Trap shooting

Typical trap shoot line at an amateur event
A competitor at the 2000 Summer Olympics trap shooting with an over/under double-barreled shotgun
A 12-gauge shotgun shell in a transparent plastic hull, allowing the contents to be seen
A modern, automatic trap machine.
Glenn Eller at the 2008 Summer Olympics double trap finals

One of the three major disciplines of competitive clay pigeon shooting (shooting shotguns at clay targets).

- Trap shooting

209 related topics


Double trap

Shotgun shooting sport, one of the ISSF shooting events.

The layout of double trap shooting is similar to that of trap shooting.

Sporting clays

Form of clay pigeon shooting, often described as "golf with a shotgun" because a typical course includes from 10 to 15 different shooting stations laid out over natural terrain.

Clay pigeon shooting at a professional level – 2000 Summer Olympics

Unlike trap and skeet, which are games of repeatable target presentations, sporting clays simulates the unpredictability of live-quarry shooting, offering a great variety of trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations, distances, and target sizes.

Skeet shooting

Recreational and competitive activity where participants, using shotguns, attempt to break clay targets mechanically flung into the air from two fixed stations at high speed from a variety of angles.

Aerial view of a skeet shooting range in Cuxhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Illustration of skeet game
Skeet shooting, Fort Stewart's Skeet Range

The others are trap shooting and sporting clays.


Long-barreled firearm designed to shoot a straight-walled cartridge known as a shotshell, which usually discharges numerous small pellet-like spherical sub-projectiles called shot, or sometimes a single solid projectile called a slug.

Series of individual 1/1,000,000-second exposures showing shotgun firing shot and wadding separation
Vincent Hancock in the men's skeet finals at the 2008 Summer Olympics
A Gurkha Contingent trooper in Singapore armed with a folding stock pump shotgun
An American marine fires a Benelli M4 shotgun during training in Arta, Djibouti, 23 December 2006
Confederate cavalryman
A United States Marine carrying a Winchester M97 shotgun during World War II
A view of the break-action of a typical double-barrelled shotgun, shown with the action open
A Winchester M1897, one of the first successful pump-action shotgun designs
A modern reproduction of the Winchester M1887 lever-action shotgun
Closeup of MTs255
A Browning A-5 semi-automatic shotgun
A United States Army soldier armed with a Mossberg 500 shotgun
Bond Arms Cowboy Defender .45 Colt/.410 Shotshell Derringer
U.S. Marines fire their shotguns
Loading 12-gauge shells
Two rounds of Fiocchi 12-gauge rubber buckshot
A homemade lupara
A RCMP officer in 2010 armed with a shotgun outfitted to fire beanbag rounds
Barack Obama skeet shooting with a Browning Citori 525 on the range at Camp David

Shotguns are also used for target-shooting sports such as skeet, trap and sporting clays, which involve flying clay disks, known as "clay pigeons", thrown in various ways by a dedicated launching device called a "trap".

ISSF Olympic trap

Officially referred to only as trap, and also known in the United States as international trap, bunker trap, trench or international clay pigeon, the single-target Olympic trap shooting event has a history of more than a hundred years.

Choke (firearms)

Tapered constriction of a gun barrel at the muzzle end.

Illustration of the effect that different types of chokes have on the spread ("pattern") of shotgun projectiles
Greatly exaggerated illustration of different choke constrictions, German names: 
A: Cylinder (no choke) 
B: Improved cylinder 
C: Glocken 
D: Skeet 
E: Full (normal) 
F: Spitzbogen 
G: Jug 
H: Paradox
Left: Permanent choke. Center: Replaceable choke inserted into the muzzle. Right: Threaded barrel without choke insert. (For illustration only; a threaded barrel must never be fired without a properly inserted choke tube.)

A skeet shooter shooting at close crossing targets might use 0.13 mm of constriction to produce a 75 cm diameter pattern at a distance of 20 m. A trap shooter shooting at distant targets traveling away from the gun might use 0.75 mm of constriction to produce a 75 cm diameter pattern at 35 m. Special chokes for turkey hunting, which requires long range shots at the small head and neck of the bird, can go as high as 1.5 mm. The use of too much choke and a small pattern increases the difficulty of hitting the target; the use of too little choke produces large patterns with insufficient pellet density to reliably break targets or kill game.


Clay pigeon shooting at a professional level – 2000 Summer Olympics

Down-the-line (DTL) clay pigeon shooting is a variation of trap shooting which is very popular in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

John Philip Sousa

American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era known primarily for American military marches.

Sousa in 1900
Sousa's birthplace on G St., S.E. in Washington, D.C.
Annual military observances at Sousa's Grave
John Philip Sousa's grave, Congressional Cemetery
US Postage stamp issue of 1940
Sousa and his newly formed civilian band, 1893
Sheet music cover, 1896
Sousa in 1900 by Elmer Chickering

Sousa ranked as one of the all-time great trapshooters and was enshrined in the Trapshooting Hall of Fame.


Type of live bird wing shooting competition.

Donald Mackintosh, one of the gold medallists in pigeon shooting at the 1900 Olympics

Popular magazines have covered the sport—for example, Field & Stream and Sports Illustrated But, over time, the sport has fallen out of widespread favor due to costs, alternative shooting sports such as trap shooting, skeet shooting, and sporting clays, and animal rights activism over a blood sport.

Passenger pigeon

Extinct species of pigeon that was endemic to North America.

Earliest published illustration of the species (a male), Mark Catesby, 1731
Mounted male passenger pigeon, Field Museum of Natural History
Band-tailed pigeon, a species in the related genus Patagioenas
The physically similar mourning dove is not closely related.
Skeleton of a male bird, 1914
Musical notes documenting male vocalizations, compiled by Wallace Craig, 1911
Specimen in flying pose, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Live male in Whitman's aviary, 1896/98
Illustration of migrating flocks, Frank Bond, 1920
Juvenile (left), male (center), female (right), Louis Agassiz Fuertes, 1910
Alert parent bird posing defiantly towards the camera
Acorns in South Carolina, among the diet of this bird
Internal organs of Martha, the last individual: cr. denotes the crop, gz. the gizzard, 1915
Nesting captive bird, wary of the photographer
Nest and egg in Whitman's aviary
Preserved egg, Muséum de Toulouse
Live nestling or squab
Immature bird; the young were vulnerable to predators after leaving the nest
Billing pair by John James Audubon, from The Birds of America, 1827–1838. This image has been criticized for its scientific inaccuracy.
Painting of a male, K. Hayashi, c. 1900
Depiction of a shooting in northern Louisiana, Smith Bennett, 1875
1881 spread showing methods of trapping pigeons for shooting contests
Pigeon net in Canada, by James Pattison Cockburn, 1829
Trapper Albert Cooper with blind decoy pigeons for luring wild birds, c. 1870
Male and female by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, frontispiece of William Butts Mershon's 1907 The Passenger Pigeon
Life drawing by Charles R. Knight, 1903
"Buttons", the second last confirmed wild passenger pigeon, Cincinnati Zoo
Whitman's aviary with passenger pigeons and other species, 1896/98
"The Folly of 1857 and the Lesson of 1912", frontispiece to William T. Hornaday's Our vanishing wild life (1913), showing Martha in life, the endling of the species.
Martha at the Smithsonian Museum, 2015
Pigeons being shot to save crops in Iowa, 1867
Taxidermized male and female, Laval University Library

The pigeons were used as living targets in shooting tournaments, such as "trap-shooting", the controlled release of birds from special traps.