Slaying Clays - Trap

A quick guide to Trap Shooting

Prince George Country Trap

Trap shooting, a sport that combines precision, control, and the thrill of marksmanship, has captivated the hearts of shooting enthusiasts worldwide. This blog post offers an insider's perspective on trap shooting – from its rich history to the skills required, and why it continues to be a beloved shooting sport.

The History and Evolution of Trap Shooting: Trap shooting's origins can be traced back to the late 18th century in England, where live pigeon shooting was a popular sport among the aristocracy. The transition from live birds to clay targets in the early 20th century marked a pivotal moment, making the sport more accessible and environmentally friendly. Today, trap shooting is recognized as a competitive sport, with numerous events held at local, national, and international levels, including the Olympic Games.

Men Practise Trap Shooting 1900s 8x10 Reprint Of Old Photo – Photoseeum


Understanding the Basics of Trap Shooting: At its core, trap shooting involves shooting clay targets launched from a single "trap" or machine. Unlike skeet shooting, where targets are thrown from two houses crossing in front of you, trap shooting targets move away from the shooter from a single house located in front of the shooter. The shooter, positioned at one of the five stations, aims to shoot the target as it moves away. Each round of trap shooting typically consists of 25 shots, with shooters rotating through the five stations to complete a round.
Trap shooting layoutTrap shooting layout

Equipment Essentials: The right equipment is vital in trap shooting, especially gun fit. A reliable shotgun, preferably an over-under or a semi-automatic with a smooth action, is the primary tool of the sport. Additionally, shooters equip themselves with protective gear, including shooting glasses and ear protection. Ammunition choice, typically 12-gauge shotgun shells, plays a crucial role in performance, as does a comfortable shooting vest for carrying extra cartridges.

over under shotgun


Skills and Techniques: Trap shooting is as much about skill as it is about the equipment. Key skills include:

  • Stance and Posture: A stable and comfortable stance is essential for accuracy and control.
  • Eye-Dominance: Understanding whether you are left or right eye dominant helps in aligning your shots.
  • Focus and Timing: The ability to quickly and accurately gauge the flight of the clay target is crucial.
  • Follow-Through: Maintaining your line of sight and movement even after pulling the trigger ensures better accuracy.
  • Mental Game: Trap shooting is just as much a mental game as it is a physical, some would argue more so. Keeping your mind clear during a stressful round comes with experience and practice.

Competitions and Community: Trap shooting thrives in a vibrant community setting, with clubs and ranges offering regular practice sessions, coaching, and competitions. The camaraderie and competitive spirit make it a sport where skills can continually be honed and new friendships forged. Competitive trap shooting ranges from local league matches to prestigious events like the ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association) Grand American.
                       logo-1   USA-Shooting-logo


trap_run_patchesChallenges and Rewards: Trap shooting offers a unique set of challenges – unpredictability of target flight paths, varying environmental conditions, and the constant need for mental focus. Yet, the rewards are equally compelling: the satisfaction of breaking a target, the continuous improvement of skills, and the enjoyment of a sport that celebrates precision and discipline. You'll never forget the first time you hit all 25 in a round. 

Trap shooting is more than just a pastime; it's a sport that teaches patience, precision, and perseverance. Whether you are a beginner looking to try something new or an experienced shooter aiming to refine your skills, trap shooting offers an engaging and rewarding experience.

Happy Shooting!




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