August 31, 2023
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Much like its name, “Front Toward Enemy” is also an important consideration for Caldwell’s latest creation — the Caldwell Claymore Target Thrower. It’s a clay pigeon thrower that quite literally “steps” up the game when it comes to clay target throwers. The big news about this unique thrower is that it is entirely mechanical, so no battery needed! It’s operated with a foot pedal, and it does everything an electric single-target thrower can do and then some.
Caldwell is well-known as one of the top accessories brands in the shooting game. From their Lead Sleds and chronographs to their new steel targets and hearing protection, Caldwell has proven itself an innovator, and the new Claymore keeps with that tradition. There are other mechanical target throwers on the market, but the Claymore sets itself apart with its foot-pedal charging operation. Most other throwers are charged by pulling an arm back, then pulling a release cord to send a clay target. It’s not a big deal if you have a friend to pull for you, but it’s highly challenging to pull and shoot a target by yourself. It's also far easier to step down to charge the thrower than pull a lever back, and it makes it much safer, too. It’s always a good idea to keep your hands and head away from fast-moving mechanical arms.
Multi-Purpose and Adjustable
The Claymore is surprisingly adjustable for a mechanical thrower. The throwing springs can be adjusted to launch a clay target from 50 yards to about 70 yards, depending on your shooting preference. You can also adjust the angle of launch for a high or low shoot.
When shooting, the Claymore has two modes. First, there is a standard, manual mode. Charge the Claymore with the charge pedal, then step on the release pedal to throw a clay. It also has a “Flurry Mode” for fast-action targets. With the flurry mode, the Claymore can launch targets as fast as you can step on the charging pedal. With a little practice, you can fill the air with an unbelievable number of clays for a mechanical thrower. With a 50-clay hopper, you’ll burn through shells and clays a lot faster than you’d think.
Transportation is also incredibly easy with the Claymore. The entire unit only weighs 35 pounds, and it folds up to a compact shape for easy carry and transportation. Setup is quick and easy, and the included setup instructions are a breeze to follow.
Field Tips and Operation
My Claymore worked perfectly in the field, which is impressive for a complicated mechanical device. However, there are a few tips and tricks that will prevent some potential issues. Firstly, always have at least five clays loaded into the hopper. The hopper is gravity-powered, so you need a bit of weight to keep the clays loading properly. As your shooting, keep an eye on the clay level as you shoot, then reload once you hit that five-clay mark.
When you first use the Claymore, you’ll want to press the foot pedal as hard as possible. Don’t! It doesn’t actually take that much pressure to charge the Claymore, and if you step on the pedal too hard, you will end up breaking the clays during the throw. When you first set it up, go slow and light, then work your way up to the perfect amount of pressure to run the Claymore as fast as you like. It only takes a few throws to figure that out, and it will save you a lot of broken clays and frustration.
Speaking of shooting quickly, make sure you release the foot pedal quickly and completely while in flurry mode. If you release the foot pedal too slowly, then the lever will catch like it’s in manual mode. If this happens, just hit the foot release and try again. It only takes a minute to figure out these tips and tricks, and then you’ll be running as smooth as an electric thrower.
If you’ve even been to 4-H, boy scouts, or a smaller high school trap shoot, you’ve probably seen someone bring out a clunky single-target electric thrower hooked up to a car battery. Now, I’m not knocking these throwers. They work great and have created a lot of fun times, but the Claymore does the same thing without a battery, in a smaller design and at a lot better price. MSRP on the Claymore is only $330. Most electric throwers start at that price or higher without a car battery, and they can’t throw nearly as fast as the Claymore’s Flurry mode.
All-in-all, the Caldwell Claymore is an impressive target thrower. Of all its features, I think the most impressive aspect of the Claymore I saw is how consistent and reliable it is. It throws the same way each time, and I never had issues with it breaking clays. Provided you operate it correctly, it’s a design that won’t ever give you trouble, and you’ll never need to worry about a dead battery. Whether you’re in a position to teach new shooters, need some practice before a pheasant hunt, or just want to have some fun breaking clays, the Caldwell Claymore fits the bill.
About the Author
Jack Oller is a U.S. Army veteran, having served in the Military Police with one deployment to the Camp VI Detention Facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has extensive firearms training from military and civilian schools and is a passionate shotgun shooter and hunter. Jack has an English degree from Illinois State University, and he started his career in the outdoor industry as Associate Editor for Guns & Ammo magazine. After Gun & Ammo, he worked as Brand Manager for Crimson Trace and now is the Digital Editor for Firearms News.
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