The “Sporting Clays” clay target game began in Britain and Europe as an approximation of field shooting for birds and small game, such as rabbits. Unlike the shouldered gun when a trap shooter calls for the “bird,” the SC shooter must start with the butt of the shotgun below the shoulder.
12 gauge shotguns of any action type are used. Gas-autoloaders and o/u doubles are most popularly effective. Single shot types are impractical for the many paired target opportunities. “Trap load” shot shells (1145fps/max 1 1/8oz #71/2, 8 or 9 lead shot) are expected. Some shooters test their skill with smaller (16, 20, 28 ga. or .410 bore) shotguns.
Besides the standard diameter clay target from trap shooting, ‘midi’ and ‘mini’ clays are used also as targets. A heavier, flatter, disk-shaped target (battue) may be thrown nearly vertically or rolled, on-edge, along the ground for a rabbit simulation. Targets may be presented as singles, doubles, nested doubles of standard and mini or report doubles where the second target is released at the sound of the first shot. Target speeds, directions and angles change from station to station.A typical course of fire might involve 5 – 10 stations of 10 or more shooting opportunities each. Every club course is different, every shooting station is different. Laid out in the natural environment, a “grouse station” might have targets zipping through the trees. A “duck decoy” station would have the targets floating in towards the shooter or perhaps from behind you, out over your head. You might be required to shoot from a sitting position as well. A “pheasant/rabbit” station could have the first clay thrown nearly straight up and upon report, the rabbit clay is released to roll along the ground, or the reverse. If that rabbit clay hits a bump and jumps into the air, well, that’s another field shooting puzzle to cope with! Shooting wobble doubles from 27 yards over a typical trap clay machine is another challenge.
Unfortunately, it has not been possible to establish a permanent course of fire at the PGRGC range facility on Hartman Road, west of the city of Prince George. Due to the necessity of both set-up and take-down for equipment, as well as security and safety issues, practice is limited and requires both lead time and prior arrangement.