Clay Shooting VS Paper Targets: Breaking Down the Difference

All shooters have their preferred targets. Your target as a shooter is a direct reflection of what you intend to achieve and converses with more than just your choice of firearm.
It’s normal to find rest rifle shooters aiming for rifle targets denoting specific increments to make adjustments easy. Long range shooters would probably prefer steel as much as the pistol wielders love the bullseyes or silhouettes.

For the purpose of this article, we only wish to consider in detail, Clay Shooting VS Paper Targets, and a little more details on each:

Clay Target Shooting

Clays are exceptional aerial targets but can as well be regarded as great stationary targets for those shooting handguns or rifles. The Clay target shooting is a shooting sport that can be categorized as follows:

  1. Sporting Shooting
  2. Trap Shooting
  3. Skeet Shooting

These three are the core of this sport, despite the fact that it has a variety of areas or disciplines.

Trap and Skeet Shooting Overview

The clay target shooting or Inanimate Bird Shooting can be described as a cutthroat sport that necessitates the shooting of a firearm, generally a shotgun at particular targets that are flying.

This particular sport has several groups as diverse rules are applicable to different disciplines. The categories are as enumerated above.

Trap Shooting

Trap shooting is adjudged one of the common disciplines in cutthroat Clay Shooting. It can be traced to the 18th century and it is regarded as the oldest practiced shotgun sport in the United States of America.
As far as trap is concerned, shooters normally stand in a line to target those targets launched from a station placed partially underground. In Trap, shooters stand in a line and aim at targets which are launched from a station placed somewhat underground.
The target is let loosed at a speed of just about 65 km per hour and generally moves away from the point it was released.
Five stations are available in trap, with the same number of shooters who rotate their positions in order for them to finish a firing from each target. Handicap, Doubles, and Singles are the three events in Trap.

Skeet Shooting

This is described as the shooting of targets that was launched from two different posts. The contestants in skeet normally make use of shotguns for shooting the clay pigeon.
The arrangement is usually in a field with eight stations arrangement, which is normally numbered. The exercise unfolds within a set of five shooters, who move in a sequent way around a semi-circular field between the stations, with two machines releasing targets.
There is the Low House releasing targets from three feet above the ground and also the High House releasing targets from ten feet above the ground. The target moves at a range of angles at roughly 72 km per hour.
Each contestant will first shoot at a target starting off from the low house, followed by a target starting off from the high house.
Double shooting is a common practice in Skeet. In this case, the shooter must fire two shots with targets released from the two houses at the same time. The double release of the target is normally carried out at four stations out of the five available stations.

Paper Shooting Targets

It is important to state that the joy of shooting practice as a sport began with paper shooting targets.
Paper shooting targets were initially designed as normal targets, speedily making target practice dull and monotonous. Nowadays, there are different types of paper shooting targets in the market that make target practice more appealing.

Paper Targets for Shooting Practice

You will likely benefit from a printed paper target if target practice with paper plates is not helping you improve your accuracy. Paper targets are available in different prints and sizes, allowing shooters to keep an eye on diverse parts of the target to perfect their agility and improve their accuracy.
With paper shooting targets, shooters normally favor one style of paper targets over another, just as it is applicable in every sport.
The common shooting range targets are:

  • Redfield target.
    This is a multipurpose rifle target that is most suitable for people who wants to zero in or compare groups.
  • LE silhouette targets.
    This shooting practice target is probably the most popular among all in the category. Usually used in concealed carry training to qualify law enforcement agents, it features rings that should allow the shooter keep track.
  • X-Ray targets.
    These are also paper targets designed specifically with the hunter in mind. It features paper animal target showing vitals of the animal to help the shooter figure out a range and hit a chosen vital.
  • Zombie Targets.
    Recently zombie target shooting has become a growing trend in the shooting community. Zombie target is just a comical alternative to the nominal paper target, where paper zombies are placed at points for shooters to aim and fire.
  • Bullseye shooting targets.
    The Bullseye target is simple and effective and is probably the most easily recognizable target of all. This target is competitive and is probably the easiest way to test your shooting skills.
  • Splatter targets.
    These targets are produced using dense colored ink on high-quality paper cardstock that would burst and create a splatter effect when shot at .to show the point of contact from a distance.

Article by: Josh Montgomery

Josh Montgomery comes from Davenport in Iowa, where you can find him doing target practice on a specialized gun course he helped put together, tinkering around the workshop and taking care of his labradors Charles and Nancy along with his exceptional wife. Currently runs a blog at