Clicking the pics opens up a new part of the Ben Avery gun range.
I moseyed over to the Clay Center yesterday, which is about a mile or so away from where I'm boondocking. The clay center is where all of the clay pigeon sports are located, such as Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clay, and Bunker Trap which is what they shoot in the Olympics.
The campground is on the right and some of the trap fields are on the left. The campground has nothing but large RVs. In all the years I've spent in this campground I don't ever recall seeing anybody in a tent. If you can afford the kind of shotgun it takes to be competitive in trap shooting, you can certainly afford a large RV.
The shooting match that was going on at Ben Avery's for the last nine days, and ended yesterday, was sponsored by the CMP, which for non-shooters stands for the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The federal government legislated this program in 1903 in an effort to improve military marksmanship and national defense preparedness. And Teddy Roosevelt, who was President at the time, was one of its staunchest supporters. Oddly enough, the federal government in those days wanted to keep the country safe and knew that having firearms in the hands of the American people who were trained in the ability and knowledge to use them would be of great benefit to defend this country.
The CMP is also the group that sells surplus military rifles and ammunition to qualified individuals at discount prices. And surplus rifles are what the competitors were shooting at this last match at Ben Avery's.
The theory is that an American population trained with a firearm they also owned would deter most foreign countries from trying to attack us in an effort to take over the country. And also act as a last-ditch deterrent to our government should it try to subjugate us.
Some of the Sporting Clay shooters keep their shooting carts at Ben Avery all the time. It's a long way around a Sporting Clay course and they have a lot of equipment to carry.
The Clay Center Is actually where I've spent most of my time at Ben Avery since my son was a competition trap shooter while in high school, and Ben Avery was one of the many places, mostly in the West, we went for him to compete.
If you don't own your own shooting cart you can rent one at Ben Avery's for a very nominal fee.
A group of sporting clay shooters.
Sporting Clay's is the fastest growing shooting sport, probably because it's more fun and appeals to younger people, both male and female than some of the other clay sports do.
Trap shooting, which is what my son did most of the time, has a lot in common with golf. The shooters remain silent, and serious when they're competing, except when they say PULL! to release the clay pigeon. Other than that, people in the audience are quiet and the shooters are quiet.
Sporting clays is completely different, they rag on each other all the time. They laugh at each other's misses, all in good fun of course. So all in all it's a much more fun experience to participate in, and even somewhat fun to watch.
The Clay's club-house at Ben Avery.
The pistol and rifle range where I'm at have nothing even close to a swanky building like this. How can they afford it? It's because the clay shooters spend much more money on their hobby than just about anyone else in the shooting sports. And some of the money they spend on their sport ends up as improvements at the Clay Center shooting range.
This is just a small part of what's inside the club-house.
So the point of this is all shooting sports are not the same, and some shooting sports require a lot more expense than others if you want to compete in any of the various disciplines, and stand any chance of winning. And from my personal experience the most expensive in any of the shooting sports is the clay shooting disciplines.
The shotguns that will hold up to the recoil of of thousands of 12 gauge rounds every year without falling apart cost a fortune, and feeding the guns that much reliable, full power, shot shells every year is also very costly. But if you love what you're doing people tend to find a way.