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Shooting shotguns at clay pigeons also known as trap shooting

Posted by on August 30, 2011

Like the last post about going to the batting cages, this is another activity requiring hand-to-eye coordination but instead of bats and balls, it involves shotguns and clay pigeons. This is known as trap shooting and despite looking at how easy people shoot guns in the movies, books, or video games – it can actually be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing or have any experience handling firearms. Take it from my friends who I’ve taught how to shoot a shotgun and they all believe that this is easy and how they’re going to shoot 25 out of 25 clay pigeon targets and then afterwards manage to score 6 or 8 out of 25 on their first time try. Then they wonder… wow, that was kind of difficult!

At the trap range, shooting a clay pigeon with a shotgun

At the trap range, I'm shooting a clay pigeon since it was my turn.

I’ve always found my friends’ expressions to be entertaining once they realize that this is not an easy thing to do like in the movies (like shoot from the hip and hit the bad guys with perfect aim from odd angles). But on the brighter side, they also see the enjoyment in this shooting sport, getting the thrill of watching that orange disc being thrown up in the air and then destroyed because he/she pulled the trigger and aimed the gun at the right place, right time – it was his/her ability that made it happen.

I won’t get into the specifics of how to load a shotgun or maintain one or become a better shooter as that would be more for the gun experts forum or website, but instead, I’m going to give a brief explanation of how a trap range works.

At the trap range, shooting a clay pigeon with a shotgun explanation

Position of where shooters are and the "house" where the clay pigeons get launched from.

At the trap range, shooting a clay pigeon with a shotgun explanation

Shooter in position #1 will fire first at the clay pigeon. Key word is saying the word, "Pull!" to get started.

At the trap range, shooting a clay pigeon with a shotgun explanation

Shooter in position #2 will fire then followed by 3, 4, and 5.

It’s not too hard to learn once you’ve seen how things operate on a shooting range. It’s just a matter of getting used to it and then things start to go well like a car warming up ready to go.

At the trap range, shooting a clay pigeon with a shotgun

Shooting the shotgun

Take extreme caution where you aim that gun! My friend who taught me how to shoot said it best, “don’t put your finger in that trigger until you’re ready to shoot because you can never take back that shot; treat all guns as if they are loaded.” It’s a safety rule that I’ve learned to incorporate for all gun safety matters especially when explaining this to my friends because you can never be too careful with guns as they all have the potential to take someone’s life. It’s always the person that is at fault since I’ve never seen a gun walk on its own hind legs and shoot someone. Just like what the rapper DMX said, “guns don’t kill people… people kill people.” Or better yet, physics kill people when you think about it.

At the trap range, shooting a clay pigeon with a shotgun

It looks like I'm aiming at my friend in this picture, but I'm not. Take caution where you aim that gun!

Like the batting cages before, this can be a great date idea as well. Most girls don’t get a chance to go out and do something like this (unless they’re from the countryside or their families shoot on a regular basis). So it can be a real point gainer for a lot of guys who appear to be knowledgeable in being a weapons/gun expert; just don’t be too into it! And make sure to teach her everything that she needs to know and then let her have it! I’m pretty sure she’ll enjoy the experience.

In addition to guys having a lot of fun with shooting, I’ve taught a few girls in my life on how to shoot a shotgun and every time, they think that this sucks until they shoot their first target. That’s when the motivation and enthusiasm goes up sky high and I find out immediately after the 25 rounds are done, they want to shoot more! They’re having fun! It’s just not a common thing for most people to go out and blast some guns for fun so you can definitely stand out with this fun-loaded activity with both friends and girls.