Competitive shotgun sports is an exhilarating experience that takes precise marksmanship, balance, and a spirit for the challenge of shooting. Firearm manufacturers worldwide take pride in building their finest shotguns for these extreme shooting competitions.
Designed to simulate “taking a bird on the wing,” Sporting Clay, Skeet, and Trap are the most exhilarating shotgun shooting disciplines. These three shooting sports will capture a shooter’s intrigue for competing at the highest level, from the newest beginner to seasoned pros.
Sporting Clay Competition
Sporting clay simulates a variety of natural field situations. Shooters are presented with a wide variety of targets to duplicate the flight path of game birds. Flushing, crossing, incoming, and angling targets are part of the challenge. From any of five or more stations, targets are thrown as singles, simultaneous pairs, following pairs, or reports pairs. The size of the targets further challenges shooters, from standard clay targets to mini or flat disc-shaped battue targets. Get all the information you need from the National Sporting Clay Association.
The inherently challenging and precise nature of the sport requires a capable, precise shotgun:
- Beretta Silver Pigeon 686, 12 Ga. 30” is a long-standing favorite for competitive shooters and hunters. The legendary over/under gives shooters the speed and instinctive point-ability needed for fast-moving targets. The Silver Pigeon features a best-in-class action with a low, compact profile.
- CZ-USA 612 Field is a reliable pump-action 12 Ga. with ventilated rib, which makes this a fine sporting clays shotgun. This shotgun is mechanically bulletproof, with little that can go wrong in the field. Get it wet or dirty, and it still performs up to its excellent reputation.
- Mossberg 930 Pro 12 Ga. 28” is a proven favorite for competitive shooters. Internal mechanisms are polished for improved function and are coated with boron nitride for rust prevention. Several stock and barrel combinations come with the 930 and feature a range of dimensions to fit most shooters.
Trap competition is the oldest shooting competition in America. Shooters aim at clay targets thrown from a Trap House. Targets are thrown away from the shooter in random sequence, angling from the right, left, and flying straightaway. Five clay targets called birds are thrown for each shooter at each station. After firing five rounds in rotation, squad members move to another station. Look to the Amateur Trapshooting Association for more information about this wonderful shooting sport.
- Browning Citori 725 Pro Trap 12 Ga. 30” has a balanced and lively feel for the competition. A comprehensive set of stock and barrel lengths allows the gun to be set up perfectly to a shooter’s profile. Beautifully ported 2.75” over/under with a stunning Walnut stock makes the Citori 725 an excellent all-around performance shotgun.
- Winchester Model 101 Pigeon Trap 12 Ga. 30” is a deluxe trap gun with an adjustable Monte Carlo comb and engraved silver receiver. A non-glare matte finish with composite stock and forearm keeps the Model 101 rugged and reliable. Investor-plus chokes with an SXP action can fire all factory steel and tungsten lead loads with optimum patterns.
- Browning BT-99 Adjustable B&C Micro 12 Ga. It is ideally suited for one thing, breaking singles trap targets. The BT-99 is well balanced, and new features have been added in recent years. Many trapshooters purchase a BT-99 and never switch to any other gun, and it’s that good of a shotgun for trap.
Two trap houses are needed in Skeet; a high house on the left and a low house on the right. Clay targets are thrown at different angles, starting at three feet to 10 feet off the ground. A round of Skeet consists of 25 targets with sixteen singles, two from each station. Check out the National Skeet Shooting Association for a lot more information.
- Remington 1100 Competition 12 Ga. 30” revolutionized target shooting when first introduced in 1963. The 1100 has a soft recoil with a spring recoil reducer in the stock that makes the long-gun nearly kickless. Smooth twin action bars prevent twisting and binding. Non-reflective black metal and a distinctive vent rib and choke.
- Beretta A400 XCEL Parallel Target 12 Ga. Is an overwhelming choice for the serious competitor. Beretta’s Blue Gun is exceptionally reliable, easy to maintain, and features a soft recoil. The A400 comes as close to a jam-free gun as a competitor could want, with shooters knowing the Beretta will not cost them targets. Gas operation and recoil reducer make this a soft shotgun to shoot.
- CZ-USA Redhead Premier Target 12 Ga. 30” Over/under is an affordable and very reliable shotgun made for Skeet. This Turkish-made long-gun has an excellent reputation for affordable quality. The Redhead is a clay-crusher with six extended choke tubes, raised comb, a palm swell in the grip, and Monte Carlo stock.
Shotgun builders worldwide concentrate their efforts on shooting competitions for adults and youth. The reason is simple; get your product into the hands of the most capable shooters and build your brand with young competitors.
No other shooting sport offers the nail-biting competitive action as Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clay competitions. This is a sport that young adults can grow into and enjoy for the rest of their lives and still be shooting into old age. Soft shooting, recoil-reduced shotguns allow persons of every age to shoot hundreds of shells without feeling the shoulder after-effects that so many older shotguns produced.
Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clay are fantastic sports to be involved with at any age. A shooter can learn discipline and maintain a competitive spirit throughout the stages of life.