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Trapshooting at WCGC

Trapshooting at WCGC

Our trap fields are southerly facing, with a backdrop of green grass and mature deciduous trees.

We have four lighted trap fields that offer standard Trap from 16 to 27 yards. Our traps are well-maintained and set to ATA standards to ensure a consistent shooting experience.

Each trap house holds a Pat-Trap clay throwing machine. We use Canterbury wireless voice release systems for shooter convenience.

We have seating and gun racks at each trap, as well as covered seating in our large pavilion located between traps 3 and 4.

Our heated and air-conditioned clubhouse is open to all with ample seating, restrooms, and soft drinks for purchase.

12-gauge shotgun shells are available for purchase at the clubhouse. Limit: one box per round of trap purchased.

A patterning board is available for shooters to dial in their point of impact. Please bring paper or cardboard with you.

Trap Pricing and Hours

Members:

  • $5 per round of Singles or Handicap (25 targets)
  • $10 per round of Doubles (50 targets)

Non-Members (including Member Guests):

  • $10 per round of Singles or Handicap (25 targets)
  • $20 per round of Doubles (50 targets)

Hours

Credit card purchases welcome, subject to 2.7% processing fee.

ATA Big 50 - $13.50

First Tuesday of each month from April through August. On request, minimum of 3 shooters. Shooters must be ATA members and have their ATA Cards. Register at the front desk.

Ammo for Sale

  • One 12-gauge 25-shell box available per round of trap purchased
  • Market pricing

Range Rules

Safety is our #1 Priority. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Shooters must follow all rules and directions set by the Club. Failure to obey safety rules will result in immediate loss of shooting privileges.

Range Rules:

  • Maintain muzzle control at all times.
  • Eye and ear protection required of anyone on or near the trap field.
  • Guns must be transported with actions open on Club property. Barrels must be pointed in a safe direction at all times. Keep the action of your gun open unless you are on the Firing Line and it is your turn to shoot.
  • Never chamber a shell in your firearm unless you are on the Firing line with the action open. While on the Firing line, shooters may place a shell in their receiver but may not close the gun or action until it is their turn to shoot. Exception: ATA members are permitted to conform to ATA gun handling rules.
    • Only load one shell at a time unless shooting “Trap Doubles.”
  • When closing the action, the barrel must be pointed down range well beyond your feet or the trap walkway.
  • Before and after firing, the barrel must be placed on the provided rubber pad. The action must never be closed when the barrel is resting on the rubber pad. Exception: ATA members are permitted to conform to ATA gun handling rules.
  • When changing shooting positions, the gun must be empty with the action open.
  • Never approach the Firing Line when there is a Safety Cone on the trap house or on the trap walkway. Only authorized personnel are permitted forward of the 16-yard Firing Line.
  • Shooting of shotguns on Club property is only allowed during Club Hours.
  • All shooting is limited to clay targets thrown by the Club’s Trap machines.
  • Sharing of firearms on the Firing Line is not allowed.
  • All shooters must use a shell carrier, vest or pouch and not place shotgun shell boxes on the ground at the Firing Line.
  • Allowable Ammo:
    • Only Lead shot is allowed
    • No shot size larger than #7.5
    • Velocity limits:
      • 1 1/8 oz: 1290 fps
      • 1oz: 1325 fps
      • ≤ 7/8oz: 1350 fps
  • Allowable Shotguns
    • Sporting type firearms only
    • Barrel length of 28″ or longer
    • Home defense, tactical and pistol grip shotgun types are not permitted
  • Shooting of shotguns on Club property is only allowed during Club Trap Hours. All shooting is limited to clays thrown by the Club’s Trap Machines.
  • No Alcoholic beverages permitted on Club property. No shooting under the Influence or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Follow all directions given by Club Staff immediately. Unsportsmanlike behavior or arguing will result in immediate removal from the Firing Line and possible loss of shooting privileges.
  • A Cease Fire can be called by anyone. Firearms must be immediately unloaded and placed in a gun rack.
  • All shooters must be legally able to possess and operate a firearm and not be a “Prohibited Person” as defined by Federal & State laws to shoot at this Club.
  • Keep the shooting area clean – pick up your empty shells. Do this only after the squad has completed shooting and your firearm is in the gun rack. DO NOT pick up empty hulls during the round or with a firearm in your hand.
  • Ejected shells must not strike adjacent shooters, their firearms or cause a distraction. All semi-automatic shotguns MUST have a shell catcher/rubber band to retain the empty hull. Pump shotguns must not be operated in a manner that ejects shells towards other shooters. It is the shooter’s responsibility to verify their firearm meets these safety rules.
  • Safety Checks are mandatory for any shooters – Members, Guests and Public Non-Members – who have not shot trap at our club. Safety Checks are offered every Sunday at Noon except when special events are being held at the Club. A Safety Check consists of shooting one 25-target round of supervised trap. To pass, the shooter must fully demonstrate proper trap safety, firearm handling and trap etiquette. If a shooter is not safe or knowledgeable about proper etiquette, firearm operation, safety or Club rules, the shooter will be required to take a Trapshooting Lesson or complete a second Safety Check at a later date after proper preparation.
  • Membership badges must be displayed at all times.
  • A Ticket (one per 25 targets) must be placed in the black box at the trapper’s chair before shooting that round.

West Chester Gun Club Trap Etiquette

Just like golf or tennis, trapshooting has an etiquette that is important to follow so that you avoid unsafe behaviors and are not a distraction to other shooters. Sportsmanlike conduct greatly enhances the fun of the game for everyone.
  • Make sure you and all your equipment are ready when your squad is up to shoot. This includes a few spare shells in case you accidentally drop a shell or a shell misfires.
  • Place your cell phone on silent.
  • Never have a shell in the chamber unless you are at your post.
  • Ensure that all Club safety rules are followed and make sure those around you are being safe. If you see a safety infraction, politely point it out to the individual after the round unless it poses an immediate danger. In that case, call a Cease Fire.
  • Be mindful of your barrel direction. When the action is open and the shotgun is carried on the shoulder, the barrel must be pointing toward the ground. When closing your action, make certain your barrel is pointed down range. Semi-Automatic and Pump Action shooters must not close the action when the barrel is pointed towards the ground.
  • Role of the Squad Leader:
    • The squad leader is the shooter that begins the round on Post 1. As Squad Leader, you should call out “Squad Ready?” before starting the round of 25 to determine if all shooters are ready.
    • The squad leader should call for one “look target” before beginning the round.
    • The squad leader will ALWAYS shoot first at each post.
    • After the shooter on post 5 moves to post 1, the squad leader should look to confirm the post 1 shooter is ready.
  • When on post 5 and ready to move to post 1, turn clockwise and walk behind the other shooters to post 1. When ready, give the squad leader a “sign” like a nod or raised hand.
  • Call for the target in a clear, strong voice. Otherwise, remain silent on the line unless to call a Cease Fire or inform the squad leader of a problem.
  • Do not throw hulls into the bucket when the next shooter is about to call “pull”. The sound of the hull hitting the bucket can release an inadvertent clay. For the same reason, use caution when adjusting the microphone during a round.
  • If using a Semi-Automatic or Pump Action shotgun, do not open or close your action in front of the microphone as that may cause the trap machine to throw a target out of turn. Over/under shooters who blow the smoke out of their barrel may cause the same distraction.
  • While waiting for your turn to shoot, avoid unnecessary movement on your post which can distract other shooters. After shooting at your post, remain there quietly facing the trap house until all squad members have completed their post. You may then move to your next post.
  • If using a Semi-Automatic Shotgun, you must use a shell catcher to prevent ejected shells from hitting fellow squad members.
  • Never pick up hulls or unfired shells from the ground. After completing your round, place your gun in the gun rack and return to retrieve your hulls.
  • If behind the line when others are shooting, try to keep the noise down to avoid distracting them. They will extend the same courtesy to you.
  • Do not pick up another shooter’s gun from the rack and handle it without permission.

Minimum Age Requirement

The West Chester Gun Club welcomes and makes every effort to encourage minors to participate in the sport of trapshooting. Safety is always our prime consideration.

While we do not have a minimum age requirement, it is important that youth shooters demonstrate the maturity to consistently handle a firearm with absolute control. Minors under the age of 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In order to meet our Safety Standards, all minors must complete a Safety Check or Trap Lesson.

Trap Lessons

Trap Lessons are for new or less experienced shooters and consist of 3 hours formal instruction specifically aimed at understanding and participating in organized trapshooting. The sport is typically shot with a 12-gauge shotgun.

For younger shooters getting introduced to trap, proper “gun fit” is important. We are happy to meet with both parents and younger shooters prior to a Trap Lesson to assess the suitability and fit of our Club shotguns in advance of a Trap Lesson signup.

We supply Browning BT-99 12-gauge shotguns for the lesson and have full size adult, women’s, and youth sizes.

Students may use their own shotgun if it meets the Club’s requirements.

Safety Checks

Safety Checks are for shooters who have previously shot organized clay sports or have significant firearms experience.

Safety Checks are offered on Sundays except when special events are being held at the Club. Register at 11:30am.

A Safety Check consists of shooting one 25-target round of supervised trap. To pass, the shooter must fully demonstrate proper trap safety, firearm handling and trap etiquette.

Any shortcomings will require the individual to retake a Safety Check after additional preparation or sign up for a Trap Lesson.

Is organized Trapshooting the best way to introduce my youngster to firearms?

Probably not. Here’s why.

Historically, young shooters have been introduced to the shooting sports with air rifles or .22 caliber rimfire rifles shooting paper targets. This usually occurs with an adult on a range or out in the field.

The principal advantages are: 1) minimal or zero recoil and 2) success by hitting the target. These are huge factors that encourage continued participation in shooting sports by a young shooter.

Gun handling skills and a foundation in safety are developed quickly as well as building confidence. Compared to trapshooting, the shooting pace is slower, and a stationary target is simply much easier to hit than a clay target moving at 42 mph.

Based on our teaching experience, the key to success for new, younger shooters is having a positive experience.

With successful long gun experience, the transition to the faster moving, higher recoil sport of clay target shotgun shooting is easier.

Trapshooting F.A.Q.

During the 18th century, European hunters began releasing live pigeons from “traps”. That’s how the sport got its name. Today, live pigeons have been replaced by clay targets – also known as “birds” – and trap has become an Olympic-recognized sport.

Shooters move through a series of 5 positions or stations along a semi-circular field that is 16 yards behind the trap house. The trap throwing machine is located inside the trap house, hiding the direction and angle the target will be launched. Target speed is about 40mph, and targets are always moving away from the shooter. Each shooter shoots 5 clays per position, for a total of 25 for a full round. One point is earned for each target that is broken, with a maximum achievable score of 25.

Handicap trap is similar, but the shooter stands further back than 16 yards – but not more than 27 yards, depending on the shooter’s skill level.

Trap Doubles is shot at the 16-yard line, but two targets emerge simultaneously. A full round of doubles is 50 shots.

All shooters must have eye and ear protection. A shooting vest or belt with pouch to hold your shotgun shells is essential. You will see a wide range of over/under, semi-automatic and pump shotguns on the line. We only allow sporting shotguns with a barrel length of 28” or more. Home defense, tactical and pistol grip shotguns are not permitted. Our rental guns are only available to Club members.

The Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) is the governing body for the sport of American-style trapshooting. WCGC is a proud supporter of the ATA, and we hold registered ATA shoots multiple times a year.
Yes. Please bring your ATA card with you when you register for ATA Events at WCGC. A listing of our ATA events can be found on the Calendar page.
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