Paul Henderson, Gunroom Manager at Bywell Shooting Ground, explains what to look for when buying a Trap gun, and selects some likely candidates.
As I always say, there are only two cast-iron rules to follow when you are shooting – be safe and enjoy yourself.
After that, it’s worth remembering that everyone is different, so when it comes to gun choice what feels right for one person may be quite unsuitable for another.
Take any recommendations as guidance rather than concrete advice and approach your new purchase with an open mind. Just because your shooting hero can nail that perfect score with a certain brand of gun doesn’t mean it’s the right tool for you too.
Whatever discipline you choose, it is absolutely vital your gun fits you and feels comfortable to shoot. Trap guns come with many options, so seek as much good, impartial advice as you can and try to handle as many guns as possible.
Here at Bywell, we’re fortunate to have a huge stock of guns on display and knowledgeable staff to help you find what’s right for you. In the end though, only you can judge how a gun feels.
The two most popular trap disciplines are DTL and ABT. You can buy dedicated guns for each discipline but many shots, myself included, shoot them both perfectly well with one well-fitted gun.
Here is a good selection of Trap guns, which will give you a starting point in your search. All will be available in a number of barrel lengths and many have almost endless rib and stock configurations, so with the help of a good dealer and a little patience you should be able to specify a gun that’s perfect
Beretta 694 Trap
RRP from: £3,325
The 694 was well-received when Beretta launched it late last year and now Trap versions are becoming available, either with ¾ and full fixed chokes or a DTL Trap version with flush fitting multichokes. With its B Fast adjustable comb system, and the facility for stock and barrel weights, the 694 can be set up for the perfect fit and feel.
Beretta DT11 Black Edition Trap
RRP from: £9,375
The stand-out feature of the DT11 Black Edition is its carbon rib, which gives the gun an extra light, lively character. The already excellent feel of the gun can be further fine-tuned with the adjustable barrel and stock weights. If you select the B Fast adjustable comb too then the perfect set-up can easily be achieved.
Caesar Guerini Summit Ascent
RRP from: £3,350
The Summit Ascent, with its adjustable stock and 10mm rib – 4mm higher than a standard flat rib – makes a phenomenal difference to target acquisition.
The differences between this and the Sporting version of this gun are a beaver tail fore-end and non-selectable safety catch. Specify the right safety, along with eight multichokes, and you’ll have a gun that’s a true allrounder.
RRP from: £12,402
Based on the Perazzi MX8 action, the MX2005 features a 30mm high rib, which is 24mm higher than standard. Also consider the MX2003, Pro Trap or Pro Trap Plus ribs which fall somewhere in between. Target acquisition is superb.
The elevated rib enables a higher hold point with minimal gun movement. If you can get used to shooting this type of high-ribbed gun, then the results can be outstanding.
Miroku MK38 Trap
RRP from: £1,750
What can I say – everyone has owned one of these at some point in their shooting career! My choice is the 32” MK38 Grade 5 Trap gun. It’s an out-and-out Trap gun, with its ¾ and full fixed chokes, but this gun looks just as at home on the game field.
The Grade 5 gun has an American walnut stock and fore-end, which look stunning. Whilst the MK38 Grade 1 may not look quite as pretty, it shares exactly the same mechanical spec and is just as functional.
Browning B725 Pro Master Adj or Pro Trap High Rib
RRP from: £4,750 for Pro Master Adj
First introduced as the B725 Pro Trap High Rib, this gun has a light, lively feel and can be balanced perfectly with its comprehensive set of stock and barrel weights. The adjustable Monte-Carlo stock enables the gun to be easily set up for optimum performance too.
The subsequently launched Pro Master Adj has a slightly higher rib, further improving target acquisition, that incorporates an adjusting wheel to easily alter the point of impact. While firmly aimed at the Trap market this is actually another excellent all-round performer.
Beretta A400 Xcel MultiTarget Semi Auto
RRP from: £2,345
While the semi-auto is frowned upon for shooting trap disciplines because the cartridge ejection method can distract shooters, the Beretta A400 MultiTarget can be a credible option.
The low recoil you would expect from a semi-auto can be reduced by specifying a Kick-Off recoil reducing system. There is also a fix to stop the normal ejection of spent cartridges.
With its adjustable Monte-Carlo stock and rib, the ultimate set-up can be achieved and this is an excellent option for someone wanting a gun that that can handle multiple disciplines.
RRP from: £7,719
With its linear strike mechanism, it is incredibly smooth to shoot. While the F3 action is standard across the range, different stock and barrel options make it configurable for shooters.
My choice is the Blaser F3 Vantage with its 14mm rib maximizing target acquisition. This gun is generally supplied with a Monte-Carlo stock and beavertail fore-end for shooting Trap, but in my hands the standard stock performs equally well, so do give it a try if you can.
In my experience, Blaser’s multichokes deliver some of the most consistent patterns for a factory multichoke gun, with ¼ and ½ choke being more than adequate for DTL.
RRP from: £12,500
The K-80 action is mechanically identical across the range, with the only difference being the different engraving patterns. There are two basic styles of stock, the standard stock, normally fitted to the sporter and the Monte-Carlo, normally fitted to the Trap gun, but either can be tailored to individual requirements.
The Trap barrels are slightly heavier with a slightly wider tapered rib, and the point of impact can be altered with different barrel hangers. Generally, the Trap version is specified as a multichoke gun, usually with Titanium chokes to improve the look.
My choice would be the Krieghoff Parcours X, an odd choice for trap shooting but the new X barrels are slightly heavier than the standard Parcours barrels. That said, the vast majority of shooters prefer the standard Krieghoff trap barrels, or Supersport barrels fitted to the K-80 action. Find what works for you!
More buying guides from Clay Shooting Magazine
- Best clay cartridges from budget to blow-out
- Best clay cartridges – the right kind for every discipline
- Best cartridges for Trap and Sporting – Steve Scott’s picks
- Best semi-auto shotguns – our top picks
- Best skeet guns on the market right now