When league shooting in a tailwind, it is always advantageous to load the team with flinchers to negate the effect of the sinking targets. The flincher's natural ability to drop the muzzle will completely eliminate misses, especially on straight-aways, and your team will roll to an easy win.
When traps around here were all hand set, it was always an advantage pick your squad to land on the trap that had "Old Ben" in it. "Old Ben" was a zen master at being able to place the bird on the arm so that it would "sunfish" upon exiting the trap. This would produce the larget visible target each time during it's near vertical travel. When "Old Ben" worked the 4 trap clubs, the shooters would show up in droves because they knew there was at least one trap that they could run.
Targets set with a lot of "face" don't resemble the recommended settings for elevations or distance in my opinion. "Facie" set targets are nothing more than another cheating practice that was once accepted across the country! High or low set targets according to our rule certainly don't fit into this catagory either, impossible to do.
Andrew and Neil are both correct, assuming legally set clays, but, those aren't all face type of targets either.
Hap, seriously, I've been told about targets being set to show a lot of face but when I looked at them I couldn't tell them from any others. Really. So, once again seriously, what do they look like and, if you know, what do you do to get them like that?
There's a lot more to this than is immediately apparent to the eye.
Before I write anymore, let me state up front that most of what follows only has a small effect on the overall results. Having stated that, the problem is all the interest in trap shooting is in the last few percent. That is, the difference between an excellent result and a dreadful one (for a good shot) is but a few percent.
When I posted my graphs (calculated to n decimal places of course) things were pretty clear in my mind. The extra 2-degrees of target face for an upper limit target versus the apparent slightly low target in the Remington TS Guide gave a useful increase in target area; of about 10% as I recall.
But Neil was right about the extra height the target reaches diminishing some of this advantage. I think it looses about 1-degree due to being slightly higher, leaving just 1-degree of extra face. So the net benefit of the high-limit target is about 5% extra target area.
But there's more . . . Neil's graph of target distance versus angle is counter to what I expected. With most projectiles the max' range angle is something near 35-degrees but for a clay pigeon looks like something nearer 14-degrees (any idea why the angle is so different for a clay pigeon? **). The 2-degree increase in elevation costs about 1 yard in target distance (or about 2% of total range). So, assuming the speed is increased by a couple of percent to keep the distance constant, how does this alter the mix?
These are the things I could think of:
Things that make the target more breakable: Higher spin speed makes the targets easier to break, higher targets give a larger visible area. The larger area makes the target easier to see (quicker to pick-up) and the higher target may well spend more of its time with the sky as a background which normally helps target pick-up.
Things that make the target less breakable (again assuming the target moves slightly faster and higher): It will be a little further out so the pellets are less energetic and the pattern (for any given choke) a little less dense. The higher target height will need a little more vertical gun movement and so increase again the target distance. The faster target will be harder to pick-up.
This one could go either way: As the angle of the target changes, the pellet impact angle changes. The vertical edges of the clay pigeon become harder to break as the angle of the target increases; the horizontal faces easier. Although the apparent increase in area of the horizontal faces increases at a greater rate than the diminution of that of the edges, impacts on the horizontal faces must exceed some threshold before the pellets can transfer target breaking energy. This is a step change. I don't know whether we are above, below or on this threshold.
So, there's a lot going on! Most things are partially self canceling (which is a common trait in shotgun matters for some reason). I think (feel?) that there's maybe 1-2% on scores to be had by understanding all these effects. That is, the difference between getting pretty much every assumption wrong but acting consistently with the assumptions, versus understanding everything and acting correctly is 1-2%. That there is so little between "plain wrong" and "perfectly optimised" is why so much can be said without supporting evidence. Day to day performance variation is much greater which tends to mask any changes.
(** Why do clay targets fly furthest when the elevation is set lower than expected? I think the best explanation (but I'm open to others) is that the clay pigeon has a ballistic coefficient that varies throughout its trajectory. At its start it flies edge-on. Because the spin tends to maintain the initial target attitude, as the flight progress the target presents a larger and larger frontal area; it almost behaves like an air brake. This means that the speed versus distance response of the higher target is more skewed to the early part of the flight. That is, in order to make 2% extra distance needs more than 2% initial speed with the attendant pros and cons given above.
This also helps explain why high tower sporting targets (or targets angled down slightly seem to go so fast for so long; they do!)
I can and have set targets with more of the top surface facing the shooter and more surface area for shot to catch. It's very easy but the targets are soft and set at an unusually high angle off the arm. This was how they did it on the old Winchester hand set traps.
Earl Scripture was the master at doing it. He'd go so far as to move the traps out of the houses too, just far enough so they couldn't be seen passed the roof of the trap house. Then they were cocked up some for even more launch angle and "face." Then they were thrown soft enough to keep them in the air for a good look and great scores.
The Pat trap automatically throwes a target with a pretty good amount of face. The throwing arm is much lower than the old handsets so there is a built-in increased launch angle.
At the old Mathers Land-O-Sports club the houses had "high" pedestals for the hand set machines. Consequently the targets had almost no "face". The targets were nearly as thin as a razor blade. A lot harder to see.
I totally agree that the increased face that shows with a slightly higher set target is so small that it makes little difference when considering the probability that a shot in the pattern will break the target.
But, there is another possible factor that may be more important. The increased face could make the target a bit easier to see clearly. Seeing the target clearly is very important. I am not proposing that this is a real benefit. I am simply suggesting that it might be a possible benefit. It is also a factor that cannot be quantified, even by brilliant minds such as Dr.Andrew and Neil have.
Still travelling and visiting friends and relatives here in Ohio. Shot a couple days at the Cardinal, the ole back/neck said that's enough of that!! I did somehow manage to win a couple awards at the Grand, such a magnicificient shooting complex too!!
Neil, Barry answered the question pretty much the same way as I would have too. Adjustable elevation bolts, long bolts and pieces of either 4x4 or 2x4s can elevate the front vary easily to throw illegal clays. The targets Barry mentions aren't even close to legal targets!
I happen to take notice of higher set targets because of my problems with moving my gun toward the high side targets as my left arm begins to chatter on those. When that happens, I'd just as well save my ammo! I'd much prefer the high RPMs on a low set target rathet than the easier to see/hit slower ones! I do believe the average shooter could break more targets if clubs threw lower targets too?? I'll ask permission at Tucson to do just such an experiment when I return home and post the results with pertainent before and after numbers.
Earl S. wasn't the only club operator known to set such targets either??
Wobble league is about to start which is my justification for sticking my head in the sand on this one.
Don't you get both types of targets with wobble? Think about it; you do. There's more than just a second oscillation involved. You get a different target face as well. It's a sweet game kind of like pork is the sweet meat. Ran 'em today except for two flinches. Need to stop shooting those 1325 fps bombs at Naperville. Bdee, bdee, bdee.
Andrew, there is an old article by John Brindle in American Rifleman which, as I recall, basically agrees with you regarding target flight. And bad aerodynamics do result in lower optimum departure angles. I think shotguns get the most distance at around 25 degrees compared to rifles which work best at higher angles, as you say.
I used to stand at the 50-yard line reporting results at the Grand while Dean Bright set the targets. You could easily see the air-brake effect you mention as the disk lost speed so fast you could see it happening near the end of its flight.
After reading your discussion on putting face on targets and having just completed building 3 new fields the advice given to me was to build the pedestal 3 inches lower than level which increases the angle when set with an elevation pole to 9.5 feet at 30 showing you more face on the target. The targets are great when there is only a slight wind or a night but seem less stable in the 20 mph wind or more so i am considering raising mine back up as the wind seems to know when i have scheduled a shoot. a tail wind seems to be the worst as it tries to push them to the ground and when the wind slacks they go really high. This is just my experience let me know what you think. thanks Kenny
Ouch Neal. I didn't say I set illegal targets for registered. You know that old saying about the word "assume." My reaction was to your statement that you couldn't show enough face as to see much difference.
Hell, it was the norm in Cal. for years and moved east. I'm from Ill. and we don't do that.
Barry, you are partically right concerning target settings in CA during that time frame. Several clubs did set illegal targets but not all clubs did!! I lived and worked there at the time and shot several different clubs that did and didn't! The ones that did were reported to our then delegate, Darvin T.. It spread east just as you said in an attempt to keep pace with the Jones and their high scores! To say that all the CA clubs were practicing this cheating method is wrong, that wasn't the case at all! Even when it spread east, not all the clubs set that type of target either, some did while others followed the standard guidelines that were so successful for a lot of years!!
Here's another little trick I wish more shooters would watch out for. True straight targets from stations 2 and 4! Those are illegally set angles and violate our current 34 degree angle rule! It's so easy to spot such angles if using Hiram Bradley's technique of watching for a true straight away target from every post!! Last ones I shot, I didn't report myself but complaints were filed by another yet investigated too late to catch the culprits in the act! Our organisation has had enough target manipitulation by club operators and shooters and must stop!
Barry, believe me, I never thought for a minute you set any illegal targets for registered shoots. I assumed were were just talking about the mechanics of it we you or I wanted to to see how it worked.
Dr Jones, you said: "The vertical edges of the clay pigeon become harder to break as the angle of the target increases"
I believe I saw the inverse of this yesterday while shooting a round of wobble. Or maybe I don't understand your text. There was a target that was clearly hit yesterday but it did not break. I say this because it's path changed slightly as it was shot, but there were no pieces and no dust coming off that bird. It was scored as a loss. The target was a lower target than a trap target. It seems to me that a full face target is more fragile than a flat target because of the structure of a clay bird. Ever knock the center out of a target with your knuckle? It's easy to do and we joke about doing that for guys who are in a slump. Try hitting the side of the target with your knuckle. It's not going to break.
Nice thread. Reminds me of trying to shoot pheasants before they go horizontal. Now that is fun. And it points to an appealing feature of wobble trap - there's more variation. The target face changes as the up/down angle changes (as apposed to the side-to-side angle) which I didn't realize before reading this thread. In wobble this is fine, in trap it's not. We live in a 3D world and trap holds the up/down angle constant, or attempts to. On some days that seems to make regular trap more difficult. On other days, it doesn't seem to matter. I believe my mind is looking for variation and responds well to it. Holding my mind steady for a constant target flight seems very difficult on some days. And there's my challenge.
I'm not done with this game yet - there's more to discover in the 4th dimension - the internal one.
Unfortunately, the data used in the model is not sufficiently refined (and probably never will be) to discern the effect of altering the angle of the clay by one degree. So, when all is said and done, presenting the targets at the higher end allowed by ATA rules definitely gives a larger a visible area, but may make the are susceptible to pellet strikes larger, smaller, or no effect.
If you knew what the effect was, you could alter the shot size in response and this would yield (on average) higher scores. This is the 1-2% to which I referred.
I have a reaction to seeing the topic of low targets being better; this thread is better because you have now clarified that we are speaking of targets which are 8.3 > 12.3 ft. high at 10 yards from house. (LEGAL) 9 ft targets at 10 yards are great. I was speaking of the targets which PEAK at 8 ft./ angles which sometimes PEAK at six ft. etc. (and do show less surface area - little more than the side) Yes, sometimes registered. At 10 yards they're probably 6.5 ft.. You're analysis may reinforce some of those who set these worm burners, so let's underline the parameters.
The previous thread had the Pat trap info. which ended on the one thought "you just do the best you can". Thus the need for parameters, the reason for using height, speed, AND distance. Scripture reference on sucker targets; have seen those and they are floppers. It brought to mind the Elysburg, PA State Shoot debacle in the 90's with Aerodyne targets. The targets broke at full speed, so they wound down the traps and raised the angle to compensate. 45 yard targets. The shoot was on, they had a tractor trailer full of targets to shoot, so they threw them. I felt bad about a score in the low 90's, until I saw a number of AA shooters in the 70's and even 60's. (16's)
Summary, it would be nice to go from club to club and shoot targets which were at least close to each other. Perhaps another way the ATA may improve it's following, a little more consistency. (I know, each club does what it damn well pleases)