Shooting clay pigeons with a shotgun at Phuket Shooting Range

skeet shooting

I went to the Phuket Shooting Range yesterday to get some range time in. I haven’t shot a firearm since my initial foray with a .357 Magnum revolver, 9 mm and .45 caliber semi-automatic handguns while I was studying in Melbourne.

ak rifles guns thailand

I went quite often after that and got a license to own but I heard it’s a perishable skill – if you don’t practice often, you won’t hit the nice grouping you used to be able to do when you went every other weekend. I also…er, examined an Steyr M9 pistol while I was in Malaysia but I wasn’t interested in handguns this time and wanted to shoot a rifle instead.

phuket shooting

Phuket Shooting Range had a great package for a .22 caliber long rifle with sights for just THB 890 (about RM 90) for 10 bullets. You can get a semi-automatic or fully automatic (!!!) rifle with a scope for indoor shooting and I was sorely tempted to do this but unfortunately I only had 15 minutes since the girls wanted to go catch the sunset.

me with shotgun

Thus, I settled on clay pigeon shooting. It’s a package with 10 shotgun shells for THB 1,190 (about RM 120). I honestly don’t know if this is skeet shooting, trap shooting or sporting clays since the Phuket Shooting Range is huge and I was at a station with clay pigeons flying from two different directions and angles.

shooting range thailand

The registration process was incredibly lax – I didn’t need to hand over my passport or even prove that I am who I say I am. I just wrote my name on a piece of paper – I didn’t even sign it! You can get a variety of semi-automatic handguns from .38 caliber revolvers to shotguns and there’s even a full outdoor tactical range.

I’ve never been clay pigeon shooting before. I did see President Obama (purportedly) skeet shooting in that well-publicized White House propaganda photo as he made more restrictions to gun laws in the US though. I do know shotguns since I grew up in Sarawak (locals are allowed to own shotguns) but this is a special skeet shooting double-barreled Over And Under design (O/U) that I’ve never used before.

competition shells

The skeet shooting shells are 24 gr 7 ½ inch 70mm meant for competition – the Olympics uses the same shotgun shells. I was given a short primer (smirk) on how to follow the arcs with my shotgun and shoot. The orange clay pigeons came from two directions – a bit like trap/skeet shooting in just one station.

phuket shooting range

I pressed my cheek against the stock of the shotgun, rested it against my shoulder and waited for the recoil that I thought would hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt nothing at all! There’s barely any recoil from this break open Over And Under (two barrels stacked vertically) shotgun with this particular shell.

shotgun shell

However, I found that tracking the clay pigeons (which is automatically thrown into the air from two stations – you’re supposed to track, lead and shoot it, breaking the discs) was harder than I thought. I wasn’t very comfortable with the shotgun – I wanted to have a front pistol grip, which is absurd, that’s something for tactical use, but it would be much more comfortable. 🙂

Full video of me skeet shooting!

I liked the double barreled shotgun design though – it gives you two chances to break the orange clay pigeons and you can fire it like a semi-automatic. It has a very light trigger pull and you literally break open the stock and reload two shells when you’re done.

shooting shotgun

I would have loved to go on the shotgun course too – they had metal silhouettes that ping when you shoot it with buckshot but I was pressed for time so I could only go for this one. I have finally shot a classic break open O/U double-barreled shotgun at clay pigeons flying in the air at high speeds! 😀

break open shotgun

It was a lot of fun!

Posted: 1:28 pm Phuket time (GMT +7)

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27 thoughts on “Shooting clay pigeons with a shotgun at Phuket Shooting Range”

    • Yeah, it’s expensive coz of the tourist trade here – many regions around Thailand have restrictive firearm laws, except for the Philippines.

      Haha! It’s all about the experience bro. 🙂

      You’ll feel good handling the gun and checking it out even if you don’t hit the clay pigeons. The sights are not like the iron sights on a gun (or the even better red dot sights) – it’s harder to aim than a handgun.

  1. That’s cool dear! You look even cool with the shotgun! I m glad u did something u really wanted to do all the while. Hugs…

    • Thanks dear! <3

      It's the Over/Under shotgun I wanted to shoot (most shotguns in Sarawak are single bore and not double barreled and even if they are, it's side by side and not O/U).

      I originally wanted to go for the automatic .22 long rifle though, that's done indoors with a scope but decided to do the clay pigeons since I can do the rifle shots in other places anyway.


    • Indeed bro! 🙂

      I wanted to go for that too! It was a good discounted price (originally said I’ll go for that – the indemnity form shows it being crossed out after the shooting range people said it’ll take some time to setup the bipod so I went for the clay pigeon since not every place has it) and I used to own handguns so I wanted something different.

      It would have been fun to shoot both the scoped rifle and the O/U shotgun but I didn’t have time. Next time! 😀

    • I wasn’t interested in semi-auto handguns since I had that in Melbourne – even got to shoot a .50AE Desert Eagle (ridiculous gun, I nearly broke my nose with the incredible recoil even though I was warned about it).

      I wanted to shoot a rifle (not an automatic AK or AR which I’ve done before) but a scoped semi-auto or auto for precision instead of just going rock and roll and burning through a 30 7.62 mag in a few seconds.

      It is fun if you’re interested in firearms – when I started, they told me to learn with a 9mm or .22 so I wouldn’t anticipate the recoil (.45 has a heavy recoil) and throw off the basics of aiming.

      The O/U shotgun had practically no recoil at all – it was using competition grade shotgun shells for trap/skeet shooting. 🙂

    • Interesting! I didn’t know you can do that in Singapore! 🙂

      I think you might be able to do it here too, there’s an outdoors shooting range but with restrictive firearms laws, you need to be able to qualify for the appropriate license. I’m not sure there are any “sporting / competition” licenses over here.

    • It’s a shotgun! 🙂

      I didn’t find it hard to handle, although having a front grip would be nice.

      It wasn’t very heavy too, just press against the cheek, aim using the iron sights and shoot. 😀

    • Hmm…that’s a good question! 🙂

      I know there’s an indoor shooting range here but they only have Glocks and other common semi-autos so unless you’re into that, they don’t have much to offer. I used to own a .45 in Melbourne for target shooting so it wasn’t a new experience, I would go as often as every weekend at one point. It was easy to get a range licence (Category H) before the 2003 Victoria gun restrictions due to the Monash shootings.

      There’s also an outdoor one in Subang but to the best of my knowledge, that requires you to own your own licence and firearm, which can be difficult in Malaysia.

    • Yeah, I reckon skeet shooting is something not everyone can do especially in Malaysia.

      …which is why we go overseas to do it! 🙂

      I reckon the price is reasonable for a tourist place too, but it’s expensive compared to Melbourne if you get your own gun and only have to purchase ammunition at range prices.

    • Haha!

      Well, to be honest I’m not good with aiming like this, it’s counter-intuitive to how I was taught to shoot (in skeet shooting, you need to track a moving target, while for target shooting it’s a paper silhouette) using handguns.

      It’s totally different, but fun! 🙂

  2. I’ve never used guns in my entire life. With that being said, yours do remind me a little of a rifle (even though you mentioned that it’s a shotgun).

    Shooting clay pigeons? I’m afraid I’ll have to give it a miss. Never had the whole penchant of hunting.

    • It’s a shotgun, sorry, I must have been confusing since I mentioned I wanted to go for the .22 scoped rifle at first but it took too long to setup so I went skeet shooting with the double barreled over/under shotgun instead. 🙂

      I doubt there are many places around here where we can legitimately shoot *real* pigeons, except maybe the interior of Sarawak.

      People would go wild boar hunting with the same shotguns loaded with buckshot instead of birdshot.

      I read game hunters in the US prefer to use the .338 Lapua round from a rifle instead (or at least a .308 Winchester) which is a harder hitting round but then again there’re people who hunt wild boars using handguns in California. I think the size of some of the animals in the interior can be quite dangerous if you attempt to take it down with just a handgun though.

  3. Wow.. yours look so cool eh. My first and only experience shooting was during my Vietnam trip. #scaredieme .. hahaha.. but that was a good experience 😀

    • Oh yeah, Vietnam is a nice place for getting some rock and roll shots with an AK-47 and M-16/AR-15 platforms. 🙂

      It can be quite expensive though, but fun to do if you haven’t done it before. I’ll highly recommend shooting full auto from an AK just for the experience.

      The skeet shooting I wanted to do coz I haven’t done it before. 😀

  4. Terrific trigger discipline! *applauds*

    That aside how was the whole O/U shotgun experience? When I was younger I used to take pot shots at coconuts by the sea with my cousin’s old Browning Auto-5 back home in Kuching.

    • Thanks Glenn! 🙂

      I thought it was pretty awesome! There’s no recoil with this cartridge – minimum recoil anyway, so it’s easy to take the second shot if you missed the first real quick since you’re still on target.

      That’s the best part about this O/U shotgun, though I thought the sights were a bit hard to use for someone more familiar with the iron sights of a handgun.

      Nice! A Browning Auto-5! That must have been fun to shoot! Have you hunted any game with it mate?


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