BECOMING BOND: Introduction to Clay Shooting
My most recent source of ideas for the Becoming Bond article series?
For this week’s installment of Becoming Bond, my brother-in-law and I were fortunate enough to get an introductory class to clay shooting from Triple B Clays in El Monte, California through a special deal at Living Social.
Clay target shooting is something James Bond does, right?
In any case, when I signed up for the intro class, I thought it would be an ultra-cool thing to do, especially when I have to go on a secret mission to an evil multi-billionaire’s mansion who happens to enjoy clay shooting.
So what is clay shooting, exactly? Well to answer that question, I should probably get into the different types of shooting that you can do at Triple B Clays:
- Sporting Clays
- Olympic Trap and Skeet
- Five Stand
Here’s a breakdown about each category of clay shooting from Wikipedia:
Trap shooting is one of the three major forms of competitive clay pigeon shooting (shotgun shooting at clay targets). The others are skeet shooting and sporting clays. There are many versions including Olympic trap, Double trap (which is also an Olympic event), Down-The-Line, and Nordic trap. American trap is most popular in the United States and Canada. American trap has two independent governing bodies: the Amateur Trapshooting Association, which sanctions shoots throughout the United States and Canada, and the Pacific International Trapshooting Association, which sanctions shoots on the West Coast.
The sport is in some ways a replacement for a game where the targets were live pigeons. Indeed, one of the names for the clay targets used in shooting games is clay pigeons. The layout of modern trap shooting is different from skeet shooting in that there is only one house that releases targets and the shooters only move through five different positions.
Trap shooting has been a sport since at least 1793 when it used real birds, usually the Passenger Pigeon, which was extremely abundant at the time. Fake birds were introduced around the time of the American Civil War as the Passenger Pigeon was nearing extinction and sufficient numbers were not reliably available. Clay targets were introduced in the 1880s, and gained wide acceptance, but trap shooting of live birds is still practiced in some parts of the United States.
For our Living Social deal, we did an introduction to Sporting Clays, where we were taught how to handle a shotgun and went through a variety of clay targets, such as those that go straight up, those that go diagonally, those that go away from the shooter and finally those that go across the ground.
We had a super cool instructor named Johnny who taught us the basics of handling the weapon and shooting clays.
Although the entire lesson was only about an hour, we had a blast. Nothing beats shooting a clay target out from the sky and seeing it break into a multitude of pieces in the air.
In my opinion, I liked it much better than regular target shooting with a handgun because the clay target is in motion.
So the next time Q from MI-6 calls me to go undercover at a clay shooting event, I will be ready to rock and roll.
For more information about Triple-B Clays in El Monte, California, you can check out their official site at http://www.triplebclays.com/.