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Old June 24, 2013, 07:01 PM   #1
pequeajim
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Breaking clays alone?

I would like to get out to the range and practice alone. I have only been shooting a shotgun for two weeks, so my skill level is not such that I can throw the clays myself and then shoot.

What do you guys do?
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:11 PM   #2
jaguarxk120
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I use a spring trap like a Trius, it is mounted to the small bench at the public range. I use a short cord to release the bird. C clamps hold it to the bench, the only problem is cocking the trap and holding the gun at the same time.

I want to get a Do-All electric trap, it has a foot switch.
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:14 PM   #3
BarkeyVA
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My local club encourages novice shooters to shoot by themselves if it is not busy (generally on weekdays) but an employee does pull the traps. Those guys have seen it all, so don't worry about it. They might even be able to offer some suggestions to help you out.
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:17 PM   #4
zippy13
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Does your range have voice activated target release? Years ago, I recall Al Clark shooting alone by hitting the pickle with his foot/toe -- but, he was a world's Skeet champion. If you're new to shooting, shooting alone will have a very flat learning curve. You'll be best served to start out with a qualified instructor. With the trial-and-error self-taught method, you'll find yourself repeating many common errors.
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:34 PM   #5
BarkeyVA
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I have been able to practice one particular shot by asking the puller to set the trap at one position. You might start just shooting straight away targets, for example, to gain confidence.

You might also pattern your gun to see if your Point of impact is the same as your point of aim. I always shoot patterns at a 3' x3' cardboard with a bulls eye in the middle from 16 yds. to check the gun. I personally prefer guns that put about 60% of the pattern above the point of aim.
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:58 PM   #6
pequeajim
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The club I belong to is really a rifle and pistol gun club. Very few shotgun members, but growing. I love the club and it is only two miles from my house.

The area designated for shotguns is one of the pistol pits that is about 50 yards deep.

The only club thrower is a spring operated job that I use with my brother in law when we go shooting together. I would like to go myself as he can not get out to the club as much as I can.

If I find that I really start to like this and want to do significantly more, than I will join the trap shooting club local to me.
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Old June 24, 2013, 10:14 PM   #7
Dreaming100Straight
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Quote:
Does your range have voice activated target release? Years ago, I recall Al Clark shooting alone by hitting the pickle with his foot/toe -- but, he was a world's Skeet champion. If you're new to shooting, shooting alone will have a very flat learning curve. You'll be best served to start out with a qualified instructor. With the trial-and-error self-taught method, you'll find yourself repeating many common errors.
Zippy is right on about the trial-and-error self-taught method. Unfortunately, some instructors aren't a great deal of help but if you find a decent one and they are out there, they are well worth the cost. After 2 years of mainly trial and error, with a one group lesson and two private ones, I am finding things are coming together when a couple of guys at a local public shotgun club took an interest in things. That and I saw a stock pro about having some work done. He didn't want to do any work and told me how to modify an incorrect mount.

If the nearby shotgun club is open to non-members, I suggest you try it. You might also give it a call and even if it only allows members to shoot, you may find that you can take lessons there with coaches that have a deal with the club.

Learn what to do now, before bad habits are ingrained. As I am finally shedding some of my bad habits I am learning how easy it can be to destroy targets.
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Old June 24, 2013, 10:30 PM   #8
pequeajim
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Unfortunately, the local shotgun club is rarely open for shooting. Not like a regular club, they run a lot of matches, and I will check to see if they have any instructors. I am willing to pay someone for the instruction so that I have a solid foundation for my practice. I don't have to shoot to build the muscle memory to aim the same way every time. I just need to learn how to do it.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old June 24, 2013, 11:02 PM   #9
BigD_in_FL
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I prefer the social aspect as well as the fun of shooting with other folks, so try to get to that local club or travel a little to another one. Pasture clays is nothing like shooting clays from a regulation machine
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Old June 25, 2013, 12:06 AM   #10
BigJimP
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There are also a lot of good DVD's out there ...on Skeet, Trap and Sporing Clays...each of them very different games / although the Benelli you have is versatile and will work pretty well for all 3 games.

There are a lot of clay target clubs that are only open a few days a month ....or clubs that have a sporting clays shoot once a month...you just have to see what's in your area...or maybe within 75 miles or so, that you can get to once in a while.

But have fun with the process..../ read up on the games and their rules ...and take the extra time to understand the etiquette at your local clays clubs and the safety rules for that club. They may be very different than what you're used to.
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Old June 25, 2013, 02:29 AM   #11
Orphanedcowboy
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Re: Breaking clays alone?

An electric thrower like a Champion or Do-All for the sub $300 allows you to move and have different target presentations.

While a foot control release manual trap is fun, they are very limited on presentations.

I would much rather load 40-60 clays and throw and shoot continuously than load, throw, shoot, load, throw, etc.
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Old June 25, 2013, 05:44 AM   #12
Virginian-in-LA
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I only live a mile from a major Sporting Clays venue, but I bought an electric machine with a remote control. I tow it out to the pipeline right of way behind me with the yard tractor and blaze away from any angle I desire. Doesn't take long to pay for itself at today's rates.
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Old June 25, 2013, 02:02 PM   #13
pequeajim
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Today I stopped by a local yard sale to look for a used roller for my driveway.

Lo and behold, what did my wandering eyes see? A champion Wheelybird still in the box.

The woman told me that her husband who passed away recently liked to shoot skeet, and had bought this, but never used it. The box had a price tag on it of $100. I felt bad for the woman loosing her husband, told her that was too little, and gladly gave her $140, then put the box in my car.

She was happy and it was the first time I ever felt guilty getting a great deal...
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Old June 25, 2013, 02:15 PM   #14
BigJimP
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good for you ! Well done...
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Old June 25, 2013, 04:35 PM   #15
Dreaming100Straight
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Ditto. You have no reason to feel guilty. Someone else would have talked her down by $40 and you voluntarily gave her an extra $40. Besides the extra money, you probably made that woman feel a bit better; that people cared about her.
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Old June 25, 2013, 06:15 PM   #16
pequeajim
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Brelieve it or not, that is exactly what my sister told me...

Thanks
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Old June 26, 2013, 12:53 AM   #17
Dreaming100Straight
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It's my feminine side talking.
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Old June 26, 2013, 12:56 AM   #18
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I hit my range mid week and can almost always shoot by myself. All of our throwers are on voice command so its easy to shoot alone.
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Old June 26, 2013, 05:04 AM   #19
pequeajim
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Re: Breaking clays alone?

Just shows your sensitivity...
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:46 PM   #20
Couzin
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I use a voice actuated controller named "Clay Delay" - clips on your belt and has a clip on microphone. Two models available - a wired version and a two unit remote. You can buy skeet only, trap only, or combination models. Has to match the wiring on the machines you use. Bought mine a few years back for $125. http://www.claydelay.com/
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Old June 28, 2013, 09:06 AM   #21
joe45c
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I use a outters spring release thrower. I have it mounted on a table that I made. I have a cable attached to the trigger that runs down to a block of wood that pushes down like a peddle. This allows me to keep my gun at port arms or shouldered for the shot. The drawback is that you only get to shoot straight out shots. I could problably rig a remote, but I still would have to keep walking over to the launcher to reload it. For some things its better to have another person I guess.
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Old June 28, 2013, 11:15 AM   #22
BigD_in_FL
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joe45c - for some things it is better to go visit your local clays club

Here is a listing of gun clubs in NY:

http://www.claytargetsonline.com/list.php/NY
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Old June 28, 2013, 03:39 PM   #23
joe45c
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BigD, thanks for the map' If you look up in the top north east corner you will see Plattsburgh that's about 10 miles from were I live, and as you can see most of the clubs are far away. But at my local gun club range we do have a high and low house, and also a trap house. There isn't anyone there to on site to let you use the range, for that matter over at the rifle range we don't have a range master either. We just come and shoot anytime we want as long as we pay our club dues. I could get contact with the club pres. and find who to see about using the skeet range, but since I just started shooting clays this winter I need more practice time.
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Old June 28, 2013, 07:13 PM   #24
BigD_in_FL
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I saw where you are, your town's website has some VERY neat pics fo the area - but look to VT and NH to the East and there might be a few that are reasonably close.
I am driving a little over an hour to go shoot sporting clays tomorrow for some practice. It is the closest to me, but I really like the game and am willing to drive that far.
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Old June 28, 2013, 09:12 PM   #25
joe45c
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yea Vt is a option, but the only way to get across the lake, and its a big lake is by ferry its $13,00 each way plus gas.maybe membership costs and the cost of a round, and ammo. I'm guessing 75 to $100.00 TO SHOOT IN vt. I like shooting, but that's pricy. When I go with a another guy. we set my launcher up behind the low house, which shields us and we work on crossing shots. but when i'm by my self its straight away shots
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