Clay Sports

I sat across the picnic table from shotgun instructor extraordinaire, Gil Ash, as he drew a simple diagram on the yellow legal pad between us. At first it looked like ripples emanating out, but then he started adding numbers to the curved lines until he finally turned around the pad to face me.

On January 18, 2011 Randolph Engineering introduced a shooting-glasses lens advertised as five to six times more impact resistant than standard polycarbonate now widely used by their military and law enforcement clients. Armed with a 12-gauge semi-auto and a box of 1⅛-ounce target loads, we set out to personally verify Randolph Engineering’s boosted safety claim.

 

What is the biggest problem Todd Bender sees with 75% of the skeet shooters he coaches?

You might think it’s a shoddy gun mount, an ill-fitting stock or a chronic flinch.

In fact, after 20 years of coaching and dominating competitive skeet shooting, Todd believes that many clays shooters crash and burn from acute eye fatigue.

How about a big, juicy Beretta Burger?

Or maybe a spicy Krieghoff Crabcake Sandwich is more to your liking.

Want something with a little more roughage? You can always order the Shotgun House Salad with lots of greens and homemade dressing.

These are some of the menu selections from The Grille at the Sporting Clays Lodge of the Seven Springs Mountain Lodge in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. You can chow down in the classic chalet setting or grab a table on the 7,000-square-foot deck with a dazzling view of the valley below.

Skeet Shotguns

The standard skeet gun is an over/under break action that has screw-in chokes. This configuration is available in just about any gauge from the smallest .410 to the largest 12-gauge.

Some shooters prefer to use a semi-automatic for skeet, also with screw-in chokes.

Either configuration works fine. The most important aspect of a good skeet gun is not the number of barrels it has or its action: it’s the balance and feel of the gun that allows you make smooth swings to hit the crossing targets of most skeet stations.

Skeet

Unless you’re in a squad with highly ranked shooters who consider 24 out of 25 a miserable failure, skeet is a great sport for mixing, mingling and shooting.

Cheerful support, gratuitous advice and a few off-color jokes are the earmarks of a happy day of casual shooting on the skeet field…made all the better by a perfect 25.

Make a loud noise and break something.

There is something instinctive, even primal, about the satisfaction of seeing a clay target smash after a perfect shot. The smaller the pieces, the bigger the rush. That squirt of dopamine that tells your brain you just experienced a perfect moment.

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