The shotgun event at the Olympics is aimed to simulate bird shooting. Competitors stand in stations and fire at clay targets. The competitor who hits the most targets in their shooting wins. A ‘hit’ counts when any visible piece of the target is shot off. The shotgun competition consists of three separate competitions: the trap, double trap and skeet.
Trap – Considered the most long-range of the Olympic shotgun events. There are three different areas that can release the target but the shooter is unaware which one it will come from.
Double trap – Considered the medium-range event. Two targets are released simultaneously from the same bank of traps.
Skeet – The shortest range of the Olympics shotgun events. Two targets are released from different traps at either end of a semicircle.
The different disciplines of Olympic shotgun events
- Trap men.
- Double trap men.
- Skeet men.
- Trap women.
- Skeet women.
Trap shooting for men and women
- Guns weigh about 4kg (8.8lbs) and cartridges must not exceed 2.6mm.
- The targets are 11cm (4in) wide and are thrown from an underground bunker at a minimum distance of 75m.
- A bank of three traps is set at different heights and angles in front of the shooter, who is unaware of which of the three traps will release next. As each target is released, the shooter is allowed two shots. Shooters move through a series of five adjacent shooting stations.
Skeet shooting for men and women
- Guns weigh about 3kg (6.6lbs) and have shorter barrels. They are loaded with small 2mm pellets.
- The targets are 11cm wide.
- In the skeet event, the two targets are released from separate trap houses (high and low). A ‘single’ target may be thrown from either, or a ‘double’ may be produced – two targets being thrown simultaneously, one from each house. Competitors move through a semi-circular range featuring eight shooting stations.
Double trap shooting for men
- Guns used are similar to those used in the trap event, but have a slightly more pellet spread.
- In the double trap, two targets are released simultaneously at different heights and angles, with the shooter firing one shot at each 4in target.
- Competitors fire from five adjacent shooting stations.