Gearing Up For Trap Shooting Season
Every year, thousands of shooters pull out their trapshooting guns to dust off the cobwebs after a long dry spell of sitting in the gun case or safe. With spring upon us, it’s a fun time to start thinking of warmer temps, breaking clays, and the smell of burning gunpowder while gearing up for the shooting season with the latest products that will bump your game to the next level.
Let’s go through a routine that Matt and I both use to get back into the shooting mindset, how to set up your shooting bag, and how to start off your training season. Also, at the end I will go through some new products that I saw while walking the floors at this years 2023 SHOT Show.
CLEAN/ORGANIZE YOUR GEAR:
While the cold weather is still upon us, it’s a great time to get all the indoor items completed off your checklist. This includes all your gear in your shooting bag, shooting vest and any additional toolboxes or tackleboxes with misc. items and cleaning gear. If you have any broken or worn-out gear (earplugs, glasses, vest, etc.), now’s the time to get it fixed and ready for the season.
Here's a few things I try and get organized in each respective category:
Items for vest: Items for shooting bag: Items for toolbox:
Practice card Shooting Glasses / toe pads Solvent / Oil / Gun Scrubber
Wad weasel Vaseline / face chalk Screws / bolts / comb spacers
Earplugs Sights / choke tubes Specialized tools / screwdrivers
Vaseline Tools for quick gun fix cleaning rods / misc. gear
Be sure to add any additional items that you might need for your specific gun, or if you need anything specific like snacks, vitamins or any additional gear that goes with you, have a list with those items written down.
CLEAN YOUR GUN:
If you followed along with me on the last article about how to properly clean your gun for storage, you’ll know that I use a rust preventative coating on my shotguns to help save them, in the case of any moisture being locked in with them. I like to clean my guns before the season to get the old grease and oil off my gun so its fresh.
I personally will scrub the gun from head to toe with a bottle of gun scrubber by Birchwood Casey which does a phenomenal job getting it completely clean and ready for grease. From there follow up with your favorite gun grease or oil, as well as taking the time to take out the choke tube and use some fresh choke tube lube to keep your gun functioning and shooting at peak performance. I try to have my gun cleaned exactly as I would for the first time I shoot practice, so I am consistent for the rest of the season.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE SHOOTING SEASON:
This chapter I want to stress that you need to find your own way to mentally prepare and train for the shooting season as everyone’s planning process is different.
Personally, I prepare more on the backend of the last season, writing down notes, shooting style, hold points, eye placement and any other ideas that I can think of like music playlist and things that worked well when I was at the Grand. When I pull out my gear and prepare for this year’s shooting season, I take time to reflect on the notes that I wrote which usually puts me back in the game and not having to tweak my shooting as much. I will shoot more, and more often that Matt does when getting back into the game during the spring as well, shooting 100+ rounds a day to every other day.
In my case, I can get my mental mindset set back on the competitive nature very quickly.
Matt will spread out his training season in the spring, creating a lighter workload over a longer period to get him event ready. He doesn’t necessarily take notes as by this point, he has his hold points and footwork memorized, and will tweak things with his timing by practicing and time behind the device.
Matt’s mental mindset takes a little longer to revert back to trapshooting, so the additional time helps him get that competitive mindset instilled.
I do want to talk about the benefit of Matt’s process taking more time to get your body ready for the shooting season. Shooting less shells and building up your strength is usually a more advantageous way of training. It’s like if you were going to a marathon... you’re going to find it’s much easier to finish the race after building your body up to the challenge and getting the muscle memory to last a longer amount of time compared to jumping into it and potentially risking injury like I did last year from shooting too much and injuring my shoulder. Going forward I will be taking a couple extra weeks of shooting a box or two and lightly working my way up to shooting more.
There’s no right or wrong way to train, you must find what works well for you.
NEW ITEMS SEEN AT SHOT SHOW 2023:
This year there were some hot new items worth mentioning to help train, improve your accuracy and keep you consistent. Let dive into those:
Do All Outdoors:
When the shooting park is closed during the fall/winter or due to the snowfall, or you’d prefer to just shoot some clays with family and friends, (or without others around), Do All Outdoors has you covered with clay throwing machines fit to your lifestyle and wallet.
They have several traps that are battery operated and manual to help get you back in the game.
ShotKam just released their new “SK4”, an upgraded camera and battery gives you better clarity and battery life than its predecessor, the SK3. This is a great training tool that Matt and I will use to dial in those missed targets, while training other shooters and during clinics.
Winchester E-Tech™ shotshells are loaded with revolutionary BioAmmo® wads made from bio-polymers that look and perform like traditional plastic. Whether on the clay range, or in the field, the technology in E-Tech shotshells is impactful on target and the environment.
Browning released their new 2023 Citori Composite with a stock and forearm made of composite with rubber over molding to enhance grip and balance, an adjustable comb and three choke system to give you a fit that is great for those starting off or wanting to use for a multitude of shooting such as trap, skeet, sporting, and hunting.
If you have any additional shooting questions, tips, upcoming clinics or would like to reach out to me directly, feel free to visit: TrapshootingBros.com
Best of luck this shooting season, make it your best year ever and I hope to see everyone out on the line!
As Seen in https://shotgunsportsmagazine.com/