Game Of TRAP!
Trap is the most popular shotgun shooting sport in America with
some 55,000 active shooters that shoot an estimated 82.5 million
registered targets per year. There are three basic types of trapshooting—the
16-yard event, handicap and doubles. Following is a description
of each type:
event: In the 16-yard event, the shooters stand "on the 16-yard
line" which is 16 yards behind the trap-house. The trap throws targets
that will fly from 48 to 52 yards from the shooter. Most targets
are shot when they are about 36 yards from the shooter. Targets
are thrown at varying angles within a range of 45 degrees to left
or right of straightaway.
In this event, the shooter stands anywhere from 17 to 27 yards
behind the traphouse, depending on his/her previous scores. The
better the previous scores, the farther back you are "pushed."
This event is also shot from the 16-yard line. Unlike the regulation
16-yard and handicap events, a pair of targets are released simultaneously.
Double targets follow a set course, usually 35 degrees to left and
right of straightaway. The shooter has one shot for each target.
A standard round of doubles is 25 "pair" - 50 targets.
Trap shoots may be informal practice events or "Registered Shoots".
To shoot registered targets, you must be a member of the Amateur
Trapshooting Association (ATA).
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.
Shooting Sports Foundation research indicates that the average shooter
breaks 13 out of 25 targets on the first try at trapshooting and
gradually improves through the high teens into the low 20s. A perfect
25 is a reasonable goal for the novice trapshooter.
The typical gun for trapshooting is a 12-gauge with full or improved-modified
choke and ventilated rib barrel 30-32 inches long. Although many
top trap shooters favor over/under shotguns, single barrel, pump
and autoloading shotguns are also common. Registered trap is always
shot with a 12-gauge shotgun.
The shotshells used in trapshooting may vary slightly with shooters
preference and wind conditions. The standard load contains 3 drams
equivalent of powder and 1-1/8 ounces of # 7-1/2, 8 or 8-1/2 shot.
Loads with only one ounce of shot are also popular.
Regulation targets measure not more than 4-5/16 inches in diameter
and 1-1/8 inches in height, weighing 3-l/2 ounces. They are composed
of pitch and clay or limestone, are saucer-shaped and painted black
with bright orange or white crowns.
derives its name from the device which throws the clay targets into
the air. Trap simulates the flight of a gamebird flushed ahead of
the shooter and, in fact, in the original version of the sport,
live birds were released from holes in the ground covered with silk
top-hats. The first mention of trapshooting as a sport is found
in a circa 1793 English publication titled "Sporting Magazine".
practice of shooting live birds from traps was first introduced
in the U.S. in 1831 by the Sportsmen's Club of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Targets first replaced live birds about the time of the Civil War.
Early varieties of targets, designed to duplicate a live bird, included
a metal "bird" with rotary wings and fragile, feather-filled glass
balls launched from traps resembling medieval catapults. In the
1880s, clay targets such as the ones used today were first developed,
with George Ligowskey of Cincinnati credited with creating the first
clay target and trap.
first Grand American Handicap was held in 1900 in Queens, Long Island
and was the beginning of what has become the nation's most renowned
shooting tournament. Between 1900 and 1924, the tournament site
shifted annually—Chicago hosted the event nine times and The Grand
was also held in Indianapolis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Atlantic
City and St. Louis. In 1924, Vandalia, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton,
became the permanent home of The Grand. During that first tournament,
400,000 targets were trapped—today, over 4-1/2 million are thrown.
Almost 6,000 participants travel to Vandalia each August to participate
in the 10-day tournament.
complete rules and regulations governing trapshooting, contact:
Amateur Trapshooting Association
601 W. National Road
Vandalia, OH 45377
Tel: (513) 898-4638
Fax: (513) 898-5472