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Skeet Thrower: Your Options Explained

Skeet Thrower: Your Options Explained

Skeet shooting is a fantastic sport relying on fast reaction, a steady aim and a lot of practice. But what are the best features to look for in a skeet thrower?

The most basic style is a hand launched method that is reminiscent to a dog toy launcher. But the most commonly found manual skeet thrower is comprised of a spring loaded arm that flings the target into the air. Once the skeet thrower is loaded and the shooter is ready, a verbal command is given and the operator of the skeet thrower engages it and off the target flies for the shooter to shoot down.

Most manual skeet throwers are ground launchers that fire a single or dual skeet by drawing back the launcher arm three quarters of the swing and locks into place until the string is pulled. Another version is the full cock arm that further increases the throwing distance by extending the arms distance to cock it.

Mounting options for these do vary as well. You can select a tripod mount that can be staked into the ground or mounted to a tire. A post mount style mounts onto a four by four wood post with thumb screws and is best for a regular shooting location. There are some larger manual skeet throwers that allow the operator to sit down and manually operate the skeet thrower. Some of these have two launchers attached to the frame and launch two clays at a time in opposite directions. To add more of a challenge to the shooter a wobble mount will quickly vary the angle and direction of the skeet.

Most skeet throwers are built on a horizontal plane and send the targets flying out to simulate a flying bird. Another option is one that has a vertical mount to roll the discs across the ground to simulate a running rabbit or other startled prey.

An automatic skeet thrower uses a similar principal of operation but with one exception, it can be operated by the shooter without the need to stop between shots. These run with a higher price tag due to automation. Operated via a foot pedal, it will randomly throw targets until you run out of loaded targets. An auto skeet thrower is also capable of ground rolls.

Many people opt for the automatic skeet throwers, despite the larger price tags, for other reasons as well. Less waiting time as the targets can be rapidly launched by the shooter via the foot pedal. Auto skeet throwers are portable and can hold a stack of 50 pigeons to be sent airborne or rolling. Larger models are available on a trailer mount featuring three or more launchers, multi stack turnstiles that hold an amazing 600 skeet, feature voice activated radio controls, can run off of a car battery and send skeet out to 130m.

Now that you know more about the options available, decide what fits your style and purchase one at a sporting good stores or online.

Photo courtesy of Brian Omura.

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