Helice shooting — also known as ZZ — is a particularly challenging shotgun sport. 12 bore shot-guns are the largest gauge permitted to be used. 28 grams /1 oz is the largest shot charge permitted. The small targets, called ZZ Birds, consist of a central “witness cap” equipped with winged plastic propellers on either side; the wings simulate the erratic, unpredictable flight of a live bird.
During competition, the shooter stands inside a marked space on the shooting stand, with his/her gun held in any position judged safe by the referee, from gun-down to fully mounted. As soon as the shooter is at the designated mark and loads the gun, the operator will start the machines (launchers).
An oscillating electric motor in the helice launcher spins the target at high revolutions and launches it, either on command, at regular intervals, or randomly. Typically, the shooter calls “Ready” and the machine operator must reply “Ready”.
The shooter then calls for the helice using the call of “Pull” on which command the helice is launched. Once the ZZ bird has been launched, the competitor has two shots to hit the target. The shooter only scores points if the witness cap is dislodged from the propellers and lands within a fenced area (ring). Target flight times are short and unpredictable, compounding the difficulty, so speed and accuracy are at a premium.