Monday, March 24, 2008

Converting Winchester Handset Trap Machines

I was asked about what I thought about converting the old Winchester Handset machines to basket traps.

Converting old machines with no turret and targets needing to be hand loaded, one at a time, and going out and purchasing a basket conversion kit.

It all depends...

If the club needs a backup machine or if a small club and money is an issue, it may be a wise purchase.

If you already have an old machine, the conversion will cost $1995 USD, plus shipping & handling. A new Pat Trap, + $8000.

But be warned, the reasons there was a flight to Pat Traps and machines of that type was reliability, number of targets loaded, as well as easy conversion to doubles.

Not every machine at a club needs to throw doubles, but at a smaller club this may be a must. The retro fit basket conversion will not throw doubles.

When running a club the number one issue with any machine purchase has to be reliability. Repair centers for the old style Winchester machines are at great distance and shipping a machine for repairs is expensive.

Most clubs no longer have anyone willing (or able) to repair such machines in-house and replacement parts can be expensive. I know in skeet, most of us love the target thrown by the single stack Winchester machine, but the machines are worn and repairs are always an issue. The same can be said for trap and Winchester basket trap machines.

Parts on modern machines can be replaced by anyone with average skills and a little working knowledge.

Who will make the repairs on your old Winchester Machines when they go down, as that is the bottom line if you base your decision on cost alone?


  1. Hi Joe,

    I'm Ian Brotherston. My company Western Retro Products makes the TrapLoader CS270 automatic conversion you refer to in this post.

    We DO have a singles and doubles automatic conversion available. For those that are interested please visit our website at to view a video and download a brochure.

    I'd also like to add that if liability and the availability of trap boys wasn't an issue we'd still all be using handset machines. Their quality was never questioned.

    Winchester machines are easy to work on. Parts are still available and spare machines can be purchased from between $100 - $400 at the present time. We have plenty of resources available to help clubs maintain their machine. I'm also in the process of making a dissemble/reassemble video for the Western V1524 those interested.

    So come take a look. With the costs of shooting going up here's a great idea to convert your handsets to automatic and save a bundle.

    Ian Brotherston

  2. I have for sale a, new unused in factory crate, Winchester Model 1524 trap for $500 209 607 3421 E-Mail Jim Rose