Gear Review: Champion Workhorse Electronic Trap

Busting clays is a blast (no pun intended)! But if you’ve used one of those spring-loaded manual traps or the hand-held plastic whip things, you know the definition of frustration. Traditionally, electronic traps have been too large, heavy, and expensive for casual clay busters, but Champion’s Workhorse Electronic Trap has set out to change that.

Weighing in at only 32 pounds, the Workhorse is easy enough for one person to schlep from home to car and car to range. Its 50-bird magazine simply slides on and off the top, and the elevation-adjusting rear “foot” folds in. If needed, the front legs can be quickly removed, too, with just a socket wrench. At that point, the Workhorse’s footprint is pretty darn small (about 20″x10″x10″).

Out of the box, initial assembly took me all of 15 minutes. With that done, it’s then transportable and range-ready in under a minute.

The rear foot adjusts to three positions for launching clays at a 14 degree, 20 degree, or 27 degree angle. Adjusting the Workhorse’s spring tension varies throw distance from short up to 55 or 75 yards depending on angle.

A foot pedal remote has 25 feet of cord. Champion also sells an optional wireless remote if you want to be up to 100 yards from the trap.

The entire shebang runs off a 12 volt battery. I picked up this little 10-pound job specifically for use with the Workhorse, but even a smaller battery could run this trap all day. If your car is close enough, you could simply connect it to your car battery.

In exchange for the light weight and lower MSRP, the Workhorse does have a slower reset time than Champion’s more professional traps. Standing on the foot pedal remote results in one clay being launched every 2.5 seconds. That’s plenty fast enough to be fun, but isn’t as challenging as their Easybird series’ one-second reset time.

We found the Workhorse to be perfectly reliable and plenty of fun. Busting clays with friends — a little friendly competition, maybe some side betting — makes for a great afternoon. TTAG has thoroughly enjoyed testing it (and taking some cash off of RF).

That said, this thing could be more challenging. It reliably throws clays in basically the same direction, speed, and arc every time. If you get bored with that, Champion sells an oscillating wobble base for the Workhorse, which would certainly liven things up, but that costs as much as the trap does.

Obviously some sucker could manually move the foot around and vary the direction and trajectory of each shot, but be careful. That launcher arm whips around fast! You do not want to be in its way.

On that note, the Workhorse ships with a keep-your-distance protective loop — akin to caution tape to mark the danger zone — which can been seen in the second photograph near the top of this review, but I managed to lose it in the move from Washington to Texas. Just make sure to stay clear of the arm’s swing zone and sign my little waiver, and we’re good.

Specifications: Champion Workhorse Electronic Trap

Weight: 32 pounds
Cycle Time:
2.5 seconds
Magazine Capacity:
50 clays
Launch Angle Adjustment:
three adjustment settings — 14 degrees, 20 degrees, and 27 degrees
Throwing Range:
up to 75 yards
Foot Pedal Cord Length:
25 feet
Compatible Clay Sizes:
accepts both 108 mm and 110 mm clays
Available Accessories:
wobble base, wireless remote, taxi, and storage cover
MSRP:
$359.95 (on Amazon for $259.99 shipped Prime)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Function * * * *
It works. Zero issues. Of the hundreds of clays we put through it, only one broke on launch. A better record than most. And it really will whip ’em 75 yards out there.

Convenience * * * * *
The Workhorse is extremely easy to set up on the range, connecting it to a little 12v battery or to the one in your rig. It’s compact and light enough to easily fit in any SUV or even in the trunk of a small sedan. And it’s a heck of a lot easier to use than any of those manual traps or throwers, achieving faster, farther launches.

Customize This * * * *
Launch angle and distance are adjustable as is. Champion offers accessories like a wobble base and wireless remote for more clay throwing options.

Overall * * * *
With a typical retail price of around $260 and a portable, easy-to-use form factor, the Workhorse makes the electronic trap experience much more accessible to the hobbyist. It does an excellent job, too. We just wish the launch direction and angle were less predictable without having to purchase a separate unit.

comments

  1. avatar -Peter says:

    Would be easier with a Kalashnikov US109T.

  2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “A foot pedal remote has 25 feet of cord.”

    Not enough. Minimum distance from shooter to trap is 16 yards (48 feet), up to 27 yards.

    I don’t get it. Why does a company produce an otherwise fine product and cheap-out with the cord length to save a few pennies? I have the same problem with mice and keyboards.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      “Sales” Manager thought that would make you jump for the ‘wireless’ remote. Aww shucks.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        You’re probably right, Joe.
        But my solution would be an extension cord and a pair of wire strippers.

        1. avatar Timmy! says:

          I prefer my strippers with a little meat on their bones… wait, not THAT kind of stripper? Never mind.

    2. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

      Minimum distance in your world Curtis. Some of us just strap it up and have a good time shooting stuff outside the official rules.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Hey Gray, bust ’em any way you want. I don’t care. You can use a 75 ft. cord and stand 2 feet from the thrower, but not vice-versa. My question was, why not add $2 worth of cord and meet everyone’s needs?

  3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Watching the video, we can see that the thrower tends to jump around. This is a problem that’s common among lightweight throwers. They won’t stay put, they tend to change direction, or work themselves into soft ground, changing the trajectory.

    If you’re just fooling around, adding hardware to mount the thrower on your truck’s hitch receiver is a decent option. Otherwise, I have seen small throwers bolted to truck tires, which works good but is a detriment to portability.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Yes, it did. I didn’t mind because it changed the direction of the launch somewhat. I only end up straightening it out when refilling the clay magazine. Each front leg’s base has a hole in it plus the rear “foot” thing has two, and I think it came with tent stakes though I lost some of that stuff in the move from WA to TX. It could very easily be staked down on the right sort of ground. If on concrete or whatever, it’s going to slide a bit unless you use a sandbag or something to hold it in place.

  4. avatar Joe R. says:

    How far will it throw a small jar of Tannerite?

    jk

    Except for ‘the wild’ I haven’t been to a place where I could break clays that didn’t have a thrower or trap set-up (on the field). But it looks like good one. I’d get the wobble or work out some type of variant for the aim.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Have you seen those .22 LR target explosive pucks (like these)? They’re a little plastic clamshell like the size of a silver dollar that you fill with the explosive, and they typically have double-sided tape on the back. I’ve stuck those to the underside of clays and shot them from the air. Good times 🙂

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        No, I hadn’t heard of those. That would tend to up the fun factor. It would be a great prank, if pranking on a shotgun range was anywhere near a good idea.

        So hitting / breaking the clay is good enough to set it off or you have to dust it? Short straw gets to go retrieve the misses?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          The rimfire ones do go off more easily than the normal ones, but you still need a solid hit with birdshot to make it happen. I ran high speed steel hunting loads when I did it.

      2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Note to self: Get some .22LR Tannerite pucks to tape under clay targets for enhanced trap shooting.

        Note to others: Wear eye protection in case the tannerite sends shards of clay in your general direction.

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Jeremy.
    Would you please stop reviewing cool stuff so I get a moment to bandage up my bank account?

    Oh and would someone fix this darn website so I don’t have to fill in my name and email addy every time I feel like commenting!

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      The website was fixed. Go into your browser settings and clear your cookies for TTAG. That should resolve it so the next time you fill in your info it saves it and you won’t have to re-enter it every time.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “The website was fixed. Go into your browser settings and clear your cookies for TTAG.”

        With all due respect, it is not fixed.

        I’ve cleared the individual TTAG cookie and the problem is still there.

        Then I cleared *all* the cookies and the problem is still there. Shutting down the browser and restarting the browser after clearing them does not help the issue.

        We aren’t hallucinating this, Jeremy, a number of other TTAGers are also reporting the same issue.

        Can I please see a show of hands from any others who are impacted by this?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Hmm okay. It worked for me! I was having the identical issue and clearing my cookies resolved it (using Chrome). I cleared my cache as well but that wasn’t supposed to be relevant. Anyway…I’ll run it up the chain.

          BTW I know some people mentioned it doesn’t happen from a mobile device but does on their computer. This is a good indication, if you’re experiencing this scenario, that it is browser settings-related.

        2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I’ve been dealing with this spam trap for months now, and as of the last week, I have to fill in my handle and email address every single time. This means I get no opportunity to edit a post after having made it, I can’t see my posts show up in the context of a thread until minutes to days later, and I don’t know whether my post has even been accepted or not.

          It’s gotten well past tired, because I haven’t the time to deal with such nonsense.

        3. avatar Geoff PR says:

          FYI, the browser on this end is a currently updated Firefox.

          If there are some *specific* settings I need to make, please let me know.

          And thanks…

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Gonna google how to do that…
        That or find some 12 year old kid and have him do it for me.

  6. avatar Hoyden says:

    It is good to be the King…PULL

  7. avatar Randy Eickenhorst says:

    Hey Jeremy, Looks like a great machine. I had a great laugh tonight. Our 4H rifle coach sent me your link asking if I had seen this machine/review. I told him “no, but that is a great looking range”. He had completely missed that you had shot that video out on our range. Anytime you want to try out a shotgun or shoot at skeet from the actual trap or skeet house let me know and we would be glad to meet you out there and help you out. Also, if you ever had a youth gun you want to try give us a call.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Awesome; I love it! 🙂

      We’ll keep that in mind RE youth guns. And I’m decent at trap and sporting clays but SUCK at skeet. I’ll only shoot skeet if nobody’s around to witness it haha

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  10. avatar jeiy says:

    Hey Jeremy, this was a superfine article very helpful it greatly helped me to achieve new goals and ideas looking forward for more articles from your…thank you very much keep up the good work.

  11. avatar jeiy3110 says:

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