Trap is the most popular shooting sport in North America with some 60,000 shooters that shoot at 83 million clay targets per year, be it recreational or in a registered tournament. There are three segments to trapshooting -16 yard event, handicap event and doubles.
- 16 Yard Event: The shooter stands 16 yards from the trap house “on the 16 yard line”. The thrown targets will fly from 48 to 50 yards from the shooter, and have angles of 35 to 40 degrees. Targets are thrown at varying angles. Most angles are broken at a range of about 35 yards from the shooter.
- Handicap Event: In this event, the shooter stands from 17 to 27 yards depending on the shooter’s previous scores. The better the previous scores the further back you shoot from.
- Doubles Event: This event is shot from the 16-yard line but at two targets that are thrown simultaneously. The targets have an angle of 34 to 36 degrees and a distance of 44 yards. The shooter has one shot at each target “25 pair” = 50 targets
Trap shoots may be informal practice or registered events. The average shooter will break 12 – 15 targets on the first try trapshooting and gradually improve through the teens into the twenties. A perfect round is 25 broken targets.
Firearms: The most used shotgun for trap is 12 gauge with full or modified choke, with 28″ to 30″ barrel. The shotgun can be a single barrel, over under, pump, and/or autoloader.
Ammunition: Shotshells may vary slightly with shooter’s preference. The load can be 2 ¾ dram or 3 dram equivalent of powder and 1 1/8, 1 or 7/8 ounce of #7 ½, #8 or #8 ½ shot size.
Targets: Regulation targets cannot be more than 4 5/16 inches in diameter and 1 1/8 inches tall, weighing 3 ½ ounces. They are made of a composition of pitch and clay or limestone, are saucer shaped and left black or painted orange, white or lime green.
Trapshooting gets it’s name from the device that is used to throw the clay target into the air. Trap simulates the flight of a game bird flushed ahead of the shooter. In the beginning live bird were used by releasing them from holes in the ground which was covered. Trapshooting is first mentioned in an English publication titled “Sporting Magazine” in 1793.
The Sportsman club of Cincinnati, Ohio introduced trapshooting in North America in 1831. Live bird where replaced by a variety of targets made of metal, glass and other materials. A catapult was used to launch these targets. In the 1880’s, clay targets much the same as used today were first developed by George Ligowski of Cincinnati and also credited with the development of the trap throwing machine.
In 1924, Vandalia, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, became the permanent home of the Grand (tournament) and home of Amateur Trapshooting Association. The Grand is a ten-day tournament held each August.
Chairman: Ron Edwards