One of the most frequently asked questions at American Shooting
Centers is; “What is Sporting Clays?”
Sporting Clays is the fastest growing and most exciting clay target game. All courses are unique (like golf courses) and here at ASC, we modify our courses on a regular basis to keep them interesting.
A Sporting Clays Course is made up of a series of 10 to 15 “Stations” that a group, or “squad” of shooters (1 to 6 people) move through. New shooters are welcome to shoot only the more basic Stations if they choose and there is no requirement to shoot all the stations. A 50 target “Round” takes about an hour. A 100 bird “Round” takes about two hours. It’s kind of like choosing to play 9 or 18 holes of golf! Golf style carts are usually available to rent if desired, but are not necessary.
All shooting starts at our Sporting Clays Pro Shop where customers purchase the number of targets they wish to shoot, eye and/or ear protection and any other accessory items they may need.
All gauges of shotguns are allowed although 12 gauge and 20 gauge are the most popular. All shooting is done “from the shoulder” so no “riottype” shotguns should be used.
At each of the numbered Stations, there is a specified shooting location or “shooting cage” as it’s called along with other amenities like benches, gun racks and in most cases water coolers.
Also at each Station, there will be two clay target machines (called traps) located in such a manner so as to present a unique challenge or “presentation” of the two targets, in most cases simulating some sort of flight characteristics of real birds. There is also, at each Station, a control button system that allows for the release of either of the two targets, or both at the same time if desired (shooters choice). Normally, one of ASC’s Field Staff will accompany each group to guide, score, release the targets and answer any questions.
All firearms are always carried unloaded and “open” from Station to Station. Only when it is time for a shooter to take his/her turn, will their firearm be moved from the provided gun rack to the shooting cage where it will be loaded with either one or two (maximum) “target load” shotgun shells.
Shooters normally rotate who goes first at each Station. And the person who is first always is allowed to “view” the pair of targets so they know what’s coming. This is called a “Show Pair”. All shooters in the squad can also watch the Show Pair and thereby get prepared for their turn.
Once prepared, the shooter in the cage will call “Pull!” at which time the person scoring will push a button that will release the first target. At the shooters option, he/she can choose to shoot the designated targets at each Station in any order they wish. Normally, all shooters in a Squad will shoot the same sequences, but, it is not necessary.
The Squad will then proceed from Station to Station until they have shot their predetermined number of targets. They will then return to the Pro Shop.
Shooters should wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Eye and ear protection is mandatory for all persons on the range (available at our Pro Shop). Things like additional beverages (non-alcoholic), sunscreen, etc. are optional.
The shooter may start with a low gun or a pre-mounted gun when calling for the target.
Only two shells may be loaded.
If doubles are presented and both are broken with one shot, both are counted as kills.
Up to 3 malfunctions of the gun are allowed before the shooter “loses” birds
Chokes or guns may be changed between fields if desired.
Shotshells can be pretty much any kind of Target or Dove/Quail loads. We must restrict any shot size larger than 7 ½ lead or #7 steel due to shot fall limitations. Likewise, any 3 inch shells are not allowed. Historically, Steel Shot has been restricted because it was only available in large shot sizes and it has a tendency to ricochet. Lately, however, shotshell manufactures have been producing “Target” style loads with steel shot, and those, in size #7 or smaller, are now allowed.