All About Trap

For hours and fees, click here.

Rules & Safety

The Gig Harbor Sportsmans club offers American Trap, American Doubles Trap, and Continental Trap on Sundays between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM and on Thursdays from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM. As with other shooting venues at GHSC – trapshooting is open to the public. All trapshooting is supervised by a trained Range Safety Officer. All trap fields are equipped with automatic trap machines. The fee to shoot trap includes targets – there is no need to bring your own targets to the club. Hand throwing of targets is no longer allowed.


Trapshooting is one of the three major forms of clay target shooting. The others are Skeet and Sporting Clays. There are many versions of trapshooting, which include Standard American Trap, Doubles Trap, and Continental Trap.

In Standard American Trap a single target is thrown from a trap house 16 yards forward of where shooters stand for “Singles Trap”. All targets are thrown at the same elevation and speed – approximately 40 mph. The targets do however vary in horizontal position and are thrown randomly anywhere from 22 ½ degrees left to 22 ½ degrees right of the field centerline. “Handicap Trap” is a slight variation from Singles, wherein shooters are handicapped – based upon their ability – and shoot from a position further away from the trap house. As with other American Trap games, you only get one shot at each target – so load only one shell in the gun at a time for singles or handicap.

American Doubles Trap has many similarities to Singles Trap. All the targets are the same elevation, they are thrown at about the same speed, and the field width is still 22 ½ degrees left and right. In Doubles Trap, two targets are thrown simultaneously – but they are always thrown in the same horizontal position with respect to the trap house. Since there are two targets, you are allowed to load two shells at a time.

Continental Trap increases the difficulty of the game. Targets vary not only in horizontal position, but also in vertical position. The field width can be as wide as 45 degrees left and right of centerline, and targets are thrown faster at about 51 mph. Because continental targets represent more of a challenge, two shots are allowed for each target – therefore two shells may be loaded for each target.


Singles, Doubles, and Continental Trap are all shot in squads of up to five shooters. There are five positions. The shooter that starts on post one is the squad leader. He or she will confirm that the squad is ready before starting. The squad leader leads off – calls for and shoots at a target. Then the shooter on post two calls for a target and shoots. And so on, until all squad members have called and shot. Then the squad leader leads off again, followed by post two, etc. This continues until everyone on the squad has shot at five targets. At that time, all participants move one post to the right – the person that was on post five moves to post one. The squad leader – now on post two – leads off again. The same protocol continues until everyone has shot at five targets from this post. The squad “moves” again, the squad leader leads off, and this continues until each squad member has shot at five targets from each post – for a total of twenty-five.

Rules & Safety

The complete list of Trap Range Rules is published on this website.   Please be familiar with them before coming to the range. To complete your understanding of the game, we’ll reiterate some of those rules here.

  1. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, preferably downrange.

  2. Do not load your gun until you are on a firing position AND the trap house is clear. Do not close the action until it is your turn to shoot.

  3. Load only ONE shell for Singles and Handicap, Two for Doubles or Continental.

  4. Never move from a position with a shell in the gun. Action opened or not, the gun must be empty before any movement on the firing line.

  5. Pick up your empties only AFTER the entire squad’s shooting is complete.

  6. Do not move from any post – even at the end of a round – until EVERYONE on the squad is finished shooting.

  7. When moving from post five to post one, always walk behind other shooters with your gun pointed in a safe direction.

  8. Once you establish your shooting position on each post – hold that position after each shot. DO NOT step back.


Trapshooting is for fun, but we all enjoy it much more when we score better. Shooters develop a personal discipline. That discipline is key to their success, and includes rhythm and concentration. Proper trapshooting etiquette involves avoiding behaviors that distract other shooters or the squad’s rhythm. Here are a few tips:

  1. Avoid talking between shooters after the round had begun. Avoid vulgar calls at all times.

  2. Carry your shells in a shell pouch or pocket. Do not shoot out of a box on the ground. Bending over to get shells out of the box is distracting to other shooters and also compromises your ability to keep the gun pointed downrange.

  3. Do not pick up any empties until the last shooter has fired his fifth shot. Again, this distracts other shooters.

  4. Be ready to shoot when it’s your turn.

  5. Do not move your gun around on the firing line – especially when the person to the left of you is shooting. It is VERY distracting.

  6. Each shooter must have his or her own gun – passing guns around on the firing line is not allowed.

What to Bring

  • Targets – You do not need to bring clay targets, they are provided by the club and are included in the range fee.

  • Firearm – Trap is always shot with a shotgun. Most common is 12 gauge, but you can also use 20, 28, or .410. You may use 16 ga. for practice, but not in sanctioned competition. If you’re shooting with an automatic, a shell catcher is a good idea to keep ejected shells from hitting an adjacent participant.

  • Ammo – Bring a box of 25 shells for each trap round you plan to shoot. Doubles is a 50 target round – so two boxes for that. And, since Continental allows two shots per target you could require as much as two boxes. The largest size shot allowed on a trap range is #7 ½. Most people use either #7 ½ or #8. Only lead shot is allowed, and each shell can have no more than 1 1/8 ounce of shotThe maximum powder charge is 3 Drams, and Magnum Loads are not permitted. Approved ammunition is available for sale at the club.

  • Other Equipment and Apparel –

    • Eye and Ear Protection is required for all shooters. Both are available for purchase at the club.

    • A shell pouch, vest, or other clothing with large pockets that can hold you box of shells is highly recommended.

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Mission Statement

“To provide a facility and organization that safely, enjoyably, and economically allows our members, guests, and our community to participate in the shooting sports and fellowship of the Club.”