hunters carrying dead turkeys on their backs

Big Green Blog

How to Shoot Trap

07.03.2023 | By Remington Contributor

Julia Stallings aiming a shotgun
(Pictured: Pro Shooter Julia Stallings at the Remington Gun Club)

If you’re looking for a killer way to get outdoors and enjoy your local gun club or need a hobby (that involves the smell of gunpowder) during turkey off-season, look no further than trap shooting.

The Basics

  • Players: Up to 5 People – one at each station
  • Each shooter, starting with the person at station 1, gets one shot. After breaking or missing the clay, the next shooter has their chance. Progressing from left to right, all five folks shoot until each person has shot 5 times. After 5 shots, all players rotate 1 spot to the right (shooter #5 would move to position #1).

Trap house and trap stations
(Pictured: Trap House and Trap Stations)

  • The trap house is a box in the middle of the field. The clays are thrown from a machine within that house that oscillates from left to right. The trick? Shooters won’t know which way the pigeon is heading until they yell “PULL,” which releases the clay target. Once the targets launch, they move up and away from the shooter. The unpredictability is the hard part. Breaking the clays is the fun (and satisfying) part.
  • There are 5 stations, each station allows for 5 shots, for a total of 25 targets per round. You’ll shoot 4 rounds for a total of 100 targets.
  • Scoring is out of 100. Shoot for 100.

Beginner Gear

All you’ll need to get started is a few basic items:

  • A shotgun
  • Shooting Vest (to hold your shells, choke tubes, etc.)
  • Eye and Ear Protection
  • 4 Boxes of Shotshells

Ammo of choice? Use the appropriate gauge of ammo for your gun, 7.5 or 8 shot, ½ to 1 1/8oz, a muzzle velocity somewhere between 1145 and 1360 fps, and a 2 ¾” shell. 12GA or 20GA is most common when shooting trap.

Pro Tip: You can use a modified to full choke to use for this game. We recommend going with a modified or trap-specific choke to really shatter those clays.

Shotgun barrels

Common Problems

1. Seeing the target is the most common problem when shooting trap. Seeing the target vs aiming at it can be the difference between an escaped clay and a busted clay. You’ll want to get on target quickly but don’t rush the shot.

2. Keep in mind the follow-through. Think of it as a baseball swing. Use your shotgun to swing all the way through the life of the clay, even after you take the shot. This keeps your shot pattern – the string of pellets exiting the wad – headed downrange in the right direction.

3. Having a correct shooting stance. Prepare to crush clays with a mental checklist to ensure you’re in the right physical form before yelling PULL. While different shooters prefer slightly different stances, or even different stances at each station, general tips include:

  • Start with an athletic stance: feet shoulder length apart, knees slightly bent, slight forward lean
  • Look past the trap house, not at it
  • Keep both eyes open
  • Keep your cheek on the stock
  • Keep your eye on the clay, once in the air
  • Follow through

Watch as pro international bunker trap shooter and Remington ambassador, Julia Stallings breaks down the fundamentals of trap shooting here. For more how to’s on trap, skeet, and sporting clays, visit

For the Arkansan locals and vacationers, visit to experience the Remington Gun Club.

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