State Trapshooting Association
The game of trap (unlike skeet and sporting clays) is less of a social game and
more of a game of concentration and focus. Some of the shooting etiquette
guidelines listed below are for safety and some are simply just common sense.
Even though trap shooters uphold themselves with a high level of seriousness
during a round, doesn't mean that there isn't room for fun and games after the
round is over or while in the crowds spectating. Trust me, no matter how serious
you are, if you make a mistake like dropping the 25th target during a perfect
round you and your fellow shooters will find plenty of time for jokes and
laughter after the round is over. Become familiar with the following suggestions
and practice them as often as you can:
- Make sure you are in hearing distance from the field you are assigned to so when
your squad is called you are there and ready with all of your equipment.
- If you are leading your squad (meaning you are the shooter on post 1 when the
round stars) visually check that everyone is at their post and ready before
initiating each round of 5 shots.
- During the round, if and when you move from post 5 to post 1, make sure to look
to the leader of your squad and give him a thumbs up that you are ready. They
may be waiting for you to be ready and set before continuing with their own
- Remain on your post, standing facing the trap quietly, until the fifth man has
fired and then move to the next post.
- At the end of the round remain still on your last post facing the trap until the
last man has fired the last shot.
Do not have a loaded round in your action (regardless if your action is not
closed) when walking from one post to another.
- If using a Semi Auto Action Shotgun: make sure your gun is equipped with a shell
catcher. No one likes when spent hulls are flung in their face.
- Try not to talk or yell out as you may cause a clay to be thrown outside of your
turn if the microphones pick up your voice.
- If using a pump or semi auto: try not to close or open your action in front of
the microphone as you may cause the machine to throw a target out of turn. Over
under shooters that blow the smoke out of their barrel after shooting could
cause the same thing to happen.
- Wait till the end of the round to reach down and pick up empty shells from the
ground. Movement from other shooters may distract someone who is lining up for
their next shot.
- Be mindful of your barrel. Even though you are working on your follow through in
order to be the next Olympic hopeful, it tends to make people nervous when
looking down the smoking barrel of a shotgun that was just fired and swung to
the left or right too dramatically.
- When closing your action make sure to have your barrel pointed down range. A lot
of beginner shooters (more specifically pump action shooters) tend to close
their action with the gun facing down towards the ground. If an accident were to
happen not only would you most likely take off your own foot but you could
seriously injure the people around you.
Keeping the above in mind will make you a better squad shooter and prep you for
competition shooting. The end goal is for everyone to share the same common
courtesy and in return, experience the same level of enjoyment from shooting.