no comments

13 Lucky Skeet and Trap Shooting Tips

The internet is awash with trap shooting tips and skeet shooting tips. How helpful are they?

Not Very!!

You have probably read a couple and still found yourself wondering…. ‘How do you mean?’ This is because a shooting tip should be a step by step instruction. Most of the skeet and trap shooting tips on the net lack detail. DETAIL is what you will get from this list.

So what are the sure ways to improve your average while shooting trap or skeet shooting?

Well To answer this, we need to understand the two sports. They are the most popular disciplines of clay pigeon shooting. Like the name suggests, the sport involves shooting at inanimate clay targets.

Do you know the most interesting aspect of shooting as a sport?

Talent accounts for very little in terms of success in the sport!

I have seen novices turn consecutive birds into dust. Yes, novices! Through a series of tips and techniques, even the greenest of shooters can awe the crowd.


 Skeet Vs Trap

In short, skeet shooting is related to crossing targets and trap shooting is related to outgoing targets.

Clay pigeon shooting involves shooting at clay targets called birds.

Shooting at real birds was made illegal some time back.

The birds are shot skywards from structures called houses. Different settings for the house and the birds’ trajectories are used to bring variety into the sport.

If you are at the trap vs. skeet phase and don’t know which sport is for you. Understanding the two may just be what will tilt your scales.


What is Skeet Shooting?

In skeet shooting, a semicircular arc is fitted with seven shooting stations. Two houses are situated on the opposite ends of the arc. One house is known as a high house while the other is the low house.

The high house shoots birds higher.

A shooter is supposed to make 25 shots per round. Shots are taken from the different stations. There is a final station between station 1 and station 7.

skeet vs trap shooting

Birds are launched as singles or doubles depending on the station of the shooter. A total of 25 birds is launched for each complete round. A point is awarded for each kill.

On equipment, the best skeet gun is a very relative concept. It depends on your skills and likes as a shooter.

Semi-automatic shotguns or the pump-action variety are what I would suggest to anyone lacking an individual preference.


What is Trap Shooting?

Trap shooting rules and regulations are less complex. A single house shoots the bird away from the shooter. Variety is achieved by releasing birds as singles or doubles.

Doubles require that the shooter shoots at two birds released in close succession. The delay is usually one second long. The angle of flight also differs for each bird. This is aimed at making things more challenging.

Handicap trap shooting involves shooting at birds at longer yardages.

For equipment, go with a high-quality 12-gauge shotgun.

The simpler rules of trap shooting make it, the better sport for beginners. I advise that you work trap shooting for some basic skills before enrolling into skeet shooting.


13 Awesome Skeet and Trap Shooting Tips

The 13 tips and tricks I am about to share with you will work for both. They are, as much, tips for skeet shooting as they are tips for trap shooting.

You do not need to be decided on one sport for you to find this helpful. If you are still caught in between the two disciplines, this list may just determine what you will go with.


1. The Eye Trick

Eyes are obviously very important to a shooter. Did you know that bad eye placement accounts for over 67.5% of all the misses a shooter suffers?

Moving targets are not like stationary targets. A kill or a bird away is determined by how well you orient your gun to the direction of motion. Good tips for skeet shooting and/or tips for trap shooting must take this into account.

The most common eye mistakes people make are:

  1. Closing One Eye
  2. Miscalculating Eye Dominance

trap shooting tips

Moving targets are a constantly changing visual stimulus. Biology dictates that both eyes need to be open when tracking of dynamic stimulus. The dominant eye should then be sharply focused on the target.

Rather than close the other eye, blur its vision by fixing some tape over your shooting glasses.

To make out which eye is dominant, use this simple test.

  • Point at a distant object.
  • Close your right eye.
  • If the object remains at the edge of your finger, the right eye is the dominant eye.
  • If it shifts from your fingertip, the left eye is dominant.

2. A Choking Affair

Hitting the bird will not always disintegrate it to dust.

If you only chip at the bird, your choke is probably the problem. You need to go tighter. The best choke for skeet is definitely full choke. It makes sure you blow up all the birds on contact.

A tighter choke is also easily the best of all handicap trap shooting tips. The extra punch packed by a tighter choke is good for the extra distance. This is especially so if you are not new to clay sporting.

Trap shooting tips for beginners are obviously a little different. Very open chokes like IC will see novices take longer to get to the targets. A modified choke is, therefore, best in such a case.

After you get the hang of it, I strongly advise that you learn to work with full choke.


3. Body positioning

As early as 1996, 3.7 million people were already into trap shooting and skeet shooting. The numbers have been growing exponentially since then.

You would think this would translate to a growing understanding of the basics of the sport. No, it doesn’t!

Body posture is probably the single most important aspect of clay pigeon shooting.

Trap shooting tips

 

It is, however, also the leading cause of missed targets even among seasoned shooters. You must adopt a posture that leaves the waist free to sway and move.

Whenever posture poses, forgive the pun, a problem to ease of movement, tracking of the birds is affected.

You will find yourself shooting behind.

I suggest you adopt a boxer’s stance. Legs should be slightly apart with a lot of room for your waist’s movement. Complement this with a relaxed waist, and you are good to go.


4. Go Low

Now I do not have the biology for this one.

From my observation, much more birds are missed over the top. I would place the number at about 75%. Yes, three-quarters of missed birds are due to higher aims.

This seems crazy. Birds are always on the rise and aiming high seems like the obvious way to go. I have seen people have much more success when they aim at the lower edge of the bird. The lower edge is usually the most visible portion of a bird in motion.

Among double trap shooting tips and techniques, going low is by far the most effective tip. This is because aiming at the lower bottom of the first bird will hit the second bird in the case of a miss. This makes going low the king of double trap shooting tips.

So if you really want that average you have always dreamed of, go low. It works wonders.


5. Never Aim!

Shooting trap tips are all geared towards one goal. Get people to hit targets’. This requires skill, speed, and agility. Of the three, time poses the biggest problem for moving targets.

ALL trap shooting tips and tricks plus ALL skeet shooting tips can be boiled down into one tip…. NEVER AIM!

trap shooting tips

Clay pigeon shooters do not enjoy the privilege of time accorded by stationary targets. You need to fire faster than you can aim. This demands that you point towards the bird and then, immediately, pull the trigger.

Do not look at the barrel of your shotgun. Look at the bird and move the gun.

The instant the barrel blocks your view of the bird, pull the trigger. That is as close an aim as time will afford you.


6. Gun-Fit

Trap shooting tutorials are all over the internet. They all emphasize on technique and how to improve it. Skeet tips and tips on shooting trap should, however, cover more than just techniques.

Equipment is as important as technique. Even the best trap shooting tips choke to death when applied through a poorly fitted gun.

Your gun needs to be properly fitted if you are to apply any of the tips I have provided successfully. Good gun-fit allows your equipment to fire in the direction you look. To find out if your gun is properly fitted, use the following test:

  • Set up a dotted target about 55 Yards from where you stand.
  • Mount your gun and shoot at the dot without aiming
  • Shoot at the target a number of times consecutively.

Where is the highest pattern density?

If it is off-center, your gun is not properly fitted, carry your target to a gun fitter. He will fit your gun based on the pattern density it exhibits.


7. Low Recoil Target Loads

Most trap doubles shooting tips are based on the assumption that you can make quick shots in succession. This is easier said than done if you are using high recoil loads.

The anticipation for the recoil every time you fire eats away at your time. It makes it very difficult to fire quickly in succession.

Long term use will also see a more permanent damage to your shoulder. Low recoil targets also exhibit faster velocities and better spray patterns.

Shooters erroneously assume the low recoil to be an implication of weak performance.

This is not the case. The power they pack is enough. They have featured prominently in top-tier trap shooting competitions.


8. Practice Makes Perfect

Nothing beats good old fashioned practice.

Practice your mounts, posture, and shots. Whichever way you cut it. Nothing will build you up as a shooter better than practice. Even the best of the Remington trap shooting tips require that you practice for proper implementation.

trap shooting tips

What you want to do is to practice under the watchful eye of veterans. We all know how veterans love to point out all the things we are doing wrong.

Mounts should be practiced even with the gun unloaded. Mounting and tracking the bird are techniques that can only be nurtured through practice.

Trap shooting tips and techniques can only take you so far!


9. Analyze Accept Adapt Adjust (The four A’s)

Sometimes, you will experience a series of misses. It happens to the best of us.

Whenever this happens, take a step back and adjust. Analyze everything you are doing. Check for anything that could be the cause and adjust.

trap shooting tips

  • Is it your posture?
  • Is it your lead?
  • Is it your choke?
  • Is it your timing?

These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself. Continued shooting will only yield the same results. Do not fear to change tact.

Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


10. Target Choice

In the case of doubles, target choice is of utmost importance. Even the most seasoned shooters will fail to shoot two birds if they choose their targets wrongly.

As a rule of thumb, always shoot the lower target first. This simple rule increases the chances of scoring a perfect double by close to 70%! This makes a lot of difference on your average.

The premise for this is the fact that recoil always aims the barrel higher. Firing at the lower bird first will, therefore, see you automatically aimed at the higher target!

It is, therefore, only fair that this list of trap and skeet shooting tips take recoil into account.


11. The Art Of The Swing

5 warns on the dangers of aiming. For success, you should swing the muzzle of your gun towards the target. Tracking the target in this manner is a delicate affair.

There is very little time available to swing and fire.

The quicker you can swing your gun’s muzzle into firing position, the higher your chances for success. The perfect swing is not an easy affair. I highly recommend you practice with an unloaded gun and maybe a laser pointer.

The trick is to be able to trace the target instinctively. A proper swing is complementary to all trap shooting tips techniques.

Practice long enough and swinging the gun as you track the bird will be next to reflex.


12. Follow Through

You will need to be very consistent in your follow through. To achieve this keep the barrel in motion until a few seconds after you fire.

Your dominant eye should be fixed on the target at all times and not on the barrel. Complement this with a good swing, and you are a go!

Tips for shooting trap all require that you exhibit a very consistent follow through. Working on your follow through, therefore, determines how effective tips on trap shooting are for you.


13. Hold The Gun Right

You should be able to mount your gun into the right position instinctively. This is between your arm and collar bone.

Why do you think you have that shoulder pocket in the first place?

Your cheek should be firmly placed on the top of the stock. To assess the dignity of your mount, check to see whether your sight is level with the bead at the end of the barrel.

If you can see more details of your gun, your head is probably too high. The right hold on your gun is a sure way to hit targets with the least effort.

Did your scales tilt towards skeet in the skeet vs. trap mental showdown?

Then holding the gun right is an especially important tip for you. The complexity of skeet shooting is made more daunting by poor gun holds.

If I were to suggest the most important of tips for shooting skeet, a proper gun hold would be right at the top of that list.


 

Reply