Watch: Clay Pigeons on ‘How It’s Made”

   06.13.19

Watch: Clay Pigeons on ‘How It’s Made”

I think we all know what a “clay pigeon” is — and most if not all of us have been entranced by watching “How It’s Made,” the TV documentary that shows how stuff is manufactured in “Reader’s Digest condensed” form. I haven’t watched it in years, and back when I did my wife constantly complained about the monotonous narrator. These days there’s a different narrator, but I think he might be related to the original one because he’s just about as bland.

This 5-minute episode is about the making of clay targets, sometimes called skeet, and early on we’re told they’re not made of clay at all, but of petroleum pitch or resin mixed with talc.

After they’re molded, they’re flipped with the hollow side down — the way we are used to seeing them stacked in boxes — and they’re still soft. Check out this guy squishing one. This explains the weirdly distorted ones we sometimes find amongst the good ones.

After they cool & harden, they’re coated with a water-based paint and conveyed through a hot-air tunnel to cure the paint. Finally, they’re machine-stacked into nice neat columns.

Nice. I only wish I could hit more of them during a round of skeet!

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