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View Full Version : Thunder 100 Shotgun Simulator & Dummy Launcher



tshuntin
04-12-2010, 09:03 PM
What are your thoughts on the Thunder 100's to be used in place of a popper gun for picnic and licensed hunt tests? A club member brought one of these to our picnic and from a safety standpoint, I really liked it. The initial purchase is obviously much more expensive than popper guns and poppers, but if they are reliable long term, it would not take too long to become more economical than popper guns and poppers. Do any of you have one? How do you like it? What are the pro's and con's you see or think? Thanks

LESTER LANGLEY
04-13-2010, 12:05 PM
The only "negative" would be a slight delay as opposed to just pulling the trigger on a pop gun. I personally feel the positives outweigh this "negative" by a long shot. It's a no brainer for me.

LESTER LANGLEY
04-13-2010, 12:07 PM
They were recently used at an Amateur stake, and the gallery never knew until the series was over.

BonMallari
05-22-2010, 03:42 AM
I used one for the last 4 days, the sound was excellent, but the "trigger mechanism/button " is a PITA and very unreliable, the strap needs a pad to stay in place on your shoulder...I did not use it to launch any dummies...I did not like the price when I asked about it..but for areas where a shotgun is not an option or a starter pistol doesnt have enough pop, the simulator is the way to go

Joe Dutro
05-22-2010, 08:02 AM
I used one for the last 4 days, the sound was excellent, but the "trigger mechanism/button " is a PITA and very unreliable, the strap needs a pad to stay in place on your shoulder...I did not use it to launch any dummies...I did not like the price when I asked about it..but for areas where a shotgun is not an option or a starter pistol doesnt have enough pop, the simulator is the way to go
As for the cost-- If you factor in what popers cost it doesn't take very long to pay for the unit.
At $10 for a box of popers your looking at 40 boxes to equal the cost of the Thunder 100 plus 2 cans of Mapp gas. So after 1000 shots the unit is paid for plus you still have around 200 free shots coming. Anything after the first 1000 shot is going to run you about a penny a shot vs .40 cents a shot for a poper load. And I'm assuming that the poper gun was free.
Plus the safty factor- All of my children help me train-13,11, and 6 years old. I feel better with them in the field with a T100 than a poper gun.
Joe

counciloak
07-10-2010, 01:21 AM
I love mine, my only complaint is that people keep dropping it on the ground and jarring the Map gas can sideways. It is screwed to the back with no support to keep the can from breaking off! For about $400.00 that shouldn't be a concern. It sounds like a shotgun, but costs about as much as a primer pistol to operate. It's awesome!

Joe

Howard N
07-10-2010, 02:41 AM
One of my training partners has had two of them, one died and he replaced if. I can't make them work very often and he has trouble also. My Gun X has never had a misfire.

tshuntin
10-18-2010, 01:09 PM
Does anyone have any further reviews on these lately? Our club may be faced with a situation that we may need to switch to something like this instead of popper guns. I would like to hear further reviews or of any improvements made if any. Thanks

Joe Dutro
10-18-2010, 03:12 PM
Does anyone have any further reviews on these lately? Our club may be faced with a situation that we may need to switch to something like this instead of popper guns. I would like to hear further reviews or of any improvements made if any. Thanks
I think the reviews are good so far. They cost less to operate and are much safer than popper guns.
Joe

Troy B
10-19-2010, 08:24 PM
I don't own one but used a handfull of them for several days. The sound was good but inconsistant, the bird boys at times struggled to get them going. Good idea but untill they prefect it some more I'll stick with my 870 and poppers/primers.

Thomas D
10-19-2010, 09:29 PM
Sound good but inconsistent.
Cannister can bend easily in the receptical
Much cheaper to use if working correctly.
Strap needs improvement.
Customer service seems to be very good.

retrieverfever
11-15-2010, 10:44 PM
Does anyone have any further reviews on these lately? Our club may be faced with a situation that we may need to switch to something like this instead of popper guns. I would like to hear further reviews or of any improvements made if any. Thanks

The new simulators have been used successfully for licensed field trials and shown at Super Retriever Series Events. At a recent field trial when the weather was really bad and they had consistent problems with poppers and shotguns, the simulators replaced shotguns with no problems. Normally participants and trainers cannot tell the difference. In most cases the sound from the simulator carries farther and with more authority than a standard shotgun popper. Trainers (both pro and amateur) using the simulators today are saving hundreds of dollars over buying popper shells and there is no argument that a shotgun sound is superior to primers for any training situation.

Like any piece of equipment some user training and experience helps. Usually with about 2 minutes of proper training any novice user can be taught to effectively activate the simulators. They are much safer than standard popper loads and don't require any cleaning.

Best advice is try one for yourself and form your own opinion. Odds are you won't be dissappointed.

YardleyLabs
11-15-2010, 11:01 PM
They are a bit of a PITA to juggle and there is a learning curve to timing the shot so that the 5-6 second delay between beginning the charge and actually firing does not become a problem. That aside, the cost per shot is low, the sound is a little less directional, but just as loud or louder than a popper. Much easier on the ears than a 22 starter pistol; not as nice as a popper gun but, given the quality of a lot of the guns and the poppers, more reliable.

tshuntin
11-15-2010, 11:55 PM
The new simulators have been used successfully for licensed field trials and shown at Super Retriever Series Events. At a recent field trial when the weather was really bad and they had consistent problems with poppers and shotguns, the simulators replaced shotguns with no problems. Normally participants and trainers cannot tell the difference. In most cases the sound from the simulator carries farther and with more authority than a standard shotgun popper. Trainers (both pro and amateur) using the simulators today are saving hundreds of dollars over buying popper shells and there is no argument that a shotgun sound is superior to primers for any training situation.

Like any piece of equipment some user training and experience helps. Usually with about 2 minutes of proper training any novice user can be taught to effectively activate the simulators. They are much safer than standard popper loads and don't require any cleaning.

Best advice is try one for yourself and form your own opinion. Odds are you won't be dissappointed.

Retrieverfever, are you employed by this company? It seems most of your posts on RTF are related to Thunder equipment. If so, please PM me as i would like to talk to you further. Per your last sentence about trying one and forming my own opinion, I would absolutely love to, but not at a cost of 8-10 of these for our club... Any reviews or feedback I can get from people actually using them is very helpful to our decision making and risk management.

Terry A
03-25-2012, 01:15 AM
Members of out club are also looking at buying several of these. I know we will buy a few to test but if successful who knows

Angie B
03-25-2012, 08:16 AM
Members of out club are also looking at buying several of these. I know we will buy a few to test but if successful who knows

I'm looking forward to giving them a try. I've heard a lot of good things about them. In this Texas wind their blast will be a plus. No more double "pops" on a long punch bird.

Angie

John Lash
03-25-2012, 09:42 AM
I don't own one, but people in our training group have them so I've used them.

The previous comments were old so I thought I would add mine.

The simulator works great. Nice loud "boom." In my opinion the problems with the strap, bent mapp canisters, and ease of use all get better if you put the strap over your shoulder with the canister facing to the front.

I've never seen their instructions and maybe that's what they say, but it just works better for me that way.

BrettG
03-25-2012, 09:13 PM
I've used these a ton. (two seasons of SRS events) We did the first event with these with a crew of 5 kids that were 15 and 16. The learning curve for the kids was about 5 minutes and a dollars worth of gas. Boy they had fun, and if these kids couldn't blow them up they won't explode. Kids treated them as potato guns shooting all kind of stuff (which I don't recommend but a golf ball can be shot about 150 yds if you can balance it in the tube)
The smaller mapp gas cans are easier to handle and I actually tested with all kinds of gas and even the cheap propane for heaters work. The only issue I had was one of the four we had had an igniter that wasn't consistent so whoever had this one had to be prepared to push the button again quickly.

Given a choice of these or poppers I'll take these.

Joe Dutro
03-25-2012, 09:20 PM
My 8 year old does walking singles with my Thunder 100. For those who say they are hard to use maybe he can show you how to properly use it.;)

2labs
05-16-2012, 02:57 PM
Looking for updated reviews for this product? Any one else have a coment good or bad?

Thanks
Dave

tshuntin
05-23-2012, 02:04 AM
Looking for updated reviews for this product? Any one else have a coment good or bad?

Thanks
Dave

Our club has four of them and have now used them for two HT seasons including picnic tests. We started with two to test out and instantly liked them enough to buy two more. We just had our Licensed test this past weekend and used them in our double junior and double senior tests and one master series. They worked pretty well flawlessly. We may go ahead and buy a few more and completely go away from using popper guns at our events. Big investment upfront, but serious savings longer term, as long as the hold up well for several years. I would guess over the weekend our four shotgun simulators were fired around 500-600 times between them. I think that would be equivilent useage to less than one $10 bottle of Map gas. Shooting that same amount of poppers would cost more than $200.

Angie B
05-23-2012, 06:52 AM
I've been using mine now for over a week and love it. It took my bird boy all of 2 days to get the timing down with loading the gas and firing. Very consistent and loud. He likes it better then a starter pistol because he doesn't have to remember to reload the gun.

Angie

rider
07-16-2012, 12:27 PM
i agree with troy b . they sound great and a good concept but are very unreliable and cosistent. some type of new strapping needs updated and trigger needs looked at to be more consistent.

2labs
07-16-2012, 01:53 PM
I was told by a couple of people who own these, that there is an elbow in the inside tube that if you remove it you will get a louder "bang" has anyone else removed this elbow??

Thanks
Dave

tshuntin
07-18-2012, 12:34 PM
We have not done that, but nor do I personally see a need for a louder bang than what they produce.

Joe Dutro
09-13-2012, 06:34 AM
Thunder just announced a LOWER price on the T100 Shotgun Simulator.
$299

Just thought everyone might want to know.

Glenn Norton
09-13-2012, 11:09 AM
Pro's: Cheaper to use

Cons: Awkward to use
Sound inconsistant
Problems when new gunners are using it

For personal use, once you get used to the timing issues and carry problems, it will work great. But, if you are using it for a club trial, with inexperienced gunners, it will pose lots of problems. No birds, inconsistant sound etc.