Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jan 31, 2009 @ Volusia County Skeet & Trap Club

A first time visit to the Volusia County Skeet & Trap Club, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

A relatively new club, a club run by volunteers!

Excellent directions can be found on the club's web site and visitors should not have a problem finding the club.

Ten minutes from the club we stopped at the McDonald's located near the Daytona Flea & Farmers Market, as the club does not have running water. They do have two portable rest rooms.

A crowd was present when we arrived.

It was refreshing to see a number of younger shooters. I guess if you charge a reasonable price, they will come...

I saw a number of hunting and pump guns, as is the norm when around the not so serious shooters. Out to have a day of fun...

Not to say I did'nt see a few serious shooters!

Prior to me describing our visit, let me talk about the people. Not one stuffed shirt to be found. Everyone was friendly, both shooters and club staff, both on the trap side and the skeet side.

As for the visit, the club has two stand-alone skeet fields and two stand-alone trap fields. An open area saw two shooters using a hand trap.

Prior to shooting, you sign a liability release and then purchase tickets to shoot. You place your name on a waiting list and wait your turn, presenting a ticket to the appropriate range officer when it's your turn to shoot. You're not allowed to mobilize a field and must leave the field after the round if another squad wishes to shoot.

I'm told that this is the case on most days, especially during the first hour. If you arrive maybe one and a half hours after the club opens, you can pretty much get in the rounds you wish without leaving the field. Wednesday is supposed to be a slack day.

I gather trap has been widely popular from day one, with skeet just recently seeing a large number of shooters.

We shot both skeet and trap and I don't remember any machine or target hiccups.

I shot off a Promatic on the trap field and it never missed a beat. Both trap fields had voice release. I think I shot a 24 and a 23.

Modern machines on the skeet field we shot on, but I did not check the manufacturer.

Only one round shot, a 24.

Biodegradable white flyer targets were used. I saw all orange targets and black rim targets. I'm under the impression black rim targets will be the targets purchased in the future. A pretty clean background and black rim targets would seem the best choice.

The clubs fields are powered by generators. The generators are off in the distance with the fields hardwired. You would not know they were there unless you walked by them.

The club has plans to install a 5-Stand in the near future. They are also planning on installing an additional skeet and an additional trap field and, at some point, Sporting Clays. The goal for completion is three years!

A smart use of building material was evident with metal sheeting used to cover the frames on both the skeet and trap houses. The trap house roofs were built to tilt up for ease of access.

Only 16-yard trap can be shot when shooting trap at this time, but handicap pads will be installed.

The trap fields still need additional landscaping to include moving fill. I believe I was talking to Dick Richer about the trap fields. After talking to Dick, I can promise the trap fields will be at ATA standards when he gets finished with them as he is one of those small handful of volunteers that we all see at most clubs that just gets it done.

If you plan on shooting at the club more than two or three times, it's advised you become a member. The membership fee is one of the better deals found in Florida.

The club is a diamond in the rough and it's future is bright...

Club Visit Photos

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Broken Remington 1100 Extractor

A serious practice day at the range, as the last two trap shooting outings were awful. I don't usually get embarrassed with my scores, but it was bad...

Got back to basics. I also purchased 3 dram, #8 shot, 1 1/8 shells to take the ammunition out of the equation.

I seem to be back on my game, as I had three good rounds, but the shell extractor broke during the last round.

I carry a spare bolt with extractor installed in my bag. A quick parts swap and back on the line.

A clean break. The broken extractor, plunger and spring came out of the bolt.

I've had extractors break in half in the past, with a piece remaining in the bolt and very difficult to remove. Thus, the reason I carry the spare bolt, with extractor installed.

Not a part that breaks often. It's been at least five years since I last broke one, but when it broke I was at a shoot.

We were shooting at Flagler. It looks like they were breaking in a brand new radar gun, getting ready for the upcoming ATA Florida Chain Shoot the club is hosting.

A morning club. I helped top off a machine and close a field prior to departing.

76 degrees at 11:30AM!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jan 24, 2009 @ WW Sporting Clays

An overcast day with the Florida sun struggling to appear. The temperature was in the low 60's when we arrived, 70 when we departed.

WW Sporting Clays has a skeet field and a 5-stand field. Both used by a number of shooters before they hit the sporting clays course.

My long success with keeping my wife's Remington 1100 running smoothly came to a halt and she had to switch to plan B.

Heide has a 4-barrel Browning skeet gun. A couple of years ago we sent in the the 12 gauge barrel to Briley and had them install thin wall chokes. She also had a GraCoil recoil reducer installed. A backup gun for sporting clays.

The change in guns cost her targets, as she had not been practicing sporting with the Browning, but she settled in. She said that recoil was never an issue and the gun she will now shoot in sporting.

I ran into John Woolley, manager of Amelia Shotgun Sports, and I did not recognize him. The first time I had seen him not wearing the big wide brim hat he dons.

Looks younger without the hat...

A 13 station event.

The $65 entry fee entitled you to 100 NSCA targets and a free catered lunch.

Most would enjoy the course.

The course was set to not beat up shooters and no eye test. No need for experienced shooters to change chokes.

A young man was constantly checking machines. I don't think he ever let a machine run out of targets.

Considered a monthly shoot. Other than a certificate to class winners and those winners entered in a cash draw, no prizes awarded.

At the end of the shoot, the club said those remaining were free to stay and shoot at the member rate for all disciplines.

Shoot Photos

A recommendation to WW Sporting, Bradford, Amelia, and Okefenokee (Ga).

The clubs support each other in regard to registered shoots, but many non-registered shooters in the region are not aware of the sister clubs or not aware of shoot dates.

Not all visit the talk boards or visit the NSCA website. I talked to several non-registered shooters leading up to this shoot and none were aware that WW Sporting was having a shoot.

A master list of shoot dates for the year, just for those four clubs should be printed and posted at each club, registered and non-registered events. It should state that non-registered shooters were welcomed and they did not have to be members of the NSCA to participate.

I would also send a copy to the various skeet and trap clubs in the region and ask that it be posted on the clubs bulletin board.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jan 21, 2009 @ Palatka Skeet Club

On the cold side for Florida, so we decided not to hit the Palatka Skeet Club until around 2pm in order to give it a chance to warm up. We normally arrive around noon!

Low 40's and sunny when we arrived.

Seven skeet fields and not a shooter...

I know it was cold for Florida, but not that cold : )

We wore our winter shooting jackets and were very comfortable.

Our good buddy Phil showed up and joined us for a few rounds of skeet.

After shooting three rounds we decided it warmed enough to not need the jackets.

Good targets and quite obvious the machines are well taken care of.

Excellent member and non-member prices.

At this club you open and close the field you shoot on. Ensuring machines are topped off and boxes removed prior to leaving. Your also supppose to pick up any hulls that you dropped. A system that seems to work well...

The club in the last year put it's lone trap field back in operation and we decided to give it a try.


A sliding roof had been installed for ease of access.

Four of us shot!

A few more broken targets then we liked to see. Robby Robson worked on the machine, but it still needed a bit more tweaking. He may have resolved the problem, as I saw him shooting 27 yards when I was getting ready to leave.

If I was justing coming to the club to shoot trap on a Wednesday, I would not arrive until 3pm.

The combination field the trap is located on is very popular with the skeet crowd and almost always in use for skeet in the early afternoon.

On a warm day, most if not all skeet fields are in use from noon until 2:30pm. After 3pm the club almost becomes a ghost town and you can have the run of the club. That is the case from January until the end of March!

Among other things, no issues with walking out to the trap to load the machine...

On the drive home we stopped at a roadside stand and picked up green beans, spinach and oranges. A working farm. You could see people working the fields.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Canadians storing firearms in the states, Pawn Broker

Anyone using an ATF Form 6NIA to temporary import firearms into the states CANNOT leave them in the states when they depart.

The following restrictions apply to your approved import permit:

The firearms and/or ammunition authorized for importation by this permit are not authorized for permanent importation. The firearms and/or ammunition may not be transferred to another person within the United States. The holder of this permit MUST take the firearms and any unused ammunition back out of the territorial limits of the United States upon the conclusion of his/her hunting or sporting activity.

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At the Shot Show, I was having a conversation about the Lost Target site with several people. The laws pertaining to Canadians who cross the border with a firearm came up.

A pawn broker from a border state told me he stores firearms for Canadians.

They enter his establishment and pawn the firearm. As long as they are making the monthly payments he does not sell the firearm. They are able to keep the firearm in the states when they return to Canada and he receives a fee. A win win situation.

When I said you can't do that, he became very agitated and starting talking about some USC code and financial distress that allowed it.

I said that may pertain to U.S. citizens, but not for citizens from other countries that have temporarily imported a firearm, as they must leave with the firearm when they depart the country.

To make a long story short I said I had just contacted the ATF on another issue and would contact them when I got back home and ask for a ruling on storing firearms in the states at a pawn broker.

He started tap dancing and said it was one of those don't ask don't tell situations.

I'm sure the storage of firearms is abused by some, but to store the firearm at an establishment subject to ATF inspection...

VISITORS TO THE UNITED STATES - ATF Form 6NIA

EvoShield Recoil Pad

At the Shot Show I saw the EvoShield Rifle Recoil Shirt.

A pretty neat product. I think a better recoil pad system then what you see in most shooting vest.

When ordering, you receive a shirt with a hidden shoulder pocket and a recoil pad.

The shirt material is light enough to wear as an under garment in the summer.

The recoil pad comes soft in the package and once exposed to air permanently hardens to the shape of your shoulder after 20 minutes.

From what I saw, you could shoot heavy loads all day and not a worry.

For those developing a recoil flinch, they may want to try this product before switching to a release trigger.

The company said they had shirt sizes that fit women. They had two women models at the booth wearing the shirt with pad. I was told a number of women shotgun shooters have purchased the shirt and pad.

A200 EvoShield Recoil Shirt

evoSHIELD introduces DSP technology to make the world’s first and only CUSTOM-FORMING recoil shirt. This moisture wicking compression shirt has a hidden shoulder pocket. The RECOIL evoSHIELD is ripped out of the foil pack, placed into the shoulder pocket of the shirt. Work your natural gun set into the shield for 5-10 minutes. After 20 minutes, the RECOIL evoSHIELD is permanently formed to your shoulder and natural gun set. This dual-process evoSHIRTshirt keeps the body temperature regulated in all weather conditions, improves accuracy with your permanent gun set, and comfortably protects by reducing felt recoil. Whether you live for the shooting range, or enjoy hunting winged game in the fields, the RECOIL evoSHIRT will give you the comfortable accuracy you have been searching for. Style: 5004 Sizes: S,M,L,XL,XXL (Other sizes available upon request) Available in LEFT and RIGHT

Features

· The world’s first CUSTOM-FORMING Recoil protection

· Allows greater access to the firearms sport by women, youth, and the disabled.

· Improves shooting accuracy

· Reduces felt recoil by more than 80

· Universal recoil shield can be used with any gun stock

· RECOIL evoSHIRT is comfortably concealed underneath your favorite camo or shooting shirt

· Ergonomically designed RECOIL evoSHIELD follows the upper shoulder line to allow a natural shooting movement

· evoSHIELD is made of thin, lightweight composite material and is covered in a breathable mesh top and soft polymer backing

· Performance tested

· Offers maximum impact dispersion

Video

$80 for shirt and recoil pad.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jan 18, 2009 @ Amelia Shotgun Sports

We spent the afternoon at Amelia Shotgun Sports, located north of Jacksonville, Flordia. The club offers skeet, trap, sporting clays and 5-stand.


Sunny, 70 degrees, and very windy.


We shot the 14 station sporting clays course. No elevated stations and no towers. The wind made for some interesting targets.


The club is open five days a week and non-members are welcomed!


Not a bad non-member rate for sporting clays. I saw a sign that says guns may be rented for $15, but I did not make inquires on what guns were available.

Other than WW Sporting, I'm not aware of another club in this part of Florida that has loaner guns.

I did not take a photo of the 5-stand. It's one of the better ones in Florida, but tough targets unless they changed them from last winter.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jan 17, 2009 @ Flagler Gun Club

An ATA doubles shoot was scheduled at the Flagler Gun Club, Bunnell, Florida. I was told we could get in 16-yard singles if we wished. Heide wanted to get registered, so we attended.

Across from the gate to the club, in a farmers field, we saw 12 turkeys feeding and we stopped to watch. All of a sudden they flew off toward's the wood lne. No less than ten seconds goes by and an eagle flies over the field. Pretty neat!

A cool and windy day, sunny and in the low 50's.

Four of us wished to shoot singles and they set us up.

The first round saw little wind, but after that....

I beat myself.

I have not recorded a score that low since April 2007 : (

I had a really hard time catching the targets. Guess I need to practice more on windy days as my timing was way off.

All in all a fun day...

Photos

Downrange Wads

I stopped by the Downrange wads booth at the Shot Show.

They showed me 12 gauge wads that were bio-degradable.

Brown in color and slightly less slick than the regular wads they offer.

I was told they would take two years to breakdown.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jan 16, 2009 @ Shot Show 2009

An early start, but wasted 30 minutes on the interstate 12 miles from Orlando, as a tractor trailer was in an accident and it slowed traffic considerable. Don't know what happened, but by the time I drove by three local broadcast news trucks were at the scene of the accident.

Arrival at the Convention Center found the parking lots nearest to the center full.

I had to park a mile away. A free shuttle service was provided, parking cost $11. If you stay at a local motel, shuttle service is provided.

Cool in Orlando, I think the high for the day was 52. I was one of two people wearing shorts at the Shot Show. Very comforatble within the center.

Picking up my Shot Show pass was not a problem and probable did not take more then a minute or two.

Not a trade show for the general public. You have to make arrangements with a gun or outdoor related company in your area if you wish to attend. Children under 16 not allowed. Pretty liberal on who can attend, but you just can't show up and expect to be allowed entry.

Thousands of people were in attendance.

My second time at the show and I should of learned from the last time. It takes more than one day to see everything if you expect to spend any quality time at any of the businesses. The gun manufacturers have every gun they produce at the show.

Plan on two days...

The nice thing about the shot show is you can handle everything on display, without supervison. You can ask to see anything displayed in a glass case. All questions are answered...

You see all the types and lines of outdoor gear that you see in catalogs, to include camping and hunting gear.

Camping items that you can purchase for $5 and on the high end I saw a base camp tent going for $40,000. It had it's own generator...

All firearms can be handled, without supervision, to include handguns. I mounted a $125,000 Perazzi. I was told some of the lines of Perazzi that were on display were already sold out for 2009.

I ran into Jean Brousseau (manager of Club L'Acadie, Quebec) and his wife at the Perazzi displays. He was looking hard at a $62,000 model.

Someone told me that a few lines of Mossberg shotguns were on backorder.

Every Beretta shotgun I tried seem to fit right off the rack.

I was at the show with my brother, who is into handguns and teaches firearm classes in Florida. We hit a number of handgun dealers and I maybe handled a dozen or so.

I thought an increase in the number of dealers selling modified AR 15's from the last show I attended. Numerous in number...

I saw some nice $1,200 (wholesale) knives and $5 knifes.

Garmin was at the show.

Many of the display items (not firearms) can be purchased at the Shot Show if you attend on the last day. But, you may wish to attend on the first day and reserve or pay for the item at that time, as I saw display items that had sold signs on them.

Your given color coded badges. Displayed on the badge is who you represent. My badge indicated I was a shoot promoter.

You will see people working the displays checking out your badge and immediately lose interest if your not a buyer for a store. Not all, but noticeable and almost rude on how quicky they turn away from you. Not everyone was like that. I would cut many of them off when they went into there sales pitch, as I was only looking.

Not as many free handouts as seen at the last show I attended.

On the shuttle bus returning to the parking lot I ran into Dean King, President of the Underhill Gun Club, Vermont. He was just down for the show.

I found an Olive Garden about a mile from the center and just beat the crowd with a wait of less than five minutes. All were given a complimentary glass of wine upon sitting. The manager came to the table twice to see if we were enjoying are visit to the restaurant. A nice touch. Standing room only when leaving.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jan 14, 2009 @ Jacksonville Skeet & Trap

We needed to get in some trap practice, so on a day that we normally shoot skeet we headed to the Jacksonville Skeet & Trap Club for an afternoon of trap shooting, as I know they throw good targets.

The club opens at noon on Wednesday's and we arrived around 1:30pm.

The trap side of the club was dead, but a nice crowd on the skeet side.

We signed in and I purchased tokens for use on the fields. Twenty-six targets per token.

The members rate for skeet and trap per round is $5.50 and the non-member rate is $8.50 per round.

I was told we could use field 7 or 8.

Drove down to the fields and they did not appear to be open. I walked back to the office and the manager said field 5 should be open. He went down with me and yes the field was open.

I asked about the absence of the voice release on the field and was told the Jacksonville club did not own the voice release systems. They belonged to the trap committee and only certain people were allowed to set them out. None of those people were present.

A young person came by after all of this and offered to pull, but we decided to pull for each other as we were going to be first shooting a lot of station 1's and 5's and not regular rounds of trap until after.

Moving on.

We placed tokens in the machine and proceeded to shoot the first round.

Excellent targets.

I was told the machines receive a thorough going over each month and the manager claims zero breakage.

From past visits I don't doubt the clubs maintenance routine, nor the low breakage rate.

I had problems with the token system on the second round. I put in two tokens and still had zero targets.

I walked back to the office and contacted the manager.

He opened the machine and re-inserted the tokens and they worked as advertised.

I guess I helped along the tokens when I inserted them into the slot. It was suggested to not help them, but just to place them in the slot, not to give them a push. Worked perfectly for the rest of the rounds shot.

No targets came out broken for any round.

A pleasant day, sunny and in the upper 50's.

Fiocchi Shells

I was offered a deal on Fiocchi shells this past summer and just starting using them this past month. I shot several boxes in the fall for testing and may have used them at a fun shoot.

1oz. 1170fps #8's and 1200fps #9's

We have not had one fail to cycle a Remington 1100, in either sporting clays or trap.

I use #9's at 16 yard trap.

Not a dirty shell. We shot three boxes in trap last Saturday and the guns did not look like they needed a cleaning, but I cleaned them anyway. Hardly any buildup on any of the parts.

A shell that I would purchase again...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flagler, Jacksonville, & Gator ATA Chain Shoots

Three clubs that will be hosting the Florida ATA Chain in February, with Flagler a first time club on the schedule.

I think all three clubs are using Larry & Joann Grenevicki to cashier the shoots.

I've experienced first hand how Jacksonville and Gator run a major trap shoot. If you attend either you will be well satisfied with the experience, as both clubs have a core group of experienced people who know what there doing.

Jacksonville can be a little on the cool side, so if planning on attending, pack appropriately. A winter coat and shooting gloves would not be overkill. Saying that, last year shoot saw temperatures in the 70's.

None of the clubs that I'm aware, shoot ten at a post. A big plus in my book!

I really don't like shooting ten at a post, as I feel rushed and to be honest, not much fun. If a shoot is that crowded I prefer they limit the number of shooters, but I'm just a small voice in the crowd...

A first time for Flagler as part of the chain. We dropped in the other day and they seem to be ready.

We shot two fields last week and no complaints. Saturday practice, with voice release and scorers. A morning club with fields closed at noon!

The club was pro-active in regard to sponsors for the chain shoot and it looks like they had an excellent response.

My wife gave a thumbs up in regard to the new bathroom facilites.

Thanks to club president Jay Beggelman who gave a Flagler club hat to me and my wife Heide. Very much appriciated!

Heide, a long time registered skeet shooter, is joining the ATA and will be trying her hand at registered 16-yard trap at the three shoots.

She will see about getting 100 ATA targets in at 16-yards this weekend.

My wife said I seemed to have so much fun last winter shooting registered trap that she wanted to give it a try. She has shot some fun trap in the past, but never ATA.

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Flagler Gun Club

Bunnell, Florida (30 minutes from Daytona Beach)

February 4-8

Shoot Flyer

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Jacksonville Skeet & Trap Club

Jacksonville, Florida

February 11-14

Shoot Flyer

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Gator Skeet & Trap Club

Gainesville, Florida

February 17-22

I received a flyer in the mail, but not yet posted to the Gator site. The shoot pretty much follows the same format as most of these types of shoots, with 200 16-yard targets on Saturday and Doubles and Handicap on Sunday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

John Kivi, 1st 25 Straight, Flagler Gun Club, Florida

Congratuations to Flagler Gun Club Trap Shooter John Kivi, on his first 25 straight at the 16-yard line.

John Kivi (Click on Photo to Enlarge)

The Flagler club, located northwest of Daytona Beach, is hosting the Florida ATA Chain for the first time from Feb 4-8, 2009.

Shoot Flyer

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Jan 3, 2009 @ Bradford Sportsmen's Farm

Received an email on Friday saying Bradford Sportsmen's Farm (Florida) was having it's annual Member Appreciation day on Saturday and non-members were welcomed. More importantly, non-members could shoot at a reduced rate!

The club has two sporting clays courses and two 5-Stands, as well as a couple of rifle and pistol ranges. The long range rifle range is 600 yards. One of the 5-Stands is also used as a skeet field, but the few times I've visited I've never seen anyone shooting skeet.

We had planned on visiting another club this weekend, but reduced rate shooting and two sporting clays courses...

An overcast day.

It was suppose to clear around noon with a tempature above 75, but it stayed overcast and the temps remained in the mid to upper 60's. Very comfortable!

We did not need any extra shells. Not one broken target...

I ran into a deal on Fiocchi shells over the summer and they worked well.

For those interested, the wifes Remington 1100 worked flawlessly. She purchased it used in the early 70's and we use BreakFree when cleaning.

The club offered a free lunch. Baked and smoked pork, venison, coleslaw, baked beans, cake and drink.

The club hosted the state shoot in 2008 and will once again in 2009!

I did not take a large number of photographs as we had a rather long week and the energy level was just not there, but enough photos for you to see what the club has to offer.

Club Photos

We ran into Ken from WW Sporting, located just west of Jacksonville. He confirmed his club would be having a sporting clays shoot on January 24th.