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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My local club held a fundraising "team shoot" this past weekend. For the second year in a row the targets were crap. Last year it was pretty windy, AND the GMV Superstars were dirty, had worn brushes and arms, and were set part way on doubles. The treasurer and myself (the VP) discovered all this a week after the shoot when we said enough was enough (I'd been complaining about the birds for two months by then) and we were getting into those houses and finding out what was going on. We cleaned and greased the traps, replaced the worn parts, and set the birds the birds properly. At a league shoot off two weeks later the opposing team said it was the best targets they'd seen in a while, anywhere. Along with our working on the traps we did some measuring and found out one of the traps sits six inches too deep in the house (no wonder the targets hit to T bar, but look like mortars being lobbed out there and come up at least a yard short of the stakes). In our efforts to improve things, we stepped on some toes and became the bad guys. We'd had enough of the BS and banging heads with people and resigned as officers.

So, anyhow.... I don't know how much service those traps have had over the past year, and the trap sitting too low hasn't been fixed (their solution is to lower the targets on that field for the time being). The wind didn't really seem to be blowing all that hard Sunday. At times it had the flags were out close to straight, put usually that were gently swaying and changing direction regularly. The targets though were all over the place. On the first field about 15 to 20 targets into the round; the targets suddenly looked like they were on an express elevator going up. So much so, I was ready to cease fire and have the traps looked at, because I wasn't feeling any wind. The targets settled back down though and were fine the rest of that round. Targets on the second field (where handicap was being shot) were for the most part low. Peaking quickly, and then dropping.

Now, I didn't have any problems handling the targets (25 at singles, 24 at handicap), but a lot of shooters did, and a lot of them said they don't plan on coming back next year (they were unhappy about food and price in addition to the targets).

So, I guess my question is, at what speed does wind start to make a difference in the targets? I'm saying it has to be 15 mph or faster to really make a difference. How much does landscape affect the winds? The club grounds really hasn't changed over the past couple years, but I've seen our targets go from some of the best in the area back in '05/'06 to some of the worst in '08 and '09. Anyone had a problem with White Flyer targets? They've been shooting the same lot all last year and this year, and I wonder if the targets themselves are part of the problem. Also, the targets on at least one field are tipped (when you look at a straight away off of 3, the left edge of the target is higher than the right). We played around with the traps a lot last year and never managed to get rid of that completely.

So, any thoughts on the subject that I can pass along to my friend who is currently the president of the club would be appreciated. I have a feeling this will all fall on deaf ears though. For some reason the members at that club either can't see or won't admit there's a problem, or realize there is and that they aren't capable of fixing it so they deny it exists.

~Michael
 

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Assuming the trap is level, the reason targets look tipped is when the sun light hits them on one side. You see all the side towards the sun but don't see the side in the shade. This makes them look tipped.

A machine set only 6 inches low is not going to make much difference in that you have 2 feet of play at 10 yards. A couple of 4x6 pieces under the mounting plate could fix that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jim Tyner said:
Assuming the trap is level, the reason targets look tipped is when the sun light hits them on one side. You see all the side towards the sun but don't see the side in the shade. This makes them look tipped.

A machine set only 6 inches low is not going to make much difference in that you have 2 feet of play at 10 yards. A couple of 4x6 pieces under the mounting plate could fix that.
Didn't consider the sun. That might account for the tip, but I think they look tipped accross the top too. I'm pretty sure we check to make sure the trap was level when we were working on it last year.

As for the trap being low, they're going to have to raise the roof first to be able to raise the traps. You wouldn't think 6" would make much difference, but if the targets are raised so that they hit the T-bar they use to set height, they're coming out of the trap at a pretty sharp angle, show a lot of face, slow down quick, climb climb climb, then drop like a rock well short of the stake. When lowered to reach the stake, they look like a low target. You'd think in the 40 years they've been shooting trap at that club someone would have noticed and address this already, but....

I'm not sure if it's the targets or the traps themselves, or how they are set, but something has really been wrong the past two years and the least little wind plays with the birds a lot.

~Michael
 

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This sounds like a post one of my best friends would write.
He is obsessive/compulsive.....and he knows it.

Do the best you can with what you have to work with (people and equipment), and don't let the rest create stress in your life.

Topography will make even a light wind push targets around in strange ways. Not much you can do about that. The ATA says the targets must be set to the standards in calm conditions. This means that when the wind rears its ugly head, all bets are off and no one can complain.
Do the best you can. Don't resign; it sounds like the club needs you.
 

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Michael

Trap table 6 inches low of level field is enough for your state ATA zone director to demand the trap be properly set. That is, if your club throws registered targets and the club wants to continue with registered events on that field. Not that there are no other clubs with similar issues, but it would be the zone directors responsiblity to approve the club and its facilities, and the state assn. would need to or want to following ATA rules and guidelines.

This sounds like a common or typical problem that small public gun clubs experience. As Ive said many times, "all successful gun clubs have good management". If the club is following Roberts Rules of Order, following the rules, then attend meetings where an official complaint can be reviewed by officials and membership. Most small clubs operate under Roberts, but on a very informal basis. Sometimes older members take their volunteer or elected position for granted, but there is nothing like a little organization to put things back in perspective. If the club is a public corp with a sales tax permit and insured, organization is required by the state. Sometimes the membership just takes it for granted that those that manage have the final word. Which is about the truth, but they all are elected officials, with "elected" the key word.

It just takes one peckerwood to throw a wrench in the works. You need to decide if your the peckerwood or some of the old guard has this distinct honor. Requiring the club to follow its organizational structure seems prudent on all levels.

Maltzie
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mudpack said:
Topography will make even a light wind push targets around in strange ways. Not much you can do about that. The ATA says the targets must be set to the standards in calm conditions. This means that when the wind rears its ugly head, all bets are off and no one can complain.
Yeah, but get known for targets like this club was throwing, whether their fault or the winds, and people stop coming. Some of the guys at the shoot have been shooting longer than I've been alive, and I respect their opinions. They don't feel the wind was to blame. Me, I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. I think it's probably a combination of things, some of which can be addressed.

~Michael
 

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If you review Section Xlll of the ATA Rules, available online at www.shootata.com, you will find that it is recommended the placement height of the machine in the house be so that the throwing surface be level with the surface Post 3. However, this is not required. the ATA rules allow great latitude in traphouse construction and machine placement.

However, the key regulatory requirements are 17 degree minimum to left/right angles, 8-10 feet height at 10 yards and 41.5-42.5 mph speed for singles and HC.

Having said all that, good target setters will adjust to conditions so that the targets show as much consistancy of presentation as possible out where they are actually shot which is around 20 yards from the house.

This may mean a faster, lower target against a face wind, a higher, slower target with a tail wind and a medium, faster target with a crosswind.
 

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Ever dealt with a trap 14 inches above the posts ??
Well, if you diagram the geometry keeping in mind that you have 24 inches to work with out at 10 yards, you will see that it is not to hard to get a legal target even assuming that the the higher machine is mounted on point B. Moving the machine forward a few inches almost re-establishes the "correct" geometry. Certainly close enough for trapshooting.

Now, getting the target to reach a shootable trajectory at 20 yards gives you even more latitude to adjust elevation and speed.

In short, it is a lot easier to set a good target regardless of machine position, than it is to set a good target from a perfectly positioned machine in a 15 mph wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jim Tyner said:
Ever dealt with a trap 14 inches above the posts ??
Well, if you diagram the geometry keeping in mind that you have 24 inches to work with out at 10 yards, you will see that it is not to hard to get a legal target even assuming that the the higher machine is mounted on point B. Moving the machine forward a few inches almost re-establishes the "correct" geometry. Certainly close enough for trapshooting.

Now, getting the target to reach a shootable trajectory at 20 yards gives you even more latitude to adjust elevation and speed.

In short, it is a lot easier to set a good target regardless of machine position, than it is to set a good target from a perfectly positioned machine in a 15 mph wind.
The recommended height at ten yards is 9' to 9 1/2', but anywhere between 8' and 10' is considered legal. To get the target between 9' and 9 1/2' at 10 yards, coming out of the house at 42 mph, and traveling between 49 and 51 yards, the trap needs to be in the right place.

~Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The club's radar gun magically dissappeared last year when I and the other club officer were raising a stink about the targets. I wonder if the birds are traveling too slow? IIRC, the last time the radar gun was on them, they were at 42 mph. ATA says that's the minimum speed.

~Michael
 

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People mistakenly think that slower targets are easier to hit and that is not always the case. The key to good targets is that they have a stable, look hitable presentation out at 20 yards +-.

This means that depending on the wind direction you may need to add or take off cranks from the setting that gives you 42 mph. Also, Pat Traps will gain speed during the day. If you set a Pat Trap at 42 at 8:00 am, you'll be at 44 by 11:00 and 45 by 1:00pm on a warm day.

50 yard stakes are only of value if you have a flat target field and then only in calm air with a properly situated trap. If the field rises you will need to set a 9.5+ target to make it look right. If the field drops away you may need to set a lower target to make it look right.
 

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Jim Tyner said:
it is a lot easier to set a good target (in calm air) regardless of machine position, than it is to set a good target from a perfectly positioned machine in a 15 mph wind.
Amen to that.
(My bolds.)
 

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As long as the traps are set resonably close the winds can really raise havoc with the targets. We get really strong winds in this area and the targets climb, dive etc. As long as we all shoot the same targets I have no problem with it. I think erratic targets actually make you concentrate better.
 

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You can be to pickey about the targets and it will change your mindset. Just focus on what is thrown and your scores will increase. The machine height does make that much difference to 99 percent of the shooters out there nor can most tell the difference in height of the machine. I think that target background is a bigger negative than target height. Also the sun plays a larger role.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bustinclay said:
You can be to pickey about the targets and it will change your mindset. Just focus on what is thrown and your scores will increase. The machine height does make that much difference to 99 percent of the shooters out there nor can most tell the difference in height of the machine. I think that target background is a bigger negative than target height. Also the sun plays a larger role.
Well, last night I was at that club, standing on the porch talking to some people and I look up at the second trap field (the one where the trap sits too low) and I say "You gotta be kidding me! Look at those friggin' targets! And the wind is hardly blowing". They were going sky high. Well, tomorrow night I'm helping them pull the roofs off the traps and pull out the traps. New, higher roofs are going on, and the trap that sits too low is being brought up to the proper height.

Smart thinking, waiting a year to fix the problem. :roll:

~Michael
 
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