What is trapshooting?

Trapshooting is one of several clay target shooting disciplines which are accessible in Ontario and across Canada, for both recreational and competitive shooters.

Trapshooting was originally developed to provide practice for bird hunters and to augment their shooting skills, but the sport evolved quickly from using live pigeons to clay targets and became popular with non hunters as well.

In trapshooting, the targets are launched from a single “house” or trap machine, away from the shooter, which distinguishes it from skeet or sporting clays disciplines. Typically shooters use a 12 gauge shotgun for trapshooting, which range in styles and cost.

Trapshooting is a sport where men and women, young and old, can compete together. While it is necessary to have some physical strength and stamina to shoot, there are many significant mental benefits gained from shooting sports as well. Participants improve their eye hand coordination, mental focus, self-discipline and gain trust in their abilities. Participants must have a healthy respect for firearms, and understand the need for safe handling and responsible ownership. Trapshooting is a sport for all abilities. For more on accessibility in the shooting disciplines here is a great website.

Quick Tips

  • As with all shooting sports, think, safety first at all times. Always point your gun muzzle down range, and remember that unless shooting at the target, your gun must be empty and your action, open.?
  • Establish good gun fit first then establish technique.
  • Shoulder your gun slowly and purposely in a single motion so that it sits snugly in the shoulder pocket. This ensures control of your gun coupled with a reduced sense of recoil.
  • Place your cheek firmly on the comb of the gun and hold that position throughout taking the shot. Lifting your head and pulling your cheek off the comb may result in a painful recoil impact and most likely in a missed target.
  • Practice your established gun mount with an empty gun at home so that when you are on the range, your mount is second nature and all you need to do is concentrate on the shooting conditions and the target.
  • Take advantage of pocket technology and have a friend take a picture or video of you mounting your gun and shooting a target, so you can analyse what you might need to correct.
  • When shooting a shotgun, point the gun, do not aim. This means you focus on the target and never on the end of the barrel or the beads.
  • Use low recoil target loads. With proper technique, you will hit targets consistently, and these shot shells will provide high velocity, less recoil and a good shot pattern.
  • Regular practice on the trap field will yield better and more consistent scores, and an even greater enjoyment of the sport.

click here to download The Trapshooting Fundamentals Handbook

click here to download Introduction to Registered (ATA) Trapshooting

click here for a video Introduction to ATA/OPTA registered shooting (March 2021)

click here to download new Failure to Fire rules

What is the difference between American Trap and International/Olympic Trap? Check out this helpful video.

click here to download How to get started trapshooting (Beretta)

click here to download How to fit your shotgun for more accurate shooting (Beretta)

click here to download 4 quick adjustments to break more targets (Beretta)

Safe Firearms Practice for children

Looking for an engaging way to add to your discussions with young children about safe firearms practice? The Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association, has create the Kidwise Firearms Safety course.

Executors and Heirs: What to do with Firearms, CFO Ontario

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