What to expect
Imagine a simulated version of clay pigeon shooting, where everyone uses laser guns instead of shotguns to hit round discs called ‘clays’. You can take part indoors or outdoors and this adventure makes a great introduction to shooting. Just like in traditional clay shooting, the clays are released from a ‘trap’, but unlike the traditional activity everyone can shoot at the same disc, so you can have more people shooting at the same time. Everything’s recorded electronically and the activity will usually involve simulated sounds of the shotguns firing and clays breaking when hit.
What you’ll learn
Laser clay pigeon shooting is great for everyone; no matter what your ability, you’ll soon be able to hit the flying clay targets. It can help you to persevere more and stay focused. Paying more attention to detail will help improve shooting technique too. Anyone taking part will also learn and apply some of the safety rules, controls and discipline that are really useful if they’re thinking of moving on to a real shooting range in other sessions.
- There aren’t any actual lasers involved – to make it safe for everyone the guns use infrared technology and sensors.
- Before the invention of clay targets, people would use cricket balls, stones or even potatoes as targets.
- Comfort is king. You won’t need any special shooting gear, just clothes you’re comfortable in that are suitable for the weather.
- Practice makes perfect. The beauty of this activity is that you can re-use the clay targets, so there’s plenty of chances to get your eye in and perfect your shots.
You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
- Check the weather forecast
Joint activities with other organisations:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts
You can go to a centre or use an activity leader who is not part of Scouting:You must find a suitable provider who meets the following requirements:
The provider must have public liability insurance.
For anyone who hasn’t been shooting before, this activity was a great chance to try something new. Did everyone manage to hit the target? How did they feel if they missed a shot? Target sports can be a good opportunity to learn some patience, perseverance and to try again! Some people will pick up skills quicker than others, but it’s not just about celebrating the people who score the highest. Remember to celebrate with everyone who took part, and especially those who improved the most over the session.
Shooting at the same time also allowed everyone to enjoy the session together and participate in more team-based games. Successful teams will have needed a variety of different kinds of shooters, meaning everyone got the opportunity to showcase their more individual talents to their peers. Quick shooters will have gotten off more shots at quick or multiple targets and stood a better chance of getting them, while slower, more considered shooters will have stood a better chance of hitting the more distant, smaller or harder to see targets.
Why not hold a mini competition in your group to see who can hit the most clays or use the least shots? If your group has a mixture of skill or experience levels, talk to the instructor and they’ll be able to adapt the session.
- Laser clay pigeon shooting can often be adapted so more people can give it a go. Many centres have facilities that cater for people with additional needs and experienced instructors to help everyone achieve their goals. Get in touch with your local provider to chat through the needs of people in your group. Make sure you give them plenty of notice.
- The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association has some information on their page about accessible shooting. For more information about disability shooting visit Disability Shooting Great Britain, or for more on visually-impaired target shooting visit British Blind Sport.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.