Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jun 26 @ Vernon National Shooting Preserve

Taking advantage of attending a wedding in Syracuse Saturday evening we stopped by Vernon National Shooting Preserve near Vernon Center, NY on the way home Sunday morning.

A warm day, sunny and in the 80's, but a wind blowing through the trees on the course made for a bearable day.  Only a handful of stations in the direct sun, the rest inside the tree line (and in the shade).

The clubs website states 14 stations, but 17 stations is what we found.  We shot the course with IC choke.  A walkable course and that's what we did. The club has cart rentals.

Insert the card in the slot and hit the power button.  Remove the card and it turns off.

The V in the stand is for those need the extra room to open and close an O/U.  I found the cross post at an excellent height for youngsters.  With the number of youngsters (and women) I see at various clubs, time to ensure shooting stands meet the needs of people not 6 foot tall.

Station #17.  Could be the toughest targets on the course.  The wind can be your enemy.

Nice verity of target presentations. 

We ran into some very nice people on the course.  I gather they were regulars.

Station #8 you may or may not get to shoot, as it's also the area of the course that long bird practice machines are situated.  If in use you can wait, or pass and return (or take extra targets at other stations).  It was not in use and we shot station #8.

Back in late May my nephew contacted the club in regard to shooting clay targets as part of a bachelor party outing.  They had a blast and ended the day with a cook your own steak at the clubhouse.  The club has rental guns and will provide an instructor if needed.

Thanks to the club for letting us shoot at member rate.

We stopped at Bass Pro in Utica.  Fishing and hunting equipment in ample supply.  No sale on shotgun ammunition.  I'm looking at picking up another Beretta, but seemed all the Beretta guns in stock were hunting guns.

We passed a poor sole on I-87 that just hit a deer.  Looks like he almost missed it, as just the left front side of the vehicle was smashed.  Saw the deer on the side of the road and it didn't look that big, but it doesn't take much with the way modern vehicles are constructed.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A400 Xcel - Beretta Update

It's almost been a year and only in the last few weeks that I don't have to overly concentrate on controlling the swing of the firearm, especially in trap.

I've read that it could take up to a year to get comfortable with a new gun and for me it seems to be true.

A long time Remington 1100 shooter and obviously a much different swing.  After a few months of shooting the A400 I added a forend cap weight hoping to smooth out the swing, as I was shooting over targets and had to consecrate on controlling my swing.  It helped, but I still had to work on it.

I was at a fun shoot yesterday (skeet & trap) and missed two targets.

The week prior I attended a trap shoot and the winds were blowing.  Rained on in one round.  Shot a 92.

I think I was on the money in a few outings previously, but had problems with background and overcast skies, having a hard time picking up the target.  Maybe time to think about a different lens color for gray skies.

I couldn't tell you what spare parts to carry, unlike for my wife's Remington 1100 where I carry spare parts to replace anything that can break.  For the A400 I have a spare bolt handle and I did lose a mid bead and when I ordered a preplacement, got two.  I used Loctite when I seated the bead so I doubt it will be a future problem.

The gun is working flawlessly.  I wipe the barrel down with Remington oil after each outing and really don't touch the receiver.  Every three or four weeks I'll take the forearm off, remove the bolt and give it a bit of a cleaning. 

I don't have the KO recoil system and shooting with a 30 inch barrel.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Odds & Ends (Jun 2016)

Not having shot registered trap, nor been on a full squad since last year I was off my game shooting on a full squad at my first registered shoot of the year.

A different pace from shooting with one or two, then being on a full squad.  Didn't even think about it, but noticed quickly.  Also, in the last month I've been shooting trap practice with a tree background.  At the shoot I experienced various backgrounds, depending on the field. The target would just fade from view while trying to keep focus. It wasn't until the afternoon that I was able to keep 100% focus on the target.

Now, what do I take away from this?  Getting older and have to change the way I prepare for a shoot.

There is a couple of clubs in the region where I should of shot practice and assured full squads.  Also, by hitting a few different clubs I would have had the opportunity to shoot different backgrounds.


I was at a sporting clays benefit shoot and the second shoot I was at this year where for a few stations you had to snap shoot the second target, as if not, lost in the trees or hitting the ground.  Attention target setters.  We all don't have eyes of an 18 year old or the reflexes of a baseball shortstop. For sure I don't!


Thankfully, I not yet had the opportunity to eat warmed over hamburgers at a shoot, but I know it's coming : (


I posted previously I ran into a sale on RIO shells at Dick's.  My advice when you hit a sale, buy more then you can afford.  I'm shooting shells that I picked up on sale last year and under no pressure to buy at full price.  Push comes to shove you can always sell at a profit.


One bad knee (cortisone shots) and a second knee that the doc says is worse, but for whatever reason is not painful and not needing a shot.  I can shoot with the knees, painful or not, but throw in a bad back and doesn't make for a fun day.  Back went out at a shoot over the winter and it was maybe 4-5 weeks before I could move freely.  I pop two ibuprofen tablets just before I pick up a gun.


Almost a year I've been shooting my Beretta A400.  So reliable that I almost forget to give it a cleaning from time to time.  Shot everything from expensive to not so expensive shells without issue.  I couldn't tell you what spare parts to carry.  I carry an extra handle, shell catcher, and a mid bead (lost one). 
For my wife's 1100 I carry spare parts for almost anything you imagine that can break during a shoot. I always give the 1100 a good cleaning with Breakfree after every outing.


I ran into a shooter that I've known for a few years.  He always ran a youth skeet program at his club.  Asked how many shooters he had this year, he said none.  A new person in charge of the clubs skeet program basically told him to get lost.  So, because of a clash of personalities, no youth skeet program at the club.  Don't we as a shooting community have enough problems with people trying to close clubs and taking away the right to bear arms and we have this crap going on. 


Pat on the back.  We took our weed wacker to the club today.  We did the fields, around the club house, and the entrance gate.


Received my shoot confirmation for the New York State Sporting Clays Championships being held at Rochester Brooks at the end of July.  Travelling by my lonesome.  5-6 hour drive.  Don't know who I'm shooting with, but should be a good time.


A county in Southern Florida is putting in a new county run gun club.  All the bells and whistles that you can imagine.  For clay target shooters; skeet, trap, 5 stand, sporting clays, and 5 combination Olympic Bunker and International Skeet fields

The sporting course and 5-stand  is suppose to be in this year,  The Bunker and the other clay target disciplines sometime in 2017.

Major Olympic Bunker and International Skeet shoots a given.

I'm assuming at some point an official training facility for Olympic Bunker and International Skeet. 

I imagine a stopover for serious bunker/skeet practice (training) during the winter months.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Veterans Benefit 100-bird Sporting Clays tournament @ Vernon National

On Sunday May 29, 2016 Vernon National Shooting Preserve, 3291 Burns Rd, Vernon Center, NY, and the Central New York Veteran’s Outreach Center (CNYVOC) partnered to hold the 8th Annual Veterans Benefit 100-bird Sporting Clays tournament. Over the past 7 years this benefit shoot has made donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, the Fort Drum therapy pool, and the Rome Veterans Center. Vernon National Shooting Preserve has made it a priority to keep the proceeds of this benefit locally and with that purpose CNYVOC will be this year’s recipient. CNYVOC ( is an outreach group that seeks to enrich the quality of veteran’s lives and services Utica and the surrounding Central New York area. CNYVOC provides charitable, educational, social service, and housing services to veterans in need.

Registrations now conducted at the main club house building instead of the event tent.  Worked well and refreshments available.

Started out on the sunny side, but not more then halfway through the shoot you could hear the rumble of thunder (you can hear the thunder in the shoot video).  We got rained on pretty good at one point, but we were able to keep shooting when the rains stopped.  Three or four stations later and the skies opened once again with numerous lighting strikes.  That was it for me and walked off the course, calling it a day.

Two candidates running for the 22nd Congressional District Republican ballot spot were on the course. 

May the best man (woman) win.

The first time I seen the TrapMaster target release system.


On the return home about halfway between Speculator and I-87 we ran into a fierce thunder storm.  Lighting strike and no more then one second delay to hear the thunder, that close.  Driving about 30 mph instead of 55mph.  Luckily one vehicle ahead and I just followed his tail lights.   If it wasn't for the vehicle I would have pulled over and let the storm pass.

2016 Winchester Rebates

Earn up to $100 on AA purchases

For a limited time, earn $2.00 for each box of AA Target loads you purchase. Minimum purchase 10 boxes ($20 Winchester Ammunition Check) and maximum purchase 50 boxes ($100 Winchester Ammunition check). Offer is valid on qualifying purchases made between May 29, 2016 and August 13, 2016. Offer expires and all requests must be received by September 1, 2016.

This offer includes purchases on AA, AA TrAAcker, and AA Steal target loads. Step 1: Calculate your rebate amount. Step 2: Include original cash register receipt. Step 3: Include original UPC codes cut form the box. Step 4: Complete redemption form. Redemption form can be completed online below, or you can print the redemption form by clicking the yellow "Print Redemption

Flying with ammunition

It's suggested you visit the airlines website and read what they allow in regard to flying with firearms and ammunition, especially ammunition.


- Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.

- Firearm magazines and ammunition clips must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.

- Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber for a rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it follows the packing guidelines described above.

However; American Airline.

Ammunition must be:

In the original packaging from the manufacturer or in packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition (made of fiber, wood or metal). Ammunition is not accepted in magazines or clips.


Ammunition not packed properly can be confiscated!

Check out the airlines website before you travel.


Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016 @ Club L'Acadie

A Friday trip to Club de Tir L'Acadie

I shot the practice sporting clays course (think FITASC parcour), located between the Olympic bunker traps and the rifle/pistol range.  It has eleven (11) machines, to include two rabbit machines, set in a circle.

We moved a plastic bucket around to designate shooting station. You want to shoot a long bird, so be it.  30 yard crosser, not a problem.  We just moved the bucket.  A few directions you couldn't shoot, like towards the access road.

No set presentations.  Bring out 25 shells and shoot what you want, from any machine when it's your turn.  On your call; singles, reports, following pair, true pair. 

No slow targets.  Targets flying fast.   Think the length of a sheet of plywood or more for leads on some of the presentations (depending where the bucket is set).
A good workout for the serious shooter.  The club also has a thirteen (13) machine 5-stand.

Shooting the Rabbit

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Florida Clay Target Clubs (skeet, trap, sporting clays, bunker trap)

I've completed my Google Maps listings of Florida Clay Target Clubs. 

Florida Clay Target Clubs

I've indicated the clubs that offer sporting clays.

The latest club added is Bay County Shooting Range.  They just added a sporting clays range.

If you notice any issues drop me an email.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12 @ Sportsman's Club of Franklin County

November, maybe early December was the last visit.

Pretty much had the place to ourselves.  Rifle and pistols shooters coming and going (they have a separate gate controlled area).

After shooting a couple of rounds of skeet a NY shooter arrived and we shot trap.

No machine or target problems.

The club throws Lawry targets and no complaints.  The grass grows green so whatever Lawry is using to make them environmental friendly is right on the money. 

PAT Trap skeet machines in all three fields and a PAT Trap in the lone trap house.

Target counter field #2

The club is open 12 months a year and winter weather doesn't seem to bother the machines. When I used to shoot in freezing weather at my old club we'd let the PAT Trap run for 10-15 minutes before use. Could be longer depending on the temperature.

It can be noisy around the skeet low house, as PAT machines are not quiet.

Looks like the fields were recently raked, as no target debris. 

Last year the bathrooms were rehabilitated and this year the entrance hallway leading into the main part of the building was blown up.  Looks like a large closet is being put in.  A good use of space. 

The clubs rifle/pistol range has seen big changes (for the good) the last few years.  A nice range and available seven days a week.

We usually drop in a couple of times a month, maybe will see you sometime.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Cabin Fever Open Sporting Clays @ Underhill

Underhill Rod & Gun Club, Westford, Vermont

Sunny. The temp hit 72 degrees.  On and off wind, especially towards the end of the day, but didn't seem to effect the targets, except on a few stations.

Shotgun start.  Five fields, three stations on each, various number of machines.

Everyone seemed to be in good humor.

Not a good start.  A rather depressive experience on the first field picking up target presentations. I left the first station with two unfired shells and when I did shoot it was just poking at the target as no time to aim.  Not good and can't remember ever walking off a stand with unfired shells.  Hope the eyes aren't starting to fail.

Unfortunate, as for the most part I enjoyed the rest of the course, seeing targets clearly.

I don't know the cause, but the third rotation had a late start.  I was schedule to shoot at 1pm, but not even close.  Ended up getting off the course at 4:30pm.

A lunch was available for $7.

The ladies working the desk and kitchen did a great job.

A half dozen shooters from Quebec attended the shoot.


The club in the past has not had a permeant sporting clays course.  Only setting it up two or three times a year. This year during the warm weather months (weather permitting) sporting clays will be shot each Tuesday from noon-5pm.  Non-members more then welcomed.

I switched the photo program that I've used in the past to one that makes viewing photos on a mobile device more user friendly.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Canadians Entering the USA with a Firearm ATF Form 6NIA

Q&A Category: Nonimmigrant Aliens.

What documentation does an alien need to show U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when entering the United States with a firearm?

When entering the United States, an alien must show CBP both the approved Form 6 NIA (5330.3D) permit, and if admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, appropriate documentation demonstrating you fall within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition.

[27 CFR 478.120] Last Reviewed February 10, 2016


Simple enough.  If you don’t require a VISA you don’t need a shoot invitation or hunting license.

Unfortunately, not always the case for Canadians that don't require a VISA to enter the United States and may be required to show a shoot invitation or hunting license.

What can you do if you wish to use the non-VISA option and not allowed at the crossing you use?

Submit a Complaint/Concern to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

* If entering via the state of Washington a shoot invitation for target shooters required.

If submitting a complaint I  suggest you copy and paste the Q&A to your writings.

Lost Target ATF Form 6NIA Guidance:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Olympic Bunker Trap Clubs (USA & Canada)

Continuing my revamp of various Lost Target pages I threw out the Olympic Bunker Traps club links page I was maintaining and made a Google Map that list all Olympic Bunker Traps in both the USA and Canada (that I'm aware).  To my knowledge, all 15 machine bunkers.

Going through the links when making the map I find, as I had in my old club links page, a number of clubs that either changed URL and/or moved to Facebook.  A few clubs had no information available.  Web page no longer available.

The posted map and on the same page, current and past YouTube posted Bunker Trap shoots.


If you see a club missing or no longer in operation, drop me a line.

Lost Target Web Site Updated

I'm nearing the end of reviewing and updating information pages associated with the Lost Target website.  Long overdue.

I deleted the "Club" link page that listed clubs in all 50 states and Canada. It was almost impossible to keep current with resources on hand.  For whatever reason clubs not maintaining sites (or letting them die), changing URL every few years, and / or moving to Facebook and such.   I replaced with a page that list search engines links to gun clubs.

The general Link page listing various companies and services deleted. It was needed before the event of Google, but no longer.  Replaced with individual pages of services that include links that Google may not rate highly and might take multiple searches to find.  

As I mentioned in a previous posting I reposted and revised Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs links with a Google map.  I also updated all general Florida links page in regard to clay target clubs in Florida that I continue to maintain.

I took a serious look on pages in regard to American and Canadian gun laws.  Both countries in my experience have a history of changing links to information with no notice. 

A serious pruning to FFL's who will do imports/exports.  If your aware of someone in the international import/export business, especially in regard to Canada, let me know.

I'm at a lose at what do in regard to Canadians visiting the USA with a firearm.  I have information overload on border crossing, but my thinking is no need for someone to get turned away at the border because of a lack of information.

The main problem....

The law changed a few years back.  Those not needing a VISA to enter the USA (many Canadians), no longer require a shoot invitation or hunting license (any state) to support the required ATF Form 6NIA. This is the pre-approved form they must have in there possession when crossing the border.  It's submitted to ATF West Virginia prior to a planned visit and may take anywhere from one to six weeks for approval.

Question FAQ - ATF Website:
What documentation does an alien need to show U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when entering the United States with a firearm?
When entering the United States, an alien must show CBP both the approved Form 6 NIA (5330.3D) permit, and if admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, appropriate documentation demonstrating you fall within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition.

[27 CFR 478.120]  Q&A Category:  Nonimmigrant Aliens     Last Reviewed February 10, 2016

If a VISA holder you would need to provide in most instances either a hunting license (any state) or a shoot invitation.  A non-VISA holder would not be required to provide either.  For whatever reason U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a problem with this.
It's hit and miss.  Some U.S. Customs and Border Protection crossings refuse to acknowledge non-VISA holders no longer need the supporting documentation and insist on seeing supporting documentation even if the approved form shows not needed.  Unless something has changed, the ATF Firearms Branch has not been willing to do battle with U.S. Customs and Border Protection over this. 

All I can do is post current law and give warnings.  I suspect not all agreed in the government with the change in federal law and playing games in regard to not updating the laws referenced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in regard to firearms, as too many years have past for anything but that.  The approved form itself should be the final word, but not always the case.

The Lost Target

Friday, April 15, 2016

Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs Map

I blew up the web page I was maintaining on club locations in Northeast Florida and put the clubs on Google Maps.  A much needed conversion and easy to get directions via Google.

If you have a question I may be able to answer, as I've visited a number of the clubs, but not all. For recent information best to contact the club directly.

The Flagler club is best visited by contacting the club (or a member) prior to a visit, as entry is gate controlled via a member issued gate card reader. 

The St. Augustine Skeet Club is private, but in my experience most receive permission to shoot if you talk to whoever is running the club that day.  If they have an event or membership function you will most likely be turned away.  A beautiful looking club.

The Jacksonville club sporting clays course can be busy on weekends. They have golf cart rentals and recommended you take advantage, as a long course.   Rumor is they may open a second course.  Non-member skeet and trap rates in the $9 range per round.

The Volusia club is busy in the winter months.  Very difficult at times to shoot two times, back to back. We try to game arrival time to miss waits.  In the winter, this club could be the most active Skeet & Trap club on the east coast.  The also have 5-stand.  Very reasonable shoot and membership fees.  A large staff of volunteer workers.

The Amelia club has loaner guns.  New shooter friendly.

If you have never shot Olympic Bunker Trap, the Gator club is the place to visit.  Contact the club prior to visit to ensure the bunker will be open.

* I've been informed after this posting the Gator club has loaner guns and in addition to the Olympic bunker which will be opened anytime anybody comes, the club has completely redone the 5 Stand.

The Okefenokee Sporting Clays Club is in Georgia, just over the border.  I last shot at the club maybe 7-8 years back.  I paid a visit this year on a weekend and no one was at the club.  The clubs web site did not indicate a closure.  Recommend you call before travel. 

The Saltwater's club in St. Augustine is west of the airport.  Recently opened to the public.  Two courses, one for the big boys (and girls).  Only shot there a few time and enjoyed are visits.

Bradford has two sporting clays courses (but can expand to three).  A fun friendly course and one for the more experienced.  Also, two 5-stands.

The Palatka club is a club we usually shoot in the middle of the week.  Seven skeet fields and you can usually get one to get in some serious practice, even if you just want to stay on one station.  A PAT Trap has supposedly been purchased to replace an old Winchester on the clubs lone trap field, but it had not been installed as of are last visit.  Your responsible for opening individual fields and if your the last shooter on the field, your responsible for filling the machines, policing the field, and closing the field.

Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs

Thursday, March 17, 2016

UPDATE: Saltwaters Gun Range "Sporting Clays" (St. Augustine)

Located west of the St. Augustine airport at the end of Big Oak Road.

 Hours of operation.

Flyer at the club (Mar 17)

The flyer will shortly be outdated, as we saw six brand new machines waiting to be installed and was told six more were on order.  We shot both courses, but cut down the numbers on the West course so we could take some targets on the advanced course. 

Interesting targets on the advanced course.  You have to pay attention!

I was told then end game is two 14 station courses, maybe 15.

The club now accepts credit cards.

The piston seal broke on my wife's Remington 1100.

I carry enough parts in my shoot bag to rebuild an 1100 and she was up in running in minutes.  I was just thinking the other day when cleaning the gun that it's been three months and no broken parts.