Launcher for a beginner? [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

: Launcher for a beginner?

09-29-2010, 03:35 PM
What is the best launcher for a beginner, who trains by themselves to get without breaking the bank?

Mike Tome
09-29-2010, 03:39 PM
I've had very good luck with my Birds Up FeatherweightRC. You can check them out here (

Mark L
09-29-2010, 03:50 PM
Are you looking for a bird launcher or a dummy launcher?

Thomas D
09-29-2010, 04:50 PM
Most use Gunners Up or Zinger Winger.

09-29-2010, 05:04 PM
Zinger winger is great if you can get two they work amazing

Brian Skibicki
09-29-2010, 07:13 PM
As a Gunners Up Dealer I will be glad to give you some pricing. I encourage you to buy with a long term plan of building up your equipment that is versatile, economical, and made to last. Personally, I think Gunners Up meets all of those criteria. Let me know if I can help you.

09-29-2010, 09:12 PM
I encourage you to buy with a long term plan of building up your equipment that is versatile, economical, and made to last. .

Great advice.

When you buy the best, you only cry once (and this isn't necessarily and endorsement of one product or another).

Most of the high quality stuff will be with you for decades.

09-30-2010, 08:26 AM
What is it about a launcher that makes it better than another for the beginner?

I use gunners up original. Easy set up and take down and will throw bumpers and birds. I have three so can throw a triple.

If I could only by one type of launcher, it would have to be able to throw real ducks.

If I had the funds, trained alone, had to walk out to re-bird, and had more than a couple of dogs, I'd likely add three bumper boy 4 shooters so that I wouldn't have as much re-birding to do.

Wayne Nutt
09-30-2010, 06:33 PM
Launchers aren't generally available on the cheap. Bumper Boy two shooters are $500-600 each. I have four.
Zinger Wingers are almost $500 for field trialers and slightly less for ZW II. I have two of each. Then you have to buy the electronics for each which runs $100+ for each. I have four Tritronics zinger controls.

I didn't buy it all at once but started with two BB and one ZW and kept adding.

09-30-2010, 08:50 PM
I am happy with my featherweights from Retriever Specialists. I chose them because no fuel or shells needed, just a battery to charge. Also the capability for remote launch is included, not an add on.

I am a female and carry two of them on foot over all kinds of terrain without any huff or puff!

My friends were skeptical but we've launched ducks pigeons dokkens bumpers. The only drawback is sound, need to work on that. With the wind here, the optional speaker is maybe not so optional.

10-01-2010, 01:19 PM
I was in your position a year or so ago and made a similar post. I suspect you are like me ... only 1-2 dogs and primarily train alone. I was most influenced by the feedback concerning which launcher was more/less reliable, which could launch multiple bumpers, etc. I kinda looked over the advice to buy a launcher that would handle birds. Regardless, after weighing all the advice ... and ignoring some ... I purchased a Bumper Boy 4 shooter. 4 shooter has worked flawlessly, can launch in two different directions, launches multiple bumpers, etc ..... really a nice piece of equipment. You can do the same with the 2 shooter which is cheaper, just have to reload more often. However, as I progressed with traning it became obvious that I had to have something that could handle birds. Wound up purchasing a ZW winger ... in fact two ...which veworked extremely well. I looked back at my old post and several suggested .... buy yourself 2 wingers for the price of one BB or Thunder 500. Was really sound advice. I still use the BB but find myself using the wingers about 80% of the time. As others have posted, there are several winger manufacturers. I won't weigh in on which is best because I have only used the ZW. As mentioned earlier, I have been totally satisfied with the ZW. So, if I was limited to only one launcher I would go with a winger. If I could have two, would likely go with two wingers. If I could have three I would go with what I have, 2 wingers and a BB 4 shooter.

10-01-2010, 01:54 PM
When I started I bought a pair of wingers and tri tronics electronics. I then added 3 max 5000. Next added another winger, then a box launcher, then 2 more max's. I have now sold all my max's and bought 3 BB 4 shooters. Now I have 3 wingers and 1 zinger uplander box launcher and 1 BB 4 shooter. Honestly, my favorite of the group is the box launcher. No, it doesn't throw as far as regular winger but it doesn't require a holding blind or hay bale in the field to hide. It will throw flyers as well. I almost never use the bumper boy.

Howard N
10-01-2010, 04:48 PM
I own 3 bumper boys and 5 Gunner's Ups. I almost never use the bumper boys and use the Gunner's Ups almost every day.

Keith Stroyan
10-06-2010, 07:34 AM
I own 3 bumper boys and 5 Gunner's Ups. I almost never use the bumper boys and use the Gunner's Ups almost every day.
For me it's the other way around, Bumper Boys most days, GU SOG & Sure Flyte Box launcher once in a while. If I wanted to be "competitive" in FT's (like Howard), I'd have to use birds more.

So it depends on your situation.

(The Gunner's Up Son of a Gun is more convenient for me to haul in a SUV. The big ones do throw farther.)

10-06-2010, 08:05 PM
get three wingers with remotes to get started. gu's are less $$$ and mine work great. you can buy used or reconditioned. funny thing seems to be if a person gets nice equipment they don't train alone for long. "if you buy it they will come", next thing you know you got a training group then you are hrc club president.

10-07-2010, 05:04 PM
Go to if you want really good equipment. The trainrite will out perform the GU or Zinger!

Juli H
10-08-2010, 12:09 PM
I know Howard and others have mentioned it...the BB shoot the bumpers too fast for long marks (over 150 yd). I'd say they are not an ideal piece of equip for someone that runs trials. They better for training with if you run hunt tests.

I have 2 derby double BB and 2 wingers. I really like the Bumper boys for transition work and certain drills (marking and blind). I also like them because they are fairly easy to transport. I really like the super bird and canvas bumper boy bumpers, but don't know if they are still available...I'd like to get 2 more derby doubles, sometime down the road.

I love the wingers I have for throwing birds with. I have wakiahkum wingers (the aluminum ones) which I have upgraded with Train Rite releases - which I really love..I am going to eventually get the popper shooter (can't remember who makes it) to put on them as well, so I can simulate test conditions even more... And I am going to put eyehooks on the front two legs of the winger so I can load the winger by pulling one bungee at a time....

I have hauled zingers and days end wingers into the field and the wakiahkum tripod wingers are much easier to carry and set up, IMO...


Keith Stroyan
10-12-2010, 11:01 AM
I know Howard and others have mentioned it...the BB shoot the bumpers too fast for long marks (over 150 yd).
Try Brown (#2?) charges and angle back throws (about distance a person throws). Dogs really can't follow a long "square" (rt angle to line) throw with a Retrieve-R-Trainer and heavy charges.

Thomas D
10-13-2010, 03:57 PM
ZW are now 10% off with free shipping.