Clay Pigeon Shooting is a sport that´s brilliant for a leisure activity and hobby or training before hunting season to keep up one´s game. With its roots in English culture, it is an exciting sport to take up and to appreciate for its skills of aiming. Read on to learn the basic tips for those just starting out and some interesting facts about the history and the equipment which will make you a more knowledgeable Clay Pigeon Shooter.

How to shoot:

When learning how to shoot, the most important things to keep in mind are body position and stance, how you hold the gun and aiming.

Skeet shooting


In order to shoot accurately and well the shooter must have the correct posture for both his or her body and the gun. Feet are shoulder-width apart. If you are right-handed your left foot is forward (facing the range) and right foot back. Your gun should be held correctly with the butt positioned firmly against your shoulder which will avoid  a violent recoil where the gun pulls back due to the power of the shot. Your shooting hand will be close to the trigger and your other arm supports the gun near the barrel.

Aiming and Shooting:

Familiarise yourself with the sights of the gun. Before shooting, you should have a good line in your sights. Your cheek should be resting against the barrel, enabling you to look down the barrel of the gun. Once ready to shoot, look your shoulders and arms and aim by rotating from the waist. You will want to aim a tad bit ahead of the ¨pigeon¨ and as you rotate, your shot should catch up with the disk.


History and Disciplines of Clay Pigeon Shooting:

Clay Pigeon Shooting dates back from as far back as 1831, when real birds were used as targets and set free in front of shooters in peasant and grouse shooting. Between 1883 and 1887 glass balls filled with feathers or power ( a game known as ¨glass ball¨)were developed to replace live birds, which then transformed into clay disks. These disks have a much more ¨realistic¨ flight and stay airborne longer. Today, these disks are normally orange with a measurement of 110mm in diameter and are made of Calcium Carbonate (Limestone) and Pitch. The colour can vary depending on where the shooting is taking place in order to stand out and there is even ¨rabbit¨ clays that has been developed which are launched at ground level and gives realistic hops along the way.

The gun used for shooting is a shotgun and the main model is an Over & Under Double Barrel Shotgun which normally have a barrel width of 18.5mm. When a shot is fire, hundreds of metal balls and shot out which disperse therefore making it easier to hit a flying target.



There are various disciplines within Clay Pigeon Shooting which should be named:
  • Fitasc Sporting, what many consider the hardest challenge when it comes to Clay Pigeon Shooting. There is an ¨old system¨ and ¨new system¨.
  • English Sport, today this is the most popular form of Clay Pigeon Shooting. Originally two different types of targets could be used and nowadays both can be launched  roughly at the same time. The layout is constantly moving and this is a brilliant challenge.
  • Olympic Trap (OT), the version of the sport which is featured at the Olypmics.
  • World Sporting is best described as a mix of Fitasc and English Sporting.
  • Automatic Ball Trap  (ABT), where a trap constantly moves vertical and horizontally in order to launch the disks in a random fashion.


  • Compak Sporting, shooting which takes place on a smaller area and permits all types of targets.
  • Universal Trench (UT),shooters shoot from a trench located 15m from the shooting line from 5 different positions . Disks are launched from different directions and 25 rounds are fired.
  • Down the Line (DTL) (shooters shoot 5 consecutive shots from the same position then move one spot to the right under 25 rounds have been shot)
  • English Skeet (25 shots shoot by the shooter in 7 different positions around a semi-cirlce)
  • ISU Skeet (like English Skeet but faster. The shooter must start with the gun down and the shooter may have to wait 3 seconds after the launch to shoot and the shooter moves to 8 different positions
Clay Pigeon Shooting is a dynamic game which will offers a dozen ways to keep you on your toes. You will want to learn at a Clay Pigeon Shooting activity provider for professional training, so find a venue near you to learn and come have a go at this traditional English game!