Our good friends at Great Satan Inc passed along a flyer announcing a Friends of NRA "100 bangs for freedom"(pdf link) Sporting Clays tournament local enough to make with only minor travel requirements.
We are happy FoNRA supporters and we have been practicing the scattergun weekly since his end of season performance at Sparta IL. So this event seemed a win-win.
Our squad was a diverse crew of three juniors, your humble host and a high mileage unit "Russ" shooting a mega buck Kreighoff*. He shoots several thousand rounds and many competitions each year. I told the SCQueen "I want to retire and be him!"
I started off badly with an 0-fer on our first stage. Everyone else did better.
The interesting thing about sporting clays is the variety. Each scenario is different. And the course length also varies. The state match the SCSon competed at least March only used 10 stations so each station gave 5 presentations of the same target pairs. Contrast that with today we had 15 stations so we only got to see the same pairs three or four times.
I started the day shooting a semi-auto shotgun. It's the same one I've shot the past seven weeks without a hiccup. Today it failed to cycle first the 2nd stage, and twice in a row on the third. I disassembled and wiped it down with oil last night and maybe that was a mistake.
The SCQueen put the gun in timeout** while I shared the over/under with the SCSon for the rest of the event. I've shot the O/U*** before but I normally shoot the semi-auto. So the first O/U shot today was "different". When it didn't cycle, I thought something might have gone wrong. By then the 2nd bird was aloft so I got back down on the gun and broke the clay.
One stage was king of interesting... it was an AB on report (2nd bird launches when the first shot is fired). A was a high inbound while B was a high L to R crossing. Frequently pieces of the broken inbound A bird would land in the immediate vicinity of the firing platform. The "Incoming" warning call was heard more than a couple times. I felt for one shooter who had a large piece of broken clay land literally at his feet as he engaged the B bird. (I think he broke both birds).
The final scores were none too surprising.
Russ scored 86/100
Elder junior scored 67
SCSon scored 66
Your humble host scored 50
and the younger 20 gauge**** shooting junior scored forty something.
Here's the SCSon's take on the day.
* Kreighoff does very nice shotguns for serious shooters. We visited with them at Sparta earlier in the year and IIRC the least expensive gun on the wall clocked in at about $18K. I want to be in that league! But I am a long way from there today.
** took it back to the car.
*** Said O/U was a birthday present for me... However the SCSon normally claims it first so I rarely get to shoot it, leaving me with the semi-auto. #firstworldproblems
**** Larger bore means more shot in the air and better chances to break the bird. The SCSon was waffling between 12/20 gauge early this year. In two rounds of trap he scored 19/25 with the 12 gauge and 9/25 with the 20. He hasn't looked back.