PART 2 - EVOLUTION OF FLIGHTS & ANGLES - 101

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  1. HistoryBuff

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

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    EVOLUTION OF FLIGHTS & ANGLES – 101 Part 2

    In summarizing trapshooting from the introduction of clay targets in 1880, we should understand that for nearly 75 years, regulations called targets to include angles at 45°. This measurement was initially known as a left and right quartering target flight, following the principles of describing angles of flight of live birds during the early days of the sport when pigeons and sparrows were used.

    The recommended distance at which targets were to be thrown was 50 yards, just as it is today. However, the rules as written were lenient, tolerating a minimum distance of 40 yards and a maximum distance of 60 yards.

    In setting the height of targets, 15° and no more than 17° were the measurements used. This placed targets in the area of today’s setting and was determined at 10 yards out on level with the bottom of the trap. The minimum target height at that point was 6 feet and the maximum height was 12 feet.

    Sometime circa 1922 the distance regulation targets could be thrown was narrowed to 45 to 55 yards.

    About 1950 the target distance was again narrowed from 45 to 55 yards, to 48 to 52 yards. The target angles remained at 45° left and right of a straightaway from Post 3. Target height remained at 6ft. to 12ft. measured 10 yards from the trap.

    Another important piece of information which stands out is that the ATA rules for many decades called for double targets to be thrown 50 yards at a width of 35°.

    The below A.T.A. target setting requirements are for 1954, that can be found on page 46 in the 1955 edition of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Institute’s “Handbook On Shotgun Shooting”.


    1955 Handbook on Shotgun Shooting by SAAMI.jpg

    A.T.A. rules underwent a huge transformation in 1955. In addition to increasing the handicap distance of shooters by 2 additional yards, moving the “back fence” from 25 to 27 yards, rules for Flights and Angles also saw a monumental change. Target height was changed from 6 to 12 feet to 8 to 12 feet measured 10 yards from the trap and even more noteworthy was the narrowing of the target flight angles from 45° to 22°. Below are the rules as printed in the 1955 A.T.A. Official Rulebook :


    1955 A.T.A. Flights & Angles - 1.jpg

    1955 A.T.A. Flights & Angles - 2.jpg

    Throughout the next 40 years trapshooting would see many improvements. Interrupters were given space in the rulebook when it was found that some shooters had mastered reading just where the next target would be thrown by the Western White Flyer V1524 trap. This machine provided 5 angle settings and the #3-hole setting was used under normal circumstances to comply with the rules calling for minimum left and right angle settings as straightaways from firing points No. 1 and No. 5. Here are the approximate angles of each setting:

    #1 hole – 13 ½ degrees
    #2 hole – 17 degrees
    #3 hole – 22 degrees
    #4 hole – 27 degrees
    #5 hole – 30 ½ degrees

    It remains puzzling that when the Western White Flyer Electric Trap, Model V1524A was introduced in 1950, the widest angle adjustment was approximately 30 ½ ° yet the rule change narrowing the angles to 22° did not happen until approved in August 1954 for the 1955 target year. Could it be that it was already common practice (prior to 1950) for gun clubs to set their angles as straightaways from firing points 1 & 5 (the #3-hole or 22° setting) ?

    Over the decades from the mid 1950s, shoot management at some gun clubs started throwing narrow and short targets so shooters could card higher scores. They equated higher scores with happy shooters who would be more likely to attend more events at their club. Of course these targets did not comply with the regulations and many times articles appeared in TRAP & FIELD magazine from notable shooters including officers of the A.T.A., admonishing this practice and warning of the consequences. Here are some examples:

    ATA NEWS
    By Vic Reinders

    LEGAL TARGETS
    Reports are reaching us that some clubs are deliberately throwing “easy” targets. This practice is partly responsible for some of the high scores in some areas.
    Your attention is directed to the rules on Page 19 of the 1958 rule book. These rules call for targets to be thrown 48 to 52 yards – not 45 yards as is done some places. This rule applies to doubles too. All measurements are to be made in terms of level ground and still air.
    A good policy to follow is to set the traps for distance when there is no wind and then not change them to compensate for winds that may be blowing the day of the shoot. The slight adjustment needed to make the targets of legal height will not appreciably change the distance.
    Another bad habit of some clubs is throwing narrow angles instead of those recommended by the rule book. Usually this is done by using the number two hole instead of the number three hole when using the model of trap in most common usage. Angle targets should be thrown so as to be straight-aways from positions 1 and 5. Actually, angles 25 degrees outside of this are still legal.
    Obviously, to keep competition equitable throughout the country all clubs should attempt to throw targets to standard distances and angles. I am urging all ATA delegates as well as state and club officials to check targets at all shoots to see that they conform to rules. This should correct such conditions and make it unnecessary to refuse registration of scores shot under such “easy” conditions. Shooters, too, should insist on standard targets to protect themselves.
    All of this is just common sense. Every sport has carefully controlled specifications in their rules. You can’t even claim a record in the 100-yard dash if you have a wind at your back. So we’re certainly lenient enough. TRAP & FIELD, July 1958, page 30

    ATA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
    November 13-15, 1959
    Vandalia, Ohio

    Rules
    Legal target angles were redefined to require that the extreme angles be at least straightaways from positions 1 and 5. This change was made to help eliminate the practice in some places of throwing easy targets.Targets at the 1960 Grand will conform to this rule. TRAP & FIELD, January 1960, page 8

    ATA NEWS
    RULES AND RULE CHANGES

    Angles
    Our rules for some time have specified the maximum and minimum distance for targets, the maximum and minimum height of targets, the maximum and minimum weight of targets and even the maximum and minimum height, width and length of traphouses. Maximums only were specified for amount of powder, amount of shot and the size of the targets themselves. Minimums are not needed for these specifications because common sense takes care of them, as shooters realize that going below certain amounts of powder or shot is a handicap, and target manufacturers know that no one would buy small targets.
    For years only the maximum was specified for angles as there seemed to be no need for setting the minimum. Recently some clubs have started a practice of throwing narrow angles and even short targets, on the basis expressed by one prominent former club manager : “They paid for ‘em; let ‘em break ‘em.” This has “impaired equity of competition,” a phrase extensively used in the rule book. So this year the rules specify both the maximum formerly included and also a newly included minimum for angles. This minimum amounts to 22 degrees right and left of center – which is what straightaways from #1 and #5 positions measure out to if the shooting positions are legally laid out.
    This will assure more uniform targets from club to club throughout the country and seems to conform to the wishes of most shooters if the poll taken last fall is any indication.
    Now if we can achieve uniformity in the fragility of the targets and can figure out a way to compensate for the effect of altitude on the speed of targets, we’ll be well on our way to real uniformity in our tournament conditions (if the weather would cooperate.) TRAP & FIELD, February 1960, page 10

    1962. V.P. Brown on Legal Targets, T&F,NOV1962p.17.jpg

    Vic’s Views
    The comments, remarks and opinions expressed in this column are strictly mine and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Executive Committee, or of the Board of Directors of the ATA.
    Vic Reinders

    LEGAL TARGETS
    Enough has been said about angles in the past, and the situation has pretty well straightened out by vigorous action of the Executive Committee at the 1962 Grand. Only a few clubs still persist in throwing “soft” targets with narrow angles in pursuit of the philosophy that “they paid for ‘em, let them break ‘em.
    A side wind has surprisingly little effect on the angles of targets until they get past the usual shooting point, so it can be more or less ignored. Difference in height of right and left angles in a side wind can be largely corrected by proper trap adjustments.
    Some people have the idea that doubles targets are to be thrown less than 50 yards. I even had the president of one of our largest state associations tell me that they were to be thrown 45 yards. It is not true; they are still to be thrown 50 yards. It is convenient to set 50-yard stakes at the proper angle (22 degrees) for this purpose. Lacking such angle stakes, and if all of the traps are in a straight line, a pretty good job of setting doubles for distance can be done by dropping them about 11’ from a line through the usual 50-yard stakes in front of each trap. That 11’ compensates for the arch.
    I’ve been a bit curious about some of the high doubles scores we have had in the last year or so. I’m wondering how the distance was on some of those doubles. I even wondered about my own 100 straight last summer until I checked on the targets afterwards. TRAP & FIELD, May 1964, page 26

    Vic’s Views
    The comments, remarks and opinions expressed in this column are strictly mine and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Executive Committee, or of the Board of Directors of the ATA.
    Vic Reinders
    RULE BOOK CHANGES
    At its October meeting the Executive Committee made some rule changes that affect all shooters as well as shoot managers. Most of these changes are on rules that have long been controversial and which are the ones that have suffered most from lack of uniform enforcement. It is hoped that the new rules will be better understood by clubs, shooters and scorers and will be enforced more rigidly and more uniformly. In fact, I now see little reason for any misinterpretation or difference of opinion on these rules, so there is no excuse for lack of enforcement of them.
    To call these changes to the attention of the shooters, all changed rules are printed in bold face type in the 1966 rule book.
    Target Specifications
    Because of failure of clubs to understand or abide by the rules regarding what constitutes a legal angle, the Executive Committee has clarified the situation a bit on pages 20 and 21 of the rule book by showing the distance between the straightaway stake ( F ) and the two minimum angle stakes ( E & G ) in feet as well as in degrees of angle.
    Clubs will now find it easier to set those angle stakes accurately. Then if the trap doesn’t throw the extreme angles at least that wide, the trap can be adjusted until it does.
    TRAP & FIELD, February 1966, page 12-13

    Vic’s Views
    Soft Targets

    Some years ago we went through a period of “soft targets.” For a while it was quite common to find “2-hole” targets at shoots, and it even reached the Grand. Then a reaction set in, and for a couple of years the rules were adhered to pretty well. Now it is starting again, and “2-hole” targets, and short distance targets are appearing in places.
    Aside from the fact that “rules are rules,” it is a short-sighted policy for a club to throw such targets, even in practice. Their shooters get used to them, and then when they go elsewhere and encounter legal targets, they have poor luck, and start cussing everything but the true cause. It makes about as much sense as practicing the high hurdles with 3’ 3” hurdles, or practicing basketball with a big hoop.
    TRAP & FIELD, July 1977, page 96

    During the 1979 Grand American tournament, the Executive Committee discussed the legal target issue. Two vice-presidents supported a motion that the “Grand targets be set in the three hole.” Two vice-presidents opposed the motion and the ATA President cast his deciding vote . . . against the motion. Our leaders could not even agree on how to set targets to comply with the rules.

    Over the years Vic Reinders, had written countless articles about the problem and this lengthy compilation appeared in the August issue of TRAP & FIELD.


    1980 RULES - Vics Views, pt1.jpg
    1980 RULES - Vics Views, pt2.jpg

    The definition of a legal target was a topic of discussion by Directors at their annual ATA meeting at the same tournament, producing a motion was made by the Wisconsin Delegate to include the #3-hole setting in the rule book to clarify the proper angles. The Minnesota Delegate provided a second to the motion but it was defeated by majority vote.

    More attempts by future A.T.A. Executive Committees were made introducing new language into the rules to clear up any misunderstanding and insure that shoot managers knew that throwing “soft” targets would not be tolerated. None succeeded and while most clubs were throwing targets at 22° and untold number continued to set soft targets at 17°.

    The ATA minutes from the Board of Directors’ meeting held during the 1980 Grand American Handicap proved that those holding elected positions within the A.T.A. (Executive Committee & Delegates), were not even willing to enforce the existing rules regarding “flights and angles” when the New Hampshire Delegate as a member of the Target Setting Committee, informed that “the Committee had been setting two-hole, 49-yard targets.” While several argued against the soft target and spoke in favor of the three-hole target, the consensus of the Directors agreed with the Committee’s present manner of target setting.

    Again in 1981 a reminder of the target setting rules were discussed in an article by the A.T.A. President who offers a look at how soft targets will affect the sport in the future.


    Pres. House on Legal Targets, T&F, March 1981, p.26.jpg

    Then in 1992, at the annual A.T.A. Board of Directors meeting, a motion was made by an ATA Delegate from the West to amend the rules “to provide that targets shall be thrown between 49 and 51 yards, with recommended distance to be 50 yards, and all traps be set in the #2 hole.” Since the introduction of the Western White Flyer V1524 trap, the #3 hole setting was used to throw targets in compliance with the existing rules. The #2 hole setting on the above trap was equivalent to an angle of 17.14° and would once again narrow the target field. The motion received a second but upon the majority of Delegates voting against the motion, it failed.

    In August 1993, the A.T.A. Executive Committee reported to the Directors that they had made amendments to the rules. The President, in providing examples, reported that all handicap yardage will begin at the 19.0 yard line, eliminating the17 and 18 yard marks used previously. The change gaining most attention was that “commencing on October 1, 1993, all ATA Registered Targets thrown at any tournament where ATA trophies are awarded will be required to be thrown by traps set in the “3-hole.” This was perceived by many Delegates to be a change to widen the target angles, however in reality it was an attempt to provide clear language and intent of the existing rule. The 3-hole setting threw legal targets; the 2-hole did not. On a motion by the State Delegate from Iowa and second from the New Mexico Delegate, Directors voted in favor to rescind the amendments made by the E.C. to Official Rule III, N., FLIGHTS AND ANGLES.

    By rescinding the E. C.’s amendment of the Flights and Angles rules, once again the some members of the Executive Committee and Delegates actually voted to permit all clubs and tournaments to throw non-regulation targets, a direct violation of the rules.

    At their meeting in early 1995, the Executive Committee


    1995, Bopp Letter on Legal Targets, T&F,JUN1995p.26.jpg

    In June 1995 Trap and Field printed excerpts of a letter sent to all Delegates by the ATA President. The letter was a rebuttal to an earlier communication to all Delegates by the Delegate from Minnesota suggesting the E. C. be admonished for amending the rules to throw a more difficult target than they were used to shooting. The President outlined the Flights & Angles target setting rules, straightaway settings from Posts 1 and 5, just as they had been for 40 years and provided statistics in support of maintaining the rules as they have been since that time.

    At the August 1995 annual Board of Directors meeting during the Grand American, another attempt was made at amending the A.T.A. Flights & Angles rules, again narrowing the angles even further to “somewhat less” than a straightaway from firing point one and five. A motion to this effect was made by the Minnesota Delegate and seconded by the Delegate from Washington. The motion received 20 votes for and 33 votes against. The 22° angle (straightaway from No. 1 and No. 5 firing points) survived another year.

    In summary, from 1954 through 1996, one Executive Committee after another made attempts to insure that existing rules regarding minimum target angles and flight distance were complied with by all gun clubs and shooters. But, on occasion, some Executive Committees permitted targets to be thrown during the Grand American Handicap tournament that did not comply with the rules. Some believe that the Board of Directors saw these amendments as making targets more difficult, failing to recognize that they were actually attempts at compliance with existing rules.

    This completes the second part of the Evolution of Flights and Angles – 101. The final chapter addresses the change in position of the majority of the ATA Board of Directors, now very much in favor of softer targets and higher scores and little if any regard for the history of the sport.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  2. N1H1

    N1H1 Mega Poster Founding Member

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    That's not faintly right, at least as it refers to me, Historybuff, as attested to by my letter printed in Shotgun Sports, which I have posted elsewhere on this site.

    You wrote:

    "The letter was a rebuttal to an earlier communication to all Delegates by the Delegate from Minnesota suggesting the E. C. be admonished for amending the rules to throw a more difficult target than they were used to shooting." This is not true. Read my letter. It never addressed the angles at all. The whole point was that Delegate Bright from Iowa had made a motion which was passed by a majority vote at a properly called meeting rejecting a rule which required straightaway targets from 1 and 5.

    The BOD runs the ATA. Read the By-Laws; there is no doubt about that. It transfers the running of the ATA at times when the BOD is not in session. But the power stays with the BOD,
    "It shall be the further duty of the Executive Committee at all times to carry into effect directives of the Board of Directors." (Article V, Section 3) It was my view that the sitting EC had contravened this provision of the By-Laws by making a rule on conflict with the 1993 majority vote of the BOD. That was my whole point, and as you posted elsewhere, it was the whole argument I made to the BOD at the 1995 Annual Meeting.

    You knew all this. So by what right did you post: "suggesting the E. C. be admonished for amending the rules to throw a more difficult target than they were used to shooting." when you know that wasn't true? They were "admonished" for not abiding by the By-laws. Period.

    N1H1

    Here's the letter to remind you of its contents and import,

    "Dear Delegate,

    A May 5, 1995, letter to ATA Gun Clubs/State Association Secretaries from David Bopp informed them, and us, that: “It was decided that we should vigorously enforce our flight and angle rules”, and further, in capitals:

    “IN SINGLES SHOOTING THE TRAP SHALL BE SO ADJUSTED
    SO THAT WITHIN THE NORMAL DISTRIBUTION OF ANGLES
    AS THROWN BY THE TRAP, THE RIGHT ANGLE SHALL NOT
    BE LESS THAN A STRAIGHTAWAY FROM FIRING POINT 1 AND THE LEFT ANGLE SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN A STRAIGHT- AWAY FROM FIRING POINT 5.

    This is a harder target than we’re used to throwing; this is a “3-hole”target.

    Not only did then-Vice-President Crausbay tell us so in our August 1993
    general meeting, but also we have the authority of the Winchester manual for the V1524C trap: (reprint 4-1-72)

    “Remove spread adjusting screw...and relocate (it) in the No. “3” hole
    which will cause extreme right and left targets to be thrown in line with shooting stations No. 1 and 5 under normal light wind conditions.”

    So we’re shooting 3-hole targets. But didn’t we just recently vote that down? I ask your patience with the following extensive quotations; they are reproduced so we can know for sure what happened in the past and what the stakes are for the future. The source is Trap and Field, April 1994 and December 1993 respectively.

    In the summer of 1993 the Executive Committee decreed that more difficult 3-hole targets must be thrown at shoots where ATA targets are awarded. From the minutes of Executive Committee meetings commencing August 11, 1993:

    “After discussion and on Motion of Vice-President Crausbay and
    Second of Vice-President Nightingale, it was unanimously

    Resolved that at all ATA Registered Trapshoots where ATA
    trophies are awarded, all traps shall be set in not less than the
    No. 3 hole. Official Rule III.N. FLIGHTS AND ANGLES,
    shall be amended accordingly.”


    The Directors were informed of this amendment and, after a free discussion, recinded it. The following account is taken from the minutes of the annual meeting of the Board of Directors August 19,1993:


    “Mr. Bright discussed the Amendment to Official Rule III.N.

    FLIGHTS AND ANGLES, which the Executive Committee
    passed during their meetings at this Grand American, and which

    Amendment was reported by President Bradford earlier in these meetings in his report. Mr. Bright discussed the effect of requiring traps to be set in the No. 3 hole and stated that in his opinion the effect on the sport of trapshooting would be to make it mor difficult to break targets and would make the sport harder and less enjoyable for the majority of shooters. Mr. Bright made the following motion:”(makes motion to rescind the EC’s amendment).

    “Mr. Bright requested a roll call vote on the motion. The motion was seconded by Mr. Arvas of New Mexico, who likewise seconded the request for a roll call vote.

    Discussion on Mr. Bright’s motion included Vice-President Crausbay’s comment that the traps commonly used cannot be made to throw a straightaway target when set in the No. 2 hole.

    Mr. Hastings of Delaware asked why, if it is not possible to throw a straightaway target when the trap is set in the No. 2 hole as Mr. Crausbay stated, are the traps set in the No. 2 hole during the Grand American. Mr. Acklin of Ohio inquired why the Executive passed the amendment to Rule III.N. requiring traps to be set in the No. 3 hole for gun clubs awarding ATA trophies only.

    The question was called and a roll call vote resulted in thirty (36) (quoted as written) votes for passage of the motion and eighteen (18)
    votes against passage of the motion, and it was therefore, by majority vote,

    Resolved that the Amendment in Official Rule III.N. FLIGHTS
    AND ANGLES made by the Executive Committee shall be rescinded,
    and Official Rule III.N. FLIGHTS AND ANGLES shall remain as written in the Official Trapshooting Rules issued by the AMATEUR TRAPSHOOTING ASSOCIATION (October 1, 1992 reprint).”


    The effect of the February EC action and the May 5th enforcement letter is to reverse Mr. Bright’s motion. Can they do this? Put in its most basic form: Who runs this organization? The By-laws of the ATA begin with Article 1, Section 1. It is the shortest section in the book, and the easiest to understand:

    The corporate powers of this corporation
    shall be vested in the Board of Directors.

    The By-laws, recognizing that a situation requiring immediate action might develop between annual delegates’ meetings, give equal power to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. Article IV, Section 3.—Powers provides:

    (c) The Board of Directors shall have the power and does by these
    presents delegate full and complete authority to do all things in
    the time intervening between annual meetings that the Board
    of Directors could do if it were in session.

    This sort of setup would seem to invite a perpetual standoff between the Directors and the Executive Committee. If each has equal powers and is in session at different times, how can differences be resolved? The answer is to be found in Article V, Section 3:—Duties

    'It shall be the further duty of the Executive Committee at all times to
    carry into effect the directives of the Board of Directors.'

    There is no counterbalancing clause requiring the Directors to yoke themselves to the will of the EC.

    Lawyers may try to confound us with the question “whether a motion passed by the Board of Directors indeed constitute a directive, within the meaning of the entire document...” and so forth, but snake oil, even if packaged in a Hoppe’s No. 9 bottle, is still snake oil. For years we’ve been passing motions without the preface “The Delegates direct...”; if, because of this omission, none of what we have passed has had any significance, then it’s all been a colossal sham and a waste of time.

    The Association’s by-laws (Article IV, Section 2) impose duties on the Board of Directors. Among those duties are to

    “...put in force...rules of all registered tournaments” and “specifically,
    to see that the property, business and assets of the Amateur Trap-
    shooting Association of America are efficiently managed to the
    best interests of the corporation.”

    Our annual financial report notwithstanding, surely this corporation’s only assets which will dependably provide for its future are the support, trust, and goodwill of its shooting members. To discharge our duty to preserve these assets, to restore our shooters’ trust and earn again their support, we are going to have to prove our own commitment to Article 1, Section 1, the cornerstone of the Association’s democratic structure:

    The corporate powers of this corporation shall be vested in the Board of Directors.

    What can we do? We can admonish the members of the EC to change their minds, we can remind them of their duties, but we need not beg them, since we don’t need to be at the Grand to change the rules.

    The framers of the By-laws, surely anticipating a situation such as the one we now face, provided us recourse.

    Article IV, Section 4, (d) Voting:

    ..Any action required to be taken at an annual or special meeting
    of the Board of Directors, except those actions referred to in Article IV, section 3, paragraph (c), may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting forth the action to be taken shall be signed by a majority
    of the delegates entitled to vote with respect to the subject matter thereof. Any such consent signed by a majority of such delegates shall have the same effect as a majority vote with respect to such subject matter at any annual or special meeting and may be stated as such in any document filed with anyone else.

    Enclosed with this letter are two ballots. The first proposes changing the rulebook regarding target angles. Right now a gun club would have to hunt up a copy of the Winchester V1524C trap manual to know what we really intend to require of them. Let’s tell them directly: the minimum setting is the No. 2 hole or the minimum setting is the No. 3 hole. Cast your vote for whichever you think is in the best interest of trapshooting.

    The second ballot proposes changing the rulebook to permit shorter doubles targets than are now officially allowed. Tell me, who really throws 48 yards doubles, and who wants to shoot them? This amendment just brings the rules in line with near-universal practice. The choice of 44 yards is arbitrary, the leeway given to shoot-management should cover any situation where 44 is the wrong number.

    Please mark your ballots and send them off right away. I have asked David Bopp to open and tally the ballots at once. We should be able to call Vandalia before our Memorial Day shoots so we can tell our clubs whether or not the heat is off.

    Do not be deterred from casting your vote by fears of rocking an otherwise stable
    (may I even say too stable) boat. This is no prelude to anarchy; may it be instead the first signal of a renewed commitment by the Board of Director to take the active hand in the running of the Association that the authors of the By-laws charted
    for us.

    Each of us is the temporary guardian of an office which has existed for 72 years; each will entrust it to an elected successor. If we choose inaction now, we will be obligated in the future to pass our position on with the following reservation:

    “I transfer to you the title of Director, an office whose powers were annulled by unopposed executive edict in the spring of 1995. Regrettably, its remaining artifacts are little more than some clerical responsibilities, a locker, and a hat which says,
    but does not mean, ‘Delegate’.”

    Yours in Sport,

    Minnesota Delegate
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
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  3. HistoryBuff

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

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    N1H1,

    We’ve always been friendly to each other in our discussions and meetings as I recall, and unless you say otherwise, I accept your comments as being made in a friendly challenge. I hope you accept my future response in defending my position in the same vein. I’ve never subscribed to the so-called “bashing” of a person with a different position, but have always used available documentation to support my position, or common sense during times when certification(s) is/are absent.

    Executive Committees have been initiating amendments to the A.T.A. rules since control of the sport was handed over to the amateurs in 1923. More often than not, their amendments were made unilaterally, without a vote for approval by Delegates, a practice still in effect today.

    As you may recall, in an earlier forum post, I stated that I am in full agreement with your assessment that all amendments of our rules are required to be approved by the Board of Directors. In fact, I’ve stated in the past, that all proposed changes to our rules should first be historically researched and debated by the rules committee, submitted for review by the Executive Committee and then provided to all Delegates and State Association’s who, upon thoroughly discussing the issue and presenting the proposed amendment(s) to the rules at their annual State/Provincial meeting, will have a better comprehension of the matter before casting their vote the following year at the annual Board of Directors meeting. Of course my position permits immediate action by the E. C. in cases of imminent danger due to unsafe conditions; however, the E. C. would still be required to immediately inform Delegates and State Associations and Delegates would certainly reserve their right to amend or rescind. This system will provide the best results and is in the best interests of the sport. Unfortunately, this orderliness is not followed on a consistent basis and often only comes into play when disputes such as the Flights & Angles amendments did back about 1995. I seem to recall that Past President Kaiser (according to ATA E. C. meeting minutes) was one who made certain his wishes that rule changes under his administration were always submitted to the Board of Directors for an up or down vote during their annual meeting. Our Delegates would be wise to insist that all Executive Committees keep them updated on all matters of the organization. After all, that is both their duty, and it would make for better and more effective operations, while providing necessary oversight of our A.T.A.

    On a different note, I do not agree that I have been untruthful in my above composition on the Evolution of Flights and Angles. I offer my opinions with the highest level of honesty as my integrity is of utmost importance to me. Therefore, I maintain the assessments as written, when applied in the fullest context of the above composition and I believe I’m capable of defending my views or I would never have committed them to writing.

    I will take my time to compose a respectful but careful response to you. That is my nature and as stated previously, I don’t subscribe to “bashing,” “name-calling” or deliberately making disparaging remarks, even if your comments may have been meant to impugn my integrity. None of these produce victors when used in contesting disagreements. Only facts do.

    It’s important that interested readers understand the history as it was made and not revisions 20 years past. If I am found to be incorrect I’ll gladly retract, revise and apologize, however, the order of written facts presented in context seem overwhelmingly as I have stated them.

    In the mean time, to provide fairness and balance, I’m posting the 1995 response to your letter, submitted by the A.T.A. President to further explain the issue.

    KR

    1995, Crausbay Letter on Legal Targets, T&F, JUN1995p.2.jpg
     
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  4. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    History Buff,
    Mr.Crausby's article should be manditory reading for all delegates./// And also for all of the people that refuse to see what some people have made happen to our sport. When the history of ATA trap shooting is written I hope It is an accurate description of who compromised the ethics an the honesty of this sport. Roger C.
     
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  5. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Staff Member Founding Member

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    Oh, oh, the cat's out of the bag. So it was that Winston guy who advocated easier targets!
     
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  6. HistoryBuff

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

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    Actually oleolliedawg the rules have been given a very liberal allowance for at least the last 75 years. Well let me put it in plain terms : Our A.T.A. has always permitted allowances or limits for the distance, height and angles targets could be thrown in compliance with the rules. The leadership also provided suggestions that usually fell within those limits.

    Regarding the angles though, even in 1939 (and most likely even earlier) when the rules mandated 45° as the extreme angle adjustments for traps, with an additional 20° wider still being a legal target, it was widely known and written that "the most common method of adjustment is to make the extreme left angle a straightaway from the right on No. 5 position, and the farthest right angle a straightaway from the No. 1 or left position." As you know, this is what was commonly referred to as the #3-hole or 22° setting in which some gun clubs did not use in the early 1950's when the Winchester-Western White Flyer V1524 was in use, opting instead to throw #2-hole settings (17° angles) in violation of the rules.

    Now, if you are talking about the current 17° angle setting measured as a straightaway from 3.5 feet inside Post 1 and Post 5, Mr. Winston was not the first to suggest or make a motion for this narrower target. A few Delegates supported this setting in 1992. However, Mr. Winston did advocate of throwing targets narrower than the rules had been over the many previous decades. In fact, of the 53 Delegates voting on a motion for narrower targets, 20 desired to make the game easier. I honestly believe they felt it would benefit the sport. I side with the 30 Delegates who felt it would not. And neither side can prove their position correct.

    I wonder when the next move to narrow the angles will come?
     
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  7. N1H1

    N1H1 Mega Poster Founding Member

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    You see the problem your misquotation has already caused, Historybuff? Based on your well-earned reputation for comprehensiveness and accuracy, two readers here already assume that your text

    ""The letter was a rebuttal to an earlier communication to all Delegates by the Delegate from Minnesota suggesting the E. C. be admonished for amending the rules to throw a more difficult target than they were used to shooting."

    is true. It is not. By chance, I used the same word, "admonish," in my Shotgun Sports letter which was also the letter I sent to all Delegates.

    "What can we do? We can admonish the members of the EC to change their minds, we can remind them of their duties, but we need not beg them, since we don’t need to be at the Grand to change the rules."

    which makes clear, as I already have stressed over and over, that it was my opinion that they broke the rules by failing to live up to this provision of the By-Laws:

    "'It shall be the further duty of the Executive Committee at all times to carry into effect the directives of the Board of Directors."

    As the latter part of the letter makes clear, I took no stand on which target spread the Delegates should favor:

    "Enclosed with this letter are two ballots. The first proposes changing the rulebook regarding target angles. Right now a gun club would have to hunt up a copy of the Winchester V1524C trap manual to know what we really intend to require of them. Let’s tell them directly: the minimum setting is the No. 2 hole or the minimum setting is the No. 3 hole. Cast your vote for whichever you think is in the best interest of trapshooting."

    As you see, I did not ". . . (suggest) the E. C. be admonished for amending the rules to throw a more difficult target than they were used to shooting." The EC was, instead "admonished . . . To follow the rules."

    I would appreciate a correction that will set the two members here straight.

    N1H1
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  8. Family Guy

    Family Guy Americantrapshooter.com King of Posters Founding Member

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    Were you not given a some sort of lifetime achievement award by the Minnesota Trapshooting Hall of Fame. Their highlight quote about you as follows:

    Neil was instrumental in getting the 3-hole target rule rescinded.

    I was under the impression you accepted those accolades.....:D
     
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  9. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Grudge Match Champion Founding Member Grudge Match Champion

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    I posted previously that NW went behind Neal Causaby's back by writing letters to delegates, to take control of target settings as written in ATA minutes, , that is why we cannot trust NW in any of his posts, he changes subjects, at his whim, like where he stated the target year settings he supported, this was not the subject he was responding to.

    Gary Bryant Dr.longshot
     
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  10. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Grudge Match Champion Founding Member Grudge Match Champion

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    Every trapshooter should have read this like I did months ago.

    Gary Bryant Dr.longshot
     
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  11. N1H1

    N1H1 Mega Poster Founding Member

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    Let's see Gary. I wrote a letter to all the Delegates. I had it published in Shotgun Sports. I made a motion at the annual meeting. And this is "going behind someone's back?" Not in my book! How could I have done it more publicly?

    By the way, how are you guys doing on finding an electable Delegate candidate to put into office and turn all this around at the Annual Meeting this year in Sparta in August, 2015? That was all the talk around here just a short while ago, wasn't it? I can still hear the echo of chests being beaten! You have but a month to get him or her promoted and elected, after all; you'd best get to it! Your record so far is 0 for 19; maybe this will be your turnaround year! Got a name for your fellow Buckeyes to rally around ?

    N1H1
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  12. Family Guy

    Family Guy Americantrapshooter.com King of Posters Founding Member

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    N1H1
    Your hubristic rant above is well taken. We many never be able to overcome what your Minnesota awarded lifetime achievement ruined.

    2 things confuse me. Why you seem to go to such lengths at first to deny you had any part in your Minnesota awarded lifetime achievement. Such as your recent rant:

    I took no stand on which target spread the delegates should favor. But Minnesota was very specific about your lifetime accomplishment. Again I quote them--Neil was instrumental in getting the 3-hole target rule rescinded.

    And then you brag and taunt with your boast implying too bad, you cant change it now. Your arrogant / hubristic statement is way over the top.

    By the way, how are you guys doing on finding an electable Delegate candidate to put into office and turn all this around

    Ancient Greek literature refers to hubris, a form of arrogance in which a person thinks himself to be higher in status than other ordinary mortals. In other words, a god. As with the opposite chief feature of self-deprecation, arrogance is a way of manipulating others’ perceptions of yourself in order to avoid taking a “hit” to your self-esteem. In this case, however, the basic strategy is to get others to see you as special, perfect or flawless.

    I doubt Minnesota inducted you into the HOF for humility. They made it very clear that was not the reason.

    It is obvious that changing the angles will be difficult. Great achievement H1N1.
     
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  13. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Staff Member Founding Member

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    As I've said many times the biggest crybabies about the three hole targets the year they were mandated were marathoners. They always demanded the shortest target possible and I'm sure the narrowest in many areas if presented the opportunity.

    Weren't marathons popular in the MN area at that time too? It sure seems some peoples target totals dropped tremendously that year!
     
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  14. Bat

    Bat Elite Poster

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    "... Let’s tell them directly: the minimum setting is the No. 2 hole or the minimum setting is the No. 3 hole. Cast your vote for whichever you think is in the best interest of trapshooting."

    That seems pretty clear to me. Seems some here seem to enjoy reading more into things though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
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  15. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Staff Member Founding Member

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    If you cast a vote remember what the rules were when the game was designed and how it was corrupted later. Then try to remember when trap was the game of choice and nearly all the top handicap shooters didn't stand on the 27 yd. line!
     
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  16. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Do any of you remember what I told you about the (ONE HOLE) being used in the upper mid west? The two hole was to much for them also.
     
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  17. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    In my much less than humble opinion, it's too bad for our sport that "rules" weren't enforced long before the gang of long yardage delegates got their easier is better law passed.

    This sort of reminds me of kids and candy. Those not allowed to have much and those having all they desired. Then asking them to vote on a law change allowing more candy!

    Let's be honest with ourselves, did this rule change actually help us in improving our sport? If so, prove it with growth numbers? If not, be men enough to improvise ways of actually helping the small time average shooters because the best shooters will always get their fair share of wins due to hard work and expense. Oh, you say make the game even easier for that group? Not true at all according to our sports history which can't be denied regardless of how great the wording may be to the contrary.

    It's a total shame we adopted such a cheating practice, violating the setting rule in our own rulebook as the best thing to come down the road ever. The shame of all that is, it wasn't best for the small time shooters or our sport as we lost the perception our game once held, you didn't have to be almost perfect to win. That was our sports attraction to keep new shooters around long enough to make a difference in our growth numbers. Leave the kids program out of your growth thoughts, it won't count till they return once on their own.

    HAP
     
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  18. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Bat

    You must poll all members of the ATA. Many of them do not visit this or any other shooting site. To be any where near accurate it must encompass all members. If possible even those that have dropped out in the last 5 years. They are the shooters that we need to reclaim.

    It would have to be approved and financed by the ATA as they have the names of the people that need to be polled. The tally should be by an unafilliated company to insure it's integrity. Good luck with getting it in the works. Roger C.
     
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  19. Bat

    Bat Elite Poster

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    Roger,

    I wasn't talking about taking a poll, I don't think you understood my post. That was a direct quote of what Neil W. asked the board to do, without all the spin we seem to get here. "Them" was referring to the EC.
     
  20. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Staff Member Founding Member

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    I fail to believe in managing an organization based on opinion polls. First of all, easier targets are today's standard and most of today's shooters never shot a 3-hole target and wouldn't have a clue as to what they were being polled for. A good manager sees the bigger picture when making a decision and rejects popularity polls.

    If we polled all shooters and asked them if they'd like another 2-yard reduction what would the results be? Would it be in the best interests of the organization?
     
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  21. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    My answer was not 2 or 3 holes. My thought was easy or tough targets. I do not think that would be to hardto understand.

    A good manager is also smart enough to realize with out customers he has nothing to manage. This is supposed to be a member run orginaization. The customer may not always be right, but he had better be listened to.

    Oleo,

    I believe you manage a club do you not. Just for the halibut why don't you set your machines to the three hole for practice and do not tell the shooters. See how many of the mention it to you. Roger
     
  22. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Staff Member Founding Member

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    I managed a successful club for over 30 years until put out to pasture. Considering it went from full parking lots with most traps running to maybe one or two squads now you could say I'm enjoying my vacation!
     
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  23. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    This will not remedy the problem but it may shed some light as to when it began.

    Data taken from the 2015 Utah state shoot program;

    Handicap championship targets;
    1918 to 1987 8 scores of 99X100 to win championship
    1988 to 2014 2 scores of 98X100 8 scores of99X100 15 scores of 100X100 to win championship. No yardage recorded.

    Doubles championship targets;

    1921 to 1986 4 scores of 99X100 to win champion
    1987 TO 2014 8 scores of 99X100 19 scores of 100X100 to win champoinship.

    High all around;

    1921 to 1985 2 scores of 391X400 to win championship
    1986 to 2014 29 scores of 391 to 399 to win champoinship

    It looks like Neil was right, the rules were not followed beginning then, but were not made official until 1995. This is a small sampling and in no way is it meant to chastise the Utah shooters or their state organization. Roger C.
     
  24. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    Roger, it's always taken a great score to win major shoots, even from our very beginning!

    Thing is; there just wasn't as many great scores shot before we made target presentations easier. Today, we may have 40 to 80 perfect scores shooting off at our Grand?

    HAP
     
  25. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Hi Hap,

    It took 69 years to get 8 scores of 99 X 100 to win the championship in handicap, and the it only took 26 years to record 8 scores of 99 X 100 and 19 scores of 100 X 100 to win the championship. We have no way of knowing if there were shoot off's or not. Some 100's may have not received any trophy. I think some of the great scores may be attributed to easier targets. Roger C.
     
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  26. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Hap,

    I did not make this comparison on the sixteens at all. I do not think the difference is as great as on the other venues. I think it had a greater impact on handicap scores. The HAA is the icing on the cake.
     
  27. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    Roger, the point I intended to make was the fact all the scores were up in comparison, singles, caps and dbls. That and more shooters shooting those great scores.

    HAP
     
  28. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Hap.

    How come these easy targets never made us old people better shooters?
     
  29. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    Wouldn't matter much if they threw 1 holers (13 degree angles) for us Roger. Almost blind in one eye and havin trouble seeing outa the other for starters, then a mix of ongoing hurts plaguing us for years? Improve on what? Just the ability to make the gun go bang somewhur close to the targets. Heck, I can't even handle my old slingshot anymore either, can't pull the sucker back without feelin an electric shock in the shoulder.

    I'm planning on givinem fits at the Grand though! :)

    Harem Cramedfull
     
  30. oldphart

    oldphart Mega Poster Founding Member

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    Hap, This is almost how I feel most of the time, although sometimes I manage to post a good score, everything seems to work for a short while but at 81 I guess I am lucky to be able to participate and enjoy it. Good luck to you in the future.
     
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  31. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    OP, even though being older doesn't lessen the love we have of shooting regardless of abilities.

    I recall reading of an older man from S.D. in CA that shot his first 100 straight when he was a hundred years old or somewhat close to that age? I'm glad to read your still enjoying our sport and shooting well too! I wish you well in your shooting adventures also and hope you break a lot more great scores! I'd consider it an honor to shoot with you one day!

    HAP
     
  32. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Grudge Match Champion Founding Member Grudge Match Champion

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    The easier targets absolutely contributed to higher scores, especially in Hdcp, as noted by Vic Reindeers in the ATA meeting minutes, and in Trap & Field articles, and the vast increase in Grand Slams, also noted in ATA minutes, by notable delegates from many states.

    Gary Bryant Dr.longshot
     
  33. MODERATOR 1

    MODERATOR 1 Administrator Staff Member

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    History Buff

    Thanks again for your research.
     
  34. History Seeker

    History Seeker A NoBody Official Historian Founding Member

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    I have an interesting question.

    With all of the Angle and Speed comments lately, has there ever been a study as to the "composition" of the targets from the olden days from 1921 to 1985 ?

    My wonder is, has there been a change over the years in the making of the targets themselves to make them easier to break ?

    I am asking a serious question. I know for a while the Canadian Lawry targets, along with Remington and Champions were suspected to be tougher to break targets.

    After the Pitch shortage, White Flyer changed the formula and I wonder if they have gone back to the original formula now ? I don't see the Black Smoke much anymore, but seems to me they Sootball a lot more.

    Thanks for any information that can be brought about on this subject.

    Dave
     
  35. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    Target recipes have continually evolved and do so today too. White Flyer has pretty well worked out a good recipe considering the shortage of pitch available to them today.

    Nothing smokes like the old pitch formula, black unpainted targets did. At one time, about all the manufacturers used varying amounts of pitch for clay targets. The more pitch used, the better the black cloud of smoke. Remington at one time was great, so was the old Eclipse Target co. that was bought out by White Flyer we shoot mostly today.

    HAP
     
  36. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Grudge Match Champion Founding Member Grudge Match Champion

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    Hap & Bradsfriend: It all has come down to easier targets, narrow angles, 48 yard and less targets, Roger's research shows that, admit it, Todays are easier FLUFF target, and they are not very competitive.

    Hap you talk around it, and do not direct it to the real problem of easier targets.

    The old targets regardless of composition, were not easy fluff targets of today.

    You all can talk around the problem all you want, just afraid to say they are easier targets thrown today

    You still have to hit them to breakem.

    Gary Bryant Dr.longshot
     
  37. oldphart

    oldphart Mega Poster Founding Member

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    In prior years some targets ( Lawry and Champion which I am familar with) were very hard and difficult to break while others had a reputation of being easy to break. The targets reputed as being easier broken were softer and if dropped on a table from about 1 inch had a ring to them when dropped in the manner, the harder targets did not have this ring to them.

    The formula for targets has in all probability changed over the years and who can tell if this has contributed in any way to the increase in scores, but not in any way as close to easier targets being responsible for the increase in scores.
     
  38. Jammer

    Jammer Member Founding Member

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    WOW! History Buff - after all the key strokes made on this subject of people expressing their points of view and attempting to state what happened, you assembled a most informative picture that accurately represents what transpired. Most informative! The best presentation "supported by documentation" of the history that I have seen on any forum. Kudos.

    Only one conclusion can drawn by a reasonable person.

    Thanks again for the education.
     
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  39. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Moderator

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    Gary B., 34 degree angles are easier to point our correctly than 44 degree angles. There, I said it again for about the one hundredth time over the years!

    We have a vastly different way of expressing our views it seems? You ask for all the changes changed overnight, that just isn't going to happen regardless of how many times you write it!

    I express my views on changes I feel the majority may accept and not drive more shooters away from any shooting venue as you've managed to do. We got to this point slowly, further change must be accomplished in that same fashion. As my dad always said, "it's the steady drip that finally beats a hole in the rock, not a big splash!"

    HAP
     
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  40. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Grudge Match Champion Founding Member Grudge Match Champion

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    We all know 34 degree angle targets are easier to point than 44 degree angle targets.

    Do you agree that is the problem?

    We need real positive delegates, that will support change, and voicing the changes they will make to the shooters, and stay in that mindset.

    Not change to get in line for the free trapgun.

    We need a nationwide team of potential delegates working together to get changes.

    Gary Bryant Dr.longshot
     
  41. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Grudge Match Champion Founding Member Grudge Match Champion

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    Every ATA president, past, present, and every BOD, EC person, and every Trapshooter that has a computer, knows where I stand on ATA target angle, and distance.

    I am not a fence sitter, I am on the competitive target side, always have been, and always will be.

    I absolutely support COMPETETIVE TARGETS.

    Gary Bryant Dr.longshot
     
  42. History Seeker

    History Seeker A NoBody Official Historian Founding Member

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    Thanks Hap and fellow shooters on your views about the target composition...

    Very interesting for sure...

    AND, a shout out to History Buff for all the great information he compiles on any trap shooting subject. I have found over the years History Buff does so much research on subjects he can answer the questions we all have wondered about honestly, and to the best of his researching ability.

    Dave

    100_2994.JPG
     
  43. Flyersarebest

    Flyersarebest Moderator Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Nice collection. I have about 40 or so targets from 1936 that I found at a house sale. Still stacked and wrapped in newspaper with that date on it. I was thinking of selling them. Any idea on what they are worth?
    Thanks,
    Flyersarebest
     
  44. HistoryBuff

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

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    TTT

    For those interested.
     

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