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fugitive from reality
Picture of SgtGold
I need recommendations for a good OU for trap. I'm not looking to break the bank on this, so I'm trying to keep to a $1,500 budget. I'm interested in the OU because I want to be able to shoot reduced loads, and I don't want to chase shells. Most of the big names are rebadging Turkish guns for their entry level offerings, and I've heard both good and bad about the current Turkish offerings.


Should I just get a Beretta 391 or 400 and call it a day? Any info is appreciated. Thanks.

'I'm pretty fly for a white guy'.

Posts: 5989 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Constable
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I assume You are shooting at a local Club?

Never seen a Club whose shooters didn't allow a newbie to TRY their guns out. TRY a Beretta auto, or a BT99, etc.

Nice thing about the auto is the ability to shot doubles.

I started with a Browning BT-99 and it's still a good choice.
Posts: 5990 | Location: Craig, MT | Registered: December 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I have not yet begun
to procrastinate
Picture of KMitch200
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If you decide to get serious about Trap - practice, just for fun, leagues, small competions, larger competitions - you can easily shoot THOUSANDS of rounds of 12ga a year.
That much cumulative recoil is much better on your bod and brain in a gas gun than it is in an O/U or pump.

Some people will say, "It never bothered me, my gun fits!"
Ever wondered why release triggers are made? Lots o' recoil can lead to FLINCH. I've seen my share of REALLY expensive shotguns that were custom fit that now sport release triggers.

I dearly love the Browning O/U I bought as my retirement gift to me. When I had the money, I wish I would have bought a recoil reducing butt plate system (like a GraCoil) when I had the adjustable comb put on.

After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
Posts: 2987 | Location: AZ - West side of the valley | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of sourdough44
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Some flavor of a Browning Citori is usually a solid choice, slightly used is an option.

Yes, kinda a pain to be chasing empties with a semi all the time.
Posts: 3556 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As I see it your $1500 budget boils down to 3 primary options -- a new second-tier O/U, a used Browning or Beretta O/U, or a semi-auto.

I have yet to shoot a value-line O/U that didn't balance like a brick and that didn't hold up to volume shooting. If you choose to go this way, understand that if you shoot the gun a lot, it will likely become a disposable item. Or maybe you will find a new shooter that doesn't know much, and you'll be able to dump it on him.

There's a reason why so many Brownings and Berretta O/Us are being used -- they last. I found a lightly-used Browning 525 at my LGS a number of years ago. This O/U has at least 25,000 rounds on it now and is still going strong. Local sources are generally better/cheaper than something like Gunbroker for finding used guns at reasonable prices. If you have a local range which is active in competitions, this is likely your best bet. Many shooters feel the way to score that extra bird is a new and more expensive shotgun, and thus they will be happy to sell an older B-gun.

Beretta's semi-autos work quite well in shotgun games. And they're easier on the shoulder. Unfortunately I've seen way too many trap shooters who are wound so tightly that a bouncing hull at their feet "throws them off their game." Whatever. As a result the semi guys get a number of down-the-nose looks. IMO the Beretta 391 is a better gun than the 400.

I recommend staying away from single barrel break-open trap guns. You're limited to singles trap; skeet and sporting clays is out of the question.

An O/U with a hard rubber butt pad can produce a lot of recoil energy. At least install a Kick-Eez pad. Gracoil is fine if you don't mind the slight gun movement. Even better is to invest in a heavier gun, say at least 8 pounds. Definitely use milder loads. There's no need for 1250+ fps and 1-1/8 ounce of shot. Lighter loads of 1 ounce at 1180 fps break targets quite well -- this is what I use in FITASC competitions, with targets out to 70 or 80 yards. If you must use 1-1/8 ounce loads, go with the slower ones, say 1145 fps.

Flinching is very common in shotgun circles. IMO it's a combination of heavier loads and improper technique. Until I shot precision rifles, I flinched once or twice per 100 rounds of shot shells. Almost everyone I've seen who flinches slaps the trigger. To avoid flinching, learn to control the firearm all the way through the recoil cycle. Keep the trigger pinned back on the stop after breaking the shot. Keep the buttstock firmly in your shoulder pocket. Control the muzzle and keep it moving along the path of the clay. If the light is right, you will actually see the gray blur that is your shot pattern moving towards the clay.
Posts: 5687 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Take a look at the Browning Citori CXT. They run about $1850 new, but there is a rebate of 10% plus $50; which puts it very close to your target price. Load some light 1oz or 3/4oz loads.

You can find a used Beretta 391 for $650-850. They run the reduced loads fine and handle the cheap commercial load recoil better.
Posts: 18 | Registered: April 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
Picture of SgtGold
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Thanks Fritz for the in depth breakdown. I hadn't really thought about the cumulative aspect of all that 12 gauge. I made the mistake of visiting the Beretta gallery in NYC today so I think I see an A400 in my near future. Big Grin

'I'm pretty fly for a white guy'.

Posts: 5989 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another vote for a Browning Citori. I grew up shooting Berettas as well, but the internals seem to be more fragile than the Citoris.
Posts: 606 | Location: WV | Registered: May 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My 687 Beretta does a great job at trap.

Just a suggestion.
Posts: 3045 | Location: Houston, TX, USA | Registered: May 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of tartan427
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I have been for many years, a pretty hard core trap shooter. I shoot literally thousands and thousands of rounds each year in leagues and practice. Both the single barrel and O/U (for doubles) I use fit me very well, and I have no issues with re-coil or cumulative effects. I still shoot a pull trigger. I have shot nearly everything over the years from pumps, to semi's to break-open's. It comes down to what fits you best and breaks the birds. If you can get a shotgun fitted at a dealer a good shop fits used guns as well), it will go a long way to you becoming a better shooter. Remember trap involves a lot of shooting (if you do it regularly). As a result, really inexpensive shotguns invariably develop problems, because they were probably designed for hunting, where you may shoot a limited number of shells over the course of a year. True trap guns are designed to shoot thousands and thousands of rounds before needed any serious service.

I would suggest you look at used Browning XT's and Beretta Silver Pigeons. They are dedicated trap guns and should be in your budget. In semi's the Beretta A400 Xcel (blue receiver) is a good choice. My wife started with one a few years ago, before moving on to a Browning BT-99. The BT-99 is a single barrel trap gun. As noted above, it limits you to trap singles, but for the price, it is a great trap gun. SKB is another good maker of reasonably priced trap guns. They may not be as easily found as Browning or Beretta's but are built like tanks.

There are some new Turkish trap guns on the market for amazingly low prices, as well as a new trap gun from CZ. I don't have any experience with them, so cannot comment on the quality or longevity of those new offerings.

If you think you may want to shoot some sporting clays or skeet, as well as trap, there are a number of multi-purpose shotguns. I know guys who shoot them for everything Like all-season tires, I think they are just OK at a lot of things, but not great at any of them. Obviously a great shooter will shoot great with anything. I'm looking for the maximum advantage at trap, so I shoot trap guns for trap and sporting clays guns for sporting clays.

Here in the Pittsburgh area we are fortunate to have three specialty shotgun stores -- Joel Etchen Guns, High Grade Shooters Supply and Elite Shotguns. All have websites showing their used guns and will fit a gun. You might check their sites to give you some idea of used prices.
Posts: 603 | Location: Pittsburgh, Pa | Registered: January 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quit staring at my wife's Butt
Picture of XLT
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I would get a beretta auto with a shell catcher that's what I use simply pull the catcher off when shooting doubles. I love the looks of the citori but the constant kick did me no favors.
Posts: 4689 | Registered: February 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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