Clay shooting is a popular sport, otherwise known as \u201cclay pigeon shooting\u201d or formally as \u201cinanimate bird shooting.\u201d In this sport, a shooter uses a firearm to aim and fire on round flying clay targets known as \u201cclay targets,\u201d also called \u201cclay pigeons.\u201d\n\nClay shooting includes over 20 different types of \u201cdisciplines\u201d that comprise the sport, including sporting clay, trap, and skeet.\n\nOriginally, the sport involved shooting live pigeons, but they outlawed this practice in 1921 and replaced the targets with clay. That is why they're called clay pigeons. In most cases, shooters use a shotgun for this sport.\nThe Basic Types of Clay Shooting\nIn the sport of clay shooting, there are many different forms. Over 20 types of clay shooting as sports exist, and these disciplines are all somewhat different from each other. Let\u2019s take a look at some of the forms of clay shooting most commonly engaged in throughout the world.\nSporting Clays\nThe sport of clay shooting\u2019s biggest following is for the English Sporting discipline. In the other disciplines, they only use standard targets. For this discipline, there are many different sizes involved, and basically, anything goes.\n\nShooters\u00a0use a wide variety of angles, speeds, trajectories, elevations, and distances for targets for sporting clays. This discipline is intended to simulate real-world live quarry shooting. Sub-disciplines within the group are international (FITASC), English sporting, Compak sporting, and super sporting sports trap.\nTrap Shooting\nIn this version, targets launch one or two at a time with varying distances from 16 to 27 yards from the shooter in 1-yard increments at various speeds and trajectories.\nSkeet Shooting\n\n\nTargets launch in single or double form from opposite ends of a 40-meter semi-circular arc set-up. Sometimes, there are up to 25 targets per round, although this number varies.\nMaze Clays Shooting\nMaze is a new game where a set-up launches from 6 to 9 traps, targeting presentations that vary from 10 to 60 yards at changing angles, from sharp to wide.\nDown-the-Line\nIn this version, targets launch to 45 to 50 meters at a height of 2.75 meters with a 22-degree spread on any side of the center line.\nOlympic Trap\nOlympic trap is complex and varied. Find out all the details about this special form by catching up on the Olympic games.\nUniversal Trench\nUniversal uses five traps at different elevations and angles for this variation.\nHelice or Electrocibles Shooting\nThe targets in this game are designed to have an erratic and unpredictable flight, making the shots more challenging. Usually, two-winged plastic propellers create the unique flight path of the targets.\n\n\nTypes of Shotguns Used in Clay Shooting\nThere are many shotguns typically used for the sport of clay shooting, here is a list of the most commonly found shotguns most people use for the sport.\nPump-action\nThis shotgun features a single barrel that reloads from a tubular-shaped magazine and a slider grip that comes in away from the shooter. These guns are popular in the U.S., and less so in Europe. This gun is slower than most other guns except the single shot shotgun. It's similar in mechanical complexity to a semi-automatic weapon but does not feature a similar recoil reduction.\nSemi-auto\nThis gun features one barrel that loads a new shell automatically from a magazine after every shot. However, it requires the shooter to fire each individual round manually. The design of this gun includes reduced recoil, is lightweight, and allows rapid follow-up shots.\nOver-under\nThis gun features two barrels, one on top of the other. Usually, most models have one trigger, but some feature two. There are three sub-types for the sport of clay shooting. The first is for trap and are generally longer barreled and heavier. The second is for skeet, and these are typically lightweight guns that operate more rapidly with a barrel length ranging from 26 to 28 inches, typically with open chokes. The third is for sporting, and these guns have an interchangeable choke with long barrel lengths up to 28 to 30 inches.\nSide-by-side\nA side-by-side is just like it sounds. It's a two-barrel shotgun, with both barrels next to each other horizontally.\nSingle shot\nMany competitors use single shot shotguns for singles trap shooting. These guns have one shot at a time and are manually reloaded shell by shell.\n\n\nWhere to Enjoy Clay Shooting\nIf you want to enjoy clay shooting, want to find a skeet shooting event near you,\u00a0 you can find spots to engage in the sport in most areas of the world. Find more information about locations to enjoy clay shooting in the USA at websites devoted to the topic.\n\nIt\u2019s okay if you are a beginner, you can sign up for courses and receive instruction and help at every step of the way. Just check with your local gun club, or ask a local gun store for recommendations.