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  What will you expect when you visit a trap shooting gun club?   A welcome handshake!  As you are given the tour by the club manager, you'll see men and women with shotguns firing at fast flying targets.  By now you're either itching at the bit to give it a try or a tad shy of asking to give it a shot.  Just ask.

  You have likely noticed by now the shotguns are not breaking the air with sonic booms and shoving shooters backwards, as you see in Hollywood movies.   Instead, you hear a soft pop sound.  Doesn't look as dangerous as it appears, right?   Good Glory, even women and children are out there shooting!  Where have I been all my life?  Hmmm, those targets look inviting.  How could anyone miss shooting flying clay targets with a shotgun?  Well, I guess you are about to find out just how easy it is... to miss!


  If you brought your old shotgun with you, just purchase your ticket and get in line (I told you it was a popular sport).  If you don't have a gun?   Ask the club manager for a loaner to try the sport.  One way or another they'll get you a shotgun.  Please do remove your wedding ring before handling anyone's shotgun (or wear a glove) so as not to accidentally gouge any scratches on the wood.   Some of these guns are very expensive!

  You will be taken to the trap stations (also called posts or pegs) and given safety instructions.  Easy to remember.

  1. Keep gun pointed out into the trap field at all time.  Do not turn around with the gun so as not to point it at anyone by mistake.  You will need to wear eyeglasses and ear plugs.  Many clubs sell them, but it's best to bring at least sunglasses with you.

  2. Keep the gun unloaded until it is your turn to fire.

  3. When it is is your turn, insert the shell, close the chamber, place gun on shoulder, yell "Pull."

  4. The target will soar out of the trap house.  Point the gun at target and pull the trigger.  Don't worry if you miss, the average shooter will only hit 6 targets out of 25 on the first try.  And even less on the second try, sometimes!  By the third or fourth try you'll likely be hitting more of them.   In a month, you most certainly will be hitting a lot more! 

  5. Hit or miss, eject the spent shell and start again from step #1 again.   You do this four more times then,

  6. Step to the next station post and shoot 5 more times.   At this point most new shooters begin to feel the thrill of the game.  This thrill never leaves.  It lasts a lifetime.  You will become addicted at this point and there is no cure, except to break more targets! However, it's a good addiction so gorge yourself with fun.   

  7. You will change stations five times, taking five shots on each station for a total of 25 shots per trap.  Game ends for this practice round of trap shooting.   You just shot your first round of trap shooting.  In competition you will shoot 4 traps consecutively for a total of 100-shots at 100 targets. 

  8. You just had the most fun you've had in a very long time.  I have never, not once, seen a person try trap shooting and walk away without smiles and grins vowing, "I want to do that again!"  This is no boring sport, that's for sure.

  9. And, you just made yourself a bunch of new friends, too.   Trap shooting is the fastest way to meet people.  Try it!

  10. This is only the beginning of the fun and friends to be for you.  Just wait until you get into competition shoots!  That's where the big fun is.


  Yes.  You likely just shot the 16-yard singles targets above.  Now ask the club manager if you can try the handicap targets.  Here you'll step back to the 20 yard line and shoot the targets at a greater distance back from the traphouse (the traphouse contains the machine that throws the targets).  You can move back even further to 27 yards, but you have to be a good shooter to shoot there.  The handicap lines is where the "big money" is to be made in tournament shooting.


  Nope, you're not done yet.  Now you will take a try at double-trap (also called doubles) where you must now stand on the 16 yard singles line and shoot two targets simultaneously.  Don't worry, you won't hit them all, few do.  This is called the fun game by many tournament shooters.   You'll soon find out why.


  Yes.  Many clubs have a ABT (Automatic Ball Trap) also known as Wobble Trap or Continental.  This game is like double-trap except the targets fly out of the trap house with surprising angles.  Some will rise sky-high and others will cut the grass.  They don't shoot this game in competition in the United States, for fun only.  Other countries offer ABT competitions.   Is there more?   Yes.  Most trap shooting gun clubs offer skeet and sporting clays games.


  It's time to eat.  And I mean eat!    Shooting stirs the juices and the food is usually always well made and presented by the women who volunteer.  You don't have to cook if you don't want to.  This sport does not require that everyone rotate duties.  There are workers and there are shooters.  So, feel at ease.  You won't be asked to work on your day off to get some badly needed recreation in your life. 


  No.  You go out and do it all again, but this time you hit more targets!  You have more fun. You've meet new friends.  You have a new place to call home.  You can rest and relax in the clubhouse and chit-chat with other shooters.  You'll not find another cordial environment like you'll find with trap shooters.  It's a long tradition of pure friendliness that is highly regarded and envied by other sports.  The camaraderie is very strong.  You'll fit right in, on your first day!


  Some only bring $10 to shoot a little bit and get a meal (The club should welcome a new shooter with a meal on the house, but if they don't, please forgive the oversight).  $15 will get you to shoot all the games and then some.  It's not that expensive when you add up the "fun value."  There's no-charge for that!


  Yes.  Many clubs host informal fun shoots and league shoots and have lights.  And when those targets are hit they explode like bursting fireworks.   It's quite a site to see.  Try it sometime.  If the club doesn't have lights, other nearby clubs do.  Many shooters travel from club-to-club just to shoot with their out of town friends.  Some travel 150 one-way or more!


  A loincloth would do.  There are no clothing rules.  Most shooters wear long-billed hats.  You'll get one very soon either from the club, a new friend, or manufacturer who sponsors trap shooting.   Generally, just wear what you want.  Shorts are fine.  For the ladies, high-heels would not be appropriate for trap shooting, so wear sneakers or any flat-sole shoe.  Bring sunglasses with you.  Dress for the weather.


  Everybody want to know that one!  You can make money in trap shooting and many shooters do to at least help pay expenses.  You'll need at least 3 to 6 months of practice on Sunday's first, but you'll likely be winning turkey's, hams, and other prizes the club sponsors before you progress to the registered shoots; where the expensive trophies (gold belt buckles, silver bowls, etc) and money is offered.  Thousands of dollars!  Now you know why the rich people wanted to keep this sport all to themselves.  You can even turn this sport into a tax write-off!  That's right, you can.  Since you are competing for money you can declare this sport a "business" and deduct all your expenses, gun, shells, practice fees, hotels, meals, etc.  Not bad, huh?

  Want to know more about trap shooting?   Click here.   


Need instructions to help you learn how to shoot high scores?   The only textbooks written for the sport telling you what to do, how to do it, just like having a professional shooting coach by your side! 

Trap Shooting Secrets0916367096.gif (9263 bytes) 091636710x.jpg (2488 bytes)Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's Bible.

by; James Russell.  All Rights Reserved.
If you wish to print these articles in your web page, newsletter or posting on your bulletin board you may do so... however, you must post the following credit at the beginning or end of the article printed as follows:

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Written by; James Russell, Copyright 1998, Author of "Trap Shooting Secrets" and "Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's Bible." Our Website: JamesRussellPublishing.com

See our Testimonial Page on our Website to see how these books has helped trap shooters!  Read what the Olympic professional shooters have to say about them, too!

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