The Right Guns For The Game

Dear Bruce,

As best as I can figure, sporting clays, skeet, and bunker trap are all shot with a “flat” shooting gun. ATA doubles is either flat or high (which is it?)

Let’s say I have a 30″ sporting barrel and a 30″ trap barrel-they look identical. Are they? Will they shoot to the same point of aim?? Are they the same weight? rib?

I’m toying with the idea of an MX8 Perazzi trap combo. The trap gun with the Monte Carlo comb would shoot all the trap games, and then if I put on the twin barrels and switched to a skeet comb, looking right down the barrel, I could conceivably shoot everything with one gun (albeit two stocks). would this work?

thanks in advance


Dear M,

As to all that stock and barrel switching, I don’t do it. I shoot ALL the games with one gun. Well, actually it’s either an O/U or a gas gun, but each is set up the same way to deal with all the games. I set my guns so that I see a little bit of rib when I am normally cheeked in, but the guns do shoot about 50/50 for me. I simply cover my trap targets and shoot everything else normally. I shoot both O/Us and gas guns the same way. Yes, I know, when you see a bit of rib the gun is supposed to shoot a bit high, but none of mine do. With a touch of rib showing, they all shoot flat. If I want them to shoot high, I have to see a bunch of rib.

My guns are set up so that when I cheek “into the bone”, I am still looking flat down the rib. I can never “lose” the rib by cheeking in extra tight on a dropper. My normal cheek pressure lets me see about 1/16″~3/32″ of rib- sort of a squashed figure 8. By the way, all the ribs on my guns are flat. None are stepped or raised at the rear. I’m not a big fan of stepped ribs.

As it works out, I end up shooting trap guns for sporting and skeet. My O/Us are Special Trap #6 FN Superposeds. The only change I make is to lengthen the stock. My gas guns are Beretta 303 trap models with the Monte Carlo stocks. They were set quite high so I simply shimmed the stocks down a touch. I make no adjustments or alterations for any of the games other than perhaps changing a choke or two. Both the gas guns and O/Us have 30″ barrels.

By setting my guns up to shoot where I am looking, I find that I don’t have to make any adjustments of any kind when switching sports. When I get a trap-style target in a sporting match, nothing changes. Ditto a skeet shot on the clays’s course.

I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to have separate guns for the separate games. Many trap shooters do use two barrel sets and many skeet shooters use a separate 12 gauge gun in addition to their subgauge tube set. I’m just saying that I personally like the idea of shooting them all with one setup. I once went the route of swapping barrels and stocks, but it didn’t work for me. Each arrangement was a little different and I never got used to any one setup.

I think that this “one gun for everything” is possible because I don’t specialize in any one clay game any more. The more you are going to specialize, the more a dedicated gun makes sense. I found that switching guns from game to game hurt me more than having a specialized gun for each game helped. Your results may vary, but it sure is simpler to try the one gun approach first.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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1 Response to The Right Guns For The Game

  1. Tom says:

    The high adjustable ribs seem to be all the rage with the skeet guys I shoot with. I bought a Caesar Guerini Summit Ascent with the fixed but elevated rib, thinking it would be a compromise between flat and the ultra high jobs. I’ve shot it for several months now and I hate it. I feel dyslexic with the rib in front of my face. My eye gets drawn to it plus the higher shooting (floating the bird) is another mental calculation I don’t need. I bought a flat rib sporting model and love it. Now i’m trying to sell the Ascent. Live and learn.


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