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Trap (and other) Shooting in South Africa

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by timb99, Jan 11, 2012.

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  1. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, thought I’d update you on shooting in South Africa.

    As most of you know, I’ve been over here living and working in Johannesburg for about 16 months now, and will probably be here for another year and a half, at least. It’s a pretty good gig, all things considered. Crime is high, but you’re OK if you live in a safe area (which means a gated and walled subdivision with security staff), stay away from the bad places, and don’t take risks, like being out in the middle of nowhere (or in Johannesburg Central Business District) at night. Medical care over here is pretty respectable if you stick to the private hospitals and don’t go to a public clinic. There is a LOT to see from a tourist standpoint. We’ve been to Cape Town which is an incredible tourist destination, Durban, and my wife has been to several places for photo safaris (Madikwe and Timbavati in South Africa, and Mashatu in Botswana.) A couple of weeks ago, my wife, daughter, and I went for two days to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to see the falls, then two days in Chobe National Park in Botswana for some photo safaris. Breathtaking stuff. We get some good concert opportunities here too. In April, the wife and I will be going to see the Eagles at the brand new FNB Stadium.

    While I’ve been over here, I’ve done quite a bit of trap shooting and sporting clays and some skeet, mostly practice rounds, at a couple of the local clubs. One of the local clubs has a “Maglite-Pilla” sponsored monthly sporting clays shoot that is a lot of fun and the sponsors give out some pretty good prizes. A few of the local clubs have just organized a monthly informal club competition where we’ll meet, shoot 75 targets, have a braai (what we call barbecue over here) and the winning team gets a trophy worth no more than 20 Rand (about $2.50.)

    This year I’ve decided to join the Clay Target Shooting Association of South Africa (CTSASA http://www.ctsasa.co.za/) so I can shoot as an official competitor while I’m here (they’ll let me shoot as a resident because I have a “resident visa.”) There are nine provinces here in SA (essentially equivalent to states in the USA), and CTSASA has a Provincial Shoot for 6 of the 9 provinces, plus Gauteng (the smallest area-wise, but most populous province) gets two provincial shoots. The two provinces that don’t have provincial shoots just don’t have enough population, and therefore don’t have enough shooters to warrant a provincial shoot. Essentially the provincial shoots are the equivalent of a State shoot back home. However, the provincial shoot competitions will include several disciplines, though not all provinces shoot all disciplines; ATA singles, ATA doubles, DTL Trap, NSSA skeet, NSSA skeet doubles, Olympic Skeet, Olympic Trap, Olympic Doubles Trap, and Universal Trench competitions. Then, in April, there is the “South African Grand,” which lasts 5 days, and luckily this year will be held at the club where I shoot most.

    They also shoot Automatic Ball Trap, FITASC, 5-Stand, and Sporting Doubles disciplines over here.

    Then, at the end of the year there is the “Chairman’s Cup” which decides bragging rights among the various provinces. For the Chairman’s cup, each province has shoot-off’s (or other means) to decide the top three shooters in each discipline to represent the province in ATA singles, NSSA Skeet, Universal Trench, and Sporting Clays. I’m going to try to make my province’s team for ATA singles for the Chairman’s cup this year.

    I’m also going to try to make as many of the provincial shoots as I can, just to travel a little bit and see more of the country. A few of them are day trips, but most will require overnight stays. I’m most looking forward to flying to Cape Town and shooting at Valley Gun Club.

    Funny thing, according to CTSASA rules it really doesn’t matter which province you live in, you can shoot for any province you want to, as long as you are a member of a club in that province. I live in Gauteng province, but a friend of mine talked me in to shooting for his province, so I will be a member of the Limpopo provincial team. Most folks do shoot for the province in which they live, but many do not.

    While I’ve been over here, I’ve made quite a few new friends and a lot of acquaintances. The shooting community over here is very welcoming and open to outsiders. There are some excellent shooters over here. There is not a lot of interest in shooting doubles, even though it’s included in the competitions, and shooting handicap is almost unheard of. Indeed, most of the trap ranges are equipped only with 16-yard pads.

    I have spoken with quite a number of folks who have traveled to the USA to attend the Grand in the past, and a number who are planning to go this year. One guy has asked me to shoot a round of 25-yard handicap with him every time I see him at the club, just so he’s a little better prepared when he goes to Sparta this year.

    Shooting here is quite expensive. A case of “cheap” shells here is 550 Rand or about $69, and the “good” shells start at 660 Rand, or about $85. The premium stuff can be as much as 800 Rand. It’s nearly impossible to find US brand ammunition (although I did get some Federal Top Guns), and all the European stuff is low payload, high velocity. BTW, shooting singles with Olympic 24 gram number 7-1/2 loads at 1350 fps or faster works fine. Though truth be known, I still prefer 1 ounce at about 1150.

    A round of trap costs me 60 Rand, or about $7.50. Pricey, like I said.

    It’s not bad, and its home for now. But eventually, I’ll be happy to return to the good old USA.

    Cheers!

    Tim
     
  2. Aussie Dan

    Aussie Dan Member

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    Hi Tim, thanks for your fantastic update, good to here your enjoying the place and enjoying the shooting.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, Thanks for sharing,
     
  4. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Pretty interesting, thanks for sharing. Out of curiosity, what are you doing over there for so long? I assume it's work related.
     
  5. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    I'm part of the design team for a huge power plant project for the national utility, Eskom. Google "Eskom Kusile" for some information about the project.

    Supposedly the largest construction project currently ongoing in the Southern Hemisphere.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Thanks 99.9% of us will never get to see things like you describe. That's a long time to be gone, glad you have some time to enjoy the area. What type of power plant-hydro-fossil-nuclear? Shoot well & often--Ross Puls
     
  7. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Ross, its a coal plant. There is a lot of coal in South Africa.
     
  8. DONNE

    DONNE Member

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    COAL BURNING POWER PLANT? Are those South Africans CRAZY? Didn't you tell them coal is the #1 reason for all the air pollution in the world? They should export all their coal to China , like us and be willing to pay more for "clean power".

    They need to do like US , and replace all the dirty coal plants with Solar and Wind power! :) (thats a joke son)
     
  9. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Check out the project, very interesting. Enjoy your stay Tim.
     
  10. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    A couple of sites with info about the plant:

    http://www.power-technology.com/projects/kusilepowerstation/

    http://www.eskom.co.za/c/article/58/kusile-power-station/
     
  11. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear from you Tim. Sounds like you guys are making the best of your current location. Guess its Summer there? Take care.

    Matt
     
  12. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Matt. Its summer here, and the weather is great!

    That's another plus about living here in Johannesburg. Awesome weather. In the summer, it seldom gets over 90°F.

    We're getting daily afternoon/evening rainstorms right now, but the rest of the day is great.

    In the winter it seldom gets colder than 32°F, and even then, its just the overnight low and in the afternoon it gets into the 40's or low 50's. The winters are very dry, though.
     
  13. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tim, your info on So. Africa is very interesting! Sounds like you are able to keep your shooting eye sharpened with the variety of shooting opportunities there. Be grateful that you are away from the "controversies" (griping, flaming, and bullying) going on over here re: the ATA changes. Pitiful.
    Powder Creek is doing well; the new key system for sporting clays is great...this should control the loss in target revenue and it works quite well. Larry Stacey is not doing well at all - in St. Luke's South - don't know much more.
    Best Regards, Ed
     
  14. pdq

    pdq Member

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    Fascinating -- thanks for sharing.

    Pete
     
  15. RickN

    RickN Well-Known Member

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    Tim, that's alot of coal per day.
     
  16. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    RickN

    Yes it is.

    The coal will come directly from the mine via long conveyor belts. No rail car delivery (except for the limestone that will be needed for the SO2 scrubber.

    The economics are such that it is more cost effective to build the plants near the coal mine and run long transmission lines to where the demand is, than to build the plant near the demand and bring the coal by rail.
     
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