Vancouver Gun Club

870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Discussion on Trap at the Vancouver Gun Club

870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby kdang » Wed May 13, 2015 11:21 pm

Hi everyone.

A co worker of mine brought me out to try trap shooting a couple months ago and I really enjoyed it. I used a Mossberg Maverick 88. 7 targets on the first round and 9 on the second. Perhaps some beginner's luck. Anyhow, I enjoyed it so much that I decided I would like to take up the sport. I was wondering if I may ask your opinions and/or suggestions on what I have narrowed down to be I guess my top two choices for my first shotgun.

I don't think much has to be said about the Remington 870 Express. It seems to have a pretty good reputation. The best price I could find was $450. The only things I wanted to point out that it only comes with a modified choke out of the box, and if I ever (a big if....) then I would need to purchase a full choke later on. I understand a single RemChoke can be about $40 (thereby bringing the price up to about what the SXP Trap costs).

The other shotgun I was contemplating was the Winchester SXP Trap gun, running for $490. It only comes in 30" and 32" barrels. It features a Monte Carlo comb, which I suppose would be more suitable for trap. It comes with full, improved modified and modified chokes out of the box. Through some research, I also found out that it has a relatively heavy trigger pull (averaging 10 lbs). Is that too heavy of a pull for trap?

Obviously, I am completely new to this, and perhaps I'm just over thinking too much. And fit should be the most important thing. But still wanted to ask your opinions on these guns if anyone has shot them.

Just for reference, I am 5'9 and 175 lbs. The salespeople at the shops I have visited have all said I should be shooting a 28" barrel apparently. Thanks in advance everyone.
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby marspball » Thu May 14, 2015 8:11 am

kdang wrote:Hi everyone.

A co worker of mine brought me out to try trap shooting a couple months ago and I really enjoyed it. I used a Mossberg Maverick 88. 7 targets on the first round and 9 on the second. Perhaps some beginner's luck. Anyhow, I enjoyed it so much that I decided I would like to take up the sport. I was wondering if I may ask your opinions and/or suggestions on what I have narrowed down to be I guess my top two choices for my first shotgun.

I don't think much has to be said about the Remington 870 Express. It seems to have a pretty good reputation. The best price I could find was $450. The only things I wanted to point out that it only comes with a modified choke out of the box, and if I ever (a big if....) then I would need to purchase a full choke later on. I understand a single RemChoke can be about $40 (thereby bringing the price up to about what the SXP Trap costs).

The other shotgun I was contemplating was the Winchester SXP Trap gun, running for $490. It only comes in 30" and 32" barrels. It features a Monte Carlo comb, which I suppose would be more suitable for trap. It comes with full, improved modified and modified chokes out of the box. Through some research, I also found out that it has a relatively heavy trigger pull (averaging 10 lbs). Is that too heavy of a pull for trap?

Obviously, I am completely new to this, and perhaps I'm just over thinking too much. And fit should be the most important thing. But still wanted to ask your opinions on these guns if anyone has shot them.

Just for reference, I am 5'9 and 175 lbs. The salespeople at the shops I have visited have all said I should be shooting a 28" barrel apparently. Thanks in advance everyone.


Hi Kdang,

Welcome to the VGC Forum. With that price point, I would go with the Winchester SXP Trap with the Monte Carlo stock. You want shorter barrel for hunting and longer barrel for trap. The longer barrel will add more weight to the gun which allows you to get a steady swing when shooting trap so I would go with the 30" barrel. As for the trigger pull, you won't notice it. Shotguns have short trigger pulls and you are tapping the trigger like the old-style typewriter instead of slowly squeezing it like that of a rifle. Hope this helps.
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby kdang » Thu May 14, 2015 8:51 am

Thanks for the advice marspball. The Monte Carlo comb is definitely appealing. Perhaps my cheek might thank me?!

The odd thing is, in terms of weight, the 870 weighs 7.5 lbs with a 28" barrel. Even with a barrel 2" longer than the 870, the SXP trap only weighs 6.5 lbs. I'm wondering if I should just pick up the guns and see which feels more balanced? Problem is, I couldn't find any local shops that have the sxp trap in stock at the moment.
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby marspball » Tue May 26, 2015 6:51 pm

kdang wrote:Thanks for the advice marspball. The Monte Carlo comb is definitely appealing. Perhaps my cheek might thank me?!

The odd thing is, in terms of weight, the 870 weighs 7.5 lbs with a 28" barrel. Even with a barrel 2" longer than the 870, the SXP trap only weighs 6.5 lbs. I'm wondering if I should just pick up the guns and see which feels more balanced? Problem is, I couldn't find any local shops that have the sxp trap in stock at the moment.


I wouldn't worry too much about trying the shotgun at a local shop. you won't be able to tell the difference. it's like learning to drive for the first time...you don't really care what car you are driving.
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby Gleedaniel13 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:14 pm

Same here, I will recommend this Winchester SXP Trap with the Monte Carlo stock. It does really good to me and it works well with me. ;)
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby kdang » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:46 am

Thanks guys. Ended up finding an sxp trap with a 30" barrel from a store in Salmon Arm. Italian Sporting Goods in Vancouver had one with a 32" barrel in case anyone else is interested.
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby marspball » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:47 pm

Congrats on your first shotgun purchase. Take it out for practice and get comfortable with it. Also, we have a PITA promotion for club members who are new to PITA. Basically, you sign up and shoot 4 x 25 in a row and it's actually cheaper than shooting practice. You also get a taste of what shooting in a trap competition is like and you get to meet other shooters who will gladly give you advice on becoming a better trapshooter.
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby kdang » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:27 pm

Thanks @marspball!

***UPDATE***

I've been out to VGC twice now with the SXP Trap I purchased, and at the moment, I'm loving this gun. The first time I went out to the club (which was my third time shooting trap), it was pretty disastrous. I shot three rounds and think I scored a 10 or 11 average. I went to the range again this past Saturday morning and shot 14, 17, then 20.

Overall, this gun has been very good to me. The length of pull is a tad long, but I may end up visiting a gunsmith to have the stock cut down. I believe the length of pull on my gun is 14.5 inches. As a reference, I'm 5'8.5" and weigh about 175 lbs. Recoil is very minimal shooting three rounds with 7.5 shot size shells. Perhaps the "inflex recoil pad" that Winchester uses is saving my shoulder, considering the SXP trap only weighs slightly less than 7 lbs. I've been shooting with the Remington 1 1/8 oz target loads and have had no misfires or shells getting caught. I'm pretty anal with my stuff, so I did clean the gun (including the trigger group) with some ballistol after each shoot.

The only thing that bothers me about the gun is the trigger pull. I read in forums that this was an issue with some other owners. Apparently the trigger pull is around 10 lbs. I lined up a shot and went to the pull the trigger and I didn't pull hard enough. I just watched the clay fly through the air and hit the ground. But from that point onward, I just had my finger more securely on the trigger and consciously made an effort to pull the trigger a bit harder. Something I'm assuming I shouldn't have to do, but hey, a trap gun featuring a monte carlo stock and raised rib for $500 some odd Canadian dollars, I can't complain.

I was politely approached by two gentlemen who shot with me after the first round and asked me, "So... what made you decide to buy this gun? And why does it seem to me that everyone is buying pumps these days?" I had to explain that I did some research, the price was right as a new shooter, and the gun fit me (relatively) the best. They did go on to comment that it was a nice looking gun and that it seems to be shooting really well.

Anyhow, I hope this helps anyone who has been contemplating this gun or someone who is just getting into trap. And I hope to meet more shooters at VGC!
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby BlueSkyDreams » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:31 pm

Hey kdang,

First about me: I just got my PAL. In large part I got it to get into trap, skeet, etc. I've been doing a lot of reading and research, and I've narrowed down my likely first purchase to a Winchester SXP with 28" barrel or maybe a Weatherby SA-08. A lot of people online say don't bother with a cheap semi-auto, but then others say they work great. I've seen some great things written about the SA-08. I know it's not top of the line, but surely it would be good enough till I get my feet under me?? I like the idea of a gas operated shotgun to reduce recoil and also to allow for quick second shots for disciplines other than trap.

Having said all that, the SXP gets described as super smooth and quick to pump with a good recoil pad. Also, I see a lot of people online say get a pump as your first shotgun. Way more reliable for way less money than it costs to get a good semi or over under. That makes a lot of sense to me, and it does cost less.

So my questions for you are, since you seem to be in a pretty similar boat to me, did you consider a semi? Why did you stay away?

Have you used your SXP for skeet or anything other than trap? Does it work for you? Do you wish you got an over under or semi?

At this point, I'm leaning toward the SXP. There is a combo you can get for just over $500 that gives you a 28" barrel, and a shorter barrel that would be fun at a range (I know the shorter barrel is not allowed at VGC).

PS Anyone else that has any thoughts on this, I'd welcome any advice I can get! :-)
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Re: 870 Express (Wood) or Winchester SXP Trap???

Postby kdang » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:42 pm

blueskydreams,

I considered a semi, but ultimately chose to go with the pump for a couple reasons. I shot a co worker's semi auto a couple months and didn't really like it. I didn't even take mental note of which gun it was. I did not find it had any less recoil than my other co worker's SXP field gun I had shot the round before that, and I just didn't like how it spat shells out. I believe you can get a shell catcher for semis so that you aren't spitting shells at another shooter's feet at the range (actually had someone doing that during my last shoot and it disrupted my focus - not gonna lie), but I also thought it would be harder to clean a semi. With my SXP trap, Ill cycle the action with my left hand and catch the shell with my right, and just toss it into the bin.

I have not shot any skeet or sporting clays with my SXP trap. I don't know how the games are played, and just wanted to focus on trap for now. I have thought about trying skeet or sporting clays with a buddy of mine, but just for fun. I have the 30" barrel, so it weighs only 6 lbs 8 oz. It should be pretty easy to flick around for sporting clays and skeet. Just remember that it patterns like a trap gun. Also, even the modified choke may be too tight a pattern for skeet. Again, I don't really know much about skeet, so take my words with a grain of salt. Maybe ask someone else which choke they use for skeet.

In terms of how the gun is "working for me", I would say, it's been good to me. I've been to VGC about four or five times now. I've been bringing up my scores, and shot two rounds of 21 the last time out. Highest score I've had was 23. Considering I've only been to a trap range about seven times now, with no prior gun experience, I think those scores are pretty decent. I shoot two to three rounds when I go out. Other than maybe the first two visits, I haven't felt much fatigue and soreness from the recoil despite the gun being pretty light for trap gun standards. Might be different if I shot four rounds, but I haven't had that much time at the range in order to find out. Long story short, it works for me, and my other friend likes shooting the gun as well.

And to answer your question about getting an over and under, I am glad I did not drop a bunch of money on an over under right away. Getting the much cheaper SXP trap was probably a good decision. I've developed a a consistent mount now, but I still struggled for the first couple weeks. I spent hours upon hours at home just practicing the mount, so I know where it feels right to have the gun in my shoulder. Now, when I mount other guns, I can generally tell what fits me and what doesn't. I could have ended up buying a much more expensive over and under or semi that doesn't really fit me. Now that I know what I like in terms fit and features, I can make a better choice for an over under as I do want to eventually shoot doubles, and perhaps even try skeet and sporting clays. Not going to lie, I've already narrowed down choices for an O/U and going to look at a couple tomorrow!

Sorry for the long reply, but just wanted to cover all the bases and hope this will help you. Good luck bud!
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