Several people have asked me what clay targets, or clay pigeons as they are known in the UK, are made from as it clearly isn’t clay and is definitely not pigeon. A bit of research reveals that they are made from a mix of limestone and coal tar pitch. This forms a strong mixture to withstand being thrown from a trap but is sufficiently brittle to break when hit by only a few pellets, although it doesn’t always seem that way! The pitch, it seems, eventually breaks down in sunlight releasing the limestone into the soil in a similar way to top dressing.
Several companies are experimenting with environmentally friendly replacement materials and as soon as these are available at a reasonable price and performance level we will use them. One enterprising soul is even experimenting with targets made from coloured ice. Good news for the Scott Base clay target club but problematic for use in the heat of a Hawke’s Bay summer.
If you would like to help with our 2016 top dressing effort by coming and breaking a few clays, we are currently renewing memberships for the coming year and have several available for new members. Our next club shoot is on Sunday 4th October 2015, for more details have a look at our website or give me a ring on 021 680 053.