Skeet shooting is a recreational and competitive sport involving shooting at and breaking moving clay disks (roughly 110 mm in diameter and 25 mm in thickness) that are tossed into the air in the field of vision of the shotgun. The field for skeet shooting is a semicircle-shaped layout with two tower-like structures, called houses, located 40 yards apart at the two ends of the arc and facing each other. These structures house spring-type devices called traps that can fling clay disks into the air at a high speed.

Competitor with Skeet Gun

Along the circumference of the semicircle-shaped skeet range there are 7 shooting stations, or pads, from where the shooters have to shoot at the clay disks. The 8th station lies midway on the chord joining stations 1 and 7. The left-hand-side house, located just behind station 1, is called a high house because it launches the disks from a height of 10 feet, whereas the right-hand-side house, located just behind station 7, is called a low house because it launches the disks from a height of 3½ feet.

Both the houses fling the disks diagonally across and away from the field in such a way that even though they are launched from different heights, their trajectories meet at a height of 15 feet above the crossing stake, a stake located 18 feet straight out from station 8. The trajectories of the disks are consistent. But in relation to the shooters the trajectory and the distance keep changing when they change their position from one station to the other as the shooting squad moves along the semicircle.

Origin of Skeet Shooting

The game of skeet shooting is believed to have originated from Massachusetts around the time 1915–1920. Its inventor, Charles Davis, was a keen grouse hunter. The game in its original form was called “Shooting Around The Clock” because the 12 shooting stations were located along the circumference of a circular field, each corresponding to hourly positions in a clock. The game was practiced to improve one’s bird shooting skills; that’s why the target disks are still today also known as pigeons or clay pigeons. The name of the game was changed to Skeet (Scandinavian word for shoot) in 1926, and the circular field took the semicircular shape.

Playing The Game

One shooting squad consists of 5 shooters, and one round of the game consists of 25 targets. Only one shot may be fired at each target, which is released from a house on the call of “pull” from the shooter. The shooter may have his gun on or off his shoulder as he chooses. The target shooting sequence at various stations is as follows:

At stations 1 and 2: The first shot is a single high-house target shot; the second is a single low-house target shot; and the third is a doubles high- and low-house targets shot, with the high-house target shot taken first. That makes it a total of 8 shots.
At stations 3, 4, 5: First high-house single shot and then low-house single shot, making a total of 6 shots.
At stations 6,7: Same as at stations 1 and 2, except that in the doubles shot the low-house shot is taken first. This makes another 8 shots.
At station 8: First high-house single shot and then low-house single shot, making a grand total of 24 shots. If the shooter has not missed any of the 24 shots, the 25th shot is taken at the low-house target.
The game then continues similarly for the next squad. Once you grasp the basics of the game, skeet shooting can be a great fun sport for adventure lovers.

Tags: , ,