For those who are new to the sport of clay pigeon shooting, there can be a lot to learn in terms of etiquette, clothing and safety. Here at Fur Feather and Fin, we cover a wide range of shooting topics in our blog to help you get started. Today we’re sharing some advice on clay pigeon shooting clothing, helping you to get to grips with the terminology, shooting accessories and essential items that you’ll need to know about.
The appropriate clothing for clay pigeon shooting differs from that of game shoots. If you’re looking for information on the latter, then check out our blog on what to wear shooting.
Beginner clay pigeon shooters needn’t get too hung up on picking the perfect outfit for a ‘have a go’ lesson, as casual clothing is usually adequate. Opt for items that give you comfort and freedom of movement. Be sure to dress weather appropriately if the conditions are cold or wet, as your time certainly won’t be as enjoyable if you end up soaked through in the first ten minutes! In the summer, shorts, a t-shirt and trainers will be sufficient. Those who are a little more experienced tend to have a particular set of clothing that is worn when shooting clays, but again there aren’t any set rules on this, just a few recommendations. Read on for our complete guide to clay pigeon clothing and accessories.
Clay Pigeon Shooting Clothing
A t-shirt or polo shirt is perfectly adequate for shooting clays. Ensure that the top fits well as if it is too tightly fitting this could restrict your movement and if it is too loose fitting it could get caught as you mount your gun.
Shooting vests are equipped with a padded shoulder to help prevent any injuries from the kickback of your gun and can also add warmth in the wintertime. Some shooting grounds will also provide these for beginner lessons but not in all. This is an optional piece which you’ll likely want to invest in for your own kit but isn’t essential as a beginner. If you want a little extra padding for your shoulders, there are padded shoulder straps available as a lightweight alternative.
In the summer months, a jacket will rarely be necessary (unless the typical great British weather treats us to a downpour), but in the winter will be one of the most important parts of your kit. Out of all your items of clothing, it is vital that this one item fits well; a restricting jacket will make a massive difference to your shot and leave you feeling a little deflated.
Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to be kitted out in your finest tweeds for a day out shooting clays! A pair of jeans, chinos, an appropriate skirt or shorts will be fine. Again, ensure that none of these items restricts your movement and should be weather appropriate.
Avoid open shoes such as flip-flops and sandals, as the countryside terrain isn’t very forgiving. That said, it’s unlikely that you’ll be walking far through the countryside, so specialist footwear isn’t essential. However, we recommend wearing shoes that are waterproof such as walking or wellington boots to ensure your feet stay dry if the weather is particularly wet.
Clay Pigeon Shooting Accessories
A hat is not necessarily an essential item, however, can be beneficial if the sun is shining, or if the weather is particularly cold. Just ensure that it is a well-fitting hat that does not impede your vision at any point.
If you’re heading for a ‘have a go’ style lesson, then you won’t need to invest in ear protectors beforehand as these will be provided within your package. Their job is exactly what it says on the tin - to protect your ears from the loud sounds of the shots. If you decide to take clay shooting up as a frequent hobby, you may wish to invest in your own ear defenders as part of your personal kit.
The last thing you’ll want is for a shard of broken clay to hit your eyes; therefore, eye protection is essential for health and safety purposes. Again, this will be provided at your range if you’re booked in for a lesson.
Do you have any top tips for beginners? We’d love to hear from you via our social media channels. Alternatively, visit our blog to read about the history of clay pigeon targets and clay pigeon shooting or to discover the best shooting jackets for 2019!
Image: Trap shooting at WPFG