Skeet Shooting vs Trap Shooting: Which One Should You Pick?

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Skeet shooting and trap shooting are two popular forms of clay target shooting. Both involve shooting at clay pigeons (also known as clay targets or skeet) that are launched into the air at various angles and speeds. While the two sports are similar in many ways, some key differences set them apart.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the differences between skeet shooting and trap shooting, and help you decide which sport is right for you.

What Is Skeet Shooting?

men shooting clay targets in outdoor shooting range

Credit: Envato Elements/ MargJohnsonVA

Skeet shooting, also known as “skeet”, is a shotgun shooting sport in which clay pigeons are launched from two target machines known as “high” and “low” houses that are placed at different heights. When firing at the targets, the shooter stands in a variety of shooting positions around a semi-circular range. During each round, the shooter must complete a total of 25 shots.

Types of Skeet Shooting

The two most common types of skeet shooting are- American and International Skeet Shooting:

1) American Skeet Shooting

American skeet shooting is the most popular type of skeet shooting in the United States. It is governed by the National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA). In American skeet, the targets are launched from “high” and “low” houses on a semi-circular range with eight shooting stations.

2) International Skeet Shooting

This form of skeet shooting is governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and is shot on a rectangular range with eight stations. Like American skeet shooting, the targets are launched from a “high” and “low” house but from a different angle.

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What Is Trap Shooting?

woman in shooting gear aiming a rifle in outdoor range

Credit: Minnesota Monthly

Trap shooting, also known as “trap”, is a shotgun shooting sport in which clay pigeons are launched from a single machine or a “trap” house located at the far end of the range. In this sport, trap shooters have five shooting stations and are required to take five shots at each station before moving on, making it a total of 25 shots.

Types of Trap Shooting

Similar to skeet shooting, there are different varieties of trap shooting, including:

1) American Trap Shooting

American trap shooting is practiced in the majority of American shooting ranges. It is typically done using a single launcher positioned in a small trap house which launches clay targets away from the shooter, who is stationed at one of the five available stations along the range.

2) Olympic Trap or Bunker Trap Shooting

In Olympic trap shooting, also known as “bunker trap,” a line of 16 machines is used to launch targets, rather than just one. The targets are launched at different predetermined angles, providing a challenging variation of the traditional trap shooting game.

3) Double Trap Shooting

Double trap shooting is a variation of the traditional trap shooting game in which two targets are launched simultaneously from the trap house. These targets usually follow a set part and shooters are required to shoot at them one at a time.

4) Wobble Trap Shooting

Like double trap, wobble trap is a variation of traditional trap shooting, where the target’s flight path is much more unpredictable. This is achieved by an oscillation mechanism that makes the trap move up and down as well as side to side

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Skeet Shooting vs Trap Shooting: What’s the Difference?

woman aiming a rifle
Credit: Envato Elements/ vlad_star

Now that you have a general idea of skeet and trap shooting, let’s take a closer look at the distinctions between them so that you can make an informed decision and choose the one that you prefer the most:

1) The Movement of the Targets

In skeet, the targets are launched from two different houses at varying angles, making it a more challenging sport. In trap shooting, the targets are launched from a single house at a consistent angle, making it a bit easier.

2) The Rules

The rules of skeet and trap shooting are similar, but there are some key differences. In skeet shooting, the shooter must hit targets from both the high and low houses to complete a round. In trap shooting, the shooter must hit a certain number of targets to move on to the next round.

3) The Equipment

Both skeet and trap clay pigeon shooting require hunting guns and a supply of clay pigeons. However, the type of hunting gun and ammunition used can vary depending on the sport.

Skeet shooting typically requires a shotgun with a short barrel and tight choke, as the targets are launched at a closer range. Trap shooting, on the other hand, typically requires trap guns with long barrels and open chokes, as the targets are launched at a farther range.

If you’re interested in practicing skeet and trap shooting in your own backyard, consider investing in a clay pigeon thrower like the one from Do-All Outdoors. Alternatively, if you prefer to throw your own clay targets, the White Flyer Blackout Skeet and Trap Clay Targets are an excellent option.

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Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to trap vs skeet shooting, the final choice depends on your personal preference.

Skeet shooting is considered to be more challenging and requires more skill, as the targets are launched from two different houses at varying angles. It’s a sport that requires quick reflexes and the ability to adapt to different angles and speeds.

On the other hand, trap shooting is considered to be more beginner-friendly, as the targets are launched from a single house at a consistent angle and speed. This sport requires a steady hand and good aim, but it’s less demanding than skeet shooting in terms of movement and adaptation to different angles.

If you’re looking for a challenging sport that will test your reflexes and adaptability, skeet shooting may be the right choice for you. But if you’re looking for a sport that is a bit more relaxed and easier to pick up, trap shooting may be a better fit.

Summary

Skeet and trap shooting are two popular clay target shooting sports that share the goal of hitting as many clay pigeons as possible, but differ in terms of range layout, target movement, and equipment used. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Looking to improve your shooting skills? Look no further than EasyShot shooting targets. Made from durable materials, our targets are excellent for honing your shot and improving your aim. Order yours today and take your shooting to the next level!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>