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Top Trap Shooting Shotguns | 2023 MN High School Championship

Jun 15, 2023

Today we're hanging out at the Alexandria Shooting Park during the Minnesota Highschool State Trap Championship! This is the largest sport shooting event in the country and we're here on day one checking out the event. But more importantly, we're asking these high school trap shooters what their gun of choice is for the competition! If you're new to the sport, our goal is to show you the wide spectrum of shotguns used, and what some popular picks are among avid trap shooters. Let's go! 

About The Event

  • The Minnesota State high school trap championship is the largest sport shooting event in the world!
  • Nearly 12,000 students participate in Minnesota trap shooting and it is growing in popularity very rapidly. Over 8,000 of those shooters will be participating in this championship series.
  • There have been over 200,000,000 trigger pulls over the duration of the sport in Minnesota with zero incidents or injuries making it globally one of the safest sports!

  • The championship is famously hosted at the Alexandria Shooting Park! (Of which Steve is now a part owner!)
  • This shoot will go on for 9 whole days filled with shooting fun. There's plenty to do and see when you're not shooting as well with over 30 vendor booths and fair food.

Surprising/Non-Typical Guns

  • Among the many guns used by shooters at this event, there were a couple that you wouldn't typically expect to see on the trap field. Here are a few.

  • The Remington 870 isn't usually a gun you'd correlate with trap shooting. However, we ran into a handful of kids using this legendary pump shotgun. The overall popularity of this gun explains why we saw it so much. Many of these shooters were using guns that were in the family and handed down from a dad or grandpa - The 870 thrived through these generations, so it makes sense. 

  •  We talked to a shooter using a Coast-To-Coast over under shotgun. This was the only one of its kind that we could find! 
  • We hung out with a local trap team and spoke with their best shooter. He was shooting a Stoeger Uplander side-by-side in 12 gauge. Definitely a unique pick for trap but it seems to have served him well so far!
  • Speaking of the Remington 870, we met a gentleman using the pistol grip turkey version for trap shooting! We was averaging a 20/25 so he obviously knows what he's doing!
  • Probably the tallest kid at the whole event coming in at 6 foot 6 was shooting a F.A.I.R. Carrera over under with a wicked long length of pull. Super cool Italian gun
  • We've been looking to get an Ithica 37, but the kid shooting one didn't want to sell! We can totally understand why...

What Other Guns Did You See A Lot?

  • We ran into a lot of individuals shooting Benellis. Most commonly the M2, and Super Black Eagle 3. Other Benellis were the Montefeltro, and the Nova. We also saw a Franchi Affinity 3.
  • Next on the list would be Browning Shotguns. A lot of 725's, Citoris, and BT-99's.
  • To our suprise, there was a lot of CZ shotguns. From the 712, 1012, mallard, drake, and a couple more, this was a popular brand among high school shooters. They make a mean shotgun with a really attainable price tag. 
  • Also to our suprise, we did not run into nearly as many Tristars as we expected. Tristar is sort of positioned in the market to provide affordable dedicated trap guns - We only saw one or two though.
  • The whole thing is an educated trial and error process to see where the gun best aligns with Steve's eye. Sometimes, there are adjustments that Del makes silently to witness how Steve reacts to them while shooting. His expertise is in full swing during these fittings.
  • Speaking of affordable shotguns, Stevens made a notable appearance. We ran into a 555, a 512 Gold Wing, an Uplander, a Condor, and a P350. 
  • Winchesters were pretty common as well. Mostly the SX4, and the SXP.

Which Gun Seemed To Be A Top Choice?

  • Through our many conversations with student shooters, SKB seemed to be the gun of choice for those that were looking to upgrade from the 870-type guns that were simply handed to them. 
  • SKB was a super popular brand across the whole shoot and was a highly regarded shotgun with students really loving the impressive adjustability that they offer.
  • As a matter of fact, we talked to the highest-ranked trap shooter in the state who shot an average of 24.8, and had only shot 2 24's that season! His gun of choice was the SKB 90TSS.
  • The 90TSS was a super popular pick. Other SKB's included the Century 3, the RS300, RS400, RS400T, the 95 ATR, and a couple other models. 


  • Our main takeaway is this: You can shoot absolutely any shotgun to get started in trap and still find success. There was a wide variety of shotguns and everyone liked their gun for reasons specific to them. That's the beauty of the sport - You can develop a style and setup that's going to serve your needs best, and no one is going to think any differently!



Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on, so live the #targetfocusedlife

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