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Hello all! I've just begun shooting trap and am heavily addicted already. So far I'm spending a lot of time working on my fundamentals of stance, gun mount, eyes on target, and working with a locked trap machine on straights and angles as often as I can get the field to myself. I'm hearing modified choke from some and full choke from others. Anyone have any advice? Thanks.
 

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Let me give you my perspective (NRA Shotgun Instructor)....do you know the difference between a visible chip and smoke on your score card??

Absolutely nothing, they're both an X.

Take advantage of the slightly bigger pattern of the modified choke and accept that the target maybe not smoked when hit.

I shoot a modified from16 and average in the mid to high 90's. I have my share of straights, I just can't shoot enough to be consistent.

A little home drill..... Get a AA mini-mag light, make sure your gun is unloaded, and place the light in the muzzle of your gun. Hold the light in the corner of the room, swing the gun along the joint of the wall and ceiling keeping the light on the joint as you swing. Do this 10 times in each direction. Smoothes the swing and keeps your focus on the target.

If you progress to games where you need to shoot from a low mount......you can do this while mounting your gun.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
 

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****

I'm also NRA certified and when I'm working with a first time novice, after we confirm POI, we shoot using a Full Choke.

Give choke no mind... it's one less distraction to deal with... Respectfully, while a few chips may make you feel better in the short term, in my opinion, it doesn't help improve the skillset...

That said, my advice is worth what you paid for it...

My $0.02, with regards,
 

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Hello all! I've just begun shooting trap and am heavily addicted already. So far I'm spending a lot of time working on my fundamentals of stance, gun mount, eyes on target, and working with a locked trap machine on straights and angles as often as I can get the field to myself. I'm hearing modified choke from some and full choke from others. Anyone have any advice? Thanks.
Leo Harrison told his student's to use any choke they wanted as long as it was "full". I agree!
 

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You don't get extra points for using a full choke. A mod choke has a tight enough pattern to break birds consistently from the 16 yd line. If you want to brag about shooting a full choke and having lower scores, more power to you.
 

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Slick, welcome to ts.com :) You will get many opinions on this subject so in the end you will have to experiment and find what works best for you. Here are some ideas on how I find what works best for me as choke performance will vary.
1. To decide on what choke to use remember what is the purpose of screw in chokes? They give us the tools we need to get the pattern performance that we want at a given distance so start by looking at the ave. distance you are taking the target out of the house. Im under the impression that you are ref. the 16 yard line. So if you are taking the target between 10 and 15 yards out of the house you are making a 26-30 yard shot so take a look at how your mod. choke patterns vs. say a imp. mod or full from those distances with your shotshell of choice. I was working with a shooter the other nite in some pretty cold weather and she was shooting a mod. choke in here 1100 and was getting very poor results so a 14 our of 25. She is not a entry level shooter and can shoot very well. We changed to a full choke and went out and shot a round and she scored a 24.
2. Keep records of your experiments that way you do not go over ground already covered.I can look back a the records of trapguns that I have owned or own and see what chokes and loads that I shot my most consistent scores with.
3. As additional note to this I have shot my most consistent 16 yard scores with my fixed or screw in choke shotguns with a .030 (lite full) constriction. Shoot Well George
 

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Slick:
First of all, welcome. I am not an instructor but I have shot trap going on 46 years. My own personal experience has shown that nothing built up my confidence more than shooting garbage cans lids of smoke at singles than a full choke.

One of the best trapshooter's that ever lived felt changing chokes was trivia at best and it may give you one target in 1,000. Try different chokes and once you decide what choke works best for your type of shooting stick to that choke and stick to your particular gun. Shooting targets is what will make you get better.

Everyone has an opinion and most are well intentioned. You will soon learn what works best for you.
Good luck to you,
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

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I have no words of wisdom today, except to say welcome to the wonderful world of trap shooting. As one wise (or wisecracking fellow) said, "the way to make a million dollars in trap shooting is to start with two million."

It's addictive, and expensive.

Enjoy.
 
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Some day you'll be shooting those 16 yard birds with your modified choke, and you'll notice they don't seem to be breaking as good as they were. All of a sudden you miss one and then another.

Next thing you know, you're putting in that full choke tube between traps, because you want to see those birds really smoke. That way, you'll know you are really on them.

Or at least it has happened to me................and others that shoot.

Enjoy.

Hauxfan!
 

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Just a word on screw in chokes.
They CAN change your point of impact.
I just had to discard a Midas grade IM choke because it had a poi off to the left.
I probably ruined it with pliers but there it is. I had to borrow a friends new choke to prove it to myself on the pattern board.
Bill
 

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****, welcome to the fun world of trap! You will figure out what works for you and all the coaches on this site and at your club will provide you a world of good ideas and things to try. Modified or Full has been something I've played with during my 12 years of trap shooting. Know where you are shooting and if the pattern looks good to you at 32-35 yards out. I'm a quick shooter (est 30-32 yds) so the tight modified I shoot rolls smoke. I often shoot full in practice. Good luck and enjoy!
 

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I, too, am new at trap. Shoot more skeet & sporting but do 3 or 4 rounds of trap a week for the variety. With an o/u I put a different Briley choke in each barrel & rotate shots, 5 of one, 5 of the other, playing with it. Use handloaded 1 oz 8's at 1150. As a novice I can pretty regularly shoot a 23 with IC. Have done a couple of 24's. No 25 (yet). Often put in LM if I step back a little. I know this is contrary to conventional wisdom, but it works for me. I'm doing no competing, just fun.
 

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I, too, am new at trap. Shoot more skeet & sporting but do 3 or 4 rounds of trap a week for the variety. With an o/u I put a different Briley choke in each barrel & rotate shots, 5 of one, 5 of the other, playing with it. Use handloaded 1 oz 8's at 1150. As a novice I can pretty regularly shoot a 23 with IC. Have done a couple of 24's. No 25 (yet). Often put in LM if I step back a little. I know this is contrary to conventional wisdom, but it works for me. I'm doing no competing, just fun.
I wonder how many of our "All-American's" use anything other
than a full choke? I'll bet not many!
 

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Hello all! I've just begun shooting trap and am heavily addicted already. So far I'm spending a lot of time working on my fundamentals of stance, gun mount, eyes on target, and working with a locked trap machine on straights and angles as often as I can get the field to myself. I'm hearing modified choke from some and full choke from others. Anyone have any advice? Thanks.
What you need to decide is what level of proficiency you would like to achieve. If you will be happy chippen and chunken along shooting weekly for fun, then any weak thing thats stuck in the barrel will work. You can slop along and break some targets with a skeet choke if your not concerned with development of your potential.

But let me tell you that if you want to be the best you can , then it better be a choke that will sootball a target consistently. Your visual to brain feed of barrel placement better be significant enough to register proper placement in order to excell and continually reach higher plateaus, inconsistent fragmented targets leaves the mental register distorted unable to apply certainty.

This weak choke fraternity was born of sporting targets where a lot of crossers are shot. Our targets are all going away.

Someone stated it was old codgers who grew up on one choke guns that advocated tight chokes. I am of them originally. Finally obtained a screw choke gun. I've played with the weak stuff and I am here to tell you it ain't getting you a darn thing but maybe a little peace of mind that you have a little extra help with a couple inches of extra pattern width.

Now here is the real truth. You aren't good enough to miss close enough to worry whether 2-3 inches of extra pattern width will get you a target or two per hundred. You may very well get there one day with diligence but it will take commitment. For now that little extra width is reserved for the elite (who mostly don't believe it will for them either) as they are the only ones that are that close each and every time.
 

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I probably ruined it with pliers but there it is.
LOL. Reminded me of this joke:

"A guy walks in to a pet shop looking to buy a parrot.
The only one in the shop has an enormous beak.
He asks the pet shop owner why it's beak is so long.
The owner replies,
"It needs to have it's beak filed down every month because it tends to
grow rather fast."
The guy makes a deal with the owner and he buys the parrot.
As he's leaving the shop, the owner says to him,
"When you file the beak down, be sure you don't go beyond the nose
holes, or he will drown when he drinks."
Bearing this in mind, the guy goes into a hardware shop to buy a file.
The hardware shop owner remarks to him, after showing him where the
files are,
"If you're gonna file the parrots beak down, make sure you don't file
below the nose holes, otherwise he'll drown when he drinks."
"How do YOU know that?", asks the guy.
"It's common knowledge." replies the hardware shop owner.
The guy thanks him for his advice, buys a file, and heads off home.
A couple of weeks later the guy is once again in the hardware shop, and
the owner recognizes him.
"Hey. How's your parrot?!
The guy replies sadly,
"He's dead."
"Oh. Sorry to hear that. Did you file too much of his beak off and he
drowned?"
"No." replied the guy. "I crushed his head in the vice."
 

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Most new shooters don't take the target very quickly. As such, they are shooting 40 yards shots so a full choke can benefit them from that standpoint. However, as a corollary to that, even full chokes aren't going to sootball targets consistently at that range so a new shooter may not be getting much advantage from the sootball concept. Further, as pellet clusters that can actually create a smoked target are distributed throughout the pattern, a smoked target may not be the result of a centered hit anyway. But, a good solid break builds confidence in all of us regardless of where the pattern hits it.

Learning to shoot is not about the choke or the shell. It is about shooting lots of targets in a disciplined practice process.
 
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