Sporting Clays is designed to emulate hunting scenarios using clay targets instead of live game. Clay targets can be thrown to simulate the flight patterns of low-flying ducks, quail launching from the grass in front of you or pheasant passing high overhead. They can even replicate the pattern of a fast moving rabbit or hare
A Sporting Clay’s shooter goes from one station (or stand) on the course to another. At each station the shooter encounters a different kind of target which simulates a field shooting scenario. The layout and design of the Sporting Clays grounds depends on the natural habitat and terrain of the area, providing each course with its own challenges and character. The targets will be presented in a variety of ways including;
- Incoming – targets that will come towards the shooting position landing at ranges from 40 meters to 4 meters from the shooting position
- Overhead – targets that will pass over the shooting position at varying heights and speeds
- Quartering – targets moving across the shooting position from various angles between 45 to 90 degrees both incoming and outgoing
- Springing – targets that are going straight up and are positioned at various distances from the shooting position
- Looping – targets thrown at 90 degrees to the shooting position in a looping manner
- Rabbit – an exotic target thrown on its edge along the ground
- Battue – a complex target that is designed to turn when it reaches the peak of its flight.
A shooter does not need to have a brilliant score to get a terrific amount of satisfaction from Sporting Clays. Perfect scores (25 from 25) are extremely rare. The size of the targets, their speed and angles of flight are all variable, making sporting clays the most challenging clay target sport you can participate in.
How It Works
Sporting Clay’s is a shotgun shooting discipline wherein clay pigeons, also called “birds” or “targets”, are thrown from a launcher, called a “trap”, with the shooter trying to hit and break as many as possible from the shooting position called the “stand”.
A competition is carried out over a series of stands (ranging from 5 to 8 ) which makes up the “Course” or “Layout”. Shooters walk (or drive a buggy, quad or similar) from one to the next in sequence until all stands on a layout have been shot. There are anywhere from 2- 6 targets attempted at each stand. Not all stands need have the same number of targets, and every stand commonly offers a different type of target presentation.
The targets may be presented as a single (where the shooter can fire both barrels at the one target), report pairs (where the shooter calls for the first target and the second is released on the “report” of the first shot), simultaneous pairs (both released at the same time, with the shooter deciding what order to attempt them in), or following pairs (the second bird released a fixed time after the first, irrespective of when the shooter fires his first shot).
Shoots are conducted in “Squads” (your shooting group for the day) of 6 shooters and you will be together for the duration of shooting on that day. Your squad will progress through the layout the required number of times to complete the set amount of targets for the competition. Typically between 75 and 100 targets will be on offer for a club shoot and this will require your squad to make 3 or 4 passes through the layout to complete the 100 targets. Larger events may have 150, 200, or even 300 targets on offer although these events are usually spread across multiple days.
Competition shooters are graded on their performance every 200 targets to ensure shooters are competing for honours and prizes against other shooters of equal ability.
A 100 target Sporting Clays event is hosted by Majura Park Gun Club on the forth Sunday of every month.
Remember the most important thing in Sporting Clays is to enjoy yourself. Sporting Clays is a great day out to both improve your field applicable shooting skills and have fun with your friends.