Are you heading out to try Clay Pigeon Shooting for the first time and unsure what to expect? Do you wonder if you will even manage to hit any of the targets as they fly through the air ? Or are you a pro that has been clay pigeon shooting many times, and can hit the targets with your eyes closed. Maybe not to be recoomended with a shotgun in your hands. Read on as we are going to cover all of the below information, which you can use to show off in front of your friends
We have included for you below;
- Our Top Tips for Clay Pigeon Shooting
- Did you know information about Clay Pigeon Shooting
- Clay Pigeon Shooting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Our Top Tips for Clay Pigeon Shooting
Getting into position
Clay pigeon shooting is as much about how you are standing and holding the rifle as it is to hitting the target as it flies through the air at around 40 mph. If you can get this part right then your chances of hitting the clay pigeon increases 3 fold.
How to stand,? if we work on you being right-handed for this, then you want to place your left foot forward and put your weight forward on to your left foot. You also want to point your toes forward towards the target, then have your right foot square. This will then give you balance for when you fire the rifle (if you are left-handed then this is the opposite).
Holding the rifle? the most important part of holding the rifle is to relax. If you don't then your forearms, upper back, and neck will be tense, and will affect your movement when you are trying to hit the target. It's important that you get your stance right. Once you are standing firmly, you want to comfortably place the rifle into the groove just next to your shoulder joint. Then squeeze the rifle in to your shoulder as if you was holding a hammer, and then with your front hand use this as a guide to follow the target.
Hitting the Target
Once you have got your stance and hold right (as above), then the next tip is for hitting the target,. After all that's what we all want to do, and what a satisfying feeling to pull the trigger and see the target smash in to bits as your shot hits the target. A lot of people talk about working out which eye is your dominant eye, but we believe when you first start out that it's far more important to work with your stronger side, so right-handed or left-handed to give you full control over the rifle when you are shooting, the chances are that your dominant eye will be on your stronger side.
Hitting the target, what a lot of people forget about when trying to hit the target is that it's moving at around 40 mph. , If you aim your rifle at the target as it moves, then you are going to miss, as by the time your shot gets there then the target would have moved by around 5-6 feet. So to hit the target you need to follow the target at first and then move ahead of it in the flight path you think it will take. Once you are happy pull the trigger. You want to still follow the target with your rifle, which is the same as you would if you were playing a round of golf, Remember to follow the target with your rifle, and don't watch the end of your barrel.
The most important part of clay pigeon shooting or any shooting sports is to keep the rifle pointed to the ground at all times when you are not using it, this is the same when you are stood around for a few minutes. Even though this is a fun activity, it is still a live rifle that can cause a lot of damage. The only time you want to be lifting the rifle is when you are going to fire at the target and facing away from anyone in the area.
Did you know information about Clay Pigeon Shooting
History of Clay Pigeon Shooting
The clay pigeon target was invented by George Ligowsky from Ohio in USA in 1880 to replace the glass ball which were filled with powder or feathers,. Some people would also use cricket balls, potatoes and even stones, which were all used as a cheaper alternative to shooting pigeon. The first clay pigeon was introduced to the UK in 1882 where it was described as a “simple saucer-shaped piece of brittle crockery". Then due to the early clay targets being hard to break Cogswell & Harrison introduced a new design which was made from limestone and pitch around 1888.
In 1921 within the UK the sport of shooting pigeons became illegal, and clay pigeon shooting took over, which is now a very popular game to this day for everyone, It is still classed as a upper-class hobby, but this is starting to change, More and more people are taking up this sport, as well as this you also have laser clay pigeon shooting available now at many venues across the UK,
The terminology used today is still the same as it was when the game first started, with the target still being called a bird by many, and other commands such as a hit referred to as a "kill", and if you miss this is still referred to as "bird away", and then the machine that projects the targets is still known as a "trap", also the one a lot of people have heard in the past is Pull, which is still known for replacing the bird, but most venues now have automatic traps to release the target.
British Clay-Shooting Champion George Digweed
At the age of just 12 George Digweed was taken out with his grandfather and was given a .410 shotgun to go shooting with, he then decided to get involved with competitive shooting. George Digweeds first memorable competition win was the Home International Skeet Championships in 1986 at Melton Mowbray Gun Club. Later he became the first man to ever shoot '100 straight' in a World Championship event, as well as breaking his own record with a shot where he broke a clay at 130 yards, beating his own previous record at 118 yards,
We have looked at all of the Guinness World Records, and none of them are for the UK,' so we are saying come on UK you can do better then this. See below the world records achieved by France and the USA
1. Most clay pigeons broken in 1 minute - This world record was achieved on the 12th of August 2003 by Jean-Paul Mordefroid from France, where he broke 35 clay targets in just 1 minute.
2. Fastest time to shoot 25 clay targets - This world record was achieved on the 25th of July 2015 by Tyler Leinbach at the River Ranch Sporting Club, North Carolina, USA, where he broke 25 targets in just 24.25 seconds.
3. Most clay targets broken within 12 hours - This world record was achieved by a team of 5 on the 12th of October 2019 at the Powder Creek Shooting Park, Kansas, USA. The team included Jessica Strasser, Makayla Scott, Levi Henrichs, Weston Zolck and David Miller, and they achieved an impressive 14,167 broken targets in total within 12 hours.
Clay Pigeon Shooting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
What is the minimum age for clay pigeon shooting in the UK
There is no lower age limit for clay pigeon shooting in the UK, the only rule is that everyone has to be strong enough to hold and fire the rifle safety at all times. Children must be accompanied by their parent or a responsible adult. There is also no previous experience required so even a complete novice can have a great time.
What will Clay Pigeon Shooting involve
This is a very common question as most people get very nervous when they are going clay pigeon shooting for the first time, Nerves for something like this is always good as it will keep you alert as you will be firing a rifle. When you first do clay pigeon shooting you want to go along to a venue for an experience day or take lessons with your local club as all of the equipment will be supplied for you, You will have someone at your side at all times to help and guide you in hitting the targets, they will also help you with how to stand and ensure you are holding the shotgun correctly.
What to wear for Clay Pigeon Shooting
Clay pigeon shooting is a leisure activity so there is no need to turn up in your tweeds, shirt and tie, the most important part of choosing what to wear is wearing clothes which are comfortable and that you can easily move around in, Make sure you are able to move your arms freely and able to hold the shotgun, Ensure you always wear cloths to keep you dry and warm as you will be standing around outside either shooting or watching others shoot. Ii's always good to have 2 layers, so a t-shirt and a jumper just in case the weather changes. All of the safety equipment will be supplied from the venue which will include ear and eye protection
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for Clay Pigeon Shooting, you can find even more frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about different activities - Here. If you think we have missed something from the above, please let us know - Here
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