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View Full Version : Bumper Boy Derby Double vs Thunder 500



Zman1001
11-09-2009, 12:11 PM
Hello, I have a question regarding the above two. I have used the search engine and read quite a bit of responses.

My questions are this: Which one would you go with if you had to buy today? And: Why has GunDogSupply.com and DogsAfield.com stopped selling the Bumper Boy and started selling Thunder Equipment Launchers instead?

I really like the compact outfit of the Thunder 500 and you can get 5 shots. I also really like the compact outfit of the Derby Doubles, but it is limited to 2.

I like that the Derby Doubles (or 4 shooter) already come with the electronics to shoot them (I think), and is actually cheaper for 2 units than Thunder 500 unit is.

Feedback and any "rumors" as to why main supply companies are changing from one to the other would be very appreciated.

Have a great day
Doug

dnf777
11-09-2009, 02:04 PM
I asked a similar question a while ago, and fortunately someone suggested I consider winger launchers. I train solo, with one dog, so 5-shot repeats was not something I was likely to use often. For the same price, I now have a winger and two box-type launchers and electronics, and can run triples. Almost the same price. I couldn't be happier with them. Now I'm not limited to specialized bumpers, I can throw bumpers, dokkens, or birds.

Zman1001
11-09-2009, 02:09 PM
Thanks. I will have to check the winger and boxy-type launchers out. Do you have to reload after every shot?

I assume yes, so I never really looked any further. That is why the derby double is appealing to me. I can at least get 2 shots at a minimum before reloading.

Thanks for reply. I am not planning any immediate trip to visit my parents in Sharon, PA area, but I may contact you if I do to see if you would be open to giving me a demo of your set-up.

Have a great day
Doug

Jay Dufour
11-09-2009, 03:15 PM
Yea...Thats if it works at all !

Zman1001
11-09-2009, 03:18 PM
Yea...Thats if it works at all !

Which one? The ones I referenced, or the ones dnf references? Or is it just a blanket statement about all throwers, including human (because I had at least 3 no bird throws yesterday for another handler.....lol).

Any feedback otherwise on anything?

Thanks
Doug

Squirm88
11-09-2009, 03:47 PM
Just from a price perspective, a Thunder 500 + electronics is going to run you $1300 while a Bumper Boy Derby Double with advanced sound will be $800. That's a significant $500 difference. For the $500 difference you can buy an additional Bumper Derby add on and have the capabilities to shoot doubles.

I have a pair of Bumper Boy Derby Doubles myself and I have been pleased so far. I purchased mine used from the classifieds forum and have really assisted me in my ability to train alone. The portability and setup of the Bumper Boys is one of its best features. I have no personal experience with the Thunder equipment.

Kris Hunt
11-09-2009, 03:53 PM
Hi Doug

I primarily use real people in the summer when training heavy, but I've also used wingers and bumper boys. Since I train professionally full time now, I only use the bumper boys and only when I'm doing more drill like stuff. I have one of the original derby doubles from 10 years ago and 2 four shooters, both about 5 years old. I have very few problems with my bumper boys, but I did go through a stage (about several months) where I was totally frustrated working the 'bugs' out. Most of the time it was my own fault (forgot to load, cock, turn on, etc) but other times it was the unit itself.

I have not used the 500's so can't comment and have no idea why some are selling those now. I know the customer service at Bumper Boy has slowed down, but they had a big growth spurt too.

In short, I would recommend bumper boys.

Kris

mikeg
11-09-2009, 03:54 PM
I train by myself and find that using 3 Thunder launchers is the way to go.I'm not re-loading constantly and I have the option of throwing a "helper" bird if the dog gets lost.
Mine have all been very reliable and are very easy to set up.

Zman1001
11-09-2009, 04:30 PM
Thanks all. I think it all comes down to personal preference. The BB are less expensive. The Thunder500 is more compact. I do like the MAPP gas to send it off, which means less messing with on reload.

I think in the end though, it appears that cost may win out. As someone pointed out, I can get 2 BB for the price of 1 500 and have 4 shots instead of 5, but be able to shoot them from two locations and in different directions from same location.

Plus, every single person in the local Retriever Club uses BB's, so if any maintenance issues come up after the 1 year warranty expires, there should be someone there that knows how to fix it......lol

Have a great day.
Doug

Thank you all.

dnf777
11-11-2009, 03:07 PM
Thanks. I will have to check the winger and boxy-type launchers out. Do you have to reload after every shot?

I assume yes, so I never really looked any further. That is why the derby double is appealing to me. I can at least get 2 shots at a minimum before reloading.

Thanks for reply. I am not planning any immediate trip to visit my parents in Sharon, PA area, but I may contact you if I do to see if you would be open to giving me a demo of your set-up.

Have a great day
Doug

I'd be happy to show you my set up, and put them through the paces. Yes, they do require "reloading" after each shot, but with one dog (for now) I rarely run repeats, so not an issue for me. The electronics have a buzzer to "help" the dog if it leaves the area. Not as good as a real bird boy, but gets the job done.

PM me when in the area...and bring your dog.

Zman1001
11-11-2009, 03:14 PM
I'd be happy to show you my set up, and put them through the paces. Yes, they do require "reloading" after each shot, but with one dog (for now) I rarely run repeats, so not an issue for me. The electronics have a buzzer to "help" the dog if it leaves the area. Not as good as a real bird boy, but gets the job done.

PM me when in the area...and bring your dog.

Thanks.

Will do.

Jay Dufour
11-11-2009, 07:06 PM
Any brand winger or pop box....to us....is light years more reliable than any of the multi shot products....and I have had three Max 5000(gave away) three Thunderbirds (sold all for 200.00) Three bumper boy 12 shooters with all bells and whistles....sold all for 2400.00 after 1 year.Four Zinger Wingers...no problems in six years.Two Zinger uplanders....Never a problem in five years.

dnf777
11-11-2009, 09:55 PM
Any brand winger or pop box....to us....is light years more reliable than any of the multi shot products....and I have had three Max 5000(gave away) three Thunderbirds (sold all for 200.00) Three bumper boy 12 shooters with all bells and whistles....sold all for 2400.00 after 1 year.Four Zinger Wingers...no problems in six years.Two Zinger uplanders....Never a problem in five years.

Is that Pine Grove near Ft. Polk? Old stompin' ground. Nice to hear from down there, how are things? Did Rita or Katrina bother you much? I lived in DeRidder, but drove to Sleezville for beer! Dry Parish. :(