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Official Store of Beretta Shotguns, Apparel, & Accessories

Difference Between Trap and Skeet Shooting

When it comes to clay target shooting, two popular sports that come to mind are skeet shooting and trap shooting. Both sports involve shooting at clay pigeons that are launched into the air. While the two sports share similarities, there are distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we will delve into the nuances of skeet shooting and trap shooting, exploring their rules, equipment, and key differences. Whether you're a seasoned shooter or a beginner looking to get started, this guide will help you decide which sport is the right fit for you.

What is Skeet Shooting?

Skeet shooting, also known as "skeet," is a shotgun shooting sport that originated in the early 20th century. The objective of skeet shooting is to break clay pigeons that are launched from two different target machines known as "high" and "low" houses. These houses are positioned at different heights and angles, creating a dynamic shooting experience.

Types of Skeet Shooting

There are two main types of skeet shooting: American Skeet Shooting and International Skeet Shooting.

  1. American Skeet Shooting

    American skeet shooting is the most popular form of skeet shooting in the United States. It is governed by the National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA). In American skeet, shooters move through a semi-circular range with eight shooting stations. The targets are launched from the high and low houses, and shooters must hit a total of 25 targets per round.

  2. International Skeet Shooting

    International skeet shooting is governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and is recognized as an Olympic sport. Unlike American skeet shooting, international skeet shooting takes place on a rectangular range with eight shooting stations. The targets are launched from the high and low houses at different angles, providing a challenging shooting experience for competitors.

What is Trap Shooting?

Trap shooting, also known as "trap," is another popular form of clay target shooting. Unlike skeet shooting, which involves shooting at targets launched from two different houses, trap shooting involves shooting at targets launched from a single machine or "trap" house located at the far end of the range.

Types of Trap Shooting

There are several variations of trap shooting, including American Trap Shooting, Olympic Trap or Bunker Trap Shooting, Double Trap Shooting, and Wobble Trap Shooting.

  1. American Trap Shooting

    American trap shooting is the most widely practiced form of trap shooting in the United States. It is typically conducted using a single launcher positioned in a small trap house. The clay targets are launched away from the shooter, who stands at one of the five available stations along the range.

  2. Olympic Trap or Bunker Trap Shooting

    Olympic trap shooting, also known as "bunker trap," is an internationally recognized Olympic discipline. In this variation, a line of 16 machines is used to launch targets, providing a more challenging experience compared to American trap shooting. The targets are launched at different angles, simulating various shooting scenarios.

  3. Double Trap Shooting

    Double trap shooting is a variation of traditional trap shooting in which two targets are launched simultaneously from the trap house. Shooters must engage both targets individually, requiring quick reflexes and precise shooting skills.

  4. Wobble Trap Shooting

    Wobble trap shooting is another variation of traditional trap shooting. The main difference is that the flight path of the targets is much more unpredictable. An oscillation mechanism in the trap house makes the trap move up and down as well as side to side, providing a challenging and dynamic shooting experience.

Key Differences Between Skeet Shooting and Trap Shooting

Now that we have explored the basics of skeet shooting and trap shooting, let's highlight some of the key differences between the two sports:

Target Movement

In skeet shooting, targets are launched from two different houses at varying angles, making it a more challenging sport that requires shooters to adapt to different trajectories. In contrast, trap shooting involves targets launched from a single house at a consistent angle, making it slightly easier to predict the targets' flight path.

Rules and Scoring

While the rules of skeet and trap shooting are similar, there are some key differences. In skeet shooting, shooters must engage targets from both the high and low houses to complete a round. In contrast, trap shooting requires shooters to hit a certain number of targets at each station before moving on to the next round.

Equipment

While both sports require shotguns and ammunition, the type of shotgun and ammunition used can vary. Skeet shooting typically requires a shotgun with a shorter barrel and tight choke, as the targets are launched at a closer range. Trap shooting, on the other hand, requires a shotgun with a longer barrel and open choke, as the targets are launched at a farther range.

Trap and Skeet Shooting at NSS

When choosing between skeet shooting and trap shooting, consider your preferences and skill level. If you enjoy adapting to different trajectories and challenging yourself with varying target angles, skeet shooting may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a sport that is slightly more predictable and beginner-friendly, trap shooting may be a better fit. Whether you know which you want, or you are unsure, we have both at Northlake Shooting Sports at our huge outdoor range. We have shotgun rentals, ammunition stocks, and targets so you don’t have to worry about having all your own equipment.

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