Essential Gears for Trap Shooting

Essential Gears for Trap Shooting: Trapshooting is one of the most prestigious sports. This circumstance imposes serious requirements on all attributes and equipment. What is necessary for a person who decides to engage in sports and hunting, shooting, taking into account its special status? We will talk about this now.


Essential Gears for Trap Shooting

Shooting Vest

This item of clothing is the most important part of the rifle ammunition. Its main function is to provide maximum comfort during preparation for a shot and its direct production. Comfort is achieved by the specifics of tailoring and the correct size. The shooting vest must fit snugly around the shooter’s body and, at the same time, not impede his movement.

For a clear fixation of the weapon “in the shoulder” during the throw-in, the upper part of the front floor (right or left) is trimmed with leather or a special fabric that prevents slipping of the inserted gun.

One of the main functions of the vest is to unload the arms. The shooter needs to have a significant amount of cartridges (from 30 to 50 pieces) and various accessories required during a shooting in the series. Therefore, the vest has many special pockets, including for carrying cartridges.

In sports and hunting or shooting, various types of shooting vests are used. This is due to the specifics and rules of various shooting exercises.

So, for example, in sporting, where the use of cartridges with different weights and sizes of shot is allowed, the shooting vest must have two-volume pockets. This allows you to have four types of cartridges with you and not mix them.

On sporting vests, additional pockets are often made for storing replaceable muzzle restrictions, which are widely used in this exercise. Sporting rules regulate the position of the gun when ready to fire.

Therefore, on the shooting vest, there is a special, clearly visible line (mark), above which the heel of the butt must not be raised before the target leaves. This mark is located in the front, 25 cm below the shoulder line. For a right-hander – on the right, for a left-hander – respectively on the left.

Similar restrictions exist for other exercises, such as skeet shooting and nordic trap. Only in this case, the mark on the shooting vest is at the waistline.

In the exercise “sporting compact,” the exact requirements are imposed on the vest as in sporting, except for the presence of the mark, since the position of the gun during preparation for the shot is free.

Many people shoot different exercises. Do you need a separate shooting vest for each in this case? Of course, there is no such need. It should be noted, however, that the sporting vest is equally applicable to all exercises. And when shooting sporting in an Olympic vest, you will most likely feel the discomfort of not having enough pockets.

Almost all the leading foreign manufacturers of sporting and hunting weapons have touched the development of shooting vests.

Which Shooting Vest to Buy?

Beretta, Browning, Orvis, Allen Company. They are excellent from a functional point of view and will differ only in the brand name, color, and finishing details. Therefore, the choice is only a matter of your taste.

As a rule, there are several vests in a keen shooter’s wardrobe. These are summer, demi-season, and winter options. The fundamental differences lie in the density of the fabric and the degree of insulation.

In summer, during extreme heat, instead of a shooting vest, you can use special large pockets attached to the waist belt. They house cartridges and other accessories. It is also desirable to have different sizes for summer and winter trap shooting vests because in winter, shooting at plates is carried out in a jacket, and in summer, in a T-shirt.

Shooting Cap

This equipment attribute does not have such an essential functional value as a shooting vest and is more auxiliary. All trap shooting exercises are carried out in natural conditions – in the open air. The main function of the cap is to protect the shooter from environmental influences (sunlight, rain, cold, etc.).

The type and shape of the shooting cap is a baseball cap. This is no coincidence – the long visor limits a part of the visible space. It thereby contributes to the maximum concentration of the shooter’s attention on the exposure of the shooting saucer.

When choosing a shooting cap, you should pay attention to the color of the lower part of the visor. It doesn’t have to be bright.

Shooting Glasses

Shooting glasses provide maximum comfort for the eyes in various lighting levels. But that’s not the point. Some qualities fundamentally distinguish shooting glasses from ordinary sunglasses.

First of all, it can distinguish a flying target against any background to make it more contrasting, and therefore more visible. This is achieved through the use of different color filters.

For example, a red filter changes the color of the saucer target from red to bright orange, while the background remains virtually unchanged.

Three main colors are used to produce light filters – dark gray (almost black), red and yellow. And accordingly, the conditions for their use are bright sun, partly cloudy, overcast (twilight).

Many companies equip shooting glasses with many light filters with different shades (more than ten). This allows the shooter to adapt to any lighting conditions, the color of the target used, the background on which it flies.

Shooting glasses also have a protective function. They protect the eyes from mechanical damage. Therefore, light filters are made only of high-strength polymers. The use of glass is prohibited. The strength of the polymer used is so great that shooting glasses do not get through holes from a shot with a small lead shot from a distance of 10 meters.

Shooting glasses are a must-have item for a shooter’s equipment. You may not be allowed to participate in trapshooting competitions or even on the shooting range if you do not have eye protection.

But even if at a particular competition the organizers do not impose strict restrictions on the availability of glasses, then, first of all, you must take care of protecting your eyes yourself. Unfortunately, fragments have an unpredictable trajectory, and cases of contact with the face and eyes are quite frequent.

Shooters with poor eyesight have the opportunity to buy glasses for shooting with diopters.

Shooting Headphones

The main and perhaps the only function of shooting headphones is to protect the ears. And this protection should never be neglected. At all shooting stands, weapons are used as a rule of 12 gauge, which creates a high sound pressure.

Practice shows that each shooter in one visit to the stand, on average, fires from 100 to 200 shots. And taking into account the fact that five more people can alternately shoot with him on the shooting platform, it is not difficult to calculate how much load can fall on his ears.

If you do not use headphones for shooting, then it is simply impossible to avoid the “bell ringing” and often migraines in the head.

What Shooting Headphones to Buy?

Many companies are engaged in the production of headphones for shooting. The most notable among them is Peltor (Sweden). She has orders from such weapons giants as “Beretta” and “Browning.” The lineup of the company is extensive.

It is mainly classified according to the degree of sound insulation. Their weight and size parameters depend on this: the higher the level of noise protection, the heavier and more significant the headphones.

The design of the headphones provides for an adjustment to the size of the head and the ability to “fold” to a miniature size.

Peltor and other manufacturers produce two types of headphones – passive and active shooting headphones  (electronic). The principle of operation of the former is based on the use of various soundproofing materials.

In addition, active headphones for shooting use an electronic system that suppresses a powerful sound signal from a shot, and a weak sound (for example, the voice of an instructor) passes and amplifies.

Of course, active shooting headphones are more comfortable. With reliable protection of the hearing organs, they do not interfere with hearing well, especially when training with a trap shooting trainer. You will quickly get tired of taking off your headphones every time to hear recommendations.

There is one nuance to consider when choosing headphones for clay pigeon shooting. Headphones with large shells (high level of noise protection) are not always convenient since the comb of the butt can touch the shell of the headphones during the throw-up.

Shooting Earplugs

Earplugs are the simplest and most affordable hearing protection. They can always be found in pharmacies, hardware stores, and, of course, at shooting complexes. This attribute is considered disposable, although if you find used last year’s earplugs in the remote pocket of your shooting vest, then do not hesitate – they will fulfill their function like new.

There is a variant of earplugs for shooting, which are made exclusively for the customer’s ears. The technology is as follows – a specialist inserts a small cotton swab into the ear opening to protect the eardrum, prepares a two-component mass, and pours it into the ear.

After ten minutes, the mass hardens, and you become the owner of individual trapshooting earplugs. These earplugs are more soundproof than conventional earplugs. Individual earplugs can be made active by inserting a special electronic unit during pouring.

Despite the undoubted convenience, compact size, and lack of inconvenience in hot weather, earplugs are much less prevalent among shooters. This is probably due to their worst sound insulation.

Shooting Gloves

At first glance, this may seem like an ordinary foppishness. But as soon as you put on tight gloves made of thin leather, take a gun for clay pigeon shooting, it becomes clear that this is not the case.

The grip of the palms with the grooved surface of the neck, and the stock, and the forend increases; this creates a feeling of special comfort – the gun “merges” with the hands into a single whole.

This is very important, especially in hot weather. When the palms become wet with sweat, the gun “slips” in the hands, especially when throwing up, gloves exclude this.

For the manufacture of summer shooting gloves for clay pigeon shooting, only fragile leather is used, which practically does not disturb the sensitivity of the palms.

Gloves are also available for saucer shooting in winter conditions. Of course, their main task is protection from the cold.

As a rule, they are sewn from thick wool or material such as “wind stopper,” “gore-tex,” which do not let the cold pass, and the membrane removes moisture. The palm side is trimmed with leather.

There is no need to talk about sensitivity in winter gloves, so a special longitudinal incision is made on the index finger through which the trigger is pressed.

Shooting Shoes

Shooting shoes must be comfortable and provide good stability, even on uneven surfaces. The shooting area is far from always level. It can be located on a rocky slope, sand, in a ravine, etc. In this regard, it is imperative that the sole has a well-defined tread and is comprehensive.

The most suitable footwear is a lightweight mountain or hiking boots. The degree of insulation is determined by the season.

In the autumn-winter and winter-spring seasons, shoes made of gore-tex material are very comfortable. It does not get wet and protects well from the cold. In the hot period, “moccasins” will be comfortable, always with wide soles. Shooting safety regulations prohibit the use of open shoes.

All shoes (winter, summer, and demi-season) must provide the exact angle of inclination of the foot to the surface of the pound; that is, the height of the heel about the sole is the same throughout the shoe. This will help the shooter maintain one stance while preparing to fire.

Another small shooting attribute has a lot to do with footwear – a shoe pad for a shotgun. The first function is to relieve the hands. To not constantly hold the gun in his hands while waiting for his next shot, the shooter rests his trunks on the shoe lining.

The second function is to protect the shoes from powder carbon deposits, which accumulate abundantly on the muzzle of the barrels during shooting. The protection is made of thick leather and is fastened to the left or right boot laces.

Safety Pins

Do not be surprised. This accessory is essential in the shooter’s life. You understand this when you find yourself in a competition and have nothing to fasten your back number to your shooting vest.

Therefore, you should always have four pins in stock. Exactly four! Since a number fastened on two pins in the strong wind will slap you on the back or the back of the head.

And for many, this attribute is used on an ongoing basis since these pins are “lucky”.


A small towel attached to your rifle vest is useful in hot weather and rain. In summer, especially during shooting competitions, palms sweat a lot.

Not only the weather effects but also the excitement. The gun “slides” in the hands. And this interferes with the shooting at the plates.

Therefore, periodically you need to use a towel. When it rains, the situation is similar. We have to wipe the wet parts of the rifle (first of all, the butt and forend, for which the shooter holds).

Backpack Chair

If you plan on shooting sporting or sporting double shooting exercises, it is helpful to have a backpack chair.

The specificity of saucer shooting in these exercises involves long transitions from one shooting site to another. During major events, this trip can take several hours, which is very tiring. And to be able to rest and recover before shooting at the following shooting site, it is advisable to sit at least a little.

The backpack will relieve your hands very effectively. After all, at a time, you will need to carry up to one and a half hundred cartridges and all the necessary shooting attributes replaceable muzzle constrictions, glasses, headphones, gloves, an umbrella, etc.

In addition, on such a trip it is extremely important to have a filled thermos and a couple of sandwiches. There will be no other bite to eat on the shooting route.

Gun Case

All sporting rifles, as a rule, are sold together with a case, in which, in addition to the rifle itself, interchangeable muzzle constrictions, a zip, a simple set of keys, and screwdrivers are placed. But in this form, the gun is only convenient to transport.

On the shooting complex, you will need a soft case for the gun. This is very convenient since the gun is put into it when assembled. You do not have to disassemble and reassemble it between shooting series.

On most shooting complexes, internal rules prescribe the carrying of weapons only in a shrouded form. This improves safety and protects the gun from accidental mechanical damage. The practice has shown that such damage is often obtained when carrying a gun if it is not covered.

Soft cases are made from various materials. Most often, it is synthetics with a soft interior or leather with a fur lining. All soft cases have a running strap that relieves hands when carrying the gun.

In conclusion

I would like to say about the usual clothes that we wear to ensure optimal heat regulation of the body, and at the same time, the one that will best suit the trapshooting practice.

Any clothes, to some extent, hinder the movement of a person, but we cannot do without them. In the summer, everything is quite simple Minimum clothing – maximum ease of movement. In hot weather, clothing most often serves as protection from the scorching rays of the sun. It is clear that the most suitable is a light T-shirt, light trousers or breeches.

The international federation rules introduce specific regulations into summer clothes – a kind of “dress code” for the shooter. The shooter must wear a shirt or T-shirt with sleeves that at least cover the shoulder. Shorts should be no more than 10 cm from the knee.

Summer is not always and not for everyone. Wind and rain with a temperature is almost a standard situation for the North American temperate latitudes.

In such weather, a thoughtful approach to the choice of clothing is already required. The main task is to create the most comfortable conditions for shooting at plates: not to get wet and not to freeze. The cold feeling will distract and will not allow you to “one hundred percent” concentrate your attention while preparing for a shot.

It is advisable to wear light thermal underwear and a light suit made of “gore-tex” material in such weather. The jacket should not hinder hand movement.

Competitions, especially in the sporting exercise, can take place from morning to evening. And the weather can change from tormenting sun to cold rain. Therefore, it will be appropriate to have several sets of clothing with you for all occasions.

Winter is an active preparatory period for the upcoming competition season (it starts mid-spring and ends at the end of September). Winter shooting conditions certainly complicate the training process. The problem is related to the need to dress warmly. Otherwise, the training process becomes impossible.

As we have already said, any clothing hinders movement and winter – especially. And here, a thoughtful professional approach is very important. Modern materials – Polartec, fleece, neoprene – have very high thermal insulation properties with a minimum thickness.

Only from these materials, you need to choose clothes. Thick virgin wool sweaters or sheepskin coats will not work. They can provide enough warmth, but they will make you unable to perform difficult coordination movements when the gun is fired. The thinner the clothes, the easier it is to shoot.

Combining the warmest thermal underwear, a fleece-neoprene suit, and a suit with a windproof membrane will provide good protection from the cold and will not hinder movement.

For winter conditions, it is advisable to have a long-sleeved shooting jacket made of windproof fabric. The sleeves must be connected to the jacket with an easy-to-stretch insert. This will ensure that your hands move freely.

During shooting, hands are the first to freeze. As a rule, even insulated shooting gloves are not enough. This problem can be solved with the help of special heating elements – hand warmers.

They are a metal container the size of a telephone, in which the exothermic oxidation reaction of gasoline takes place. Time of efficient work until the next refueling is about two hours. Heating elements are placed in a fur sleeve or fur mittens, which are fastened to a shooting vest. It is convenient to keep your hands warm in between shots.

Sporting is always a natural environment. The better you adapt to it, the more successful you will be. Do not forget that there is no bad weather – there are inappropriate clothes!

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The Shooting Gears