How to start clay pigeon shooting

You would like to take up clay pigeon shooting? Here are some tips to get you started We also suggest you learn about the different disciplines of this sport.


#1 What you need to know about clay pigeon shooting:

Clay pigeon shooting involves firing at clay targets or moving targets with smooth-bore shotguns. The classic clay target, originally black, is now more orange, but there are also white, blue, and green ones. It should measure 110 mm in diameter and weigh a maximum of 110 g. There are also special ones for sporting and compak sporting called: battue, bourdon, and rabbit. Clay pigeon shooting can be either a competitive or a recreational sport. It can be enjoyed on permanent sites or on temporary installations known as ""fairgrounds"", also called "straw bales". It is above all an outdoor activity that can be carried out at any age from 12/14 years old. It offers the diversity of its various disciplines while using the same type of material. Recreational shooting is basically straw bales set up on a Sunday in the countryside to shoot a few clay pigeons for the benefit of local clubs. Most clay pigeon shooters started out that way or originated from the hunting world. The competitive sport is carried out exclusively on permanent stands affiliated to the French Ball Trap Federation (FFBT). It requires the following qualities above all: concentration, self-control, impeccable physical condition and, of course, perfect visual acuity.

Getting started at clay pigeon shooting

1 - Equipment

The first point to consider when starting clay pigeon shooting is to be well equipped to protect yourself. Indeed, the safety measures for clay pigeon shooting have become increasingly compulsory.

Hunting, shooting, and clay pigeon shooting have one thing in common: a lot of noise that can be harmful to your hearing; this is why protective headphones or earplugs are used in all competitions. For information, a shotgun blast can reach between 132 and 165 dB, which is as much noise as an aeroplane taking off at 100 metres.

Protective glasses are also necessary to practice this activity in complete confidence. The tinted lenses of the goggles enable increasing the light, thus better distinguishing the clay pigeons. To increase safety, they are resistant to pellet impacts.

As far as the gun is concerned, all guns can be used recreationally. However, there are special guns for clay pigeon shooting. ~We will distinguish 3 types of guns for clay pigeon shooting:

Trench rifles: they have the particularity of longer barrels; they are more choked because the distance of the second shot often exceeds 40 metres. The longer barrels, in addition to being able to reach the target farther, enable a longer sighting area.

Sporting and compak sporting guns: For these clay pigeon shooting disciplines the occasional shooter will use a shotgun with a 70cm barrel. Regular shooters will prefer using a rifle with longer barrels.~For two years now, the trend has been to lengthen the barrels to increase the sighting area

Skeet guns: The targets sometimes launch at less than 10 metres from the shooter. A rifle with shorter barrels of less than 70cm is then used. They should also have open chokes (1/4 or 1/2).

Getting started at clay pigeon shooting

2 - Learning to shoot

Another tip is to enrol in a shooting school. A shooting school will help you to correct the mistakes associated with hunting.~Bad posture, poor bearing of the gun, incorrect shouldering, and faulty positioning are all points that will be corrected by the instructors of these schools. They will also enable you to discover all the clay pigeon shooting disciplines and their specificities.

Getting started at clay pigeon shooting