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Helice Basics

The mission of the USHA is to promote the growth of Helice, an exciting form of artificial target shooting which is rapidly becoming more and more popular, especially in Europe and the USA.

Wells Machine

Helicio Automatic Loader

Helice shooting — also known as ZZ and Electrocibles — 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.

Download full layout below

The Helice Ring

The helice ring, illustrated at left, is where the actual shooting takes place. The ring shown is a typical 5-box (five machine) layout, which is the standard, most commonly-used layout for USHA competitions.
Click the thumbnail image to view the layout full size.
Rings should be located on a level shooting field. Preferably, the general direction of the
shooting should be North or North East with the axis going through the Shooting Stand and the Middle machine.
Helice rings typically include either five or seven box launchers, which are arranged in a semi-circle in front of the shooter's position. For five-machine layouts, the machines are positioned between 4.50 meters and 5 meters apart.
View or Print a Full-Page 5-Box Helice Ring Setup... 
Twenty-one meters beyond the launchers is a rigid, semi-circular fence, twenty-four inches
high. This fence marks the outside border of the shooting area (into which all scoring targets
must fall). The mesh size of the fence must not allow the White Centre Cap of the Helice to pass through. The distance from the Helice Machines to the Barrier should be a maximum of 21 meters.​​

Download 5 box Helice Ring set-up here PDF
A recent article in Garden and Gun magazine describes Helice, and includes an interview with USHA President Michael Higgins, as well as a short video illustrating the fast action typical of helice competitions. You can go directly to the page containing the demonstration video, by clicking on the link below;

Helice Overview Article and Video

USHA Competition Rules & Regulations PDF
USHA Code of conduct PDF
USHA Prospectus PDF

You will need Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, if you do not have it already, download