Thursday, September 22, 2016

Slow Squads in Trap Shooting

At a recent shoot I observed two very slow squads.  Not one or two shooters per squad, but every shooter on the squad. 

It was agony to watch.  Shooters not ready to go when it was there turn.  Gun mounted for what seemed like forever before they called for a target.

Luck of the draw or they squadded as friends, I have no idea.  Shooters waiting to take the field when they finished were not happy campers. I'm sure not something shoot management is happy to see, as it can cause serious backups.

I read where two squads at the same shoot went out at the same time.  One was a three (3) man squad and the other a five (5) man squad.  50 targets per field.  Shoot 25 targets with a break to get your second box.  Finish the 50 and move to the next field.  When the 5-man squad finished shooting the 50, the 3-man squad was just starting the second 25.

I think we can all put up with a so called slow shooter, but more then two and it's not trap shooting.

I blame it on the shooters home club.

Why, no one sitting down with them at there first few registered shoots at the home club and giving them a few pointers before they start traveling to various clubs?  

I suspect a number of shooters out of the comfort zone of there home club, feel rushed at other shoots and soon stop shooting registered targets.

May I suggest....

1. Prior to the preceding shooters gun being fired.

Shell in gun.

Stance set.

Looking down range.

If you have to towel off, do it before it’s your turn.

2. Preceding shooters gun goes off.

Immediately close gun/action and mount gun.

Once gun is mounted, pause a second while looking down range to let eyes adjust and call for target.

Note:  When you mount your gun and if you have to adjust the mount/sight picture, then your gun doesn’t fit properly and you’re wasting seconds each time.  You should be able to mount the gun repeatedly without having to make adjustments. 

3.  If not your last shot on the pad. 

After you fire your gun.

Shell in gun.

Stance set.

Looking down range.

May I also add? The break between 25’s is not to have a talk session or visit friends.  Retrieve your box of shells, maybe take a drink of water, towel off and back on the line.

You will run into shooters who have their gun mounted before you call for your target.  They are the fast shooters.  Don’t be imitated by them. 
Shoot the pace, as seen in the below video and don't look back.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Northeastern Grand American Trap Shoot (Saturday Singles)

I attended the singles championships at the Northeastern Grand American at the NYSATA Home Grounds in Cicero, New York.

A vendor price list.

I watched the weather forecast for a week leading up to the shoot.  The forecast went from rain, to cloudy and a chance of rain in the late PM.  Saturday saw sunny AM skies with wind and cloudy (overcast) with a short sprinkle in the afternoon.  After the sprinkle, winds calmed.
We didn’t pre-register, as a last minute decision to attend.  Highly recommend you pre-register.

Classification, squading, and payment went smoothly.  No credit cards.

390 shooters for singles.

Two fields, 50 targets each.  A break between 25’s.  100 in the AM.  100 in the PM.

We had a machine break on the third round in the first 100.  They ended up replacing the motor.

No problems with the voice release and as long as the sun stayed out, no problem with the background. 

Targets popping in the AM sunlight.  Not so visible (orange) in the PM.  I’m sure many shooters don’t need the sun, but for me to see the target clearly I need the orange to pop.

Running around with the camera I saw some targets that stayed flat or dropped due to the wind.  One shooter had three droppers in a row. Ouch! Watching the flags during the day, it wasn’t a consistent wind.

The club was throwing White Flyer bios.  I shoot a lot of Lawry targets.  What a difference in breaks.  My 1oz. #8 Estates will consistently smoke a Lawry target at 16-yards.  Not so with White Flyer.  I will have to rethink ammunition when shooting White Flyer bios.  Maybe 7 ½ and/or 1 1/8oz.  I really hadn’t noticed it in the past, but the last three or four clubs I shot at were throwing Lawry and the difference in hits was noticeable.

The squad had a good rhythm.   Again, running around with the camera I came across a few squads that were ridiculously slow, and I’m not talking just one to two shooters, the whole squad.  I’m sure by time it was your turn to shoot, you were thinking about anything but shooting.

Parking was non-existent in the Bridgeport part of the club unless you arrived early.  A long walk if you had to park near the vendors.  I’m told there use to be more parking, but for whatever reason the grassy areas used in the past were not available. 
No deals on ammunition.

I suggest you watch the video full screen, via YouTube.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Is your local gun shop easy pickings for an afterhours robbery?

Afterhours robberies from start to finish usual take less than three minutes.  I’ve seen numerous reports of under 60 seconds (crash and grab).   

The latest smash and crab robbery that I came across netted 60 firearms.   A gang of ten being the culprits.

Alarms alert the police or owner, but bad guys long gone before they can respond.

Security camera’s usually only catch video of masked robbers and do little to identify.

A gun shop owner has to rethink its level of protection as a locked door, alarm, and cameras just don’t give the level of protection needed.

Lights and more lights a given.

Security gates or rolled down metal shutters when closed is a must.

Vehicle crash barriers around the perimeter of the store.  A common practice is to steal a vehicle and crash it high speed through the store front.  In and out in under 60 seconds.

And, security gates and barriers don’t always work.

I suspect the answer is a third layer of security that may be cost prohibited for the small store that’s been in business for what seems like forever, but almost a requirement in this day and age.

 A separate walk-in room, within the gun shop, where weapons are not only viewed, but also locked up overnight.   A room built to whatever sized that is needed, but in any case a separate secure room.

The room would be built using concrete block (or poured) with a walk-in vault door.  The floor and roof also protected.  Build it as a separate show room if it makes sense.

Looking around the internet finds a SnapSafe Vault Room Door designed to fit a rough opening of 38"x 82" (standard 36" door opening).  I would imagine larger sizes can be found as needed.

Interior motion alarms a must.  In and outside the room.

Any such room can be broken into if given enough time, but the idea is to slow down the thieves and give police time to respond before they gain entry into the vault area.

New ISSF Rules and Regulations approved (Shotgun)

Clay Targets The use of bio-degradable (eco-friendly) clay targets is encouraged in all ISSF Championships. The use of bio-degradable (eco-friendly) clay targets is required in all ISSF World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Mobile Phones Mobile phones or hand-held communication devices many not be used by athletes on the firing lines or shooting stations.

Blinders Only shotgun athletes will be permitted to use side blinders (60 mm maximum depth). Rifle, pistol and shotgun athletes can wear one front blinder 30 mm maximum width), but no side blinders.

Shotgun Ammunition The use of colored wads is prohibited. Only transparent or translucent wads may be used. Strict enforcement of maximum shot charge limits (24.0 g +0.5 g tolerance) will continue.

Shotgun Butt Stocks The lowest point of the butt stock or toe of the butt plate may not be more than 170 mm below a horizontal line extending from the bottom of the shotgun action.

Shotgun Finals The present finals format with a semifinal and two medal matches will be replaced by a progressive elimination format where the sixth place athlete will be eliminated after 20/25/30 shots (skeet/trap/double trap) and the gold and silver medal winners will be determined after 60/50/80 shots.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Club Huntingdon (Quebec) Fun Trap Shoot

Club de Tir Huntingdon (Sainte-Barbe, Québec)

Tournoi Five Men Team ouvert à tous

Twelve (12) teams selected by random draw.

You couldn’t ask for a better turn out.
Blue skies and just a slight breeze.

Registration opened at 8:30 and the shoot started at 10am.  A good number of shooters getting in practice before the start of the shoot.
A 50 target trap shooting event. Two fields (Pat Traps).  

Six (6) teams shot twenty-five (25) targets on one field and the remaining 6 teams on the other.  Once all teams finished, teams switched fields and shot the remaining twenty-five (25) targets.  A third field was available for practice throughout the day.
The event moved right along and no delays.

The desk ran smoothly. 

Hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch.

Medals awarded to the top three teams, as well as a trophy to high women and man.  A nice number of random draw prizes awarded.
A volunteer club and all hands were on deck.  Hats off to the men and women who ran the shoot.


The club has been at its present locating since 1963.  The club has had good times, as well as bad through those years. 
Approximately four years ago it was going through a bad period. 

I’m not aware of the full story but a group of shooters stepped forward and took steps to turn the club around.

It took a few years, but two Pat traps purchased with wireless voice release.  Heavy equipment was brought in and much needed work to improve the property was done.  A small rifle range was installed.  I’m sure the club house needed work.  A nice size parking lot easily handles a large number of shooters.

A large shipping container was purchased for storage of targets and equipment. As recently as last month trees were bull dozed in the area past the distance stakes on field 1 and 2.

Several fun shoots held each year.

I’m told plans to build a covered porch off the clubhouse is planned for next year.

A good number of the shooters (and family members) at the club are bilingual.

The first few times I visited the club not many accomplished shooters.  Now, a good number could hold there own at a registered trap event.

I don’t often visit the club but I dropped by last month and two squads shooting and 18 guns in the gun rack.   I had to switch fields, but easily shot three rounds with little delay.  When needed they will open a third field (Winchester machine).

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Mailing Shotgun or Rifle USPS (New Requirement)

Changes at the Post Office.

Postal Bulletin 22444

Mailing a Shotgun/Rifle.

1. Bear a “Return Service Requested” endorsement.
2. Be sent by Priority Mail Express (with “signature required”) or Registered Mail.
3. Include Signature Confirmation service or insured mail service (for more than $500) requiring a signature

In the past USPS was usually a money saver when shipping. You may want to revisit shipping via FedEx or UPS.


432.4 Indemnity Claims
When indemnity claims pertaining to regulated firearms are filed for loss or damage to contents, claims will only be paid for complete loss under either of the following conditions: a. The regulated firearm has been lost, or b. When the mailer has provided reasonable estimates of firearm’s value and of repair cost from a reputable dealer, and the repair cost exceeds the declared and/ or actual value of the firearm at the time of mailing.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Broke an Remington Forend Support (Remington 1100)

We were at the range shooting trap today and my wife's 1100 didn't close properly.  When she pulled back on the handle a metal piece fell to the pad.

Part of the Forend Support. 

Only a $9 part, but after all these years you'd think the metal would have been beefed up to prevent breakage.    Lost count through the years on how many we replaced.

You can keep shooting the gun with a broken Forend Support.  I recommend snapping off the other half.  Replace the part when you get home. 

I keep a completely assembled Action Bar Assembly, Action Bar, and attached Forend Support in the shoot bag.    I keep an assembled piece, as I've had the rail break in the past.  No quick fix for that.

The wife's gun was up and running as fast as it took to swap out parts.

When I got home I replaced the Forend Support from a spare I have at home.  An easy fix.  The new part just slides on.

I had a major gun failure a few years back due to a broken Forend Support.  The broken piece stayed in the chamber and when the gun cycled it broke the Interceptor Latch Spring.  What a mess. I was told after the fact that I could of pulled out the Interceptor Latch and the gun would have still worked as long as I didn't load more then two shells. 

I'm thinking Beretta for the wife.....

Friday, August 05, 2016

Loaning a Gun to a Fellow Shooter, Against the Law (California)


Your at a shoot and your gun breaks.  A fellow shooter offers you a backup gun to finish the shoot.

You decide to bring several friends to the club for a fun day and bring along a couple of shotguns that they can use, as they don't own any.

Your local club offers gun rentals or free loaner guns.

Your son wants to bring some of his friends to the club and let them shoot a round of trap with your shotgun (under your supervision).

In California come 2017 all will be against state law.

I can think of a number of times through the years I brought an extra gun to the club, as a neighbor or friend heard me talking about clay target shooting and wanted to give it a try.  No longer possible if they don't already own a firearm.

I can think of several states where you can expect this to be enacted at some point.

In California gun transfers require an FLL and a ten day waiting period.  You transfer a gun to someone.  Incur an FFL fee.  And, when returned, another FFL fee.  This is the only way you can loan a gun other then as listed below.

A backdoor to killing the shooting sports.

Still think the NRA is the bad guy?

Assembly Bill No. 1511
An act to amend Section 27880 of the Penal Code, relating to firearms.

[ Approved by Governor  July 01, 2016. Filed with Secretary of State  July 01, 2016. ]


AB 1511, Santiago. Firearms: lending.
Existing law generally requires the loan of a firearm to be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer. A violation of this provision is a crime. Existing law exempts from this requirement a loan of a firearm between persons who are personally known to each other, if the loan is infrequent and does not exceed 30 days in duration.
This bill would instead limit that exemption to the loan of a firearm to a spouse or registered domestic partner, or to a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild, related as specified. The bill would require a handgun loaned pursuant to these provisions to be registered to the person loaning the handgun. By expanding the application of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 27880 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
 Section 27545 does not apply to the loan of a firearm if all of the following requirements are satisfied:
(a) The loan is to a spouse, registered domestic partner, or any of the following relations, whether by consanguinity, adoption, or steprelation:
(1) Parent.
(2) Child.
(3) Sibling.
(4) Grandparent.
(5) Grandchild.
(b) The loan is infrequent, as defined in Section 16730.
(c) The loan is for any lawful purpose.
(d) The loan does not exceed 30 days in duration.
(e) Until January 1, 2015, if the firearm is a handgun, the individual being loaned the firearm shall have a valid handgun safety certificate. Commencing January 1, 2015, for any firearm, the individual being loaned the firearm shall have a valid firearm safety certificate, except that in the case of a handgun, an unexpired handgun safety certificate may be used.
(f) If the firearm being loaned is a handgun, the handgun is registered to the person making the loan pursuant to Section 11106.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Fun Shoots and NSCA Not a Good Mix

When I was at the New York State Shoot I was in conversation with someone who was planning shoots for 2017.  Combining fun and ducks unlimited shoots with NSCA shoots came up.

A red flag went up when I heard that.

I guess no harm done if your club routinely throws "skeet in the woods" type target presentations when holding NSCA shoots, as no need to dumb down the course so hunters and first time clay target shooters have a chance of breaking more then 50% of targets.

But, if your normally throwing NSCA targets for the more accomplished shooters, who is your target audience when combining NSCA with a Ducks Unlimited, Wounded Warrior or some such shoot and you don't dumb down the course?

Are you throwing targets for everyone to have a good time, especially the hunters that only shoot clays once or twice a year and the club hopes they return for such shoots in the future and bring a few friends (and, maybe become members of the club)?  Or, letting them get beat up on targets and never to return and tell all there friends about the hard targets they missed?

If you offer NSCA, then NSCA members must shoot NSCA.  No option to pass, fun shoot or not. And, a dumb down course accomplishes what for an NSCA shooter? It does put money in the pocket of the NSCA and the state association, but could kill your future attendance for such shoots.

Just something to think about and the decision the club makes will impact future attendance.

Monday, August 01, 2016

NY State Sporting Clays Championship @ Rochester Brooks

Rochester Brooks Gun Club, Rush, New York

Friday, warm and humid.  A breeze kicked up in the area of the club where FITASC was being shot and made the afternoon a little more bearable.

On Saturday we had a sprinkle of rain in the AM, but other then that a dry day. Uncharacteristic for the club, but problems with several machines.  I've been attending at least one shoot a year for the last 10 years (or more) and not a common experience.  My Sunday 8:30 start saw no major issues.

One of the 5-stand's had a rabbit target thrown so close you could almost reach out and touch it.  So many shot and missed, resulting in a number of laughs.

A shotgun for Junior shooters was awarded by lucky draw, as well as one for main event shooters (lucky draw).  Cases of shells (lucky draw) for New York State residents.  All those cases and never had my number called.

Three videos and a number of photos posted (along with a link to results).   FITASC, 5-Stand, and Sporting Clays are the three videos posted.  If you like to see targets break I think you'll be happy.


After the shoot I received a critique on my shooting.  Three accomplished shooters all said I need to work on my hold points.  Figure out where you want to break the target and establish a hold point no more then a third back.  Much appreciated.

No problems with the Beretta A400 (without a recoil reducer).  The EZ bolt release lever install was a good upgrade. I shot 1 1/8 in the main event.  2 3/4 dram I could shoot all day.  Can't really notice the difference between 1oz and 1 1/8 in regard to felt recoil.  I did notice when I shot a box of 3 dram, 1 1/8.   Beretta was at the shoot and listing the A400 $150 - $200 under going list price.

Mid County will play host to the 2017 New York State Championship. 

Vernon National (near Rome, NY) had put in a bid for the shoot, but not well known by down state shooters.  At a disadvantage going in and new to NSCA shooting.   I've been attending an annual Veterans Benefit shoot at the club for a number of years.  A beautiful and spacious piece of property.  They will have a NSCA shoot on September 10th.  Two individual shoots, 100 in the AM and 100 in the PM.  Posted on WinScore.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beretta A400 Excel Piston Ring

I ran onto a shooter that had a piece broken off his Piston Ring (part of the piston assembly) . 

He said his gun was still working. 

I did some reading on the subject, as always interested in what spare parts to carry.

First off.  The piston assembly on the A400 needs to be inserted into the barrel cylinder before inserting the barrel into the receiver.  If not, you can bend the ring. 

Will something else cause it to deform?  Have no idea. 

I've read some have a habit of sliding the barrel cylinder on the part where the forearm cap attaches and not into the barrel cylinder.  They marry up once the barrel is installed, but I guess not always 100%.  If I hadn't read this could be a problem I wouldn't have never given it a second thought.

The piston ring bending (deformed) is not common.  If your at a shoot you can try to bend it back into shape and you should be able to finish.

My readings didn't come across a broken ring, but seeing is believing.

You can remove the old ring and install the new one yourself.

The serrated ring needs to be squeezed to reduce the diameter before inserting back into the gas cylinder.

A replacement ring at Cole Guns is $18.05.  Shop around you may save a few bucks.  If you have an A400 Xtreme it's a different part number.  Make sure you purchase the part for your model.

Speaking of Barrel Cylinder.  Next time you clean your A400 take a light (I took mine outdoors) and shine it on the area of the gas port.  I found a good bit of buildup.  After given it a good cleaning I made sure the gas port was clear.  Nothing fancy in regard to the gas port, used a large toothpick.  You may feel safer using a thin drill bit.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

D/U Sporting Clays Shoot @ Guan Ho Ha Fish & Game Club

Guan Ho Ha Fish and Game Club, Scotia (Schenectady), New York.  The website is lacking in regard to Sporting Clays, but trust me they do have a course.

A 2hr 20min drive and we didn't have to leave at some ungodly hour in the AM to attend.

Registration at noon, shooting started at 1pm. Shotgun start. 50 target event.

An old club that just this March opened an eight station sporting clays course.  I suspect the most clay targets thrown this year then in the last five years combined.  The club threw its 50,000 sporting clays target in this first season in mid July. Several told me the game plan is to expand the course to 12-14 stations.

A hot day, but thank goodness for the wind, as it made the course bearable.   Part of the course built along the skeet/trap fields, but skeet and trap machines not used.  The remaining of the course is in the woods.

I talked to a couple of new shooters and they were having a blast.  They didn't hit many but when they did you could hear the roar two stations over.

Got lucky with the Lewis and won a trophy.

A meal was included in the price of the shoot, to include soda.  Ducks Unlimited had the raffles that you see at such an event.  My arm length of tickets ended up being a donation to the cause.

Good shoot.  Everyone friendly and we had one good time.

We use a Rugged Gear cart at most shoots and used it today. I think that if I had a truck load I could of sold more then a few.

We hit two rain storms (one minor and one major) on the drive home and saw a deer standing in the right lane on I-87 a couple 100 yards ahead.  Well, north of Lake George and little traffic. When you see a deer in the distance you learn to go from 70 to 25 really fast : )


Saturday, July 16, 2016

T&S Shell Catcher for Beretta A400 Excel Blue and Multitarget

I shoot trap singles with my A400 Excel Sporting (30 inch barrel / No KO) and use the T&S Shell Catcher in order to not bounce shells off the shooter (or gun) to my right. 

Works perfectly, much better then the one I use on my 1100's.  Snaps in place and doesn't slide.

I've been wanting to change out the bolt button release on the A400 for a Beretta EZ Bolt release lever, but had been holding off as I was going to have to cut the tab off the T&S A400 Shell Catcher so it would fit with the EZ installed.

Long story short.  The wife shot my A400 a few times and at first had problems with the bolt button release.  She got better with it, but I knew it was time for the upgrade.

I saw mention on a talk board that someone was using a T&S that he cut down on a Multitarget and asked him if he was having any problems.  No problems and he brought to my attention that T&S had come out with a shell catcher specifically for the Multitarget (that comes with an EZ Bolt release installed).

Without the tab,$18.95.  With the tap, $13.95. 

The T&S Multitarget works with the A400 Excel and saved me the work of cutting off the tab.  If you don't have a gun with the EX Bolt, you want the one with the tab.

$5 more without the tab (shorter production run I assume).  Paying for the convenience.  Purchased two (2) as I know I'll misplace at some point. 

I visited several sites, but not in stock.  In stock at Gamaliel Shooting Supply.


Today was the first time using the Beretta EZ Bolt release lever.  Wished I had installed it sooner. 

Did I say my wife shot my Beretta previously.   Her gun stayed in the cart after the second sporting station and she shot mine all day.  Seems to fit her well.  Never worried about how man shells we both put through it in one outing, as it seems you can shoot it almost forever before needing a cleaning.


Also, today I experimented and shot STS 1 1/8 shells in sporting practice.  I switched between the STS and 1oz RIO that I've been shooting. 

Recoil wise, no difference that I could detect, but I'm sure there had to be. 

When you hit a target good with 1 1/8, it sure looks pretty : ) 

Will be attending a benefit shoot down in the Albany, New York region next weekend and will give them another workout, but 1 1/8 will be what I'm shooting when I attend the New York State Sporting Clays Shoot at the end of the month.


We were shooting sporting clays at the La Roue du Roy (Quebec) today and was told by staff that machines were being moved about this upcoming week.   Nice to hear that.  A few clubs I visit haven't moved a machine in recent memory (well, maybe a station or two).

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beretta EZ Bolt release lever Installed A-400

If it wasn't for the YouTube video I wouldn't have been able to install the upgraded release lever as no directions for removal and install comes in the package.  I watched the video several times before I placed an order and had to go back to it a number of times during the install.

Before you start you need a 1/16 pin punch, a large paperclip, and Loctite Threadlocker Blue, and patience.

When you use the punch on the small pin (see video) I recommend you cover the area with a piece of scotch tape to protect the finish.

I went with a black release.

Did I say you need patience....

First time I had the trigger out. Hey, what can I say, it's an A400, not one of my 1100's.  Wiped down the trigger and also the inside of the receiver.   Not much to clean.  Compared to the 1100, re-installing the trigger took little effort.

I don't see any need for an oversized bolt handle. If the guns working properly the only time you need it is when you lock the bolt to the rear when departing your vehicle.

I thought I was going to have to modify the T&S Industries Shell Catcher Beretta A400 (cut off the tab) that I use for trap singles, but they've came out with a shell catcher for the A400 Xcel Multitarget (without the tab) that will fit without modification.

The shell catcher was suppose to arrive today, but the Post Office failed to put it on the truck at one of it's transfer facilities and I won't receive it until tomorrow AM.