I am pretty new to the forum and even newer to the sport of trap. I just wanted to post a review on a shotgun that not many people have heard of:
Tristar Viper G2 Silver Semi-automatic-12 GA - 28"
I read very good reviews by both users in this forum as well as a few publications. The gun is imported by Tristar Sporting Arms and made by the Turkish gun maker Armsan. I actually found over a dozen professional shooting magazine (mostly european) reviews on the gun at Armsan's website (the shotgun is listed as the Armsan A612). The shotgun is apparently imported by quite a few European companies and is much more popular over there than here. Anyhow, with great reviews and a $459.99 price at thegunsource.com, I went ahead and ordered.
The shotgun arrived in about a week at my local FFL. Once I opened the box, I was very pleased by the fit and finish. The gunshop owner had never seen one but commented on how good looking the metal and wood were. The wood grain is beautiful, and the silver model with the alloy receiver is very attractive with the black barrel and Turkish walnut stock. But what is form without function, so I took it to my Tom Lowe shooting grounds in Atlanta to shoot some trap.
Results: Over 1000+ rounds of all types of 12 guage game and target loads, and no malfunctions. Cycles without a hitch for doubles, even using 7/8 ounce loads. I just started shooting trap, but after 1 month, my scores with this Tristar shotgun went from 10-13 hits per round to 19-22 hits (actually got my all time high of 22 today!).
One thing is common about all my outings so far: a ton of people see this gun on the rack and ask what company makes it. They all comment on how great the gun looks and how well it shoots. It is the only silver receiver semi-automatic I have seen at the club.
In addition to the product, Tristar has AMAZING customer service. They have a 5 year warranty on the shotgun and I talked extensively with their staff about all kinds of topics, from what loads to use to how the company was founded. You never have to wait to get hold of someone on the line and everyone there is really nice.
If anyone is looking for a first shotgun, weather for trap and skeet, or hunting, I HIGHLY recommend a Tristar semi-automatic. The synthetic is around $380 shipped, and the wood with standard black receiver is about $415 shipped.
Also, special thanks fot cdb and 2few for helping me initially with trap shooting information. I didn't get a o/u yildiz or huglu, but I think this Tristar is similar in that is was a great deal and has thus far been an extraordinary shotgun both in form and function.