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HCP What Happened In The Past? HCP

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Barry C. Roach, Aug 24, 2009.

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  1. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Once upon a time, back in the 'Good Ol' Days', there was a pro trapshooter, Arnold Rieger, who nobody could beat in the handicaps. It is said that this man was so good that we needed to "move him back." So the folks at the ATA decided to increase the 'backfence' from the 25 to the 27 yd. line.

    What happened next? Did it slow down Mr. Rieger and all the other pros of the day? What's is the history of that change?
     
  2. Neal Crausbay

    Neal Crausbay Member

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    Barry we know the maximum yardage was increased on Jan. 1, 1955 from the 25 to the 27. This was mostly due to Arnold Rieger's winning so many handicaps. To note that he wasn't placed in a Professional Class nor was the allowed shot charge reduced, but that concrete was poured should be of interest to some that think a Pro class or less shot is the answer to today's handicap domination by a few. This change in 1955 only affected the one(s) winning so often.

    This increased yardage must have slowed down Arnold as his name only appears once in the HOF's "Trapshooting record Holders" and that is that he was the second person to obtain the 27 yard line, 2 months after it was put in place. That would suggest that even though he reached the new maximum yardage quickly, his domination of the handicap event was over or he would have surely made the record book in some additional way had his domination continued.

    Either the increase in concrete in 1955 or the difficulty of the angles, or both, prevented anyone from breaking a 100 off the 27 for 9 years (1964). How many scores of 100 from the 27 were shot in this last Grand? Compare that to the fact as several have pointed out, that the Grand is a gathering of the best shooters in the country and the winning scores should be high. O.K., using that thought, we should note that no one was able to win the Grand American Handicap beyond the 23 until 1970 (won from 24 yards) and not until 1978 did anyone win the GAH from the maximum 27.

    Additionally, history indicates there were two or more maximum yardage increases prior to 1955. I gave some information on this in a prior thread:

    " The Trapshooting Hall of Fame could probably look this up if they have rulebooks going back far enough, but let me attempt to narrow down the dates of the maximum yardage by using Forest McNeir’s autobiography, ‘Forest McNeir of Texas’. McNeir is an inductee in the HOF and if any of you haven’t read his book, you should, as it is a very enjoyable read.

    On page 230 McNeir states in the first paragraph while mentioning the Grand in the year 1913, “That was when 22 yards was the limit.”

    Looking at past GAH winners, Mark Arie won the Grand Handicap in 1923 from 23 yards so sometime between 1913 and 1923 yardage was increased to 23 yards.

    Now on page 234 when telling about his shooting with a caddy to load his gun that the handicap committee put him on 18 yards, ‘The next year, in 1938, they put me back on 25 yards, and kept me there till I was 74.’

    Now we can surmise that between 23 and no later than 1938, the maximum was increased to 25 yards. McNeir further states on page 234, ‘In 1943 there were only four men on 25 yards – Joe Heistand, Carl Maust, Julius Petty, and myself.’ We don’t know if he was speaking of just at the Grand or in the entire membership, but either way it wasn’t crowded on the 25."

    Now we've been 54 years without a maximum yardage increase while during this time target distance has been shortened, angles narrowed, voice releases incorporated, and we wonder why the maximum yardage shooters are kicking butts.

    I hope this gives at least some information on your question.

    Shoot well and often.
     
  3. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    Merle Stockdale of Ackley, Iowa was the first shooter to make the 27 yard line. He shot on an earlier squad than Arnold the same day.

    Merle was a hell of a shooter!

    Hauxfan!
     
  4. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    The oldest average book I have is a 1928 and the 25 yard line was maximum. Your assigned yardage back then was based on your 16 yard average (no punches for big scores or wins in HDCP) I can tell you that most of the big guns back then in 16 yard averages didn't have big averages in HDCP. The high handicap shooters in 1928 were, Frank M. Troeh .9142 Mark Arie .9113 H. Johnson .9028 The high 16 yard average leaders were, E.F. Woodward .9903 C.A. Bogert .9775 F.M. Troeh .9772 They were shooting at greater angles with chilled shot back then which kept the averages lower then todays averages.
     
  5. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Neal Crausbay That was an excellent statement and how true it was.

    It reflects to me what I and others as well as yourself the Grand Slams of yesteryears was by far harder to accomplish, hand pulls, 3 hole targets,
    how many on time pulls did you get when you got your Grand Slam Neil?

    I think that they should as I suggested on earlier posts the old Grand Slams be noted as Gold Grand Slams and the newer ones after 1981 I believe would be Silver Grand Slams. And if they make them any easier they should be Bronze Grand Slams.

    Neal thanks again for an excellent post, and your Gold Grand Slam



    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  6. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    This subject interests me greatly. I have a picture here criteria 1926. That I copied from the hall of fame website.


    [​IMG]



    This picture shows the layout of the fields and judging by the size of the walkways and the competitors would seem to show a 25 yard line. Which would seem to to shave about 12 years off that 1938 time line for the expansion to 25yds.

    Bob Lawless
     
  7. Milkbone

    Milkbone TS Member

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    That was interesting Neal, thanks. With all the handicap yardage increases, I can't help but wonder if there was a group like today babbling about punishing people or claiming that it couldn't be done because there was no room for more yardage.
     
  8. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    MB, reading trapshooting history says a lot of he!! was raised by several top shooters when the max yardage went from 22 to 23 yards! Exactly the same things as being said today. No room to expand, too far to hit targets, no one will shoot good scores, I won't shoot, shotguns won't shoot that far, etc. etc., just like today. Matter of fact, every time the game was made more difficult, with one rare exception. That was adding interrupters in the early 70s to prevent the top shots from locking the traps and or reading the angle of his clay. Many a trap setter had their fingers skinned with the quick shooting squads if the setter blinked or sneezed between clays.

    We probably should have added a couple more yards around the late 70s or early 80s also. If we'd done that at that time, this discussion would be a bout adding even more than we're now discussing! 44+ degree angles are a lot tougher day in and day out during a season of trapshooting! Validating a cheating practice by making targets easier to hit with a rule change for the elite shooter was wrong when it was voted in.

    Neal C. tried his best to enforce the standards in place during his tenure as President but he sure didn't get much help from the EC and delegates. Liberals took over our organization for the sake of perfection and it continues to this day.

    Gene Hapney
     
  9. shutnlar

    shutnlar TS Member

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    Not a TREE ANYWHERE! Why did they ever go to Vandalia? Does look like you could just about drive to your bank, tho!! LOL
     
  10. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Neil, thank you for the history. This is just what I wanted. By the way, is that your pickup truck on the west end of that '26 Grand photo?

    This is one of the most important subjects we face as trapshooting matures and the membership needs to be heard from about it. I think the EC would be well thought of for making the effort. It's hard to argue with the majority opinion.
     
  11. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]


    Big Heap posted this old picture of a few of our pasts great trapshooters, I saved it and added the names and credits to our HOF. This was taken at Port Angles,WA Thanks BH

    Gene Hapney
     
  12. KRK32

    KRK32 Member

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    I Lived In Troy OH and i loaded trap at the grand for the last 8 years before it left. I was loading in one of the houses in front of the grandstands well i looked up one day and on the ceiling there was names and dates of other loaders that worked years before some of them went back to 30's up to when i was there. I just thought that was kinda neat but its all gone now. Kirk
     
  13. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Two more questions. How long did it take Rieger to make the 27? Would adding three yards to handicap make the game more exciting? Would/should current Grand Slams be rescinded if the backfence is moved to the 30 or would we just call the new award the Great Grand Slam?
     
  14. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Two months. Yes, much more exciting I'd think!

    Personally, I don't think it would be too long before 100 would be broken from 30 yards. Jerry Parr and Shawn Hawley shot 3 rounds from that yardage at Vernal a while back according a post JP made here. JP missed 2 or 3 and Hawley dropped 1 in 75. How long do you think it might take Barry??

    I'd guess we'd call that a max grand slam. Shooting 44 degree angles from 30 yards and I'd wouldn't make a guess except to say it could be accomplished with the ammo and specialized guns we have today. I'd wager a dime with the tougher angles, Leo H. would be the first to accomplish that feat!

    Hap
     
  15. TrapDoggie

    TrapDoggie TS Member

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    New challenges for the best shooters in the world - why not! If you remove monetary consideration from the decision making there is no question that moving back from 27 makes sporting sense. The targets can and will be hit from 30 - take a look at George Digweed hitting a target from 105 yards! Amazing... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRO_zflUKYk
     
  16. Beau69

    Beau69 Active Member

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    Speaking of the past...
    Just looked at Leo Harrison III shooting history off ATA website. For the sake of this argument, lets all agree that he is the greatest shooter alive.

    Lifetime average(removed high and low seasons since 1970)

    Singles: 99.07
    Handicap 93.51
    Doubles: 97.18

    Leo: Of his top 10 years average wise (or about 1/4 of the data)
    Singles: 1 in the 80s, 3 in the 90s, and 6 since 2000.
    Handicap: 4 in the 90's and 6 since 2000. (and this years 97.07% is highest ever but not counted in the data set)
    Doubles: 4 in the 90s, and 6 since 2000.

    So what this shows, aside from the fact that Leo is way better than any of us, is that shooting has gotten progressively easier over time. However, at the same time Leo has improved and his skill has also increased.

    I am simply putting the data out there that as time has gone on, Leo's scores have consistently gone up, or decades have had higher averages than years past. One way to go from near perfection to even MORE near perfection is to make it easier to hit targets.

    However, based on this thread I really don't know what we do to make the game 'harder'. Make a 30 yd line...sure? 3 hole targets? sure. However, if you look at Leo's and other All-American shooters who have shot through the different 'eras', it makes no difference to them, they hit more than the rest of us anyway. However, the two hole shorter target is definitely of no great challenge to most of them. I say make a pro class and let them shoot for their own money. I find it hard to believe (although I do believe it) that the top guns find most trophies meaningful in the slightest. I saw on the Pennsylvania state website a list of Grand trophy winners by name and there were several AA shooters who won 10,15,20 even 25 trophies at the Grand...and assuming thats the same for years past, the individual trophies can't mean much.

    Just killing time late on a Tuesday night....
     
  17. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    If they move the backfence to 30 yds. Would you play the money more?
     
  18. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Have you noticed that this thread is not well read. Less than 900 views so far. I'm not sure that many care about changing the handicap system right now.
     
  19. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Barry, the thread title may have something to do with the responses also? How many posters here were actively shooting when the old 44 degree angle rule was strictly adhered to? Not that many as a guess. It's impossible now to figure out which clubs adhered to the standard and threw 44 degree angles and which threw 34 degree angles along with when/where that began? Why did it begin in the first place and who allowed it to continue?

    New shooters could care less because this game is hard enough already for most of them! Leo has been shooting for approximately 50 years, how many of those years has he been at the same spot, the 27? Without a doubt he's the premier shooter in the sport today and a great ambassador too. Take a look at the new kids on the block attaining the max yardage at younger and younger ages! What will our sport be like in another 55 years if it's not made more difficult for the most proficient ones?

    Hap
     
  20. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

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    As Neal correctly pointed out history does not support those who say the same people would dominate handicap if it was increased to 30 yards. Increases in yardage have clearly ended the dominance of shooters in the past. Arnold so dominated handicap that gun clubs requested relief so they could have large prize shoots. Arnold won so much that it was foolish to pay money to compete against him. Sound familiar? The addition of two yards ended his dominance and handicap shooting continued. Clubs found the space and money to add the concrete. If we intend to attract shooters we need to equalize handicap again and give everybody a chance in the competition.

    jim brown
     
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