Instant Trap Stock

Dear Sirs,

I just discovered your webpage recently and have enjoyed the articles a lot. I have a problem I hope you can help me with. I am a novice trapshooter, I have won 2-3 D class 16 yard shoots (local) and as a class C shooter have placed fairly high recently. I shoot about 75 rounds a week usually from the months of November to April. My schedule does not permit me to shoot much after that. I shoot a field grade IGA over/under Mod. and Imp.Cyl.

Now to my problem, I cant seem to improve my scores lately. I would love to know how I could get just 2 more birds a round. Is this too much to ask considering the amount of time I am able to devote to the sport ? I’m trying to keep this in perspective, but the competitive side of me wants to get just a little better. Any thoughts?


Dear Mike,

At three rounds of trap per week (all on one day, I assume), you progress will be slow, but steady. It would really be better if you shot one round, three times a week rather than three rounds on one day, but we all know that sometimes isn’t possible with life in the real world butting in every now and again.

IGA imports a number of guns and I really don’t know which one you have. I don’t believe that they import one with a trap stock. This would be a good area for potential improvement for you. If your gun has a standard “field” stock, you might improve your scores if you raised it.

Here is what I mean: The trap target is constantly rising if it is taken at normal speed. When you shoot a flat field stock, you usually have to blot out the rising target in order to shoot above it with the proper lead. No one likes to cover the target with their muzzle if they can help it because that means that they are shooting “blind” at the moment they pull the trigger.

For this reason, most trap guns have specially high stocks that allow you to hold on the lower edge of the rising target, but still make the gun shoot high enough so that you will have the proper built in lead. Naturally, this set up is only good for rising targets and not so hot for field or sporting clays use where targets may be dropping too, but if trap is the only game you are playing with that gun, a higher stock might get you those extra birds.

Don’t run out and buy a new stock. That gets expensive and really isn’t necessary. Buy a roll of silver duct tape at the local hardware store. Layer the tape on the top of the stock (don’t curve it over on the sides as you don’t want to make the stock “thicker”) until you get the height you want. Although everyone is different, you might try layering it on until you look flat down the rib when your cheek is pressed into the stock quite hard. Naturally, you won’t shoot with your cheek pressed in that hard though. You will shoot with moderate cheek pressure and that will let you see a little bit of rib. If you balance a nickel on the rearmost part of the rib and can just barely see a touch of the front of the rib over it when cheeking with your moderate “shooting” pressure, you will be in the ball park.

Tape is cheap and it is easy to put some on and take some off to get exactly what you want. It may take a month or so to get it perfect, but the variation is infinite and you can customize it perfectly for you. It is a lot cheaper and easier than having an adjustable stock installed.

Once you get the tape just right and have shot it for a while, you may consider splitting the stock and adding wood to permanently bring up the height, or having the stock bent up by a stock bender, but that is down the road. Concentrate on getting the tape right first.

One other thing. Many people will recommend that you use moleskin or some special type of soft vinyl stick on pad. I don’t like those. You want something that doesn’t have any “give” so that your cheek is always in exactly the same place. Duct tape has no more give than the wood does and is what I recommend.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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