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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Aside from just being overall difficult to maintain decent averages in 90+* weather, does anybody know if there's an adverse impact on target material?

I've only been shooting a few years and cannot recall a such extended period of extreme heat and have myself noticed that targets just aren't smoking like they should, and I know I'm not the only one. Along with the lack of smoke, we have all noticed an increase in breakage of targets out of the house.

Just curious if this is a thing or ....
 

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Maybe you need a new gun! :D
 

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What squad am I on?
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Seems like just 6 months ago, people were complaining about cold and snow up to their buttocks.
We went from cold to hotter than hell but I'm not complaining, just curious if there's anybody else noticing an increase in target breakage and lack of smoke, more chunking and hacking going on than I've seen in a while.

Maybe more clubs are going the Bio route and not saying anything?

Maybe you need a new gun! :D
I think I'm where I need to be..........for now ;)
 

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take a target and set it on your dash and see what it looks like in a week. heat makes a difference in density of most materials and I'm sure pitch is effected but I have no idea how much other than the melted target in my truck.
 

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sounds like the blackout biodegradable targets are still being tested but with an improved black composition, might wait a few years before we purchase most likely another composition will be developed ??

This is what we use and below is the White Flyer add:


These are pitch targets

PHEASANT 108mm • Available Western US

Essentially the same target as the Standard Trap & Skeet target, both 108 mm and same paint schemes. The difference between the two is the Pheasant/Sporter was designed specifically for Sporting Clays shooting. Based on longer throwing distances and faster speeds, the Pheasant/Sporter weighs a few grams more and is a bit denser in its configuration than the American Trap & Skeet target. For Sporting Clays we recommend you use the Pheasant/Sporter version. Both the Pheasant/Sporter and the American Trap & Skeet targets “smoke” extremely well and are used at the NSSA World Skeet Championships; ATA Grand American Trapshoot and the NSCA National Sporting Clays Championships.

ORANGE DOME
 

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We throw Lawrys, and I don't believe any such thing is offered. Same target for clays as for skeet and trap. People have always complained they're harder to break that White Fliers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Important to note, I am not trying to pit different brands of targets against each other in any way shape or form unless some are known for performance issues in high heat environments.

I am also not complaining. Curious but not complaining (I happen to be shooting better than ever before) but noticed a few things yesterday and ended up having the same observations from two other people at two different clubs.

So...three clubs, in different states, hundreds of miles apart all reporting increased breakage out of the house and lack of good breaks. What's up with that?
 

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I've read that bio targets in the heat of the desert get baked harder. I've not read anything like that about pitch.

I shot 2 flats this weekend and didn't notice any difference in White Flyer pitch targets. Airtemp was 95F.
 

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Not so much, heat, but humidity. Clays soak it up, and it does affect their ability to make it out of a Pat Trap in one piece. Didn't have as much of a problem with it with the W-W throwers.
 

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I finished the PA Grand yesterday, and Wadhopper and I chatted about this on my long drive home. I will say that we’ve had many consecutive days here of 90° + weather, and maybe it was just me, but I don’t recall seeing too many ink-balled targets yesterday.... where you see a smoke cloud, like other times. Scores were still good overall by many shooters, but just something I noticed, and it turns out Wad and a shooting buddy of his noticed the same thing, independently. I won’t go as far to say that hit any targets were left unbroken, but they didn’t seem to react the same......I shot Singles and Handicap with 1 1/8 oz, 0.030 choke

.
 

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Wad, I have a target somewhere in my loading room that sat on the trap plate on an angle for a week during a 90 degree hot spell a few years ago. It actually compressed on it's own weight and cupped about a 1/8" and is now slightly oval.

They may be more brittle in the summer, but they are still somewhat pliable.
 

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I live in Idaho, a high desert state. As such, the temperature changes (usually rises - but not always) a lot between morning, mid day, and evening. I have noticed that the early events produce lots of smoke balls but as the day heats up, usually going from 50-60 degree temps in the morning to well over 90 degrees (this time of year commonly above 100) by 1 or 2 o'clock, the amount of smoke diminishes significantly then as the temps come back down in the evenings the smoke comes back out. I always chalked it up to this: the wind usually picks up with the increase in temps which blows the smoke away quicker, and the wind makes the targets dance around a little more so shooters aren't hitting them as well as they were in the calm air. Lastly, maybe the hotter (which in dry Idaho means thinner) air doesn't contain the clay dust as well as cooler (more dense) air? Anywho, those are just my observations and my very unscientific thoughts.
 
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This is may not relevant, but I believe I may be able to give an explanation for what you are experiencing. Even if it isn't the reason, it's an interesting observation anyway.

I have access to a private place to shoot that is set up for clay target shooting such as skeet, wobble trap and sporting clays. It also has a very nice rifle/pistol range with a covered shooting bench area and target butts out to 200 yards.

Many times after shooting, I will take the buggy and go and pick up clay targets that have hit the ground and are still in one piece (which somedays is waaayyy too many!)

We take them and shoot at them with .22 rifles at distances up to 150 yards. Challenging and great fun to boot!

One thing that we've noticed is that in the winter time, those things will shatter like a china doll, but in the heat and humidity we have here in FL this time of year, quite often you can hit the target and it won't break and all. The bullet just punches a hole in it.

I attribute this to the fact that the targets are just not as brittle in the summer due to the different weather conditions between those 2 times of year. Our summers are hot and muggy with VERY high humidity, and our winters are cool and much, much drier.

This could easily explain why clay targets don't "smoke" as much when hard hit.

Good Luck and Good Shooting!
 

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The composition of a target, limestone and petroleum pitch {not the WF Bio} should give you the clue. What does a tar and gravel country road look like when the temps reach into the 90's? Bubbles, you say, in the tar?
Well, the pitch used in targets [there is NO clay any more] is close to the consistency of the tar used on country roads. It softens in high temps and as noted by some here will warp just sitting in the heat. This softening will help hold the limestone particles together better than when the target is closer to ambient temps. Therefore larger pieces and less fine dust to make the "smoke".

Scott Hanes
 

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What squad am I on?
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The composition of a target, limestone and petroleum pitch {not the WF Bio} should give you the clue. What does a tar and gravel country road look like when the temps reach into the 90's? Bubbles, you say, in the tar?
Well, the pitch used in targets [there is NO clay any more] is close to the consistency of the tar used on country roads. It softens in high temps and as noted by some here will warp just sitting in the heat. This softening will help hold the limestone particles together better than when the target is closer to ambient temps. Therefore larger pieces and less fine dust to make the "smoke".

Scott Hanes
Thanks for all the input, Scott and others, much appreciated! Seems like we've covered the smoke so could we attribute the amount of broken clay from the trap to the same thing - I would assume?

I watched three squads, averaged 7 broken targets per round and of particular note, these traps at this club seldom have any issues but yesterday was pretty ugly.

WELL WELL WELL.....What do we have here?!? Posted ten minutes ago on Facebook...I'm assuming just about any container without proper ventilation is going to cause problems in this heat.

To hot.jpg
 

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So much truth in that picture. Even if you aren’t storing targets in them. We have a few of those scattered around the ranch and before putting the turbine vents on top of them they would get extremely hot in summer and would even cause a sweat in spring and fall when temps varied quite a bit.


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That’s why an All American trap shooter once told me 8’s work well from the 27 when the weather is hot.
He would not use them in cold weather.
Your opinion/view can/will differ but at least most of us are now shooting some.
 

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At my trap and skeet club, the roofs leak and the targets get wet. I always wondered if that affected them. They throw OKish but the breaks aren't as smoky as the sporting clays club. I always attributed this difference to my simply being bad at skeet and trap while being better at sporting. Could be wrong. Who knew?
 
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