Shooting 101

Shooting 101 2017-11-06T15:41:46+00:00
WARNING- CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING IS A HIGHLY ADDICTING GAME!

But rest assured we are here to help you cope with your new addiction!

Shotgun shooting sports have grown significantly in popularity over the past few decades. The sport does not require enormous strength, stamina or specialized skills. Anyone can do it! There is no restriction on age or ability, as long as you can lift a shotgun, you are ready to play the game and it is never too late to learn the sport.

There are several games but all have the same thing in common, blasting a flying disk made of clay. Whether you are a first time shooter of a seasoned professional, nothing beats the feeling of watching the target explode mid-air.

A LITTLE HISTORY

The targets are referred to as clay pigeons, yet they look nothing like a pigeon. Developed during the late 1700s in England, the first trap shooters used live pigeons as targets. Once the shooters were in position, the pigeons were released from cages or “traps.” The sport started in the United States during the early 19th century and quickly grew in popularity. Over time, the lack of available live pigeons prompted the invention of artificial targets for trap shooting in the US. The first “platter-shaped” clay pigeons were produced around 1870.

TRAP

Trap shooting is all about timing, speed and movement. It requires significant skill and accuracy to consistently hit a 4 1/4-inch clay disc traveling through the air at around 40 mph. However, the sport’s continual growth throughout the United States shows that people of many different skill levels and ages can participate.

Shooters begin by standing in a specified spot approximately 16 to 25 feet behind the trap house. When a shooter calls “pull,” the trap house throws a clay target away from the shooter at a height of approximately 10 feet off the ground. Most official scoring organizations do not discern the difference between a solid hit that shatters the target and one that only destroys a piece of the clay.

SKEET

Trap shooting is all about timing, speed and movement. It requires significant skill and accuracy to consistently hit a 4 1/4-inch clay disc traveling through the air at around 40 mph. However, the sport’s continual growth throughout the United States shows that people of many different skill levels and ages can participate.

Shooters begin by standing in a specified spot approximately 16 to 25 feet behind the trap house. When a shooter calls “pull,” the trap house throws a clay target away from the shooter at a height of approximately 10 feet off the ground. Most official scoring organizations do not discern the difference between a solid hit that shatters the target and one that only destroys a piece of the clay.

SPORTING CLAYS

Although sporting clays may be the most challenging clay target game for beginners, it provides the most realistic simulation to true field shooting. Sporting Clays courses are like golf courses in that each one is unique. They can include anywhere from five to fifteen shooting stations or more.
Each shooting station offers a slightly different shot that duplicates a bird’s flight path. From incoming to crossing, flushing and angling shots, a sporting clays course replicates almost every shot you may see in the field.

Most courses are set in natural environments with features such as ponds and wooded areas for a realistic effect. Some stations may throw more than one clay target simultaneously or directly following one another. To challenge shooters even more, some courses may use smaller targets or flat discs that change flight path. Some may even feature a few “rabbit” targets that roll across the ground.

Each course also has its own set of rules and guidelines, but safety is always a priority. It can be easy to get over-excited in the competition on the course, so many courses send an employee to score, guide, launch clays and promote safety throughout. Guns should always be unloaded when traveling from station to station.

TIPS FOR CLAY SHOOTING SPORTS

Although almost anyone can have a great time participating in these shotgun shooting sports, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a great shooter.

One of the most important steps to becoming a better clay-target shooter involves choosing the right gun to fit you. This is essential to your comfort and accuracy on the range.

Once you’ve found a gun that fits, practice mounting the shotgun when it is unloaded. Focus on making the movement of mounting as smooth as possible and on placing the shotgun in the same position every time.

Some beginners struggle with focusing on the gun bead or barrel instead of the target, a big mistake that will make you miss many shots in the future. As the experts say, “don’t aim, point.”

Each time you miss a few clays, take a break and think about your shots. Are you doing something different with your posture? Are you stopping the movement of your barrel too suddenly? There are many small details that can cause “lost” clays on the range.

Whether you are a hunter looking for a way to practice your shot or want to focus on target shooting only, sports like these offer a unique way to enjoy shooting in general. They can be a great starting point for youth to practice safety and technique, and at the same time, serve as the perfect setting for a meeting of old friends.

At the end of the day, its is a game that anyone can play.