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First Shot of Doubles, per the late Jack Gracey

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by JACK, Jan 22, 2012.

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  1. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Jack Gracey was a force in Wisconsin Trap shooting in the late 70s, early 80s. He was an ATA All-American and the first to break 390 in Wisconsin. About '83 he found that he had Melanoma, had it excised, and he then devoted his life to his family, his business as manager of the Southern Lakes Gun Club, and training of trap shooters and skeet shooters. He excelled at both target sports

    Jack came by his shooting skills via the USMC where he owned most of all the records for stationary target shooting. Adn when he left the service he got the job as manager at Southern Lakes Trap and Skeet. As a footnote to Jack's service, he was selected to be part of the team that evaluated whether JFK could have been killed with a Carcano from the book bindery. He thought it quite plausible.

    Gracey taught many of us to shoot. I am one, my daughter another, "Mooney" my friend on the TS.com Forum and a very notable and perhaps the best shooter of all to come from his tutelage, "Drexel", currently posting some of his collectible trap guns. Another is "Bluerock1". Many others too, but I do not know that they participate on the forum.

    Gracey especially excelled at singles and doubles. He had many 200 strates and beau coup 100 strates in ATA doubles. He had few equals in those two disciplines.
    And one of the reasons he was so good at doubles is that he had a technique that worked for all of us on how to "break the first target"

    Assuming I am RH and on sta 5, the target comes out of the house at just a slight angle toward the center of the field. Perceptibly strate. He would have you set up with a parallel gun just to the left of the flight path, call for the target, watch it emerge from the house, slide your gun just slightly horizontal AND vertical and "COVER THE TARGET". At the point where you covered the target that was your mental signal to pull or release the trigger. Adn because the gun had some minimal momentum toward the second target all he wanted you to do was switch your eyes to the second target and shoot as it looked proper to do so.

    But the key was to "COVER THE TARGET" on the first bird and not watch it break. If you did it right you never saw it turn inside out, which it does.

    Drexel was one of our faster shooters, Bluerock1 a bit more deliberate, Mooney had his own pace. But we all covered the target. We did not point out the first bird. If we saw it break, we were just stroking our minds-eye.

    If you guys want to talk to me about this feel free to contact me via phone or email or PMs. This is not our current group of clinicians and what they recommend, but this techniques is still bouncing around some. You might like it

    Jack
     
  2. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jack. I made the following post in the other 1st bird Doubles thread:

    In both Kay's video and Leo's video these experts recommend slightly moving the gun toward the 2nd bird instead of a fast reverse in direction but neither one of them recommend spot shooting the 1st bird.
     
  3. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    SHAME on ME. How could I forget one of Gracey's finest students and one of today's most capable trainers of shotgun sports?

    None other than TS.com's "Gun DR", Doug Braker. Doug got his start as a trap puller for Southern Lakes in the early 80s and then went off to gunsmith school. That is where I met Doug to begin with. Doug Braker is easily the best proponent/instructor of this "COVER THE BIRD" technique still around in shooting venues.

    I will also tell you that if you want to learn singles and doubles trap, contact Doug. He is in Mid MN. But he is very capable in skeet an now has become a local force in SC. I guess his current interest lies in small gauge SXS SC.

    That stuff is over my head, but Doug is a coach I would recommend in a heartbeat.
     
  4. EuroJoe

    EuroJoe TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I used to shoot at the Playboy Club when Jack Gracey was range mgr.befor he went to Boxhorn's. A great guy and a helluva shot. He could do things on a Skeet range that you had to see, hip shooting, behind the back, over the head, lots of fun!!
     
  5. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    The best shooting sport at Southern Lakes was "Pavillion Skeet". On rainy days, we would all take our trap doubles guns and move to the pavillion opposite skeet field 2. Adn bet money on who could break more long distance crossing skeet targets. It was a hoot. They were 35 yard shots. Not enough pellet density in your skeet gun. Needed a near full choke
     
  6. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

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    I traveled the country with Jack for most of his career as he was my best friend. The major thing that made Jack great was his vision. He had Chuck Yeager eyes; or phenominal vision. Most competitors didn't stand a chance. He could not only see the rings on the target, but the spin.

    One time on our way to the Ohio state shoot I aske how much farther it was to Vandalia and replied the sigbn said 40 miles. Counting seconds it took me 18 seconds at 70 mph before I could read the sign. It was then I new that most shooters never stood a chance!

    Yes Jack was one of a kind. I saw him take a lot of money from Chicago commodity brokers by: breaking skeet doubles with a .410 behind the back from station 4, break 100 skeet from the hip, and break 16yd targets with a 177 pellet gun.

    The amazing thing was that when he took the job at Playboy he had never shot trap in his life!

    He was a great guy, liked by all, and died to young of cancer at 51 yrs. of age.

    I think of him often, but always with a smile on my face.
     
  7. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Sorry Rick. Forgot about you. And many others too.
     
  8. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

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    No problem Jack, He had alot of friends.

    Rick
     
  9. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    To also tell you what type of guy Jack was, I asked him one time why did he did not shoot the local winter events at area clubs, as he could certainly make a lot of money. He said "it would not be fair to the average shooter".

    His statement alone tells you what kind of man he was. I have seen a shooter on the all American team drive 50 to 75 miles to shoot at small clubs to clean house from mostly league and new shooters in attempt to get the easy money and run.

    In fact at one club, the manager mentioned that a certain shooter attends their yearly shoot and wins every year. When told that this shooter was on all American team he was upset because this shoot was meant for mostly league and the newer shooter.

    It doesn't take long before people find out who the good and not so good guys are in the shooting sports.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  10. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    I don't or didn't know Jack, lot's of people will attest to that,:) but it sounds like a good way to take that first bird. Next time I get to shoot doubles I'm going to try it. My problem is always being too slow to the second bird making it a 27yd plus shot most of the time. If the grass is too tall out there I'm in trouble.
     
  11. OLD ONE EYE

    OLD ONE EYE Well-Known Member

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    Good post Jack I enjoyed reading about your friend Jack Gracey
     
  12. mooney

    mooney Member

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    Jack, Those were some times. After retiring to South Carolina I kept in touch with him. The summer before his passing I flew up to Illinois to visit my brother and met Jack over at Dave Ennis's place. He brought his guns and we shot. He didn't miss once. He was probably the best friend and coach I've ever had. Every time I think about shooting I think of Jack. I think he got more people into the sport than any other person. I could go on for hours about what a great shooter, coach and friend he was. I know all of us that knew him will miss him as long as we live. There will never be another Jack Gracey-NEVER.

    Mooney-Glenn Wedding
     
  13. cueguy

    cueguy Member

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    Makes me sorry I never met the guy. I started shooting ATA in 2001 and his name came up frequently. Now I know why. Nubs Wagner
     
  14. trench12

    trench12 TS Member

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    anyone ever shoot from the runway(taxiway) many colorful characters hung around there in the early 80's
     
  15. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Trench. the runway was quite a ways away form the skeet fields. Could yo be thinking of "Patio Skeet"? We did that often. I called it Pavillion Skeet earlier. I t was Patio Skeet.
     
  16. Snookassassin

    Snookassassin Member

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    Jack Gracey was a true gentleman. I met him at the Playboy range in 1976 or 1977. I had just purchased a new model 12 and I didn't like the stock. Jack mentioned that I should have a higher monte carlo stock. He swapped out my plain looking stock for a beautiful highly figured monte carlo and even though I didn't buy the gun from him, he charged me nothing. He said that he just hated to see a Winchester customer that was not satisfied.

    I always stopped to visit with Jack when he was at Boxhorns and I bought a couple more guns from him through the years. Great guy.

    Thanks for reminding me MIA.

    Snookassassin, Clif Adams
     
  17. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Cliff.Are you an Adams from McHenry?
     
  18. Snookassassin

    Snookassassin Member

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    No Jack, I'm not from McHenry. I live in Fort Myers, Florida and St. Joseph, Michigan. I met Jack when I lived in Iowa. Due to my job I used to move around a little bit. I started shooting in the 70s when I lived in Alabama, moved to Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, back to Alabama, back to my home state of Michigan and then, like most old shooters and golfers, I moved to Florida.

    By the way Jack, I'm going to be at Silver Dollar later this week and I will get that MX10 barrel fitted.

    Clif Adams
     
  19. coot shooter

    coot shooter Member

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    Jack Gracey was an amazing shooter, a true gentleman, and the best gun club operator that I have ever seen, or probably will ever see.

    I was not a regular @ the Playboy club, but worked with Jack @ Boxhorn's. I loved to watch that man shoot doubles, and he was always willing to teach you a thing or two. I was a young man at the time, and took advantage of his help, and became a fairly decent shooter. I will always remember Jack for the lessons and advice that he gave me.

    One of my most memorable Grands was the year (late 70's/early 80's that myself and shooting partner Mike Pjevach) shot the Grand with Jack ..... those WERE the good old days, and are sorely missed.

    Mike Kafura
     
  20. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    James. you must be left-handed.

    Barnes and I kinda grew up shooting together. If you look at our averages in the late 80s as we got started in ATA, we were pretty much shooting same scores. But he carried on in ATA while I tended to other things. Catch him now? I doubt it.
     
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