View Full Version : Trying out Sporting Clays

March 21, 2002, 03:24 AM
I'm going to be trying Sporting Clays for the first time this weekend. I'm taking a trip out to Reno and I figured might take a break from gamblin and head out to Sage Hill Clay Sports in Reno. Has anyone been there? If so, what did you think of the place?

Well I've shot trap and skeet for a little while now but I figure I'll try sporting clays. So I've got a few questions...

How many shells should I bring?

Do I really need to have the gun dismounted? I know its the rules, but its not necessary in trap or skeet, why is it necessary sporting clays?

Will I be at a serious disadvantage with my good old 870?

Any other advice for a beginner in sporting clays?

Thanks guys

Dave McC
March 21, 2002, 05:30 AM
Bring lots of shells. Most SC rounds are 50-100 shells. While we can get technical, an oz of 8s will cover most targets well. Use an open choke like IC.

You can shoot mounted, but a round of SC is a wonderful place to work on your mount. This pays off on upland stuff big time.

You see few 870s in the winner's circle but, use it anyway. Don't worry about the score, just have fun and shoot the best you can. After a few rounds, note how much faster and better you are at target acquistion and unconsciously judging leads.

March 21, 2002, 07:21 AM
I take one more box than technically needed- for reshoots due to mech failures or broken targets, etc. ie 100rd course, take 125.
Your 870 is fine. I shoot for practice not score so I'll shoot one of my upland gun or my duck/goose gun as often as my 390 Sporting.
toss everything into a 5 gal bucket incl a hand towel and a bottle of water. don't forget ear/eye protection.
Have fun!

March 21, 2002, 08:04 AM
When shooting sporting, I appreciate it when a new shooter acknowledges this is his first time at the game. Everyone has a first time and I've found other shooters understanding and accomodating. If you can, hook up with a squad shooting the easiest targets. No need to get discouraged by facing a 40 yard crosser that you only see for about three seconds.

Don't worry about your scores. Just like the first time you shot skeet or trap, the tally doesn't matter as long as you are learning a new game. Your pump gun provides an additional challenge but if you don't care about scores it doesn't matter. As advised above, bring an extra box of shells.

You will face different target presentations -- singles, following pairs (one bird released right after the other), report pairs (the second bird is released when the gun is fired at the first bird) and true pairs (two birds released at the same time). If you are shooting 50, the usual routine is a single at which you can shoot twice and two pairs. 100 birds is most often pairs of varying descriptions.

The current NSCA rules do permit a mounted gun. I generally shoot low gun for all but one or two stations.

Don't put shells in your gun until you are in the shooting stand. Always keep your action open unless you are shooting. Bring some water if it's hot. A shoulder bag to carry shells, etc. is very helpful. Enjoy.

March 21, 2002, 10:51 AM
And don't be afraid to tell the other shooters that this is your first time. Most will be glad to help you. If they don't, get us their names so we can break their legs:D

All sporting clays targets are not the same size, look out for Midi and Mini targets and those !$#%!!#&%$ Battues. The rabbits are fun tho':D

March 21, 2002, 12:24 PM
I would bring about 250 rounds, cause there is two days in a weekend! Once you try it Saturday, you will want to go back on Sunday :D

The reason you start with an unmounted gun is that sporting clays is to simulate a real hunt. Sporting clays is a more instinctive shoot than trap, which is why I actually do better when shooting sporting clays...at trap I find myself thinking to much about breaking the clay and usually end up missing.

Let us know how you did when you get back...good shooting!


March 21, 2002, 01:14 PM
Actually---I shoot better with the gun dis-mounted. Don't know why----I just do for some reason.

The 870 is fine----just don't get in a big hurry and short-shuck it--even though things are moving along quite fast.

March 21, 2002, 06:30 PM
This is a 15 station course. Does that mean 150 targets?

I bought two of those 100 boxes at Walmart, Federal 8 shot and Winchest 7 1/2 shot...is that sufficient?

Dave R
March 21, 2002, 08:22 PM
bamf, I shot sporting clays for the first time today! Its a hoot!

The course I shot was only 50 shells. I mean, the course called for 50 shots. And that's what I shot. Best to take a lot more than you need, though. I would've done another round if I had time!

If you shoot a pump when you hunt, then bring your pump. It _will_ make you a better shooter. I went 0 for my first 8, then wound up 3/4 on some of the later stations. I shout mounted. That was plenty challenging. But before next hunting season, I'll be shooting un-mounted to warm up.

March 21, 2002, 09:18 PM
Even recreational Skeet/Trap (committed) shooters tend to dwell on their misses . SC recreational shooters realize that they are gonna miss some , so , they tend to take joy on the ones they hit.

Shoot for the fun not for perfection ; perfection is too elusive and toooo expensive . But , it is YOUR money and you get to spend it .

Dave McC
March 22, 2002, 04:39 AM
Don't get all bound up in the score thing. Have fun,work on the shots you have trouble with, and you'll get better and decompressed allasametime...