Shooting Basic Methods
| Sporting Clays | Trap
| Skeet | Cowboy
Action Shooting | Olympic Shotgun
Two-Person NSSF Stockgun Events
is the most popular shotgun shooting sport in the United States
with well over one-half million active shooters. In trapshooting,
you shoot clay targets thrown from a single trap machine that's
situated in the "trap house" in front of the shooters.
There are five positions on the trap field itself laid out in an
arc behind the trap house. When a round of trap is shot, shooters
are usually formed into squads of five shooters. Each shooter takes
five shots from each of the five positions on the field (moving
left to right), for a total of 25 targets.
all games, trap shooting has its rules, and one of the first you'll
need to know is that the shooter starts with the shotgun in the
"mounted" position with the butt stock mounted to the
shoulder. In this game, there's no surprise as to when the clay
pigeons start flying because targets are released when the shooter
are three basic types of trapshooting events. The most basic event
in trapshooting is the 16-yard event. In this event the shooter
stands on a line 16 yards behind the trap house, which is obviously
where the name comes from. The targets come out of the trap house
at about 60 miles per hour and go out away from you about 50 yards,
but most shooters hit them when they're about 36 yards out. The
targets are thrown at different angles from 45 degrees to the left
or right, however, you don't know which way they'll fly until you
you are an average shooter, you could expect to break around 13
out of 25 targets on your first try at trapshooting and gradually
improve your score through the high teens and into the low 20s.
But a perfect score of 25 is certainly a reasonable goal for every
trap shooter. When you start "bustin'" every target out
of the trap, you'll hear some excited talk about shooting "straights",
as in 25 or 50 straight.
the next most common trapshooting event is called the Handicap.
In this event you take a stand anywhere from 17 to 27 yards behind
the trap house, depending on your previous scores. The better you
shoot, the farther back you are "pushed"--which means
more difficult shots.
third common event or game in trapshooting is called doubles. Standing
on the 16-yard line, you're faced with two clay targets launched
at the same time. In doubles, the targets are thrown the same each
time, usually 35 degrees to the left or right of straightaway. You
get one shot for each target. A standard round of doubles consists
of 25 pairs, or a total of 50 targets.
you shoot a tie in competitive trap events, a "shoot-off"
is held to determine a winner of the prize money or trophy.
can shoot an informal round of trap for practice or for fun; you
can also be involved in registered shoots. To shoot registered targets,
you have to be a member of the Amateur Trapshooting Association
(ATA). In registered trap, your targets are all recorded by the
ATA, and you will be placed in different classifications according
to your previous scores. In addition, your average is published
each year in the Official ATA Average Book.
- The typical gun for trapshooting is a 12-gauge shotgun, with a
full or improved/modified choke and a long (30-32 inch) ventilated
rib barrel. Although many top trap shooters favor over/under shotguns,
single barrel, pumps and auto-loading shotguns are also common.
If you're going to shoot registered trap, you always shoot with
- The shotshells used in trapshooting may vary slightly with a shooter's
preference and wind conditions. The shells most people use for trapshooting
are typically labeled "target loads" and use # 7-1/2 to
8-1/2 size shot. Lighter loads (with slightly less shot and powder)
are also popular. If you're going out to shoot for fun, just ask
your sporting goods or ammunition retailer for "target loads."
equipment - Safety glasses and hearing protection should definitely
be worn when you're shooting. Some ranges make them mandatory. If
you intend to shoot regularly, a shooting vest or a shell bag might
be a wise investment. They're both convenient and functional for
holding shells that can get bulky and providing a little extra padding
for your shooting shoulder.
and range fees will vary according to where you go to shoot, but
you can use the following as a general guideline:
- Expect to pay from $425 to $700 for a new, entry-level pump or
semi-automatic shotgun. Used guns can be purchased for less at most
sporting arms and ammunition retailers. Sporting enthusiasts can
spend a lot of money to get custom-made, richly engraved and inlaid
firearms. You will also want to talk to a shooting instructor or
a sporting arms retailer about selecting a gun that "fits"
- Trap loads can cost from $4.00 to $6.50 for a box of 25, depending
on your location, the brand and the "load" or size shells
you select. If you shoot a lot, "reloading" shotshells
with components purchased in bulk can save you money and, for a
lot of shooters, is an enjoyable pastime all on its own.
fees - You can expect to pay from $3.00 to $4.00 a round at most
public shooting ranges. Most of these places will have free or inexpensive
hearing and eye protection available for new or infrequent shooters.
Amateur Trapshooting Association of America
601 W. National Road
Vandalia, OH 45377
Phone: (513) 898-4638
For Altas official publication contact:
"Trap & Field"
1200 Waterway Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: (317) 633-8800
courtesy of National
Shooting Sports Foundation