First time at the trap range in 2 years


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rageman
May 22, 2005, 10:44 PM
Went to the trap section of the range (TrailGlades) with my dad today. I stopped going about 2 years ago for a few reasons (couldn't seem to break 11/25, my friends and I got more interested in rifle/pistol, out of state college), so I was slightly (understatement of the year) nervous. Left with my dad about 1:50, and headed over to wally world, planning to buy a single WWB box of 100. Got there, and my dad elected instead to buy 2 boxes of 250 :what: at $32 each, which is the best deal I have seen so far.

Ended up getting to the range and waiting for a specific range master to finish teaching some people on the field so he could pull targets for us--he is a very, very smart guy who can tell just by where your wadding goes why you missed and how to correct it; as well as being a great person who remembers your name and face (he recognized me when we first got there). By this time it is about 3:00, and my dad elects to rent a gun from the range so we can shoot together (I have my own gun). We go out onto the field with another guy and his 12 year old son, both of whom have their own guns and mention how they love doing this as practice for dove hunting. I end up getting the #1 spot. By this time, my stomach has started doing slow flips--"Will I hit the clay? How good are these other guys? I hope don't screw up."

Wait for the range master, take a deep breath, chamber the round and put the gun to my shoulder. Yelled out pull, brought the gun towards the clay, fired and--the clay didn't just get hit, it disintegrated. Cheer silently to myself, and then hear my dad yelling "Pull!" I see his clay do the same, turn to him and break out into a huge grin. And this is the amazing part: I didnt just do it for the first target, I did it for the next 7! The other guys shooting were saying how I was absolutely destroying the birds. Ended up finishing with 18/25.

At this point, I was feeling very pleased with myself, but still slightly nervous, as I knew that my dad and I had purchased 6 rounds between the two of us. Could I do it again, or was that first round just a stroke of luck? Went back to the field, once again at the #1 position. Same deal--deep breath, bring gun up, yell "Pull!", swing and fire. Ended up shooting a 21/25. My brain at this time is rapidly looping between :D and :eek:. Unfortunately, it was starting to rain at this point and my dad and I had promised my mom we would pick up some water from Costco for hurricane season, so we had to leave. But, I plan on going back this week, saturday at the latest, to shoot some more with one of my friends who regularly bird hunts.

Anyways, here are some ideas I had on why I did better, as compared to 2 years ago:
(1)Shotgun fit. I know, I know, buy a shotgun that fits you, but I really liked the weight and feel of my friend's 391 Urika, so I got one of those even if perhaps a different shotgun would have fit better. (Also, I really like the looks of it. Such a sexy gun.) Even so, in the past 2 years I have grown maybe an inch in height and a fair bit more in the shoulders, so whereas before I had to bring my head down a bit to the gun, shouldering it now puts it firmly against my cheek, with no hunching over.

(2)Choke? I dont really know much about the choke sizes, but before I was using an Improved Cylinder, but today before we went I switched it out for a Modified. Would that change helped improve my performance?

(3)Shot. Before I tended to use whatever they sold at the range (#7-#8 shot, 2-3/4"). Today I was using "Winchest Super Speed Xtra, 1oz #7.5, 2-3/4", 1350 FPS". Is that different from your normal range ammo for trap?

(4)Frame of mind. While still feeling nervous, it was very hard to shoot 2 years ago because of the level of competition between all of my friends and I. However, I have gotten a little bit older (10% difference in age, actually) and I feel that I worry less about such minor things as that.


All in all, I was very happy with today's events, and I got some great time to spend with my dad, which is always a plus, and can not wait to head out again. Also, I made the range master give me both scorecards that he was marking, since I knew my friends (and myself) wouldn't believe this unless I had the actual cards. :p

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Dave McCracken
May 23, 2005, 07:07 AM
Great post, Rageman. I like it when things come together. A couple things....

The 391 is a very good shotgun. Beretta has some stock issues but it seems that yours fits you well.

Modified is better for most folks at trap than IC, though a trip to the patterning board is definitely needed. Actual results do not necessarily match the markings on the barrel or choke tube. After more shooting, you may want to use Full for trap to help you get on the bird tightly.

Your ammo will work OK for trap. Obviously it has.

As for frame of mind, most of shotgunning is mental. Focus, focus,focus.....

HTH....

PJR
May 23, 2005, 09:28 AM
Congrats on a good outing.

The Urika is an outstanding gun. It is THE semi-auto to have for clay target games. The are very reliable and have an ingenious stock shim system to adjust the drop and cast.

Paul

kudu
May 23, 2005, 06:52 PM
Well done rageman,

Sounds like you have a fine shotgun for trap and other clay games as well. Check out some of the 101 threads here as well for more in depth explanations of all things shotgun.

BA/UU/R

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