First time shooting shotgun at the trap rainge. Any additional pointers for a newbie?

This is a discussion on First time shooting shotgun at the trap rainge. Any additional pointers for a newbie? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I shot my new shotgun at the nearby Shotgun range today. The Range Officer was very helpful. My first time shooting trap (25 rounds), I ...

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    Member Array WisconsinJohns's Avatar
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    First time shooting shotgun at the trap rainge. Any additional pointers for a newbie?

    I shot my new shotgun at the nearby Shotgun range today. The Range Officer was very helpful. My first time shooting trap (25 rounds), I only hit 2 clay. With a few pointers and watching others, I improved 28% on my second attempt. As a newbie here are my pointers for other first timers (not in any order): Feel free to provide additional helpful tips.
    • Bring more ammo. I only took 2 boxes (25) and would have shot more.
    • Pump action is a pain when shooting trap (you have to pick up the empty shells after you are done). Empty your shells in a way where they fall close by.
    • Wear a shooting vest or something where you can keep your shots and empties handy.
    • Check if your range has special ammo restrictions. My range does not allow steel shots (has to be lead). I am not sure why. I had one box with steel shots that I cannot use.
    • Bring cigars!!! Lots of cool old guys having fun and smoking cigars. I don’t really smoke, but I will smoke one next time.
    • I was happy to see a couple women shooting also (attractive by the way).
    • Keep your head down and on target. I was moving my head a lot and it impacted my accuracy.
    • Keep the butt stock firmly against your shoulder. My first shot was a fail. I had the butt against arm. (still feeling it)
    • It was really fun. I could see myself buying a trap shotgun in the near future.

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    Member Array WisconsinJohns's Avatar
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    By the way I was using a short barrel Pardner Pump (a clone of the Remmington 870). Not a trap shotgun for sure.

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    Keep your front leg bent and most of your weight on it, with your rear leg giving balance, and lean forward into the shot!!
    Take your time, you have more time than you think and a slightly less rushed shot is more likely to hit its mark.

    Gary

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    oh boy.

    -shoot where the clay will be, not where it is.
    -find your personal "leading" method. - do you "follow" the clay and come up behind it, or do you cross and intercept it. personally, i usually intercept, but this leaves you with a smaller margin for error.

    -heh. i move my head all over the place. i stopped worrying about cheek weld on shotguns years ago.

    - pumps work just fine for me. on singles you just open the action slow and pluck the shell out. it's only on doubles you half to cycle the action fast and then yes, some places make you police your shells. big deal. you know how much a good breaking trap gun costs? too much for this kid

    - i don't even bother trap shooting with less than a hundred shells.

    - consider a 20 ga if your ONLY busting clays. very similar hit potential. much less recoil. if your shooting trap all day, you'll appreciate the reduced recoil, and the slightly smaller pattern will force you to be a better shot...

    -stock against shoulder goes for ALL longguns. try letting a .375 H&H mag off it's leash with a poor shoulder mount, THEN you'll make SURE you shoulder properly...

    - sunscreen. keep it in your bag.

    camelbaks are also great if your out on a long shoot.

    welcome to the fastest growing shooting sport in the nation!!
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    Point your index finger resting on the forearm. Point where the barrel is swinging. Take your time and follow thru on the shot.

    Most of all have fun.
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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    Point your index finger resting on the forearm. Point where the barrel is swinging. Take your time and follow thru on the shot.

    Most of all have fun.
    i thought about mentioning the finger point thing. seems to work for some, and not for others. i'm lukewarm to it personally, but i have met those who swear by it. the follow through is important though, for sure.
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    Member Array MMinSC's Avatar
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    I have never shot trap, but I do shoot American skeet. One thing that helped me is using the pattern board. You have to see where the gun shoots in relation to how you mount it. The guys there shooting 20 grand Krieghoffs will tell you that no factory gun will fit you out of the box. Since that is way past my means, I have to make do with what I have. The pattern board will at least show you.

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    Orvis Wingshooting book, by Bruce Bowlen.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    As a long time rifle shooter, the biggest adjustment for me was to keep the shotgun swinging in order to follow through. I was so used to holding a rifle steady that this wasn't natural for me at first.
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    Every shotgun is a trap gun, if your useing a cyl bore gun just shoot the clay when its close, use biggest shot allowed( 6 or 7.5) to keep patterns tighter

    Pumps are fun and fast, cycle it fast for practice

    Lead is prolly used for ricochet
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    Watch the bird, not the sights. If you are using a 12, get the fastest load available. 1400 fps gets there quick. Leads are shorter.

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    Spend a little money on some lessons. This will keep you from developing bad habits. There are some good instructional DVD's on the market. Have fun!

    USAF International Shotgun Team. 1980-88.
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    Trapshooting Is A Game Of Opposites

    Excellent book on Trap.

    First make sure that your shotgun fits you. It's a fairly easy thing to make minor adjustments in length of pull on most guns. Then practice the basics, a lot. Practice your mount until you do it exactly the same every time and don't be a afraid to stop and remount before calling if you don't get a perfect mount the first time.

    Slow down, you're moving too fast.

    Stance is critical. Your orientation to the house is the key to nailing the cross fliers.

    There is almost never a perfectly straight on shot and they are harder than you think.

    Pattern your gun and play with different chokes to get the best pattern.

    Follow through. Exaggerate your follow through until it becomes second nature. If the gun stops moving you will miss.

    Read the books and shoot a lot of clays.

    Oh yeah, listen to the old guys shooting 80s. They used to shoot 100 regularly, you can bet on that.
    Last edited by luvmy40; March 15th, 2014 at 05:40 PM.
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    I was listening to a radio talk show called "Gun Talk". I listen to the padcast recordings. The host said that you should not look throug the barrel when firing. Focus only on the target. Much like a baseball player does not look at the bat. anyone do that?
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    Quit while you're ahead! A dart league is cheaper, less frustrating, doesn't depend on weather,, and you can drink beer while doing it.
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