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Need for a new clay target?


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The thread about what counts as a broken target got me to thinking. Wile there is nothing wrong with the traditional clay target it is designed to do a number of things that are not really necessary for a static target. Holding up to the stress of being launched into the air at high speed being the most obvious.

What might be better would be a simple clay disc four to five inches in diameter. Because structural integrity is not needed for a static clay target the disc could be just a few millimeters in thickness, with a very brittle makeup. Think of it as a giant NECO wafer. Also with a perfectly flat facing such a target would readily show damage from even one or two pellet hits. It would also be easy paint the flat face just about any color at the time of manufacture, or could even be left plain black. Another advantage is that much less material would be needed to make the target, potentially lowering the price if made in large enough quantity.

Perhaps with the popularity of three gun the timing is right for a target manufacturer to step in and offer a three gun specific clay target. What do you current match directors and organizers think?

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If you are going to go this route, why not just use small metal disks? Or whatever shape you want. Make 'em light enough to fall over with a couple of pellets. A lot of folks have already gone this route. One club made them the same size as clays and painted them orange. Or better yet, use both types of targets.

The only drawback is they fly really far when you hit them with slugs. Don't ask how I know.

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Metal discs would work, but the smaller and lighter they are the farther they would fly when knocked off the stand and the longer it could take to reset a stage. One of the big advantages of clay targets is fast target reset, grab a hand full and replace them, no searching for, and picking up plates. Metal plates do have the advantage of long term economy, only having to pay for them once. Clays have the advantage of not needing to worry about bounce back, so you can place then anywhere, at any angle to the shooter.

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The only drawback is they fly really far when you hit them with slugs. Don't ask how I know.

I somehow managed to be hit by major shrapnel last year from shooters who engaged plates with slugs, twice, one of them bad enough to scar.

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I don't see any reason to design a new target. Steel takes more pellets than clays to knock over, and I use them for some purposes. Clays allow the top shooters to turn on the gas and maybe take a miss...or have a smokin' run. It is all part of the game.

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The club I shoot at has been using small steel discs (about 2.5-3") with a flat piece welded to the bottom, along with clays (situation dependent - don't use the metal ones on the jungle run) for a while. They have stakes with a small platform on top that the targets sit on.

But a solid hit and they can really fly. I've seen them go 20', and once the target went over the berm (shooter accidentally loaded one of his high-velocity #6 shells he had meant to use on the spinner.)

Overall, the reset is pretty quick if you keep to using them in a flat open area. Just pick them up, put them back on the stand, every 4th shooter or so spray some more paint on them.

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The club I shoot at has been using small steel discs (about 2.5-3") with a flat piece welded to the bottom, along with clays (situation dependent - don't use the metal ones on the jungle run) for a while. They have stakes with a small platform on top that the targets sit on.

But a solid hit and they can really fly. I've seen them go 20', and once the target went over the berm (shooter accidentally loaded one of his high-velocity #6 shells he had meant to use on the spinner.)

Overall, the reset is pretty quick if you keep to using them in a flat open area. Just pick them up, put them back on the stand, every 4th shooter or so spray some more paint on them.

We shoot 4" steel plates on stands that are attached to a steel cable so they only fly a couple feet.

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Interesting thought about a different clay design, and I'm sure it would work better, but I think they would be too expensive. Traditional clays are cheap because they make gazillions of them.

Edited by dcloudy777
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Why fix what isn't broken (no punt intended), one pellet hit/chip counts in clay target. As much as we like to think otherwise, the 3 gun market isn't big enough for clay bird manufacturers to add another market-specific product.

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Why fix what isn't broken (no punt intended), one pellet hit/chip counts in clay target. As much as we like to think otherwise, the 3 gun market isn't big enough for clay bird manufacturers to add another market-specific product.

I don't disagree to a certain point, but we fix what isn't broken all the time. Innovation is what drives everything forward.

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We shoot 4" steel plates on stands that are attached to a steel cable so they only fly a couple feet.

I have never seen this done but it is a great idea.

Steel cable...seems like a bad idea if it could be hit by the birdshot.

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Have you ever seen a battue target? Sounds like this is exactly what you are describing. They use them in sporting clays. They are very thin and designed to be thrown flat and kind of "appear out of nowhere" in front of the shooter. I would guess most sporting clays ranges would be able to provide you with a couple if you wanted to try them.

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The standard clays work just fine They are cheaper than the other clays since they are produced in vast numbers. I really don't see clay target manufactures making a new nitch target for 3 gun as we just wouldnt buy enough of them to make it worth while and it would be more expensive due to the lower quantity produced. the standard targets are as cheap as they are because of the volume they produce of them and really has no impact on the amount of material involved in each as the other sporting clays targets are more more expensive even it mini and midi

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We shoot 4" steel plates on stands that are attached to a steel cable so they only fly a couple feet.

I have never seen this done but it is a great idea.

Steel cable...seems like a bad idea if it could be hit by the birdshot.

We have used fence wire to hold small round steel targets so they don't get blasted into the bushes or near by bodies of water. Fence wire is cheap and easy to replace and lasts a long time, rarely getting shot off.

Using small round steel instead of clays saves money. Buy once, or better yet borrow them, and you save a lot of money at a big match. I try to only use clays on flying targets.

Doug

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