How to Get the Most Fun Skeet Shooting

Skeet shooting or clay pigeon shooting, is an excellent way to develop your aim, your coordination, and of course your shooting skill. There are few shooting accidents with skeet shooting that with any other type of shooting activity and with the improvement of modern automatic throwers it has become an increasingly easier sport to find time to enjoy.

Why Skeet Shooting?

It’s fun and no one gets hurt. Skeet shooting has only been around since the 1920s, but as a test of skill and enjoyment it gained popularity quickly. It has been used to help train the US Marines and is even an official Olympic sport. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeet_shooting

What Is Skeet Shooting?

Basically, skeet shooting is a form of target shooting where you use a shot gun to try and shoot a clay disc that is thrown up into the air. Originally it started as a game between two friends who would take turns throwing a clay plate into the air, with the object to be to try and shoot the plate in the order of a clock.

It has also been likened to bird hunting and will be used by duck shooters, pheasant or grouse hunters and any other similar type of hunter where there is a requirement to be able to aim and shoot quickly at a suddenly appearing target.

Throwing the Clay

Although you can get a nice friend to throw a clay skeet up in the air for you, in order to get enough speed, distance and angle normally a clay thrower is used. You may have seen these in movies where someone yells “pull”, and a small catapult device suddenly flings a plate into the air.

You can still purchase these manual clay throwers, however if you are wanting to ensure that you will be able to shoot without someone there to always release the skeet then the development of an automatic skeet clay thrower may be just the thing. While most manual traps only load 1-3 clays, you can set up an automatic clay thrower with 20-100 clays ready to go and some models can be extended further.

With an automatic skeet clay thrower once you have loaded the clays into it and set it up, the shooter is able to choose when to release the clay. Different throwers have different mechanisms, but usually a foot pedal of some description to allow for hands free operation.

Care with Throwers

An automatic clay thrower should be set up so that it is stable, the force in which it throws clays could become an issue if it is allowed to destabilise and topple over mid fling.

Picking the Right Skeet Thrower

The automatic skeet clay throwers are more expensive than manual throwers, so they are an investment and you want to ensure that you are getting the model that will best suit your needs. Take into consideration your purpose. If you are simply wanting to shoot a few random moving targets then you can look more at the budget end of the market.

If you are wanting to replicate a bird hunting experience then you will need to think more about how easy the thrower is to move, and how stable it can be made in uneven terrain. For competition training you will need to ensure that your thrower is able to reach the same speeds, distances and angles as your local competition regulation require.

You will also want to think about the size of clays that can go in the thrower, as USA standard, UK standard and International standard have slight variations.

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Rodney Heaton
 

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.