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View Full Version : Thunder 500/1000 or Bumper boy.



mike branham
12-21-2010, 05:03 PM
Which one works best for the money.

Howard N
12-21-2010, 05:41 PM
They both work. The Thunder is a lot faster to set up and use. I like the Thunder better also 'cause I can use my Pro Control units with it.

Joe Dutro
12-21-2010, 05:44 PM
Depends on who you ask. But I like my Thunders. They are easy to set up and reload. Inexpensive to operate. And my TT controls work with both the Thunders and my wingers.
Joe

CanAmMan
12-21-2010, 06:12 PM
Bumper Boys

Misty Marsh
12-22-2010, 08:23 AM
Thunder 500! You can use your controls on wingers when you throw birds, cheap to operate, compact, and reliable. You don't have to worry about bad shells, servo's, or durability if it get's knocked around alittle.

dorkweed
12-22-2010, 02:54 PM
I've got 2 500's. They're great. I used them last week when the weather was in the low teens. I honestly can say they work as well in the cold as the heat.

mikeg
12-22-2010, 04:17 PM
500's-500's-500's-500's

Orion Labradors
12-22-2010, 05:30 PM
Thunder 500's are superior. They don't bounce around on the ground or start fires in dry grass.

mjh345
12-22-2010, 05:49 PM
Thunder 500's are superior. They don't bounce around on the ground or start fires in dry grass.


I vote BB for reliability, and versatility. The Thunder's have gone through numerous transformations and always seem to excite people for a while....until the same old issues pop up again; one of which is their ability to start grassfires

Misty Marsh
12-22-2010, 08:51 PM
I vote BB for reliability, and versatility. The Thunder's have gone through numerous transformations and always seem to excite people for a while....until the same old issues pop up again; one of which is their ability to start grassfires

Don't see this one! The old Max 5000's are a vast departure from the new Thunderbird 500's. When the machine was owned by Etch-Marc it went through 2 variations, but now that it in in new hands with Thunderbird, it's all good! The Thunderbirds are more reliable than a BB, no bad shell issues, bad servo issues, or parts that hang out in the wind to get beat up. The Thunderbird firing chamber is a foot or better off the ground and couldn't see them starting fires.

CanAmMan
12-23-2010, 05:34 AM
Don't see this one! The old Max 5000's are a vast departure from the new Thunderbird 500's. When the machine was owned by Etch-Marc it went through 2 variations, but now that it in in new hands with Thunderbird, it's all good! The Thunderbirds are more reliable than a BB, no bad shell issues, bad servo issues, or parts that hang out in the wind to get beat up. The Thunderbird firing chamber is a foot or better off the ground and couldn't see them starting fires.

I know a guy that had 2 burn up and catch a field on fire.

TIM DOANE
12-23-2010, 05:46 AM
I have owned both. The Max 500 for one day. I bought 3 of the ten shooters and one of them worked. I sent them back. I now own 3 BB 12 shooters and the only trouble so far is the speaker housing breaking. I have had them for 6 months and they get used about every other day.

My advice to you is get a Quad and some wingers. Nothing better than throwing ducks. It's what I use most but the BB's get me through the truck much quicker and are great when you need a double throw.

J. Walker
12-23-2010, 07:56 AM
I have two Bumper Boy Derby Doubles but have used the Thunders in training with other folks. I don't know what it is about the Thunder bumpers but my pup wants nothing to do with them. This is a pup that absolutely loves to pick up birds, plastic bumpers of any brand, canvas bumpers, Dokkens, etc. Heck, I taught him to fetch the paper in less than 30 seconds so it's not like it's a lack of retrieving desire or bad mouth habits. With a Thunder bumper, he gets to it then snaps his head back like he's been bitten by a snake so there's obviously something about the smell that absolutely repels him. I also think the Thunder bumpers are terrible in the water. They ride so low in the water that if there's any glare at all, dogs cannot see them.

That said, when I need accurate launches, I use my Birds Up launchers. The Bumper Boys only launch as accurately as the loads are consistent and the bumper tubes are clean. If some bumpers are gummed up even a little, one launch may be 30-40 yards and the next one may be 80 yards.

John Lash
12-23-2010, 08:13 AM
For your BB, cut 3/4" pvc pipe into pieces about an 1 1/8"- 1 1/4" long. Slide a piece onto the BB barrel. Use a yellow load. There is a good loud report and the bumper only goes as far as a human would throw it, and very consistent.

You can clean the bumpers inside with a 12 gauge cleaning brush.

mjh345
12-23-2010, 09:17 AM
Don't see this one! The old Max 5000's are a vast departure from the new Thunderbird 500's. When the machine was owned by Etch-Marc it went through 2 variations, but now that it in in new hands with Thunderbird, it's all good! The Thunderbirds are more reliable than a BB, no bad shell issues, bad servo issues, or parts that hang out in the wind to get beat up. The Thunderbird firing chamber is a foot or better off the ground and couldn't see them starting fires.

You should have been training with us then, because I have seen multiple fires started by Thunders in the past few months; one of which came close to getting out of control

mike branham
12-24-2010, 10:06 PM
The 500 bumpers look smaller than the BB, so what distances would be consider as a long mark but fair so that the same dog could see both sets of bumpers.
(Ex. Because of the smaller 500 bumpers 200 yards, and 300 yards for the BB).

John Lash
12-25-2010, 07:54 AM
I think you can throw either bumper at 300 yards depending on the background. You can put streamers on the bumpers to make them more visible too.

A lot of people disagree because of the way the bumpers are launched at the shot and the speed they go. They don't like them to be as far since they're harder for the dog to see.

Normal training you shoot then throw, with either of those the bumper is in the air at the shot. You can also load either launcher without a bumper on every other spot. Allowing you to shoot so the dog looks then shoot again throwing a bumper, more like a human helper would do.

Misty Marsh
12-25-2010, 02:41 PM
I think you can throw either bumper at 300 yards depending on the background. You can put streamers on the bumpers to make them more visible too.

A lot of people disagree because of the way the bumpers are launched at the shot and the speed they go. They don't like them to be as far since they're harder for the dog to see.

Normal training you shoot then throw, with either of those the bumper is in the air at the shot. You can also load either launcher without a bumper on every other spot. Allowing you to shoot so the dog looks then shoot again throwing a bumper, more like a human helper would do.

I've found that longer , multiple B & W streamers actually slow the shot to the point they are much more visable, especially at distance. I do agree that a normal Thunder bumper in white color is harder to see, but all black with streamers are much better!

retrieverfever
01-03-2011, 12:03 PM
This is a very interesting discussion pertaining to the benefits and personal opinions of using different systems. My thoughts are that whatever you are happy with you should use. What's disturbing is when individuals post inaccurate information and claim it to be fact.

We are affiliated with Thunder Equipment and have direct knowledge of information being posted on the forum. One of the interesting claims is that there have been fires associated with Thunder Equipment products. It has never been reported that a product manufactured by Thunder Equipment in the US has exhibited this problem. The plastic machines made by the Canadian company many years ago did exhibit some over-heating tendencies but the designs of the all metal machines produced by Thunder Equipment have been proven to be reliable and safe. There has never been one report of a Thunder Equipment all aluminum launcher having a mechanical failure which caused this type of concern. There are redundant fail-safes built into the equipment not previously used by the Canadian designs.

Some people have discussed that they purchased equipment which didn't work and returned it for other options. What's left from the details is that the equipment wasn't even opened. The machines were returned with original packing tape, unopened and were claimed defective to receive credit (which was issued)..

Thunder Equipment is a reputable, family owned company which works hard to develop and enhance the sport of retriever training. We build equipment which from time-to-time may need repaired (not unlike your car, gun, etc..) If we have any issues we work hard to get them resolved quickly and fairly.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a discussion about the benefits of any type of equipment and whatever your choice if you are spending time in the field with your retrievers we are happy. When you seek to post information just please try to convey accurate information.

If anyone would like to discuss further they can contact Thunder Equipment at 724-944-2429 for further details or factual info..

retrieverfever
01-03-2011, 12:17 PM
This is a very interesting discussion pertaining to the benefits and personal opinions of using different systems. My thoughts are that whatever you are happy with you should use. What's disturbing is when individuals post inaccurate information and claim it to be fact.

We are affiliated with Thunder Equipment and have direct knowledge of information being posted on the forum. One of the interesting claims is that there have been fires associated with Thunder Equipment products. It has never been reported that a product manufactured by Thunder Equipment in the US has exhibited this problem. The plastic machines made by the Canadian company many years ago did exhibit some over-heating tendencies but the designs of the all metal machines produced by Thunder Equipment have been proven to be reliable and safe. There has never been one report of a Thunder Equipment all aluminum launcher having a mechanical failure which caused this type of concern. There are redundant fail-safes built into the equipment not previously used by the Canadian designs.

Some people have discussed that they purchased equipment which didn't work and returned it for other options. What's left from the details is that the equipment wasn't even opened. The machines were returned with original packing tape, unopened and were claimed defective to receive credit (which was issued)..

Thunder Equipment is a reputable, family owned company which works hard to develop and enhance the sport of retriever training. We build equipment which from time-to-time may need repaired (not unlike your car, gun, etc..) If we have any issues we work hard to get them resolved quickly and fairly.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a discussion about the benefits of any type of equipment and whatever your choice if you are spending time in the field with your retrievers we are happy. When you seek to post information just please try to convey accurate information.

If anyone would like to discuss further they can contact Thunder Equipment at 724-944-2429 for further details or factual info..

smillerdvm
01-03-2011, 09:20 PM
This is a very interesting discussion pertaining to the benefits and personal opinions of using different systems. My thoughts are that whatever you are happy with you should use. What's disturbing is when individuals post inaccurate information and claim it to be fact.

We are affiliated with Thunder Equipment and have direct knowledge of information being posted on the forum. One of the interesting claims is that there have been fires associated with Thunder Equipment products. It has never been reported that a product manufactured by Thunder Equipment in the US has exhibited this problem. The plastic machines made by the Canadian company many years ago did exhibit some over-heating tendencies but the designs of the all metal machines produced by Thunder Equipment have been proven to be reliable and safe. There has never been one report of a Thunder Equipment all aluminum launcher having a mechanical failure which caused this type of concern. There are redundant fail-safes built into the equipment not previously used by the Canadian designs.

Some people have discussed that they purchased equipment which didn't work and returned it for other options. What's left from the details is that the equipment wasn't even opened. The machines were returned with original packing tape, unopened and were claimed defective to receive credit (which was issued)..

Thunder Equipment is a reputable, family owned company which works hard to develop and enhance the sport of retriever training. We build equipment which from time-to-time may need repaired (not unlike your car, gun, etc..) If we have any issues we work hard to get them resolved quickly and fairly.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a discussion about the benefits of any type of equipment and whatever your choice if you are spending time in the field with your retrievers we are happy. When you seek to post information just please try to convey accurate information.

If anyone would like to discuss further they can contact Thunder Equipment at 724-944-2429 for further details or factual info..

Wrong, I have had nothing but problems with my 2 5000's that I purchased last summer, included in those problems have been fires. There were "redundant fail safes" built into the BP platform that blew up in the gulf last Spring also.
You saying it is fail safe in theory, doesn't make it happen in reality.
I have called about this and got no satisfaction

Howard N
01-03-2011, 11:19 PM
Doc, was that the old Etchmark 5000 or the new Thunder 500?

labguy
01-03-2011, 11:59 PM
I bought 2 of the Thunder 500 launchers brand new, 2 1/2 years ago. They are used approximately 200 days each year where we run between four and eight dogs on at least two and usully three multiple set ups.

There has never been a moments problem with these units. They cycle reliably day in and day out as long as I remember to occasionally charge the receiver on the TT Pro Control units.

I live in a semi arid area where, in the summer months, fire is a serious concern and have never had a cause for worry.

My training partner also has an older 4 shooter Thunderbird launcher (made in Canada) that has been used for over 4 years day in and day out and have only had to replace the ignitor. (this unit was bought second hand so who knows how much it was used before we got it).

I find it hard to believe that there are fire concerns around the new Thunder 500 launchers. As Howard alluded to, maybe people have the older Etchmark 5000 or the Max 5000 which were made years ago, confused with the newer Thunder Launchers.

I have trained with groups who use the Bumper Boy launchers and have found them to be finicky, cumbersome, and prone to breakdowns of various causes. I hear of similar experiences from friends who own Bumper Boys.

Next to my Tritronics Pro 500 training collar, my two Thunder 500's are by far the best and most reliable, user friendly product I've come across in over 60 years of life. Wish everything else in life worked half as well.

My bet is that any problems are with the older Etchmarks or Max's and not with the newer Thunder Launchers.

retrieverfever
01-04-2011, 07:22 AM
Wrong, I have had nothing but problems with my 2 5000's that I purchased last summer, included in those problems have been fires. There were "redundant fail safes" built into the BP platform that blew up in the gulf last Spring also.
You saying it is fail safe in theory, doesn't make it happen in reality.
I have called about this and got no satisfaction

Thanks for your information which helps everyone to clarify and define you particular concern. Respectfully I believe you are still confusing the older machines with the newer versions. The "5000" version was made by Etch Marc in Canada over 8 years ago and the technology is 15 - 20 years old. If you contacted the company who made them you wouldn't have gotten any satisfaction because they are out of business.

Never did Thunder Equipment manufacture products built or designed by the older Canadian company. Although they try to help repair the machines in order to help people get the most for what they spent on the older launchers, there is no guarantee on longevity of launchers not made or designed by Thunder Equipment.

When everyone discusses any type of equipment it is important that the facts are reported accurately. To use your analogy it's just like reporting that Exxon had a problem in the gulf instead of BP or putting a product review against the wrong product. It only confuses the issue and doesn't define the facts.

The technology used in the Thunder 500 and 1000 launchers (all metal launchers built in the US) is the same as that of the Shotgun Simulator. Look at the website. There isn't enough discharge to even mark a piece of cardboard at 12 inches. In addition the machine is made of solid aluminum both internal and external. The combustion tube is 1/8" thick, computer welded with a subsequent air chamber between the combustion tube and the external shell, similar to the double walled pipe concept for external ventilation applications. Solid aluminum doesn’t burn. The product design on the internal combustion application, firing mechanism, and gas exchange was an extensive 4 year process undertaken by multiple companies. The original product was actually conceived to be used in a hand held application.

The contact information for Thunder Equipment is 724-944-2429. If you call them they will be happy to listen, try to identify the nature of the confusion between the old and new products, determine what you actually purchased and when and see if there is any way to help. If there is actually a legitimate issue they want to hear about it and address your concerns.

nikole95.7
01-06-2011, 07:47 AM
Thunder 500's are superior. They don't bounce around on the ground or start fires in dry grass.

I vote BB for reliability, and versatility. The Thunder's have gone through numerous transformations and always seem to excite people for a while....until the same old issues pop up again; one of which is their ability to start grassfires
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BrettG
01-06-2011, 10:48 AM
I don't own any of the new Thunder 500's but had 5 max 5000 and loved them. I wore them out and began using wingers everyday instead. I own a BB 4 shooter that I use maybe once a week during drill work. I hate reloading it and can't stand the remote. It does the job but I wouldn't purchase one. (This one was givven to me) I do have the use of 4 of the Thunder equipment Shotgun simulaters and love them. My bird boys love them as well. They are holding up great and are way cheaper than popper loads.

Misty Marsh
01-06-2011, 08:52 PM
I don't know about the Thunder 500's going through numerous changes, it seems they have been practically the same since re-introduced. I'll take a Thunder over a BB anyday, just take a look on the main form for people looking for BB servo suppliers. Never heard of Thunder lauchers causing fires especially with the firing chamber being higher off the ground than a BB, but I guess it could happen?

Joe Dutro
01-07-2011, 09:05 AM
I think the biggest misconception is we are talking about 3 different products.
First- There was the Maxx launchers--- Out of business

Second- There was the ThunderBird Launchers by Etchmark--Out of Business.

Third-- And currently there is the Thunder made by Thunder equipment of PA. It is made as a 5 shooter and a 10 shooter. Made of all aluminum and smaller than previous models.

Since the reintroduction of these type launchers things have went well in terms of less problems with the launcher and more importantly customer service. Doug Wilson is the greatest when it comes to returning calls and getting thing fixed.

Too many people hear Thunder and assume they are all the same. They are not-- not even close.
Joe

mike branham
01-07-2011, 10:16 AM
Guys I have added a poll to the question, and once again thanks for your time.

Mike.

jax
01-14-2011, 03:18 PM
I love my BB