starting new 4h shooting group wanting opinions if the bps is a safe gun for beginer shooters being that it harder to tell if its loaded from a glance when you trying to whatch several beginers at once your opinions please
I suggest 870's instead for exactly what you said above. The BPS is a great gun, but would be hard to load and see if loaded, especially for new young shooters. Better safe than sorry.
The best choice would be a reliable gas op autoloader like the Remington 1100/1187 or Beretta 391. With these guns the action locks itself open after the shot so the only time you should see a closed action is when the shooter is ready to fire.
Those guns aren't exactly low cost so the the next best candidate is the Remington 870. One step further down the price line would be the Mossberg 550. These pump guns will provide good service although recoil may be a problem.
The BPS really is not at its best on the range - and before I get flamed for that I will say the BPS design is one of my favorites in the field. Being a lefty I relly like the safety location and the bottom eject.
The BPS Trap model has a selector for single shot loading, as in Trap, that keeps the lifter out of the way and allows you to easily load one shell at a time. Steel receiver too. I just bought one for my son and he likes it quite a bit.
For perhaps the first time, I disagree with Wolfram! Read Slayer and the Yak...the BPS is a great gun for the money, is as safe as any other pump, takes Invector Plus tubes, and will last for a loooooong time! Martinpicker
the range closest to me recently acquired a large number of BPS field models as rentals (to replace a worn, aging fleet of 686s, 870s, 1100s) and I initially saw almost everyone who rented one loading thru the tube on a closed action...I did show some folk how to load if we were sharing the same field; some learned and followed, others reverted back to running thru the mag because they kept fumbling. Luckily, the staff teaches the proper technique and have been enforcing it... nowadays I see most people sliding the forend forward a bit and loading one right into the chamber on an open action, which is nice.
They are great guns as stated, lefty friendly, durable, well built... and a little bit of training and getting used to it will go a long way. The best on the trap field, probably not (when considering friendlier options), but that doesn't mean it should be completely opted out...
If you do decide to go with them, I would also suggest tracking down early models from the late 70s and such...they all came with the cutoff switch...add a trap stock (if you want) and voila, a BPS trap at minimal cost.
This one I put together for $450 total...only cuz the stock was $150 new from MGW
Why are autoloaders any more dangerous than a pump gun Itchy? You can turn them into single shots really easy. Just have the kid operate it that way and only under your supervision - the only time they go to a closed bolt is just before they call for a target.
We have had a few kids start with BPS shotguns. The traps in Sparta are voice operated. With the kids loading the tube and racking up the shell before shouldering the gun, they would throw at least four or five extra birds per round. It gets the squad timing out of sync during practices. They feel a little heavier than the Remingtons but they shoot well.
All the guns that the program owns are 870's. One of them is a lefty at this time. I think there are about 7 or 8 that the 4H shooting sports project owns
Kids are allowed to bring their own guns and once in a while a kid brings a BPS, and at one time I had an older one with the magazine cut off that I let the left handed kids use before the program owned the 870 lefty.
All kids demonstrate to the instructors, using dummy rounds, that they can safely load and unload and operate a shotgun prior to using live ammo.
If they have trouble at first, we help them learn how. The learning thing is all part of the process.
Mine has the single shot, (cutoff,) option. I never even thought of using one without it. As a matter of fact, I thought all the BPS trap models had it! Loading mine using the single shot option is a piece of cake. Martinpicker