Our History

A Creative Company for More Than a Century

"Building" a Name

In the 18th century, the LAPORTE family was renowned for quality construction materials (stone ashlars, paving etc.) that it provided material directly from quarries. In the 19th century, the group specialised in the production of “ballast” for railroads and the underground, becoming a large company of public works. After 1918, the Emile Laporte and company businesses led by Emile Laporte became manufacturers and distributors of building materials spread out over a dozen factories on the French territory.

Established in 1927

To allow his hunter friends to train during the closed shooting period, Emile Laporte, a great hunting enthusiast, developed, in 1927, the first hand trap; the “Projector n° 1”. This was a wooden hand trap mounted on a spring and manually activated by a metal arm. His brilliant invention revolutionised clay pigeon shooting; the machine, barely 5 kilos in weight, was sold throughout France and Belgium. The manufacture of clay pigeons was launched at the same time. Emile Laporte decided to create a company to equip all shooting clubs with machines and clays. In 1931, the clay production for Emile Laporte’s company was approximately a million clays per year. Today, it produces 1 million clays per day!

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A Family Passion

Emile Laporte did not stop there and in1930 created an improved model machine. At the presentation of his machine, his young son Pierre is at his side and poses for the photo with the new machine. The passion that could be read on his face never left him and naturally he took over as head of the company on his father’s death in 1936. Pierre Laporte continued his work with the same flair and the same taste for progress. As early as 1947, he used the first automatic machine for the manufacture of clay pigeons. As well as this, he multiplied the innovations placing on the market the Rabbit clay, a rolling pigeon that simulates the path of a hare on a sporting layout or, as in 1956, with the birth of the "Junior Trap 75”.

An Olympic Ascent

In 1960 Pierre entered the name Laporte into Olympic history at the games in Rome as the official supplier of clay pigeons and machines. This collaboration was the result of decades of work, perseverance and effort. Selected for the Tokyo games four years later, the company from Antibes continued its ascent always developing new products including the “;SKEET 1000”; and the “TRAP 2000”; in 1966. In 1969 the growth of the Company was marked with the implementation of a new clay pigeon factory in Sermaize Les Bains, in the Marne area of France.

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Three Generations Of Know-How, Quality And Performance

In 1972, Jean-Michel Laporte, the grandson of Emile Laporte and current CEO, took his turn at the reigns of the company with the same passion—that of a creator and an entrepreneur. In 1973, he launched a new model, the “Trap 125”; and added the following year a Police and Military Target Division. He made his company a must for International clay pigeon shooting with two new selections for the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976 and Moscow in 1980. Growth continued and Jean-Michel Laporte demanded of his team to create a series of more innovative products at the same time simple, easy and whose quality is clearly expressed in the design of the product. Over the years, legendary machines such as the “Trap 185”(1985), “The Auto-Rabbit” (1987) and the “TEAL”(1988). A new machine construction company was constructed in Biot (South of France) in 1990 while the know-how and the image help the Laporte Company to obtain a contract with the WINCHESTER society. At the same time, the famous “Flash clay” was launched worldwide and used exclusively at the Olympic Games.

Ecological Commitment For Future Generations

Jean-Michel Laporte is animated by a strong idea: to be one step ahead of his time. He was at the origin, as early as 1990, of the first biodegradable materials and the use of non-harmful paints in the production of clays. Since then, new environmentally friendly matters for our ecosystem have enriched the Laporte product lines that always fit in with a responsible environmental approach.

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8 Olympic Games

The year 2000 marked a turning point with the acquisition of two European competitors—one in Bottesford, England and one in Formerie in the Oise region of France. With a production capacity of 200 million targets and 3,000 machines per year, the Laporte Company became the number one manufacturer in the world of “clays and machines”. Jean-Michel Laporte exports to more than 80 countries and develops new markets such as the Middle East, China and Australia in order to reinforce the Company’s distribution network. Capacity and quality, lead the Laporte Company to be chosen as the official supplier of clays and machines at the Olympics in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

A Targeted Future

Strong with over 80 years experience, 6 Olympic selections and 2500 customers on five continents including the English Royal Family, the Laporte name is an integral part of the history of clay pigeon shooting. It continues today to expand and will continue tomorrow through the force of the fourth generation with Frederic and Thomas Laporte who have inherited the same passion and the same taste for innovation and performance that has animated the company since its inception in 1927.