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  #1  
Old 03-05-2007, 09:23 AM
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Skeet and Trap shooting (questions)


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mostlikely this week I am going to go Skeet and Trap shooting for the first time. I contacted the shooting range and they said bring whatever shotgun you own. I was informed that the majority of there members shoot what they hunt with for practice and then on there competition night the realy competitive ones bust out the high dollar over and unders. Any way I am going to bring my Remington 870 supermagnum. It has a 26 inch barrel. I am planning on going wing shooting this year for the first time and I thing Skeet and trap shooting would be a good way to start learning how to shoot flying objects. My experence with shotgunning has been aim and shoot like a rifle (deer, hog, turkey, active shooter) i know this is wrong with wingshooting so that is the real reason I want to try out the trap shooting. The club informed me that they are required to use steel shot only due to the lake neer by. Aparently the club got shut down because there was too much lead getting in the lake and it was causing an invironmental issue. So inorder to reopen they have to use steel shot only. What kind of choke should I use for this? I have an improved, modified, Full choke tubes. According to Remington I can use lead or steel with all the tubes. Should I go use one of these tubes or should i purchase an extended aftermarket type made specificly for Trap and Skeet or steel?

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  #2  
Old 03-05-2007, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapzoo
mostlikely this week I am going to go Skeet and Trap shooting for the first time. I contacted the shooting range and they said bring whatever shotgun you own. I was informed that the majority of there members shoot what they hunt with for practice and then on there competition night the realy competitive ones bust out the high dollar over and unders. Any way I am going to bring my Remington 870 supermagnum. It has a 26 inch barrel. I am planning on going wing shooting this year for the first time and I thing Skeet and trap shooting would be a good way to start learning how to shoot flying objects. My experence with shotgunning has been aim and shoot like a rifle (deer, hog, turkey, active shooter) i know this is wrong with wingshooting so that is the real reason I want to try out the trap shooting. The club informed me that they are required to use steel shot only due to the lake neer by. Aparently the club got shut down because there was too much lead getting in the lake and it was causing an invironmental issue. So inorder to reopen they have to use steel shot only. What kind of choke should I use for this? I have an improved, modified, Full choke tubes. According to Remington I can use lead or steel with all the tubes. Should I go use one of these tubes or should i purchase an extended aftermarket type made specificly for Trap and Skeet or steel?

Thanks
You really should pattern your gun with the different shells and chokes but if time doesn't allow go with the most open one you have for skeet.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2007, 12:37 PM
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Start with the most open tube you can, and the smallest shot size. Also the lightest payload as recoil adds up, and will cost you more birds than fewer pellets will.

Start with skeet. It's a slower pace and more conducive to being coached at each station.

See if one of the members can help you with the foot positions and leads. If you have that information you'll be OK.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2007, 12:44 PM
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Your improved cylinder choke is fine for skeet.
Use the modified choke for trap.
I wouldn't buy any new gear until after you've taken part in the clay games.
Ask the folks at the club for clay and wingshooting advice.
I'm sure they'll be happy to help.

Shotgunsports are great fun.
Stay safe.

Bob
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2007, 01:37 PM
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Take the 870 behemoth and all your chokes. If you pass a WalMart on the way, see if they have a Rem Choke in Skeet. They are cheap enough and nice to have.
The people at the club will probably be glad to answer all your questions.
Thats my 2 cents worth.
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2007, 02:09 PM
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Since you are completely new to wingshooting, I would ask the club if there are any instructors who use the facility to give lessons and take a lesson to start out correctly and avoid bad habits (I know several AA level skeet shooters who continue to take lessons in order to continue to improve). Good trap and skeet shooters are unlikely to make suggestions unless asked (but are generally happy to help, if you ask them), while poor ones frequently give unsolicited bad advice.

The advice given in the above replies is good. I shoot several thousand trap and skeet targets a year, but have not shot at a club requiring steel shot. My inclination would be to start with a 1 ounce load of number 8 shot and the improved cylinder choke. Don't forget shooting glasses and ear plugs (required by most if not all clubs). Also get a shell bag to hold your shells and empty hulls.

Most important be safe and have fun!
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2007, 04:34 PM
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Pattern and shoot with the loads you'll be shooting for hunting. When you know what your hunting pattern produces, then start patterning with the steel and get the combination of shot size, payload and choke that produces a pattern as close to the lead hunting loads as possible. It will do you no good for hunting if you're shooting a skeet load and skeet choke because the parameters are too different. While you may get the basics of hitting the clays down easier with the accounterments made for shooting skeet, it's not going to give you enough challenge to improve your field hunting skills.

I've hunted with guys who could go 300 strait on the skeet range and missed almost every bird they put up in hunting season.
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2007, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markkw
Pattern and shoot with the loads you'll be shooting for hunting. When you know what your hunting pattern produces, then start patterning with the steel and get the combination of shot size, payload and choke that produces a pattern as close to the lead hunting loads as possible. It will do you no good for hunting if you're shooting a skeet load and skeet choke because the parameters are too different. While you may get the basics of hitting the clays down easier with the accounterments made for shooting skeet, it's not going to give you enough challenge to improve your field hunting skills.

I've hunted with guys who could go 300 strait on the skeet range and missed almost every bird they put up in hunting season.
None of the ranges at which I shoot trap or skeet allow field loads unless the shot is 7 1/2 or smaller. The ranges harvest the lead every few years and larger shot plugs the machine - also larger shot travels further increasing the size of the safety zone that would be needed.

It is not uncommon for skeet and trap shooters not to be proficient in both games. One club, where I'm a member, holds an annual picnic where the shooting program consists of 50 trap and 50 skeet targets. It is not uncommon for the state's top shooters in one discipline not to do well in the other. Skeet requires good reflexes while trap requires precision, so skeet is better practice for doves or grouse and trap is better practice for pheasant. Sporting clays is probably better for all-around shotgunning, but skeet and trap are a better place to start as the variety of targets is less allowing specific angles to be mastered more quickly. The combination of load and choke affects pattern size and effective range, but does not change where the gun shoots or the basics of shooting, which is what should be learned from using the clay target games to prepare for hunting.

A major mistake made by hunters who want to improve their shooting by using trap or skeet is to try to shoot "low gun" before learning how to hit the targets with a mounted gun. If you can't hit the target using a gun mounted before calling for the target, you won't hit the target if you try to shoot "low gun". Learn to hit the target "high gun" first, then combine mounting of the gun with shooting the target.
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2007, 11:51 AM
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Skeet is angles and repeating things exactly, because the leads never change on each station. Trap is definitely more of a reaction game, because you don't know which exact path the target will go. I always shot trap by passing the muzzle through the target, but I know some people use a sustained lead. I use a sustained lead on most skeet targets, but there are four I can think of where a pass-through is pretty much required, at least for me personally.

They are both fun.... one thing - I can shoot trap first, then skeet. But the reverse - can't hit a trap target to save my life if I shoot skeet first. Don't know why, either.

I'll agree with getting the gun position correct in skeet, along with the foot positions and the lead. Gun needs to start UP and most beginners won't have a clue how high it needs to be.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2007, 04:18 PM
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MikeG,

Hopefully you will view these comments as suggestions to try, rather than criticism of your technique. I'm not a "top" shooter, but can usually hold my own against other Class A shooters in both games, including doubles.

The only 2 skeet targets where a swing thru might be appropriate are high 8 and low 8. For all the others, the barrel should never get behind the target. If the target is getting ahead of the gun try moving your hold point further away from the house and look back toward the house (as you probably already know, never have the hold point above the opening of the house). Don't start moving the gun until you clearly see the target. By holding further out you can quickly move the gun to the appropriate lead and actually shoot much faster, easily breaking the target over or before the center stake.

For trap try a hold point at the top of the trap house and don't move the gun until you clearly see the target. Then quickly move the gun SMOOTHLY to the target and pull ahead in the direction the target is moving as you pull the trigger. On the hard angles the extent of the pull away will approach the sustained lead.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2007, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. On #2 high and #6 low, I find that it works better for me to just swing through and that usually gets the target. That's not to say it is fundamentally correct, it just works out that way for me.

For trap, yes, I start on the edge of the house roof - swinging through gets them if I'm paying attention. I'm pretty quick on the trigger doing this and don't like to shoot trap targets any farther out than I have to.

Everybody is going to have a technique that works for them.... no argument.
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2007, 06:00 AM
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I haven't shot skeet in many years, of the places I did shoot, there were no restrictions on ammo. A few years ago, some of the hunter's clay's shoots got snippy on what they would allow you to use for guns and ammo because of the "competative nature", I just stopped going to those places. All those instances boiled down to the guys shooting their "$2500 special clays guns" got PO'ed when folks came along with their old $99 Sears pump guns and shot as well if not better.

You can do a lot with a friend and a hand trap too. Shooting stick birds gives a whole lot more realism to hunting than any mechanical trap can.
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2007, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG
Thanks for the suggestions. On #2 high and #6 low, I find that it works better for me to just swing through and that usually gets the target. That's not to say it is fundamentally correct, it just works out that way for me.
GRRRRR.... I HATE #2 HIGH! If I shoot a 23/25, which is getting more and more frequent the more I shoot, its almost guarenteed that I dropped #2 High twice. Its just an odd angle, and with shooting glasses I get split vision and everything just comes apart.... I need to shoot a few rounds of nothing but #2 high.

Trap... don't make me laugh.... its impossibly tough for me... I'm a great bird shooter, but I find it much easier to swing through a bird and kill it, as you can use his head/neck to determine exactly which direction he is going... the spine of a bird is just like an arrow... or a track/path that your gun should swing along. Those little round orange things have no such track, and for me that makes it ten times harder to figure out exactly where they are heading. Add a little cant to it, along with rise/drop and you have a tough target indeed.
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