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: $400.95 ($281 at Amazon shipped Prime)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Function * * * * ½
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 out there 75 yards.
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 $280 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 launch direction and angle were less predictable without having to purchase a separate unit.