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The Best Trap & Skeet Shotguns at Every Price Point

by Kyle Wintersteen   |  February 25th, 2014 10

Price points and options for good trap & skeet shotguns are all over the map. Do you want—or need—a raised rib, a high comb, an adjustable cheek weld or a ported barrel? These factors can considerably alter how one shotgun performs over another. And taking so many different variables into consideration can make choosing a dedicated trap, skeet or sporting clays shotgun intimidating.

Here are some of the best trap and skeet shotguns at several price points, with insight into their features. These shotguns are by no means the only good options in their respective price categories, but this cross-section of available guns will help get you started whether you’re a hunter interested in extending your fun through the summer, or a casual clay shooter ready to up the ante on your game.

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Stoeger Condor Competition

Good luck finding any over/unders for the price of the Stoeger Condor, let alone one with the additional features of this Competition version. The Condor has a ported barrel, carries an adjustable comb and comes with five extended choke tubes. The tang safety is also a barrel selector, which can come in handy if you take a long first shot and need to engage the second bird at varying distance.

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TriStar Viper G2 Sporting

Few companies—arguably none—are as good at offering more value for the money than TriStar. The Turkish-made Viper G2 Sporting features a 30-inch ported barrel with extended choke tubes, a raised target rib and a magazine cut-off button. Its furniture includes an adjustable comb with decent wood quality. Those features are available at a price that leaves plenty of cash left over for range fees and shells.

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Mossberg Silver Reserve Sporting O/U

Mossberg unveiled their Silver Reserve line of affordable over/unders last decade, first with a surprisingly well-balanced and strong hunting model. The Sporting version is a newer addition to the lineup, and it’s among the first guns I recommend to entry-level clay shooters. Included are five extended choke tubes, an adjustable comb, a wide 12mm vent rib, and automatic ejectors. Barrel options are 28 to 32 inches. Overall, it’s a versatile setup for weekend sporting purposes.

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Remington 1100 Classic Trap

There’s something about the traditional lines, high-gloss finish and even a retro buttpad on this nostalgic beauty. The Remington 1100 Classic Trap is simple, yet elegant with its American walnut furniture and gold embellishments throughout its small parts.

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Winchester Model 101 Pigeon Grade Trap

Winchester thrilled a lot of clay shooters when it revived the classic Model 101 last decade. However, unlike the Japanese-made 101’s—like the two I own from the 80’s—the latest are Belgian-made. Modern updates include porting, adjustable triggers, a nickel-plated receiver and .742 back-boring. Barrels are available in 30 or 32 inches, and an adjustable-comb version is also available. Its high Monte Carlo-style stock and slender receiver—carryovers from the preceding 101 design—create the ideal profile for rising trap targets.

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CZ-USA Sporter O/U

CZ-USA describes their Sporter shotgun as its “most beautiful gun,” and I won’t argue with the look of its grade III Turkish walnut paired with black chrome finish. Its full-size target stock sports an adjustable comb, while a 30-inch barrel is threaded for extended chokes and features an extended forcing cone. A single, mechanical trigger breaks at 4-5 pounds.

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Browning BT-99 Grade III

If you’re in the market for a specialized trap gun, don’t overlook the finely balanced, long-barreled single shots. The Browning BT-99 Grade III is a real beauty in terms of form as well as function. The model shown features an adjustable comb, but a non-adjustable version is also available for a couple hundred dollars less. Other features include an Invector Plus full choke tube, high-post ventilated rib to get on those rising clays, and porting—overall a very nice setup for trap.

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Benelli Performance Shop SuperSport

If you prefer the feel and performance of an autoloader, the Performance Shop version of the Benelli SuperSport may be your best option at any price. It includes all the familiar components of an original SuperSport—such as an inertia-driven action, a lengthened forcing cone and Benelli’s proprietary crio-barrel treatment and “ComforTech” recoil reducing stock. Its aftermarket upgrades are numerous, and include Briley extended choke tubes, an enlarged bolt handle, weighted forend cap, a polished action and tuned trigger. Not to mention that carbon fiber finish looks pretty cool, too.

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Perazzi MXS Sporting

My Dad used to like saying, “I can’t afford a Cadillac, but someday I’ll buy a Perazzi.” The company’s MXS Sporting makes those aspirations a lot more realistic for the masses. At about $3,500 less than a Perazzi MX8, the MXS incorporates CNC machining while staying true to the company’s commitment to fit, finish and quality of moving parts. The gun’s ergonomics are supremely good, with a finely tuned barrel and arguably the best trigger you’ll find for under $7,000.

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Blaser F3 Super Skeet Standard

Blaser is widely known for its quality bolt-action rifles, but it more quietly makes one of the best shotguns in the world—the F3. The Super Skeet variety boasts options you might expect in its price range such as an adjustable comb, excellent trigger and lightweight titanium chokes. However, it also has some truly intriguing features, such an adjustable rib that can be raised for trap shooting, plus barrel and stock balancers that allow shooters to add or reduce weight to fit their preference.

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Beretta DT11 International Skeet

Loyal followers of Beretta have suggested that the DT10 series couldn’t be topped. Beretta’s latest competition shotgun, the DT11 International Skeet, preserves its predecessor’s drop-out trigger system, while slimming down its sturdy but somewhat wide lockup mechanism. Perhaps the DT11’s most intriguing innovation is in regards to its forcing cone. While the DT10 already had a long, smooth cone, the DT11’s is even longer and extends almost the entire length of the barrel. I own a DT10 and have shot the DT11—the reduction in recoil with the DT11 is noticeable. Presumably a longer forcing cone should also mean better patterns in general. The DT11 International Skeet is a gun for the serious competitor.

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Kreighoff K80 Trap

Kreighoff’s K80 is known for having one of the strongest lockups among shotguns worldwide. After all, essentially the same action is incorporated into the company’s line of big-bore double rifles. The K80 Trap is highly customizable, even allowing shooters to select a single-barrel, double-barrel, or two-barrel combination set. The rib tapers from 12mm at the breech to 8mm at the muzzle, almost as if drawing your eyes on target. In terms of aesthetics, the K80’s iconic lines are not my favorite, yet I doubt any shotgun feels livelier in my hands.

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