guide to down the line

ClayPal Guide to DTL

what is down the line?

Down The Line (often referred to as DTL) is one of the oldest forms of clay pigeon shooting in Britain and dates back to the 19th century. It has always been one of the most popular disciplines and is an excellent starting point before moving on to other forms of trap shooting.

Very high scores are commonplace in Down The Line making a flawless technique and solid concentration vital.

Each round of Down The Line consists of 25 single targets with two shots allowed at each one. Competitions are scored on a points system with three points being awarded if the target is broken with the first shot and two points awarded if it's broken with the second shot. Each round, therefore, has a possible maximum of 75 points. The score is usually shown with the number of hits followed by the number of points e.g. if a shooter hit all 25 targets but used the second barrel twice then the score would be 25/73.

Most competitions are shot over four rounds making a total of 100 targets and a possible maximum score of 300, the perfect score is therefore 100/300.

Down The Line targets are thrown a set distance and height however the horizontal angle is varied by using a trap that oscillates in the horizontal plane. This means that the shooter will know the height and speed of the target but not the angle.

Down The Line is shot in squads of five shooters over five stands. Each shooter will take it in turn to shoot a target but remain on their stand until they have shot five targets. The whole squad then moves one stand to the right (stand five moves round to stand one) and the process is repeated.

DTL Layout

how is down the line set up?

Down The Line uses a single trap that oscillates in the horizontal plane, set above the ground in a 'Trap House'. There are five shooting stands set in an arc 16yds from the trap and 3yds apart.

Targets are set to travel 50-55yds with a height of 8-10' at 10yds from the trap. Targets can have a maximum horizontal angle of 22° either side of straight ahead (this can be increased to 32° to allow for severe wind conditions).

which cartridges can be used?

Down The Line must be shot with cartridges that have a maximum load of 28g and shot size no greater than 2.6mm.

variations of down the line

  • Double Rise - Two fixed targets are thrown simultaneously with scoring based on the number of hits
  • Single Barrel - The same format as regular Down The Line but only one shot is allowed. Scoring is based on the number of hits
  • Handicap by Distance - Shooters are moved further away from the trap depending on their CPSA classification, up to a maximum of 23yds
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