Shotgun | Skeet & Trap

Shotgun Chair: Cam Rogers - shotgun@ncrgc.org

The Northern Colorado Rod & Gun Club (NCRGC) has one Skeet field, one Trap field and an area designated for use by NCRGC members and their guests where they can throw clay targets using their own thrower or the fixed manual thrower.

There is a bin containing clay targets in the manual throwing area and the clay targets in the bin can be used, when available. Unbroken clays must be collected after you are done shooting. Unbroken clays should be saved or, if club provided clays are being used, returned to the clay target bin.

The manual throwing area cannot be used while:

  • Skeet or Trap events are in progress.
  • Tactical Bays, are in use (with the exception of Tactical Bays 1 and 2).
  • 3D Archery field (North of Tactical Bay 6) is in use.

Scheduled NCRGC events will always take precedence and determine the shotgun fields’ availability. Be sure to check the calendar before your visit to the range to ensure that there are no surprises when you arrive.

 General and Specific Range Rules – Manual Throwers

  • Use the manual clay throwers at your own risk as they can cause serious injury.
  • Read the operating instructions and warnings located in the clay storage box before use.
  • Keep hands and body outside of the throwing arm path indicator areas.
  • Load the trap magazine from the rear of the trap.
  • Shoot from the area to the left of the thrower on the platform.
  • Be aware of your line of fire and do not shoot the sheds.
  • Utilize two people for a sitting-style thrower and one or two people for post-style thrower.
  • Watch out for scatter pieces that result from cracked or broken targets.
  • When finished, secure cover on thrower, pick up all broken clays larger than a quarter and put them in the trash, and place unbroken clays in the clay storage box.
  • Failure to observe these rules is cause for suspension or expulsion from the club.

 

Public Skeet & Trap Events

Never shot Skeet or Trap before? Not a problem! You'll be breaking clays your first visit! See below for Skeet & Trap shooting overviews.

NCRGC's Skeet & Trap events are generally open to the public and we welcome everyone from beginners that want to learn, to experienced shooters that, when asked, tend to share their wisdom and advice!

NCRGC membership is NOT required.

Skeet and Trap shooting events are usually held on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month, from 9am to 12pm, weather permitting. Additional Skeet & Trap events may be added to the calendar and posted on the our NCRGC Facebook page

Event details and schedules may change on short notice so be sure to check the calendar and/or the NCRGC Facebook page on the day of the event to ensure that that the event is still scheduled and has not been cancelled. If you would like to be added to a Shotgun Event email distribution list to receive notifications about events, simply send your request to shotgun@ncrgc.org with the subject being “Add to distro list”.

What should you bring?

  • Shotgun*
  • Eye and ear protection*
  • A vest or shell/shooting pouch for holding shotgun shells and the empty hulls*
  • One box (25 ct. shotgun shells, 7 ½ to 9 shot size only) for each round that you would like to shoot
  • A desire to meet new people, have a good time and be safe!

*Loaner 20ga shotguns (adult & youth), eye and ear protection and ammo pouches are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Contact the Shotgun Chair prior to the scheduled event for details.

The costs:

  • $5/round for NCRGC members
  • $7/round for non-members
  • A round will consist of 25 clay targets thrown. (Note: One round or Trap or Skeet will require a 25 ct. box of 7 ½ to 9 shot size shotgun shells. You will need to bring a box of shells for each round that you would like to shoot. Shotgun shells are NOT available for purchase at NCRGC.)

Please review the Rules & Regulations listed below before attending an event.

We look forward to helping you have a safe, fun, educational and enjoyable experience! If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to shotgun@ncrgc.org.

Do you want to learn about these and other upcoming NCRGC public events? Visit the NCRGC calendar.

 

Come out and break some clays!

Skeet Shooting Overview

Skeet is a recreational and competitive activity where participants attempt to break clay disks automatically flung into the air from two fixed stations at high speed from a variety of angles.

Terminology

Stations: The positions where you stand when shooting skeet. There are eight Stations in skeet. 

Round: One complete cycle of all eight Stations which will require (25 shotgun shells and 25 clay targets per shooter.

Squad: The group of shooters that is moving through the eight stations together during a skeet round.

Bird, target or clay: A clay pigeon

Single: When a single target is thrown from one of the two houses

Doubles: When a target is thrown from the high house and the low house, simultaneously. Doubles are only thrown from Stations 1, 2, 6, 7.

“Pull”: The verbal command to call for the target to be released. Other commands may be used.

Option (shot): The shot that is taken after you miss your first shot — at the time you missed the target and from the station and house that you missed from (low house or high house). When doubles are being thrown, the option will be taken after your double is completed.

Skeet shooting basics -

The Skeet shooting sport provides a greater variety of shooting angles than possible with trapshooting as the shooter moves from station to station, and targets may be moving diagonally across the shooter’s field of vision, towards or away from the shooter. In skeet shooting, “traps” or target throwers are set at two fixed points; one in the high house and one in the low house. Both traps launch targets to a centralized point, with the high house launching targets from 10 ft above the ground and the low house launching targets from 3 feet above the ground. 

There are 8 stations in skeet shooting, with 7 arranged in a semicircle and a radius of 21 yards and the 8th position being midway between stations 1 and 7. The round begins at station 1, which is directly under the high house window, and then you work your way around to station 7, which is next to the low house. The round ends at station 8, halfway between the high and low houses.

Because you are usually shooting "passing" shots at the targets, you will need to lead the target to hit it. Leading the target is shooting where you expect the target to be.

Making your way around the stations

Do not load you gun until you are on station and ready to shoot. Once that you are loaded and ready for a target (or targets) to be thrown, the standard command is “Pull” (although there are a number of other noises that might be made!).

What happens if you miss? Your first miss is repeated immediately at the target thrown from the same station and house that you just missed and is called an “Option”. If doubles are being thrown, your “option” will be taken after both shots at the doubles have been taken. You only have one “Option” shot.

Once that you finish your turn on the station, the next shooter in the squad steps onto the station for their turn. After all shooters have had a turn at the station, the squad moves together to the next station.

  • Stations 1 & 2 require four shots each; first shooting singles at targets thrown from the high house and then the next target being thrown from the low house. After those two shots are completed, doubles are thrown. The first shot that you fire should be at the target thrown from the high house, followed by a shot at the target thrown from the low house.
  • Stations 3, 4, & 5 require two shots each; the first shot is fired at a target thrown from the high house, and the second shot is fired at the target thrown from the low house.
  • Stations 6 & 7 are each four shots, similar to Stations 1 & 2, with the only difference being that the first shot that you fire when the doubles are thrown should be at the target thrown from the low house and the second shot will be at the target thrown from the high house.
  • Station 8 requires two singles shots; one at a target thrown from the high house and then the next one at a target thrown from the low house. Stand on the right side of the Station for the shot at the target thrown from the high house and then move to the left side of the station for the shot at the target thrown from the low house. Only load one shell at a time so your gun is not loaded when moving from one side to the other of station 8 and load only after you are in position. (Typically, every shooter will shoot a single shot at the target from the high house and then every shooter will take a turn shooting the target from the low house. NCRGC events typically allow shooters to take both shots before stepping down from Station 8,)

This all adds up to 25 targets if your “option” shot was used. If you are good enough to hit every target that was thrown without using your “option”, you get to shoot an extra target that is thrown from the low house while on Station 8. If you break that target, you will have shot a perfect round with a perfect score of 25!

Trap Shooting Overview

Trap shooting was originally developed, in part, to augment bird hunting and to provide a method of practice for bird hunters.

Terminology

Post or Station: Refers to the position on the trap field where you stand and shoot.

Round: One complete cycle consisting of five shots from each of the five posts, which will require 25 shotgun shells and 25 clay targets.

Squad: The group of shooters that line up together on the different posts during a trap event.

Bird, target or clay: A clay pigeon

“Pull”: The verbal command to call for the target to be released. Other commands may be used.

Change: A command that is called when everyone changes post positions after shooting five shells from a post.

Trap shooting basics

Clay targets are thrown by a trap in a “house” or “bunker” set in the ground at the front and center of the trap field. The clay targets fly up and away from the shooters, who are positioned behind the trap house on the “shooting line.” The targets are thrown from a trap that oscillates from left to right, and because the trap is out of sight from the shooters, the shooters don’t know which angle the target is going to travel until they call for it.

There are five Posts on a trap field. The left position is Post 1 and the far-right position is Post 5. The shooter in the Post 1 position is the squad leader. The squad leader always shoots first after the shooters move to a new Post. NCRGC only has Posts at 15 yards from the trap house and does not accommodate scoring handicaps.

Making your way around the posts

Shooters each line up on a post / station and then take turns shooting. When ready, the shooter on Post 1 loads their gun and calls for a target. The shooter on Post 2 then takes their turn, followed by the shooter on Post 3, etc., until all shooters have taken a turn. The next shooter should only load their gun and call for a target after the shooter on the previous post has taken their turn. This is repeated until each shooter has had five shots from the Post that they are on.

After all shooters have fired five shots from their Post, the command “Switch” will be given and the shooters all move to the next post and repeat, with the shooter at Post 5 moving to Post 1.

This repeats until all shooters have finished the round by firing five shots from each of the five Posts, totaling 25 shots/targets.

NCRGC Rules & Regulations

General Gun Handling Rules

  • Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.
  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
  • Know your target and what is beyond.
  • Be sure that the gun is safe to operate.
  • Know how to use the gun safely.
  • Use only the correct ammunition with your gun.
  • Wear eye and ear protection.
  • Yell out “CEASE FIRE” if you see an unsafe condition.
  • If you hear CEASE FIRE, stop firing, keep the muzzle pointed downrange, and await instructions.
  • Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
  • Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

 General and Specific Range Rules – Shotgun Fields

  • Raise the range flag when the range is in use. Lower the flag when the range is not in use.
  • Shotguns with fixed stocks and target loads 7½ to 9 shot only (no slugs).
  • Skeet & Trap fields are closed when Tactical Bays are in use due to potential overspray from shot. Manual throwers can be used when Tactical Bays 1 and 2 are in use.
  • Communicate with all shooters when the range is HOT and when the range is COLD. Double check!
  • Armor piercing, tracer, explosive or incendiary ammunition and targets are prohibited.
  • Do not shoot at target frames, holder, guardrails, posts, cove, livestock, wildlife, etc.
  • Keep your range clean - pick up spent casings, misfired ammunition, used targets and trash.
  • Failure to observe these rules is cause for suspension or expulsion from the club.

 Skeet & Trap Event Safety Rules

  • No one under the age of 16 years old shall shoot or handle firearms without adult supervision.
  • Shotguns with fixed stocks and target loads 7½ to 9 shot only.
  • Never pass the Skeet or Trap houses while range is hot.
  • Keep actions/breaches open when not on a shooting station.
  • Do not load your shotgun until you are on your station (Skeet) or it is your turn to shoot (Trap).
  • Re-open actions/breaches upon completion of your stage and before leaving a station.
  • Shooters shall not pick up dropped shells or hulls. Shells and hulls should only be picked up after the Skeet/Trap round is complete.
  • Misfired/dud shells are to be kept in the shooter’s possession or turned in to the Range Safety Officer (RSO) for disposal. At no time should an unfired shell be placed in trash cans.
  • Maximum of 5 shooters per squad on the Skeet and Trap field at any given time. (Additional shooters may only be added to the Skeet squad at the discretion of the Event Director.)

Disqualification from Event

Engaging in any of the following activities may show cause for disqualification:

  • Pointing or sweeping your shotgun in unsafe direction.
  • Entering or exiting a shooting station with a loaded shotgun.
  • Having a loaded shotgun when it is not your turn to shoot.
  • A negligent or accidental discharge of your shotgun.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct.

Any decision regarding disqualification made by Event Director is final and not debatable during the event. Anyone that is disqualified may be instructed to leave the club property immediately.

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