Take Your Best Shot with the Trap Thrower

The clay shooting sports use the trap thrower to launch clay targets, otherwise known as clay pigeons. They launch from various directions during shooting and marksmanship competitions.

Trap throwers come in different shapes and sizes. They hold and launch varying numbers of clay targets. Amateurs professionals use these clay throwers in competitions, and they are even part of the Olympic games.

Clay pigeon shooting has a number of disciplines. All of them use a clay thrower to launch clay targets.

Facts About the Trap Thrower You Should Know

trap thrower
Image via YouTube

The trap thrower is a device ranging from a simple machine to an advanced system, complete with computerized operation and monitoring.

Typically, most trap throwers are rotational, spring loaded, flywheel devices that launch clay targets (pigeons) one or two at a time to a distance of up to 100 meters. The device holds the clay targets, which is known as a “house.” Clay targets launch in various ways, including different speeds, trajectories, and elevations.

Some machines are hand-loaded, hand-cocked, and hand-released. They release one clay target at a time. People use these for personal practice, although sometimes you can use them for sporting events. For competitions, the more sophisticated fully automatic devices operate using electricity. They can also function pneumatically, and can hold up to 600 clay targets at a time. These machines can either operate by remote control or even the sound of a human voice (voice-actuated control).

In Olympic competitions, they use banks of trap throwers that are all calibrated with computers that monitor the competition for accuracy in scoring.

Skeet throwers are other machines that also launch clay targets in a way very similar to the trap throwers. The only difference being the variations for the game of skeet incorporated into the design.

Competitions, Targets, and the Trap Thrower

The clay thrower will launch your clay targets in the mode and manner in which you program it or operate it manually. The targets you use are different for the various disciplines in clay shooting and the competition taking place. There are major differences in the disciplines and the way they use clay targets, as well as the dimensions of the clay targets themselves.

In order to understand the differences in the disciplines and the machines used to throw the targets, let’s take a look at some of the targets and competitions.

1. Trap shooting

In this discipline, targets fly one or two at a time from one or more trap throwers 15 meters from the shooter. They throw the clay targets at various elevations, speeds, angles, and trajectories. Included as sub-disciplines in this category are down-the-line, universal trench, double rise, double trap, automatic ball trap, and others.

trap and skeet shooting
Image via Cabelas

These disciplines use standard clay targets. The dimensions are a weight of no more than 105 grams and a diameter of 110 centimeters. They also have a height of 25 to 26 millimeters in international competition. In American competition, the dimensions of the clay pigeons are limited to a maximum weight of 100 grams. The diameter is 108 millimeters, and the height is 28 to 29 millimeter.

2. Skeet shooting

Skeet is a term that has a Scandinavian origin, although the sport began in the United States. Clay targets soar one or two at a time from a pair of trap throwers located 40 meters apart from each other in a semi-circle array. In skeet, the participants shoot from seven positions in the skeet shooting set-up. All of the targets fly at pre-determined trajectories and regulated speeds.

There are three main variations of skeet shooting — English Skeet, Olympic skeet, and NSSA skeet. In the NSSA competitions, combinations of single and double clay targets are used to form a total of 25 targets for each round. There is also an eighth shooting position in NSSA and Olympic skeet. Skeet shooting clay targets have the same dimensions as those of trap shooting.

When Looking for a Trap Thrower

There are different suppliers of trap throwers available. Choose either personal, individual models, group or competitive events. Take some time to evaluate your needs in the world of clay shooting sports and consider what you require. Also consider what you can reasonably afford, and to what level you plan on taking your participation.

You may be a beginner and only need a trap thrower to practice with, or you may be an event organizer. Maybe you want professional, regulation equipment suitable for competitions.

In any event, an accurate appraisal of what you need to combine with preparing yourself sufficiently to meet those needs should be all you require. That will help you to be ready with a trap thrower from which you will benefit.

Dakota R.

My name is Dakota, Since I was a little boy, hunting has been my favorite things to do. Being outdoors meant I got to spend more one on one time with my father. I've learned so much from my dad over the years, and I hope you can learn and enjoy following my blog!

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