What is the Difference Between a Trap Gun and a Sporter?

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Written by George Digweed

July 11, 2024

What is the Difference Between a Trap Gun and a Sporter?

A trap gun is predominantly used for going-away targets that are rising. You need to be looking down the barrel in such a way that you’re coming into the back of the target. Therefore, a trap gun is a lot higher in the comb, putting your head higher on the stock and making it easier to hit a rising bird.

A sporting stock on a shotgun has a degree of drop in the stock, which allows shooters to position their heads in different positions based on the target angle. That’s important since sporting targets can be thrown at almost any angle whereas trap targets are always going away from the shooter on a slight upwards angle.

Early on in our sport, before special-built sporting guns were available, a lot of shooters took old trap guns, bored out the chokes to something other than Full/Full, and shaved down the comb of the stocks until they shot somewhat flatter. These worked a treat, as we soon learned that the longer barrels gave us a bit of an advantage on long targets that required precise pointing. That’s carried on today, as most over/under sporting guns have barrels of at least 30 inches, and a few are as long as 34 inches. I don’t think that’s a fad – longer barrels are here to stay.

This article is adapted from 28-time world champion George Digweed’s videos on shooting, available at claytargetinstruction.com

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