WON Landing Page March 2022

Improve Your Game: Shotgun Shooting Drills for Trap and Skeet

Shotgun Shooting drills are crucial to getting better at shooting. Some drills work for all events and some only work for a specific event. Here are some drills I do to improve my shotgun shooting for trap and skeet competitions. 

Shotgun Shooting Drills

Shotgun Shooting Drill for Skeet

Spot Shooting 

Spot shooting with skeet is easier to do than in trap because, in skeet, every bird follows the same trajectory almost every time it is launched. When I spot shoot, I will shoot a normal round of skeet, and then after I finish, I will pick out my problem areas on the stations where I’ve had the most difficulties. I will shoot on those stations until I figure out what is going on. If I can fix the problem, I try to shoot at least 2 or 3 more times to try to do the same things so that I can hit the clay every time. 

Mirror Drills

Mirror drills help a lot with knowing if you’re holding the gun in the correct position. Mirror drills consist of standing in front of a mirror with your gun mounted on your shoulder, unloaded. It doesn’t sound like a lot or like it would help, but it does. When you’re looking in the mirror, with your gun in position just like when you’re shooting, you will notice things: if you have a cant, or if your eye is not lining up with the bead. While standing in front of mirror, mounting your gun for about 10 minutes every other day will help you fix your problem with gun positioning.

Swing Through 

Swing through is very important in skeet, because you are spreading the shot, so you have a better chance of hitting the bird. Even after you hit the bird, you should continue the swing, or follow through. To practice the swing through, I just go to my room and get ready like I’m going to shoot. Again, the gun always is unloaded and there is no ammunition near me. I point at a safe wall, meaning there aren’t people on the other side of it. I will mount my gun to my shoulder and act like I’m swinging past a bird. The reason I do this drill is because it creates muscle memory so when I am shooting, I will automatically swing through on all birds and give myself that extra chance. 

Shotgun Shooting Drills

Shotgun Shooting Drills for Trap

Trap shooting isn’t that different from skeet shooting, except for different angled birds and instead of 8 stations, you only have 5 stations. Some drills can work for both trap and skeet and some can only work for 1 or the other. With trap, at each station you get a different angled bird, you could get a straight away, hard left, or hard right. There are many different kinds of drills that will help you with trap. Here are a few of my favorite drills I do. 

Spot Shooting 

The spot shooting drill is back. Spot shooting is a little more difficult to do with trap, because you’re not going to get the same bird every time. So, when spot shooting with trap, I try to pick a station that I have the most problems with and then, I will shoot around 12 or 13 shots from that station. The reason I shoot so many shells from 1 station is because I’m getting every angle of bird for at least 2 or 3 times, giving me a chance to work on all 3 angles. Sometimes you can get one of the angles all through your 5 shots, depending on the trap machine’s delay time. 

Mirror Drills

I also use mirror drills for trap shooting. The mirror drills, with an unloaded gun, will help on any kind of shooting, especially if you shoot a different model of shotgun for each event. I shoot 2 guns – 1 for each event, so this drill is very crucial for me. By doing this drill, you are using muscle memory. What you  practice in the mirror will transfer over to the shooting range. 

Shotgun Shooting Drills

Swing Through 

The swing through is very important, not just for skeet, but also for trap. In trap, those hard-left- and hard- right-hand birds are a little tough. So, you want to give yourself an extra chance to hit them. The swing through is a very helpful drill. You don’t have to be at the shooting range to practice this drill. With this drill, you could do this in your room. After you’ve checked to see that your gun is unloaded, get into your stance and mount the gun, and then start practicing your swing. You could even tape a picture of a clay bird to your safe wall. Usually when I do this drill, I will put snap caps in my gun so I don’t have to dry fire it, and when I’m practicing the swing through, I also can practice trigger pull. This drill will create muscle memory and doing this drill in your room will transfer over to the range. I know many people whose scores have come up quite a bit by swing through. 

Camera Drills

I used to have so much trouble on the straightaways in trap, so my grandpa started to take videos of me shooting trap and later, we would sit down at his computer and slow the video down and watch it. Getting a gun cam that mounts to the barrel of your gun is a great way to correct problems.

  • About Shelby Odom

    Shelby Odom is an active teen who loves adventure indoors and outdoors. Her favorite things to do are shooting, scuba diving and rock climbing.