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Article 8 – 2010

person aiming shotgun at target range

Question: I was interested if there has been any follow up with the ISSF as to the inclusion of Sporting Clays at future Olympic Games?

Heath Morrison, Albany WA

 

Answer: I was recently at a World Cup event where the topic of discussion amongst many of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) executive was just this. I did have the opportunity to have a coffee one day with one of the more influential members of the ISSF and it seems the dream of having Sporting Clays at future Olympic Games is again a long way off. The topography of what would be required from all shooting ranges in the world requiring them to be set up in exactly the same way to conduct a fair and equitable competition whilst still making the event interesting seems to be the greatest barrier. To be consistent worldwide would require that every ISSF range would need to be located on reasonably flat terrain for at least 55 metres in front of the shooting positions. Many grounds throughout the world are located on the side of huge cliff faces or vast sloping hills which would make setting up a pre determined sporting layout overlaying an existing Skeet and Trap field impossible.

Currently the ISSF have a proposal on the table to keep the existing event of Double Trap with slightly modified rules to make the event more appealing once again to Trap Shooters and making it slightly cheaper to compete and train in. The proposal involves reducing the event to four rounds of 15 pairs of targets and making the targets appear once again upon the shooters command instead of the current delayed release of anywhere up to one second. The new rules would come in effect in 2013.

Question: Do you recommend ear plugs or ear muffs when you are shooting? I have had a set of ear muffs given to me for my birthday, but when I mount my gun to my shoulder I often knock the ear muffs from my head. Are plugs sufficient?

Robert Pyke, Clayton VIC

 

Answer: It is not an uncommon problem that you are describing Robert. This is usually caused by a very high gun mount where the butt of the gun is positioned too high up on the shoulder . In Trap shooting many people that shoot what is called a “Monte Carlo” stock (a stock where the comb is parallel to the barrel of the shotgun) suffer from this due to the angle of the comb and therefore the butt or pad of the stock collide with the earmuff. Many earmuff manufacturers make a “low profile” ear muff which is specifically designed to overcome this problem. By lower profile I mean the actual shell part of the muff covering the ear is thinner and often cut away to provide more room for a high gun mount.

I know many shooters that wear custom fitted plugs also and this when used with earmuffs provide by far the best ear protection especially on any range, Rifle, Pistol or Shotgun, where you have other shooters competing right beside you therefore suffering their muzzle blast as well as your own.

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