In the mid-twentieth century the pump gun reigned supreme on gun ranges reaching across this wide country. In fact, over the years, winchester model 12s and remington 870s may have seen more action on american trap fields than all other guns combined.
Back in a simpler time, many of these guns served double duty, worn smooth over time by the same men and women who used them on the trap field, when they were carried into the fields and forests each year during the hunting season. The pointability and reliability, combined with the relative low cost of the pump action shotgun made it the go-to choice for thousands who found its simplicity and affordability allowed them to be competitive without breaking the bank. Over time, break action guns overtook the market in terms of popularity, but pumps are still to this day a viable though often underutilized option for those on a limited budget.
New To Market
CZ-USA recently brought a new trap gun to the market that should prove to fill a needed niche, that of a wellmade, feature packed, trap style pump gun that doesn’t compromise handling – all for under $500. The 612 Trap, new for 2015, features a 32″ over-bored and ported, ventilated rib barrel, a Turkish walnut parallel comb stock and knurled, extended choke tubes.
Two things struck me and the other shooters I let try the demo gun CZ sent me – the fantastic handling this gun had on the field and its remarkably low price point. At 521/2 inches, it’s a long, but very lively, dynamic handling gun due to the balanced and well dispersed distribution of weight – the result of the Monte Carlo stock offsetting the weight of the longer barrel, according to Dave Miller, CZ-USA Project Manager. “Most people’s reaction is… that thing’s long, but the reason that it balances so well is that big ol’ piece of wood balances out the 32″ barrel,” says Miller.
The aluminum receiver helps keep the overall weight down to a shade over seven pounds, allowing a very lively and easy handling gun that feels good between the hands. It’s easy on the eyes too. Not flashy, but attractively put together. CZ did their homework and got this one right. Measured with the Hosford bore gauge, I found it over-bored ten thousandths over standard at .739″.
The ported, matte finished, black chromed barrel is chambered for 23/4″ and 3″ shells, has a white front bead, a very small white mid bead and is threaded for the three knurled extended choke tubes that come with the package. I found the tubes, marked Full, Mod and Cyl, are easily manipulated without a wrench, although one comes with the gun. The chokes measured tighter than expected – the Full had 0.45″ constriction at .694″, the Mod was at .709″ (.030” constriction) and the Cyl measured .734″ – actually a .005″ constriction over the measured bore of the gun. I can tell you from experience that the Modified tube absolutely smoke balls targets from the 16 yard line – a real confidence booster.
The satin finished Monte Carlo style Turkish walnut stock is nicely laser checkered and fitted with a very cushy black recoil pad installed over a black 1/4″ spacer. Length of pull is 141/2″ from the gold colored trigger, which pulled at 4 pounds with just the smallest amount of creep, measured with a Wheeler trigger scale. Drop at comb is 1.625″ and at heel 2.25″. Four stock shims are included, enabling one to change both the cast and/or the drop of the stock.
The beefy forearm allows a solid grip that I found to be very ergonomic and comfortable to hold. When broken down, the simplicity and strength of the gun’s design is easy to see. The dual rail action bar locks firmly into a recess in the forearm and is a snap to disassemble and reassemble.
Miller says that the 612 Trap is more versatile than one might think. “Let’s not forget – it says Trap on the side, but there are pump gun events at sporting clays events that this gun is perfect for, and it’s also a great entry level gun that Moms and Dads can afford to buy a kid that any shooter would be proud to own.
It takes you back to the day when the pump gun was dominating the trap field and gives you all the qualities of a target shotgun – Monte Carlo stock, ported barrel, extended choke tubes, lighter trigger. It’s just got everything you’d want. It’s one of those guns that I think you could shoot for a long time and never get tired of.” 15-time National Sporting Clays Association All American Tom Mack used the 612 Trap, which at the time was yet to be released to the public, to win the Pump Gun event at the 2014 National Sporting Clays Association Championship with a score of 97 out of 100. He also took high gun in the Pump Gun event at the 2015 US Open. “It’s a trap gun, but I use it for sporting clays and I have even taken it pheasant hunting in South Dakota,” says Mack, a CZ-USA professional shooter and shotgun instructor based out of 74 Ranch, one hour south of San Antonio, Texas.
Retailing for $499, with its super reasonable price tag and great handling characteristics, the 612 Trap is a good choice for teen shooters who are ready for a full sized gun – the perfect choice for high school and collegiate trap teams, 4-H shooters and SCTP groups.
I think its quality and handling will win over many of the adult coaches too.