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Auto Trench Brandi Hobbs

Trap shooting advantage at home

The Canterbury AutoTrench is a very effective alternative to installing a full bunker. It enables me to train for international bunker trap in almost the same way that a regular bunker would, except now I don't have to drive to the other side of Pennsylvania to shoot because it is at my fingertips down the road. The ability to change the program and the speed at the touch of a button or turn of a bolt is going to be so advantageous towards my ability to adapt to all kinds of targets, which is a very important part of the game. Since we shoot at all different places, the targets fly differently or at different speeds when set to distance. For example, somewhere like Colorado Springs, Colorado at an elevation over 6,000 feet, the targets float through the air and hit the distance mark but are flying very slow. Now I can turn back the speed of the targets on the Canterbury and can prepare better for an upcoming range. It is very easy to set up and run and it holds a lot of targets so I'm not constantly having to go reload the machine. I really love the ability to pick any target from any program and manually set targets so I can pin point some trouble areas and focus on certain targets.
I also love the practice mode that allows me to set the machine for all of the left-hand targets of a certain program, or the right or center targets. I can easily press the back button and re shoot any target that I would like to, which is very convenient and there is very little messing around with the computer or tech stuff. My main excitement is the fact that I have been able to shoot every day without having to drive for hours and stay over in a hotel for the weekend or so. Being able to shoot everyday is going to make me a much better shooter and I am very thankful for the invention of this machine. It makes training much easier and more accessible, and for only a fraction of the price of a full bunker. I'm excited to see what the future holds.

Brandi Hobbs

Brandi and the new Auto Trench simulator at the Lake Edinboro Sportsmans Club in Pennsylvania. 

Inside the bunker

Inside the purpose built Auto Trench bunker.

Auto Trench

Canterbury Auto Trench

used at Inverell for the
Northern Zone Continental Championships
March 2011

Inverell RSM Clay Target Club Northern Zone Continental Championship
carnival was held on the 19th & 20th March, 2011.Saturday dawned
with an overcast sky.Upon squadding the 52 shooters that had come to
shoot for the NSW ball trap championship, competition got underway
with the 50 target Northern Zone Ball Trap Championship.
Competition was hotly contested with Kim Nealon from Richmond River
taking out the overall championship with a 48/50.

Thank you must be given to Bruce Rickard from Canterbury Voice
release for the loan of a full set of brand new ball trap speakers,
stands and the coin token box. Mike Owens from Canterbury Trap
International for the upgrade to the consol, programming and loan of
the equipment. Thank you also to Steve Whitehead from Auto Trench
Australia for the loan of the Auto Trench unit, bunker, trailer,
delivery and pick up that enable the titles to go ahead.
The Auto Trench unit and its smooth function was an integral part to
the shoot and to deal with the above people has been a pleasure.

Until the next news from the Inverell RSM Clay Target club - happy

50T NSW Ball Trap champion Kim Nealon with Matt Colley
the president of Inverell CTC.

Sash winners from the weekends events.

Auto Trench

Narromine Clay Target Club
NSW Australia
November 2010

Narromine Clay Target Club Inc, had the use of
the Auto Trench machine at its Annual 2 day shoot. All the shooters who
tried it were impressed with its ability to throw all nine trench
programs as well as being able to set on any single target in any
program to practice repeatedly at the touch of a couple of buttons. This
machine is exactly what remote clubs of NSW who don't have access to a
trench layout without traveling 300 to 500km have been waiting for.
Narromine Club would like to thank Steve Whitehead & Canterbury for
their hassle free assistance in the use of their demo trap. Narromine is
certainly going to try all avenues to purchase one of these Auto Trench
machine's to help our western zone in the field of trench shooting.



Redcliffe Clay target Club

Canterbury CT45 Trapmaster

Mike, Just a note of thanks from our club at

Redcliffe Queensland Australia. We purchased 3 X CT45 Canterbury traps

to replace our twin turret traps that had reached their use buy date.

With the able assistance of your agent Dennis Harwood these units were

commissioned late November 2010. The difference was immediately apparant

the single arm CT45's target presentation and consistency was

remarkable. Target breakages were next to negligible not only saving $$

for the club but also increased shooter satisfaction, as we all know

there is nothing more frustrating than lose of concentration due to trap

mechanical failure and broken targets. After nearly 12 months of

operation and in excess of 40,000 targets per unit we have experienced

no mechanical issues with the CT45's. The Redcliffe club attributes much

of its recent growth to the the Canterbury traps, pre installation we

hosted 2 to 3 squads 10 - 15 shooters at our monthly shoots we now

attract an average of 7 - 9 squads 35 - 45 shooters since the word has

gotten around. Our club membership has nearly doubled during this

period. This has been a large turn around in the fortunes of our club,

we have no doubt that by giving the shooters a competitive program with

reliable and consistent targets we are on a winning formula. I am happy

to be contacted by any club that may be considering installing

Canterbury CT45 traps.

Thanks again to Canterbury.

Bill Slegtenhorst
President RCCTC Mob 0488 488 628




Ian Campbell


In 1964 I joined the ACTA which I have enjoyed to this day. I have seen many changes during this time, in particular to the types of machines used to throw clay targets and the methods used to release them. In the early 1960’s most of Australia’s provincial gun clubs used two styles of traps. The first was the ELEY PLUS trap. It was manually cocked and loaded by a trapper in a secure trap house and also released by him on the shooter’s call. A referee would judge the outcome.  The trapper needed good hearing and reflexes, especially when handicap shooting and also when shooting into a strong wind. The second type of trap was the ELEY SNIPE trap. The machine was cocked by means of a thirty yard rod with a handle positioned behind the 27 yard handicap yard on lane 3 and released by the puller on the shooters call. It also required a trapper in the trap house to load the clay target and a referee.

The clubs in the cities used DAMO electric oscillating traps made in Australia by Dan Mott and they threw acceptable targets. However, astute shooters could predict what angle the target would be thrown, because the oscillation was not interrupted.

In the late 1960’s, after Winchester Australia began manufacturing ammunition in Victoria, they imported the famous Winchester White Flyer trap that had a well deserved reputation. This electric operated trap incorporated an interrupter that made predicting angles far more difficult. Targets were released on the shooter’s call by an electric release button held by the referee but a trapper was still needed to load the machine.

Over the last 20 odd years I have shot over many different makes of hopper fed traps, I have listened to the shooters and the club trap mechanics and I had to come to the conclusion that if only somebody could just sit down and take all of the good qualities of the best DTL traps available and put it all together, the only thing we shooters would have to worry about is hitting the target that it throws.

I have now seen that trap. I have watched it being made and assembled. I have spoken at length to its designers and manufacturer, and also those responsible for the electronics that run it. I have watched it working in the trap house and I have shot over it. It is called the “CANTERBURY TRAPMASTER” and it is the best machine I have seen to date.

I was invited to NZ by Canterbury Trap International Limited, to spend a day in their factory to observe the different stages of manufacturing and assembly of their Trapmaster DTL and Continental machines.

Bruce Rickard, CTI’s Marketing Director met me at the airport and and we drove to the manufacturing facilities in Christchurch. I was introduced to Mike Owens and John East, partners of Prometal Industries. This company specialises in laser cutting, turret punching, fabrication, welding and powder coating. In fact, just about everything you need to produce the mechanical side of this new generation fully automatic trap machine. John is a competitive shot gunner and has a mechanical design background. Attending the “GRAND AMERICAN” in Vandalia, USA, he saw a prototype trap that showed a lot of promise. This trap incorporated the time proven Western 1524 arm and the reliable Western flat-coiled spring, but John could foresee a few inherent problems with the machines design. Canterbury Trap Int entered into an agreement with the machines american designer and then set about remodelling it incorporating some of the best features from their well proven singles machine, the Canterbury Crusader. One of the features incorporated was a single cam system that times all of the operation so that fully automatic singles and doubles can be thrown from this machine with great precision. Another feature is the patented mechanism used for delivering targets onto the Western 1524 throwing arm. This is currently the only known trap capable of loading two targets onto a floating arm. The Trapmaster was born!. 

The only way you can describe this target delivery system is gentle. The targets are actually placed and not dropped onto the arm. What was also very apparent to me was how quiet and smooth the operation is compared to other hopper fed machines that I have observed in the past. The Trapmaster’s hopper holds 600 targets, a substantial number, but with hardly any rattling, clacking or vibration.

The hopper is also very easy to load. After observing safety procedures by using the safety remote switch to isolate the voice release equipment and manually release the arm, you can rotate the turret to any position that makes the target loading easier.

Watching the different manufacturing stages of the Trapmaster was very interesting and for me two stages stood out. The first was seeing the hopper platforms being laser cut, this is a computer controlled process that is incredibly accurate and fast. The laser is capable of cutting up to 20mm thick sheets of mild or stainless steel.

The second was watching the electronic circuitry being made. The whiz who designed the Canterbury Voice Release electronics is Graham Callander, he also designed the electronics for the Trapmaster and Crusader traps. Seeing the computer controlled machine that produces the control boards for the first time was breath taking. The speed that it operated at was quite incredible and I think my hosts were amused by my amazement

Among the many features of the control box is the unreadable interrupt on the oscillation motor that makes it impossible to predict which angle the target will come out. To conserve power and unnecessary wear of the moving parts of the trap, it will switch itself off and go into a sleep mode after two minutes of inactivity.

What will also appeal to gun club management is the display on the control box for both target counting and machine cycles. This is a good way to keep a check on the club’s clay targets.

From electronics we went to the last department and perhaps the most important one, assembly, testing and packaging. This is the domain of Russell Smart, a man who truly loves trap and skeet shooting. Here among stacks of powder coated trap parts, he assembles Trapmasters with painstaking care. He then tests each trap to ensure that it is operating correctly before packing it into an impact resistant crate ready for despatch.

There are a couple of new products recently released and I will touch upon them. At the South Island Championships, CVR’s new wireless voice release system was used on all layouts for the two days and there was not one malfunction. They have also produced a coin/token system for practise traps. This connects to CVR voice release systems and eliminates the need to have club personnel at hand to collect money,thus ensuring that every clay target gets paid for.

Ian Campbell

9 Pulford Grove,

Magill SA 5072