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History and Description of the Shotgun
By Brian Luft - KSRA Shotgun Discipline Chairman

Have you ever wondered what the description of a shotgun is?  How bout a brief history of the shotgun?  Well I’m here to provide a little of both while talking about the shotgun sport itself.  The shotgun was designed to shoot from the shoulder.  Some professionals have mastered hip shooting as well.  The common gauges on the market today are the 10, 12,16,20,28, and 410.  The most common gauge of a shotgun today is the 12 gauge.  Along with the gauges come the operating mechanisms.  This consists of single shots, over/under, side by side, semi-automatic, pump-action, lever-action, and even bolt action.  Each one of these has its respects in whatever shooting field you want to participate in.  For example, if you want to shoot trap or skeet, an over/under, semi-automatic, and even a pump-action would best suit you.  The shotgun to some is actually one of the most popular weapons.  You can shoot sporting events such as sporting clays, trapshooting, and skeet.  There are many different levels from the beginner shooter all the way up to the Olympic caliber shooter.  We at the KSRA (Kansas State Rifle Association) take pride in all shooting aspects whether with a rifle, pistol, or shotgun.

 Next I will give a brief description of 3 of the most popular shooting disciplines with a shotgun. 

Trap Shooting

American Trap
is popular throughout the United States and may well be the most popular form of clay target shooting in North America. You can go out in your backyard and shoot clay pigeons, or pursue it with the American Amateur Trapshooting Association.  American Trap provides several different competitions.  There is Singles, where you shoot one clay pigeon at a time, Doubles where you shoot two clay pigeons, and wobble where you have two shots at one clay pigeon.


Skeet Shooting
American Skeet
is administered by the National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA).  This game varies from trapshooting in that you have two houses that you shoot singles and doubles from.  There is a high and a low house.  Like trapshooting there is beginner stage all the way up to Olympic shooting. 


Sporting Clays

Sporting Clays
is a form of clay pigeon shooting and is considered by many to be the most difficult shooting sport.  This game involves shooting clay targets at multiple locations called stations.  Many of these courses are designed in a creek with trees and brush.  It resembles more of a hunting scenario while still shooting clay pigeons.  Unlike trap and skeet, which are games of repeatable target presentations, sporting clays targets are thrown in a variety of trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations and distances.

I hope from this brief discussion of the shotgun and what you can do with one will help you consider taking a “shot” at this sport.  While these games are relatively old they have taken on popularity as of late.  The KSRA is proud of their shooting sports and hope to generate interest in all aspects of the gun.    

By Brian Luft - KSRA Shotgun Discipline Chairman

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