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I'd like to put forth the subject question.

Is 20ga sufficient for trap? My Mossberg 12 is killing me. I've tried 7 and 9 shot, and even have some 1oz loads. They're better than 3" magnums, but my shoulder still gets sore by the end of the day.

I'm considering picking up a semi auto, and just want to make sure I don't get "too little" gun. Will light loads in a 12ga gas gun do OK by me, or should I seriously consider the 20ga option? How much power do you really lose at the other end?

Thanks in advance,

-- SamL
 

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trap gun

SamL: While I am not a "trap" or "skeet" shooter by any stretch of anyone's imagination, I do shoot at clay pigeons on occasion. I, too, was tired of the pounding from a pump or a cranky old double, so I looked for a semi auto in 12 ga. First one was a nice Weatherby Centurion, next was an older Beretta. Voila! No kick! I use the Beretta for shooting clays now. (Shooting AT might be more honest, but we do have fun.) The Weatherby needs a bit of repair. I paid under $300 for each. Good luck.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I shoot 1 oz. loads in my 12 ga 1100, just fast enough to cycle the action. A good recoil pad and it's quite tolerable to shoot all day.
 

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hey i am 15 and shoot both trap and skeet what loads do u shoot i reload and have a shell that may save your shoulder and some money i shoot over 300 rounds a day when i shoot how many days a week do u shoot and how many shells do u fire a say my load is a winchester double A shell with a claybuster wad or a WAA12 wad a cheddite primer and 17.1 grains of Alliant Red Dot it is a 1 and 1/8 ounce load of # 8 and my score is up since i started using this shell hope i could help
 

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Re: Trap gun

SamL: Having done a fair amount of trap shooting over the years I think I can help a little. One of my buddies used a 20 ga. for trap and had plenty of success with it from the 16 yd. line. I don't really know how well it would do for handicap shooting, but you could try. I don't think you would see too much difference in score up to 21-22 yd. handicap, but after that the 20's patterns would probably start to thin.
You could also try using a 7/8 oz. load in your 12 ga. gun to help reduce recoil. Many guys I shot with used them on 16 yd. birds. Here are a couple I have laying around:

12 ga. Fed. Gold Medal Plastic
19.5 gr. Titewad / Fed. 209A primer / Fed. 12S0 / 1250 fps.
12 ga. Rem. Nitro 27
16.8 gr. Titewad / Fed. 209A primer / Rem. TGT12 / 1250 fps
12 ga. Win. AA
17.8 gr. Titewad / Win. 209 primer / WAA12L / 1250 fps

Also, Browning used to manufacture a "recoiless" trap gun at one time. I don't think they make it anymore, but you might be able to find a used one in decent shape for a reasonable price.
Hope this helps.
Dave
 

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Hi, Sam:
Stock fit is a big factor. If the Mossberg doesn't fit you light loads won't help that much. Do you have a good recoil pad? A light weight 20 gauge can kick pretty hard too, so I'd try before I buy. A Beretta 301 we use has a good stock for kids, but the grip is too tight and the comb is too high for me. It won't cycle Winchester AAs, but Federal Top Guns will cycle it. I had to use 800-X to get it to cycle. It's a slow powder and it had enough pressure left at the point the shor and wad passes the gas ports

Some of the old boys over on trapshooters.com like Federal papers or loads with IMR PB or 7625 for reduced recoil loads. There was a great deal of distress last summer when those two powders were unavailable.
http://www.trapshooters.com/cfpages/threads.cfm

Bye
Jack
 

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SamL, now some years ago, close to 40 darn near, I was in the same boat looking for something that wouldn't give me double vision after an afternoon at the range.

I was told buy our state trap shooting champion, to get myself a Remington model 1100, because it would sure help on the recoil and was a dandy all around gun besides. I own 4 of them come to think of it, in both the 12 & 20 gauge as well as two (Upland models) with English stocks. I love them a bunch for general shooting chores.

Shooting a 20 against a 12 can be done, but your giving the odds away to the clay birds doing so. You could drop down to a 16 gauge also, but it may not help your problem 100%. I suggest you get your stock looked at buy a good gunsmith with lots of shotgunning experience.

The quickest thing to do is buy yourself a PAST RECOIL PAD (magnum pad) you can have it sewn into a shooting vest. This I will give you 5 to 1 odds it will take care of your sore shoulder, after you rest it for a couple of weeks. The price of that pad is just under $40 dollars US money.

How good is it you ask, well I bought one for my wife who was recovering from breast cancer and she was able to go from shooting a .270 Winchester all the way up the ladder to the .338 Winchester magnum firing 3 shots from the bench in 4 minutes without any discomfort or pain.
 

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personally i shoot better with the 20 i've used (single shot cooey fxd. full) than with some 12's but, i find the 20 to be more abusive and louder than my ported 12
 

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SamL
I shot skeet with my Mos 500 for a long time, and as DaveS said drop down to the 7/8's oz loading and you'll be able to shoot all day!!! I actual found the 7/8' oz load broke birds more consistantly! Give it a go before you give up on the 12 ga. A 20 ga depending on the gun could and will smack just as hard! I have nothing but A5 Brownings(12-16 ga) now and they are very nice as far as recoil goes!
 

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hey guys i just got a weatherby centurion 2 automatic and it wont eject light loads shell out of it. the guy that we bought it off of said that he only shot heavy load out of it and that therre is a way to switch it so it will shoot light loads again. does anyone know how to convert it back??
 

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1 oz loads with 3 1/4 drams (as found in the Winchester SuperX) can have sufficient recoil to be uncomfortable after many rounds in a session. The recoil from a shotgun is a function not only of the amount of shot, but also the velocity at which it is launched. Try some 1 oz loads with only 2 3/4 dram equivalent of powder or try reloading to 1050 or 1100 fps which is sufficient and the recoil will be significantly less. If you reload, you might even try 7/8 oz loads at about 1100 fps. However if your shotgun is an autoloader, they may not cycle the action.

ATA regulations allow the use of 20 ga. shotguns in registered competition, but no allowance is made for the use of smaller ga and almost mo serious competitors use anything but the 12 ga. With the rising cost of lead more trap shooters are moving from 1 1/8 oz loads to 1 oz or even 7/8 oz loads. I like 1 oz 2 3/4 dram loads for 16 yard shooting, but still use 1 1/8 oz for handicap.

I don't shoot International Trap, but understand the maximum shot charge for International trap is 28 grams, slightly less than 7/8 oz, so light shot charges can be effective.
 

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I'm going to go with Jack and recommend checking out some other stock styles/guns. A poor fitting gun will most likely never be comfortable
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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hey guys i just got a weatherby centurion 2 automatic and it wont eject light loads shell out of it. the guy that we bought it off of said that he only shot heavy load out of it and that therre is a way to switch it so it will shoot light loads again. does anyone know how to convert it back??
Welcome to the forum. I would contact Weatherby directly and ask them if it can be adjusted for light target loads.
 

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Try a Limbsaver recoil pad before you go in search of a new gun (they offer precision fit and slip-on models, as well as grind-to-fit). I use a Browning BPS trap gun for most of my trap shooting, but I often like to play with my Ruger Red Label (older model with small, hard rubber pad) and my Winchester 1897 (steel butt plate). Both of these other guns beat up my shoulder pretty good after a few rounds of trap, but using a slip-on Limbsaver pad cuts the recoil sensation to where I don't even feel it. The lighter 1897 now has less felt recoil with that pad than my heavier BPS trap gun, which has a good pad on it (but without quite as much recoil absorption as the Limbsaver).
 
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