Start the year with the best gear. Shotguns, shell catchers, eyewear, ear protection, trap machines, cleaning equipment, and more!
With over 130 years of history, Browning has long been a name in firearms. So too has the venerable BT-99 series of shotguns, which have long been a favorite of competition shooters worldwide since its introduction in 1969.
One of the more recent entries into the BT-99 family is the ‘Micro Midas’ single-shot. Made to fit smaller shooters with a shorter length of pull, the BT-99 Micro Midas provides a shorter barrel lengths along with a scaled down stock and forearm.
While being smaller, the Micro Midas still has the same features as the original – including Invector-Plus interchangeable chokes, chrome-plated chambers, a beautiful Grade I black walnut checkered stock, and a gold-plated trigger.
MSRP $1429.99 – www.browning.com
Established in 1924, Stoeger industries has a solid reputation for making quality firearms for working families. That quality is quickly apparent in the solidly constructed M3000 semi-automatic shotgun, which will more than fulfill your sporting needs both on the range and in the field.
The vent-rib barrel has a red-bar fiber-optic front sight for quick and easy sight picture aquisition. Also included are choke tubes and choke tube wrench in order to adjust shot patterns quickly and easily.
The shotgun’s buttstock can accommodate an optional recoil reducer (not included) to tame the recoil of their Inertia Driven® system, and a shim kit is included to adjust the fit of the gun for drop and cast.
At an MSRP of $599.99 other semi-autos in its price range have trouble comparing to the rugged, and practical M3000 in terms of reliability and performance.
A great value for youth shooters, the durable Mossberg 500 features dual extractors, positive steel to steel lockup, twin action bars, and an anti-jam elevator to ensure smooth operation. The top mounted safety provides for easy ambidextrous operation of the pump-action shotgun, which incorporates the Accu-Set choke system to control shot patterns on the vent-ribbed barrel.
After over 50 years and over 10 million shotguns (and counting), the Mossberg 500 has proven to be one of the most versatile and reliable shotgun platforms available. Built to take abuse, the 500 is a solid option for new clay target shooters who want to be able to hit the field on weekends with mom and dad without having to switch guns.
MSRP: $406.00 – www.mossberg.com
Pump action shotguns are a great cost-effective choice for the young shooter getting into the sport while still providing a versatile platform for use for other outdoor activities like hunting or other shooting sports.
One great option for students is Winchester’s SXP Trap shotgun. It features a satin-finished stock with a high, Monte Carlo comb along with a checkered forearm that is easy to grip. The SXP’s Invector-plus chokes along with a hard-chromed chamber and bore allow for consistent patterns while making the shotgun resistant to wear and corrosion. The SXP also features a TRUGLO® fiber optic front sight on top of a 5/16″ rib for a clean sight picture on both rising and crossing targets.
MSRP $479.99 – www.winchesterguns.com
Beretta 686 Onyx Pro
With a nearly 500-year history of producing firearms, you would expect a company to know a few things about building quality products. That expertise was clearly apparent when we laid eyes upon Beretta’s 686 Onyx Pro Trap shotgun.
Featuring a Monte Carlo style Grade III oil-finished Turkish walnut stock, high-luster blued receiver, and accented with gold engraving, the 686 Onyx Pro is stunning to behold – and holding the shotgun is just as pleasing. The beavertail forearm supporting the 34″ single barrel is easy to grip and swing, the high rib provided a clear sight picture, and the weight and balance are as expected for a shotgun in this class.
With it’s fantastic beauty and balance, The 686 Onyx Pro is definitely a heirloom piece to be handed down through generations.
MSRP $2,899 (over-and-under), $4,299.99 (combo). – www.cabelas.com
AA® TrAAcker™ Shotshells
Missing targets is frustrating – especially if you’ve got no idea whether you shot above, below, or behind your target. See where you’re missing when shooting trap or skeet with AA® TrAAcker™ Shotshell Ammo from Winchester®. This innovative target ammo features a colored TrAAcker wad that stays centered in the pattern all the way to the target, giving you a visual representation of your shot path.
Built to fly steady, this specialized wad captures a portion of the shot and spins thanks to its unique dove-tail petals to stabilize and track in the center of the pattern. Available in black for clear skies or bright orange for overcast backdrops. Up to 1,250 fps velocity.
MSRP $12/Box (25) – www.winchester.com
Guide Gear Stereo Hearing Protection Earmuffs
You can’t insure your ears, but you can provide yourself with some measure of ‘insurance’ by making sure you have a decent hearing protection system while you’re out on the line. Designed to block out loud noises while allowing you to easily hear normal conversation, the Guide Gear Stereo Hearing Protection Earmuffs are are perfect for the shooting range where shooters need to hear scores and range commands while at the same time have enough protection against shotgun blasts from you and shooters on your team.
Each set is fully adjustable, padded for comfort, and features an electronic circuit that provides a noise-reduction rating of 24 decibels. At an MSRP of $19.99, they’re a great value for youth shooters.
Herter’s® Black Shooting Glasses
Don’t forget your eyes! While there are many different brands of eye protection out there, and all do a great job, youth shooters who are still growing and getting better at the sport might not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of fancy shooting glasses.
Instead, a set of Herter’s® Black Shooting Glasses will work great to protect one’s eyes while still providing clear front and peripheral vision without having to spend a ton of money. These ballistic-rated glasses feature durable polycarbonate frames and lenses with a comfortable wraparound design, and they meet MIL-PRF-32432 and ANSI Z87.1 safety standards.
Available in Amber, Clear, and Smoke-colored lenses, these will protect your vision while you break targets – not your bank.
Boyt Signature Series Canvas and Leather Twin Compartment Pouch
Everyone needs something to carry their shells (and empties!) to and from the line, but not everyone likes to wear a shooting vest. That’s where Boyt’s Signature Series Canvas and Leather Twin Compartment Pouch can help.
Made of heavy-duty waxed canvas and top grain leather, the shell pouch has two roomy interior compartments that let you put your shells in one side, and your empties in the other. The pouch comes with a sturdy adjustable web belt, and can hold up to 50 shells.
MSRP: $59 – www.boytharness.com
Save-It Shell Catcher by Birchwood Casey
hing worse than getting pelted with empties from the guy next just before your turn shooting. Prevent flying shells from distracting you or others with the all steel Save-It Shell Catcher by Birchwood Casey. For use with all 12-gauge semi-auto shotguns. the small device captures the empty hull when ejected through the receiver and holds the empty for easy removal.
The included soft, padded tape acts like a barrier to keep your shotgun from being marred, and the wire catcher locks in up position for trap shooting, or turned down for hunting. The Save-It Shell Catcher is easy to use and works great!
MSRP $20 – www.birchwoodcasey.com
Hoppes 12 ga bore snake bore cleaner
Let’s face it, if you don’t take care of your shotgun, it won’t take care of you. Failure to properly clean your gun will result in buildup that can prevent proper operation, and rust that can cause permanent damage. One of the hardest places to clean used to be the shotgun’s barrel, but no more – Hoppe’s BoreSnake is the fastest bore cleaner on the planet.
One pass loosens large particles, scrubs out the remaining residue with a bronze brush, then swabs it all spotless. Far quicker than a patch and rod, the Boresnake makes cleaning your shotgun for storage way faster, and leaves you with no excuses for not taking proper care of your shotgun (not that you had a good one anyway.)
MSRP $20 – www.hoppes.com
As fun as clay target shooting is, sometimes you just don’t have time to go to the range. Perhaps it’s too wet, too windy, or perhaps it’s completely buried in snow. With DryFire’s indoor shooting simulator, you can still get trigger time with your shotgun from the comfort of your garage or living room!
Dryfire allows you or your team to practice indoors by utilizing sensors that will track each shot and provide instant feedback regarding distance from center of shot pattern, along with distance above, below, and to the sides. Each kit includes sensors, software, and a usb drive with more than 50 training videos.
MSRP: $1,150 (single user) $2,890 (squad pack) – www.dryfireus.com.
The new SoundGear Instant Fit (In-The-Canal) is the smallest, lightest and 100% digital electronic hearing protection product on the market. The Instant Fit product is a great way to protect the hearing of your student athlete while also allowing him or her to hear coaching guidance and range commands. Ready to wear right out of the box, the Instant Fit provides 25dB of noise reduction for sounds above 93 decibels.
The complete kit includes a carrying case, four pairs of colored silicon sleeves (large and small sizes included), batteries and a cleaning brush. The company offers a 1-year Worry-Free repair warranty, and a 30-day risk-free trial.
MSRP $399.00 – www.soundgearhearing.com
Since the first Pat-Trap machines were made by Stuart Patenaude in Henniker, NH, the company has striven to continuously improve the design. That dedication shows in the company’s modern ‘G’ series automatic trap machines.
Featuring heavy-duty steel construction, the commercial-grade Pat-Traps feature all-hydraulic systems with no gearboxes, and can switch from singles to doubles in just seconds. The vibration-free machines can fit up to four full cases of targets, and are designed to fit into regulation trap houses with 110AC. Users can operate via a standard pull cord and is compatible with most voice-release systems on the market.
Priced at $7,700, the machines can help reduce overall operating costs for clubs small and large while increasing safety and the ease of hosting groups of 5 or 500. There’s definitely a reason why more targets are thrown from Pat-Trap® than from any other automatic trap machine.