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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I volunteer at my local university to help coach the shotgun team. The program is fairly new so we continue to build.
Hannibal LaGrange University is a Christian based school that offers scholarships to members of the shotgun team. Most of the school provided funding is utilized for shells, practice targets and competition travel/entry expenses.
The team practices at a small gun club about 20 miles from campus. Trap and skeet can both be shot at this club.
However, sporting clays has to be practiced at one of several other locations, none closer than a 2 hour round trip.
A recent unexpected donation has sparked the idea of buying the equipment needed to create some way to present targets typically seen on a sporting course.
This donation, while generous, won't pay for all that's needed. We are wanting to put together a master plan to show other potential supporters.
As most of you know, trap is in my background, I don't know enough about sporting clays to be much help.
So....HELP !
What should be considered when buying throwers? other equipment?
Our team has participated at the collegiate nationals in the past and while we didn't win, there is pride in the progress we are making!

Mrs. Leo Harrison
 

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What squad am I on?
Lots of different guns...
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From what I've seen...
Mobility will be a necessity of any trap you purchase.
Stands can be PVC which will offer a huge savings over treated lumber and will also be mobile without access to a forklift or tractor.
Solar tenders will keep the batteries charged without electricity.
I'd hit up Luke at the Cardinal Center.
 

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Karla, would Ka-Tonka Sporting Clays in New London be a possibility?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That facility has been closed for awhile but recently sold. Not sure what the new owner is planning.
 

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5 Stand is Sporting Clays without the walk. We set up our 5 Stand on a trap field, using 5 mobile traps. We have Atlas AT300s. Started with PVC stands and a trap scorer's chair for the push buttons. Most Sporting Clays stations only have two traps. You could start with a PVC frame for a stand and two mobile traps, with batteries. Set up a presentation and practice report and true pairs. You could set this up for a couple thousand dollars. Move the traps around and set up different scenerios. If you plan to move them around a lot, you might consider lighter traps, like AT50s, but they need to be loaded more often. Call and talk to Atlas traps about what you want to do. They are good people.
 

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In essence, you need to build a 5-Stand set up and you’re starting from zero. Like every other post here that references buying ANYTHING, lets get right to the meat of it... what’s the budget?
  • Explore the proposed site for layout, shot fallout and safety zones, angle of the sun, etc. Use Google Earth, too.
  • Who can you enlist for physical help? Alum, parents, school maintenance staff, other students? Help will be needed to pull/score, move equipment, build stands.
  • Can you secure other donations (PVC pipe, shielding material for machines, etc)
  • Where & how will you store stands and machines?
  • Clays: Rabbit, mini, midi - Need source and storage. Where?
  • Who holds the purse strings? Who’s accountable?
  • Reach out to clubs already shooting 5-stand. They already have someone who has probably asked all the same questions you have now.
When you have all that, write a business plan. The web is littered with examples. Then pitch the idea to:
  1. Land owner/club
  2. school administrators
  3. potential donors
You’ve got a ton of work to do before the first shot is ever fired... but you can do it.
 

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I agree with starting with a 5-stand. You can always add to it later if you get more funding. The amount of land for future expansion is going to be the key.
 

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I agree with starting with a 5-stand. You can always add to it later if you get more funding. The amount of land for future expansion is going to be the key.
The beauty of the a five stand (along with a lower initial investment) is you can make as easy or tough as you want with little effort (assuming you have the available land area).
My club even sets impromptu FITASC shoots using the 5 Stand machines.
 

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I am just throwing this out there, not sure how practical it would be.
We have 6 Western Skeet throwers that are in storage. They all worked when we upgraded to new ones. I am sure they could be had extremely cheap possibly even a club donation. ( This would have to be voted on)
The down side of these is the electric! But for 5 stand may be an option for you!
 

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We recently added Five stand to our club. We purchased several Atlas portable throwers to be used for Five Stand. Here is a quick list of what will be needed.
1.) Rabbit thrower RTC
2.) Battue thrower BATTUE
3.) Full wobble thrower AT/250 Tri axes
Electric remote control - get the one for eight throwers. Not sure of the brand we use. It can throw singles and true doubles. Each trap will have a remote.
All traps run from a 12 volt car battery. You may need to set up a charging station if they are used often. We throw a 2000-4000 targets each day for five stand. (Using seven portable throwers) The batteries have never lost power to complete up to twenty squads.
Items to be added later.
4.) Middy thrower AT-150
5.) Additional standard thrower AT150/At250
Get the metal cart for each thrower. Add the hitch/receiver onto the front of each cart and then ad a second receiver on the back of the cart so you can pull two carts out at one time. A ATV such as a Gator will be required when pulling two throwers at one time.
Eventually you will want to work up to a total of eight throwers. To start with and for practice, a trap house and then the first three throwers will get enough targets in the air to provide repetition for practice.
We have been running the Atlas traps for about six months and so far they have been great. Nothing broken yet.

Here is link to review options: Standard, ATA/Oscillating, Wobble & Skeet Traps

The first three throwers, carts and electronics will run around $10,000 all total. Each thrower after that it is about $3000 once they are all set up.

Good luck
PM me if you have more questions.
 

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Here's another thought. Don't buy anything. You can get a lot of good sporting clays practice with your trap and skeet machines. Shooting trap targets at a 90 degree angle is good practice for crossers. Shoot skeet stations 3,4, and 5 in reverse order, and shoot from a lot farther back. With a little imagination, you can set up presentations that will duplicate targets you will see on a sporting clays course.
 

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Karla, you have a resource with sporting clay knowledge & contacts with trap manufacturers also. Been setting targets at some fairly large shoots.
Eric Harvey, who you know well, I think.
 

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I second the option for atlas traps. They are very durable and reliable. Local club here uses them we service them every couple of years. Very easy to work on and simple made we run a mix of carousels and single stack. We made carts for them to make them more mobile and stable the carousels we mount on pallets they slide right in the back of a utv bed. As far as shooter stands you can go as ellaborate as you like or as simple as a hula hupe thrown on ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, we are fortunate to have a pro-staff sporting shooter close by. I'm also blessed with so many shooting friends who are very knowledgeable in every discipline.
I appreciate all the advice!
 

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My home club does not have enough usable land for a full blown Sporting Course. So they went 5-stand. It is set up in one field that originally was a combo Skeet and Trap field. They added Rabbit, Teal, Incoming, tower (rear) and crossing throwers. It is all computer controlled by a devious programmer. It is a lot harder to shoot well than any actual Sporting course I've shot. Programming changes every week, so you get new presentations from every stand. I think it is better practice for Sporting than Sporting, because most of the Sporting fields I know of do not change their presentations much from station to station. About the only variation is the trapper shows you one, then puts the bird on a different spot on the trap.

I only know the traps use at one of the clubs. They are Mattereli, because they are so programmable.
 

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5 stand would be best starting up as most of the other shooters said...not only the cheapest way to get it going, but the compactness of the setup is more secure for safety.
One range officer can oversee the entire operation at a glance. Also lots less maintenance and upkeep--
We had a sporting clays range along with our 8 trap trap range, and it's a lot of work to keep the trails and stands in tip top shape, mowing , snow removal and upkeep.
 

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5 stand sounds like your best option. Have you tried reaching out to the NSCA or the NRA? I know the NRA helped fund the combo trap /skeet range that was built at the little gun club where I belonged when we lived in California.
 
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