Fun Facts on Clay Pigeon Shooting!

Clay Pigeon Shooting is by far one of our more popular activities to choose from at Southern Pursuits. The activity itself encourages and trains its users to learn the skills of precision, posture and strength. Of course it offers an adrenaline kick to anyone who hits the target!

So what better way can we celebrate the art of Clay Pigeon Shooting other than finding out some very interesting facts and history about the sport!

Did you know that it wasn’t until the outbreak of the First World War that pheasant and grouse shooting swept in popularity across England?

It was only until around 1883 and 1887 that marked the change of shooting. This time period saw the introduction of the first clay target! (Lucky for the Pigeons!)

So, what did they use for the first Clay Pigeon target?

Before Clay Pigeon Shooting the game of ‘glass ball’ took place in England and in the United States. The Glass Ball was quite simply a glass ball which was filled with either powder or feathers. These glass balls came in numerous colours, however, at the time the most popular colour to get was amber, followed by blue!

From 1886 until 1880 glass ball shooting became pretty popular in America. This saw the start of glass ball shooting tournaments!

However, tournaments for Shooting were slightly different back then to what we are used to now! Each competitor (normally only two people!) would have to compete to see who could break the most glass balls in a set time period, which meant that some matches could go on for days! – I wonder if their arms got tired?

Sadly, the act of glass ball shooting grew to a steady demise. Shooters felt that the glass balls were not sufficient enough to emulate live game. They lacked wings, erratic movement and speed.

It was only until 1980 that the development of automatic traps was in full swing!  These powerful battery powered traps allowed shooters to position their targets in more realistic positions.

Diverse and challenging targets…

Southern Pursuits has a range of diverse and challenging targets which are designed in a sporting layout to emulate live game. We have 12 different traps located in various positions, some of these include: Grouse, High Pheasant, Mallard, Rabbit, Crossing Pigeon and Down the line. You will either use a 12 or 20 bore Lincoln Baretta shotgun during your session, unless you opt for our new special ‘The Gun Collection’ where you will get to trial 4 different guns. Your session will be fully instructed with one of our expert instructors. Each guest will be given a set number of Clays depending on the package which has been purchased – these come in sets of 25, 50, 75 & 100.


25 clays – £38.75 + vat pp

50 clays – £59 + vat pp

75 clays – £70 + vat pp

100 clays – £83 + vat pp

Or why not pair Clay Pigeon Shooting with some other historical activities such as Axe Throwing and Archery? All three is only £68.99 + vat pp on our Target Madness Package!