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zackmars

Tips and tricks for the beginning skeet shooter

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First, what is skeet? Skeet shooting is a shotgun game that has a shooter moving around a course with 8 spots scattered around a half circle course at which they will fire at a clay disc thrown from a throwing machine. In a traditional game, you will have 2 machines, often referred to as "houses", a high house, and a low house.

These houses are referred to as such due to the fact that the "high house" is elevated about 8 feet up, while the low house is at ground level. The high house will be on the left side of the course, and the low will be on the right. Each house will throw a clay at an angle. Every skeet range is different, I think ours are >45°.

You can either get a clay thrown as a single, or a double. A double is when both the high and low house throw at the same time, a single is just when one house throws

A traditional game will have you take 25 shots, and depending on game type/posistion, you will shoot rounds in 2's or 4's, maybe 3, we'll come back to that.

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Each posistion has a number, as you can see above

 

On posistion 1 and 2, you will shoot 4 rounds at each spot. 2 rounds will be singles, the other 2 will be a double

 

Posistions 3, 4, and 5 will have 2 rounds each. These will typically be singles

6 and 7 are copies of 1 and 2, so 2 singles, and one double each spot.

 

Posistion 8 is either 2 or 3 rounds. If you are a competitive skeet shooter, you will use the 3rd rpund as an "option" so if you know there is a posistion you excell at, you can take the option to get a guaranteed hit. However if its a casual game where score isn't much of a concern, you'll just shoot your last 3 rounds here.

 

Thats the basic gist of a traditional game. Only other thing to say is that you can either do "on pull", or "on report". "On pull" means the next clay will be thrown when you yell "PULL". "On report" means that the next clay will be thrown as soon as you fire your shotgun, you will still need to yell "PULL" for your double (if applicable) or when you start a new posistion.

 

Tips and tricks to get you popping birds

 

If you are new, do not jump into a traditional game. Instead start at tje low house (posistion 7) and have only the low house throw. This is the easiest shot to take, as it's nearly a dead on shot, you don't have to worry about leading the clay, all you have to do is account for the drop. When i teach new shooters, i can get them to hit a clay within a few shots here.

 

Remember to lean into the gun, tuck it into your shoulder and have a good cheek weld. If you aren't 'aiming' properly, you'll never hit the clay.

 

Treat the shotgun as if it's your eye, you do not want your eyes to pick up the clay while your shotgun is pointing somewhere else. What you'll do is you will snap the shotgun to where your eye says the clay is, and sinc the shotgun wasn't tracking the clay, you will overcorrect. In shotgun sports, follow through is critical. Don't stop moving the gun when you pull the trigger. Just keep tracking

 

People like to point, and we're pretty good at it. It's a silly little psychological trick, but it helps. With your weak/non dominant hand, have your pointer finger pointing forward, as if your finger is the barrel of the gun.

 

Equipment. Realistically, all you need is a shotgun and ammo, however, 2 really nice things to have is a shell pouch so you can haul your ammo with you, anf a recoil pad. It's only birdshot, but it adds up fast, and your shoulder will be sore.

 

As for guns, I prefer 12 gauge. 16, 20, 28, and .410 bore will have a higher difficulty curve, due to less payload and velocity. 12 guage has a wider variety of loads. 20 is usually slow enough that i will often have the shooter take a few steps forward so they'll be closer to the clays.

 

Shot size may often be dictated by the range you use. We don't allow anything over #6 bird (smaller the number, bigger the shot size). #7.5 bird gives good performance out of most guns. If you use a semi auto, your gun might need higher velocity shells, the most common velocity is 1200 fps, which is the low end

 

Longer barrels can make it a bit easier, however I've found that 20" is about as short as you can get before you notice the drop off in performance. Like 20 gauge, if someone has a short barrel shotgun or a shockwave/tac 14, I might have them get closer to the clays.

Action type. To accommodate double barrels, the posistions are divided by 2, so you fire 2 rounds, move, or load 2 more. With that in mind, a double barrel or semi auto are the most common sights, but if you can run a pump, you will have no issues keeping up. You don't need a 15k krieghoff to be good at the gmae. You just need to play the game.

Chokes. If you are a big competitor, they can matter, however if you aren't super serious about it, chokes really won't help, at least in a 12. I use my 590A1 and It's a solid cylinder bore.

 

Get a shorter stock. Prefrebly a heavier one, like a magpul SGA. Factory stocks are too long for the vast majority of people, and added weight can help improve how the gun swings

Eye protection, clear is best. Orange will blend the clay in, black can make everything hard to see in overcast/cloudy days

A hat is very useful. If you shoot a perfect round, your hat will be shot. Its tradition.

No a taurus judge is not a good skeet gun

 

Skeet is a very fun game, and it's very rewarding. It can be tricky to shut off your thinking brain, and use your doing brain, but the first time you make an orange disc go *poof* you'll be hooked.

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20 hours ago, dthomasdigital said:

I've never done skeet shooting, looks fun and not as near as frustrating as dove hunting.

Outside of backyard clays (hand thrown or small machine), skeet is probably the most fun shotgun game around.

 

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