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DumfriesshireDucks

Is it the targets or the trap?

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    After many years of mucking about with a manual trap, I decided it was time to fork out for an automatic (a Bowman Supermatch One - picture below).

    Frustratingly, about 75% of the targets are breaking upon being launched.

    Is this usually due to the targets being fractured because of the boxes being handled roughly while they're being shipped? When opening the boxes, a few targets were broken but others looked fine. They are Nasta targets, environmentally friendly in theory, which I believe can make them weaker than regular "non eco" ones. 

    Alternatively, is there anything that could be wrong with trap itself which is causing the targets to break? It all looks fine to the novice eye.

    I suspect that if the trap were at fault, every target would break but at the same time, it's hard to believe that 75% of them are broken due to them not being shipped carefully enough.

    Just wondered, if anybody who knows about these things has any thoughts?

    Thanks

     

     

    Screen Shot 2018-12-26 at 15.31.59.png

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    It  is normally due to  duff clays but just in case check the rubber strip on the  arm  is in place and secure, Also there are 2 caphead bolts under the top  plate that operate the clay feed mechanism check to see if the nylock nuts have come loose allowing   the bolt s to unscrew.

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     Do NOT be tempted to blame the clays straight off,  it CAN be a different cause of trouble. The timing of ANY auto trap is critical. If the arm is not in CONTACT with the clay at the point of firing, the arm will strike the clay and break it, instead of pushing it whole off the drop plate. If there is a knife edge separator  fitted to the trap, this will require adjusting for the thickness of the clay.  Back off and disconnect the spring. Now rotate the arm and check that it is NOT bent. This is often caused by someone lifting the trap by the arm when it is in the uncocked state. The gap between the arm and drop plate, must remain the same through the arm travel arc. I suggest that once you have found a clay that works with the trap and you have made the adjustment required to perfect it's working, STICK with that make of clay. I am not familiar with the Bowman auto, only Promatics, but it must be very similar. We once were unable to get our usual order of CCI clays and ended up with a different make, thus 2 different makes of clay in the traps. We had a nightmare of a day, more 'no birds' than ever before. We re- adjusted some of the traps and that eased the situation, but we NEVER mixed clays again. Lesson learned. If you suspect faulty clays, try another make first, but do check the trap settings too. 

    PS    If all else fails, contact Bowman. 

    Edited by Westley

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    Bowman , would be my first port of call .

    A telephone call and a good explanation of the problem should answer your problem .

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    The armhieght could also be wrong and crushing cays.  

    Did you adjust the arm height the the drive strip on the clay, I do this before put the spring on as ifindit shows any bends in the arm as well as feed faults 

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    As said , check the spring tension isnt wound up too much, slacken off , see if that helps.
    Those clays appear to have a quite thin leading edge too.

    Visit a clay ground that uses something different (we only use Laporte from CPC) and buy a few off them.
    We use Bowmans, amongst others, and find them as good as any other, plus a new trap should really be ready to go and tested, so it could be the clays fault, or a transit damage issue.
    But first thing I would do is try some different clays.
     

    Edit, Just thought, those arent battues are they? I cant read the box.
    In which case they are in the trap upside down, and will break most of the time.

    Edited by Rewulf

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    4 hours ago, Rewulf said:

    Edit, Just thought, those arent battues are they? I cant read the box.

    In which case they are in the trap upside down, and will break most of the time.

    I wondered the same thing. Hard to tell from the pic.

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    3 minutes ago, Westward said:

    I wondered the same thing. Hard to tell from the pic.

    I thought Nasta only do battues in orange.

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    56 minutes ago, Mr.T said:

    I thought Nasta only do battues in orange.

    No idea , never used them, but Id be surprised if that was the case,  a battue is normally shot across the skyline, so black is best.

    But battues definitely break if put in upside down, and have a thin leading edge like these appear to have.

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    Give Bowman a call and they will talk you through exactly what is required to fettle the trap to have it working without issue. Andrew who owns the business is a great guy and in my experience always helpful.

    Clay traps are fundamentally simple things, but there are a number of things that can go wrong and cause all sorts of bother, but they are almost always easy to resolve too.

    I'm not familiar with that particular machine, but my first reaction would be to check whatever is used to separate the bottom clay from the stack when the trap comes to reloading.  I have only used Bowmans with a multi-stack carousel so don't know what the knife is like on a single stack machine.  As it isn't a fixed plate on that machine it is unlikely to be arm height and it cannot be a plate deviating from square crushing the clay through the swing.

    It might be the limit switch, that stops the arm in the cocked position needs adjusting as it could be stopping too early and the clay is falling onto the plate with a gap between the push rubber and the clay, so when the trap fires the arm is slapping into the clay and smashing it.  The clay needs to accelerate off the arm by remaining in contact with the arm rubber, that way it is swept off the plate and not struck by the arm.  The opposite could also be true in that the limit switch is letting the arm go too far and the clay is falling onto the top of the arm and not sitting square on the plate.

    If you have a phone that supports it, stand in a safe place to the side of the trap and take a slow motion video of the machine as it fires, re-cocks and loads the clay onto the plate.

    Other daft things can like having too much elevation or too much tilt can give issues too, so best to have the trap flat and upright as you work things out.

    Edit to add, I agree with Shaun, defo standard clays in the pic and not battues.  I have thrown battues both ways round too as they will fly differently depending on which way the bias is, same with rabbit clays as well incidentally that also have a bias.

    Edited by grrclark

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    On 28/12/2018 at 10:10, Mr.T said:

    Try looking at their website and see if you can find a black battue then 🤨

    You are correct, Nasta, dont make battues in black.

     

    13 hours ago, shaun4860 said:

    They are not battues,

    They look like standard clays

    I couldnt see very well in the picture, so just asked the question, as my dedicated battue trap, (a Bowman) if someone loads them upside down, it breaks most of the clays, as the arm doesnt engage with the edge of the clay properly.
    Ive got 6 other Bowmans, amongst others, and they have been excellent, unless someone has tampered with spring tension, or the clays are sub standard/damaged, I would have thought the trap should do the job it was supposed to 'out of the box'

    I notice the OP has not been back on to reply ?
     

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    Thanks all. Really appreciate the advice. Lots of useful stuff. The pin that separates the bottom clay from the stack was taking a chip out of the clays. I got that sorted after a phone call from Bowman - very helpful guys. Clays still breaking though. I suspect the clays themselves are the main issue.

    Bowman use Laporte so I'm going to get a box of those and see how I get on.

    I'll get there in the end I'm sure.

     

     

     

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