Choosing a Shotgun for Clay Pigeon Shooting

1 March 2017
 Categories: Recreation & Sports, Blog


Clay pigeon shooting is a great way to enjoy the sport of firearms all year, and without harming any animals if this is something you'd prefer. If you're new to guns, it's a bewildering prospect to choose the right one for your needs, but you can narrow down the choices with certain criteria.

Follow these guidelines and you'll be able to find the perfect firearm that will let you enjoy clay shooting for a long time to come.


Firearms licenses in Australia are divided up into different categories of guns. For clay pigeon shooting, you'll want a Class C license, which will allow you to own and use a suitable shotgun for the sport.

An additional section of the license deals with the reason for firearms ownership, called Purpose of Use or POU. For target shooting, you'll need to obtain a POU 2 license, which will involve specific training before the license will be granted.

Choosing a gun

There are a lot of variables in gun design, so narrowing down the important factors will help you choose.

The gauge of a gun refers to the size of the barrel and determines what sort of rounds it can use. As a beginner to clay shooting, you should opt for a 12 gauge, as it's versatile and can be used with a range of ammunition types. As your ability increases and you start to think about competing, a .410 might be a more suitable gauge. If you want to challenge yourself as a beginner and invest in a long-term firearm that can support you as you grow, this is worth some consideration, but you might find it much more difficult to hit your target.

You'll also want to think about what type of action the gun uses. This doesn't have much bearing on its suitability for clay shooting but has an effect on how usable you'll find it.

Many people, especially beginners, choose a pump-action gun, as they're reasonably inexpensive and work reliably, so there's less to go wrong. If you're concerned about recoil, a semi-automatic can reduce this, but the price goes up with this sort of firearm.

Other things to look for

When choosing a gun, it's important to make sure you'll find it comfortable to shoot. If you can, buy from somewhere that lets you handle the merchandise to get a feel for it. Check the weight and balance and think about how easy it will be to carry.

The most important thing is to buy something you'll be happy with, even if you're looking at second hand firearms, so ask questions, get to know your supplier, and take your time choosing.