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    • As the sport of Clay Shooting continues to expand, let’s take a look at the origins of the sport. Clay Shooting is the art of shooting a firearm at a special flying target known as a clay target or clay pigeon.

      For years, men and women in Britain would shoot wild game including pheasants and game birds. In the 1860s, the sport changed as glass balls filled with feathers were introduced and a throwing mechanism that enabled men and women of all ages to join the sport despite the expense of a day’s shooting.  This machine was labelled the first ‘glass ball trap.’

      The introduction of the artificial glass ball target meant that the sport was opened up to many more enthusiasts that did not have the means to pay for the expensive hunting and shooting weekends.

      The end of the 19th century saw the introduction of the first true ‘clay’ target by George Ligowsky from Ohio.

      ​There had been a number of different substitutes tried: glass balls that burst into what looked like smoke when struck, emitted feathers or a flash of light and even one that was made out of what was advertised as a fertilizer; rubber balloons fitted into cardboard discs ; the gyro bird, which was a propeller-type target; the tin pigeon, shaped somewhat like a conventional clay target with a metal disc attached to it by a small chain (the disc was supposed to disengage from its position in the target when struck and dangle on the chain); the "artificial live bird," shaped like a wild pigeon and made of steel (it ran along a hand-cranked wire), and many others.

      The original clays were introduced as an easier target but were difficult to break. The clays’ were replaced in 1888 by a combination of lime and pitch but the term ‘clay’ stuck.

      The Victorians would frequently use these as a practise before going into the country to shoot live birds. This simulation of the bird flight transferred to a clay target was the first discipline of the sport. This meant that in the early 1900’s, ‘sporting’ was an incredibly popular pass time. This increased interest led to the first British Open Championship in 1927.

      In recent years the discipline of ‘sporting’ has become popular once more being the most attended of all the disciplines overtaking the trap disciplines in England. Now the sport has developed into the sophisticated traps and clays that competitors enjoy using for multi disciplines. There are also many new shooting clubs, structures and organisations dedicated to developing, promoting and encouraging people to try the sport.

      The sport can still be played for fun but can also be competitive and through the Governing Body in Scotland, "The Scottish Clay Target Association" competitors can achieve international status in the Commonwealth Games or Olympics.  Shooting started as an Olympic sport in 1896 with five events. This has since grown to fifteen events in Rio 2016. There are fifteen events that are divided into three groups: pistol, rifle and shotgun which are held on Olympic shooting grounds.  These are also divided into three for men and two for women although in 1896 women were unable to compete.

      Shooting can be an incredibly fun and social sport. Many grounds offer individual or group days, fully qualified CPSA coaches or ‘Have a go’ days. There are also organisations dedicated to promoting the sport to a younger generation such as Young Shots.
      As the sport of Clay Shooting continues to expand, let’s take a look at the origins of the sport. Clay Shooting is the art of shooting a firearm at a special flying target known as a clay target or clay pigeon.

      For years, men and women in Britain would shoot wild game including pheasants and game birds. In the 1860s, the sport changed as glass balls filled with feathers were introduced and a throwing mechanism that enabled men and women of all ages to join the sport despite the ... See more
      Sporting Clays History
    • Melbourne, Australia, 1941.

      A look at 1940s clay pigeon shooting in Australia. Clay pigeon shooting was an extremely popular past time during this time.

      Here we can see a day out shooting amongst friends including a glimpse at an older style of trap.
      Women Clay Pigeon Shooting in Australia (1941)
    • This video shows a man being trained to fire a gun and operate the turret of a bomber.

      He is being trained in a turret exactly like the one in a bomber but set up on the ground. He then fires at clay pigeons in the air catapulted by another Royal Airforce man.
      RAF Clay Pigeon Shooting