Saturday, August 30, 2008

Old Winchester Skeet Machines

I was at a registered skeet shoot and the .410 field had the old style Winchester single stack skeet machines.

Target breakage was excessive, from both machines.

The previous squad also had excessive breakage.

The machines were looked at, as well as the targets in the rack and boxes.

A small club and no chance of being moved, unless we wanted to shoot at the end of the day.

Forget about establishing a rhythm on the field, not to speak of the mind game!

It got to the point that I told the ref, if I reach into my pocket and I have no shells, I'm walking off the field. Just add up my score, as I'm done for the day.

I brought five boxes to the field. Gander Mountain is selling .410 shells for $13 a box. Thankfully, I was shooting reloads.

Why must I provide my own proof shells when it's the club at fault?

Not a first time I've been at a club that was trying to get by with the old machines, hoping that target breakage would not be to bad or they would get lucky and the machines would settle down for the weekend. For me, I rarely schedule a shoot at those clubs.

Yes, some are blessed and have no problems with Winchester machines, having the old timer at the club that keeps them running without a hitch, but more and more that is the exception.

If attendance is down next year, don't blame it on raising cost...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Secondary interior U.S. customs inspections and Canadians

For Canadians who may not be aware of the possibility of being stopped by U.S. Customs prior to returning to Canada...

As we approached the Canadian border on Sunday, U.S. Customs had closed the road, maybe 50 yards from the crossing. They were diverting all vehicles to the U.S. Customs station.

A normally sleepy station with little traffic. A quick check of the interior of the vehicle, as they were not there to check Americans entering Canada, and we were allowed to proceed to Canadian customs.

Not unusual, as I see this from time to time. Many times not at the crossing, but a number of miles inside the US. We hit a roadblock and may see a few Canadian vehicles pulled over and secondary checks being conducted. Sometimes customs has a dog assisting.

For those who make purchases in the US without required export permits or completely illegal purchases, and think they only have to deal with Canadian customs, they may be in for a surprise as they dash back to the border.

You do know if ammunition in your possession is not listed on your ATF Form 6NIA when returning to Canada, this is reason for confiscation by U.S. Customs and other penalties? Unless of course you have a U.S. export permit.

A side note. I crossed on Saturday and Sunday and upon each return U.S. customs inspected the firearms in the vehicle. I asked them if I could assist getting the cases out, as last month a US customs agent in Vermont dropped a barrel (Canadian firearm) and it hit the ground. I've seen them start to open a gun case that was upside down.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Skeet, Defective Ammunition

I was asked what the ruling should be in regard to a weak sounding shell in skeet.

Not visibly seeing the shot string fall short of the target and based on sound alone; if the shooter missed, lost; if the shooter hit the target, dead.

You will know it when you see it in regard to the shot string...

I know many refs to this day give bad ammo calls for off sounding shells based on sound alone, but just because it sounds weak, does not make it a bad shell.

But, everyone does not want to be the bad guy... It is up to the ref, and if he or she wishes to ignore the intent of the rule...

The NSSA & Shooting Community changed the rules on off sounding shells as the lone reason to declare bad ammo a number of years back, because of the number of so called bad ammo calls during a shoot, especially in the .410 and 28 gauge, where some shooters were shooting reloads that were pure junk and reshooting three or four targets each round.

From the 2008 NSSA Rule Book.

12. Defective Ammunition

a. Defective Ammunition will be defined as:

1) Failure to fire, provided firing pin indentation is clearly noticeable.

2) When a target is missed in the case of an odd sounding shell, which in the sole judgment of the field referee does not deliver the shot the distance to the target, and therefore does not give the shooter a fair opportunity to break the target.

NOTE: If a target is broken with an odd-sounding shell, it shall be scored dead regardless and will not be considered defective ammo. Odd-sounding shells where the shot does travel the distance to the bird and provide the shooter a fair chance to break the target will not be considered defective ammo and the results of those shots will be scored.

3) Brass pulling off hull between shots on doubles.

4) Separation of brass from casing when gun is fired (usually accompanied by a whistling sound as the plastic sleeve leaves the barrel).

b. Wrong sized shells or empty shells shall not be considered defective ammunition.

c. Repeated Targets - A target shall be repeated for each allowable instance of defective ammunition.

d. Number allowed - A shooter will be allowed only two instances of defective ammunition from the first box of shells used in that round. After two instances of defective ammunition in a round or a shoot-off round, a shooter may obtain a FACTORY box of ammunition and is then allowed two additional instances per box of FACTORY shells in that round. If shells are not changed in a round after two ammo malfunctions have been ruled, the third and all subsequent occurrences in that round will be excessive. EXCEPTION: If a shooter is provided a proof shell by the referee and defective ammunition is ruled on that proof shot, that instance will not count against the shooter as defective ammunition.


As a side note.

I had a whistler (separation of brass from casing) this year at a registered shoot.

Missed the target and the ref called lost.

I opened the gun and saw the hull about a half inch above the the brass had separated. A clean break and the plastic above the break was missing.

I bought it to the attention of the ref and was told it was not defective ammo and the LOST call stood. This from someone who had been a ref for a number of years,

We all sometimes get confused on the rules but this person was not backing down on the call.


I said your wrong, but I'm not going to argue, but I am protesting the call and wish to re-shoot the target. Just mark the score pad showing the protest. I was allowed to re-shoot and hit the target.

At the end of the day it was ruled the ref had made the wrong call.

I bring this up as there is know point in having a pitch battle over a call on the field.

Just protest the call and re-shoot the station. The chief ref can work out the details at the end of the day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Northeast Kingdom, 2008 Vt Sporting Clays Championships

The weather cooperated and a pleasant day at the shoot.

The shoot was advertised as a 12 station shoot, but we were lucky enough to see 14 stations being used.

The club had someone assigned to each station who released targets with squads scoring there own. I overheard a conversation where it was said a referee would be assigned to squads of less experienced shooters.

A mix of hand traps and battery operated machines on the course with some machines leased from SFSI. A company I think out of Virginia.

The course is in the woods on the side of a mountain. A tough hike for some.

This is not a course laid out on flatlands or rolling hills. If you have a medical condition, a motorized cart is a must.

I had no problems seeing targets and shoot windows were more than adequate.

For the most part a skeet/IC choke course with Vermont shooter Mike Pratico shooting the high score of 90 and winning the Vermont State Championships.

The clubs 5-stand was used for small gauge events and was fully utilized for most of the day.

NEK T-shirts were given to all who preregistered and a free lunch was available to all.

As a side note for skeet shooters. The club recently retired the old Winchester skeet machines and upgraded to modern machines.

Shoot Photos & Video

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Odds & Ends (Aug 16)

The Lost Target web site will be down for a short period on Wednesday, Aug 20th, as I've asked my ISP to move me to a new server that allows more bandwidth usage each month and additional server space. I'm told it will only be down for 15 minutes...

The Lost Target Sporting Clays Fun Shoot held recently at the Montreal Skeet Club and the donation received as the result of the shoot made this move possible.



I received this in the mail...

Hummason has lowered the price for their standard soft shot ("Extra Hard" - 1.5% antimony) from CAD $38.00 to CAD $32.00 per 11 kg. bag ($1.32/lb). They used to make slightly harder shot ("Superior" - 3% antimony) but don't make it anymore due to the still (relatively) high price of both lead and antimony.

Meantime Lawry just this week got in a new, roughly 4 month supply of Lawrence hard shot ("Magnum" - 6% antimony) for which the price has been lowered to CAD $35.00 per 25 pound bag ($1.40/lb).


Four of us are attending the Vermont State Sporting Clays Championships this Sunday, Aug 17.

We have to be in the car at 5:30am as its a three hour drive and we also have to catch the ferry to Vermont.

I will have my video camera in hand and hopefully I can get a nice shot of the sporting clays trail going up the mountain.

Some interesting stations on the hike up the trail but it can be a tough hike.


Friday I will be in Canada and will be taking photographs and a bit of video of the Canadian International Skeet Championships.

The same weekend we will be at the Valleyfield club attending the Quebec Provincial Skeet Championships.


If I see Kimberly Rhode at the Shot Show in Orlando this winter I'm going to ask when she is going to start shooting FITASC and going on the world circuit, as she's about done it all as far as the Olympics are concerned.

I'm sure her sponsors may have something to say about it...


The Flagler club in Florida will for the first time be on the ATA Chain Shoot Schedule this winter.

A well deserved listing...


The Palatka Skeet Club (Florida) has been busy this summer replacing steps to the high houses.

Last year they worked on the shoot-off lighting on the fields. You think the sun is shining when they turn on the lights!

A club run by volunteers...


It had been some time from my last visit to the Sportsman's Club of Franklin County in Vermont.

I see they installed the newly purchased PAT Trap Skeet machines on skeet field three.

They took there time on the install as they had a bit of work to do with the buildings and they wanted to get it right the first time.

They had a set installed on field two for a few years and as far as I know they have not given them any problems.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hello, Today Show, US shooters are winning medals

I would never know if I just watched NBC Today to get my Olympic news that the US won a mens Gold in Olympic Doubles Trap Shooting, womens Bronze in Trap Shooting, and a Silver in womens International Skeet.

Is it not news worthy that Kimberly Rhode is now a four time Olympic shooting champion; winning two Golds and a Bronze in Doubles Trap in past Olympics and Silver in International Skeet at this years Olympics?

If shooters were recognized in the National broadcast of NBC's Olympic coverage it was just a fleeting moment within hours and hours of Olympic coverage.

Just a crumb when are shooters deserve the whole loaf...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Draft 2008 Democratic National Platform (Firearms)


August 7, 2008


We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ continued Second Amendment right to own and use firearms.

We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne.

We can work together to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements, like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system and reinstating the assault weapons ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals.

Acting responsibly and with respect for differing views on this issue, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Aug 3, 2008 @ Josée for Sporting Clays

Rain and more rain...

At times a sprinkle and also the occasional downpour.

Late in the afternoon the rains finally came to an end.

Some wore rain gear, but others did not, as it is mid summer.

Club de Tir Josée, a club in the province of Quebec, holds two 50 target sporting clays shoots each year.

The course is built around it's one lone combination skeet and trap field.

The concept works well and the course would be enjoyed by most.

I did not look at the final numbers but would guess at least 50 shooters in attendance, with a number doing re-shoots in the afternoon.

I received a club shirt with logo as a gift. Thanks and very much appreciated.

I hit the lucky draw and took home a case of Federal shells.

A difficult day to take photographs, but I did manage a few.

Shoot Photos

* I went overboard with the music on the video, but I enjoyed it : )