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Beware of Broken Birds
Unread 07-04-2022, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default Beware of Broken Birds

A couple weeks ago during our regular Sporting Clays shoot at our local Williamson Conservation and Sporting Club course here in upstate Williamson NY, my son took a slow motion movie with his phone of me shooting.

The station pictured has two clay pigeons coming at the shooter. Normally, whether the birds are hit or missed, they end up hitting the ground about 10 – 15 yards in front of the shooter.

However, my shot pattern must have hit the underside of the bird, or somehow hit it such that it caused it to fly higher, and a broken piece came at me as you can see in the movie.

Luckily, with my keen awareness and speed, I was able to get out of the way and the piece missed me and even more important, missed my Fox double that I was shooting.

Just a neat movie that I would like to share and I hope you enjoy watching it.

Click on the link below.

So, beware of those broken birds. It can do bad things to your shotgun. You too but that will probably heal OK.

Thanks to Rick Losey for editing the movie for me.

https://i.imgur.com/veAECN5.mp4
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Unread 07-04-2022, 12:02 PM   #2
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Cat-like reflexes!
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Unread 07-04-2022, 04:56 PM   #3
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Was shooting skeet years ago and one of the squad broke a bird on Station 4, but a pellet came back and hit him in the face. All we could figure was that a pellet en0 Itered the underside of the target at the 3 o'clock position, followed the inside lip at 9 o'clock and came back at us. Wear glasses!
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Unread 07-05-2022, 09:50 AM   #4
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Hunting with my brother in law three seasons ago I was slightly behind him and twenty yards to the right of him when he shot a woodcock that had flushed from the base of an old apple tree. He killed the woodcock but two pellets ricocheted off the apple branches one hitting my vest and the other going through my shirtsleeve and under the skin of my forearm for 3/8" and exited. A bloody little wound but it healed up fine.

Many years ago while shooting Skeet the shooter was taking the high house 8 bird and a sizable chunk of it spun off and hit the barrels of my Repro 20 leaving a nick on the rib which stayed there even after using a Frontier pad on it. I was well behind and to the left of the shooter. Now I hold my gun behind me while waiting my turn at that station.





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Unread 07-05-2022, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Romig View Post
Hunting with my brother in law three seasons ago I was slightly behind him and twenty yards to the right of him when he shot a woodcock that had flushed from the base of an old apple tree. He killed the woodcock but two pellets ricocheted off the apple branches one hitting my vest and the other going through my shirtsleeve and under the skin of my forearm for 3/8" and exited. A bloody little wound but it healed up fine.

Many years ago while shooting Skeet the shooter was taking the high house 8 bird and a sizable chunk of it spun off and hit the barrels of my Repro 20 leaving a nick on the rib which stayed there even after using a Frontier pad on it. I was well behind and to the left of the shooter. Now I hold my gun behind me while waiting my turn at that station.





.
Thirtyfive or so years ago I was at my local club shooting skeet one week night . This was the second or third time I'd had my first K-32 out with the new to me K-80 Bavarian Grade wood . Anyway all was well and I was shooting well . Got around to station 7 stepped on the pad broke the high bird then broke the low bird reloaded and called for the pair . The low bird came out broken and a big hunk of that bird flew left right down the side of my nice "new to me" Bavarian Grade forend wood . It wasn't the worlds worst clay target scratch but as you might think I was definitely not pleased .
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Unread 07-05-2022, 10:23 AM   #6
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Did you hit a piece of that target or was that a whole target that flew past you? Either way, that target had way too much speed going past you. I think that was a poorly set target off the trap with too much spring tension.
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Unread 07-05-2022, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Bishop View Post
Did you hit a piece of that target or was that a whole target that flew past you? Either way, that target had way too much speed going past you. I think that was a poorly set target off the trap with too much spring tension.
Chuck,

If you're referring to my first post with the movie, that was just a piece of the target that came by. I would estimate about half of it.

Normally, any broken bird, or the whole bird, drops in front of the shooter and creates no potential hazard.

Rarely does any part of it get to the shooter as evidenced by the lack of clay pigeon pieces near the shooting stand. Just one of those oddities that happens and good reason to wear your eye protection and be alert.

But you are right that a poorly set trap or too much spring tension would definitely need attention and changed.

Thanks, Chuck, for your comments.
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Unread 07-05-2022, 02:16 PM   #8
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I've never been hit but I have seen that happen before. It always seems they take a greatly altered course when you break off one side but more than half the bird remains. My impression is that is what hapened here. When that happens the bird still is spinning and is well stabilized, but it is extremely unbalanced and the dynamics of the large piec left, along with the impact from the hit will radically alter it's course, but not it's stability. If you look at the extreme change in angle but the smoothness of the flight as it passes to the left, I think that is what happened here.

Funny thing is that, although I have never been hit by a target, I have been hit several times by birds either I or a partner have shot. At a Pheasant Tower shoot one day near here, a guy assigned with me and myself were both hit by consecutive shots by consecutive birds. I was hit in the left foot by a bird I shot. We laughed when it happened, then the next bird came straight at us again, he shot and a line drive screamer hit him right across the top of his head.
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Unread 07-06-2022, 04:28 PM   #9
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That's a big piece, you need one more barrel!
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Unread 07-06-2022, 05:20 PM   #10
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You could have caught that one Bill.
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