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*Trapshooting Disappointments

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Onceabum, Feb 2, 2010.

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  1. Onceabum

    Onceabum TS Member

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    In the early’70s, as a new shooter, I was competing in my first state shoot in Helena, Montana. In addition to the regular trophies, and money, they were giving away a car for the top score in the Saturday Handicap event.

    I had just gotten out of the Air Force four months before and was still unemployed. Money was in short supply but I came up with entry fees plus the $25,00 it cost to shoot for the car.

    Later, I learned that Britt Robinson and Larry Gravestock were at this shoot and I watched them shoot one of the handicap events. Both shot 97s. My chances of winning the car didn’t look good, having had only one score in the 90s.

    In the following day’s handicap, Gravestock broke the 100 straight smoking every target. That was IT. I almost injured myself seriously in my haste to reach the office and draw out my 25.00! The wife and I could eat four or five days on that much money. The nice lady on the desk returned my (car) money and I walked away smiling.

    Saturday came and everyone shot the handicap. Not enough was collected to pay for the car so they gave away the money that had been collected…which was a tidy sum.

    How did I shoot??? I broke a 98, was high on the field, and had a lousy $25.00 to show for it.

    How about you shooters, any disappointments?

    BB
     
  2. Anchorsteam

    Anchorsteam TS Member

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    ...that's a cool story, even if it was a 'disappointment'. Somebody ought to write a novel on clay targets or maybe Trap. It's a wholesome American game that dates back a long time. Heck, even JP Sousa shot it, loved it, lived it and supported it. There's gotta' be a really neat 'Sea Biscuit' Trap story out there.

    For me right now, every trip to the line is a disappointment...just kidding. Only every-other one:^)
     
  3. Hitapair

    Hitapair Active Member

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    Do you really think you would have shot the 98 that day if the car or a pile of money was on the line?!!
     
  4. widomaker

    widomaker TS Member

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    I am very disappointed in my handicap shooting lately and need to improve quick fast and in a hurry.
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I pulled a similar cheap out at a NV state shoot. I could have bought myself in the calcutta for $20 but figgured it was a waste of money. Also didn't play any options on the handicap championship event. Well the trap gods smiled and I shot a 99 and won the event. It wasn't a new car up for grabs but it would have been several thousand dollars in my pocket. You just never know...
     
  6. Mr.M

    Mr.M Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    May 28 and 29, 1978 at the PITA State Championships at Livermore, California. In those days, there was a special purse on the combined score in the final two handicaps. The six high scores in the 200 got to choose their prize from a pool of six guns which that year included a brand new Remington 3200 and five other lesser, but still worthwhile, shotguns and rifles. I had always played that purse and never got a sniff. In those days us weekend shooters only had to beat the likes of Bonillas, Bonillas (yes there were, and still are, two of them), Reppas, Oxsen, Hall, Robinson, Gilbertson, Slavich, Slavich (same as above), Ross, Calegari and others to get a sniff at anything.

    In trying to impress my wife of my fiscal acumen, I decided to save the ten or twenty bucks that I had flushed away in previous years on this purse. Of course, Norm Volponi gave me a bucket of crap about spending six or seven hundred and saving twenty. But I was being "responsible".

    Here comes the Preliminary Handicap on Saturday. The night before, I had taken maybe a millionth of an inch off the comb of my trusted Model 31. Went to the practice trap and buried 25 straight from the 26 yard line. Trudged up the hill with Herb Hackey, Bob Clenner and the rest of my squad and center punched the first trap. ----------------You didn't think this was gonna be a short story, did ya------------------------------.
    Came halfway down the hill and buried the next 25. This was maybe the fourth or fifth fifty straight I had ever hit and the first from the 26. Turned the corner for the third trap, shooting right in front of the clubhouse at Livermore with all the noise, etc. and extended the run to seventy-five straight. By the time we got to the fourth trap there was actually a crowd gathered behind our squad. Maybe fifty people. Didn't occur to me that the word had gotten out that I was straight. Fourth trap first shot dead straightaway from Post 3, lost. Oh well, pressure's off, 99 ain't bad. Second shot, dead straightaway from Post 3, lost. Look at shells, look at gun, same Model 31 I started with, same Federal Paper heavy 8s I started with. Glanced at crowd behind us, now milling around and saying something about "Time for lunch". Third shot, dead straightaway.................you get the idea, lost. 97 now in deep jeopardy, punch in jeopardy, crowd GONE. Talk about fickle fans.

    Adjusted my point of hold up maybe 1/64th of an inch, ran out the next 22 for a 97 (my first), my PITA punch to the 27 yard line and my official entry into the Chokers Club. YEA!! BOO!!

    On the way back to Livermore on Sunday for the Handicap Championship the GTO decides to overheat. Mike jumps out of the car on the shoulder of I-680 and whips off the radiator cap. GTO pukes all of the fluid it ever had in the cooling system at 5000 miles per hour out the tiny hole in the top of the radiator. Mike's forearm suffers severe damage and smells like last nights hamburgers for the rest of the week. Just the excuse I needed to shoot about an 81 in the final caps. Water in cooling system, cap back on, proceed to club, look up Dr. Jim Green.

    Dr. Green sprays some kind of plastic stuff on forearm, says something about hamburger smell and says "Stay out of the sun for a while". Out of the sun at Livermore at the end of May? Okey, dokey, Jim. Soon as I shoot this 81.

    Take the line in the blazing sun with the same group of guys, same Model 31, same Federal paper heavy 8s and blaze out a 23 from my new yardage on the first trap. Maybe a 91, there is hope. Move to the second trap, arm now finally getting over the shock and the damn nerves starting to do what they get paid for, put up a 24. Starting to feel like yesterday. Maybe a 93 or 94. Third trap, back in front of the clubhouse, what the hell are all those people talking about? Guess they just don't care that I'm trying to put up a 93 from the 27. Ran the trap. I guess the distraction of the baked forearm was just enough to keep me from worrying about the targets. Might be able to squeak a 95 out of this and get a reprieve from the Choker's Club. I didn't realize then that membership in the Choker's Club is permanent and irrevokable.

    On to the trap where the Monster of Point of Hold kicked the crap out of me yesterday. Short story, destroyed 25 straight, finished my first 97 from the 27, got my first honorary punch from Charlie Shelton, got back a little of my dignity and found out from my old and dear friend, Norm Volponi, that the 194 had beaten Bonillas, Bonillas, Robinson----everybody in the house. Yea!! Boo!!

    Can't say that I enjoyed watching the 193 slide that Remington 3200 into his back seat, but I had done the responsible thing and saved that twenty bucks. About a week later I got the receipts for my winnings pictured below. Kinda softened that blow of saving that twenty dollars and proved the old adage "Even a blind pig, or one only blind in the right eye, finds an acorn now and then".

    Disappointments is the title of the thread and I was. When I opened the envelope with the $960.15 check in it, disappointment was history and everything else was just a story to be told 32 years later. Remember, this was 1978. Bought Len Puccinelli's Jack Seehase tuned live bird IAB with the money and I have it still today. But that's another story for another time. Didn't eat another hamburger for a couple months.



    [​IMG]


    Best of luck and good shooting to all,

    Mike Mann
     
  7. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Great story Mike! How about those target fee's, huh. All in all, taking in inflation, etc; it's probably cheaper today. Shoot in good health, Bob
     
  8. Prescott Gene

    Prescott Gene Member

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    Mike - Great Story!
    I remember most of those guys that you mentioned and shot with a few! I even recognize Volponi's handwriting.
    Hope you are doing well!

    Gene
     
  9. WoodsonEnt

    WoodsonEnt Active Member

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    Some really good stories!
     
  10. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    Not being able to shoot as much as I'd like to have in the last few years because of knee and back problems. I miss the shooting and the friends when I'm not there.
     
  11. SF SGM

    SF SGM Member

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    Mine, winning my class in the Winchester Open Singles, failed to read the program there was no added money. LOL Won more at S.C. than I did at the Grand, so much for the "Grand"
    Van
     
  12. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    breaking 98 and loosing by one for the club handicap championship
     
  13. Anchorsteam

    Anchorsteam TS Member

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    !!! Awesome - I smell a Trap movie in the making - gotta' be a trap-Sea Biscuit story out there...!!! Or maybe on the order of Steve McQueen's "On Any Sunday...????
     
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