February 23, 2017: Wheely Bird

A co-workers donation of hand pull target thrower and the entertainment we had at trap outings spurred the Champion Wheely Bird to show up under the Christmas tree a couple of years back. Well that was the plan.  It was ordered when MidWayUSA had a sale price on it.  Apparently a lot of other people also liked the price because my October/November order didn’t arrive until the following May. 

For the price I was patient. When I arrived I sat down and read the instructions through before pulling the parts out.  Having handled a manual load trap thrower I have a great deal of respect for the springs and I don’t want to be in the wrong. 

I don’t remember anything outstanding about the assembly. Put it together and loaded it into the truck for the trip out to the property.  Bought an auto battery at Walmart for the power source. 

I had watched the youtube videos about adjustments that might need to be made but the unit I received worked as expected after assembly.

On the Range:

This unit has been used for two family trap tournaments and a couple of practice sessions. That spans a year and a half using the same battery without charging it.  That is around 400 targets between the four sessions.  No adjustments have been necessary.  I just rolled it out of the shed, set it in position and used a stake through the hole in the base of the handle to keep the unit from wandering. 

With the back staked there is very little drift of the unit after cycling. The manual thrower had to be reset every few throws.  The consistency of the throws for inexperienced shooter is a real plus.  Consistent throws give the novice the chance to lock in on where the targets are going.  While the probably gets boring for more experienced shotgunners, it work well for the groups I shot with. 

The 25 foot pedal gives plenty of room for safety. We tend to squeeze the pedal by hand rather than as a foot pedal.  Part of that is the soft moist ground we’re shooting on. 

We did find that using recovered targets tends to have more breakages so we have slacked off the recovery effort. Two 6 foot rattlesnake skins had something to do with that also, I thought the hogs had taken care of the snakes but apparently they are back.  The snakes that is.

It’s keeps things moving if you don’t let the wheely bird run out of targets.  Setting the first one in position is the hardest part of getting ready to use it.  Keeping it filled up is the easiest way to keep the action moving. 

When we’re done we unhook the battery, coil the foot pedal wire and roll it back to the shed.

Silvermallot has a short video of the Champion Wheely bird in action.

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