If you’ve recently gotten into trap shooting, or you’ve been doing it for a while but need a new spot, where do you go to find a good trap shooting club?

The answer might not be as obvious as you first thought. With the rise of social media, clubs of any kind are on the decline and not attracting as many people. Fortunately, trap shooting clubs bring people together who have to be out in the real world to enjoy their activity.

Let’s find out how you can find the best trap shooting club near you!

Where Can I Find a Trap Shooting Club?

To start, the best way to find trap shooting clubs near you is also the best way to find anything near you: the internet. Obviously, we just spent a moment talking about the advantages of the real world and hobbies that don’t involve being glued to your phone for hours on end. However, finding people with the same hobbies as you will be easier if you have a connection to the rest of the world while online.

Most likely, trap shooting clubs are going to be away from major cities. You’re probably going to have the best luck finding a club in areas closer to the woods. If you do live in a bigger city, there could be some trap shooting clubs in the suburban sections of your major metropolitan areas.

Many trap shooting clubs have been around for quite a while. You’ll find them in older buildings that may look sketchy despite having modern safety conventions. But, they’ll have an up to date staff who understand all current laws and regulations.

Don’t be deterred by the facility if it doesn’t look like the latest coffeehouse or hookah lounge. Some of the nicest and most helpful people you can meet work in trap shooting clubs. All you have to do is know where to look.

Does the Trap Shooting Club Require a Membership?

Person holding dollar banknotes

Depending on the location, certain trap shooting clubs may require you to become a member to enjoy their facilities. When you find a location you are interested in attending, check out their website. Or you could call them to find out what their rules are regarding memberships.

Like a gym or community center, you may be able to purchase a one-day pass to use the ranges at a trap shooting club. If this is the case, a daily pass will most likely cost more than the same amount of time included in a membership.

Most of the time, you renew memberships for trap shooting clubs yearly or monthly. You can typically find the cost of a membership on the club’s website or by a quick phone call. Make sure you check how often they update their website, in case the rates change.

Are Trap Shooting Clubs Affiliated with the NRA?

The National Rifle Association maintains a group of members known as the NRA Range Technical Team. These skilled volunteers are experts in shooting range development, operations, and design. While the NRA does not certify or approve different shooting ranges, they can give on-site reviews. They can also give feedback on the function and appeal of trap shooting clubs.

NRA Range Services are not capable of directly providing designs for a future trap shooting club. What they can do is provide resources from their literature in case you or someone interested in opening a trap shooting club needs access to ideas. Along with the source book, NRA Range Services offers safety equipment and certified instructor outfits for sale.

How Can I Find out If the Trap Shooting Club Information Is Accurate?

Man use his shotgun for trap shooting

Certain websites are available to help maintain current and accurate information on trap shooting clubs throughout the country. You can search databases to find locations nearest to you. The info will include their rates for membership and how often they accept new members.

If the search doesn’t list a site, or if their information is out of date, it might mean there’s nobody local to the club submitting new information. Websites such as Clay Targets Online rely on users to submit information about all of their local clubs. Those in charge of the website are unable to reach out to individual club owners without the necessary contact information.

You can also find reviews of trap shooting clubs online. This information is subject to approval by the review website. Keep in mind, you should take all reviews with a grain of salt if you haven’t been to a location yourself.

Reviews are often unmoderated and, in the case of trap shooting clubs, a bad experience with equipment or one individual staff member can lead to a one-star review.

What Should I Look for in a Trap Shooting Club?

When planning a trip to a trap shooting club, there are a number of different options to consider. Consider how many different ranges are available, and how many different types of guns are allowed at a given club.

Club details on simple things like hours of operation and whether it is open to the public will show within a few clicks of accessing the website. From there, you should think about how long you intend to be at trap shooting clubs on given days.

Size of the club

The size is much more important than it might occur to you at first. How big is a trap shooting club? If you go to an area that is incredibly popular, you might find yourself waiting in a line for a while before you get the chance to shoot. Take this into consideration if you live in a smaller town. You just might be able to figure out the best time to avoid the crowds.

Food and beverage

Are you planning to make an entire day out of your trips to the trap shooting club? If that’s the case, you’ll need to find out if the facility serves food. The last thing you want to do is to shoot on an empty stomach. You’ll lose focus and possibly even endanger others if you feel too exhausted to continue without a good meal.

Check the club’s website to determine what kind of food you can order while at the club. If there isn’t anything available after a full day, you might want to think about packing a meal to take with you.

Trap Shooting Clubs and the National Shooting Sports Foundation

Certain trap shooting clubs partner with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, better known as the NSSF. This organization was founded in 1961 to encourage suicide prevention, gun safety, and wildfire prevention.

The NSSF exists to help develop target shooting facilities, including trap shooting clubs. They offer information, partnerships between different ranges across the country, and community outreach programs.

If a range is interested in earning five stars from the NSSF, they have to demonstrate excellence in all subareas of operations and management. As of August 2018, there were a total of 33 ranges throughout the United States with five-star ratings.

Practicing Safety at Trap Shooting Clubs

No matter what type of gun range you attend, whether it’s at trap shooting clubs or an open range, you must remember to exercise caution wherever you go. Certain rules take priority, and we’re going to share a few of them in this section.

Muzzle direction

The direction of the muzzle is rule number one for anyone who has handled a gun in their life. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, whether it’s down or away from anyone in the immediate vicinity. Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.

The safest direction to point a gun is always the direction away from anything else, even if this means the sky. Also, consider ricochets. You don’t want to take any chance of an accidental shoot in any form.

Human safety vs. gun safety

Despite the fact that guns come equipped with safety locks, you need to remember the potential for human error. Safeties, unfortunately, can malfunction. You should treat every gun as if it could fire at any given moment.

If you dislodge your gun from a holster and it strikes an object or the ground hard enough, it’s entirely possible for it to discharge a shot. You don’t even need to touch the trigger for this to happen. Therefore, when you aren’t using it, just keep the gun unloaded.

Enjoying Your Time at Trap Shooting Clubs

After finding a great spot, it’s time actually to venture out to a trap shooting club. Make sure you understand the location’s hours and take into account any major holidays that might interfere with the schedule.

You can often find trap shooting clubs in mountainous areas, which see some harsh weather in the winter time. Even if you have a vehicle that can navigate a blizzard and you’re firmly committed to getting some practice in, remember that trap shooting clubs are a private business. They can close anytime, weather-related or not.

The most important thing you can do is to have fun while at trap shooting clubs. As long as you play it safe, you’ll run into people just like you, and it makes for a fun family trip as well!

Keywords: Trap shooting clubs

Featured Image: CC BY-SA 2.0, by nate bolt, via Flickr

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