For anyone wanting to get into trap, skeet, and clay shooting, there are some important aspects to remember before you head down to the local range. And not just whether you are going to use one of your bolt action rifles or lever action rifles. Things like understanding what each sport is. A small rundown would be:
● Trap shooting.
This is a game of movement based around quick reaction time. Shooters try to repeatedly aim, fire, and destroy clay discs. These discs represent flight paths of birds and travel at speeds over 40 mph. This is one clay at a time.
● Skeet shooting.
Another sport based on quick reaction time, skeet shooting has two different points at which clay targets are hurled into the air. Varying speeds and angles make skeet shooting an ever-changing sport. These also tend to be crossing angles.
● Clay shooting.
This attempts to recreate an actual hunting scenario. With different angles, clays, and speeds all changing, clay shooting attempts to prepare the hunting for real-life situations. Arguably the most challenging of the three sports.
Now that you know a little about each sport, let’s take a look at how you will want to approach getting into the sport. First, you don’t have to pretend like you know everything; in fact, when you let people know you are a beginner they will more than likely give you additional advice and help. Second, you want to prepare yourself as much you can prior to your first time. That means doing your research (like reading this article). Last, you will want to bring some items with you to make your experience the best possible. We’ve put together some accessories you’ll want to pack with your firearm to make sure you’re fully outfitted; take a look.
Keeping your eyes on the target is only half the battle. Keeping your eyes safe from dirt, debris, and discharge will keep you as accurate as your focus. There is always the risk of ricocheting materials, target shards, or even unburnt powder from the action hitting your eyes. The most convenient defense against this would be shooting glasses. These are closer to safety glasses than sunglasses. Reducing your light will most likely lower your chances of accurately hitting the target. There are also full face masks if you are extremely worried, but most shooters think a good pair of shooting glasses do the trick.
Perhaps the most important part of your body to protect when firing a firing is your ears. Repeated noise pollution can have major consequences if not properly protected. Luckily, there are a number of effective noise dampeners that will prevent you from going deaf. There are a range of accessories to use. Depending on your budget, you can spend anywhere from a few dollars to around $100. Foam ear plugs are the basic protection against noise, while electronic noise dampers will amplify and dampen sound depending on the situation.
These are the first items of which the primary purpose isn’t protection, but a shooting vest can save you plenty of time and hassle when on the range. Most trap or skeet rounds consist of 25 shots; which, not by accident, is the number of shells in a box. A shooting vest allows you to pocket all of the shells and accessories you need during around of shooting. You can also keep your empties so you don’t dirty up the range. You can find a good vest for under $30, but can spend over $100 depending on your needs.
Choke Tube Wrench
For shooters who are going to spend some time on the range with different types of targets, a choke tube wrench is a must. For easily transitioning between chokes, a wrench with a handle will optimize your time.
When you are shooting trap, you will want to stop the empty cartridges from projectile firing at your buddies. Shell catchers hinder spent ammo cartridges from doing just that. They are an accessory that will run you about $20. A handy little device for people who plan on doing a lot of shooting.
This might seem obvious, but some people think they will just get rounds at the range. Sometimes they don’t offer the brand or type you are looking for. Other times there is a huge markup in price. Any way you look at it, it’s a smart idea to come to the range prepared, and that means bringing enough ammo for the amount of shooting you want to do.
Finally, you want to wear comfortable clothing. This is still range appropriate attire, but don’t try to wear something you won’t be comfortable shooting in. Again, this seems like an obvious thing to do, but some people forget to do it.