Finding the trap gun that fits you perfectly can be difficult and expensive—a premium trap (or even skeet) shotgun built with quality materials can cost many thousands of dollars, even venturing into the five figures. Fortunately, TriStar Arms, with its competition-grade TT-15 line of over/under shotguns has several options that won’t break the bank for those on the hunt for a dedicated trap gun.
Put simply, TriStar’s TT-15 lineup represents the most-affordable precision break-action shotguns available in today’s trapshooting world, especially the model we tested, the TT-15 Combo Trap Deluxe (#35420, $2,335, TriStarArms.com), which is a dedicated trap gun that is so jam-packed with features, it’s almost criminal to sell it at such a reasonable price.
The TT-15 Combo Trap Deluxe model includes two ported barrels, a 32-inch over/under and 34-inch unsingle. (“Unsingle” means a single barrel with a high rib fitted to an over/under. It’s usually part of a set like the TT-15, and although it’s slightly longer then the double barrel, you can have nearly the same swing as the double barrel.) What’s better is it also includes a fully-adjustable comb, adjustable rib, adjustable length-of-pull and red fiber-optic sight—all for a street price of around $2,000. The stock is high-grade Turkish Walnut and is quite handsome, along with the engraved receiver. Five Beretta color-coded Mobilchokes are also included (Full, Improved Modified, Modified, Improved Cylinder and Skeet). A drop-out trigger completes the package.
The TT-15 is not a small gun. With the O/U barrel it weighs a smidge above 9½ pounds, but after moving the shotgun from the low-ready to high-ready positions a few times I noticed that most of the weight is centered in the receiver. It’s not too heavy, however, and feels quite balanced in the hands. After adjusting the comb and length-of-pull to my rather ungainly arm dimensions, I was shattering clay birds without skipping a beat.
With the high-rising target presentations at multiple angles in most trap games, trapshooters like to see a lot of the clay bird above the sight bead. The highly-customizable TT-15 lets shooters dial in their personal preference easily. But, plan to spend some time getting it just right for your tastes.
The adjustable recoil pad is removable via an included Allen wrench. Once you slide it out, there’s a middle screw that can raise and lower the recoil pad to the desired height. You can use the same Allen wrench to do this. The drop can be set to a custom pitch by loosening the top and bottom screws on the bottom of the recoil plate. Loosening the bottom screw and tightening the top screw adjusts drop at toe and vice versa to adjust for the top at heel.
Changing the cant of the recoil pad is similar to the previously mentioned adjustments. Using the same included Allen wrench, loosen the screws on the bottom of each post. The posts can slide, and by sliding the top post to the left and the bottom post to the right, the top cant of the recoil pad will be on the right and the bottom will be to the right, offsetting each other. Sliding both posts to the left will shift the recoil pad to the left, and the opposite action will shift it to the left.
Length-of-pull is adjustable using the six included butt spacers (Two each: 1-inch, ½-inch and ¼-inch). Each spacer is engraved for easy identification. After the recoil pad has been removed from the stock, the spacers are installed by sliding them over the recoil pad posts. The spacers have a snug fit; we had to tap them a bit to get them on. However, this is what you want, because if they aren’t tight they will not be of much use to you. Just don’t bang on them too hard, and you will be fine. Once you are done, simply re-install the recoil pad to the stock by sliding each post into the slots on the top of the lower plate. Tighten the screws on the left side of the lower plate and you are ready to hit the trap field with a gun adjusted to your needs.
The high rib is adjustable via sprung connectors. You can easily match it to your preference with a small Allen wrench. There are three positions available. A light touch goes a long way in this regard.
Like I said previously, it can take a little while to get the fitting just right, but once you have the TT-15 dialed in, this shogun will not let you down.
TriStar’s entire TT-15 lineup offers the rare combination of craftsmanship, quality materials and customization at an affordable price that even veteran trapshooters can’t ignore. This particular model offers a lot for the casual shooter as well. However, don’t kid yourself—this isn’t the ultimate trap gun. But, rest assured that you are getting a lot for your money here. After shooting about 500 rounds through the TT-15 Deluxe Trap Combo, there were no failures to fire. I had nothing but fun and a big smile on my face when shooting this gun. After a few rounds of trap, you can really tell this gun was built by trapshooters, for trapshooters.
Additionally, the TT-15 Combo Trap Deluxe is a great option for coaches looking for an affordable gun to keep in the safe for new shooters or intermediate-level ones that are ready to move up to a more trap-dedicated shotgun.
TriStar Arms markets quality guns at a great price. And it’s not just the TT-15 lineup either, the company’s Bronze Viper G2 in .410 received a Golden Bullseye Award earlier this year from American Rifleman magazine for Shotgun of the Year.
Photos by Jesse Snyder