one shoots at the bird, then it is pretty surely a miss.
The basic instruction always includes leading the target and follow through. Take a look at any instructional book or video about Trap and note that leading is fundamental.
In addition to a generally heavier weight and the comb/rib as described, "Trap" guns normally have longer barrels; mine is 34". Why so long? The additional length is and aid to.....you guessed it....maintaining lead by maintaining swing. A longer barrel swings more steadily than a shorter "field" barrel. Short barrels are "lively" - easier to start moving but also easier to stop moving. Stopping the swing destroys the lead and results in a miss. A "lively" light gun is a pleasure in the field, a handicap at Trap.

Pete
 

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You might want to start him or her out with the 870 until they are sure this is something they want to stick with. I know lots of guys that shoot trap with 870s and they do it very well. Just make sure the gun fits them properly. If the intrest is there you can always get a Citori or BT 99.
 

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I shoot my Benelli Super Nova. For trap really the only thing that really matters is if the gun fits you and you fell comfortable with it, At least that's what I have found. I have shot my Benelli for going on 4 years now. I did shoot my best round of doubles with my Super Nova a 45/50.
 

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Pretty good post by Drue and excellent post by darkael.
Gun fit will be paramount to shooting well and shooting consistently. I also did much better, consistently shooting 23 plus out of 25 rounds, using a full choke. I have two guns I use for Trap...ones a Remington 1100 lh with a KFC full shoke and a Miruko O/U with a full and extra full choke, both in 12 guage. The O/U is by far my favorite and the one I shoot the best with hands down. It fits the best, points the most natrually and it swings well making following thru with the shot a breeze.
Trap is more of a practice of shooting brids that flush from the ground such as Quail and Pheasant. A trap house is about 15 yards from the shooting positions so when the "bird" leaves the house it already has a head start on you flying away from you. The shots are normally at the outer half/edges of a shotguns effective range. Skeet on the the other hand is a practice of pass shooting such as shooting Dove or Ducks as they fly by from one feeding or water area to another. Such shooting could be as close as15 yards to 40 yards. Hence the reason very open chokes are used in this form of shooting.
 
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