Review: Caesar Guerini Summit Trap Compact
There are plenty of shotgun options for American Trap fans out there, but not many reduced-size offerings. Caesar Guerini does have one, with its Summit Trap Compact 12-gauge competition model ($6,325, gueriniusa.com), a real clay crusher that’s ideal for shooters looking for a premium gun that’s smaller than the standard configuration. With adjustable length of pull and Dynamic Tuning System (DTS) adjustable top rib, stock and trigger, the Summit Trap Compact boasts multiple avenues for customization.
If you’ve logged countless hours busting clays on the trap field and want to upgrade to a durable, high-performance scattergun, the Summit Trap Compact is a fine option. Discriminating trapshooters searching for an Italian-built shotgun with excellent craftsmanship likely won’t be disappointed.
As the little brother to the original Summit Trap, this new compact model has a shorter length of pull (13¾ inches) over the full-size, along with a smaller grip. If you’re tall and lanky, this isn’t the gun for you.
A beautiful shotgun, the steel receiver sports a hand-polished finish and tight build quality typical for Caesar Guerini firearms. With 2¾-inch chambers, the Summit Trap Compact is a pure competition gun. Lock up is tight, and build quality is second to none. Two-stage hammers are operated by pre-charged coil springs. The hammers, along with the sears, are precision machined from billet steel. An oversized locking lug, beefy ejectors and modular wear points guarantee this shotgun will hold up to the punishment that comes with long tournament seasons. In addition, the trunnions and the locking lugs are replaceable.
My gun for review was a combo set that arrived with two barrel options, a 30-inch over/under and a 32-inch unsingle. (A top single barrel is also available.) Out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the uber-high top rib.
The plastic case has a fit interior, along with a velvet stock sleeve and barrel sleeves. The inside is organized logically, with dedicated spaces for the barrels, owner’s manual, choke tubes and tools.
Befitting a competition trap gun, the Summit Trap Compact has a Monte Carlo stock with the aforementioned DTS tuning system for adjusting comb height, drop, offset and cast. DTS is also present on the top rib, which on the unsingle barrel has an adjustable point of aim from 60/40 to a whopping 120 percent. (At 120 percent, the pattern of shot will be above center by about 20.7 inches.)
To adjust the top rib height, a supplied Allen wrench loosens a set screw on the muzzle end of the rib. By turning a clearly-marked elevation wheel with detents, you can adjust the point of impact, with every few clicks representing about five percent of pattern change. Once the desired rib height and angle is set, lock it in place by tightening the set screw. The process is essentially the same for the over/under and the unsingle barrels.
The Dynamic Tuning System is also extended to perhaps the most important element of any trap gun, the trigger, which is adjustable for take up, over travel and length of pull.
Tang-mounted, the safety includes a barrel selector. When the selector is pushed left (single red dot), the bottom barrel will fire first. Push it to the right (two red dots) to fire the top barrel first.
As for aesthetics, Caesar Guerini furniture never disappoints. With a hand-rubbed oil finish on the Turkish Walnut stock giving it a nice sheen, the Summit Trap Compact will turn heads at the gun club with its good looks. Multiple grades of wood are available.
With the combo set, five Maxis competition chokes are included (Light Modified, Modified, Improved Modified, Light Full and Full) for the over/under. The choke tubes are of excellent quality.
At the Range
Like all Caesar Guerini competition guns, the balance on the Summit Trap Compact is outstanding. While it feels light in the hands, with the over/under barrels it weighs eight pounds, five ounces—not a svelte gun by any means. The heft certainly aids in mitigating recoil. To customize balance to your tastes, barrel balancing weight sets are available for purchase.
At the range, using the unsingle barrel for singles will quickly spoil you. With the Summit Trap Compact configured to shoot high, tackling the rapidly rising targets found in trap quickly became second nature. You can fire with the clay target in view, just above the business end of the rib, and dust it right in the middle of the pattern. When pulling the gun up, a clean sight picture would instantly appear. It reminded me of the advice a friend gave me years ago, “Don’t look at the rib, look at the clay and shoot through it.” Additionally, the unsingle barrel is lower set, which can reduce felt recoil.
As for the over/under configuration, it was also a beast on the trap field. I preferred the POI at 100 percent for doubles competition. It also worked adequately for impromptu sporting clays and five-stand sessions. Using the supplied tools, it was easy to set the rib to 100 percent, change choke tubes and lower the comb a tad for the different presentations.
Buy Nice, Not Twice
Trapshooting, as a discipline, is fairly consistent. Trap fields are standardized. There really isn’t such thing as a home field advantage in trap. There aren’t wildly different presentations from station to station. If I fire an ATA match at my local range in Virginia, my score can be directly compared to one fired at an identical ATA match in California. (This is why national rankings are possible in trapshooting.) As such, the competition can be so tight that a single miss can decide a match and even alter season rankings. Having a reliable shooting platform that can handle the rigors of the grueling trap season is a must.
Ask the Caesar Guerini shooters at your club how many rounds they have through their shotguns, and most will answer that they have many thousands. While not up to the level of the company’s higher-tier Invictus line of shotguns, the Summit Trap is no slouch. Further, if you send the gun back to Caesar Guerini for maintenance, the company will comb over your gun completely and even replace parts, such as trigger springs.
Some things to consider: Dedicated trap guns, in general, are distinctive, expensive and are useful only for trapshooting. The Summit Trap is no different. If trapshooting is your sport of choice, the Summit Trap Compact combo set is one of the best values around for the money for smaller-statured shooters, because you’re getting a versatile shotgun that can last generations, plus CG’s solid warranty and customer service. If you want to shoot it all and use one gun with a good range of adjustability, the combo set is a best buy for serious trapshooters.
MSRP for the over/under is $6,425. For the combo, including the unsingle barrel, it’s $9,330. Find out more at gueriniusa.com, call (410) 901-1131 or write 700 Lake Street, Cambridge, Md., 21613.
Article by John Parker