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Old September 5, 2005, 06:47 PM   #1
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difference between trap and skeet?

hey guys my dad just got into town and wants to go shooting, i would love to take my shotty out again, and he has a similar Rem 870, my question what is trap and what is skeet, i heard one can be done with a pump, and one is not allowed, just what i have been told, please set the record straight for me, thanks again.

Molon Labe

meaning come and get them
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Old September 5, 2005, 07:33 PM   #2
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It depents on what range you go to. Some ranges are more lax on the actual rules, so long as you only use two shells at a time. The range in my town just wants you to have fun and be safe. Its different if your in a competition, but if your there to have fun it might not matter. Trap is certainly easier b/c the pigeons are flying away from you, not across like skeet.
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Old September 5, 2005, 08:17 PM   #3
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Trap is the oldest of the shotgunning games. Its name comes from the fact that live pigeons (the game's original target) were held in box-like "traps".

A standard Trap field (as defined by the Amateur Trapshooting Association, the game's sanctioning organization) is laid out like five spokes radiating from the hub of a wheel. The trap machine is located at the "hub." Each of the five shooting stations is located on a "spoke" 16 yards from the hub. Each station is located three yards apart. Further, there are markers along the "spoke" indicating the yardage from the trap from 16 through 27 yards.

The trap machine, located in a partially buried trap-house at the "hub" of this wheel-like layout, launches standard clay targets anywhere within 22-degrees to the right or left of the machine's center. The machine oscilates at random, so the shooter never knows whether the target will fly to the right, left, or center. It is calibrated to launch the targets at approximately 41 miles-per-hour, with a trajectory that places them between 8 and 12 feet above the ground at a distance of 10 feet downrange of the trap, and no less than 48 nor more than 52 yards out.

A Trap squad may include up to five shooters, each shooting anywhere from 16 to 27 yards back from the trap-house depending upon their handicap. At the beginning of a round each shooter, taking turns, shoots five rounds from their station. After all five shooters have shot, they move (from left to right) to the next station where this process is repeated. At the end of a round each shooter will have shot five rounds from each of the five stations for a total of 25 rounds per shooter.

A trap-puller/scorer (the individual--not part of the squad--who activates the trap machine by remote control upon hearing a squad member's command to "Pull") officiates over the round. After the first five shots are fired by each squad member, the puller/scorer will call out "Change" and then the scores, e.g., "1-4, 2-3, 3-1, 4-5, 5-2" meaning that the first shooter broke four, the second three, etc. In order to score a "hit" on a target, the shooter MUST knock off a VISIBLE piece of it. What constitutes a "visible" piece is often a subject of considerable (and sometimes heated) discussion between a shooter and the puller/scorer. If the latter doesn't see the target break (or see the contested "piece") he/she will call it "Lost."

The pace of Trap is fast, and you must be ready to shoot as soon as your turn comes up; however, as a matter of courtesy the gun is not loaded until the shooter two stations before you has called for his/her bird. Guns are UNLOADED and the action OPEN when moving between stations.

Trap-shooters are ranked based upon the percentage of the targets they break over time. For example, according to the ATA a "AA" shooter will break 97% or better of his/her targets. That's good shooting!

The guns used are typically 12-gauge; however, smaller gauges may be used in some events. The problem with the smaller gauges is that their decreased shot charges are a competitive handicap. No gauges larger than 12 may be used. Most often you will find competitors using specialized single-shot guns, over/unders (for doubles Trap), and semi-automatics (used for singles and doubles).

The maximum allowable load is three dram-equivalents of powder pushing no more than 1.125 oz. of shot, and only lead shot is allowable, with the largest pellet size being 7.5.

If you like fast, disciplined shooting, and can match the temperment and timing of your squad-mates, then give Trap a try. Incidently, if you want to see the best-of-the-best in Trap-shooting, then attend the Grand American (it's the World Series of Trap-shooting!).


"Skeet" is name of a specific shotgunning game created after the turn of the 20th century by three hunters: C.E. Davies; his son, Henry Davies; and William H. Foster (then editor of the National Sportsman magazine). Originally called "Round The Clock," the field was laid out in a circle 50 yards in diameter, with shooting stations at each "hour" position. The trap was placed at 12 o'clock and threw its targets toward the 6 o'clock position. Each shooter fired two rounds from each of the twelve "hour" stations around the circle. Then a final shot from the center of the circle at a target flying overhead.

Needless to say, this field arrangement used up a substantial amount of land. Then there was the problem of falling shot...everywhere (on spectators, on automobiles, on livestock, etc.). The Davies and Mr. Foster soon revised the field layout to a semicircle, and incorporated two traps: one located at 3 o'clock (called the Low House trap because its targets are launched from three feet above the ground) and the other at 9 (called the High House trap because its targets are launched from 10 feet above the ground). They also went to eight shooting stations. Station One is directly under the High House; Station Seven is directly under the Low House; Stations Two through Six are on the arc of the semi-circle at the eight o'clock through four o'clock positions. Now draw a straight line between the High and Low Houses; Station Eight is located at its midpoint.

Each shooter starts at Station One. At Stations One, Two, Six, and Seven the shooter is presented with four targets: singles from the High House and Low House (respectively), and a pair of doubles launched simultaneously from the High and Low Houses. At Stations Three, Four, and Five the shooter is presented with single targets, first from the High House, then the Low House. At Station Eight singles are again presented, first from the High House, then the Low. Skeet is shot in four gauges: 12, 20, 28, and .410. Guns used include pumps, semi-automatics, and over/unders.

Incidently, the name "Skeet" was coined by Mrs. Gertrude Hurbutt of Dayton, Montana, and is derived from the Scandanavian word for "shoot." If you haven't alredy done so, give this game a try, it's fun.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, and good shooting!
"If we're all thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking." General George S. Patton, Jr.
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Old September 5, 2005, 08:59 PM   #4
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Hunter....all i can say is WOW, thank you soo much for all the info, now i now as i havent tried either, i think i wanna try trap first, just hope i can find a place around arvada/westminster colorado, thanks again guys.
Molon Labe

meaning come and get them
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Old September 6, 2005, 12:07 AM   #5
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I cant seem to hit anything on trap, but on skeet I'm 50% not to good on skeet either I guess.
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Old September 6, 2005, 09:14 AM   #6
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This information is dated (being taken from my 2001 edition of Black's Wing & Clay); however, it should help to steer you to some clubs in your area:

Berthoud Gun Club, Inc.
624 E. CR #8
Berthoud, CO 80513
Leo Bomareto
Members Only
Trap: 2

Buckeye Trap & Skeet Range
6255 W. CR #74
Windsor, CO 80550
Tim Brough
Sat/Sun: 10-4
Tue/Thur: 4-8
Trap: 6, Skeet 2, Wobble Trap

Golden Gun Club, Inc.
1503 S. Watkins Road
Watkins, CO 80137
Jane Baylog
Trap: 10, Skeet 6

Tri Service Sportsmans Club
7664 W. Ontario Place
Littleton, CO 80123
Mike Gutirrez
Wed/Sat/Sun: 9-3
Trap: 2, Skeet: 5

Hope this helps.

Good luck, and good shooting!
"If we're all thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking." General George S. Patton, Jr.
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Old September 6, 2005, 09:32 AM   #7
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Trap and Skeet....

Trap: Easier to learn, harder to master...

Skeet: Harder to learn, easier to master.

In trap your targets are all "going away" but at various angles. In skeet, your targets are everything; going away, incoming and crossing. Skeet is easier to master because the targets are always the same from round to round and you know exactly where they are going (weather can change this a bit).

There is no rule (unless it's a local rule) that says you cannot use a pump gun for either game.

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Old September 6, 2005, 09:41 AM   #8
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Trap is what you miss at if shooting a skeet gun. Skeet is what you miss at when you use a trap gun.These truths need to be introduced to your wife, now!
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