Aiming For a New Experience? Clay Pigeon Shooting Is a Worthy Target
Clay pigeon shooting is one of the most thrilling outdoor sporting experiences ever created. Using a firearm (most often a shotgun) you get to experience the thrill of a real bird hunt in the knowledge that the targets being shot down are nothing more than small clay discs fired from a machine known as a “trap”. The name clay pigeon refers to a past shooting competition in which actual live pigeons were used until such practices were made illegal in the UK in 1921. Despite this the name has remained and the targets used are still referred to a “bird”, and a successful shot at a clay pigeon is still referred to as a “kill”.
In a manner not too dissimilar from that of a golf course, a clay pigeon shooting area is made up of 10 to 15 different firing stations laid out over a course of around 35 acres. The game is designed to simulate the actual experience of a live hunt with an amazingly realistic number of effects, including various angles, speeds, elevations, distances, and target sizes.
The earliest practice of clay pigeon shooting took place in Victorian schools as a recreational activity in preparation for real hunts. By 1925, clay pigeon shooting was a popular British pastime for the upper classes with national competitions taking place. However, it wasn’t until 1980 that international recognition for clay shooting became widespread when the United States’ first ‘Sporting Clays’ shootout was held at Remington’s Lordship Gun Club in Connecticut in which 90 shooters participated, including many individuals from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) which helped the clay shooting’s stateside popularity immensely and lead to the first U.S. National Sporting Clays Championship in 1985.
Today sporting clays is one of the fastest growing sports in America, with more than three million people of all ages participating both competitively and recreationally. Sporting clay events have even received coverage on American television which is a sure sign of the ever increasing interest of this exciting sport. The sport has since become far more widely practiced outside of shooting interests, and is no longer considered an upper class pastime. It can make for a fun occasions like work events with colleagues, or as a day out for family and friends. You’ll find that when you manage to successfully shoot a clay pigeon down the feeling is unparalleled.
There are a number of safety measures to be enforced when shooting clays as there for all shooting related games. It is absolutely essential that the correct guidelines for protecting your eyes and ears be obeyed. This includes earplugs to counter loud shotgun blasts and goggles for the eyes in case of unexpected shotgun smoke from the weapon. Training is provided by any organisation offering shooting opportunities before a game is allowed to begin. All firearm safety procedures can be found listed in the official rule book created by the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA).