Monday, October 05, 2015

White Flyer Classic @ Rochester Brooks

The previous Sunday I was shooting in my shorts. 

Saturday shoot day and wearing dungarees, gloves, and my winter shooting jacket. Windy and random sprinkles. If it hit 50 degrees it wasn't when I was on the course.  When we booked the shoot we were thinking high 60's and sunny fall weather.  Not to be!

We shot the sub-gauge event Saturday AM.  In the past few years they had three machines per station and depending on gauge you were presented designated target presentations.  This year two machines and two stands per station (8).  The gauge you shot determined the stand you used.  My gut tells me the two separate stands is the way to go, especially for .410 shooters and cuts down on the number of machines needed.

With rains threating we shot the prelim event in the afternoon. 

A soft course (my opinion and based on what I see in my travels).  Been visiting the club for many years and the softest Rochester prelim course I can remember.  I enjoy breaking targets, but...   My head told me not the targets I would be seeing on Sunday and not to get cocky.

It started to rain at the last station (we were the last prelim squad).

Sunday main event (16 stations) brought sunny skies, temperatures starting out in the 50's, and little or no wind. The Sunday PM squad saw temps in the 60's.

Targets were what you expect at a shoot of this nature.  A difference between night and day if you compared Saturday and Sunday targets. Challenging but fair targets! Boy, were some of the targets fast...

No machine problems that I experienced.  We had one machine that stated throwing a few broken targets but sorted itself out.  Most likely someone not being careful with handling targets.

I was shooting my Beretta A400 with Estate shells.  Don't want to get to deep into my shooting but I'm having a hard time with leads. The leads look so different then from the many years I was shooting a Remington 1100, especially on faster targets.  A few times I made a conscious effort to ignore what I was seeing and the target broke, even when I thought I didn't have enough lead.  Sounds easy, but going to take a bit of shooting.

What a joy to shoot.  Still can't get over how easy it is to clean compared to the 1100's I own. I've shot various cheap shells through it and haven't run into a shell it can't handle.

A YouTube video from the shoot.

As always well seasoned refs, but did run into some who said it was their first time.  One adult ref told me he stated working the club as a kid.

The clubhouse has been undergoing major renovations the past several years and if you haven't visited in four or five years your going to be impressed.

The club uses Winscore.  Saturday scores were posted when I checked from the motel room Saturday after dinner.  Good job ladies....

The club is hosting the New York State Shoot in 2016.  I'm told the last full weekend in July.

The club is 15 minutes from motels.  A couple of home style diners near the motels and a MacDonald's.  After years of bouncing around the various restaurants, we eat at the Lehigh, maybe three minutes from the Super 8. The only complaint I have is the serving sizes are to large.  Major shopping area (and restaurants) 10 minutes north of the motels. Restaurants seem to be always crowded on Friday nights, so plan accordingly.

We stopped at Beikirch's (a retailer who supplies shooting supplies for clubs and the general public).  The only one ounce shells they had in stock were Estates.  All other shells they carried were 1 1/8.  No lead for sale. I had a list of supplies for rifle shooting they were not able to fill. 

The lowest gas price we saw was $2.03.  One of the locals was telling me he was paying $1.98.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday afternoon @ La Roue du Roy

We spent the afternoon shooting sporting clays in Hemmingford, Quebec at Club La Ru du Roy

Graco had installed an adjustable comb on Heide's 1100 and we wanted to give it a workout.

She had already shot skeet and trap with it, but wanting to make sure their was no problem with the settings for sporting as a lot of gun movement that you don't see in skeet or trap.

No face slap, no bruised cheek, and no shooting off the top of targets.  Good to go!

I had a couple of targets on the back course I shot a battery of artillery at but not even a scratch. Unfortunately on the course by are lonesome and no one I could receive guidance from.  Where's all the AA shooters when you need one?

The 5-Stand is still under construction, but the end is in sight.  A heated building for those who wish to shoot throughout the winter in comfort.

Who would not like station #8 on the back course?

Shooters choice!

Crossing the border entering Canada the vehicle was thoroughly gone through.  Most complete inspection of a vehicle and contents that I've experienced in ten years.  Hey, just doing their job! When the inspection was completed I asked the person who inspected if he'd like to join us at the club to shoot some clay targets as only a 15 minute drive.

On returning to the states the border agent was someone who knew me from my military days....

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Odds and Ends - Sept 24th

I passed on a one day skeet shoot.  Almost a first for me, but I hadn’t done any real practice and If I was going to shoot I was going to have to shoot my tube set that I hadn’t shot since April.  At one time a burning passion, but….

I went with the weather forecast and missed a fun shoot.  Turned out to be a sunny afternoon : (
I was all set to depart (a two hour drive) but kept looking at the weather and it didn’t look like it was going to be a fun day. Rain, rain, and more rain.  It was the consensus on various weather outlets. So much for weather reports!

Eye glass prescription changed for distance (both eyes).
  An on-line order with Decot and a week later I had my new lenses.  I got two sets.  The second set is a hair darker then what I’ve been using, but I’ve been finding on bright sunny days I need a darker lens as I start to squint with the lens I normally use.

Dark lenses is not recommend for everyday use.  Go with the lightest color you can get away with.


Visited the Underhill club on Tuesday for an afternoon of 5-stand.  Started out with IC but quickly changed to LM.  If I could only remember what target came out of what machine….

Still learning to shoot my A400 Beretta (30 inch barrel).  Been shooting 1100’s forever and a big difference in swing that I’m still getting use to.  I've noticed the barrel gets hotter quicker then does the 1100 barrel.
I shot skeet with the Beretta today with IC choke and happy with the results.  Not a formal round, as we shot random stations and didn’t shoot station 8.  After I saw that I was hitting the targets well I shot on purpose under a few crossing targets (lower and lower) until I missed.  Just seeing what I could get away with.  As expected, no forgiveness for shooting over the target.

We hit the trap range and I went with LM choke, as that is the choke I tend to use in sporting.  Again I can see the difference in swing from the 1100 I use to shoot.  Some of the angle targets I failed to put enough lead on.  Found myself shooting at them instead of slightly ahead.  Also, shot over a few, but got better by the third round.  But, you don’t have that much time to self-evaluate when in a tournament and it’s going to take time to shoot the gun well without thinking.

I had Graco install an adjustable comb on a 1100 stock for my wife Heide.  It already had an adjustable butt plate with the stock cut down.
Quick turn around on the install.  They had it four days total. The first day it was picked up at the post office and the fourth day was a call asking for payment and how I wanted it shipped?


We visited the SCFC in Vermont and she shot random skeet stations with a 28 inch light contour barrel (IC choke) with three comb washers installed.  It looked right on the money.  I watched closely to see where she was hitting the targets and no top hits that I could see. 

A trip to the trap range with the 30 inch trap barrel and five washers was the ticket.

I’m thinking of given my Beretta a workout at a sporting shoot this weekend. 
Next week we’re going to visit the Roue Du Roy in Quebec and will see how well my wife's 1100 handles on the sporting course.  The last time we visited they were well into their build of the new enclosed 5-stand and maybe it will have been completed.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Shooting trap with my Beretta A400 Xcel Sporting Shotgun

Shot my A400 in trap for the first time.

Four rounds of practice, modified choke.  Two boxes of 1oz. Fiocchi's, a box of Rio's, and a box of Noble Sport.  In the neighborhood of 1200 fps loads and no failures to feed or fire.

This was the test to see if I was going to need too install an adjustable comb.

Other then shooting over several targets seems to be right on the money. Adjustable comb not needed. A lighter gun then the 1100 I've been shooting and going to get some getting use to, but so far a happy camper.

No sore shoulder nor bruised face. 

I was very satisfied with the hits I was getting with the Beretta Modified choke

The T&S Shell Catcher worked like a charm.  Unlike the shell catcher for the 1100 , the one made for the Beretta doesn't slide during the round.  A nipple on the shell catcher and a small indent on the A400 makes it so. Just line them up, slap in place and your ready to go.   Covered in a plastic material so no marring the surface.

If you change out the A400 bolt handle for the larger Briley one the shell catcher won't fit.  You will have to change the bolt handle back to the original when you want to use the catcher.

Cleaning the Beretta is something else.  A simple wipe down and a touch of oil and your set to go (some areas your not to oil). 

Your suppose to be able to go 2000 rounds between cleanings. Google "cleaning a Beretta A400", as several excellent YouTube videos posted. 

Back from the club and my wife's 1100 is broken down and covered in Breakfree.  I usually let it sit for a few hours and then a wipe down and reassemble.   Nice to not have to go through that with the Beretta.

My wife took a two shots with the A400. She was able to comfortable look down the barrel and broke the two targets she shot at.  She commented it was lighter then her 1100.  The stock was a little long. Don't know if a thinner pad would do the trick or wood would have to be removed.  Something you need to think about if you get the Beretta KO recoil reducer, as wood cannot be removed.  Aftermarket would be the way to go if you need a reducer and a shorter stock.

I wasn't planning on shooting registered trap with it until I put a few cases of shells through it, but a shoot this Sunday and that will be the gun I'm shooting.

Monday, August 10, 2015

August Trap Shoot @ Kayaderosseras

It's been a few years since last attending a shoot at the Kayaderosseras Fish & Game Club, Ballston Spa, New York.  The club is ten minutes from the Saratoga horse track, near the county airport.  We came down to shoot the singles.  They were also offering handicap and doubles.

A two field club that hold several target only shoots each year.  They charged $22 for 100 registered targets.  Had to ask twice on the cost, as not used to shooting at such a low price for registered targets.

No messing around on shoot start time. They can never be sure on how many will be in attendance and as the trains in Germany, when they say 9am, they mean 9am.  Can't find a shooter, start without!

Shoot 50 on one field and the second 50 on the other. 

The background seemed in better shape then I remember, but maybe just that time of year.

I almost ended up doing dishes for a week, but a 25 in the last round allowed me to beat the wife by one target.


As at almost all the clubs we visit a friendly bunch running the shoot. Seasoned vets keeping score and if anything out of the ordinary happens on the field, they most likely been there, done that!


No problems with voice release or the machines/targets!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Saturday Sporting Clays @ NEK (Vermont)

On Saturday shooters got together to shoot the targets thrown at the Vermont State Sporting Clays Championships at Northeast Kingdom Skeet & Sporting Clays, Burke, Vermont the previous weekend.

It was nice to get the opportunity to shoot the target presentations thrown at the state shoot as I was unable to attend as at a wedding in Maine.

Five of us drove over from New York.


The club has retired it's hand traps. All trap machines are battery operated.

Targets were hittable with IC, but having a LM choke in your shoot bag is advisable, as the safe choice on several targets.

All in all a good day!

Shooting the Beretta A400 XCEL

Long story short. I'd purchased a new Remington 1100, but a big disappointment (do own several), sent it back and purchased my first Beretta!

I picked up a Beretta A400 XCEL on Friday and on Saturday broke it in at NEK Sporting Clays (Vermont). 

The gun seemed to fit right out of the box and was anxious to shoot it.

30" inch barrel without the Beretta Kick-Off recoil reducing system.

I shied away from the kick-off system, as the only way to shorten the stock is by purchasing a thinner pad (no cutting down the stock). I was told you also couldn't install an adjustable comb with the Beretta kick-off system installed.   Both options doable with third party installations.

The owners manual recommends first shots be fired with 1 1/8 ounce shells. 

I shot a box of Challenger shells and then finished the outing with 1oz Fiocchi loads.

Recoil with both brands of shells was mild and not anymore noticeable then the 1100's I've been shooting.  No sore shoulder, nor a sore cheek and no need for a recoil reduction system and it seems a gun fitting.

Didn't have any failures to feed or fire.

The gun comes with three chokes.  IC, Mod, and Improved Modified.  I've ordered two additional chokes, Light Mod and Full and should receive them this week.  I shot the course with IC choke but at times wishing I had my Light Mod choke, as some of the longer hits were a little on the thin side.  Yes, could of thrown in the Mod, but didn't.

The gun felt good in my hands and well balanced.  A different swing then the 1100 (to be expected) and will take getting use to. 

Shell loading is different then the 1100, but after several false starts never gave it a second thought by the end of the outing.

I also plan on shooting the gun in trap, but have to wait until the T&S shell catcher I ordered arrives.

I shoot trap with a flat shooting gun and as with my 1100, plan on shooting skeet, trap, and sporting clays with it.

I may opt to have an adjustable comb installed but will have to see how it handles on the trap range.

See you at the range!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Remington let me down. Hello, Beretta!

We've had Remington 1100's kicking around the house going back to the early 70's.  A couple of 1100's are getting to the point where there pretty much shot out and time for a replacement.

I purchased a new Model 1100™ Sporting Series shotgun with the 28 inch Lt. Contour Vent Rib barrel.

Out of the box I see a noticeable spot on the forearm. I call Remington and they said they would send me a replacement forearm at no cost.

I receive the second forearm and it has the same spot.

I call Remington and eventually I'm told that's just the way it is.  It turns out that's where a metal pin is placed in the forearm, but in the finish process their not hiding the wood fill. As far as Remington support was concerned this was acceptable. How, having a noticeable spot on the forearm fresh out of the factory is acceptable is beyond me.

Second problem.  The shotgun with a regular Remington 1100 trap barrel installed would not fire.  A second Remington barrel would also not fire.  I purchased the shotgun to use for sporting clays, but I wanted to be able to shoot trap with it.  A huge disappointment!

 * With the sporting model you have to replace the forearm to fit a non-contour barrel.

I pulled this off the Remington website: All Model 1100 barrels are interchangeable within gauge with the exception of 20 gauge guns built prior to 1977.

Guess not!

Remington support could not tell me why barrels weren't interchangeable.  They suggested I purchase a 30 inch Lt. Contour Trap barrel.  Even if I wanted to go that route, none to be had and no time line when Remington would have any available.

To make a long story short, the Remington 1100 is no more.

I see a Beretta A400 Xcel in my future. 

I confirmed the T&S Industries Shell Catcher for the Excel works as advertised.  It will allow for use in trap.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Future Democrat Voters Rejected by Manhattan Judge

Chimps are not people after all, a Manhattan judge has decided.

Thursday’s decision means that a pair of 8-year-old chimpanzees living in a research lab at Stony Brook University are not being unlawfully detained, as argued by the Nonhuman Rights Project, the now-losing side of the bizarre case.

The Nonhuman Rights Project’s leader, Steven Wise, had argued that denying Hercules and Leon basic legal rights was to deploy the same prejudices that categorized slaves and Native Americans classified as less than human.

The chimps may be suffering a fate “even worse than imprisoning human beings” because they are autonomous and self-conscious, but “don’t even know why they’re there” in cages, Wise argued in May.

In her decision, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffee noted that Wise had raised “important questions.”

But at least legally, chimps are “things,” she wrote. And by law, “Persons have rights, duties, and obligations; things do not.”

“Animals, including chimpanzees and other highly intelligent mammals, are considered as property under the law. They are accorded no legal rights beyond being guaranteed the right to be free from physical abuse and other mistreatment,” Jaffee wrote.

HELP Darryl Montague Gunshot Victim

HELP Darryl Montague Gunshot Victim

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The latest on Darryl Montague in case you haven’t heard........................
“Hello everyone.

I'm honored to have such wonderful support from you. I struggle with the reality and gravity of Darryl's situation. As it is our nature to always focus on the positive, the reality is not so rosy.

Darryl has been bed bound and sedate for a month now, the only the smallest of voluntary movements. Every muscle in his body has atrophied - a fancy term for deterioration from non-use. He has lost 1/3 - 1/2 of his muscle mass. This has left him with no control ov
er his muscles and he will have to relearn everything. Even reflexive movement, such as breathing requires time to rebuild his strength to breathe without the machines. In other words, he is as weak and helpless as a newborn. He needs complete assistance to raise his arm up, to lift his head off the pillow or even roll over to his side. Just as a newborn needs time to grow,
Darryl will need time to regenerate his lost muscle mass and regain his independence. With his level of illness, we are hopeful to believe he will be walking independently by springtime. For now, I give him daily messages to stimulate blood flow through his muscles and move his joints so they don't stiffen and freeze up. Hospital Physical Therapy can not begin (per insurance) until he is awake and completely interactive for three continuous for now, I do it as often as possible.

Our first be alert and able to sit upright in bed before the first kick-off of the Patriots...go Pats!!”

Monday, July 20, 2015

Club Huntingdon Trap Shoot. Yes, a good time!

Hot, muggy, humid..... Did I say humid!

Rolling thunderstorms, heavy rains, and power outages before the start of the shoot.  At 8am the club was thinking they may have to cancel.

Attending a shoot in Florida?  No, a fun trap shoot at Club de Tir Huntingdon just east of Sainte-Barbe, Quebec.  Thirty minutes from the New York border.

A 10am start time and by 9am the power outages had ceased, as well as the rains.  By 10am the grounds were dry and the only sign of the heavy rains was on the access road to the club.

A nice turnout in spite of the early morning rains with eight squads of shooters in attendance.  A member only shoot.  Last year the club honored me with a membership and my wife Heide and I were able to attend.

A four field trap club with a single lane rifle range that wouldn't be in existence if it not for the hard work of a number of people that turned around the club starting in 2013, as the club was on it's last legs and most thought it would be closed.

I'm told taxes had not been paid for two years and the club house, as well as it's machines and the surrounding property were in sad shape.

A group got together and decided to bring the club back from the dead!

The Valleyfield club just down the road had a similar experience approximately 15 years ago, and as the Valleyfield club,  people reached into their own pockets, equipment was borrowed, materials and many hours of  labor donated.

Membership needed to be increased to help pay taxes, as well as insurance. A one lane rifle range was installed. 

File Photo
I'm told this unique rifle range squeezed onto a property that had no room for a rifle range has at a minimum resulted in 100 memberships.  I was told last year when I visited they had to limit memberships because of it's popularity.
In 2014 the club purchased a used PAT trap and this year they purchased a new PAT trap.  Targets thrown has doubled in one year.  The club also has one set of voice release for field two and plan to purchase a second set for the other PAT trap.
Last year, the first fun shoot was held.
The club used two fields for the shoot (50 targets each field) for this 100 target shoot.  Shoot 50 on one field and finish up on the second.  Between 50's (we  had some time) we sat in the vehicle and ran the air conditioner because of the humidity. 
A number of volunteers helped at the shoot and the ladies of the club made sure we all got fed and lent a hand at the desk. 
They opened a third field (Winchester Basket Trap) so a dad could teach his 11 year old child how to shoot trap. I didn't see any problems with the machine or the targets and the young man had a good time.
By the time shoot-offs rolled around the sky's looked threating and sure enough I was caught in a down pour during my shoot-off round.  At one point the gun was slipping in my hands and could barely see the target coming out of the house.  15 minutes later the sun was shining and my clothes were dry within 30 minutes.
Shooters and their spouses were more then friendly and everyone looked to be having a good time, more a social outing then a trap shoot.  But. that's small club shooting at it's best!
The club is having it's first registered trap shoot in more then 25 years on August 16, 2015.  I tried to pin down the last time a registered shoot was held, but the old timers had a hard time putting a year on it.
No traffic to speak of at the border crossing(s) and did have are firearms physically looked at upon entering and departing.  Not a big deal as long as you have your paperwork in order. 
On the way home we stopped at an ice cream shop in Huntingdon.  We both think the soft ice cream in Quebec taste better then what we see in the states.  I think a higher fat content.
I plan on attending the August 16th shoot with both gun and cameras in hand....

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Semi-retired from registered skeet

A number of years back we stopped attending 4-gun skeet shoots.  

Shoot expenses were getting out of hand. Two shooters in the family and costing up to $1000 per shoot (travel, motel, food, & ammunition).  I usually shot the doubles on Friday.

Also, down time at shoots was getting to be a little long in the tooth.  And, the final nail in the coffin was a long time buddy stopped shooting registered and just not the same with him not being at the shoots.

We decided to attend regional two-gun skeet shoots.  Had a number in the region that we could shoot and we always ran into some of the nicest people.  Every once in a while we would drop in on a 4-gun shoot, but only shoot on Saturday if they had openings.

Forward 2015. 

Living in the northern part of New York and no club offering one day skeet shoots unless we want to drive three plus hours. 

Only two skeet shoots were scheduled in the region. One is the Quebec Provincial and the other the Vermont State Championships.  The club in Quebec was offering targets only for several months, but no formal one day shoots in either Vermont or Quebec. Kind of hard to get excited to shoot registered skeet if no shoots are scheduled.

The other day I was asked if I wanted to attend a fun trap shoot this Sunday that was put together on short notice.  I wished it was a skeet shoot, but it seems like little interest in the skeet community to put on shoots (fun or registered).

Maybe 2016 will see a resurgence in registered skeet in the region, but other shoots (sporting clays, trap, and fun shoots) now have a place on the calendar and it will be a hard choice to drop a shoot to attend a skeet shoot, but it might be fun!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Skeet Olympic (International Skeet) Provincials @ L'Acadie

The weather cooperated for the International Skeet shoot held at Club L'Acaide. 

Low gun shooting with up to a three second target delay.  The delay makes for interesting shooting, especially at station 8, but they made it look easy.

The shoot moved along quickly.  I think the addition of more doubles in a round of 25 and less singles that was  implemented a few years back has been a big improvement.  What I did observe is if you didn't get a good jump on the first target on doubles you had a good chance of missing the second target, especially in the middle stations.  The delay can really screw up your timing!

A video from the shoot.

The club is located southeast of Montreal.