FAQ - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

I’ve been shooting skeet for a while now, and I’ve gotten pretty good. I’ve heard some at my club talk about a new sporting clays range that opened in the area, but I don’t know much about the game. Do I need a different shotgun, different ammo, different gear?

Not at all. Whatever shotgun, ammo and gear you’re using for skeet will be just fine for your first time shooting sporting clays. The game takes place over a course, much like golf, with various stations to shoot along the way. You’ll shoot mostly pairs in various combinations at each station, and the targets are thrown at all sorts of distances and angels—it’ll be quite a different challenge than skeet, but the sport is tremendous fun. Absolutely make plans to visit the new range and give it a try—we bet it won’t be your last trip there!

Do I need a handgun license or concealed carry license to shoot at a range?

The requirements vary by state. It is best to contact your local range or look at their website to see what the requirements are to shoot at their facility. You can also contact your local police or sheriff’s department to learn more about the firearms ownership and possession regulations in your community and state.

What is the best gun to use to teach my wife how to shoot?

Teaching a new shooter is not so much a matter of what gun, as much as it is what caliber or gauge. For new handgun and rifle shooters, starting with a rimfire .22 LR is almost always your best bet, as they have little recoil and are low on noise. For shotgunning, a shotgun that fits the new shooter well—they don’t struggle to keep it on their shoulder and they can comfortably reach the trigger and forearm, neither reaching too far out for either nor feeling too cramped because the gun is too short—is the first place to start.

For shotgunners, the old school of thought used to be to start someone new with a .410-bore or 28-gauge. But both have very small pellet payloads, which makes getting hits hard for a new shooter. With today’s modern low-recoil and extra-low-recoil target loads in 12- and 20-gauge, new shooters have a better chance of connecting with a flying clay target while still having a gentle, pleasurable experience with the gun.

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