Clay pigeon shooting, also known as clay target shooting, is the art of shooting a firearm at special flying targets, known as clay pigeons or clay targets.
The standard clay pigeon is a saucer shaped orange disc, 110mm in diameter and made from a mixture of limestone and pitch. The discs come in many shapes and colours, this can help when being thrown against light and dark back grounds.
A mini black disc is similar to the standard but only 60mm in diameter. These are a more difficult target as they come out of the pigeon trap at high speed but loose speed faster making it more difficult to judge how much lead to give.
Clay pigeon traps are a device made to launch the clay pigeon into the air to produce the flying target. The trap can launch a clay out to a distance of approximately 120 meters.
Most shooting grounds use automatic traps that throw out a clay when a remote controlled button is pressed.
The Clay pigeon is hit using a shotgun. The most commonly used shotguns are 12 bores or 12 gauge shotguns.
There are over and under double barrelled shot guns; meaning the gun has two barrels mounted one above the other or side by side shotguns, where the barrels are side by side.
The internal diameter of the barrels is often reduced at the end, this is known as choking. Choking can alter the pattern of the shot that fires from the gun.
Each shot contains hundreds of small metal balls that spread out making it easier to hit the quick moving target. It only requires around 3 of the small balls to hit the clay in order to break it. There must be a visible piece broken off from the pigeon in order for it to be recorded.