School Shooting Fun

This Saturday, the 14th, my son’s school trap shooting team hosted a trap meet.  Hosting means we show up at 07:30 instead of 09:00.  We shoveled snow while others set up the kitchen and got the coffee started, loaded the traps with targets, etc.  It also means we stay after to clean and pack things up.


Below; Our next door neighbor, Laura, busts a target.  She hadn’t fired a shotgun in her life until just this winter when I helped out by hand-throwing targets for her.  Saturday she held her own quite well.  You can tell she’s using a 20 gauge automatic, can’t you?



Below; Your average Eastern Washington high school kids in their natural setting.



Below; Alex pops one off.  He hit 28 of 50 this time out.



Below; Robert Cray wrote a song about this. (I know those buildings look pretty close for being downrange of a shooting club.  It’s the camera lens– I’m ~30 yards behind the shooter using a long lens.  Those buildings are over 350 yards away.  The 7 1/2 shot pellets are gently raining down at that distance.



Below; One of the school vehicles in the parking lot.  Reach for the stars– learn to shoot well.



This was the first time I’d watched an “Annie Oakley”.  It looks really fun.  All the participants line up side-by-side at the farthest “handicap” line (farthest from the trap house from which the targets are launched).  They worked in groups of three.  The first shooter on the left calls for a target.  “Pull!”  If that shooter makes a hit, the next shooter to the right calls for a target.  If the one who called, “Pull!” misses, the shooter to the right takes a shot.  If that one is a hit, the primary shooter (the caller) is eliminated from the game.  If the second shooter misses, a third shooter takes a shot.  If that shot is a hit, the first two shooters are eliminated. If one shooter makes a hit, but the next shooter in that group of three fires anyway, that shooter, and anyone in that group who fired and missed, is eliminated.  This goes on, in groups of three, with each shooter on the line taking a chance on being the first of three, over and over until there’s one shooter left, who of course wins the game.  I understand there is big money in some of these games, but this being a school event I think the big prize was ten dollars– almost enough to cover half the day’s ammo cost for the winner.

9 thoughts on “School Shooting Fun

  1. Now that’s Awesome. On so many levels.

    In my college fraternity, we played a lot of Annie Oakley. But instead of doing it in flights of 3, we would have 20 guys lined up. It was possible to take out 5 or 6 guys with one good shot.

    I wish my school would have had a shooting team.

  2. “I wish my school would have had a shooting team.”

    You and fifty of your former classmates can write a nice letter to the school board. It may be too late for you, but maybe you can give the up and coming students a chance. Give it a shot, so to speak. You will be surprised how many supporters there are, all of whom think they’re in the minority and are afraid to voice their opinions.

  3. That’s awesome Joe. I like the Annie Oakley idea too – good fun.

    I too wish my school had a shooting team, but it would take a lot more than a letter to the school board to make that happen…

  4. Oh, Lyle, are you sure 7 1/2 shot will make it to 350 yards? I would have guessed it would have dropped out of the sky before it made it to 200.

  5. One variation on Annie Oakley that I’ve always enjoyed is this: If one of the first two shooters hits the target, the next shooter in line can shoot at the broken clay. If the next shooter breaks the first shooter’s target then the first shooter is still out, even though he hit the clay. Otherwise, the shooter who shot and missed is out. The objective then, is to completely dust the clay so that there is no way for someone to eliminate you by shooting your broken target.

  6. I, too, would wonder about that range on 7-1/2 shot. When goose hunting a couple of years ago, we had steel BBs gently raining into our decoy spread from another pit that was between 200-250 yards away. But there wasn’t that much shot that had it that far out from the 3-1/2″ shells-maybe only 20 pellets. A low brass trap load putting shot out 350 yards, I would say highly unlikely.

    But I am not going to stand there and test this theory.

  7. But Lyle, mygodthinkofthechildren[1]! We have to get guns off our streets[2].


    [1] if they must spend their hard-earned money on shells, has the club considered a house progressive shotshell reloader, and a bulk buy on bags of shot? (that’s what ours did)

    [2] who wants to see a Red Label rusting in rain and road salt? it belongs in the hands of youngsters out on the range!

  8. There has been some study of this range question of course;

    A French ballistics expert, General Journee, years ago worked out a formula to the effect that the maximum range in yards equals 2200 times the shot diameter in inches. When the gun is held at a horizontal position or only slightly elevated, this formula gives the maximum range of shot sizes as shown below.

    No. 2 – 330 yards

    No. 4 – 286 yards

    No. 6 – 242 yards

    No. 7 1/2- 209 yards

    No. 8 – 198 yards

    That’s with barrel held horizontal or near horizontal. It will vary of course due to launch velocity, shot consistency and texture, and due to atmospheric conditions. I’m speculating, I’ll admit, that if a pellet can travel over 200 yards before hitting the ground from a nearly level barrel, it will probably make it to 300 or 350 with a 40 to 45 degree barrel. And don’t confuse the term “maximum” range with anything other than maximum travel distance. Energy at maximum travel distance is going to be extremely low, like having a sub-BB size pellet gently tossed at you. I could be easily tested under the right conditions.

    Regardless; that range has been there for many years, shotguns aimed at the city, with no reported problems that I know.

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