What is Clay Pigeon Shooting

derby tweed shooting jacket and flat cap

Clay pigeon shooting is a shooting sport that involves firing arms at a clay pigeon with a shotgun. The shot plate saucer, or short flight, is one of the two forms of sport shooting and is considered one of the Olympic sports contemporaries. The modern format of the sport was developed in the 1920s in the United States, where it is known as skeet shooting.

How It Started

The vast majority of today’s shooters started out hunting. The man’s need to feed was sharpening his aim and looking for more and more specific targets. Hunting then could be pointed out as one of the main branches where this sport is born. 

The origins of clay pigeon shooting date back to the mid-19th century. The birth of this popular sport took place in the United States, where it began to be practiced during the stages in which hunting was prohibited. In this way, thanks to skeet shooting, North American hunters could continue to use their weapons and “kill the bug” during the closed months. In recent years, the number of skeet shooting fans has increased dramatically. The reasons for this growing popularity must be found in the positive aspect of this sport to practice aiming with our favorite weapon and in the fact that it can be done throughout the year. There are four different types of clay pigeon shooting:

The Olympic Pit:

It is the most popular and widespread discipline in sports shooting. In this practice, the shooter must face 15 target-throwing machines distributed throughout the shooting range. These machines launch plates into the air in 5 series of 25 each, plus a final series of 25 vessels.

The Universal Pit or Trap:

It is a variant of the Olympic pit. Both disciplines differ in three fundamental aspects. In the first place, in this mode, only 5 plate throwing machines are used. Second, the competition takes place in 8 series of 25 targets each, and unlike the Olympic pit, this discipline does not include a final phase.

 The Double Trap:

In this mode, two machines located along with the shooting range shoot two targets at the same time, and the shooter must break them with two almost consecutive shots. The competition series consists of 25 doubles, that is, 50 targets, while in the Olympic Games, the shots are made at 150 marks plus another 50 in the final. 

The Skeet:

It is one of the most mechanical modalities and requires more excellent skill from the shooter. The series, of 25 targets each, are thrown both single and double. Unlike the pit, in the skeet, the shooter can only fire one round at each target instead of two. There are 2 machines that launch the plates from each tower. The shooter must complete a course of 8 positions distributed in a crescent shape along with the firing range.

brown tweed jacket and flat cap blog image
Men's Derby Tweed Shooting Jacket - Brown
derby tweed winston gilet
Men's Derby Tweed Shooting Winston Gilet - Forest Green

Where You Can Do Clay Pigeon Shooting

The Big Shoot

Big shoot in the UK is the most prominent and premier clay shooting network with over 100 shooting venues in the UK. 

Three counties

Three Counties Clay Shooting is located in Basingstoke, UK.

What You Need For Clay Pigeon Shooting

Clay pigeon shooting is one of the different sports shooting modalities that exist. Still, we will focus on common tips that serve other disciplines within this sport, such as the Olympic Pit, Universal Pit, or Trillo. Here is the list of things needed for clay shooting.


Comfort is the primary goal when shooting, since there is no official dress code. Make sure you wear non-restrictive clothing, and be prepared with layers according to the predicted weather. You will want to wear non-restrictive clothing that allows a full range of motion while shooting.


For first contact, any shotgun can be used, whether it is superimposed, parallel or semi-automatic; indeed, the most appropriate one would undoubtedly be a superimposed one due to its balance and behavior. 


To start hitting our first shots, we will need a basic kit that we can find with an unbeatable level of quality. We can choose a vest or shooting belt to our liking, but it is essential to always shoot with eye, head, and hearing protectors, whether they are earplugs or helmets, since we should not play with our health. Gloves are essential to prevent your hand from burning when you fire off rounds and it becomes hot.


The ammunition to use in the Olympic Pit is the 24gr cartridge, and in the 28gr threshing or Universal Pit, as a general rule, we will use 7.5 pellets, although there are shooters who choose to use the 8.


Good foot and leg placement is essential since it gives us the correct angle and stability to obtain the necessary balance when shooting and swinging. Therefore, it is advisable to wear Trainees or reliable boots and wool socks rather than wearing heels.


Clay pigeon shooting is a sport that many people enjoy as an outdoor activity. It’s not hard to see why; the thrill of the hunt, competition with others, and camaraderie all make it such a fun event. 

If you’re looking to take your next shooting adventure up a notch, don’t miss our social promotions for the best outdoor brands.

Related Products

Share this post