The Trap Shooting Game

American trap is the most common clay target game in the USA. It is found in all 50 states but is probably most common in the Midwest and upper Northeast. Trap is a relatively simple game to play, and generally inexpensive compared to sporting clays. There is just one machine per field, and a round of trap is 25 targets, shot on one field. The ’trap house’ holding this trap is 16 yards in front of the 5 evenly space firing positions called ‘pads’. Shooters each shoot 5 targets from each pad for a total of 25 birds.  How it works: The starting shooting shoots one time and then the next shooter goes until each has shot those 5 times then you rotate to the next station. There are several variations of the game of Trap but this is the most common.

The interesting thing about trap is that the machine throwing the birds is randomly oscillating over an approximate 44-degree arc, and throwing the birds at about 45 mph!

This game is best enjoyed socially when a group gets together and shoot a round, then takes a break before shooting the next round. That way you spread your enjoyment over a longer period without the tension and fatigue of banging too many shells in a short period of time, as a group of 5 shooters might finish their 25 targets each in just a few minutes.


Special thanks to Krieghoff for sponsoring this series of blog posts!

Shotgunnin’ Games!?!?

Skeet ~ Sporting Clays ~ Super Sporting ~ American Trap ~ FITASC ~ and the list goes on!


Yep ladies, there are many different ways to participate in the shotgun sports!  When folks find out what I do for a living they often say: “Oh yeah, I have shot skeet before” or “I would love a skeet shooting lesson”.  This is a very common response because we often here that term used when people talk about the clay shooting shotgun sports.  Why? Well, not so long ago skeet was the more dominate game played with shotguns and the clays themselves are often referred to as “skeets”.  That’s ok, if we have them talking about it to begin with then we have someone interested enough in knowing more and possibly wanting to pursue the sport!  Yeah! Happy us!


We are going to post a series of blogs for our GRITS members so you all understand the basic concept of each of the different shotgun disciplines.  You should give them all a try just to because it is fun!   


Ready…PULL ~ the word that turns loose all the fun


Special thanks to Krieghoff for sponsoring this series of blog posts!

Central Virginia G.R.I.T.S. November Shoot – November 14, 2016


Just wanted to remind everyone that the Central Virginia G.R.I.T.S. November shoot is Monday, November 14, 2016.  Please RSVP to Sue at  ASAP so she can give you directions to Barb’s house AND get a better estimate of the amount of oysters we’re going to need. (Surprise! We’re going to have a professional shucker on-site so we can slurp while we’re not shooting!)”


Lots of fun shooting this month!

Hey Gang,


Get those guns out and join one of the several GRITS shoots going on in the next few months.  There are clay shooting gatherings, several wing shooting opportunities and a hunting and fishing combo!  October and November looks like fun!  Check out the EVENTS calendar and plan to join us!  Cheers!

Sunday shooting!

Hey there folks,

Hope you are all enjoying a great summer!  As for us here at the GRITS home base, we are sure looking forward to some cooler days!  Wanted to send you a quick reminder to check our calendar often for upcoming fun with some of the GRITS chapters!  I know that this Sunday the Central VA GRITS are shooting near Mt Crawford, VA at the Flying Rabbit.  We would love anyone close to join in the fun starting at 10am.

The Carolina GRITS are helping support a charity shoot at Deep River Sporting Clays in Sanford, NC on August 19th and want more ladies for teams.  Contact the for more info.

The Hudson Valley NY GRITS are shooting at St. Hubert’s Lodge in Marlboro, NY on August 20th starting at 9:30.  Contact for more info.

Our Piedmont GRITS Chapter host a weekly Pay Your Own Clay night as well.  For more info on that, contact

Now, get out there this weekend and break some clays!



Happy New Year!

I was 50 before I picked up a shotgun. As a kid I went hunting once with a .22 and shot pistols a couple of times but was never really around them growing up. And where I am from, not that many woman shoot.

When a friend asked me to go skeet shooting, I agreed. After breaking my first clay I was hooked. Fast forward a couple months and I shot my first sporting clays event…. Now THAT was exciting and I have now been shooting 14 years (and plan on continuing until I can no longer shoot.)

Why am I telling you this? Because I think all woman would enjoy our sport. We just need to get the stigma associated with shooting to change. I think GRITS is a great forum to show woman how much fun we can have (safely) with a shotgun.

Let’s see how many woman we can get to be GRITS…. The fun is just beginning!

Shoot ‘em up!

Linda Henson


Chokes pix

I found the following description of chokes from the Briley webpage:

“Shotgun chokes were designed to control pattern diameters at different yards. What is a pattern? It is just the grouping of the pellets at a given yardage. This grouping is called a pattern and is measured by a circle diameter. This particular circle must have certain efficiency. In other words, it has to have a certain number of pellets in a given area (called distribution) for it to be labeled an efficient pattern. It is that easy! However the confusion starts when we label them and you try to figure out what to use and when”.

Probably the biggest challenge we have as shooters is to decide which chokes to use. There are many thoughts on the use of chokes. Some people have what are called ‘fixed’ chokes and they are permanently in their gun, never to change. Then there are the chokes that are ‘flush’ to the gun and there are ‘extended’ chokes (sticking out of the gun.)

Some shooters change their chokes at every station depending on the presentation and then others just occasionally change their chokes. It really depends on the shooter.

Here is generally how shooters use each of these chokes

Percentage of Constriction Based on Distance
Choke 20 Yards 30 Yards 40 Yards
Cylinder 80% 60% 40%
Skeet 92% 72% 50%
Improved Cylinder 100% 77% 55%
Modified 100% 83% 60%
Improved Modified 100% 91% 65%
Full 100% 100% 70%


Super-Full and Extra-Full Chokes – This has very tight constriction and a dense pattern, delivering approximately 80 percent of a cartridge’s total pellets in a 30″ circle at 40 yards.

Full Choke – This has tight constriction and a dense pattern, delivering approximately 70 percent of a cartridge’s total pellets in a 30″ circle at 40 yards.

Modified Choke – The modified is characterized by less constriction than full choke, delivering approximately 60 percent of a cartridge’s total pellets in a 30″ circle at 40 yards.

Improved Cylinder Choke – Even less constricted than modified, the improved cylinder distributes approximately 50 percent of a cartridge’s total pellets in a 30″ circle at 40 yards.

Cylinder Bore – No constriction and distributes approximately 40 percent of a cartridge’s total pellets in a 30″ circle at 40 yards.

Skeet Choke – A specialty choke that sends approximately 50 percent of a cartridge’s total pellets in a 30″ circle at 25 yards. This type is designed to deliver optimum patterns for close-range skeet shooting.

Shoot ‘em up!

Linda Henson


Lots of Ho Ho fun shooting coming up!

Ladies (& gents),

Looks like several of the GRITS chapters are having some holiday fun shoots coming up this month! Try to join us at one or more!  They are great fun and we would love to have you!  Please check the events calendar for one near you!

We have a few new Chapters coming on board for the New Year……South Carolina, Las Vegas and Rhode Island areas are looking like they are going to launch.  We are always looking forward to volunteers to help grow and promote the group!

The Shopping Cart is up and running with T-shirts and Sweatshirts coming soon!

Have a great week!!

Just Focus!


I find the times I ‘get into my head’ when I am shooting, I tend to miss the target. It is when I have done my pre shot routine (determining where on the bird I am going to focus), take a deep breath, let go and call pull with laser focus on that predetermined spot, I break the clay.

When we spend our time trying to measure, judge and in our heads we tend to look at the gun barrel. And when you focus on the barrel you are going to miss the bird. And if you look at the bead to check the gap, in that nano second your gun slows down and you miss behind.

Shooting is like playing a sport. You don’t focus on the bat when you swing at a baseball and you don’t look at the racket when playing tennis. You focus on what you are trying to ‘hit.’ Your brain will tell your hands how to move the gun to the ‘bird.’

What do you think?

Shoot ‘em up!

Linda Henson