Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Skeet & Trap Shooting 101; Key Tips for the First-Time Competitor

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Skeet & Trap Shooting 101; Key Tips for the First-Time Competitor

Article excerpt

Byline: Clayton Freeman

EQUIPMENT

Like any shooting sport, everything starts with the gun.

Skeet and trap shooting use a shotgun, and the wealth of options can seem overwhelming. Sizes, designs and other characteristics vary widely, and prices vary from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands for some models.

Jacksonville Skeet & Trap Club instructor Early Piety recommends that newcomers speak with an expert who can help them find the right gun.

Shotguns for skeet shooting come in 12-gauge, 20-gauge, 28-gauge and .410 sizes.

Club president Larry Rolfe said that the 12-gauge is most commonly used by beginners, although younger shooters often favor the 20-gauge or 28-gauge because of reduced kickback - the sharp recoil that occurs as the gun fires and thrusts backward into the shooter's shoulder.

And, as Rolfe points out, determining the proper gun mount is critical.

COMPETITIONS

Many participants enjoy skeet and trap shooting purely as a recreation. But there are also events available for those interested in serious competition.

The club is affiliated with USA Shooting, the sport's national governing body, which has authority over all levels of shooting from local events up to the Olympics.

In competition, shooters are ranked according to their accuracy, along a scale from AAA (the highest classification) to D (lowest). This practice, similar to different flights in golf, enables competitors to test themselves against others of similar skill.

Events at the club include local and statewide competitions, as well as college tournaments that draw more than a dozen schools from around the Southeast.

SHOOTING DISCIPLINES

To the untrained eye, skeet and trap shooting may appear similar, but there are important distinctions.

Trap shooting is the older of the two, dating to the late 19th century, according to Rolfe. …

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