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Is it safe to wobble when loaded?
Visit one of our two trap fields where everyone does it.

quipment:  American trap is generally shot with either a 12 gauge, single-barreled or double-barreled trap version shotgun. Shooters will often buy a combo-set of a mono and over-under barrel gun for shooting singles and doubles respectively. Semi-autos are popular due to the low recoil and versatility because they can be used for singles, handicap, and doubles. Trap guns differ from field and skeet guns in several ways and normally shoot higher than their counterparts as the targets are almost always shot on the rise. The most obvious difference is in the stocks. They are normally Monte Carlo style, have an adjustable comb, an adjustable butt plate, or both. Such guns also have longer barrels, (30-34 inches), often with porting, and anything from a modified to a full choke. The majority of trap shotguns built today feature interchangeable choke tubes, but older guns generally have fixed chokes. Some shooters have a complete set of choke tubes (modified, improved modified, improved cylinder, full). Trap guns are also more durable, built to withstand much more usage, upwards of 500 shots straight, while hunting guns aren't built to withstand such long consecutive firing runs.

Most shooters wear a vest or pouch that will hold at least 25 cartridges with empty shell storage. All shooters are required to wear some type of eye protection. They can be a prescription or standard lenses. Most are tinted, (yellow, rose, orange, etc.) that allows for the differences in background contrasts between the claybird and what the shooter sees.

Hearing protection is also required when shooting on the line as sound intensity can exceed 110 dbs., permanently damaging a shooters hearing. Protection can range from hearing muffs to various types of ear plugs. Hearing protection should provide a sound reduction of at least 25 to 35 dbs.

Trap at NARGC:

  • Trap shooting every Tuesday evening 4:00pm to 8:00pm, March through November, includes handicap shooting, doubles, wobbles and competitive games.

  • Ten week spring & fall handicap trap league competition.

  • Five week summer doubles trap league competition.

  • NARGC has two fully equipped trap fields, one trap house is capable of throwing singles, doubles or wobbles, the other singles only.

  • Both trap houses are equipped with Canterbury Wireless Voice Release Systems

  • Both trap fields are equipped for night time shooting.

  • A safety fence divides both trap fields permitting simultaneous trap and skeet shooting.

Origins of Trap Shooting:  Trap shooting has been a sport since at least 1793 when real birds were used, usually the [Passenger Pigeon], which was extremely abundant at the time. Fake birds were introduced around the time of the [American Civil War] as the Passenger Pigeon was nearing extinction and sufficient numbers were not reliably available. The sport today is in some ways a replacement for a game where the targets user were live pigeons. Indeed, one of the names for today’s clay targets comes from past shooting games; hence the name 'clay (Birds/Pigeon’s)'. The puller of that day actually pulled a long lever at the shooter’s command, opening the (TRAP) releasing a live pigeon. Clay targets were introduced in the 1880s.

American Trap Shooting:  Shotgun Trap shooting is one of the three major forms of competitive [clay bird/pigeon shooting) at (clay targets). The others are (Skeet shooting) and (Sporting Clays). There are many versions of Trap Shooting, the three most popular categories are: Singles, Handicap, Doubles and Wobble trap. Double trap is also an Olympic event. American Trap is most popular in the United States and Canada and may well be the most popular form of clay target shooting in North America. American Trap has two independent governing bodies: the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA), which sanctions shoots throughout the United States and Canada. The other is the Pacific International Trapshooting Association (PITA), which sanctions shoots on the West Coast U.S. and British Columbia, with nearly identical rules to the ATA.

Trap machines in the American game are constantly oscillating horizontally left to right within an arc of 35 degrees. The shooter never knows where in that arc the target will emerge or the angle as the machine releases it on their command. Every shooter will receive a different mix of target angle difficulties, from easier straight away targets to extreme angle more difficult targets. The field layout of trap shooting is different from that of skeet shooting in that there is only one house recessed into the trap field and five shooting stations instead of eight. The puller/scorekeeper of today works the trap machine that launches the clay bird/pigeon through the use of a corded electric switch, or most prevalently found on today’s trap fields; ”Voice Release Systems”; while the shooter prepares aim.

Trapshooting is a game of movement, action and split-second timing. It requires the accuracy and skill to repeatedly aim, fire and break the 4 1/4 inch disc which are hurled through the air at a speed of 42mph, simulating the flight path of a bird fleeing a hunter. The shooter is required to shoot at a target after he calls "Pull." It does not matter in scoring if the shooter hits only a small piece of the target or whether he shatters the target. The target is considered a "dead" or "lost" bird.

Singles:  Singles is considered to be the easiest of the three categories. In singles, the shooter stands 16 yards away from the center of the "trap house" and shoots at random targets that fly at various angles in front of him/her. Shooters are grouped into squads, usually made up of up to five people. There are five positions/stations that each shooter shoots from, for a total of five shots, or one round. Each station gives a different view of the target flying through the air. Each position is a constant 16 yards from the trap house, each one is spaced five feet apart forming a small arc.

Handicap Trap:  The five-shooting positions also vary in distance from the standard 16yds. stations, known as handicap trap shooting to as much as 27yds. from the trap house,. In competition higher handicaps are assigned to more skilled higher scoring shooters to allow less skilled shooters to compete in the same league. Based on a shooter's past performances, a shooter is assigned a handicap distance which he/she must shoot during handicap events. A less skilled participant will shoot no closer than the 18 yard line, while the most skilled shooter is placed at the 27 yard line. Shooters with various handicaps can shoot on the same trap field as long as there is never more than three-yard differential between any of the five line shooters. Most clubs use a two-yard maximum for safety reasons.

Doubles trap:  In doubles, the machine does not oscillate, but throws two targets simultaneously. Each participant shoots at ten targets from each of the five stations. One clay pigeon flies to the left while the other flies to the right. The target path remains constant, but the challenge is if the shooter can hit both targets before they hit the ground.

In the handicap doubles event, the machine operates the same as in singles, but the shooters stand further away from the trap house. Adult male shooters start from 20 yards away; women and sub-juniors start at the 19-yard line. Each time a shooter wins an event or shoots a score of 96 or higher, he/she earns yardage and must thereafter shoot from further away from the trap house. The maximum distance at which the handicap event is shot is 27 yards. Safety regulations prohibit members of a handicap squad from shooting at distances more than three yards apart. In all American trap events, each shooter is allowed only one shot per target.

Double trap is a relatively new trap form, Olympic since 1996, (from 2008 it has Olympic status only for men), where two targets are thrown simultaneously but at slightly different angles from the station of three banks of machines. The target speed is about 80 km/h (50 mph), very close to that of ATA doubles.

Wobble trap:  A variant of standard trap is '''Wobble''' or ''Wobble Trap''. The main differences are a much more extreme target flight path than in standard trap shooting, (the trap machine oscillates up and down as well as side to side). A shooter can expect one target to be a hard right rocket launch while the very next could be a hard left hovering at ground level with anything in between. Shooters at stations 1 and 5 stand at the 18yds. mark while positions 2-4 stand at the 17yds. mark. Although this version of trap is not sanctioned by the ATA, many shooters consider it to be both more challenging and engaging as well as a more realistic preparation for bird hunting.

Links:  Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA)  

Pacific International Trapshooting Association (PITA)

 Academics Integrity Marksmanship (AIM) ATA,Youth Trapshooting

Wikipedia Trapshooting

Americam Grand Trapshooting