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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today at the skeet range, only me and one other member showed up. After it started raining, we called it a day. The most knowledgeable member of our Shooter's Club on adjusting the machines, a member since he was 21, nearly forty years ago, decided to try and adjust the low house, which has been slow to release for a while now.

He'd called the Mo Dept of Conservation, and they said that if he'd try to adjust the roller something or other on the end of the arm (or something that's Greek to me) to see if that didn't fix the delay, that MDC would send somebody from Promatic out to fix the problem.

Our friend was the only one in the club that knew how to adjust the machine. I asked him if he needed help, and he said there was only room for one of us in the low house.

I sat in the shelter house jawing with the oldest regular member of our group, and I heard out friend yell CLEAR!!!, and then yell something else. We thought he was cussing the machine. Then I noticed him all bent over through the door, and I yelled are you OK?

He said NO!

And when I got there, I found that he'd carelessly tripped the machine while clearing it, and he said the arm had busted him squarely in the head. He said he saw stars, and thought his head was all bloody.

It wasn't blood. It was sweat, underneath his ball cap. The rubber tip of the thrower arm had hit him just hard enough to scare him half to death. Just a few more inches of his head closer to that arm, and it would have been bad for him, you know?

We watched him for a half an hour, and he drove home all right, and he's not got a mark on his head, or a bruise.

Be careful out there, folks.

You can kill yourself closing up the low house on skeet, if you aren't careful.
 

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SuperXOne said:
Be careful out there, folks.

You can kill yourself closing up the low house on skeet, if you aren't careful.
No doubt. Easily enough force to break an arm or otherwise ruin your day.
 

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It happens more often than you would suspect. Those machines are dangerous. No one but a well experienced person should be working on one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
casonet said:
It happens more often than you would suspect. Those machines are dangerous. No one but a well experienced person should be working on one.
Our friend's name is Steve, and Steve as a very young member helped put in the first automatic trap machines about 1980 to replace the hand cocked ones. Then about ten or so years later Steve talked the Missouri Department of Conservation to replace those machines. Then about five years ago, Steve called his buddies at MDC and they replaced not only the trap machine but also both skeet machines with brand new Promatics with huge 540 bird carousels and voice activated trap throwers, and excellent wireless skeet throwers.

Steve is the one and only person I know of in our club than can call MDC and talk to the man who provides our Promatic throwers for us, and the only one in the club with Promatic's service number, and the only one I know of that knows how to adjust the machines.

I'd say he's well qualified after over thirty five years to adjust the machines.

What almost killed Steve was shutting down the low house, which almost all of us know how to do.

Steve for some reason, yelled CLEAR, then leaned over too far throwing the switch to disarm the machine, and nearly got hit square on top of his head by the throwing arm at full travel.

Be careful out there.

Something you've done all your adult life, such as closing down a trap house, can put you in the graveyard.

A few years ago, before we got our last new machines, I was standing on top of the low house thrower trying to adjust the junk antennas so we could use the wireless feature of our old traps, when i managed somehow to get my leg in the way of the arm.

I didn't break my leg, but I think it bent it just a bit, and I said potty mouthed things that were not nice about myself for being so careless, but I was all alone.

My leg turned out to be fine, but it bent the throwing arm of the machine enough that Steve had to replace it. MDC paid the tab without a murmur, as they always have for decades, any time their machines need servicing.

Anybody can get into a trap machine. They are dangerous. And the more familiar you are with them, the more dangerous they are.
 

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Older boy used to trap with hand sets and had a machine trip and hit him in the ribs cracking a few. I had someone pull a target while I was loading a machine and had the arm hit me square full force on the forearm. Both could have been worse and luckily they weren't.

ALWAYS trip the arm and disconnect power so someone doesn't hit the release button.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oneounceload said:
Older boy used to trap with hand sets and had a machine trip and hit him in the ribs cracking a few. I had someone pull a target while I was loading a machine and had the arm hit me square full force on the forearm. Both could have been worse and luckily they weren't.

ALWAYS trip the arm and disconnect power so someone doesn't hit the release button.
I helped Steve over under the shelter house and went back to close up the low house.

The arm was full travel safe.

I looked up to unplug the machine from the power outlet, so that if lightning runs through the wires it won't fry the machine and electronics, and to my astonishment Steve must have unplugged it after he tripped the machine.

He said he remembered after seeing stars, that he automatically unplugged the machine and set the handset down where we always set it.

Habit is a strong thing, you know?

We distinctly heard him yell CLEAR, but the cuss words were muffled, like he'd been knocked in the head, or something.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nody said:
SX,

Now I know why you like big gov't so much: Free Clay Throwers!

Maybe if you moved next door to Illinois, they'd spring for Beomat's! :lol:
The Shooter's Club is part of Missouri's public range system, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation. For our part, we maintain the houses, the range, and do the lights, and MDC provides the throwers and accessories. The Shooter's Club was founded in 1969, by a group of 100 charter members, who had to borrow something like $20,000 from a local bank to buy the 120 acres and built the first club and the first ranges. It's still a private club, limited now to 175 members, and dues are only $60 per year.

Anybody that ever wants to shoot skeet in the Middle of Missouri on Sunday or Wednesday, weather allowing, or any other time on reasonable notice, give me a PM and one of us with the keys will go out and gladly take your $3 a round and open up and close the machines for you, and stock them with birds.

MDC gets all the money used to fund the third largest public hunting and target range system in the United States (After New York and California) by a 1/8 cent sales tax by Proposition C over 35 years ago. Missouri fought hard to get that 1/8 cent sales tax, and it's built more ranges and bought more hunting lands than anything it's supporters dreamed it would do all those years ago.

New York and California are enormous compared to Missouri, BTW. We are a fraction of their population, and if you consider the per person amount spent on conservation, Missouri is likely first in the nation.

Our trap throwers aren't free.

The taxpayers provide them for us.
 

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Yeah, we shoot at the MDC range in Adrian, and prior to that Harrisonville. They even let Kansans cross the border to shoot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bladeswitcher said:
So, did he fix the delay?
Steve claims that he'd fixed it, and then tried to shut down the low house and that's when he cracked his head.

We won't shoot this Weds or Thurs because of the fair.

But next Sunday we'll see if Steve's head or the throwing arm is harder.:)
 

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Steve must be rather "hard headed!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Steve comes over to my garage and adjusts my loaders, when I can't figure them out.

He makes all the runs to the White Flyer Plant with me, to fetch more targets.

And he's the best knife sharpener that I know of. If Steve can't sharpen your knife, with the sharpener he keeps on his belt, then throw that knife away and go buy another one from Bladeswitcher.

Steve is a good soul, and my friend.
 

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That was a joke about being hard headed
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
casonet said:
That was a joke about being hard headed
I made the same one to Steve, about him being hard headed,,,,

After I determined he really wasn't bleeding, like he thought he was.:)

How he almost came to grief, was that Steve usually goes behind the trap to disarm it, where the disarm switch is. But since Steve was in front of the trap adjusting the arm, without thinking he stuck his right arm back to flip the disarming switch, and leaned over just enough to get whacked.

I had a good friend, underneath a combine one time, put his hand on a power drive belt to keep it from flopping up and down. He only did that one time, and it hurt.

His hand's all right today, after all the operations.:)

You can do something so often you lose your sense of danger.
 

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Ever saw someone trip the trap as they stood in front of the low house?

It sounds kind of like a thud.....

then you hear the "oh my God".......
 

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Perhaps these things happen more frequently that they used to because fewer people work in manufacturing these days, and so are unfamiliar with machinery; especially potentially dangerous machinery.

When I was a young man we were trained in how to handle moving machinery, and what the correct procedures were, it formed part of the syllabus for engineering (and chemical engineering) apprenticeships. I think only a small percentage of lads and lasses get the benefit of that now, and being untaught don't spot hazards like we did.

Even now, hazard spotting and assessing risk are second nature, long after I retired, in all sorts of situations, but if you don't have that background, well, stuff can happen.

My first works manager the late, great, Ron Stockley said "Never fight moving machinery Son, it always ****** wins!" Thanks Ron, I've never forgotten. Having said that I did once have a trouser staining moment with a trap, but because I'd observed the basic rules nothing nasty happened except to the ears of the culprit who hadn't .... he got the full ex- Battery Sergeant Major Stockley treatment!

Our families have the right to expect us home in one piece; don't disappoint them.

Eug
 

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cbx posted
Ever saw someone trip the trap as they stood in front of the low house?
Thankfully no, but just thinking about it tightens the bum muscle.

Seriously, seriously dangerous. If the victim can still speak, even blasphemously, they've got away lightly.

That was a joke about being hard headed
"And some of the seed, it fell upon stony ground." :roll:

Eug
 

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A fracken' LOT of energy is stored in the trap springs. One thing I have noticed about traps. No one knows much about them, and maintenance information is difficult to find. I stay as far away from them as I can. I get real antsy at station one next to the low house, always a joy when a clay busts about three feet from the shooter.

:wink:
 
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