After confirming that it was no longer raining in Summerfield, we hopped back in the car and headed out to Shane's Sporting Clays for an afternoon of shooting.
Since the last time I went out shooting sporting clays at Shane's, they've incorporated and changed the operation to fully automated traps. Both of these are great news -- the fact that they've incorporated tells me that business is going well and they intend to continue running the sporting clay range and perhaps improve it. The fact that it's fully automated means that we no longer need to make appointments and there's no trapper to tip after a round of shooting. Plus, I think they've lowered their prices -- a round of 50 only cost $20 this time. I think it was $30 before, but I might be wrong.
We showed up and Trish explained the course layout (it hasn't changed much since I was last there) and gave us a quick lesson on how to push the buttons to release the clays (it's as easy as it sounds). So we headed off to the second station (we were advised that the first station -- the tower -- was a popular station to skip) and began. We progressed through all 12 stations and had a great time. When we were done, we even debated about running another round of 50, but decided against it. Chris said that he was definitely interested in making that a regular part of any time he comes to visit.
Chris and I even coached my wife and she took a couple of shots. In spite of the fact that neither of us are good instructors, she chipped the second clay she shot at. For the most part, though, she did a great job of running the traps for us. We'll probably go out shooting again sometime.
Chris ended up beating me. We both did relatively poorly -- I got 18 and he got 21 (out of 50). But we all had fun and that's what it's all about anyway. Plus, I improved on the score of 15 I got last time I was shooting, so I'm certainly not complaining at all.
FWIW, I've got a Mosberg 590
shotgun. If it's not the #53517, it's a very similar model. It's not ideal for sporting clays, but it's certainly usable.
If anyone is interested in going shooting with me at Shane's, just let me know. We can share my Mossberg if you don't have your own shotgun.