How to Shoot Trap Better: Tips and Techniques for Enhanced Performance

How to Shoot Trap Better: Tips and Techniques for Enhanced Performance


Shooting trap is a thrilling and demanding sport that requires precision, concentration, and focus. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced shooter looking to take your performance to the next level, the objective remains the same: to continually improve.

In this guide, we will explore essential tips and techniques that can help you take your trap shooting skills to new heights. From mastering your stance and understanding gun fit, this post will help you unleash your full potential as a trap shooter. Let's get started!


What Is Trap Shooting?


 men standing at outdoor shooting range in woods

Credit: Envato Elements/ MargJohnsonVA


Before we delve into this blog, let's first understand what trap shooting is.

Trap shooting is a popular discipline within clay target shooting sports, along with skeet shooting and sporting clays. The sport entails shooting clay targets, commonly referred to as "birds," that are launched from a device known as a "trap house." The targets are thrown at varying angles, elevations, and speeds, simulating the flight of a bird in the wild.

A standard trapshooting field consists of five shooting stations, each positioned 16 yards behind the trap house. Trap shooters rotate through the stations, attempting to hit a total of 25 targets per round. The goal is to break as many targets as possible, with each hit earning a point. Competitions may include handicap events, where shooters are positioned at different distances based on their skill level. To shoot trap better, it's crucial to have a thorough understanding of the sport's fundamentals, including its rules, terminology, and equipment.


How to Shoot Trap Better


Now that you know what trap shooting is, here are some trap shooting tips on how to shoot trap better:


1) Check Your Stance


 man in field in stance shooting shotgun with dog nearby

Credit: Envato Elements/ karrastock


A stable, balanced stance is crucial for accurate shooting. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your front foot slightly ahead of your back foot. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward to maintain balance and absorb recoil. Your weight should be distributed evenly between both feet, and your shoulders should be square to the target. Experiment with small adjustments to your stance to find the most comfortable and effective position for your body type and shooting style.


2) Ensure a Proper Gun Fit


Achieving consistent results in trap shooting necessitates a well-fitting shotgun. An improperly fitting gun can not only cause discomfort but may also negatively impact performance and even result in injuries. Since shotguns are the most common trap guns, it is essential to focus on several crucial aspects to guarantee a proper fit.

The first factor to take into account is the length of pull (LOP), which is the distance between the trigger and the center of the gun butt pad. The ideal LOP facilitates correct head and eye positioning, guaranteeing a consistent sight picture. A shotgun with a LOP that is too short or too long can lead to compromised shooting form and inconsistent outcomes. To determine your ideal LOP, measure the length of your forearm from the crook of your elbow to your middle finger's tip and add one inch.

The second aspect to consider is the drop at the comb and heel of your gun stock. This refers to the angle at which the stock slopes downward from the line of sight. The drop should align with your facial structure, providing a comfortable resting place for your cheek and maintaining a clear line of sight. If the drop is too high, you'll have to crane your neck to see down the gun barrel, leading to poor form and inconsistent shooting. Conversely, if the drop is too low, you'll have to raise your head, causing discomfort and affecting your aim. A professional gunsmith can help you adjust the drop by reshaping the stock or installing a new one.

Lastly, consider the gun stock's cast, which refers to its offset to the right or left. Shooters with a dominant eye that's opposite their shooting hand may require a gun stock with a slight cast to ensure proper eye alignment with the gun's rib. The cast should be subtle and not affect your shooting form. A professional gunsmith can help you adjust the cast by reshaping the stock or installing a new one.


3) Practice Your Swing


 man aiming shotgun into sky

Credit: Envato Elements/ halfpoint


Develop a smooth and fluid swing, following the target with your barrel as it moves across the sky. Avoid jerky or rushed movements, as these can cause you to lose sight of the target and miss your shot. To improve your swing, practice swinging your shotgun without firing, focusing on maintaining a consistent speed and fluid motion. As you become more comfortable with your swing, gradually incorporate live fire practice to reinforce the connection between your swing and shot.


4) Focus on the Target


Keep your eyes on the target at all times, from the moment it leaves the trap until you pull the trigger. Avoid looking at the barrel or bead, as this can lead to poor aim and missed targets. Train your eyes to follow the target's path, even when it's moving quickly or erratically. Developing strong visual tracking skills will help you anticipate the target's trajectory and improve your shooting accuracy.


5) Practice Your Timing and Hold Point


 man focusing looking through shotgun outdoors

Credit: Envato Elements/ byrdyak


Timing is critical in trap shooting. It is essential to know when to pull the trigger as the target reaches its "hold point," the optimal point in its trajectory for a successful shot. This hold point can vary based on factors such as the target's speed, angle, and distance from the shooter.

To develop a sense of timing and identify the hold point, it is essential to practice regularly and gain experience. Additionally, observing experienced shooters can be a valuable learning tool. By watching their shooting patterns, you can note when they fire in relation to the target's movement, and how they identify the hold point for each shot.


6) Follow Through


After firing, continue to follow the target with your barrel. This follow-through helps maintain a smooth swing and ensures you stay on target throughout the shot. Resist the urge to drop your gun immediately after firing, as this can negatively affect your accuracy. Instead, continue your swing briefly after the shot, which will help reinforce good habits and improve your overall shooting technique.


7) Establish a Pre-Shot Routine


 woman wearing protective glasses looking through shotgun scope

Credit: Envato Elements/ vladstar


Developing a consistent pre-shot routine can help you relax and focus on each shot. This routine might include checking your equipment, taking a deep breath, and visualizing the target's path before calling for the target. A pre-shot routine can also help you mentally prepare for each shot, allowing you to approach the firing line with confidence and a clear focus on the task at hand.


8) Analyze Missed Targets


When you miss a target, take a moment to analyze what went wrong. Were you too far ahead or behind the target, or did you lose sight of it during your swing? Use this feedback to make adjustments and improve your shooting. Reflect on your stance, gun mount, swing, and trigger control to identify areas where you can make improvements. By learning from your misses and making adjustments, you'll become a more accurate and consistent shooter over time.




Trap shooting is a challenging and rewarding sport that requires skill, practice, and dedication. By following these tips and techniques, you'll be well on your way to improving your performance and becoming a more successful trap shooter.

And speaking of practice, make sure to use the right equipment to up your game. Introducing EasyShot Targets - the perfect shooting targets for trap shooting enthusiasts. Made with high-quality materials, our targets provide consistent performance and durability, so you can focus on your aim and technique. Get your EasyShot shooting targets today and start hitting the bullseye every time!

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