The ATA Grand American Challenge
& The Ithaca Gun Company

Shooting USA - The ATA Grand American Challenge

31-1-1It’s winner-take-all for 100 Thousand Dollars.

ATA is the Amateur Trap Association and the largest of the sanctioning bodies for shotgun sports. The biggest event in ATA competition is the Grand American,  nearly two weeks of clay bird shooting at the nation’s largest shooting range in Sparta, Illinois.

31-1-3The old saying – less is more – has no place at this shooting match. At this competition more is more! More than a century of shooting tradition. More than three-thousand clay target shooters from all 50 states and around the world. More than ten days of competition, with more than a half-million dollars in prize money. It’s no wonder they call the World Trapshooting Championships the Grand American. Grand is exactly what it is.

ATA President, Jeff Wagner describes the Grand American: ”I often tell people when I’m talking to them, the trap shoot is outside, right out behind us, where you hear the guns going off.  That’s the trap shoot.  The Grand is on the other side of the fence.  Everything is grand on that side.  That’s where people come and meet their friends. They have a good time… It’s a vacation for trap shooters. They all look forward to it.   

31-1-2And what better place for a match called the Grand than the largest clay target shooting complex on Earth. 120 trap fields, stretching more than three miles, through endless Midwest cornfields. This is the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta, Illinois.

Bill and Lee Ann Martin are responsible for the Grand American $100,000 Challenge, that first began in 2010. Bill says they put up the winner-take-all prize to give something back to the sport they love, and for the excitement the prize creates.

31-1-4The criteria to be one of the ten competitors requires winning one of the 8 Handicap championships held during the Grand American.  The ninth competitor is the one with the highest total handicap scores combined from all 8 events. The tenth competitor is a random draw of all the handicap competitors who participated in at least four of the events during the Grand.



Related Links:


Pro Tip – Sgt. Josh Richmond on Trap Hold Points



USAMU Shotgun Team Member, Josh Richmond shows us how to break more targets with the right hold point whatever your handicap trap distance.

View the Pro Tip



Inside Ithaca Gun Company - Made Right in the USA


The Ithaca Gun Company was founded in 1883 taking  the name of the location, Ithaca New York.  The original company made high quality double guns that are very collectible today and in 1937 Ithaca introduced the Model 37 pump gun which was a huge success, until new owners lost the quality and ran the company into the ground.



Now Ithaca is back, in a new location, Upper Sandusky Ohio, thanks to two cousins, reviving the name, the products, and the quality.



Related Links: 

The Ithaca Model 37




Ithaca Variations of the Model 37





The Ithaca Phoenix Over / Under (Not yet on Ithaca Gun Co. Website)



The Phoenix is the only over-under competition gun produced entirely without applying heat to the barrels.  The result produces free-floating, independent barrels that are the truest in the industry.  Suggested Retail $2,500



Contact Ithaca for more Information  
Phone:  877-648-4222  9AM to 5PM  Eastern Time

RCBS Reloading Tip – The Grand Shotshell Loader

31-1-12If you’re going to shoot trap as a competitor, you’re going to be buying a lot of ammo, or you’re going to be reloading your empty hulls. If that’s your choice, you’ll need the RCBS Grand Shotshell press, that comes out of the factory box, ready to load regulation rounds. Kent Sakamoto shows us how.

The Grand will hold a full 25 pound bag of shot and nearly one pound of smokeless powder. Powder and shot charges are controlled by changeable bushings.


31-1-13Place the bushing in the charge bar and insert the charge bar. Secure in place with the charge bar pin. The hoppers each have three positions, off, on and drain.

Kent: We’ll rotate the shot hopper to the on position, the powder hopper to the on position and fill it with powder. Now we’ll install the primer tray, our components are loaded; the grand is an eight station progressive press, we’ll now talk about the individual functions.


31-1-15To begin insert a hull into station 1, cycle the handle to size and de-prime the hull. The hull auto indexes to station 2, where it’s re-primed.

At station 3 the hull travels up the black guide tube to receive a powder drop. Powder will not activate without a hull.

At station 4 place a wad in the tilt out wad guide, cycle the handle to insert the wad.

Station 5 seats the wad and drops a shot charge.

31-1-17Station 6 begins the crimp process.

Station 7 closes the hull and station 8 applies the finish roll crimp and ejects the completed round out of the plate.

Ken : Now that our adjustments are complete. We’re ready to load some shells. The grand is capable of loading four to six hundred rounds an hour once you’re comfortable with the process.

So, an hour loading with the Grand will have you ready for four to six rounds of sporting clays.  The RCBS Grand will make competition more affordable.


More Information from RCBS



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