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Trap shooters are an odd lot. While every kind of shooting has its own variations of guns and equipment, trap devotees and their tools seem just a little more out there than most. Whether it’s the glasses, the gear or the extra-long barreled smoothbores, shooting trap is its own animal. So when TriStar announced that they were introducing a new line of reasonably priced, nicely equipped dedicated trap shotguns, it was good news for those who like to bust clays but don’t have the cost of a used Kia to lay down on a gun . . .

Wait. It’s a single barrel shotgun, you say. What’s the big deal? The big deal is the price for the features the TT-15’s pack.

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The phrase ‘inexpensive trap gun’ has always been a contradiction in terms. There’s nothing stopping you from shooting trap with a venerable Remmy 870 or Mossy 500. But if you get far enough in the sport and want to buy yourself a true trap gun, the price of admission for a new gun these days is no less than about $1500 – and escalates very quickly from there. So when you add up what the TT-15 gives you — features like a fully adjustable comb, raised adjustable rib, and fiber optic sight — you’re looking at a price tag of at least two grand.

The Turkish TriStars start at $1190 MSRP for the top single (as tested). Add another $75 for the unsingle version. If you shoot doubles, the over-under will run you $1350 and to do it all, the unsingle – over/under combination package is a relatively paltry $1725. Subtract about $200 to get the going street price of each.

Holy piggy bank, Batman! That’s still an awful lot of samolians, you say? Not if you look at similarly configured trap guns on the market.

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The TriStar guns feature nicely figured Turkish walnut stocks and fore ends. It’s not A grade wood and isn’t finished like it either. But the satin finish is well done and the grain is attractive. Checkering is cleanly cut and effective.

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Trap’s a rising target game so most shooters like to see a good percentage of the bird above the bead. How much? That varies, but the good news is, the TT-15 gives you a lot of options to, as Burger King used to say, have it your way.

First, there’s the adjustable stock.

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The gun comes with an Allen wrench and washers to adjust the Monte Carlo stock for drop and comb as well as cast on and cast off.

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Adjustment is a simple matter using the Allen wrench and as many washers as you need to adjust comb height.

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Fitting the stock is a simple matter.

The other variable the TT-15 gives you to control is the three-position high rib. Tilting the rib to your preference is an easy process of inserting something (I used a thin allen wrench) in the sprung connectors on both ends of the rib to release and tilt it as needed.

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The front sight is an red/orange fiber optic affair that stands out well. I’d have liked to have a mid bead on that high rib, but TriStar didn’t include one.

You’ll want to invest some time in patterning the gun when you adjust the rib to make sure she’s shooting where you want her to.

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The only fit variable the TT-15 doesn’t allow you to change is length of pull. All three guns have a 14 5/8″ LOP. The nickel finished receiver has just enough engraving to add some interest and a little flair.

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Fit and finish are nicely done, with clean wood to metal joining, especially for the price point.

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The TT-15 comes with three extended Beretta/Benelli style extended chokes (modified, improved modified and full), a wrench and the required Allen wrenches and washers.

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One thing to watch: while the TriStar supplied chokes fit the TT-15 and my other Beretta/Benelli Mobilchoke gun (and they patterned well), I had trouble getting a Briley choke in the TT-15. It fits, but only just. It seems the TT-15’s barrel — at least the one I tested — is a hair narrower than spec.

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The TT-15 does what it’s supposed to do on the trap field — powder orange clay disks.

One hiccup: the ejector. Or is it an extractor? My money’s on ejector. About 60% of the time, the TT-15 launched spent shells over my shoulder as most smoothbores do. The other 40% of the time, the gun only extracted them. That’s actually my preference…I’d rather not have to pick shells up when I’m finished. Still, the gun should do one or the other all the time.

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If you’re a trap shooter, this probably won’t be your ultimate shotgun. The TriStar TT-15 is a good step-up gun. A shotgun you buy your kid or yourself once you decide you really do love trap and want to move up from a sporting or hunting gun to get more serious in the sport.

Could you shoot the TT-15 long term? Probably. Dedicated trap shooters tend to run thousands of rounds through their guns a year. While there’s no way, given the limitations of a review, to know if the TriStar will hold up to that kind of long term use, I saw nothing to lead me to believe it won’t.

SPECIFICATIONS: TriStar TT-15 Top Single Trap Shotgun

Overall length: 52″
Barrel Length: 34″
Gauge: 12
Weight: 8.7 lbs.
Chokes: Modified, improved modified and full extended chokes included
MSRP: $1190 (about $925 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style: * * * *
An attractive, classic trap gun with nicely figured walnut, some strategic engraving and miles of blued steel. You won’t look out of place at the trap club.

Ergonomics: * * * * *
With a fully adjustable rib, palm swell, and customizable stock, the TT-15 will accommodate any (adult size) shooter. The only thing missing is length of pull adjustment.

Accuracy: * * * * *
White Flyers will tremble as you step onto the field.

Customization: * * 
No. Then again, there’s almost no reason to. The TT-15 has just about everything you’d want short of LOP adjustment or maybe a release trigger. If you’re not happy with the chokes TriStar included, the TT-15 takes Beretta/Benelli aftermarket Mobilchokes (though snugly).

Overall: * * * * 
TriStar’s hit a home run with the value-priced TT-15. The new line gives budget-minded shooters a fully equipped, extremely capable trap gun at a very affordable price. The balky ejector and snug choke fit are notable, if not deal breakers. If you’ve been looking for a way to get into the sport without securing a second mortgage, this is a great way to do it.

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15 Responses to Gun Review: TriStar TT-15 Top Single Trap Shotgun

  1. Sounds like a good started gun. My son shoots competitive trap and I wish this was out a few years ago. But a 34″ barrel? That’s really long. 30″ or at max 32″ is what you need.

  2. That extractor/ejector issue really needs to be addressed. I could never understand the purpose for shell ejectors on shotguns in general.

    I’ll give this a few years and see how they hold up in the real world.

  3. A lot of features but what you pay for in a high end trap gun is the ability to fire tens of thousands of rounds yearly without a hiccup. Not sure this is the gun for that.

  4. If a gun like this isn’t ejecting all the time, odds are that the trip rod from the action into the forearm isn’t the right length, or there’s a problem along that path. The trip rod from the action up into the forearm is what trips the ejector sear to fire the ejector. If you want to convert an ejector gun into an extractor gun, you typically open up the action (or pay a guy like me to do it) and you remove the trip rods. Presto, extractor gun (in most modern O/U’s).

  5. Trapshooters are the only people I know who will not hesitate to get a $25,000 Silver Seitz, Perazzi or Krieghoff, tool around in a $300,000 tour bus, drop hundreds of dollars on steak dinner, but throw a massive hissy when they can’t get the cheapest field-grade 12ga ammo that Wal-Mart stocks and have to pay $7 a box instead.

    They’re odd ducks.

  6. Good on the Turks. They make some good, value priced guns. TriStar is one of about 3 gun makers who are putting out good stuff. My Linberta semiautomatic has been flawless.

  7. I love my Tristar TT-15. I have had it for 6 months with well over 2000 rounds through it. Have not had any problems.

  8. I like it that the Turks seem to listen to what we want and make a decent gun. I think their quality will only go up. Most guns set up for trap will cost a person a couple grand or more and this Tristar is set very well for it. Someone compared it to a BT-99 and it is about the same price. Also if you want anything on the BT-99 that is adjustable, you have to go up to about 1400 $ and up. Tristar I see also makes a TT-15 DT Adjustable Trap gun. In addition to what this reviewed model has, it has a Length of Pull adjustment which is very important and allows the gun to fit both bigger and smaller shooters correctly for not much more in price.

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