Need your advice on hand launchers
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Thread: Need your advice on hand launchers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Janice Gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Need your advice on hand launchers

    We're looking at getting a hand held launcher.

    From what I see ... there are two types...

    The Ret-R-Trainer - looks like you hold onto it and launch away.....

    And then the Lucky Launcher - looks like a hand/shoulder grip?

    Plus two kinds of bumpers - foam and canvas...........

    We are interested in using it to plant blinds......and shooting off

    Which one should we get?
    Which bumpers for which application are best?

    Someone mentioned that the Ret-R-Trainer one is really hard on
    your hands.....?

    Do you purchase the kit, cleaning equip. etc. as well?

    If you have one do you find the dogs like it, and is it useful or
    something you never use anymore?

    HELP.......need some advice!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Anchorage, AK


    I've had both. Don't use either.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

  4. #3
    Senior Member lablover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Richmond, VA



    I've got one of the original ret-r-trainer, as designed by Wolters. 39.95 back in the 70's and it still works, but I don't use it anymore. I have 1 friend that uses his occasionally

    My problems with it are excessive recoil, maybe too much for a woman.
    The plastic bumper shoots the furthist, and the canvas one floats on the water better.
    By all means, wear a heavy glove when you shoot this thing!
    <--- Dooey, MH
    MHR Duckmates Fly Guy MH 05/17/94 - 07/17/08 "Flyboy"
    Candlewood Court Magician JH 1/31/02 - 8/2/12 "Magic Man"


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  6. #4
    Senior Member Janice Gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Need advice on hand launchers

    Well thanks to the overwhelming two of you that replied

    Guess I will go with the Lucky Launcher and hope it won't be
    another piece of equipment that we rarely use!

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Bainbridge, NY


    I bought one of the Retrieve-R-Trainers in the eighties which I still have but don't use anymore. The range is very limited and the recoil is harsh.
    They can be modified into a cannon configuration by adding a four inch diameted 12" pipe and a stock of some sort with a spring mounted trigger attached to the firing mecahnism. Very realistic shotgun popper sound with .22 blanks.

    Dan Rice

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fairbanks, AK



    Of the two choices, I would definitely get the Lucky Launcher with the shoulder stock. The Ret-R-Trainer, depending on how you hold it, is very hard on your hand or can twist your shoulder upon firing. I think it could be useful for planting out-to-sea blinds although, the size of the bumpers make them more difficult to see. In my experience, the dogs have difficulty marking the bumpers due to the speed at which they are launched. This improves as the dogs have more experience with the launchers. The small red plastic bumpers seem particularly hard for the dogs to see in the air. Nail driver loads from the hardware store will work and are much cheaper than the regular launcher loads.

  9. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    SE PA


    I still use the R-R-T I purchased in the 80's. It's good for planting on the far side of the creek without getting wet but Riverrun really nailed all the cons. You need to replace the o rings evrey once in a while also, you'll see the drop in distance when they get dry or cracked.
    Courage is the finest of human qualities because it guarantees all the others. - Winston Churchill

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Ontario, CANADA


    You can buy a shoulder stock for the launchers, are simply make one. Here is a link to one at Misty Marsh's website (RTF member).

  11. #9
    Senior Member Scott Adams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Southern Ontario


    I bought a Retriever trainer a 15 yrs ago, and rarely used it.
    They don't plant blinds accurately so they really are only good for out to sea retrieves in my opinion. Also, the plastic dummies are too easy to lose. Mine worked well until a couple of months ago when I discovered that they aren't much use as hammers either.
    Anyway, one reason that I am replacing it tomorrow, is they are excellent single shot starter pistols. Louder even than the H&R 22 pistols.
    As far as recoil, the lighter loads didn't really bother me much.
    I think the original Retriever trainer is worth having.
    NAFTCH FTCH AFTCH Mjolnir Bluebill Of Allanport (2001-2014)
    FTCH AFTCH Flatlands Bayduck of Allanport
    Dakota Creek Teal of Allanport

  12. #10
    Senior Member Misty Marsh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


    This is not a ploy to get a sale, but I had bought a retrieve-r-trainer from a local pet supply store a coupple of years ago and after 3 months of use it broke at the hinge. I contacted the company and someone from retrieve-r- and he told me to send it in and it took 6 months to finally get it back. I had found out later that they are known for their bad business practices. I sell the Hallmark version of the launcher and a shoulder stock that makes it more user friendly. Feel free to drop me a line when you get back to BC for the summer and I'll gladly help you out if you like.

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