Greg S. lives in a condo in Clinton Township, Michigan.
Early one morning around 3 a.m., his neighbor called the police saying somebody was breaking into Greg’s condo.
Greg told the police he had recently returned from a hunting trip. He heard noises upstairs and thought it was snow falling from a recent storm.
But Greg heard footsteps, so he grabbed his shotgun and went upstairs.
According to police, “He racked the gun hoping it would scare off the intruder. He opened the hallway door and flicked on a light and saw a guy standing in the hallway about five feet from where he was standing.”
The intruder yelled, “I’m out of here,” and ran downstairs.
Greg chased the intruder out of the house. When Greg went outside, he saw his neighbor who told him that he had already called the police.
While Greg and the neighbor were talking the intruder returned to the house and screamed, “I’m going to kill you. I have a gun.”
Greg approached the suspect while still holding his shotgun and a struggle ensued, and the shotgun fired into the ground.
Somehow, Greg was able to regain control of the shotgun and racked a new shell into the chamber.
Greg was able to get some distance from the intruder, then fired at him, shooting him in the leg.
The suspect was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. He had to have his leg amputated as a result of the gunshot wound.
Greg was lucky that he was armed with his 12-gauge shotgun and that he knew how to manipulate the firearm even after the struggle with the intruder.
For good reason, the shotgun has stood the test of time and is a popular choice for home defense.
And it’s estimated that Americans own about 98 million shotguns.
In addition to regular drills at the range, a fun way to practice with a shotgun is to shoot clay targets.
Here are a few ways shooting clay can help improve your shotgun skills.
It’s all different:
When you go to the shooting range you typically stand in the same spot and shoot in the same direction at a single target.
But, when shooting clay, every shot is different.
So, you get a myriad of shots and angles because the pattern and distance change each time.
That means, you have to adjust to hit the clay each time. This includes getting the right stance and grip.
Like in the story above, Greg had to grab his shotgun, rack a new round, and engage the moving target…
A much more elaborate test of skill than simply shooting a static target.
When shooting clay, you are going to be outdoors, meaning you’ll have to deal with a lot of variables that can alter the flight path of the clays, creating unique challenges.
From cold to heat, light changes, and moisture, these can all add varying elements of difficulty to your shooting.
In addition, there could be things that you have to account for such as trees or other natural obstacles.
My point is, when shooting clay, you are forced to deal with natural elements that you don’t experience at an indoor shooting range – or even regular target shooting.
At a typical indoor range, you’ll shoot at a single stationary target.
But when shooting clay, there’s variety in the number of targets and the different angles they release at.
Some clay targets might go high in the air, while the next one might bounce on the ground in front of you.
Too often, we train to shoot at a single target.
But in reality, for example, in a home invasion scenario, there could be multiple threats you need to engage.
Sporting clays add different obstacles, and new elements to your training that can make the experience more real-life.
Having to factor them into your shot in real time can help improve your shooting skills.
So, consider adding clay target shooting to your practice and range time. It’s a fun way to sharpen and improve your skillset.