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First go at the clays

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by CrossHairs, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    'Finally' got my act together and got myself a key for the electronic trap setup at Tri County. I bought an inexpensive Mossberg 500 pre christmas so I could have a go and see what I thought before I dropped a ton of coin on something fancy.

    Had about 20 minutes last night before it got dark and popped off a few rounds.....wow! Was that fun. had about a 50-60% hit rate, which surprised the **** out of me....figured i'd be all over the place to start. Even managed to hit two doubles back to back.

    I'm looking forward to spending a little more time on the trap range, there is something about shooting moving targets that is just plain fun (and also mildly frustrating!)

    Any other recent converts to the world of clay?
     
  2. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    I go to the hillsboro trap and skeet club a few times a year. Its pretty fun, but like you said its frustrating. Also with it being $5 a round and the $6 for a box of ammo at bi-mart, it gets spendy really quick. Thus the wife and I only go a couple times a year. I still enjoy it though. It satisfies my desires for shooting guns and blowing things up quite well. A 2 for 1 with out the expense of tannerite. I need to get a new all weather shotty so I can go out more now that spending $40 a trip isn't as painful as it used to be.
     
  3. jackelope

    jackelope duvall, wa New Member

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    If you think trap is fun, you should try skeet or sporting clays.
    Thats a hoot.
     
  4. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Welcome CrossHairs! As a hobby shooter for a few decades, I've tried a bunch of ways to shoot at clays. All fun, and each has something to offer in the way of developing useful skills.

    At one point, I was shooting at least weekly and routinely hitting 48-50 of fifty hand-thrown targets (some twice again if they split in two). So I felt pretty cocky going onto a skeet range for the first time. No so much when we were done. I missed more than a few. The big difference for me was gauging my lead with fast left/right flyers. And trying to "pump a semi" for the first time ever.

    Among other things, trap will help you learn to analyze distance better, pattern size and the effective knockdown power of different ammo weights/sizes.

    Whichever of those you prefer, you owe it to yourself to buy a red plastic thrower, or two. They take a little getting used to for some, but you can make some crazy long throws (high and low, any direction) once you get the feel. Cheap entertainment for sure.

    Here are some things I find helpful:

    - Try starting with your weapon at a natural "carry position" since that's where it will be in the field when targets suddenly appear. Once you and your thrower are roughly in synch, just shoot whenever a random throw goes up. Shouting "pull" might scare up pheasants, but they'll probably be more inclined to go when THEY'RE ready, not you. Shouldering quickly (or not) is an art unto itself and you'll know later how you're doing by the dimesions of the hickey.

    - Practice often with your "trouble shots." Mine is dropping fast to my left, but that's getting a lot better with focused therapy.

    - Go with various friends (whom you trust, with good range discipline). Shoot all their semi-auto and pump shotguns, and figure out what you really like/want/need when it's time for another. Trust me, that time WILL come.

    - In an "emergency" you can even throw your own. Truly desperate, but who'll know? And there's no law that says your buddy can't use 2 throwers, one right after the other, or both in one hand!

    Be safe and have fun. The more variety you experience, the more versatile you'll be with the shotgun. Hands down my favorite weapon.
     
  5. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    Great comments thanks teflon.

    I can see this will also be more of a journey(like so many things) and yes, i realise that i'll need to re think the rifle of choice at some point, hence the reason i bought the cheap mossberg 500 to get me started. Just gives me an excuse to buy something better later!

    I expect that there is a whole load of new coordination that i am going to have to learn too. One of the reasons i was interested, dynamics.
     
  6. TyPercy

    TyPercy Vancouver, WA Member

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    My 11 year old and I have recently been bit by the clay bug! We've been out twice with some friends and are hooked. The boy will be getting a remington 870 express (youth) for his birthday in April and I'm still deciding, but leaning towards a Browning BPS to get us started. Man it's fun!
     
  7. SquackDaddy

    SquackDaddy Marion County Member

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    I just got my target key for TCGC the other day, and look forward to trying the system out very soon. Maybe I'll see some of you there!
     
  8. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    I shot my best score ever with a 870. I have never bettered that score even with much higher end guns. Of course I look better with them!!
     
  9. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    barrel length?

    My friends and I used 18 and 24 inch barrels with hand thrower, easy to hit.

    With machine throw could be different story. lol
     
  10. Starship

    Starship NE Portland Active Member

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    Sporting clays (kind of like golf with a shotgun) and skeet can be shot with just about any shotgun. I have a Browning 425, sporting gun with 30" barrels. Shoots relatively flat and work great for both of these games.

    Trap tends to be a little different animal. Clays are always rising so you want soemthing that shoot high. Otherwise you will always be covering up the clays with your barrel in order to get the shot over them and they will raise up into the shot stream. If you shoot right at them they are still going up as your shot string passes under them. I have a Browning XT for trap and it is also a great shotgun.

    In reality you can shoot any of the games with just about any shotgun and have a great time. I have shot at both Hillsboro and Portland Gun Club and have met some great people and major good times.

    Especially like to shoot at night with the lights on the field and white targets. When you hit them against the black background of the night sky they just seem to explode.

    Good luck with your quest. It'll be fun anyway you decide to go.
     
  11. PosterGuy

    PosterGuy Hillsboro Member

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    Shooting skeet, and especially trap, you will have a difficult time with those short barrel lengths. You're pattern is going to open up quickly and have massive holes in it. I know that in skeet, barrel lengths are generally 26-30inches. Also, the shorter the barrel length, the longer the lead you must apply.