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It is Grand. It is huge. I just went wow when I walked into the admin building and got classified. The guy behind the counter was great. Welcomed me and was genuinely interested that it was my first visit and gave me pointers as to where every thing was located, vendor buildings, tent vendors, etc. As it was a little after noon we had lunch right there, the pulled pork combo for nine bucks. Portions were generous and the drink (lemonade) was huge. A fair deal. Pork was good. (Not as good as mine from my smoker, lol.)

Next stop, the shell house. Made the mistake of going into the ATA store accross from the shell house. Walked out of that store $115.00 lighter then when I walked in. Best deal were the T Shirts from last years Grand for five bucks. This years shirt was eighteen bucks, twenty for xxl and larger. Went by the Hall of Fame, not open yet, think the grand opening is sometime today.

Then on to all the vendor stores. Saw a lot of the same folks that I see at the Cardinal. Stopped into the Perazzi store and met Dan Bonillas. Purchased two leaf springs and a tube of grease for a guy back at the club. A little over a hundred bucks. Twenty-five minutes and two stores and I am down two hundred. I get the feeling I didn't bring enough cash with me!

Interesting visit at the Wrights booth. Some of you may recall that the barrel of my One Touch blew out the side of the muzzle last year.

2013-12-22 22.00.41.jpg

I sent the barrel and the choke tube (Wrights) back to Ljutic and Mike determined that the tube had "necked in" and caused the failure. Don't want to create a big debate here in this thread about the causes, cease it to say the tube was tight and there was no obstruction from wad, etc. Ljutic was great and warrantied the barrel even though it was not their tube that caused the problem. Anyway, I had the tube in my pocket to show the Wrights people how one side of the tube was gone. I told a very nice older lady manning the booth that I experienced a failure with my Ljutic with their tube and I didn't even get to finish the sentence when she interrupts me and states emphatically that it was Ljutics fault. I didn't even bother at that point to even show them the tube. I was not expecting any compensation or anything from these people. I thought they might be interested for quality issues to see the tube. But with the "no way we are at fault" attitude before even hearing the full story or even seeing the tube I just turned around and walked out. Lesson learned. And please all of the "Wrights Defenders" spare me. This is just my experience. Yours of course could vary.

On down the line we go. One of our group buys a Zoli combo. I continue my search for a MX2005. See lots of new ones, not a used one to be found. Make our way all the way down to the end where the golf cart rental people were and a cart at seventy-five bucks a day is looking pretty good at that point as the trip back to the where we started was looking pretty far!

Back up the line of stores revisiting several and we reach the shell house where our cars were parked. We drive down to the tent vendor area to begin that journey. Saw Jerry (FlaLagarto) at his booth but he was on the phone so I just waved to him and he waved back with a "catch you later" motion. Went by the South Dakota Trap Family Trailer but it was closed up. They were probably shooting. Too bad. I was going ask for Ward and June just to see the expressions on their faces. Will try and hook up with them later and meet Bud. Most of the tents had straw on the ground due to the prior rains but none of us really experienced any muddy shoes.
Lot of the food vendors looked tasty, might have to try some of those hot wings later or some BBQ.


Well, this has rambled on long enough and typing on a tablet just sucks. So here is a quick summery. The size of the place is overwhelming. I have only the Cardinal to compare. There are twice as many traps here. Easy to get to just like the Cardinal, drive right up to your bank. The camp grounds are huge, but I bet they are hot. No trees. Edge to the Cardinal there. But of course there are so many more spots here at the WSRC. All of the grounds were in good shape. Everything mowed and trimmed up well. And yes, for the clowns on the other site, the electricity was flowing, lol.

It is my humble opinion that this is the only place large enough for this event. The Cardinal is not big enough. Don't know about Missouri, have not been there but it is on my bucket list. There is unfortunately a lack of infrastructure surrounding the facility and the drive back and forth to our hotel is about forty-five minutes but that subject has been beaten to death here on the forum and I knew that going in.

That's it for now. Hope to see some more of you guys.

Also looking to hook up with some of ya at the Cardinal for the Classic next week.

Doc
 

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Doc, nice write up. Not surprised about Wrights. Jerry is FlaLagarto, but you know that. Grntitan is Matt, he holds the title of Mr. Sparta.

Enjoy your time at a magnificent shooting facility, thanks to the taxpayers of Illinois. Like the commercials used to say, "just outside Chicago, there's a place called Illinois."
 

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Thanks for the write up, Doc. Don't know if I'll ever make it there so nice to hear about the experience from a first timer.
 

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Hmm. If Al Ljutic was still alive, it would be interesting what he would have to say about that barrel.
He always claimed he spent more time selecting the steel for his guns than other mfgs. took to maker theirs.



Regards....Gerald
 

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Doc,
Just so you know up front, Budster is kinda of a little popcorn fart, look at his avatar, he must be a foot shorter than Fos and Matt, so kinda look a little lower. ;) Thanks for the great write up, keep us posted and get some pictures, real ones, not cut and paste. Scott
 

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Having been to both several times (Vandalia & Sparta) I agree with Doc B. only thing missing is trees, and I'm betting Vandalia didn't have those nice big trees when it 1st opened either. For convenience i.e. ease in getting around, (personal opinion) Sparta is better. While distance is almost the same for me I understand it is further for some, but also shorter for some, anyway I think the ATA made a good choice considering their choices. Wish I could go more often. Ross Puls
 

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I enjoyed your report as I have never been to Sparta it was very informative. I attended the Grand in 1993 with my dad & it was a great experience.
 

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What does "necked in" mean?
Obsolete term used to describe the back seat of a used '55 Chevy. Often necked in, seldom necked in, never necked in. The fewer neckings the cleaner the seat would remain.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jerry is FlaLagarto, but you know that. Grntitan is Matt
Oh geeze, it must be the heat!!! I knew that, just a brain fart. I see FlaLagarto all the time at the Cardinal. I was thinking if I was going to run into Matt while I am here.

Doc,
Just so you know up front, Budster is kinda of a little popcorn fart
I will be looking for him Scott.
 

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Doc: Thanks for sharing your observations of this year's Grand.

Your experience dealing with Wright's choke tube work is not surprising. Although I did not discuss the issues in person as you attempted, the problems I encountered were met with the same cavalier attitude as you experienced. The end result is that I received zero remedy except an expensive education about never again dealing with Wright's for any goods or services.
 
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