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10 Tips For Clay Shooting Beginners

Published: 19/07/2022

Clay shooting is immense fun and a great way to make new friends. It's a popular and growing sport, and is easily accessible with grounds all over the UK.


Open to everyone. Men, women and children, from as young as 12, can compete on a level playing field. Making clay shooting a great choice for the whole family.


Hitting the target will need skill, timing and hand-eye coordination. But, there's nothing quite like that feeling when you pull the trigger and see your target explode!

Here are 10 Clay Shooting Tips to get you started


1) Choose a CPSA shooting ground near you. In England, the CPSA is the national governing body for clay target shooting. Choosing a CPSA ground ensures a safe and qualified environment.

2) Start with a Qualified Instructor. An instructor will be able to help you get the best start. They will help you:

  • Determine your dominant eye
  • Check for left or right-handed shooting
  • Match you with the right type and weight of gun. Shooting Supplies can fit you out with everything you need to get started.
  • Provide advice on your stance and how to hold your gun


3) On instructors. Anybody can set themselves up as a shooting instructor. Choose a CPSA registered coach for the best experience. A CPSA registered coach provides a structured learning pathway. Is insured and qualified.

4) Dress for the weather! If you are cold, have wet feet or overheat you won't enjoy the experience.

5) Trust your instincts. One of the core parts of clay pigeon shooting is to trust your instincts on when to fire.

6) Shoot the clay as it’s rising, if it starts to fall leave it and wait for another clay to be released.

7) Talking of technique, there are three recognised styles in clay pigeon shooting:

  • The Swing Through – You start with the gun behind your target and swing to catch up, overtaking and shooting the clay.
  • The Pull Away – Generally accepted as the best foundation, with the pull away we are aiming to mount the gun onto the target, pull ahead and then fire.
  • The Maintained Lead – The maintained lead is a specialised technique often used by more experienced shooters. You maintain a lead with the gun, ahead of the clay, throughout your swing.


8) Watch other members technique if they are hitting more clays than you.

9) Buying a gun. Once you decide to carry on with the sport, owning your own gun will help you massively. The best gun is the one that fits. Shooting Supplies staff have the knowledge and experience to get you started.

10) Have Fun & Stay Safe! Go out and enjoy yourself, that's the point after all. There isn't much that beats the thrill of shooting but it is important to stay safe. Shooting Glasses and good Hearing Protection are essential.