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Lewis Class--good for the game

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by mcneeley5, Dec 20, 2012.

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  1. mcneeley5

    mcneeley5 Member

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    mcneeley5_2008_030318.jpg
    From an old Remington handbook on gun club cashiering
     
  2. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Here in the Midwest, the Lewis class is very popular. If you don't have the ability to shoot the top score, over time, you just might be better off keeping the money in the bank.

    With that being said, I don't know if it's good for the game or not, but when I shot tournaments I played the Lewis class and it sure felt good when I hit one.

    I usually played all of the money when I shot, just in case, I had a good day. Some people have a negative view on playing the money, but trapshooting has always had that aspect in it, and to me, it's nice to try to recoup some of the thousands of dollars that we all have spent on entrance fees and equipment. To me, it's just plain fun. I am sure there will be shooters who feel differently. I say to them, no one is forcing you to play the money.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  3. KennyRay

    KennyRay Active Member

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    Historically Speaking . . . the Lewis Class system was reportedly worked out by Jim Lewis and Luther J. Squier both trade men and the earliest mention about it I've found was May 1910. James Lewis worked for Winchester and Luther Squire was the Dupont & Hazard Powder Co. assistant general sales agent.

    It was used in Western Pennsylvania in league programs in which they cashiered.

    In 1914 George S. McCarty, second ATA President and man in charge of construction of the ATA's Vandalia (Ohio) homegrounds in 1923, wrote an article taking exception to Lewis's claim of inventing this money option. As proof, he offered the 1909 Pennsylvania State Shoot program which listed this option. He said he would like Mr. Lewis to show him a program with this money option before then. In fact, McCarty claimed the general plan for offering this option at the PA State Shoot was drafted on his boat in North, Maryland in 1908 by John W. Lewis, of Reading, Pa. and McCarty himself. It was later refined in a discussion with other well known shooters along with McCarty.

    A response came from Harry E. Brooks who said adoption of the Lewis Class System was noted in the minutes of the annual meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Trap Shooter's League in 1908. Reportedly Elmer E. Shaner and other well-known shooters were in attendance.

    The Lewis Class system continued to be credited to James Lewis, even though articles stated that he had never "faced the traps" until 1908.

    You can decide who originated this money option that has been used for over a hundred years.

    Kenny Ray Estes
    Pittsgrove, NJ
     
  4. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Kenny R.E., it sure would be dandy to have another Elmer E. Shaner yankin the ATA chains today!!

    Hap
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    It's the main attraction for non registered events in this area. If all the money went to one of the big dogs no one would come.

    HM
     
  6. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Pay your money and pray to the Trap Gods you will be lucky that day....
     
  7. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    I always liked the Lewis. When you drop that first target, you're still in the hunt, not just shooting for pride. If you can't at least shoot in the mid to high 80's, save your money. Good luck.

    Bob Falfa
     
  8. KennyRay

    KennyRay Active Member

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    Hap, I could not agree with you more. In my view, Mr. Shaner was the ultimate manager. He gave careful thought before making decisions and the integrity of his character drove him to speak truthfully. He was a Director and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Association in the early 1890's; successfully managed the Interstate Manufacturer's and Dealer's Association starting in 1892, for 26 years, before becoming President of the American Trapshooting Association in 1919. That organization was a continuation of control by the manufacturers but was a step toward turning over control of the sport to the amateurs. He resigned when it was required to leave his Pittsburgh home and relocate in New York City. His son E. Reed Shaner, secretary of the Interstate Association for 11 years retired as he also did not wish to leave Pittsburgh.

    I remember being asked by the late Dick Baldwin if I ever saw mention of Mr. Shaner shooting trap. Most knew he hunted but Dick had never found his name among the contestants at a trap shoot. Well, Mr. Shaner did do some shooting and seemed to prefer live birds over clay targets but he shot them both.

    The Lewis Class remains the most popular money option ever invented. Here are some of the other options that were originated in the past:

    Aiman System

    Connor System

    Elliott Sliding Handicap

    Ford Purse

    Hawkins System

    Holly-Hock System

    Jack Rabit System

    Jobson System

    John Parker System

    Lawrence System

    Moore System

    Pumphrey Equitible System

    Rapid Firing System

    Rose System

    Rupert System

    Sergeant System

    Siefken High Gun System

    Squire Money-Back System

    Winslow System.

    From the early days plans were devised to provide a more equitible distrubution to the lower classed shooters. There was a time when professionals were barred from competing in tournaments but were permitted to shoot for "targets only." Paid Experts were an important part of trapshooting events but most amateurs didn't like competing against them. Some tournaments charged a higher entrance fee to professionals and those who shot over a 90 per cent average in the preliminary events and that extra money was divided among the amateurs.

    Kenny Ray
     
  9. Bucko43

    Bucko43 Well-Known Member

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    I have had some incredible luck with the Lewis class over the past 2 or 3 years. At one time I had a run of 20 shoots in a row where I hit at least (1) Lewis out of the 3 events that day. Sometimes I was hitting 2 events in a day. The lady that pays out the money (Eileen) was dumbfounded and got tired of seeing me come through the door to collect. Some of my buddies stopped talking to me and they also stopped betting the Lewis because they were sure I had figured out how the cheat the system.

    That run of 20 in a row got interrupted with one day where I didn't win anything. Then the next shoot it was back on track again with another 10 times in a row I won the Lewis, and a couple of times it was all three events in that day. It is really nice to get most of your money back and shooting for free that day. But it is just pure luck. There is no way to predict what score will win the Lewis.
     
  10. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Kenny for all the extra info., very interesting! I'd read of what a competent manager Elmer was during our sports beginnings. Needless to say, I was totally impressed with what he did for my beloved sport of trapshooting!

    Gene Hapney
     
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