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Soft Targets

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by TraditionalTrapshooter, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. TraditionalTrapshooter

    TraditionalTrapshooter TS Member

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    I would like to direct this post to individuals who can make a difference, such as trap club officers, all the way up to ATA officials (Mr. Neil Winston, I can use your input here).
    My concern is with recent changes to the traditional rules of target setting, i.e: setting targets at 42 mph using a radar gun or chronograph instead of using the 50 yard stake. I have been told this change is to better standardize the target flight, but in my experience it has resulted in a soft target that is unstable, especially with variations in wind and humidity. Several clubs in my area (southeastern PA)have seen fit to remove the 50 yard stakes. These stakes are not only useful to determine target distance, but target angle; how will the shooter be able to discern an illegal target? And on what grounds will a shooter be able to request a target reset? And will the person resetting be able to "prove" to the squad that the reset improves the target if there is no concrete evidence by which to judge the target path(stake and T-bar)? While radar measurment has its place, the stake and T-bar are still the gold standard for target setting. Please leave these in the ATA rule book.
    Respectfully, Traditionaltrapshooter
     
  2. at_trap_89

    at_trap_89 TS Member

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    If there is even the slightest hint of wind, what good is the stake? None what-so-ever. Not to mention misplaced stakes, et al. Speaking of limit stakes, have you looked at the rule book lately? Just because its not landing within the 34-degree spread doesn't mean its not still considered legitimate by the rule book. Angles aren't supposed to be measured at 50 yards anyway so limit stakes are pointless. The chrono/speed gun setting has allowed the most consistent target setting - rather than stakes on uneven ground and wind governing setting. A 42mph target in still air will travel 50 yards over level ground so it IS a 50 yard target.

    Forget the stakes! All they do is make everyone think they know what a good and/or legal target is.
     
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    A 42 MPH target isn't a soft target. It's virtually a perfect target speed for most situations, and will get a White Flyer to 49/50 yards in calm wind. 49 to 51 in calm wind is what the rule book states.

    If you are using the landing distance of 50 yards to "prove" the legality, how are you going to "prove" the legality in a 15 MPH quartering wind, or with any angle wind?


    Open the link. Neil has shed some light on this subject previously on this forum.
     
  4. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I have long been a proponent of setting targets by speed. Several years ago I bought my personal Pro Speed Radar Gun and have loaned it to several clubs. But, I still find the 50 yard stake useful for adjustments other than distance. It is important, but often over looked, to make sure the trap, when not oscillating, throws targets in the same place. This is a good way to check the brush and the elevator. A 50 yard stake is helpful in checking these things. For an experienced setter, the 50 yard stake can also be useful for setting doubles.

    Also, from any post, the 50 yard stake represents the center of all of the angles that will be thrown. I find it useful in setting my feet/body position at each post.

    The 50 yard stake is not too useful in determining the distance a target should travel under the conditions found at many clubs.

    Pat Ireland
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    You need the T bar. 50 yard stake is not necessary, but Pat has a point and I agree.

    HM
     
  6. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    The stake also gives the shooter a reference to judge the speed of targets he is shooting. Please leave it there.

    Don
     
  7. TraditionalTrapshooter

    TraditionalTrapshooter TS Member

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    Can anyone tell me how on a reset of the trap by squad request, how the trap setter proves to the squad that the targets are legal ?

    By use of a physical means, witout his personal opinion.

    It was proven in the past by using the T-bar and hitting the 50 yard stake.

    So what means would be used today to satisfy the request of a trap reset ?

    Respectfully,

    TraditionalTrapshooter
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    TraditionalTrapshooter - First, it is important to recognize that under many common conditions, a target hitting the 50 yard stake is illegal. Also, it is very simple to hold a radar gun so that several people can see the speed.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. Gary Waalkes

    Gary Waalkes Well-Known Member

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    No perfect answer Traditional, some clubs set target speed from inside the house and the readout is not available to everyone. Important to remember that shoot management does not have to reset anything and at bigger shoots frequently will not. a natural extension of that is a legal target does not have to be proven. For me, the distance stake is not a problem - what I would like to know is if the field is right or not. And you may not find that out until too late.
     
  10. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

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    If you check the set with a "T" bar you would have to shut down the traps on both sides of the one in question. I have very rarely seen this done during a shoot with good reason. You would certainly have a negative impact on the scores of 10 shooters just to satisfy the curiosity of one or two squad members. If you think the targets are soft just shoot them and be thankful for your high score.

    jim brown
     
  11. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    TT,

    If you think you've seen "soft targets" set with a radar gun..........I'd invite you to go someplace where the trapsetter wannabe's are setting 'em to drop at the base of a distance stake that's well below the level of the trap? Ya'ever seen 38 mph ATA registered singles targets? .............I have, they were set to "the stake"

    John C. Saubak
     
  12. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    John- It is clear to me that some shooters would rather have targets fall at the base of an improperly set 50 yard stake than have targets set properly by speed.

    Pat Ireland
     
  13. E.D. Va

    E.D. Va TS Member

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    ATA Rule book. Sect XIII, E.FLIGHTS AND ANGLES, Paragraph 4, Line 1 states, ". . .stakes may be placed on the arc of a circle. . ." Paragraph 4 Line 5 "These lines and stakes will assist in determining the required angles, but it is to be understood that the angle specifications apply when the target is from 15 yards to 20 yards from the trap rather than where the target strikes the ground."
    The words "may" and "assist" denote guidelines only and are not intened to be strict 'will do' 'must do' statements. I'm not too sure that I can name/find anyone that can make the absolute determination within the 15 to 20 yard range just by looking at the target in flight. Observing these targets as a 'straight away from post one and post five will allow the stake to "assist" in this determination; but you had better be darn quick to make the decision:)

    Lu Charette
     
  14. TraditionalTrapshooter

    TraditionalTrapshooter TS Member

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  15. aaastalker

    aaastalker TS Member

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    I watched a shooter recently ask for a a reset for very high soft targets,
    At an ATA shoot in N.J. (Pine Belt Gun Club).

    The shooters on deck were calling these targets "Helicopters" by the manner of there flight in air.

    The Trap Setter who reset the targets
    "Told the guy he was going to let some more tension off the spring "
    to bring the targets down into the proper zone to shoot. To which he confirmed he did.

    Well, now the targets were even softer, and were landing about 15 yds. from the 50 yard stake.

    Yes, they still had there stakes in place.

    No radar guns were used to check speed, no T-bar for the height adjustment of the targets,

    Something got to give, and it appears that it is the trapshooting public that has to pay the price, by shooting at these soft targets.

    At least with the old standard, the Trap Setter was able to show the Squad that the targets were meeting ATA height/distance regulations.

    Mr. Winston needs to take a real look at this problem, and like the good man that he is , step up to the plate, and get us back on track to shooting quality targets once again.

    AAA
     
  16. Hauser

    Hauser Member

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    SBray


    I agree with your conclusion about not being able to use all three. Its a combination of two of the three.


    1) Speed and height/angle.


    2) Distance and height/angle.


    I would encourage you to try and get the clubs you shoot at to use a radar gun for setting the target speed rather than throwing them to a stake. You will get very consistent targets trap to trap and they are much quicker to set. Neil Winston did the sport a real service when he pushed this into the rulebook.


    Jerry Hauser
     
  17. Wilma Harris

    Wilma Harris TS Member

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    Isn't it just amazing that the trapshooting world was able to set targets and conduct shooting tournaments for over 100 years WITHOUT a radar gun and do so at a level that allowed trapshooting the growth it had during that 100 years?
     
  18. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Southbend- A radar gun is not required to set good targets, but it does make the job a bit easier.

    Pat Ireland
     
  19. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    60 & 60

    Curt
     
  20. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Well, when this subject first came around about a year and a half ago I argued that it was stupid, because it was being advocated without any specific, detailed guidelines for how to correctly use a chronograph and a radar gun. I have been proven correct. Target setting this year has been the worst I have seen and wildly inconsistent. And these targets were set by supposedly experienced target setters at a couple of State shoots and other more modest shoots. Presumably, these target setters read the rules, but interpreted them differently. Either that, or they had bad equipment. Now, some may say there was intentional cheating involved, but I don't believe that. So either the guidelines are not stringent enough, or detailed enough, or the equipment used to measure speed is faulty or improperly used. I don't know which, but it is probably a combination.

    During those discussions I had a strong preference for the 50 yard stake, which was eventually retained. I do remember pix from Jim101 and others showing landscapes where a 50 yard stake could not be used. Old Cowboy above offers another example. So I have come to be convinced that measurement by speed and angle IS the best way to set targets when PROPERLY USED.

    I think EVERYONE is entitled to the same presentation (or very substantially the same presentation) regardless of which bank or trap they shoot on. I realize this is an ideal, and landscape contours can make wind affect traps differently, but that is my metric.

    I believe a good case can be made for stating a target thrown at A MPH at an angle between B and C degrees above horizontal is a legal target no matter what. Substitute fps for MPH for chronographs. I have shot enough targets at my home club to realize over time that it results in hittable targets even with a gusting head wind, or a tail wind, or quartering and variable winds.

    I have no problem (except hitting them) shooting targets set this way in any conditions, but that's me. I know that others howl for a reset (many for no other reason than they prefer high or low targets). So we allow discretion in "adjusting" settings to attempt to compensate for conditions. And therein lies the problem.

    I haven't formed a firm conclusion concerning this "discretion" yet, but I could embrace it if it had firm boundaries, as in target speed cannot be lower than Dxxx, nor faster than Exxx regardless of conditions. I think the allowable range of vertical angles is sufficient. As long as those limits are reasonably small. I understand this may limit the use of low powered radar guns, because a range of 3MPH is too much IMO. That is the actual range of velocities possible with a reading between 41 and 43MPH on an SR3600 gun.

    The reason I suggest this is fairness. Here is an example piggybacking on one of Pat's comments above. Say you have a strong head wind when you set the traps. To adjust the speed to reach the 50 yard stake, or to look "right" under those conditions is, as Pat says, an illegal target. No matter what, it will be going faster at the point singles targets are broken than a legal target would. That will influence shooting and scores. Say the wind is gusty, as it almost always is in my neck of the woods. Now you have a variable presentation, which is even worse. Now say after 5 squads shoot, the wind diminishes. Now you have screaming fast targets, and I wouldn't blame anyone for asking for a reset. Now what if the wind picks up again for the next squad. This is just one example, a head wind on one trap. Factor in terrain and other conditions, plus multiple traps and you will be spending the entire day resetting traps to suit conditions AND whims.

    So I rather say everyone shoots this exact legal target no matter what. Just suck it up and shoot. It's no different than you got to shoot in sunshine while I got drenched shooting the same event. Stuff happens. I'm OK with a small range of velocities so that some attempt at correction for conditions is possible, as long as the extremes of that range do not result in still air targets that are "noticeably" different from normal.
     
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