Friday, February 05, 2016

Lead shot prices (Feb 2016)

Shot prices.

I use Gamaliel Shooting Supply to track the price of lead shot used by clay target shooters.

Not necessarily the best price. 

Feb 5, 2016

$34.95 - Lead Global Group Magnum Lead Shot

$37.95 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Feb 25, 2015

$38.95- Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot 

$39.95 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Aug 6, 2014

$44.50- Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot (Unchanged)

$44.95 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot (Unchanged)


Oct 4, 2013

$44.50- Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$44.95 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Oct 4, 2012

$41.00 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$41.50 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Jun 13, 2012

$39.00 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$39.50 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Jan 9, 2012

$36.00 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$36.50 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Oct 18, 2011

$37.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$37.95 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Jun 18, 2011

$39.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$39.95 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Feb 21, 2011

$38.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$39.00 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Oct 20, 2010

$36.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$37.00 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Sep 29, 2010

$31.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$32.00 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Jul 28, 2010

$29.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$29.95 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Mar 23, 2010

$36.00 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$36.50 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Oct 15, 2009

$31.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$32.00 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


Jan 7, 2009

$24.50 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$25.00 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot


February 28, 2008

$42 - Lawrence Brand Chilled Shot

$42.50 - Lawrence Brand Magnum Shot

A hike in the park (Guana-River)

You learn quickly to walk softly and not talk if you want to see wildlife.  We run into hikers who tell us they didn't see anything.  Maybe its because we heard them coming from 100 yards, as did the wildlife.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jan 30, 2016 @ Keystone Heights Sportsmen Club

We attended a fundraiser shoot at the Keystone Heights club (Starke, Florida).  A single field skeet club. 50 target shoot.  Shoot 25 and finish the second round after everyone has shot the first 25. A first time visit.

Arrived just as they were finishing up hooping the field.  Turns out the club just retired its old single stack Winchester machines and this was going to be the first big test of the replacement machines.

The new machines worked flawlessly. The high house bird was a little flatter then I’m used to coming out of high house on station #1.  I missed the first one out, but held lower and didn’t miss anymore high house #1’s.

 Retired Winchester machines.

24 shooters took part.  Several first time skeet shooters and some just barely familiar with the game.  Club members (to include the refs) went out of their way to give them a helping hand.  Several just shot singles or received a report part when doubles was to be shot.  Slow going but it was nice to see the interest in the game of skeet. 

If the top gun on your squad you were directed to a table that contained donated items.  You picked one.  If a tie, you both got to pick.

Rules a little different.  On station #8 you shoot high house, then shoot Low house, while the rest of the squad waits.  The squad stands aligned with station #4.  Like in International Skeet.

A high school freshman on my squad started out with a broken 1100.  The more I think about it, I think a broken firing pin spring, but we didn’t open the gun to take a look.  We shared my A400 Berretta for the round.

An optional turkey shoot was held.

Hopefully, the club will pick up a couple of new members.

If you went away hungry it was your fault.  Chicken and pork with all the fixings.  When I was going through the line I asked the lady if the cake I was looking at was homemade and she assured me it was.  When I went back to compliment her on her baking skills she gave me a cake to take home.


The club welcomes new shooters. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jan 26 @ Flagler Gun Club

We shot trap practice at Flagler Gun Club, Bunnell, Florida.

70 degrees.  We expected cooler, but whose complaining.

A great background.


A couple of guys shooting trap doubles.

The skeet fields were also open.

The club has at least one trap field that's coin operated.   Club members can shoot seven days a week if they pre-purchase. 

The skeet side of the house doesn't have a coin operated field, but once you become established at the club you can ask for a key to the fields.

$4.55 a round if you buy a card of ten.  Non-members I want to say is $7 a round.  Saying that, non-members can't just drop in, as the club has a locked gate except for when having shoots.

Entry to the club is controlled by an electronic membership card.  Flash the card in front of the reader and the gate opens.  If your membership is expired, it won't work. 

We ran into Phil Tucker who manages the St. Augustine Skeet Club (he was shooting a few rounds of trap) and he invited my wife to pay visit.  I assume I can come along : )

Sunday, January 24, 2016

ERAD target voice release @ Volusia

Three rounds of trap at the Volusia gun club (near Daytona Beach).

Sunny, in the low 50's.

The club has the old type ammo box holding stands at the 16 yard line.

The white stuff in the photos is sand, not snow.

The club uses the ERAD voice release system on its three trap fields. No wires, no microphone stands. The microphone is built into the card. Powered by two watch size batteries.

You clip the card on the upper part of your vest or shirt and your set to go.

Three rounds, two fields and no issues. You can have a normal conversation and not release a target.

The club will be hosting a ATA shoot on Friday, 19 Feb. Singles, handicap and doubles. 8:15 registration. 9:15 shooting. It may be there first ever. They do hold Big 50 shoots and have become popular (twice a month on Fridays).

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Jan 16, 2016 @ Jacksonville Clay Target Sports

Jacksonville Clay Target Sports, Jacksonville, Florida 

We dropped by the club to shoot sporting clays. The club also offers skeet, trap, woobletrap, and 5-stand.

The sporting course is 15 stations.  One stand per station.  You have the option of shooting report pair or true pair, or a combination of both.  A few young people were walking the course. We normally walk, but I suggest as we did, rent a cart as a pretty good hike.

The course was very busy (crowded). Thank goodness we had a cart, as we bounced around instead of waiting. A number of new shooters on the course.  One new lady shooter was shooting a pump that didn't fit. My wife offered to let her shoot a few rounds with her 1100.  The women seemed to enjoy the lighter recoil and gun fit, but she say she noticed the weight.

Basically an IC course, but for a springing teal target my wife wasn't breaking, she put in LM and broke the next two targets. She ended up shooting LM for the rest of the course.  I think she may be retiring the IC choke.

When we rolled into the parking lot we found a busy club and a good number of shooters. Two trap fields full and skeet fields active.  A handful on the 5-stand.  Cars coming and going.  Food being sold in the back of the enclosed patio area. 

What a contrast from past visits over the last ten years.

I saw a glimpse of a club seemingly being reborn (in my way of thinking) when we shot sporting clays at the club last March after the sporting clays course just opened.  The parking lot full and shooters in all disciplines on the fields.  Maybe it was that way in the recent past, but the first time as a casual visitor I noticed what I would call a crowd at the club, other then when a shoot was in progress. 

Not always the case in past visits and I spent more time then I wanted to think about looking to see if anyone wanted to shoot trap (no voice release available). I was actually a member of the club one year (never received a membership card), but my wife and I, not once, but twice, had skeet shooters decline to shoot with us.  We didn't know them and they didn't know us, but they weren't going to shoot with us.  Happened two weeks in a row, two different groups of shooters.  Maybe they been burned a few times with new shooters to the game, but they didn't even ask if we had shot in the past.  Old timers set in there ways, but left a bad taste in the mouth and as a dozen clubs within 1:45 drive from where we stay, we walked with are feet.  Only returning after a few years to attend ATA shoots, dropping in a few times to purchase reloading supplies, and I showed up last year at an International Skeet shoot and took video/photos, and of course last March to check out the new sporting clays course.

When paying the bill on departure a squad of new shooters buying ammunition, getting ready to visit the sporting clays course.

We've been impressed with the club, the friendlessness of the people running the club, and the shooters we meant on this visit and the visit last March. We plan on not being strangers.

The non-member rate for sporting is what you'd expect and on average what I pay throughout Florida, but the non-member rate for skeet and trap is punitive. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jan 13, 2016 @ Palatka Skeet Club

Palatka Skeet Club, Palatka, Florida.

A squad was departing when we arrived and the fields were empty. We had the seven fields to ourselves.  The club has some great turnouts for shoots, but I've found Wednesdays not crowded except for maybe the week of the Azalea shoot (over 100 shooters).  Looking at the sheet they had a number of shooters in the AM, but by the time we arrived (1PM), empty fields.

 In the high 50's.  Pleasant, but not a day for shorts. If the sun was out, maybe!

 Member rate is $5.

I picked up several cases of Cleaver shells.  We shot four rounds each and no cycling problems.  Seemed to be soft shooting. Powered targets. Don't know how they will do on a sporting course.  Maybe Saturday I'll give them a try.

Lawry targets.  I shoot them at various club in the USA and Canada and haven't had any target issues in recent memory.  With the Canadian exchange rate (favors the USA dollar) and the price of fuel I imagine U.S. clubs are getting a good price.  If I was buying Canadian money back in my region I'd be getting $1.40 Canadian for every US dollar exchanged. 

The club purchased a PAT trap but unfortunately not yet installed on the clubs lone trap field. We were prepared to shoot a few rounds.  I asked if it was going to have voice release and was told not at this time.  If they go that route I hope they go wireless.  Makes for easy setup and tear down (and easier maintenance).

The club is hosting a Rodeheaver Boys Ranch Charity Shoot on January 23rd and we plan on attending.


I contacted Rodeheaver Boys Ranch and I'm told the shoot is full with 24 teams.  Thankfully I dropped them a line and asked about pre-registration, as it would have been a disappointment to arrive and not be able to shoot.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jan 9, 2016 @ Ameila Shotgun Sports

Amelia Shotgun Sports (Yulee, Florida).  North of Jacksonville.

Not a sunny day. Temps in the low 60's.  The sun was suppose to come out, but not even for a second.

Red/Blue course sharing the same machines.   We like to shoot both.  Shoot a couple red stand targets and then walk over and shoot a couple of blue station targets.  The club also has a Yellow beginners course.  A family was using it as we were finishing.  Target counters in use.

An interesting station in the back part of the course.  Machine skips a target across a pond, just like you'd skip a stone.  Shoot the target on the skip.  Really moving, don't play around with it.

People coming and going throughout the day. 

Only a handful of clubs have loaner guns and Amelia Shotgun Sports in one of them.  Visiting the region without a gun or have a few friends that want to shoot and only have one gun, loaner guns fits the bill.  Hearing and eye protection available.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Pres. Obama's executive action on gun violence

The president didn't propose or use his executive action power too push for stringent prosecution of criminals, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, and gang bangers who aren't following CURRENT gun laws.  The ones we read or hear about in the news, that when arrested, are found to have a half dozen previous arrest (or more), been to jail a few times, and on the street (released early on parole). Might have been even arrested once or twice with a firearm in the past or an illegal that has no business being in the country.

Nor did he propose increased penalties for those not following CURRENT law at the Federal and STATE level.  Goes against the current flavor of the month to empty the jails, even for those who have been caught using a firearm in a crime.

Not one word about those found with and or using a firearm illegally not given any special privileges in regard to criminal prosecution;

No reduced bail.

No plea bargains.

No reduced sentences.

No early release from prison.

Minimum state/federal sentencing laws for crimes committed with a firearm.

What is not the above the law in every state and city, states such as California or cities such as Chicago?

Easier to mandate new gun laws then to enforce the one's we have!

Jan 6, 2016 @ Volusia Gun Club

Volusia County Skeet and Trap Club

Fifteen minutes from the I-95 Daytona International Speedway exit.

73 degrees and windy.

I'm thinking one of the most active clubs on the east coast and that's with only three skeet fields, three trap fields, and 5-stand.  I would suggest they have more targets delivered in three months then most clubs have delivered in a year.

When I pulled into the parking lot I had to remind myself they weren't having a shoot, just that the parking lot is always full. We had to park in the overflow parking area. 

I'm told the club is 5th in the state of Florida in regard to registered trap targets thrown. And, that's with only offering ATA Big 50 targets, twice a month on Fridays.  I heard talk of an upcoming ATA shoot, but no details.

Didn't make it down to the 5-stand.

When to visit the club?  I suggest you arrive later in the day.  Let the initial crowd thin out a bit. With people waiting to shoot you have to give up the field after one round.  In the last hour and a half the crowd had departed and we could of kept shooting skeet without having to give up the field. 

The club has a lease that coming up for renewal sometime in the next year or two.  I suspect with a long term lease in hand you can expect to see an expansion of club facilities. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Dec 24, 2015 @ Sportsman's Club of Franklin County

Temperatures in the 60's was the forecast for Christmas Eve.  Too nice a day not to shoot so we headed over to the Sportsman's Club of Franklin County (Vermont).

This time of the year usually around 35 degrees with snow on the ground.

Except for the comings and goings of those using the rifle range we had the club to ourselves.  We each shot four rounds of skeet.  Windy, but field #2 and #3 have enough trees to block prevailing winds that winds wasn't a factor. 

The bathrooms were being rehabbed during the last couple of visits to the club and the end product gets three thumbs up.  Nice job!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Beretta A400 Xcel Sporting Shotgun 5 Month Review

Purchased the firearm in early August. 

Fit me right out of the box.  30' barrel.  I didn't purchase the model with the KO recoil reduction pad.

Note: If you have the KO system you can't cut the stock, as the KO system will no longer fit.  If you think your going to have the need to cut the stock down, purchase without the KO. You always have the option of going after market for a recoil reduction system if you shorten the stock, just not the KO system.

Barrel replacement runs in the neighborhood of $750.  Make sure you pick the length that suits your needs. 

Be careful with the forearm when removing or installing. Very light weight.  A lady contacted me after I first posted about my purchase and said her son cracked one.

I shoot skeet, sporting and trap.  Skeet station #8 high with a 30" barrel took a bit of getting use, but after several rounds I don't even think about it.  We usually skip station #7 when working on a problem station and I did just that, shooting the shells on station #8 until I got comfortable.  

Beretta recommends you break in the firearm shooting 1 1/8  loads.  Shot two boxes before I switched to my normal 1oz. loads.

I've had a couple of light loads (various companies).  A light shell (not enough powder) will cycle and feed the second shell into the chamber, but won't set the firing pin. You can hear it when it happens.

I also had a problem with  re-loads that didn't resize properly. I did fix the re-loader that was causing the issue. A pain to remove the shell with oversized brass in the A400 barrel.  The shell won't extract when you pull back on the handle as the extractor is in the way. 
You have to move the bolt back far enough to see and then move the extractor with a small knife blade or whatever you have on hand just to remove the barrel. Then the shell has to be removed from the barrel with a cleaning rod once the barrel has been removed. Anyway, if at a shoot and you need to borrow a shell or two, make sure there factory. The 1100 is more forgiven.

As a long time Remington 1100 shooter I can't get over the simplicity of the firearm compared to the 1100.  Tear down is a breeze. A few dabs of oil when cleaning and your done.  I've been wiping down the barrel/chamber and putting it away when just a one day visit to the range.

The company advertises a couple of thousand rounds between cleaning.  I've gone at least three cases of shells before I removed the bolt. A person at Rochester Brooks recommended to keep a small bottle of oil in your shoot bag. He says if the gun starts hanging up just put a few drops in the chamber and then work the bolt a few times. Solves the problem unit you have time to do a proper cleaning.

I lost a bolt handle in the first month.  I suspect I didn't seat it properly.  I purchased a replacement (2) and haven't had a repeat.  I did note the bolt handle was a pain to remove, but someone on a talk board was recommending too oil the end you insert. The suggestion was right on the money.

I lost a mid bead.  Ordered two (2) replacements.  I secured with blue Loctite.

I replaced the blue end cap with a 3.9 oz. black cap.  I was swinging over targets in trap. My initial solution was to move my hand forward a few inches on the forearm.  The couple ounces of added weight allowed me too no longer have the need to move my hand forward.  A little oil on the threads made for a smooth install.

If you shoot sporting clays I recommend you upgrade the choke wrench to a speed wrench. 

If your new to trap shooting a shell catcher on a semi-auto is a must!

T&S Industries Shell Catcher makes a shell catcher for the A400 or you can use the Birchwood Casey Save-It Shell Catcher.  I choose the T&S.  Either way you can't shoot doubles with a shell catcher installed. You can't use the after market Briley Bolt Handle with the T&S.  I did try a Birchwood on a 1100 and had issues. Either having to re-bend the wire time after time or the adhesive failed.

I'm thinking of installing the Briley A400 bolt release ($65).  That would mean modifying the T&S shell catcher.  Looks feasible, but if I do this it will be in the spring after shooting through the winter and seeing if I change my mind, but leaning heavily in that direction, 

I've heard reports of A400's not cycling light loads (under 1200 fps) but haven't experienced that myself.  Someone was just telling me this past weekend about a friend that was having the problem.  I asked if the gun was broke in with 1 1/8 shells, but he didn't know.  I suggested the owner contact Cole Gunsmithing and see if a solution was available.

So far, I'm a happy camper....

Monday, December 21, 2015