September 19th 2018

Clay target shooting in the ACF

Clay Target Shooting

Clay target shooting at summer camp

When you think about activities Army Cadets may participate in during their summer camp you may think of fieldcraft, drill and adventure training but did you know that a number of cadets are actually partaking in a sport originally designed in the 1800s?

Clay target shooting as it is now known, originally was invented for sports men and women to shoot at glass balls that were thrown up in to the sky mimicking the practice of shooting birds. However, as the artificial target sport developed the activity was opened up to a much wider audience and today sophisticated traps throw pieces of clay into the air for competitors to shoot at.

Two cadets from Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) have described why they enjoy shooting at clays travelling at varying speeds, angles and elevations.

Cadet Lance Corporal Becky Comtois, aged 16, has been taking part in the sport for about three years and it’s now one of her favourite cadet-based activities. She explained: “I scored 18 at annual camp this summer which was great as it was one of the top shooting scores across the whole group.

“We use shotguns outdoors and visually follow a clay that is thrown up in to the air and this will then brake in front of you if you hit it. It’s something different to being on a regular shooting range – it is fun shooting the live clay instead of shooting a still target.”

The targets used for the sport are usually in the shape of an inverted saucer that are designed to withstand being thrown from traps at high speeds but also be easily broken when hit by shooters.

Cadet Lance Corporal Jake Chantry, aged 17, who is studying a Public Services course at college, also enjoyed his recent summer camp. He said: “There are lots of opportunities generally in the ACF you may not get to experience outside of the organisation. My grandparents had taken me clay target shooting as part of a day out before I had a go in the ACF, but being a cadet definitely means I can take part in the activity a bit more frequently.

“It was good we got to have another go at clay target shooting on camp. Being a cadet allows you to build your confidence, socialise with new people, meet new friends and travel to different locations across the country. The fact you get to take part in activities like clay shooting you enjoy too is great.”

“I scored 18 at annual camp this summer which was great as it was one of the top shooting scores across the whole group."