As you all know, clay pigeon shooting has been around for quite a while now; with its history going back over 200 years and having been played by over 100 million people globally.
However, aside from being one of the most popular outdoor activities and a fun way to spend time with friends and family, clay shooting is also a sport that requires a lot of gear.
Clay shooting is definitely not the same as hitting tin cans in a field; the game can have significant variations in terms of the types of targets, the distance from the shooter, and even the weather. Otherwise, things can change so fast and you need to be ready for anything.
Well, becoming a gun owner for the first time is an exciting moment in anyone’s life, especially for shooting sports, but there’s still a lot to learn in order to make the most out of the practice. This is particularly true when buying a gun case and foam for clay shooting.
Things to Know Before Buying a Gun Case for Clay Pigeon
A gun case is an essential piece of equipment for clay pigeon shooting and for good reasons; first, it keeps your gun clean and ready to use, ensuring the gun’s safety against elements and making sure the firearm is properly secured when not in use.
After all, all clay shooting guns and other equipment must be carefully packed. While there are a lot of factors to take into account before you buy a gun case, they mostly depend on the kind of gun you have. Here are the key things that you should know before buying a gun case:
- Size of the gun
- Case style (soft or hard shell
- Padding and foam inserts
- Protection against weather and moisture
When it comes to gun cases, you can’t just go and pick any old one off the shelf. Remember different cases serve different purposes. Some gun cases are designed purposely for clay shooting while others can be used for a more diverse range of activities.
The most common types of gun cases are soft-shell and hard-shell. Soft-shell cases are generally more lightweight and portable, while hard-shells are known to offer more protection against the elements.
So, be sure to take into account these five factors before buying a gun case for your trap shooting practices. This is how you know you’re getting the right product that best matches your needs and budget. The next section covers each of these aspects in detail.
Price is always a major factor to consider when investing in any item, and gun cases are no different. While clay shooting guns typically cost between $200 and $1,000, depending on the quality of the gun and the features it offers, gun cases are relatively affordable, coming in at around $30.
When considering the price, it’s also important to factor in the cost-value benefit. Gun case prices may vary based on size and the quality of the material it features but even a higher-priced gun case may not be the best value if it’s not durable or it doesn’t offer as much protection as the lower-end ones,
While at the gun store, feel free to ask about gun safety as well as the pros and cons of each type. Remember, it’s not a must you buy your gun case at the first shop you step foot. You can always shop around to see if you can get a better price.
Size of your Gun
Price is an important consideration but you also need to think about the size of your firearm, what kind of a gun it is and how much protection it requires against the elements. Some cases are designed for one specific type of gun, but there are others that can take more than one gun.
Protection Against the Elements
Gun cases also have varying protection capacities against moisture and weather, so make sure the item in question has the features necessary to keep our specific firearm safe. Generally speaking, the best case should offer several benefits with respect to protection.
This includes protection against scratches and dings, protection against the elements, and facilitating the proper organization of your firearm. It should be well designed to prevent other mishaps such as accidental shootings.
As earlier mentioned there are two types of cases, soft-shell and hard-shell. Soft-shell cases are considered great for being more lightweight and portable, while hard-shells are recognized for offering the most protection against weather and moisture.
When shopping for a gun case, think about the type of shooting you’ll be practicing to make sure you’re choosing the right case for the job.
Foam Inserts and Padding
This is probably the most overlooked factor when it comes to gun cases for clay shooting- but it’s equally important. Perhaps the best part is that many gun cases are made with generous padding and foam inserts to keep the firearm safe and secure.
Other than that, you might also want to consider the clay pigeon thrower itself. For those who have a clay pigeon thrower, for example, the Gunpowder Gear Blue Quail Trap Thrower, then you might want to factor that in when choosing your gun cases for trap or skeet shooting.
Firearm Safety: Rules of a Safe Gun Handling
When it comes to gun handling, safety is always the first priority and there are various rules that can help accidents with firearms. These rules include:
The Muzzle Should Always Be Pointed In A Safe Direction
The most important rule of handling a firearm is to never point the muzzle at anything you’re not intending to shoot. This rule applies especially when you’re loading or unloading the gun.
By keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, you prevent any unplanned discharge from causing harm. Clearly, there’d definitely be no firearm accidents if everyone observed this rule. It’s a simple one, but it’s up to you.
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction even when you’re not handling the gun. This might mean pointing the gun up in the air in some cases, or down at the ground when you’re not using it.
Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. And finally, always keep your guns unloaded until you’re ready to use. Be sure to know your target and what’s beyond it. Even with an unloaded firearm, you should never point the muzzle at an unsafe target.
Always be aware of where your gun is pointed, and be in control of its muzzle. This is your responsibility; no one else can control it for you. If you fall or stumble, you must still be in control of the direction in which the muzzle is pointing.
Unload Your Firearm When Not In Use
You should only load your firearm when you’re in the field or at the shooting range, and ready to shoot. When you’re not using it, keep your gun and ammunition stored in separate, safe places where children and unauthorized adults can’t access them. Once you’re done shooting, unloaded your gun immediately. Never bring a loaded firearm into a car, truck, or building.
In addition to handling the firearm with care, it’s always important to open the action immediately whenever you pick one up or hand it to someone.
Visually check the chamber, receiver, and magazine and make sure there isn’t any ammunition. It’s also considered polite to keep actions open when not in use, and a mark of an experienced gun handler. Never assume a firearm is unloaded — always check for yourself!’
Never put yourself or anyone else in danger by being careless with a loaded gun. If you’re not sure whether or not your gun is loaded, always err on the side of caution and unload it.
That way, you’ll never have to worry about an accidental discharge. You should also never carry a loaded gun in a gun case, holster, or scabbard. If you’re unsure about the safety of a situation, the best course of action is to unload your gun.
Don’t Count on Your Firearm’s Safety
Always assume that a gun can fire at any time, even if the safety is on. Safety is just a mechanical component, and it can malfunction. Moreover, you might accidentally turn the safety off when you think it’s on.
Safety is not a replacement for good judgment, but a supplement for proper gun handling. You should never handle a gun casually, even if the safety is on.
Remember firearms are dangerous tools that should be handled with the utmost care. Whether loading or unloading, you should always keep your fingers off the trigger unless you’re absolutely ready to shoot.
Additionally, with the safety on the “safe” or anywhere in between, never pull the trigger. This is because the gun could fire any time or even later without you touching the trigger again.
Therefore, it is important that you never leave the safety in between positions, as half-safe is unsafe. Keep the safety “on” until you’re actually intending to shoot.
Ascertain Your Target and What’s Beyond
You can’t take back a shot once it’s been fired. You have zero control over where the bullet will go or what it will hit. So before pulling the trigger, be 100% certain of your target and where your shot will reach. This is important not just for the safety of others, but also to make sure that you hit your intended target, without injuring anything or anyone beyond your view.
Remember that there is never a target so easy or hard thereof, and you can’t take the time to be sure of what you’re shooting at. Firing at a noise or movement without being completely sure of what you’re shooting at endangers the safety of others.
Note that even a 22 short bullet can reach over 1 and a quarter miles. High-velocity cartridges, such as those between 30 and 06, can fire bullets even beyond three miles. While shotgun slugs have a range of over a ½ of a mile, shotgun pellets can reach 500 yards and beyond.
Always think about how far the bullet will travel if it misses the intended target or ricochets in an unintended direction. One way to get around this is to take into account the gun range you’re using before firing.
Get the Right Ammunition
It is your crucial responsibility to make sure you’re using the right ammunition for your firearm. As such, you need to read and follow all warnings both in the ammunition boxes and the firearms manual.
Note that using the wrong ammunition can damage to the gun and even cause severe injuries. Just one cartridge of incorrect gauge or caliber can damage your gun beyond repair, so be sure to check carefully each one before loading.
Gun owners should also check that the ammunition in use meets all the specifications laid by the manufacturer’s markings and the gun itself.
In the manufacturing process, firearms are designed and proof tested in relation to the factory-loaded ammunition. It’s therefore, strongly advised to never reload ammunition that falls outside the recommended pressure specified in the handloading manuals.
This can be dangerous and can cause heavy damage to the gun and serious injuries to the user. You should never use incorrect ammunition or reloads made of unknown components.
Be Careful with How You Handle Your Firearms
Sometimes, the cartridge might fail to fire after pulling the trigger. When this happens, don’t panic. Just keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction- as we had explained earlier- away from your face. Then carefully open the action, unload the gun and dispose of the cartridge safely.
Note that any time there’s a cartridge in the chamber, your gun is loaded and ready to fire, even if it didn’t fire when you pulled the trigger. It could go off anytime so, always watch the muzzle and apply the first rule.
Eye and Ear Protection is A Must When Shooting
You should always wear hearing protectors and some protective shooting glasses while shooting. The loud, disturbing, noise from the shooting can be ear damaging. Likewise, proper eye protection is essential to keep you safe from falling shots, ruptured cases, clay target chips, or malfunction of the gun.
It is also advised to wear eye protection when cleaning or disassembling any firearm to curb the possibility of spring tension parts solvents or any other agent from contacting your eyes. Fortunately, there’s a whole variety of ear and eye protectors available.
Make Sure the Barrel is Clear of Obstruction
Before loading your gun, open the action and make sure the chamber does not contain any ammunition or magazine. So check and make sure there’s nothing obstructing the barrel.
Even a small bit of snow, mud, grease or excess lubricating oil in the bore can create too much pressure, forcing the barrel to bulge and even burst upon firing, which can be dangerous to the shooters and bystanders.
For maximum safety, regularly clean the bore with a cleaning rod and inspect for obstruction right before you make the shot. In case the recoil or noise upon firing doesn’t sound right, cease-fire right away and closely check that there’s no obstruction or shell lodged in the barrel.
In another case, using a smaller caliber cartridge or gauge in a gun, for instance, a 20-gauge shell in a 12-gauge shotgun can make the smaller cartridge fail into the barrel, thereby, acting as a bore obstruction when the properly-sized cartridge is fired.
This can easily lead to a bursting barrel or worse. But you can easily keep it from occurring by paying close attention to every cartridge you add to your gun.
Understand the Handling and Mechanical Characteristics of Your Gun
Just like most items, firearms are not made the same. The method of handling and carrying a gun varies depending on the mechanical traits of each model.
The fact that firearms can be so different, means that you shouldn’t handle any gun without first proper understanding of the type of gun you’re using and the rules of proper gun handling in general.
For instance, most handgun manufacturers advise gun owners to carry guns with a hammer down on an empty chamber. This is certainly the case for standard action revolvers, and likely applicable to some semiautomatic pistols or double-action revolvers.
Be sure to go through the instruction manual of the firearm and in case you misplaced the manual, consider contacting the manufacturer for another copy.
Do a Background Check before Going to the Gun Shop
It can be tempting to want to purchase every firearm and accessory that you see at the gun shop. However, it’s important to do your background checks and have a good idea of the type of firearm you want to purchase. This will help ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed by all of the different options and end up making a purchase that you later regret.
Normally, the type of gun you choose should be determined by what you’re intending to use it for. For instance, for self safety, hunting, sport shooting, trap or skeet shooting, practicing target shooting at a shooting range, or even when you want to start a gun collection maybe for show purposes or as an investment.
Types of Firearms Available
Having a clear understanding of what you intend to use the gun for can be a great starting point while at the store. It kind of helps the store attendants steer you towards where your needs are best met. Firearms categories that are recommended for various uses include shotguns, handguns/pistols, riffles, and semiautomatic rifles.
Know the Gun Laws In Your State
When buying a firearm for the first time, it’s always important to first research and understand the gun laws practiced in your specific state and municipality. Certain aspects may be legal in one state but illegal in another.
Even if you’re acquiring a gun for the protection of your family and home, you don’t want to break any gun laws that could stop you from acquiring a gun or even owning multiple firearms.
You might want to consider the following reasons that could keep you from acquiring to avoid embarrassment:
- Having been dishonorably expelled from the military
- Having been indicted for a heavy crime, but not yet convicted
- Fugitive from justice
- Restricted by the state due to alcohol or drug abuse
- Being under restraining order due to threatening demeanor such as gun violence
- Having been unwillingly prescribed to a mental institution
Thanks to new technology and innovative ideas, firearms are now safer, easier to use, and more effective than they ever have been before. When it comes to buying a firearm, there are a lot of things to consider, but this should not be an excuse to buy the first one you see.
You have to make sure you follow all rules and regulations. And always be sure to keep your guns safe and the proper way, so you don’t end up hurting anyone or anything with the weapon. Hopefully, this article keeps you safe on the front regarding the process of buying a gun case and the firearm itself.