The 10 Best Target Throwers

Updated March 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

Best High-End
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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you know that clay pigeons are not garden lawn ornaments, then maybe you'll want to check out one of these target throwers that will help you improve your shooting accuracy anytime you feel like practicing. We've found the best manual and automatic models, so whether you are at the range solo or with your friends, you'll have what you need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best target thrower on Amazon.

10. MTM EZ-3

At 20 inches long, the MTM EZ-3 gives you enough leverage to really launch clays fast and far. It can be used by both right- and left-handed throwers and has a sturdy construction that should last through years of heavy use.
  • contoured hand grip
  • throws only standard clays
  • can get tiring after a while
Brand MTM
Model EZ-3
Weight 8.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Do-All Outdoors Backyard Clayhawk

The Do-All Outdoors Backyard Clayhawk offers an impressive 100-yard throwing distance and can be adjusted to any angle or plane. Additionally, it accepts standard to mini clays, and everything in between, making it a truly versatile unit.
  • durable steel and aluminum build
  • auto returns to three-quarters cock
  • poor assembly instructions
Brand Do-All Outdoors
Model BY34
Weight 21.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

8. Trius 2 Birdshooter

The intelligently designed Trius 2 Birdshooter can be adjusted fully by hand, so you can always change your throw direction or path, even when you have set up the unit far afield and away from your toolkit. It comes with a helpful high angle target retainer, too.
  • can be held in place with one foot
  • light enough to pick up and carry
  • pull cord is low quality
Brand Trius
Model 10220
Weight 12.3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Do-All Outdoors Raven

The Do-All Outdoors Raven is equipped with built-in wheels, so you can get it to and from your shooting area easily. It's also simple to adjust the throwing plane and has an impressive 80-yard range, making it great for long-distance and constantly-changing practice.
  • 25-foot cord on foot pedal
  • rarely ever breaks a clay
  • scratch-resistant matte finish
Brand Do-All Outdoors
Model RAV1
Weight 47.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

6. SureThrow Handheld

The SureThrow Handheld lets you show off your skills to onlookers, as it can launch two targets at once. It looks great, yet is extremely affordable, so you can spend more money on guns and ammo, rather than waste it all on a target thrower.
  • available varnished or plain
  • comfortable for lefties and righties
  • good for all-weather use
Brand SureThrow
Model pending
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Champion WheelyBird Auto-Feed

The Champion WheelyBird Auto-Feed is a high quality and lightweight unit that is easily transported to and from the range, making it suitable for private ownership and professional training or competition. It can get over 3,000 throws before depleting a 12v battery.
  • relatively easy to assemble
  • removable magazine for portability
  • takes just two seconds to cycle
Brand Champion Traps and Targ
Model 40909
Weight 51 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Trius One-Step

The Trius One-Step requires, as the name suggests, only a single step to cock and release the target, so one person can be both the thrower and shooter. It's great for those days when you feel like practicing but can't find a buddy to help out on the range.
  • throws singles and doubles
  • easy to adjust the tension and angle
  • stays firmly in place when throwing
Brand Trius
Model 10201
Weight 25.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Do-All Outdoors ST234

If you want to kick back and relax when it is your turn to launch the clays, then you'll definitely appreciate the seat built into the Do-All Outdoors ST234. This model features a patented three-pivot mount system that allows you to throw targets in any trajectory.
  • can mount to 2-inch trailer hitches
  • safe locking trigger
  • takes minimal effort to operate
Brand Do-All Outdoors
Model ST234
Weight 43.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. WingOne W1-R

The WingOne W1-R sports a clever design that's easier to load and use than many other manual models. The device cocks automatically as you pull back, and has a smooth, fluid release as your arm extends, so you can throw farther and faster.
  • doesn't require any maintenance
  • accommodates many types of clay
  • produces straight and arced throws
Brand WingOne
Model W1-R
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Champion EasyBird

The Champion EasyBird features an auto-feed system that can hold 50 clays, so you don't have to worry about constantly reloading. It throws targets as far as 65 yards easily, which is more than enough for most shooters, and it can also be adjusted down to 55 yards.
  • targets come off the arm smoothly
  • adjustable launch angle
  • cycles in just one second
Brand Champion Traps and Targ
Model 40910
Weight 80 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Shotgun Target Shooting

In the 21st century, the shotgun is a nearly ubiquitous firearm that sees use for everything from sport shooting to law enforcement. There are few sounds more evocative and, given the context, more chilling than the distinctive noise a pump-action shotgun makes as shell is ratcheted into the barrel.

The forerunners to modern shotguns were first developed and used in Europe in the 16th century, with England's King Henry VIII noted for having been particularly fond of the firearms then known as arquebuses and often referred to as haile shotte pieces[sic] -- or "hail shot pieces", as the clusters of small shot they fired resembled hailstones.

Shotguns came into their own during the 19th century for sport, hunting, and martial purposes. Their use as weapons of defense atop stagecoaches gave rise to the now common word for a vehicle's passenger seat, the shotgun seat. And the effectiveness of a shot-based weapon for use by mounted troops was displayed again and again during the American Civil War as well as the many conflicts between American and native peoples that took place during the 1800s.

In the 20th century, shotguns were a regular feature in the horrific warfare of World War I, their fire pattern proving grimly effective in the trenches of that catastrophic conflict. Shotguns were also used by every major army of World War II, by Americans fighting in Vietnam, in the Persian Gulf War of the 1990s, and in most every conflict of that century.

As a hunting and sporting tool, shotguns have played an equally large yet less grisly role in the modern era. Hunters and sport shooters today have at their disposal not only fine arms and ammunition, but also great training aids in the many target throwers currently available. A good target thrower can help the modern fowler perfect his or her aim before the next hunt, or it can provide hours of entertainment among friends or a fine competitive session among serious shooters.

Trapshooting has been popular for well over 200 years, but it was only in the later 1800s that clay "pigeons" replaced actual live birds for the purpose of practice and competitive shooting. Initially, these clays were launched by hand or by a handheld thrower; the first automatic target launcher was developed in the first decade of the 20th century.

Trap shooting has never wained in popularity; it has been an Olympic sport since the games of 1900, and there are many national and international competitions held every year. Many teams train all year round, and their members are considered professional athletes. Of course, target shooting is also wildly popular as a recreational activity for amateur enthusiasts.

Choosing A Handheld Target Thrower

There are many good reasons to consider a handheld clay thrower. First and foremost, these target throwers are very affordable, with some units costing around $10.

Handheld target throwers are also very compact and lightweight. Most such units can easily be tucked into a suitcase or hiking pack, and can be carried over long distances thanks to their low weight. It is also remarkably easy to use a handheld model thanks to the natural throwing motion inherent in their operation.

However, handheld target throwers also have several drawbacks. It's almost impossible to use a thrower and a shotgun at the same time, so a shooter must have at least one companion in the party to get the benefits of the device. A manual thrower's distance is limited by the arm strength and control of its user, which often means closer-range and less challenging shots.

And finally, the time it takes to reload clay discs after each throw is certainly brief, but it can't compare to the split second intervals with which many electrically powered target throwers can offer.

Choosing A Mechanical Target Thrower

If you and your shooting companions are serious about your shotgun use, then by all means consider an electric target thrower. While these units can cost many hundreds of dollars, they can't be matched in terms of throw distance and speed, as well as ease of use once they have been set up. Note that many such units also require separate 12 volt batteries as a power source, which can add to their cost.

An electric thrower is a great choice for the shooter practicing his or her aim alone, as many feature foot pedals that allow for easy release even while a proper shooting stance and grip are preserved.

For the shooter not ready to invest in an electric target thrower but who wants more range and power than a handheld unit can provide, there are several devices that use elastic bands to propel discs aloft. While their setup can be tricky, these units can match many electric throwers in terms of speed and distance, if not in terms of rate of fire, so to speak. They do usually require a companion for proper use, however.

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Last updated on March 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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