View Full Version : ATA and NSSA Snobery

March 25, 2002, 02:59 PM
Hi. My name is Eric (hello Eric) and I have been addicted to Skeet and Trap for three months.

Tell me if this happens in your area, or if I live in a particular zone of weirdness centered around Gator Skeet and Trap in Gainesville, Florida:

I went to the range yesterday and waited patiently for an hour for my turn at skeet only to be told that there would be no open shooting because (no BS) the skeet chairman 'had a bad match and was in a bad mood.' :rolleyes:

I also HAVE YET to shoot 5 stand or bunker trap because every time I go down to that area of the range it's overrun with the shooting vest and Perrazi crowd who WILL NOT shoot with a beginner and have the range reserved for the next SIX hours, thank you very much.

The way some of these competitive shooters priss around is really disconcerting. How do they expect their sport to survive beyond them if they don't cultivate beginners?

Oh, and by the way, the next time I'm giggled at by some oldster with a Belgian Browning just because I carry a Synthetic 870 Express, only to go out and outshoot said oldster by two or three clays I will be forced to resort to foul language. :p

Dave McC
March 25, 2002, 03:41 PM
Hello, Eric...

It's not like that up here. Newbies get a good welcome, and getting on a range isn't hard.

The oldsters I shoot with share giggles when my 870 and I outshoot them and their Purdeys, Browning Broadways, etc.

Sounds like you need another range. Once you find same,POLITELY let this one know why you're taking your business elsewhere.

March 25, 2002, 03:53 PM
Yup---Hasta Lavista BABY----My money and I are going elsewhere---and make a point to tell them that.

Also---Trap and Skeet are OK---but if you really want to have some fun---go to the Sporting Clays range.

With either my Red Label or Beretta semi ---I regularly out-shoot the guys with the big buck shotguns and dressed the part with all the clothes--shell holders etc that go with it----you can just see the wheels turning---thinking they need a new shotgun--cause this doesn't shoot right----lol

I just buy the cheapie shells at Wal-Mart and throw them in a Rubbermaid bucket. T-shirt or sweatshirt/jeans or shorts and a ball cap---depending on the weather.

Dave McC
March 25, 2002, 07:11 PM
Ah, the class struggle lives, Comrades!!(G)...

Many of those folks are decent ypes, and some can sure shoot. It's not their fault they're so rich and successful. Sarcasm mode off...

Chuck Graber
March 25, 2002, 07:12 PM
I agree with Dave and Omaha, Vote with your feet." Hopefully this is not the closest range to you. I also agree with Dave that you should let the president of the club or range owner know the reason why you are leaving.

At my local ranges any newbie that shows up and anounces that fact is paired with a vetran who will tactfully asist in the learning process.

Try Omahas' suggestion of Sporting Clays. The game is a lot of fun.

Chuck Graber

March 25, 2002, 07:22 PM
Hi Eric......sorry to hear, that you are having a bad experience at that range.

My suggestion, would be to find out who runs the trap or skeet program, and explain that you are new to the sport. At the range that I shoot at, they take beginners out to an extra trap, and teach them the fundmentals there.

Hopefully, they will do this for you. A lot of shooters, do not like to shoot with "newbies", because it is distracting. Shooting trap takes a lot of concentration.

Do not get discouraged.......its a wonderful sport and welcome to it.


March 25, 2002, 08:28 PM
Eric, your problem is not with the ATA or NSSA, but rather the inconsiderate snobs at your club. I may be new to this board, but not to shooting by any means. I started shooting skeet at Andrews AFB about 15 years ago. I still remember the guys who took me under their wings, and later shot the hell out of my ballcap after my first straight. Ditto to all the above posts. I wouldn't be rude, but I would definately let the boss know why I was going elsewhere, and also that nobody you know will ever hear anything good about his range. The prospect of losing future shooters is worse than just losing you. It's a great game, generally full of good people. Don't give it up because of a few buttheads at a piticular range.

March 25, 2002, 08:32 PM
Some places are just like that. Go elsewhere. Most clubs I go to welcome new shooters and are tolerant unless there is a registered match underway. Frankly, I don't want be beside a guy who doesn't know his butt from his elbow if I'm shooting competition. But if it's just a practice round then everyone should be willing to help.

Art Eatman
March 25, 2002, 09:28 PM
Yeah, Eric, sounds like you found the local twit-nest. Generally, a really good shooter is happy to help, be it shotgun, handgun or rifle. It's the not-quites that act snobby.

Second the motion on Sporting Clays...

:), Art

Gatorland, Class of '62. (That's NINETEEN sixty-two, Dennis.)

Dave McC
March 26, 2002, 07:02 AM
Thinking back, I can recall only a handful of flaming SOBS I've run across out of hundreds of shooters. And most of those were IPSC wannabees and crusty old bench types.

While the Geezer Squad tends towards a touch of crankiness, newbies get advice, tips and help in general. Watching 4 oldsters bedecked in old straight patches standing by patiently while #5, a Sihk out to shoot trap so he can defend the convenience store better fumbles a shell into his black 8 shot Mossie is a lesson we should all learn from.

Eric, if you get up this way, stop by. The Geezer League(A few of whom read these threads) would like to welcome you to the shotgun world....

March 26, 2002, 01:04 PM
All of the above.....plus.

Most shotgunners are pretty mellow and eager to aid the advancement of newbies.

Example would be the gentlemanly conduct on this board compared to many others.

Sam, ... member OFPTA

March 26, 2002, 03:20 PM

Like my post on a shooting trip in Jacksonville, most people are eager to help newbies. I have only been shooting for about a year now.

Granted for Christmas my wife bought me a set of choke tubes and a nice Browning shooting jacket. But I am proof positive that you can look as good as you want, but all the gadgets in the world will not help you outshoot someone whom is proficient with their piece;)

PLEASE email me and we will get together at WW or Big D in Lake City.

Clays is the way to a bright shotgunning future.

I know alot of really nice trap shooters, but the varied shots in a round of sporting just makes trap look like a childs game.


Jim Watson
March 26, 2002, 04:17 PM
My Uncle, a hunter and casual skeet shooter, was treated with disdain by the tube changers at the local club. So it happens, either go elsewhere if there is one in reach, or just ignore the SOBs. Most places will make you welcome, though.


I know Sporting Clays is where it is at these days, but all those varied shots can make it tough and maybe even discouraging for the new shooter. Someone on another thread was being congratulated for a 49x100. I think the new shooter would be better served by shooting skeet and/or trap until he learned the basics of swing and lead. The learning curve for SC is more gradual just because there is little no repetition. I see the same thing with pistol shooters. They jump into action events like IPSC, IDPA, or CAS where so much other stuff is required of them that they do not have the chance to learn how to shoot.

Dave McC
March 26, 2002, 08:42 PM
Good point, Jim. Gotta walk before you can run.

And that part of the learning curve is fun too. Remember the rush when you shot your first straight?

March 26, 2002, 10:05 PM
"Remember the rush when you shot your first straight?"

No. ;)

March 27, 2002, 11:52 AM
I just recently started to shoot trap and skeet and I've met nothing but nice, helpful people. Try another club.

March 27, 2002, 02:29 PM
Eric--I am REALLY disappointed with your experience at Gator Skeet and Trap...for several reasons...I was a member there from '77 to '79...I scored my first "100 Straight" there...I am a member of the Board of Directors of MY State's (GA) Skeet Shooting Association...I feel like those of us in the shooting sports have ENOUGH problems WITHOUT allienating badly-needed "New Blood" coming into our sport.
Having said all that, let me offer a few suggestions...FIRST, call someone at Gator S&T and let them know of your NEGATIVE experience...my suggestion would be to call Bob Williams, who is listed as the "Contact" person for the Club on the Florida Skeet Association's website...they list the club 'phone # as 352-372-1044...try that, and ask to be put in touch with Mr. Williams...IF that doesn't produce acceptable results, try going to the Florida Skeet Association's website at www.tuckerbilt.com/~skeet/ and trying to contact the Association's Secretary/Treasurer, B. Murray Tucker...I've got a daytime 'phone # for him, IF you need it...
FINALLY, IF you get nowhere with any of this, e-mail ME at [email protected] and I'll put you in touch with someone who CAN resolve your problem...Sorry that this happened at all, but we CAN get this resolved, with a little effort....mikey357

March 29, 2002, 03:19 AM
Go up to Alachua and give Turkey Run Sporting Clays a chance. I don't have their number handy but they're on 441 just north of the old Energizer plant.

March 29, 2002, 10:20 AM

I live on Archer Road, so I could actually get there faster than I can get to Gator. I will most definately have to give them a try!

I hope my game is up to sporting clays. Do they have skeet or trap?

March 30, 2002, 01:24 AM
Don't think they offer trap/skeet, but it's been a long time (3yrs) since I was out there last. Then I think it was just sporting clays.

I tried looking up a px number, but couldn't find one in the Source book. Back in 98/99 they were closed on Weds I think. Like I said been awhile.

Where on Archer Rd? My in-laws live right off the interstate.

April 1, 2002, 11:06 AM
I live in Madison Cove, which is 1 1/4 miles due west of I-75.

By the way... I gave Gator Skeet and Trap one more chance Saturday, and had a really good experience. I'm beginning to feel bad for my comments.

Still room for improvement... but all and all not a bad place to spend a few hours every weekend.

I shot trap in preparation for the tourney in two weeks... station four has gotten in my head really bad. I used to regularly run that station. I dropped four clays three times at four (OUCH). This includes one round where I would have had my first straight if not for a complete choke on four.

THEN I shot skeet with three long time NSSA guys and kept right with 'em. Them and their Brownings, me and my beloved 870 synthetic. In fact, I was the only guy in our foursome to bust all four doubles. Booyah.

April 2, 2002, 01:52 AM
I live in Madison Cove, which is 1 1/4 miles due west of I-75.

And I can remember when Archer didn't even have a Wal-Mart! :D

So much sprawl going on in that area, makes me glad, and my in-laws envious, of Casa De Gator!

Anyway glad you had a better experience, Gator is the one off of Waldo Rd, behind the airport, right? The old Police Academy used to be back there also. Always got a kick out of seeing automatic weapons (academy range) and low flying aircraft in such close proximity!


Dave McC
April 2, 2002, 05:40 AM
Glad things improved, Eric. As for station 4, it sounds like you may be choking on it. Knowing that you miss targets there helps you miss more targets. This is quite common, BTW.

When I start missing targets I normally hit, I work on focus and visualize breaking them.

You can also hit the range at a time and day when it's not busy and maybe shoot a whole practice round from the station giving you trouble. A small token of appreciation to the trap man may get the trap locked down for you so you can work on one angle, if needed.

There's no hard targets, just targets we haven't learned to break consistently.

April 5, 2002, 11:37 PM
Eric, glad to hear that the people at Gator Skeet and Trap are treating you better...hope you do well in the upcoming tournament!!!....mikey357

April 6, 2002, 10:41 PM

One of the guys who should still be working at Gator Trap and Skeet is Steve Ptacek (PAH-TA-SEC). Worked with me out at Camp Blanding about three or four summers ago. Ran a business called "Little Bird". Good guy even if he is an officer in the Army reserves!;)
If he's still working there, tell him Jon Croci (CROW-SEE) from Blanding said "Hello" and explain your situation. Maybe he can smooth a path. At the very least I'm sure he'd be willing to shoot some clays. He's not the type to snicker, good guy.
But yeah, snobbery comes in many forms. Shame really, sometimes I think that's why so many gunowners have guns collecting dust in the closet.


Good Luck!