WON Landing Page March 2022

WOW Wednesday: Olympic Shotguns 101

Olympic Shotgun consists of three disciplines: Skeet, Trap, and Double Trap. Women compete only in Skeet and Trap.  I have competed in both disciplines and will give you an overview of both.

Gayla Gregory, former USA Shooting National Junior Team member, Olympic shotgun 101

International Skeet is quite similar to its American counterpart with a few exceptions. The first major one is the low gun mount. Every shooter is issued a yellow ISSF (International Shooting Sports Federation) stripe to show the referees that they are holding their gun in the correct position. This stripe is attached on the to the vest on the shooters dominant side, where the bottom of their elbow rests. The bottom of the toe of the gun must touch that stripe up until the target comes out of the house, at which time, the shooter will mount the gun and pull the trigger. The second major difference can be up to a three second delay between the time the shooter calls for the target and when the target comes out of the house.


A round of International skeet consists of 25 targets shot in a specific sequence on eight stations. Like American Skeet, the stations are arranged in a semi-circle with station eight in the middle and on the same line as stations one and seven. Only one shot is allowed at each target. The round begins at station one with a high single then a double, shooting the high target first. Station two and three are the same.  On station four the shooter must load two shells and shoot a high single then a low single.  Stations five and six consist of a low single, followed by a double where the shooter shoots the low target first. Moving to station seven, the shooter shoots only a double, shooting the low target first. The squad moves back to station four where the shooter will shoot two doubles, starting with the high first then the second double they will shoot the low first. Finally, walking down the middle of the field to station eight, they will shoot a high single, then turn and shoot a low single to complete the round for a total of 25 targets.

Shotgun-clays, olympic

Both American and Bunker trap targets move away from the shooter.  However, in Bunker trap there is a challenging factor – the shooter doesn’t know where target will come from.  There is a specified distance for each target to reach, past the houses and a speed the targets must travel at. The distance, marked by a short pole in the ground, is between 65 and 67 meters and the speed is a brisk 65 mph.

When shooting bunker trap, the gun is pre-mounted and the shooter gets two shots at every target in a round of 25 targets, excluding finals. In bunker, there are five stations in a straight line facing a bunker that has 15 different trap machines. For each station, there is three machines set; a left, a center, and a right, set at angles from 0 to 45 degrees. After each shot, the shooter will move to the next station, not to actually walk until the shooter after them has shot.

International Trap & Skeet competition for women consists of 75 targets plus a final for the top-six finishers.  Men see 125 targets plus a final for top-six in both Skeet and Trap and 150 targets plus a final in Double Trap.  Skeet Finals includes a reduced number of targets (16) and stations.  Finals in Trap consists of only one shot, not two as in qualification.


Only two women, including my teammate Corey Cogdell-Unrein have scored a perfect score of 75 in Women’s Trap during international competition.  Since rule changes were instituted after the London Olympic Games in 2012, only two people have recorded a perfect 75 score during international competition in Women’s Skeet. Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode is the current Olympic champion.

Ten men, including three Americans, have shot a perfect score (125) in International Trap since 1994.  Currently, no male has scored a perfect score (150) in Men’s Trap during international competition since the new competition format came into effect after the 2012 Olympic Games.  Just four men have scored a perfect 125 in Men’s Skeet international competition since 2012.   Vincent Hancock is the reigning two-time Olympic gold medalist and current World Champion in the event.

It has been said that International Skeet is harder to learn, but easier to master and Bunker trap is easier to learn but harder to master.  I’ve shot both and for now, my preference is trap!  I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about the Olympic shotgun disciplines.


Gayla Gregory started shooting American clay target games when she was 11 and moved to International Skeet in 2009 at the age of 14. Over a five-year span, she made two Junior Olympic teams, the Junior National team, and the 2013 Junior World Championship team. In the spring of 2014, she switched from International Skeet to Bunker Trap where she has gotten chances to compete in Italy, Canada, and the 2016 World Cup in Cyprus.

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    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.