I am looking to purchase a Browning BT99 for trap and have a few questions. Does having a moveable comb have a advantage? what about barrel length? fixed chokes or multi chokes? I am not a fan of ported barrels, but does it really make a difference? Most of the guns I have looked at are 8#’s or better how much weight is enough?
Charles A. Huettner
The questions you ask are good ones, but many of the answers really depend on individual preferences.
First off, for 16 yard and Handicap American ATA trap, the Browning BT-99 is great choice. It is very, very popular and for good reason. They are great shooters, very reliable and fairly priced. No, they aren’t as soft shooting as a gas-operated semi-auto like a Remington 1100 or Beretta.
And adjustable comb is an advantage if the standard fixed comb stock doesn’t fit you. You can make it fit by adjusting height and cast. If the standard comb fits you, save the $250 extra Browning charges for it.
Barrel length is again a very personal decision. The standard BT-99s come with 32″ or 34″ barrels. That choice seems popular and efficient. It is just about equal to a semi-auto or pump with a 29″ or 31″ barrel (due to the extra length of the magazine guns’ receivers). Barrel length really isn’t as important as barrel weight. Length = weight within the same model line. Longer means heavier as long as the barrels are the same in other respect. It all depends on how much weight you want up front.
Fixed or multi-chokes? Current BT-99s have the Invector Plus screw chokes. New guns come with only one screw choke, a Full or an Improved Modified, so you’ll have to spring for extras if you want them. The shell makes as much difference in the pattern as the choke does, so shoot whatever your BT-99 comes with for a while before deciding.
BT-99s were started to be made in 1969 and the early guns had fixed chokes, usually Full. Personally, I like fixed chokes because there is less fussing with them. You have what you have. If I had screw chokes, I’d probably just stick in the Full choke and let it rust in place. That way you are covered for 16 and Handicap. Others, who are fussier, would like a more open choke for 16 and short Handicap. Buyer’s choice.
For a trap gun in which you will use 1-1/8 oz of shot, I’d like something at 8# or a little better. Then again, it depends on your size, strength and shooting technique. It’s personal. It’s easy to add weight (usually inside the butt stock), but hard to remove it.
The BT-99 will be a good trap gun for you. And you will have lots of company. It is very popular and for a reason.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid