Part one and two of this series helped you to get comfortable with the game and decide if you wanted to get a little more serious. Whether it is just to improve your shooting at the local club or if you want to head out and shoot registered skeet, this article will give you information and tips to help you become a better shooter.

The first thing you need to do is find a good instructor. A good source is right at the NSSA website; these guys are a great source of instruction. I asked Mark Vaillancourt, a 2003 NSSA world champion, what advice he would give to a brand new shooter who wanted to get better. He agreed with the notion of finding an instructor and sticking with them. The reason is, everyone shoots slightly differently, and they teach differently.

Skeet is a game of consistency, and part of that is taking information only from one person. In the beginning, that can be tough. Everyone means well, but you will find that everyone will be offering you advice on what to do and telling you why you missed. It’s very hard to do when you’re new, but as a new shooter, I was told to politely tell them, “Thank you, but I am working with someone.” It is not uncommon to hear someone tell a shooter they were behind that target, even if they were not looking!

Another thing that Mark suggested is finding a gun that fits properly. Consistency is the name of the game. If a gun fits properly, you will look down the barrel the same way every time you mount the gun. That will make you shoot in the same place, which makes making adjustments to your game much easier. A properly fitted gun will also have much less perceived recoil, meaning that it will feel like it kicks less. When you are shooting 400 or 500 rounds in a couple of days, that is very important. Finding someone to do this can be difficult. Look on the NSSA web sites under major shoots. If you have one near you, there will most likely be someone at the shoot who can modify a gun to better fit you.

The first thing Mark suggested you should have if you want to be competitive with skeet is a good income! Competitive skeet is not cheap. It costs around $50 per gun to shoot. A two-day shoot has at least five guns (12 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, .410, and HOA, which is the total score of all the guns combined). Not only do you need the extra guns to shoot the entire event, you must pay the registration fees and membership fees, plus the cost of ammo and the cost of staying at the shoot if you have to travel. I am not trying to scare you away, I am just letting you know what you are getting into. My wife and I have met many friends from all over the world when we were shooting a lot (before we had kids). I can’t tell you the amount of good times we have had. Skeet involves shooting, but it is also a social event, and we have enjoyed it immensely.

If you want to get competitive, there are two things you must do. First, either have four shotguns in each of the four gauges, or buy an O/U shotgun and have it tubed. A tube is an insert that slides into each barrel and allows you to use the same gun for all four gauges. Briley and Kolar are two of the most popular ones.
My gun is a Beretta 682x with Kolar tubes.

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Skeet Shooting (Pt. 1)

Read Next: Skeet Shooting (Pt. 1)

I tried a lot of guns before I bought this one. It felt good and it was fitted to me. It’s not the prettiest gun on the skeet field, but it breaks targets just like the most expensive guns. If I can offer one piece of advice, it would be to remember that all shotguns perform the same as long as it fits you. Everything else is just to make them look good. I would recommend buying a used gun that is tubed. You can save a lot of money and you will have no handicap. I would also recommend buying one with an adjustable stock. This allows the gun to easily be fit to you.

The last thing you will want to consider is purchasing reloading machines. These allow you to reuse and reload the shells that you fire. It is significantly cheaper to reload than it is to buy new shells, especially for the 28 gauge and .410. You can expect to spend $80-100 for a case of 250 rounds of either. You can reload for about $3 per box right now. I use a MEC 900g and can reload between 400 and 500 rounds per hour.

Now you should be ready to hit the skeet range and smoke some targets. Have fun and be safe.

(Featured image courtesy of usatoday.net)