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Thread: Focus

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Focus

    “Don’t look at your barrel, focus on the clay”. I hear that saying but I need help understanding and a recommendation for reading material.
    I am trying to transition from “focus on the front site post” to shooting skeet. The different shooting stations require different amount of lead. It seems that if I mount the gun consistently and focus on the clay then the shot will hit a consistent target. But going from station to station requires different amounts of lead.
    What needs to change to accommodate the different leads?
    There has been several times when I had to ask if I broke the clay. Does that point to a mounting issue?

    Thanks in advance for your time and effort.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
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    Dan Carlisle or Anthony Matarese materials will help you. When you see the lead clearly you are looking at the end of the barrel to measure. Conventional wisdom is that the gun slows down and you miss behind. Practice focus by sitting under a ceiling fan and try to pick a blade to focus on. The blade will appear to slow down and you will see it as an individual blade for a brief moment. That's a Carlisle tip.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response. I’ll look for those authors.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  4. #4
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    A buttstock altered to fit the individual shooter's ergonomics will also dramatically/positively effect wing shooting with a shotgun - a plus over a mass-produced fits-all shotgun stock.
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    .

    A buttstock altered to fit the individual shooter's ergonomics will also dramatically/positively effect wing shooting with a shotgun - a plus over a mass-produced fits-all shotgun stock.
    Most people do not consider this. I am pretty good at fitting a gun, but doing it right is not cheap or easy unless you know what you are doing. The attached shows how much I had to move my comb.

    One valuable addition is a mid bead. If the front and mid beads are not in the same alignment each time you mount the gun, you will never shoot well.

    As to the OP, many top trap shooters use Hi-Viz sights on their guns. Just focusing on the bird is not enough to make the shot. Might be different for skeet
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    Last edited by dverna; 09-22-2022 at 10:47 AM.
    Don Verna


  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Two things:

    First, the gun MUST fit properly. Once it does, aiming is accomplished by mounting the gun the same way, over and over and over..........and over.

    Second, thousands of rounds of practice, just like pistol shooting. Except, in wingshooting you ignore the gun. The aiming is already done for you. Focus on the clay and swing smoothly as you press the trigger. Practice. There is no perfect. There is only practice.

    These, in a nutshell, are the words of a friend of mine who held a AAA rating in ATA competiton before he passed away.
    "We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone......"

    unknown



    May the forest be with you....

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    A lot of people will tell you to get gun to fit properly, most do not say how. learn how to fit the shotgun to you, so it points and hits where you are looking. once this is accomplished all else will fall in line with practice. a change of about 1/8 inch on the come, up or down, in or out, length of pull, can make a lot of difference as to where the shot Colom will hit at distance. change your clothes from hot weather to cold weather and you change all the measurements. I was taught to hang a bed sheet, draw a black circle about 3" in diameter and snap shoot at it, at about 10', close eyes, open eyes, just mount gun and shoot. with a number of shots a hole will develop, use the fuzzy adhesive stuff for blisters, I forget the name of the parches, use this to build the stock out away from your face to move the hole to your left, if you need to move to the right you need to remove some of the stock? when you get the pattern where you want it then you can make perminate changes to you gun. if you change clothes, it changes all your measurements. adjustable cheek piece and adjustable but plate make it easy to change all for the different clothes, if you keep close track of your measurements. with the adjustable but plate you can also rotate the gun if needed to fit properly in your shoulder? takes time, takes ammo, takes practice, when done and fitted correctly, you will hit anything you aim at consistently.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Learn what looks right at each station. If you are trying to "measure" your lead, you will miss. And quit thinking. When you think about your lead, you start to measure and you miss. See bird/shoot bird.....And keep the gun moving. Most misses are caused by getting the right lead then stopping your swing to shoot. And don't raise your head to see if you hit the bird. That is a guaranteed miss on doubles. Once the shot is gone forget it and go for the second bird. Its too late to worry about the first bird. Hit or miss, its too late to do anything about it, so get the second bird.
    Last edited by jimb16; 09-22-2022 at 10:02 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. How does a beginner practice if he’s by himself? I understand I need to practice without measuring the lead and I don’t always have someone experienced enough to tell me where I missed the clay. Without just burning ammo is there a way to practice and the practice be beneficial?
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Rapier's Avatar
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    A practice you can do to improve your mount and swing:
    1. With two 5 pound dumb bells, practice the hand placement and body turn over and over to build arm strength.
    2. Get a small mag light that fits in the muzzle of your shotgun, a 12 gauge works well, adjust the light to just a spot on the all. Then practice mounting the gun and following the wall ceiling joint, with the light's spot, using a smooth even swing.
    “There is a remedy for all things, save death.“
    Cervantes

    “Never give up, never quit.”
    Robert Rogers
    Roger’s Rangers

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
    Will Rogers

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Skeet is very useful practice to train your brain and to practice running with the bird for a short distance to get the line and speed. When most people tell you that it was a miss behind, 1.) they are usually wrong and 2.) that says nothing about why.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapier View Post
    Get a small mag light that fits in the muzzle of your shotgun, a 12 gauge works well, adjust the light to just a spot on the all. Then practice mounting the gun and following the wall ceiling joint, with the light's spot, using a smooth even swing.
    That’s a great suggestion!! I do need to practice a smooth swing.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  13. #13
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    I like shotguns, but I'm more of a pistol/rifle type of guy, but not precision on anything, more of a plinker.

  14. #14
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    OK: I just went thru all this over on another site. I was failing miserably at Skeet. after a few months of shooting I am doing much better. The single best source for Skeet info is Todd Bender. He has trained more champions than anyone alive and he is known the world over.

    A friend sent me this,, It is the Todd Bender Cheat Sheet. https://cdn1.sportngin.com/attachmen...CheatSheet.pdf

    Print it out and use it for "Toilet Reading" until you have committed everything to memory. It contains the fundamentals of foot placement, hold point, look point, and lead, for every station on the field. You can also go on You Tube and see his videos. He makes it really simple, however actually doing it is "challenging!!!"

    The other single most important thing is "keeping your cheekbone on the gun at all times." If you raise your head up 1/4" off the Comb of the stock, you will shoot over the bird 3 feet high ,,, EVERY Single time! I know this for a fact but I still did it 25 times out of 50 just two days ago. all you have to do is take pressure off your cheek bone and you've raised up 1/4" and that's all it takes to miss.

    I am just learning all of this stuff as I never had any formal training in this sport. At this point I am about 12 weeks ahead of you, and I am up to the high teens (17,18,19) with my .410 which I shoot better than my 12 GA. I have yet to break 20, but I am getting closer every week. If you want to be good, be prepared to shoot a lot. There is really no other way. There are several stations that will give you fits. 2 and 6 are the worst for me. Being able to shoot a whole box of shells at one station is what it takes to break thru, but once you know the shot, it is just a matter of repeating the process every time you step up.

    You will learn to mount the gun then change where you are looking to the bird and hard focus on the front edge of it. This si easier said than done, but it can be done.!

    Good luck!

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    My best advice to the beginner is not to use sustained lead! Instead, catch and lead the target a little in front to get in line with its flight,
    and then accelerate the swing while pulling the trigger in one smooth movement. The "apparent" speed of the target will ensure the correct lead
    from station to station, once you get the hang of it.

    Keeping a sustained swing (and trying to "measure" the lead) all too often results in stopping the swing when pulling the trigger.
    You then scratch your head wondering what went wrong as the lead looked "just right" to you. This is by far the most common beginner mistake
    I see with people shooting Olympic skeet, and I believe the problem is even worse in American skeet where the targets are slower and you pre-mount the gun.
    Cap'n Morgan

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Good post Randy.
    Don Verna


  17. #17
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Capt Morgan: Do you have any experience with Due Matic Traps? We jsut got two adn teh appear to be really good machines. Made in Denmark so I figured you'd heard of them?

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    Capt Morgan: Do you have any experience with Due Matic Traps? We jsut got two adn teh appear to be really good machines. Made in Denmark so I figured you'd heard of them?

    Randy
    Randy,
    I'm Quite familiar with the various Due-Matic traps. We use them exclusively at our local shooting range, and we must have about about 25 or so of various types.

    As I recall it, they originally started out as "Danlac" traps. Later the company was acquired by an avid trap shooter, who believed he could improve on the design.
    Over the years he worked out most of the kinks - including those who only show up after years of (ab)use - and modified the design accordingly.
    Today the machines are extremely reliably, requiring hardly any service except, perhaps, new rubber for the throwing arm every fifth year or so.

    It's my job to keep our two skeet ranges up and running, and so far it has only been a matter of replacing the small "broom" which fixes the clay pigeon against the throwing arm
    on two of the traps - I'm sure you'll be happy with your machines.
    Cap'n Morgan

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Eureka!! Thanks Randy for the suggestion. I have a laser boresight that I wrapped painters tape around. Enough tape to fit it to my 12 gauge. I mount the gun and run the laser dot along the wall where it meets the ceiling. I can focus both eyes on the laser dot. It seems this is an exercise to overcome my current issue with focus.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  20. #20
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    Capt: I got ahold of the guy who sold us the traps. Talked to him for an hour and he told me these machines had been on 4 different fields before ours. They are easily 25+ years old. They are 12 volt machines and our club Pres want to run them off Solar Cells and Batteries.

    He also told me about the only Maintenance they needed was to put oil in the throwing arm bearing housing every 6 months or so? He told me there was a Sprag in that housing? The blow up drawings I have of the machine doesn't go into enough detail to see that and parts list doesn't either.

    Any info you could send me would be welcome. my Email is buchananprec@roadrunner.com

    On another note: Since I am getting beat out of the hole by the high house birds every time on 2-6,,, I will be trying "pull ahead." Also my coaches are saying I'm measuring the targets on 3,4,5 stopping and starting and then shooting behind. Pull ahead should fix that too.

    My new Citori CXS has 32" bbls and it is a bit heavy at 8lb 10oz so it is a little slow to get moving. That is why I shoot better with my .410 with 32" bbls and a pound and a half lighter. I can get it started faster.

    They also suggested pull ahead to get past that too.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check