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Clay Pigeon Shooting

clay pigeon shootingClay pigeon shooting is a great activity that can be enjoyed by people of just about any age. Basically, if you can safely (and legally) handle a shotgun, you can shoot clay pigeons.

The three main competitive clay pigeon shooting sports are Trap shooting, Skeet Shooting and Sporting Clays.


The equipment used in clay pigeon shooting can be as simple as a basic shotgun , ammunition, and a box of clay pigeons to start. Getting into it competitively can be somewhat more expensive as the professional equipment needed can be costly.


Shotgun: Generally any type of shotgun can be used to shot clay pigeons. Single and double shotguns are generally the most popular (and most affordable). Semi-autos shotguns are also popular because of their low recoil and ability to quickly fire follow-up shots if you miss the first one. Longer barrels are preferred do to being more accurate then shot barrelled guns.

12 gauges are the standard for caliber when shooting clay. With 20 gauges being a good choice for youth shooting.

Tip: Make sure you check the type of choke in the shotgun you’re planning to use. The tighter the choke, the more difficult it is to hit the target.

Shotgun AmmunitionAmmunition: Shot size of 7 ½ to 9 are the most commonly used clay pigeons. These can be commonly bought in bulk packs at sporting good suppliers and are considerably more affordable then shot used for hunting.

Clay Pigeon Targets: Targets are usually in the shape inverted saucer and made of a mixture of pitch and limestone.  They can come in several different sizes and are usually painted a bright color so you can see them better while in flight.

Throwers and Traps: You can, of course, throw clay pigeons by hand. But it’s hard to get any sort of good distance or even flight path by doing this.  A hand-help clay pigeon thrower is the most affordable solution to getting both balanced flight and distance when launching clays.

Traps are spring loaded machines made to launch traps for you. They give you best distance and require the least effort to operate. Traps come in a variety of types, from hand loaded, single shots to self-loading traps that can hold hundreds of clays at once.