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jtfreeman
05-10-2011, 11:42 AM
I've read the old threads. Any new experience? I see they now use TT or Dogtra controls.

Lee Nelson
05-10-2011, 02:38 PM
One of my training partners has a newer set with the Dogtra electronics. Flawless, so far. Good idea to set them up with these electronics, imo.

J. Walker
05-10-2011, 05:15 PM
I've got two older models (the 807.) I had to replace a battery yesterday in one because it was no longer holding a full charge but that happens with anything. I got the battery at Batteries Plus. I could have paid quite a bit less online but by the time shipping was factored in along with the inconvenience of not having a functional unit, it was worth the higher price to me. Also, the battery I got from Batteries Plus was already charged. My launchers have worked flawlessly with the old electronics. The company's transmitter is cheaply made but I've routinely used it from 300-400 yards away and it's always worked so I can't really complain. I agree in that it was a good idea for them to make them compatible with other electronics. I'm sure they'll sell more units now.

The .209 primer kit they sell is sort of an awkward design. It works but I think it could have been done better. As it is, you have to get the metal pouch plate on the magnet just right to align the spring catch arm. If it's too far near the back, it won't pull up on the spring hard enough on the release to fire the primers. If it's too far near the front, you can't get the spring arm into the slot on the spring. Basically, you have to eyeball it just before the metal plate hits the magnet or you'll have to turn off the launcher to release the pouch, turn it back on, and start over. I've gotten to where I get it right about 90% of the time but a more consistent design would have been nice.

As a tip for changing the rubber on them, don't even bother with the stay bead replacement tool they sell. A little spit into the band and a regular old nail set (the thing you use to hammer nails below a surface) works far better than their specialized tool.

jtfreeman
05-11-2011, 09:06 AM
Thanks for the information guys. I like the design and the company seems to listen to what consumers suggest and make the changes.

I do want it to be able to throw live flyers. Do I need to buy a different pouch for this? Any experience?

J. Walker
05-11-2011, 09:26 AM
Thanks for the information guys. I like the design and the company seems to listen to what consumers suggest and make the changes.

I do want it to be able to throw live flyers. Do I need to buy a different pouch for this? Any experience?

They make a different pouch for flyers.

http://www.retrieverspecialists.com/shop/item/176-productId.570425359_176-catId.562036741.html

I've not used it. I think it just has Velcro straps so when the launcher is released, the straps are pulled apart. As long as it works...

jtfreeman
05-11-2011, 12:26 PM
Seems like it would work. I think Zinger also uses that same design.

J. Walker
05-11-2011, 02:47 PM
Just FYI, I use my launchers four to six days per week. I have Bumper Boys too but one of the main places where I do water training (a private business) requires that I have no pop. The total launches per launcher has to be somewhere around 1,000 so far and I bought them used. I've replaced the rubber once, one transmitter battery (a small Duracell battery that you can get at any Ace Hardware), and one launcher battery. I carry two launchers at a time and often carry my white coats on posts as well. That would tough to do with the Gunners Up type launchers. I also occasionally treat the rubber with a Teflon rubber preservative for car tires and such. I did a very unscientific test over the course of a month but the untreated rubber showed clear signs of UV damage while the treated rubber did not. Both samples were actually tied together and hung in the same spot so they received equal sunlight.

One word of advice is to make sure you tighten the knobs for the rod collars and pulleys before every use. It's a bigger issue with the rod collars as one could slide off in the field. I just wrapped the rods on mine with some electrical tape near the base so the collars couldn't slide off even if the collar knobs came completely unscrewed.

jtfreeman
05-11-2011, 02:55 PM
Great information J. Thanks.

My issue is also training grounds. I do not own them so ease of transport is a big deal to me. I also like that I have a better chance of getting away with no blind to conceal this launcher than with others

J. Walker
05-11-2011, 08:54 PM
Great information J. Thanks.

My issue is also training grounds. I do not own them so ease of transport is a big deal to me. I also like that I have a better chance of getting away with no blind to conceal this launcher than with others

You can set them up by the smallest bush or against a broken background and conceal them. Just make sure you know where they are from the line. I'm not kidding as they can really blend in against dark backgrounds.

Hoytman
05-11-2011, 09:51 PM
They make a different pouch for flyers.

http://www.retrieverspecialists.com/shop/item/176-productId.570425359_176-catId.562036741.html

I've not used it. I think it just has Velcro straps so when the launcher is released, the straps are pulled apart. As long as it works...


Click on the link and take a real close look at the prices.:rolleyes: Real close now!

Golden Boy
05-12-2011, 01:23 AM
Click on the link and take a real close look at the prices.:rolleyes: Real close now!


Yes someone got that ass backward. LOL

carolinagold
05-12-2011, 11:45 AM
That must be the blue light special.

Hoytman
05-13-2011, 11:29 AM
Yes someone got that ass backward. LOL
Nice looking avatar...always had a soft spot for goldens. A golden was my first retriever.

Now the sale price is the same as the regular price.:confused: Must not be a sale.:rolleyes:

Golden Boy
05-14-2011, 04:10 AM
Nice looking avatar...always had a soft spot for goldens. A golden was my first retriever.

Now the sale price is the same as the regular price.:confused: Must not be a sale.:rolleyes:

Thanks He's a fireside dog.
He's been a great dog and has taught me more about dogs then I could have ever dreamed of.

Jane Burkey
05-24-2011, 01:58 PM
When I first found out about the Featherweight Birds Up Slingers, I bought three of them! I was so impressed by them I bought three MORE! My training partner, Chuck Dryke and I wanted to see how they would do with live fliers (Pigeons), so we tucked their head, and shoved them in the regular pouch (with their shoulders in the "tight area" of the "ready pouch"), and we waited to see if they could "get out" on their own. Chuckar got tired of waiting after FIVE MINUTES (still NO movement), and we "sent them" on their way.

They will hold small live fliers - like pigeons, quail, or chukkars. In all the times we've used them for the fliers (as listed), they've never "released themselves" - only on our command.

The slingers really are nearly invisible - so DO be sure and "mark" where you put them, because otherwise you'll be straining your eyes to find them! (Unless, of course, you put them on a skyline...) There have been times where the WHITE bumpers "saved" me from eye strain!

The batteries last a pretty long time - for us with nearly daily use, about 2-1/2 years. We just make sure that we only turn them on DURING the time we are using them, and don't let them sit "on and ready" for hours at a time outside of active use.

The service with Retriever Specialists has been outstanding!! Robert Steiner has always been very quick with any supplies I might need, and has always given "a little extra" supplies "just in case". I recently ordered enough tubing to replace the tubing for all six of my slingers, and he added several of the beads in case I broke or lost some. He's sent t-shirts and hats as a bonus when I ordered my second set of three. Thoughtful and prompt!!

Overall, I am VERY PLEASED with the slingers!!

Thomas D
05-24-2011, 02:44 PM
...any downsides?

badbullgator
05-24-2011, 11:28 PM
When I first found out about the Featherweight Birds Up Slingers, I bought three of them! I was so impressed by them I bought three MORE! My training partner, Chuck Dryke and I wanted to see how they would do with live fliers (Pigeons), so we tucked their head, and shoved them in the regular pouch (with their shoulders in the "tight area" of the "ready pouch"), and we waited to see if they could "get out" on their own. Chuckar got tired of waiting after FIVE MINUTES (still NO movement), and we "sent them" on their way.

They will hold small live fliers - like pigeons, quail, or chukkars. In all the times we've used them for the fliers (as listed), they've never "released themselves" - only on our command.

The slingers really are nearly invisible - so DO be sure and "mark" where you put them, because otherwise you'll be straining your eyes to find them! (Unless, of course, you put them on a skyline...) There have been times where the WHITE bumpers "saved" me from eye strain!

The batteries last a pretty long time - for us with nearly daily use, about 2-1/2 years. We just make sure that we only turn them on DURING the time we are using them, and don't let them sit "on and ready" for hours at a time outside of active use.

The service with Retriever Specialists has been outstanding!! Robert Steiner has always been very quick with any supplies I might need, and has always given "a little extra" supplies "just in case". I recently ordered enough tubing to replace the tubing for all six of my slingers, and he added several of the beads in case I broke or lost some. He's sent t-shirts and hats as a bonus when I ordered my second set of three. Thoughtful and prompt!!

Overall, I am VERY PLEASED with the slingers!!


Aint it amazing that in every slinger thread someone just happens to find rtf and make their first ever post about how great they are????

J. Walker
05-26-2011, 10:53 PM
Aint it amazing that in every slinger thread someone just happens to find rtf and make their first ever post about how great they are????

Was there a point to that statement?

DoubleHaul
05-27-2011, 09:21 AM
Aint it amazing that in every slinger thread someone just happens to find rtf and make their first ever post about how great they are????

I know nothing about these launchers. I doubt I will switch from Zinger, but I check out the products anyway. I have noticed the same thing over the years, though. Someone posts a question about these things and, without fail, someone will register and make their first post about how wonderful they are.

Now I know RTF threads show up high in Google when you search for just about anything retriever related, but this can't be just a coincidence.

I also have learned that BBG will show up as well. :)

J. Walker
05-27-2011, 10:26 AM
I know nothing about these launchers. I doubt I will switch from Zinger, but I check out the products anyway. I have noticed the same thing over the years, though. Someone posts a question about these things and, without fail, someone will register and make their first post about how wonderful they are.

Now I know RTF threads show up high in Google when you search for just about anything retriever related, but this can't be just a coincidence.

I also have learned that BBG will show up as well. :)

Maybe, but this site also has a lot of lurkers. As a result, a lot of folks are only going to speak up about things they've had positive experiences with as there are plenty here willing to insult them and chastise them for any perceived poor decision or just general question. Relatively speaking, I'm sure there are a lot few of us (Birds Up/Retriever Specialist launcher owners) than the Zinger/Gunz Up crowd. I love my RS launchers. While there are some things I'd change about them, it's hard for me to not like the safer design, more reliable release, MUCH more compact size, and the fact that I can easily carry two of them at a time as I do it pretty much every day. The only times they haven't launched reliably were when either the transmitter battery needed to be replaced or recently when a launcher battery finally went bad. (It worked but lost its charge after a few hours.) To me, every launcher has its pros and cons but the RS launchers are the best balance for me and my situation.