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Never shot on a handset trap...

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Avaldes, Mar 13, 2013.

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  1. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    So I have not been involved in trapshooting as long as many here. I began my shotgun shooting in 2005 with a field grade Winchester 101 that I still have.

    My question has to do with shooting on the older handset Winchester traps. As far as I know I have mostly shot over Pat traps. How easy was it to "read" the trap back on these older machines? I have heard numerous stories about how some all americans were brilliant at moving the trap to the center so the whole squad could shoot nothing but straight aways. Could some of the more experienced shooters comment on this? I like to learn from the history of my sports and hobbies.

    Thanks,

    -Aaron Valdes
    Paso Robles, Ca.
     
  2. Bluzman98

    Bluzman98 Member

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    My understanding is that a squad could get into the rhythm of the trap and time their shots to a certain exit point then shoot quickly before the trap would move and/or change directions.

    I have not personally seen this, but have been told this by several old timers.

    JMHO

    Jim C
     
  3. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    BM98, That's the way it usually worked. I could do it but it was awfully rough on the setter. Before I started shooting I was a target setter. I hated those guys. I never found it to be much of an advantage but others where sold on the method.

    When ever I had enough of it I'd just turn the machine off. Sooner or later the puller/scorer would come down to see what the problem was. I just told him to replace me because I wasn't going to put up with it. Good way to get a break.
     
  4. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    After interrupters were introduced (before my time) there was no way a hand set could be anticipated.

    Before that, the trap simply swung back and forth and could be read.

    Automatics all have interrupters of some sort. They will catch you if you think you're smart.

    HM
     
  5. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson Well-Known Member

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    I missed the days of a handset and glad of it. Reading the trap??? Aren't we suppose to be able to break "any" bird the trap throws? Why not just shoot the bird. Not being a smart a$$ here, just saying. The beauty of the Pat trap is, for us smaller clubs, fewer people to run the shoot. Pats hold 4 squads worth of birds. Keep in mind in the days of hand sets, there were also "hand pullers" no voice release, so there is another factor, human error, so when these old guys shot great scores on hand set and hand pulls............they were pretty dam good I would say, YMMV. Scott
     
  6. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    I was a master at reading those traps.

    If I thought the bird was going to be a hard left, it turned out to be a hard right.

    If I thought it was going to be a hard right, it would throw a hard left.

    Where ever I thought the bird was going, it would go the opposite way.

    Oh yeah, I was good! ;-)

    Hauxfan!
     
  7. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    The interrupter put a damper on some of the "less noble" who liked to know where the target was going to be. The sad thing was that there were a bunch of guys that could not break them all even knowing the direction it was coming out.

    Sure it makes it easier to know the direction, but doubles targets always come out the same place (or are supposed to) and it is not easy to run them.

    The shooters that shot and won a lot before automatic traps, are the same guys that win a lot today.
     
  8. mcneeley5

    mcneeley5 Member

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    A loss for a place for "first jobs" (trap setting)plus exposure to shooting and hanging with the shooters. All automated world...much better?
     
  9. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about being able to read the old handset machine but the job of setting the targets was tricky to say the least and somewhat dangerous. I knew a couple of kids that got their fingers wacked real bad. Glad we don't have to mess with those machines today especially with the CVRs.
     
  10. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Sting a kids fingers a time or two and the best you could hope for is to get a clay when you called! Probably an ill set target at that?

    There were squads that sometimes had everything come into play with a quick kid setting targets but that wasn't the norm by any stretch! EVERYTHING had to be just right for locking the trap down to know where the targets would emerge!! It took perfect timing from all five shooters and a willing clay setter to make it happen!

    If you ever get the chance to watch Jerry Parr shoot today on Pats, watch his timing for his call/shot and where his targets leave the trap? As good a shot as Jerry is, if he shot for a living instead of being a jet jockey, he'd be right there at the top of the heap!

    The interrupter mandate took place when I first began shooting registered targets. Some clubs took a lot longer to add interrupters to their hand-sets than others so reading and locking a trap was out. With the help of some of the top shooters of the day, I learned to rely on seeing the target leave the roof line before making any move to intercept the angle. That, thanks to the advice of Jimmy Heller and Dan Orlick!

    Hap
     
  11. semperfi909

    semperfi909 Well-Known Member

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    When I started shooting Redlands still had hand set and some of them must have not had interrupters cuz there were a few that even a noob could read. It was pretty funny watching a squad of those in the know all shoot bird after bird after bird all going in exactly the same path.
     
  12. Birch1007

    Birch1007 Member

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    Started out as trap boy. We all used to carry a pen knife and cut the centers out of the targets for people or squads that shoot fast. Usually they broke when they left the trap, if not they fell fast. If your squad still didn't get the hint we would put broken target pieces on the arm as well as the target. Or just drop the target on the arm and let chance take it where it would. If you still didn't get the hint, we would put the target on upside down.
     
  13. tom berry

    tom berry Active Member

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    I would sometimes set the target right on top of the finger if the squad was shooting so fast I was getting my fingers slapped. You learned real quick to only grab the dome of the target, not the bottom edge.
     
  14. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Tom is correct in how you held the target to slide it down and into the arm back to the target stop. All it used to take was 5 minutes alone with a new setter--never having seen a trap house before--and you could have them loading safely and consistantly. You also needed a puller who had been there and done that in their day and they wouldn't pull unless everything was in place. Loading doubles easy also as long as they used both hands.

    The use of the voice calls has made a hand trap too dangerous, should not ever be tried.
     
  15. slkslk

    slkslk TS Member

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    The interupters can be taken out of the machines today if you own one. You use to be able to count down the seconds and time yourself for the next shot.
     
  16. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Birch1007 & Tom Berry, did you guys not have a jar of vasoline in your pockets also? LMAO!!

    Hap
     
  17. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    I am surprised by some that say interrupters stopped trap reading! Definetly made it more difficult and substantially reduced the number that could efficiently. No one could then be 100% reader but there those that could get in the 80% range.
     
  18. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

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    The best I ever saw at reading a trap was a school teacher from Ohio who I am sure Pheasantmaster will remember. He could easily know what the position of the trap was even on the first burd after a move.


    jim brown
     
  19. YOTESLAYER

    YOTESLAYER Member

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    I started my trap career on a hand loaded thrower, that club still uses it as a back-up in case the thrower breaks. I used to load that machine as well, $4.00 an hour, I would load the trap for 2 hours and be able to call it even on a round of trap for shells and birds. This is the only way I could afford to shoot when I was young..... I wonder if I could still get by with this? Load for 2 hours and shoot 300 registered targets for even money....
     
  20. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Mac 1.....................Bullseye. Scott
     
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