Selecting a Trap Gun for a Youth Shooter - Part 3
8-2-2015 - Chris Robb
Welcome Back. In Part 3 of this series, we'll get down the heart of the matter and discuss some recommendations for selecting the right trap gun for your young shooter.
Over the course of my time as a competitive trap shooter and youth trapshooting instructor I have had the opportunity to speak with many retailers, gunfitters, and veterans of the sport. When I needed to purchase a trap gun for my son I spent quite a bit of time researching options. The options noted below are recommendations on the basis of known use amongst youth shooters, performance and reliability, availability for purchase, and value. There are many different trap guns available and many options to consider. When you’re ready to purchase a gun for your child please speak with your coach before making a final decision.
- Never select a gun that cannot be modified to better fit your child. There are guns that are sold with adjustable stocks, and there are pre-owned options that have already been modified. A gun that is set to shoot trap (rib set for rising target, Monte Carlo stock) with a real wood stock can be modified by a gunfitter and many gunfitters offer products of a higher quality than what may be offered by the manufacturer.
- A stock made of manmade materials cannot be fitted and should be avoided.
- Please speak to your Coach before making a decision.
- The Browning BT-99 and BT-99 Micro. BT stands for Browning trap. After reading the previous articles in this series you will notice a few things about the BT-99. It has a trap barrel; the ribs "Point of Impact" is set to shoot a rising target. This is a break action gun. The felt recoil is greater than that of the semi auto guns. Browning also offers the BT-99 Micro has a shortened stock length to better fit smaller shooters and a shorter barrel to address balance. The Micro may have to be replaced as your child may outgrow this gun quicker than other guns. Browning also offers these guns with an adjustable comb and a Gracoil adjustable pad. These models are a "fancier" grade than the entry model BT with highly figured wood and engraving on the receiver. They are more costly than the base model and it will probably be more economical to have a gunfitter modify the stock of the base model gun. BT-99s are very accurate guns but may have significant recoil. This should be taken into account when considering purchase of a BT-99
- The Remington 1100 Classic Trap. The classic trap is exactly what you would expect. A classic. It has been a favorite of trap shooters for many years. It features a monte carlo stock and trap barrel. It is a very reliable semi-auto gun that is very accurate. It is a good economical option for many shooters and there are plenty of them on the pre-owned market at even greater savings. The stock is all wood and can be easily modified by a gunfitter. When considering a semi-auto one must take into consideration that cleaning a semi-auto is more labor intensive than cleaning a break action gun. It is not a daunting task, but it will require a little more effort.
- The Beretta AL391. I have to disclose that the AL391 is my favorite of the group and the gun that I purchased for my son. It has a Monte Carlo stock, but the 391 is available in many different grades with factory adjustable stocks. The 391 also comes with a shim system to adjust the cast and drop of the stock. It has a trap barrel much like the others, but it also has choke tubes to adjust the tightness of the shot pattern. It is a gas operated semi-auto and is one of the softest shooting trap guns that you can buy. There are many available on the pre-owned market and it has some neat features that are not readily available on other guns.
In Part 4 of this series, I'll tie up a few loose ends and send you on your way to find that special trap gun for your young shooter. Stay tuned...