Have a Blast with Clays
Not that the fun ever goes out of watching clay targets break, but it is possible to make them even more entertaining with some ingenuity. Turns out, a clay saucer is a perfect vehicle for launching payloads of chalk, glitter, tails, and more. Here’s how.
Flash Targets: These doctored targets puff dramatically when they’re hit, thanks to the powdered chalk inside their domes. Make them by filling the target’s top cavity with medium- or low-permanence orange carpenter’s chalk. If you’ll be shooting under lights at night, add some glitter for an even cooler effect. Then run a light bead of Elmer’s glue around the rim and slap on a round paper cover. Or, even easier, use Avery’s adhesive 21⁄2-inch Easy Peel round labels.
Tails: A tail turns a clay pigeon into a clay pheasant. Make one with 18 inches of surveyor’s tape. Tape one end inside the bottom dome with packing tape, curl the rest inside, and throw it. The tail will stream out behind the bird as it flies. I first saw targets like these used as simulated live birds at a pigeon shoot, where you had to drop the tail inside a boundary ring for it to count.
Cotton Balls: Glue a cotton ball onto the underside of a target. I played a game at a fancy gun club once where the management had made a sort of dartboard on the ground, with different point values in the rings. They threw an incoming bird, and you tried to break it so the piece with the cotton ball fell in the bull’s-eye.
Passenger Pigeons: A mini sporting clays target nestles perfectly under a standard clay. Put both on the arm of a manual trap and load two shells. When the larger clay breaks, the mini speeds on like an escape pod, giving you a tiny, tricky follow-up shot.
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