Butler Arms XX12 Competition Trap Semi-Automatic Review

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jcallan
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Location: Cary, NC
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Butler Arms XX12 Competition Trap Semi-Automatic Review

Post by jcallan »

Addison and I had a unique opportunity to try out two of the Butler Arms XX12 competition trap
semi-automatic shotguns while we were at the 2012 Spring Grand in Tucson, AZ. Since there are
only five of these guns I thought it important to give North Carolina shooters a look at this
new shotgun.Butler Arms has just begun selling units and showcasing their gun at the larger
shoots. They had just introdiced the gun at the Shot Show in Las Vegas before coming to Tucson.


Before I cover this shotgun let me begin with a few caveats. Most NC shooters know that I have
nly been shooting for a little over two years and mainly got into the sport to assist Addison
in his chosen sport. Since then I have come to enjoy the comraderie of trap shooters and have
found trap shooting strangely relaxing. I find it a good substitute for the competitive tennis
that my rotator cuff no longer permits.


Although I have seen many firearms, I am by no means a qualified expert on shotguns. I have
however, in helping Addison chase the 2012 All American Team, seen many firearms and spoken to
hundreds of shooters casually about firearms and their features, benefits and quirks. I hope
that the photos, videos and descriptions below provide you with a good glimpse of this rarely
seen shotgun.

One more caveat. Because this is the first glimpse of this gun that most Tar Heel Trap shooters
will have of this gun I have made the images as high a quality as I can for the web and for
download. You can right-click and save these images and then use Photo Gallery or Picture Viewer
or Paint or your browser to zoom in on the detail as needed. Please note, I have loaded actual
WMV videos so these may take a few moments to download before beginning playback.
Last edited by jcallan on Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jcallan
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:17 pm
Location: Cary, NC
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Overview of Butler and the XX12

Post by jcallan »

Butler Arms USA is based up in Whitefish, Montana. Their president, Larry Butler hails from Canada
and has spent 12 years in research and development on their XX12 competition shotgun. Larry has
sought to put the most modern technology and innovations into their semi-automatic. We believe
Larry has solved many of the issues that both Addison and I have seen on trap fields with
semi-automatics.


We met Larry through his regional sales manager, Jason Lee. Jason was standing behind Addison
and I when registering for the shoot when we struck up a conversation. Jason mentioned that
he was showcasing a new firearm during the shoot and invited us to check it out. We had
several conversations with Jason during the shoot and even got a chance to meet his lovely
bride as well.


On Tuesday morning Addison has reflected to me over breakfast that he wondered why people
continue to try to shoot semi-automatic shotguns at competitive shoots. He was musing that
the noise throws targets, the ejected shells throw targets, they jam and they pelt other
competitors with shells. I indicated that they are light and dramatically reduce recoil
and for this reason will likely always find a place on the line. Little were we to know
that this breakfast exchange were to become the basis by which we examined the Butler XX12
later that week.


Larry and Jason had set up the Butler touring trailer at the end of the practice fields to
permit anyone that wanted to try their new XX12 the opportunity. It was here that Jason
explained what Larry had tried to do with the gun.

Image
jcallan
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:17 pm
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Features and Benefits of Semi-Automatic Shotguns

Post by jcallan »

Imagine a side by side list of features and benefits for a semi-automatic shotgun.
On the benefits side, you would find:
  • Reduced weight
  • Smooth action
  • Simplicity of loading
  • Easy swing to target, and
  • Very low recoil
Other benefits, depending on the sport or hunting application may be the ability to load
more than two shells. All semi-automatics appear to include most of the benefits above,
but what about the less than desirable features?


On the problems side you would likely find:
  • Jams easily
  • Hard to clean
  • Cannot handle very light target loads for doubles
  • Throws shells
  • Pinches fingers during closure
  • Permits loading shells upside down, and
  • Requires lots of aftermarket add ons for adjustability
The cons are a formidable list, but for many shooters the lowered weight and low recoil
often overcome all the cons.
jcallan
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:17 pm
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Stop Pelting Us With Hulls

Post by jcallan »

When Jason began to describe the gun I recalled Addison's breakfast musings and started
to ask about how each problem with semi-automatics were addressed by Larry in the XX12 design.
As a system architect I have a deep appreciation for elegant and clever design and became
impressed.

"So, it's a semi-automatic trap gun, eh? Hmmm. So, what did you fellows do about ejecting
the shells and pelting other shooters?"
Jason smiled and tilted the gun to show me that
the XX12 ejects the shells out the bottom. "Wow, how cool."

Here is an action shot of me in a round with the XX12 where Jason caught a shell being ejected.

Image


Addison also shot the XX12 after the tournament was over. Here Addison poses to show the see
through breech and where the shells eject from the bottom.

Image
jcallan
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Eliminating that Pinching When Loading Shells

Post by jcallan »

"What about pinching or taking the skin off your fingers when the breech snaps closed?"
Jason nods and shows me the side of the gun.

"What in the world is that? It looks like a short stumpy bullet."

Jason explained that the XX12 is loaded on the side with a "small tap and push forward with
the palm of your hand. There are no moving parts on the outside of the gun and there is nothing
there to snag or pinch your hand. Also, there is very little chance of you getting the shell
to go in the wrong way with this design."


Image


Later, when I shot a full round with the XX12, Jason took some photos. Here I am loading the XX12.

Image
jcallan
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Loading and Unloading the Butler Arms XX12 Competition Trap

Post by jcallan »

"OK, what if you have a dud shell, how do you get the shell out with no lever on the side
of the gun?"
I asked.

Jason said, "We have a slide action that can be used to eject shells manually and it is
ambidextrous. It remains out of the way until you need it."


"Watch and I will demonstrate loading and unloading the XX12." Jason volunteered.

Click on the photo below to watch a video of Jason Lee demonstrating how to load and unload
the Butler Arms XX12 Competition Trap gun.

Image
jcallan
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:17 pm
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Drop Out Pull or Release Trigger Assembly

Post by jcallan »

Jason and I continued to discuss the engineering innovations in their new gun. What Jason did
not answer, Larry Butler did. Larry showed me the drop out trigger assembly that includes
redundant springs for the hammer. Redundant springs would have saved me at least two lost
trophies and Addison several.

Below is an image of the XX12 drop out trigger assembly with the dual springs.

Image

At this point you might be wondering about why you might need a drop out trigger assembly.
Well, during the tournament I had arranged for Addison and I to shoot most rounds with a couple
from Alaska (Carol and David Inman) so that Addison would have squad consistency. During the
doubles championship David's Perazzi double fired twice and he was able to leave the line and
completely change out the trigger and return to the firing line within the five minutes permitted
without re-squading or make-ups. A drop-out trigger assembly is a feature of the top competition
shotguns. I would have liked to have been able to have done this at the 2010 North Carolina State
Trapshoot (and I am certain that Billy Thigpen would have been happier with me if I had had a
drop out replaceable trigger assembly as well.

While we were there several shooters dropped by to try the XX12 and had to return to try the
release trigger that did not arrive until Thursday. The XX12 can come with a pull or release trigger.
jcallan
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:17 pm
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Cleaning the Gun and the XX12 Carbon Fiber High Rib

Post by jcallan »

Larry Butler also took one of the XX12's apart and demonstrated what is required for cleaning.
The gun has very few moving parts and you basically have two tubes that fit together with a grommet.
You wipe down the inside of the tubes and grommet during cleaning. The trigger assembly also has
few moving parts and it is easy to get to the firing pin. Overall I found the gun much less complex
than any of the shotguns that we shoot (ours are over and under or combo breech open shotguns).

Although the XX12 apparently comes in sporting clays and hunting model, the one's we shot were for trap.
What makes them trap models? The XX12 comes with an adjustable comb and a high rib.
That's right, the XX12 ships with a high rib.

To reduce weight, the adjustable high rib is made of carbon fiber. Although I am somewhat skeptical
as to why so much additional engineering expense was put into the rib, Larry assured me that the weight
difference between a metal rib and a carbon fiber one is significant.

Addison poses with the XX12 below where you have a good view of the full gun, high rib and space-age
pattern along the rib and top of the gun.

Image

Below is another show taken of me during my test round where you get a good side view of the XX12.

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jcallan
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Who Would Buy It?

Post by jcallan »

I am sure there are plenty more questions that I could have asked during our opportunity with Jason and Larry,
but I am not really a gun expert. I tried to think of the types of questions that you might want to ask.
I also thought of who might purchase this Cadillac of semi-autos.

Phil Berkowitz came to mind as the ideal customer. Phil likes to compete and is attracted to the design,
styling and high rib of the Infinity. Because of his back Phil now mainly shoots his semi-auto Beretta.
When I shot the XX12 and looked it over I thought, "Phil, you need to buy one so we can all see one in
action in NC."
So, shouts out to Phil...you can get Jason's contact info at the end of the post.

Butler's target market appears to be competitive and recreational shooters who want the benefits of a
semi-automatic, but do not want to give up the edge of a full featured trap gun. Butler is making both youth
and ladies models as well as the full length stock models we shot.
jcallan
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:17 pm
Location: Cary, NC
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How does the Butler Arms XX12 Competition Trap Shoot?

Post by jcallan »

How does it shoot?

Well, for me it shot very smooth. I am not used to holding a gun all during a round (I set mine down on a
gun rest between shots), but held the XX12 up for my entire round to assist with the set-up routine.
I also put the shells on my right side and by the third post had developed a pretty smooth setup routine.

The XX12 is lighter than my Caesar, so I did overswing and get out a bit too far in front of a hard left and
hard right during my round. Otherwise, I was able to smoke about 70% of my shots during my
round and hit all the rest pretty well. I hit 22/25 during my round. Jason had loaned me his gun, which shoots
about 105%, whereas my Caesar is set to about 117%.

Addison had a good round with the XX12 as well. I video taped his round so you can get an idea of how the XX12
handles when used on the trap line. Enjoy.

Click the image below to view Addison Callan shooting the Butler Arms XX12 Competition Trap gun at the
2012 Spring Grand in Tucson, Arizona.
This was filmed with two shooters on the line.

Image
jcallan
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:17 pm
Location: Cary, NC
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Conclusion and Contact Details for Butler Arms

Post by jcallan »

I hope you have enjoyed this exclusive North Carolina review of the new Butler Arms XX12 Competition Trap gun.
Special thanks to Larry Butler and Jason Lee for sharing their new prototype guns with Addsion and I during the
2012 Spring Grand in Tucson last week.

The Butler Arms is taking orders for the XX12. I understand that there is a short waiting list, but you can have
one in less than 90 days. Below are important links for those interested in the Butler Arms demo schedule and
for marketing and sales information about their company or product line.

Butler Arms USA Web Site

Butler Arms USA

1005 Baker Ave suite A
Whitefish, MT 59937

PHONE : (406) 862-0899

EMAIL : [email protected]
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smokem
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Butler Review

Post by smokem »

Sir, thanks for the in depth look at this gun - very interesting for sure...

Addsion was really smoking the targets.....

For $7,500 bucks it better smokem..............

Smokem
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