Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jun 26 @ Vernon National Shooting Preserve

Taking advantage of attending a wedding in Syracuse Saturday evening we stopped by Vernon National Shooting Preserve near Vernon Center, NY on the way home Sunday morning.

A warm day, sunny and in the 80's, but a wind blowing through the trees on the course made for a bearable day.  Only a handful of stations in the direct sun, the rest inside the tree line (and in the shade).

The clubs website states 14 stations, but 17 stations is what we found.  We shot the course with IC choke.  A walkable course and that's what we did. The club has cart rentals.

Insert the card in the slot and hit the power button.  Remove the card and it turns off.

The V in the stand is for those need the extra room to open and close an O/U.  I found the cross post at an excellent height for youngsters.  With the number of youngsters (and women) I see at various clubs, time to ensure shooting stands meet the needs of people not 6 foot tall.

Station #17.  Could be the toughest targets on the course.  The wind can be your enemy.

Nice verity of target presentations. 

We ran into some very nice people on the course.  I gather they were regulars.

Station #8 you may or may not get to shoot, as it's also the area of the course that long bird practice machines are situated.  If in use you can wait, or pass and return (or take extra targets at other stations).  It was not in use and we shot station #8.

Back in late May my nephew contacted the club in regard to shooting clay targets as part of a bachelor party outing.  They had a blast and ended the day with a cook your own steak at the clubhouse.  The club has rental guns and will provide an instructor if needed.

Thanks to the club for letting us shoot at member rate.

We stopped at Bass Pro in Utica.  Fishing and hunting equipment in ample supply.  No sale on shotgun ammunition.  I'm looking at picking up another Beretta, but seemed all the Beretta guns in stock were hunting guns.

We passed a poor sole on I-87 that just hit a deer.  Looks like he almost missed it, as just the left front side of the vehicle was smashed.  Saw the deer on the side of the road and it didn't look that big, but it doesn't take much with the way modern vehicles are constructed.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A400 Xcel - Beretta Update

It's almost been a year and only in the last few weeks that I don't have to overly concentrate on controlling the swing of the firearm, especially in trap.

I've read that it could take up to a year to get comfortable with a new gun and for me it seems to be true.

A long time Remington 1100 shooter and obviously a much different swing.  After a few months of shooting the A400 I added a forend cap weight hoping to smooth out the swing, as I was shooting over targets and had to consecrate on controlling my swing.  It helped, but I still had to work on it.

I was at a fun shoot yesterday (skeet & trap) and missed two targets.

The week prior I attended a trap shoot and the winds were blowing.  Rained on in one round.  Shot a 92.

I think I was on the money in a few outings previously, but had problems with background and overcast skies, having a hard time picking up the target.  Maybe time to think about a different lens color for gray skies.

I couldn't tell you what spare parts to carry, unlike for my wife's Remington 1100 where I carry spare parts to replace anything that can break.  For the A400 I have a spare bolt handle and I did lose a mid bead and when I ordered a preplacement, got two.  I used Loctite when I seated the bead so I doubt it will be a future problem.

The gun is working flawlessly.  I wipe the barrel down with Remington oil after each outing and really don't touch the receiver.  Every three or four weeks I'll take the forearm off, remove the bolt and give it a bit of a cleaning. 

I don't have the KO recoil system and shooting with a 30 inch barrel.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Odds & Ends (Jun 2016)

Not having shot registered trap, nor been on a full squad since last year I was off my game shooting on a full squad at my first registered shoot of the year.

A different pace from shooting with one or two, then being on a full squad.  Didn't even think about it, but noticed quickly.  Also, in the last month I've been shooting trap practice with a tree background.  At the shoot I experienced various backgrounds, depending on the field. The target would just fade from view while trying to keep focus. It wasn't until the afternoon that I was able to keep 100% focus on the target.

Now, what do I take away from this?  Getting older and have to change the way I prepare for a shoot.

There is a couple of clubs in the region where I should of shot practice and assured full squads.  Also, by hitting a few different clubs I would have had the opportunity to shoot different backgrounds.


I was at a sporting clays benefit shoot and the second shoot I was at this year where for a few stations you had to snap shoot the second target, as if not, lost in the trees or hitting the ground.  Attention target setters.  We all don't have eyes of an 18 year old or the reflexes of a baseball shortstop. For sure I don't!


Thankfully, I not yet had the opportunity to eat warmed over hamburgers at a shoot, but I know it's coming : (


I posted previously I ran into a sale on RIO shells at Dick's.  My advice when you hit a sale, buy more then you can afford.  I'm shooting shells that I picked up on sale last year and under no pressure to buy at full price.  Push comes to shove you can always sell at a profit.


One bad knee (cortisone shots) and a second knee that the doc says is worse, but for whatever reason is not painful and not needing a shot.  I can shoot with the knees, painful or not, but throw in a bad back and doesn't make for a fun day.  Back went out at a shoot over the winter and it was maybe 4-5 weeks before I could move freely.  I pop two ibuprofen tablets just before I pick up a gun.


Almost a year I've been shooting my Beretta A400.  So reliable that I almost forget to give it a cleaning from time to time.  Shot everything from expensive to not so expensive shells without issue.  I couldn't tell you what spare parts to carry.  I carry an extra handle, shell catcher, and a mid bead (lost one). 
For my wife's 1100 I carry spare parts for almost anything you imagine that can break during a shoot. I always give the 1100 a good cleaning with Breakfree after every outing.


I ran into a shooter that I've known for a few years.  He always ran a youth skeet program at his club.  Asked how many shooters he had this year, he said none.  A new person in charge of the clubs skeet program basically told him to get lost.  So, because of a clash of personalities, no youth skeet program at the club.  Don't we as a shooting community have enough problems with people trying to close clubs and taking away the right to bear arms and we have this crap going on. 


Pat on the back.  We took our weed wacker to the club today.  We did the fields, around the club house, and the entrance gate.


Received my shoot confirmation for the New York State Sporting Clays Championships being held at Rochester Brooks at the end of July.  Travelling by my lonesome.  5-6 hour drive.  Don't know who I'm shooting with, but should be a good time.


A county in Southern Florida is putting in a new county run gun club.  All the bells and whistles that you can imagine.  For clay target shooters; skeet, trap, 5 stand, sporting clays, and 5 combination Olympic Bunker and International Skeet fields

The sporting course and 5-stand  is suppose to be in this year,  The Bunker and the other clay target disciplines sometime in 2017.

Major Olympic Bunker and International Skeet shoots a given.

I'm assuming at some point an official training facility for Olympic Bunker and International Skeet. 

I imagine a stopover for serious bunker/skeet practice (training) during the winter months.