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Why don’t people use semi-autos for trap clay shooting?

I can’t understand why they aren’t more popular, particularly as they impart less recoil to the shoulder.


John Bidwell
Semi-automatics have never been popular in Britain or on the Continent for trap shooting, and I can’t ever see that changing.

With one or two notable exceptions there are few European gun makers producing semi-autos in Trap configuration, instead their production is geared to guns for rough shooting, pigeon shooting, wildfowling and Sporting – a few of which sometimes find their way onto the skeet range.

There were certainly more semi-autos used in competitions during the 1960s and 70s but the better balance and reliability of the over-under took a grip, and it has never let go.

Yes, reduced recoil is a powerful incentive to use a semi-auto but the gun’s habit of ejecting spent shells in the direction of another shooter awaiting his turn has proved somewhat off-putting.

Beretta has addressed that particular issue with its new UGB 25Xcel in that empty cases now eject through the bottom of the receiver and fall directly to the floor.

Time will tell if the gun catches on but I suspect it will only do so if it really proves itself in competition.