EVOLUTION OF FLIGHTS & ANGLES - 101

Discussion in 'History Buffs' started by HistoryBuff, May 11, 2015.

  1. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Regardless of your opinion on the “Flights & Angles” rules:

    1. Acceptable now
    2. Make them more narrow
    3. Widen them more

    You might be interested in learning about how targets were set in the past. I’ve compiled a series of rules and diagrams on the subject and I hope everyone finds it worth the reading.

    Introduction:

    The History of Target Flights & Angles

    Discussions about the flights and angles of targets took place many years before the advent of inanimate targets (glass balls & clay pigeons). Sportsmen who hunted birds in the field and/or shot live-birds released from traps recognized that more shots were taken at left and right quartering birds than any other direction of flight.

    During the many decades of shooting live pigeons from the trap, each shot taken by shooters were not only recorded by the use of 0s, 1s, 2s and *s, the actual flight of the bird was occasionally included in the written account of shooting events. Terms such as incomer, outgoer, left-quarterer, right-quarterer, provided readers with additional details of each shot, sometimes including even more adjectives such as towering, driver, zig-zag and corkscrew. See example below:

    At Watson’s shooting grounds, in Chicago, Illinois, December 23, 1896, W. F. “Doc” Carver, from Chicago, and Charles M. Grimm, of Clear Lake, Iowa shot a match for the “Cast Iron” medal that was placed in competition back in 1893. Many of our country’s greatest shooters once held possession of this famous trophy. The following account gives some of the descriptions of the flights of pigeons in this 100-bird match.

    “Firing the second barrel just as a towering outgoer tried “corkscrew” antics lost Carver the twenty-fourth bird, and a circling right quarterer gave him another blank in the thirtieth round.”

    “A round of applause greeted his “kill” of the forty-eighth pigeon, a hard twisting outgoer, dark in color.”

    “Grimm came to grief on a “corkscrew” right quartering bird after his straight score of 51, and again fell down in the fifty-ninth round on an outgoer, which changed its flight to the left quarter as he was firing.”
    Mr. Grimm won the match killing 98 pigeons to “Doc” Carver’s 96.

    For those still wondering about the 0s, 1s, 2s, and *s; the 0 (zero) signified a “lost” bird; 1 (one) the bird was killed on the first shot (first barrel), 2, it was necessary to use the second barrel to kill the bird, and the * (asterisk) showed the bird was killed, but beyond the boundary and was therefore scored lost.

    In the 1878 edition of Field, Cover and Trap Shooting, Captain Adam H. Bogardus, world champion shot, in discussing the rules for glass ball shooting and how to set up his patented glass ball trap, says that clubs should three traps and arrange them so “the shooter gets both right and left quarter shots and one straight back shot, and every sportsman is aware that he will get more shots of that kind in the field than any other.”

    The setting of quartering angles continued when the National Gun Association (first governing body for clay pigeon shooting) adopted their rules circa 1885, as did the American Shooting Association; the Interstate Manufactures and Dealers Association and American Trapshooting Association. Sometime after the Amateur Trapshooting Association organized (1924), the officers finally made the change from the word “quartering” to 45 degrees which remained in the rules until the 1955 target year.

    As you review the following excerpts from the old rules, note the gradual changes in the distance and height in which targets were once set. You’ll also see the varied distance between traps and shooting stations. Rise (shooting distance) is another rule that went through changes. Doubles were once shot from 14 and 15 yards with one target being a staightaway from the No. 3 Post. Singles where once shot from 18yards. The total area of legal targets (normal distribution of targets and area outside of the left and right angle setting) is another dimension that was narrowed.

    1885 – 1954 Trapshooting rules called for: 45° angles

    1955 – 1996 Trapshooting rules called for: 22° angles

    1997 – present Trapshooting rules call for: 17° angles

    HB



    FLIGHTS & ANGLES EVOLUTION - 101.jpg 1885 National Gun Assoc. Flights & Angles - 1.jpg 1885 National Gun Assoc. Flights & Angles - 2.jpg 1890 American Shooting Assoc. Flights & Angles - 1.jpg 1890 American Shooting Assoc. Flights & Angles - 2.jpg 1904 Flights & Angles - 1.jpg 1904 Flights & Angles - 2.jpg 1914 Flights & Angles.jpg 1923 Flights & Angles.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  2. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Now lets look at the ATA years between 1924 and 1954.

    1931 Flights & Angles.jpg

    1934 Flights & Angles.jpg

    1940 Flights & Angles.jpg

    1949 A.T.A. Flights & Angles - 1.jpg

    1949 A.T.A. Flights & Angles - 2.jpg


    I thought some might like to see this old Trap Field Layout.

    1949 Trap Field Layout - Remington.jpg

    1950 Flights & Angles - 1.jpg

    1950 Flights & Angles - 2.jpg

    In 1955 the rules were changed dramatically. The target area was narrowed to 22°
     
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  3. Family Guy

    Family Guy Americantrapshooter.com King of Posters Founding Member

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    Right from the start this quote kills me.....
     
  4. green bead

    green bead Active Member

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    The sportsmen left n '95.
     
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  5. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Family Guy, here's the shooter and writer who made the statement. BOGARDUS on Angles Birds.jpg
     
  6. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    Thanks HB!! Very interesting read you've posted here!!

    Could you imagine the look on some of todays shooters shooting that 1940 setting? Heck, todays shooters would turn down half of those targets?

    HAP
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2018
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  7. green bead

    green bead Active Member

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    Bogardus, I would have thought was latin for one being selfish with a joint and he wanted tuffer targets. One great New Yorker!

    Bogardus a Hall of Famer and a real person in sport. thanks kre
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2015
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  8. 2triggers

    2triggers Member

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    This has to make you giggle.
     
  9. inteldell

    inteldell Active Member

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    1890 they were required to throw the targets between 40 and 60 yards. All todays big dogs would have the traps reset to throw 40. We are an embarrassment to ourselves.
     
  10. Flyersarebest

    Flyersarebest Moderator Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Thank You HB for taking the time to post this.

    Flyersarebest
     
  11. Family Guy

    Family Guy Americantrapshooter.com King of Posters Founding Member

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    How was anyone able to argue in front of the ATA that the targets height setting had to be set so exact. And who would want to ruin the sporting part of our sport. 1939 and 1850 6-12 ft high 30 feet from the house.

    The game was meant to be unpredictable.

    In my mind there are a few serious money questions?

    1. Why can't our best shooters handle this challenge?

    2. Why are some of our delegates so blind to the destruction of our sport.

    3. Why are the delegates that understand what has happened so inclined to keep their mouths shut? (my delegate not included)

    4. Why are our fellow shooters not contacting their delegates to make some changes be it concrete or some other presentation?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
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  12. Family Guy

    Family Guy Americantrapshooter.com King of Posters Founding Member

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    History Buff.....do you have the high scores for the singles championship in 1939 and 1950?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  13. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Family Guy,

    I assume you mean the Clay Target Championship at the GAH.

    Even though the rules called for 45 degree targets up til and including 1954, I'm not certain that gun clubs and even the G.A.H. tournament was throwing them. I'm being led to believe by some real old-timers who set targets in the 40's that his father's club threw straightaways from Posts 1 & 5. And the reason for my assumption that they were not setting the extreme angles at 45 degrees in '54 is because the Western White Flyer 1524 trap was on the market in 1950 and all material I've seen called for the #3-hole setting for compliance with A.T.A. which was approximately 22 degrees (straightaway setting from Posts 1 & 5). The widest hole #5 only threw a 30 1/2 degree target.

    Also remember that even though the rules permitted low and high targets, it was the general rule to throw them 9 to 9 1/2 feet high and 50 yards. I think the rules gave a lot of latitude in case inclement weather caused targets to fall on the short or long side. I don't imagine there were many resetting of the field's back then.


    I seem to recall discussion about the height and it was always attempted to follow the 9 1/2 ft high target measured at 10 yards in front of the trap. They even mentioned that height in degrees. They attempted to set targets at 15 degrees.

    I've come across many reports of 60 and 70 yard targets and some at 40 or more yards.

    The game was designed so that perfect scores would only happen on rare occasions and going straight was something to get excited about as it didn't happen much. Remember there were many years between the first and 2nd 100 straights in the Grand American Handicap. It surely wouldn't have happened if they were throwing soft targets.

    1939 & 1950 Clay Target Champions both broke 200.


    1965 Sears Gene El Reno OK 200
    1964 Bailey Bueford Big Springs NE 200
    1963 Barnhart C. E. Kansas City MO 200
    1962 Kalpach Bernard Whiting IN 200
    1961 Biagi Tony Highland Park IL 200
    1960 Hiestand Joe Hillsboro OH 200
    1959 Onka Kevin Sugar Creek MO 200
    1958 Reinders Vic Waukesha WI 200
    1957 Bush Herb Canton IL 200
    1956 Orlich Dan Reno NV 199
    1955 Lilly Ned Stanton MI 200
    1954 Petty Julius Stuttgart AR 200
    1953 Waldock Fred Sandusky OH 200
    1952 Etchen Rudy Ketchum ID 200
    1951 Smith Ralph W. Vandalia OH 200
    1950 Devers Joe Dayton OH 200
    1949 Riegger Arnold Seattle WA 200
    1948 Broughton John Ferguson MO 200
    1947 Doughman Cliff Morrow OH 200
    1946 Beaver Walter Conshohocken PA 199
    1945 Pugh E. T. Morris IL 199
    1944 Hiestand Joe Hillsboro OH 200
    1943 Booher Orla C. Farmland IN 200
    1942 Drennen William Utica NY 199
    1941 Elliott Russell Raytown MO 199
    1940 McNeir Forest Houston TX 200
    1939 Harbage P. O. West Jefferson OH 200
    1938 Hiestand Joe Hillsboro OH 200
    1937 Miller Phil French Lick IN 200
    1936 Hiestand Joe Hillsboro OH 199
    1935 Hiestand Joe Hillsboro OH 199
    1934 Beaver Walter Berwyn PA 199
    1933 Lilly Ned Stanton MI 199
    1932 DeWire M. E. Hamilton IN 200
    1931 Maust Karl Detroit MI 199
    1930 Payne Gus Cleveland OH 199
    1929 Payne Gus Oklahoma City OK 199
    1928 Arie Mark Champaign IL 198
    1927 Dering Guy Columbus WI 200
    1926 Jenny Sam Highland IL 199
    1925 Crothers Steve Philadelphia PA 200
    1924 Hughes Frank Mobridge SD 199
    1923 Miller Phil Dallas TX 199
    1922 Fauskee David Worthington MN 197
    1921 Arie Nick Dallas TX 198
    1920 Wright Frank S. Buffalo NY 197
    1919 Wright Frank S. Buffalo NY 199
     
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  14. Family Guy

    Family Guy Americantrapshooter.com King of Posters Founding Member

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    And to that end a person was inducted into a state hall of fame org with the lifetime achievement of being part of ruining that. I do not understand the motives of so many. jmho
     
  15. jhunts

    jhunts Moderator Founding Member Forum Leader

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    I am not sure why anyone would except the honor of being in the HOF when what was listed as the major attribute for selection, is denied by the recipient, or seemingly so.

    From MN HOF Website:

    "Highpoints were; Jim Bradford, past ATA President, and Neil were able to get the misfire rule changed, and Neil was instrumental in getting the 3-hole target rule rescinded."

    In a way that was apparently "instrumental", dumbing down (so to speak) a sport is considered a highlight that get one into the HOF. Just boggles the mind. imho

    Who are these people that thought making the game easier would make it a better sport? Who are these people, that apparently, in many club meetings, wanted and asked for such a change of their delegate?

    Shoot well.

    John
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
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  16. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Staff Member Founding Member

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    Yup, much of that old ATA trap was shot over very readable traps where straightening out the angles was the norm or you could simply shoot what was thrown knowing where it was going to be. Then there were whole squads that perfected the art of "locking the trap". So smoking357, tell us more about your personal experience with trap in the 50's or 60's or any for that matter!
     
  17. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Staff Member Founding Member

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    I suppose we can then say the dumbing down of trap began when we eliminated hand pullers and installed electric powered Western V1524's!

    Anyone wanna go back?
     
  18. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Grudge Match Champion Founding Member Grudge Match Champion

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    Thank You HistoryBuff for the much involved history, I enjoyed the reading.

    I would like to see the target settings of 1930 era re-instituted, those were competitive targets, it would humble most of todays All Americans.

    DLS
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2018
  19. theloudone

    theloudone Guest

    Dr. Longshot,

    I have to think those same names would be at the top of the leader board regardless of the target presentation, quite frankly they are better at pointing a shotgun than most. So I'm not sure what would be humbling about winning, regardless of the score.
     
  20. Family Guy

    Family Guy Americantrapshooter.com King of Posters Founding Member

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    Loudone

    I may have to disagree with you for once. One reasons the targets were changed (or maybe not) on us was because the so-called great ones could not handle the wide angles. There was rampant cheating.

    As posted earlier there is or was something called the program. If you could keep your precious average you could keep the valuable "hot" shells being delivered by the pallet. Some shady gun clubs were more than happy to throw the easy targets to those aspiring to be or keep all American status.

    The system was working when the ATA chose to enforce the rules.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  21. theloudone

    theloudone Guest

    Family guy,

    I have no knowledge of the program, I'm just speaking from personal experience. I shoot out west and the same group of guys tend to be at the top of the leader board. It doesn't matter if we are shooting ATA, sporting clays, fun shoots or flyers. I tend to think they have better eye sight, reflexes and just generally point the gun better. It's a sad state of affairs if the rules were changed to help a select few.
     
  22. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    TTT

    For the benefit of new members and visitors who may be interested in the history of the throwing of "soft" targets. Or aptly called "making the sport easier" and the transition from the 3-hole to 2-hole target.

    Enjoy Our History !

    HB
     

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