Clay Shooting Terminology

Welcome to part two of my terminology series!

Those of you new to shooting may hear a lot of terms being used that are completely alien to you. I know when I first started shooting I had no idea what many of these meant which did make it hard to understand the targets I was about to see.

Below are a few of the most common used terms in clay pigeon shooting to help you on your way to sounding like a pro-shooter. 

Bird – This is the clay. For example a 50 bird means you will see 50 clays.

No bird – A clay that comes out of the trap broken or defective. This one is then given again as a new target.

Eyes and ears – This is just referring to your eye and ear protection.


Midi – This is a clay that is smaller than normal and flies much faster. These clays are very deceiving as often look further away than they are.

Battue – A thin, flat clay that flies fast and curls in the air.

Lead – The distance in front of the clay you need to shoot.

Trap – This is what launches the clay.


Rabbit – Not an actual rabbit, this is a clay that simulates a rabbit and so it thrown out along the ground. They are often fast and quite bouncy!

Crosser – A target that travels from one side of you to another. You will hear these described as either a left to right crosser or … you’ve guessed it … a right to left crosser.

Driven Target – Based on pheasant shooting this is a target that is coming towards you.

Plastic-wad – This refers to the wad in your cartridges. Often referred to as plas-wad.

Fibre-Wad – As this is bio-degradable a fibre wad cartridge is preferred by most shooting grounds.

CPSA – Clay Pigeon Shooting Association is the governing body for clay shooting in the UK. If you want to get into competition shooting you will find many ‘registered shoots’ which are shoots run to the CPSA standard and grading.

Sporting – this is one of the most popular forms of shooting and consists of different stands which simulate different forms of game shooting. For example pheasant, woodcock and rabbit.