TRAP SHOOTING ARTICLES
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Advice before buying a new or used trap gun.
Money to buy the proper gun, of course.
For more information
Contact the following:
So you want to buy a trap gun? Hmmm, when you look around and see so many
shooters buying and selling guns - often selling at a loss from what they paid just to get
rid of it - you become confused as to what to buy. Join the club!
Let's demystify the process so you will buy the gun that is right for you... the
first time... and save yourself a measure of disappointment, poor shooting scores and
money to boot!
- The nature of the beast is a trap gun is not like buying a field gun for casual use...
it must be custom built to fit you. What this means is you can't simply buy your
buddy's gun or snatch one from the dealer's shelf and simply start shooting it. You
can, most everyone does, but most everyone can't shoot for beans and this is the #1 prime
reason why... their gun's do not fit.
- You can not shoot trap effectively (to win large tournaments) if you learn to shoot by
conforming to the gun. The gun must conform to you. So you must, after buying
your gun, or before the purchase, visit a stock fitter and have the gun altered to fit
you. If you are like most shooters, you won't do it. But I hope you will.
- You are not interested in shooting registered tournament trap. Don't kid
yourself... you will eventually. It may not be this year or next, but you will.
I've seen dedicated shooters who have shot for years at the local gun club swear
up, down, left and right they would never, ever, never shoot a registered shoot.
Then a miracle happens... I see them at an ATA shoot. So this means two things...
First, if you buy the proper gun you will shoot better, have more fun and be able to shoot
registered targets when that miraculous day occurs (which it will) and two, you will get
more money for the gun when you wish to sell it. Enough said. Lets look at
WHICH IS THE BEST TRAP SHOTGUN TO BUY?
The gun that breaks the most targets!
So which gun is that? Could be the gun
you own now, with a few modifications to ensure it fits you with tight choke(s) you may
have the golden goose and not know it. Let's assume you don't, and you don't even
have your first trap gun. Where do I begin?
The autoloader shotgun is arguably the best all-around trap gun for the
first-time beginner. The reasons being; The stock is easily adjustable to set point
of impact (a critical consideration), the gun can shoot all the games; singles, handicap,
double-trap, sporting clays, you name it. One gun for everything. Recoil is
lowest and that makes it ideal for everyone, especially the women. The drawback is;
autoloaders require extra cleaning and worst of all can jam. In trap shooting
singles and handicap you can always fire off one shot so jams is not a concern, but in
doubles events you will be penalized and lose if your gun jams a wee too many times...
though rules do appear to be changing to forgive such incidents... it will still disrupt
the squad and yourself. More moving parts require more maintenance and repairs. The
autoloader has a benefit of being a low-recoil gun and that is a very positive
feature. Overall, the autoloader is a good first and last choice.
The dedicated single-barrel break-open trap gun is dominate stateside
(USA trapshooting). This does not mean it is the best gun to own... it only means
it is favored in the states at this time. Though the trend has been long-lasting we
are seeing a gradual shift away from these guns to the under & over, but don't get me
wrong... the single barrel gun will be dominate stateside for years to come. The
drawback is; you have to change to another gun to shoot double-trap as the gun will only
fire one round. This requires you must now purchase and setup (fit and adjust point
of impact, etc,) another gun in your inventory and learn how to shoot the
gun. Now you have a duel learning curve... and that is not a good idea for the
average shooter. For the accomplished shooter (there are few professional shooters,
believe me) this is not a problem. If everyone sees a Top Gun shoot a single-barrel
gun everyone flocks to it. People do the same thing in golf, buy the club the pro
uses. That's okay, but is it the best weapon to use? Is it practical?
Will it increase your scores?
Yes, it is true that each game, singles, handicap and doubles are
separate games and no one can argue the point that to have a specific gun designed for the
game to play may be best... it is not practical in the overall sense that the majority of
shooters are not so professional they could easily adapt to each gun. Remember, when
you change guns you better know how to shoot it because it's not going to shoot like the
other one. It will point differently, swing differently, balance and weight will be
different and even the shot patterns will be altered, to name a few.
So, for all economy and practical purposes, the single barrel guns
should be left to the pros to shoot. When you become professional and can shoot with
such accomplishments you can then do what you want to do because you have the inside
knowledge and abilities to shoot anything well. Shifting from one gun to another is
a problem even for the pros, but they can handle it. Can you? Be honest.
Look at your scores.
The point is this. The new or up and coming shooter should be
shooting "one gun" not two or three guns. One gun! Not only is this
the best and fastest way to learn to shoot, it is the most financially economical.
So, all you new shooters out there living paycheck-to-paycheck listen up... you only need
one gun! Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Just talk to some of
the pros who shoot for a living and they will tell you the same thing. That old
proverb still holds true, "Beware of he who shoots one gun." Daro Handy
is living proof of that fact. He shoots a custom modified Remington 1100 autoloader.
Autoloader guns with a shell catcher works fine with single shot
targets but will eject the second hull at other shooters during double trap events.
This annoys shooters on the squad and if you reload shells you'll have to perform the
Easter Egg hunt when finished shooting to retrieve shells and do so quickly so as to beat
the dreaded hull thief. At competition shoots you lose the hull. Rules are you
can't retrieve them. The autoloader is inherently unsafe to a degree relative to the
O&U as it can be a bit more difficult to see if the gun is in fact unloaded when
carried. The O&U breaks wide open and there is no chance the gun could
The over & under trap gun is a fantastic machine and you
should give great consideration here to buy one. You can shoot all the games with
one gun, as you can with the autoloader, but there are more benefits to the O&U.
There is less maintenance due to no moving parts subjected to the pounding forces of
recoil (no gas shuttle as in the autoloader and no jamming) You can even take the
gun to the sporting clays events and kick-butt with it... many accomplished sporting clays
shooters are using trap specified guns now! If a firing pin fails you can continue
shooting singles or handicap with the alternative barrel... two guns in one! They
will most certainly break the targets just as hard and fast as a dedicated single-barrel
gun. The gun's weight is the same and in some cases less. Recoil is often
less due to the mass of the gun and the bore on the bottom barrel is lower. The two
shots are fired extremely rapidly as no shuttling time is required which makes it ideal
for double-trap, Olympic, wobble or sporting clays, etc., etc. This gun does it all.
Maintenance is simply swabbing out the barrel and apply trigger grease once year
and that's just about it. Another factor of importance is most all O&U today
come with removable chokes so you can customize the shot pattern spread for the game you
wish to play. The autoloader can also come with adjustable chokes, but most
dedicated single barrel trap guns do not (usually a custom order).
The O&U gun, especially with a high rib and ventilated barrels,
greatly reduces heat wave distortions so you can see the target better. You normally
shoot the lower barrel on a O&U on handicap targets so the upper barrel acts as a heat
sink. Also, the lower barrel is often configured to shoot higher than the top
barrel... which makes it ideal for shooting handicap and double-trap. If targets are
flying low you can shoot the top flatter shooting barrel to help compensate. If
targets are flying high you can use the bottom barrel to raise the point of impact a
smidgen and it's all done automatically simply by tossing the selector switch. A bit
more flexibility here can come in handy when facing weather related and target setting
BOTTOM LINE ON THE FIRST TRAP
GUN TO BUY
Take your pick between the autoloader or the O&U. That's the best
overall option for the general shooter. This recommendation also considers $ Costs $.
Certainly, if money is not an option to you... you can afford to do anything you
want buying as many guns as you desire. The O&U and dedicated single-barrel trap
gun can have recoil reduced by installing a compression butt-mounted shock absorber
device. They work so good you can shoot all day long and never feel any discomfort!
This recommendation is not to say it is a
grave mistake or error to purchase a dedicated single-barrel trap gun. We are
recognizing the fact only of economy, practicality and efficiency. You can learn to
shoot two-guns. Keep in mind for each new (or used) gun you slide upon your shoulder you
will have to fire at minimum 5,000 rounds just to get aquatinted with the gun. It
will require 10,000 to become engaged and 15,000 to be married to that gun. The
learning curve is intense to shoot a new gun, so be forewarned. Many shooters can't
shoot well because they keep changing guns... looking for that magic machine that will
take them to the top ranks. It's skill, not the gun to get that job done! Also, by
the time you reach these numbers you'll have shot out the gun for it's first round of
general maintenance parts replacements so it's important to consider the gun that will
last the longest of all. Which brings us back to the O&U again as a good choice
Now some to many shooters stateside will
argue with this, but the British / European boys are going to agree that the O&U is
the most versatile, reliable and most heavily used guns in that part of the world (which
is larger than this stateside part of the planet), and these boys and girls shoot much
tougher games than we do over here... and they get the job done with remarkable
precision. It's only a matter of time we too will see the light, and it's already
happening. More and more shooters are converting to the O&U to shoot American
trap... and winning! How slow we are to change, but change will be.
There is a percentage of shooters, (many who
just shoot for the money) who only shoot the handicap events and nothing more. In
this case... it is highly recommended to purchase the single-barrel trap gun.
Autoloader or O&U. Though the O&U can still do the job, the extra
barrel and weight is not necessary and the expensive dedicated single-barrel guns can be
purchased in a wide array of price ranges.
So, when you really look at the situation,
with all things considered, the O&U gun is still the best all-around trap shotgun one
can buy for it plays all the games, gets the job done, is highly reliable, requires low
maintenance, and most of all... you only need to learn to own and shoot one
WHO'S SHOOTING WHAT?
The most popular gun manufactures at this
time, particularly in the USA; Browning Citori, Perazzi MX, Remington 90-T, Beretta,
Ljutic, Cole Arms, Golden Seitz. In Europe the Browning and Beretta take the lead
The most popular manufacturers for USA &
European shooters - among the beginner shooters (and accomplished shooters) looking for
the most features at the lowest cost is Browning. Among the pros the Berretta and
Perazzi, and other guns.
Keep in mind that when buying the expensive
guns (technically all trap shotguns should be included) these machines are not designed to
be purchased off the shelf, but custom ordered to fit with the features desired such as;
POI adjustment, length of pull, high/low or adjustable rib, back-bored, lengthened forcing
cone(s), trigger pull setting with release or pull trigger, etc., etc.
Features a trap shotgun should have.
These items should be installed on the gun.
For more information
Contact the following:
What are the main critical or most important features to have installed on your trap
shotgun? When you attend gun club shoots, and even the registered tournament shoots,
we see many gizmos dangling on the guns. Are they important? Some are, some
are not. Let's find out what is right for you!
Now that you know which type of shotgun you should buy that is right for you, here's
the features you need consider.
- Adjustable comb is a must unless you have had your stock custom made, bent or formed to
your body dimensions. So, don't buy a gun unless you can set the cast on, cast off,
and height. It's one or the other... custom fit or adjustable. If your gun has
neither you will not be shooting well no matter how much you practice because the gun will
not fit you. Gun fit is critical, critical, critical!
- Removable chokes are optional, but handy. What if, just what if you pay $7,000 for
a gun and discover the hard way... the pattern and core centering is horrible? If
shell brand selection does not solve the problem, you are stuck with it. Taking your
barrel to a specialist can solve the problem, but at great delay and cost to get it right.
So pattern check the gun before you buy it and shoot some targets with it to make
sure it works in the real world. Removable chokes give you incredible control and options
to easy fix the problems. Not everyone can afford custom barrels.
- Adjustable butt to set cant, gun fit and length of pull. All important to insure
proper gun mount and eye alignment along the rib and the length of pull, if properly set,
will enhance swing balance dynamics; reduce recoil and further enhance pointability on the
- A high rib will do you wonders, and if adjustable will create miracles! Way too
many shooters are not shooting adjustable rib guns and they should be. It is true
once you are proficient with a gun you never need to adjust your point of impact (POI),
but what if you are not so proficient, yet? What are you going to do shim and
re-shim the stock, keep fiddling with comb height that does nothing but give your cheek
more of a beating from recoil? The adjustable high rib gun is an important factor to
FEATURES OF THE ADJUSTABLE HIGH RIB GUN
| You can adjust the rib setting to set the point of impact exactly for the game
you wish to play. A simple turn of a dial or screw raises or lowers the impact for
many reasons you may want to. If you have a O&U and shoot double-trap you can
drop the POI to flash-hit that first target and smash the second on a flatter-trending
| You can easily make POI adjustments to match the gun to the zone you plan to
shoot. In the learning process it requires many adjustment combinations to find that
right zone to match your timing of the shot. If targets are running slow and
flat? You can drop the POI. Targets flying fast and high? Raise the
| You earn yardage, you have to learn a new series of sight pictures. With
the adjustable rib you simply raise the POI a smidgen and that's that! The sight
pictures and your timing remain the same. The gun does all these corrections for
you. That's the wonder of the adjustable rib... but there is much more...|
| You see the target way much better and sooner with a high rib gun as your eye's
are up and away from the barrel.|
| Your head remains in a straight-line erect stature looking straight ahead
concentric to the rib. A low rib gun will require you to crouch down or raise the
gun high on the shoulder which throws off swing dynamics, upsets eye to rib alignment and
raises the odds of a mismount to unacceptable levels.|
| Recoil is reduced as the bore of the barrel is lowered in direct line with the
shoulder. This reduces the tendency to lift your head from the stock overshooting
| Your standing stance is correct with no crouching of the upper back or shoulders
to hold the gun. This only makes for a better setup and that means more targets hit.
| Visually distorting heat waves are extraordinarily diminished. The optical
illusion effect is abolished.|
There are many benefits of a high rib gun, and these benefits are only enhanced further
if the rib is adjustable. However, there is a great deficiency of knowledge
pertaining to POI, timing and zone shooting. Shooter's stateside, have not been
properly educated on how to fit their guns and shoot high POI guns, adjust timing factors,
etc. European shooters understand these important factors simply because these,
primarily the English, have not only been shooting shotguns since time began... they have
mastered the art of shooting... and I don't believe we Americans are ever going to take
their hard-earned title away. They believe way too heavily on gun fit and shooting
instruction, so the average English / European shooter will kick out rears on the
trapfield. They know everything! They shoot targets running at 70 m.p.h. while
we shoot 40 m.p.h. targets. See the drift? And they do it with 7/8 oz of
shot... so let's not think we can measure up to those standards anytime soon. Fact
is, our trap shooting game is child's play to them. Gosh, they invented trap
shooting and sporting clays, and games we never even heard of or shoot over here.
And, to top it off... they deeply love the O&U shotgun. A thought to ponder.
GETTING BACK TO FEATURES
What more gizmos do you need on your trap gun? Not much more. All the rest
| Fluorescent sight beads are easily glued on with silicone rubber (magnets
are not reliable as the sight will shift or fly off the rib). These sight beads are
great learning tools and more. You can see the target angle immediately as it passes
by the barrel and you can, with great ease, learn sight pictures and get that bead where
it should be regardless of lighting condition or background interference.|
| Barrel weight may be necessary if the gun is too lively (though you can
compensate by shifting your forearm grip further toward the muzzle end of the stock to
kill hyperactive guns). As a general rule, your gun should be about 8 to 9 pounds
for trapshooting. Any heavier and the swing is smooth but you can't break the
inertia unless you have very powerful muscles or use a moving gun technique. A gun
that is too heavy will start slow allowing the target to escape the zone and overshoot the
target as heavy guns tend to rise higher when swung because your muscles are stiffer just
to hold the darn thing up. If the gun is too light you gain too much control and
pointing errors increase. The gun moves too fast and becomes unstable and difficult
to stay on the target's true flight path.|
| Release or pull trigger? That's a big subject. Just shoot a pull
trigger unless you develop serious flinching problems. The release trigger is not a
cure-all but it does work. Before you quit the sport due to low scores and flinching
read my book "Trap Shooting Secrets." It will break you out of slumps and many
other troublesome thorns in the flesh. The book also reveals what a flinch is, and
it's not caused by recoil as you think it is, but shooting out of time with one's inner
| Ported barrels are great to have as it will reduce a tad of muzzle rise and some
felt recoil, but it has positive effects on the shotstring and eases the punishment to
lead pellets prior to entering the choke, or final squeeze if your gun has no choke.|
| Recoil reduction device is a must for many shooters, but not all shooters need or
want them. Overall, it is best to have one installed because way too many targets
are missed, and shooters rarely admit, head-lifting ever so slightly from the comb.
Most shooters don't even know they are doing it even when it happens because it is a
unconscious reaction! But if you watch shooters miss, you will see it happening,
allot. Tell a 27-yard shooter s/he lifted their head and they will likely cuss at
you in their attempt of self-denial. |
|Consider buying a trap shotgun with Back-bored (another term for Over-bored) barrels and
lengthened Forcing Cones. This reduces felt recoil and produces tighter shotstring
patterns. If you can't get both, at least opt for the Over-bored barrel.
Chrome-lined barrels is a great feature to avoid pitting, wad friction scuffing and makes
cleaning a quick task. |
|The rib should have a wide scored face to contrast the sight bead.|
That just about wraps it up.
Deciding how much money to spend on a trap shotgun.
Money. Lots of money.
For more information
Contact the following:
It's really difficult to find the "right gun" no matter who you are.
The choices are many and there are many fine guns with varying price tags.
Now, it is commonly thought the more money you pay for a gun the better the gun is.
True and false. Better for what? Resale value? Investment? Quality of
Is it truly practical to believe if you spend $8,000 or more on a trap gun you
will be shooting better? Don't kid yourself... you won't. How many shooters do
you know who shoot expensive guns never win those big shoots? On the other hand, a
beat-up junk gun that doesn't fit won't do you justice. Striking the happy medium is
the goal. So, ask yourself...
WHY AM I BUYING A NEW GUN?
That is the most important question of all to
ask yourself. Here's some typical reasons why shooters buy another or a new gun and
the pitfalls to avoid...
I can't shoot this gun I have now. Pitfall: Why? Do you know the real true reasons why you can't shoot
the gun you currently own? Is it a "feeling" or is it a technical
deficiency you can literally point to on the gun? Example: Gun does not
fit is a technical reason. A feeling is just that and nothing more but a guess.
Many shooters change guns based on a feeling or mood or want rather than a need.
They buy another or new gun switching only models or brands but never correcting
the true reason why they find it difficult to shoot the gun. Find the reason, make
the modification or buy the new gun with the modification. Anything less you are
simply wasting money, time, energy and ensuring more poor scores.
I'm in a slump and I can't escape. A new gun will help me. Pitfall: It won't. The gun does non create slumps, the shooter does.
Read item #1 again. A temporary boost in scores often will occur when someone
buys a new gun as attention and new enthusiasm inspires the mind, but soon the bottom
falls out and scores again plummet. The shooter still has not learned how to shoot
and no new gun is going do that for you. Shooting a new gun is a thrill. This
emotion activates the subconscious mind, but only for short time. There are
techniques that work to bring you out of Slump Hell which are explained in my books.
I shot a new gun at a tournement practice
trap and shot better. Pitfall: The power of your
mind has given you a temporary lift enabling you to believe you can shoot better... that
there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This new belief in yourself was triggered
by shooting the new gun, but it will not last. As you buy the gun and enter the
learning curve to shoot the gun this exileration phase disapates and your are right back
where you started... in a slump with an expensive new gun. If you are going to buy a
new gun it better have the features on it that you know will solve your shooting problems
otherwise it's a waste of money.
The pros shoot this type of gun so I've
got to progress to it. Pitfall: The
expensive guns shoot little to no better than the inexpensive gun. If the gun you
shoot is not mechanically defective or has a POI that is corrupted - like shooting to the
left or right or too low or too high, then the gun you own may be fine as is... as long as
it fits you and shoots where you look! If you fix your current gun in a vice it will
keep shooting into the bullseye because it is a precision instrument. The expensive
gun will do the same. So if this is the case you will be buying the expensive gun
for the wrong reasons... not to shoot more accurately. Where is the advantage?
There is none.
Everybody is raving about the gun and I've
got to have one. Pitfall: Will you
shoot better with that gun? Are you sure? What is it about the gun's features
that will positively enhance your shooting? Example: A gun with a high rib
verses the low rib gun you are now shooting can be a positive feature.
I want that gun! I've always wanted
one! Pitfall: Buy it because you want it, but don't expect the gun to do your
job for you. There is nothing wrong with owning the car or truck you've always
wanted. Same is true with a new gun... if you want it, buy it. Just make
certain the new gun you buy has the features you must have to shoot better.
Buying a gun for prestige reasons will give you little prestige as you gaze at your low
scores posted on the wall at the registered shoot.
Expensive guns are really nice. They
are well-built and will last a lifetime if not abused, lost or stolen. The quality
is high, but this does not mean the economical gun that cost about $2,000 or so is not
better for you score-wise. Price will not buy scores! We humans are always
looking for the shortcuts, the easy way out of things. Trapshooting is not easy...
it's hard work! A new gun will only make your work harder than it is now especially
if it's not what you needed to correct poor scores.
First, learn how to shoot high scores, then
when you are proficient, go out and buy your new expensive gun as you will have the raw
experience under your belt to adapt to the gun. The worst thing you can do is keep
changing guns! Each gun requires thousands of rounds of shooting to get to know it
well. Each new gun will set your scores back a year or two in re-learning and
that's an expensive price to pay. Remember; guns don't win shoots...
If you have lots of money to burn, then by
all means go out and buy the most expensive gun you can with all the features you need
included and learn to shoot from this starting point. Most shooters who begin trap
shooting don't have the money to buy expensive guns, don't yet know the features they
should have, or are not sure what they want or need. These magazine articles should
help you to at least clear out some of the doubts and fallacies of trapguns so you won't
make expensive mistakes.
There are way too many shooters changing guns
for one reason or another. The biggest of them all is buying the wrong gun to begin
with. Usually, a new shooter arrives at a gun club, falls for the game and buys a
member's trapgun for sale... but was it the right gun to buy? I could or it could
not. The good news is, if you bought a decent trap gun (not a field or skeet gun)
you can have it modified to fit you so it will shoot where you look. So, instead of
looking to buy a new gun you may want to consider alterations. But if the
alterations are too expensive? Then buy a new gun with the features you need.
Be aware you can't just walk into a gun store
and buy a trap shotgun off the shelf unless it has all the adjustable features; adjustable
comb, adjustable rib or stock, adjustable butt-end, removable chokes. It's a huge
mistake to purchase a gun that can not be adjusted to fit you and set POI easily.
Now you can buy a gun off the shelf, but don't you dare shoot it as is... you must take it
to a stock fitter right away and have the gun fitted. If you have never done this
with the gun you are shooting now... it's no wonder you are always looking to buy another
trapgun. You can never consistently shoot well with a gun that does not fit
you! The swings between having good days and bad days will be extreme... like
shooting on luck alone. It can become so frustrating a shooter may even quit the
Get your priorities in line. Too many
shooters are so willing to pay money for new shells to try, new whatever's, and neglect
the most important factor of all... gun fit. Gun fit! Gun fit! Gun fit!
Say it a thousand times as your penance. If you really want to shoot well and see
yourself winning the money and trophy's then make your appointment now to get your gun
checked for fit. It is simply incredible how many shooters out there have never had
such a tune-up... yet it is so important!
And for those who do have all the adjustable
features already on the gun... did you have your settings checked by a stockfitter?
Likely not! The settings on your gun may seem to be right and may even feel
right yet could be all wrong! Don't kid yourself... you can't setup the gun by
yourself. You need that outside perspective to see gun fit! Looking in a
mirror will not work as you will unconsciously make adjustments to make it look right then
when you shoot it will revert to being all wrong again.
Having your gun fit checked is often
free! Or a minimal charge of $20 or so. The actual cost of fitting the gun to
you is approximately $80 to $120 with stock bending, etc. Win one option event and
you have your money back! Fact is, you'll be winning more and more money with a gun
that fits. So, let's stop messing around and get the gun fit checked. Don't
delay, make your appointment today!
Buying another or new gun is a controversial
and personal subject. Some shooters will agree or disagree to this article and
that's okay. The point is established that no matter what gun you buy it must
enhance your shooting. Wants and needs are two separate entities and often do not
compliment each other. You may discover the gun you always wanted due to aesthetic
or prestige reasons was not the right gun for you at all. So, before you buy know
The miracle benefits of the ventilated high-rib rig.
The desire to shoot well.
For more information
Talk to your gunsmith or new gun dealer.
LEARN & EARN
Arise and awaken ye' ol' trapshooter's of planet Earth for the day of reckoning
is near. Okay, sage warnings never could frighten hardened trap shooters, but low
scores will make them #!*#!* scared stiff. Here's some good advice and if you follow
it no doubt you will make some money at trapshoots when you pass the initial learning
Here's the skinny on ribs!
I'm not going to explain all of the features and benefits as I need to keep the
article short and sweet, so here goes:
- The high rib lowers the bore line to reduce felt recoil and reduces head-lifting.
- Gives you superior visibility of the target rising under the barrel and when taking the
- Keeps your eye on line as the head does not have to reach down to the comb.
- A better shooting stance is obtained and that means less shooting over the top of
- Reduces flinching.
- Eliminates visual target optical illusions by chilling distorting heat waves from the
- Helps you get on the target quicker.
- And that's as far as we go here so nobody gets irate.
Now if you are shooting a flat-rib gun you are not receiving these benefits and
likely your scores are reflecting this on the score sheet. So my advice is the next
time you do go to a registered shoot to visit the 'gun boys' and test drive a high-rib
gun. When the day comes to buy; beg, plead, stomp your feet and demand a adjustable
rib gun or tell the dealer he must personally guarantee the gun will shoot where you look
and in synchronization with your timing or you get your money back (they won't do it,
believe me). Some may even say, "Synchronize? What?" And make
certain your comb is adjustable too for height and cast (on & off).
That adjustable rib is going to bail you out of many heartaches in the long haul
as you work your way back from the short-yardage handicap to the long-yardage. You
can make fine adjustments on each yardage punch (usually raising point of impact) and
still maintain your timing and sight pictures without a troublesome learning curve.
For those who are already at the back fence the adjustable rib will help you
fine-tune your shooting as you can experiment with different POI settings to maximize
precise hits on the target using various timing schemes. You can't do that with a
fixed rib gun as easily as you may think.
So if you have a fix-rib gun with a solid comb stock you had better be ready to
go see a stockfitter because if you haven't you are shooting a gun that does not fit you.
And if you don't believe it, then look at your scores! Your score will tell
you the truth regardless if your ignore the problem.
"I don't have a personality
problem... you do!"
There is one troubling common thread many trapshooters have as a personality
defect and that is one of; "It ain't me! It's the other guy that has the
problem!" And worse yet... "Yeah, yeah, I know, but..."
Those "but's" will kick 'em in the butt every time they go out to win a
tournament. So what's the point?
If you are serious about trap shooting get the rig that can take you where you
want to go and get all the features you can on your gun that will give you the winning
edge. You must have the advantage over your competition in equipment and skill if
you wish to win again, and again. Everybody wins here and there, but can you do it again
and do it at the big shoots? Go test out a ventilated high-rib gun... they are true
The gun you own may be lying to you!
"Loyalty breeds dishonesty." Just read the news of politicians
and other government civil servants in power and you'll see the common theme of loyalty
covering up one wrong deed after another. Trapshooters do the same thing in a way
when they begin to give affectionate loyalty to the gun they paid $3,000 to $6,000 for and
they can't win a big shoot with it, ever. I say big shoots as anyone can get lucky
and win a small shoot. And averages mean nothing in the "real world" of
trapshooting. You can have a respectable average and still not walk out with the
trophy and money at the Satellite or other Grand-type shoots.
So here lies the problem, 1) The gun you own is the wrong gun,
but you don't believe it, 2) You need shooting lessons and
instructions, 3) Both number 1 and number 2 apply and you
still won't believe it and will do nothing, 4) This is why the
better shooter's take your money, 5) You can change your attitude
and win shoots if you are willing to get rid of that silly loyalty thing that is holding
you down, but you likely won't do that either until you get sick and tired of your scores
and finally cave-in to reason.
It's not easy to give up a gun after you've spent big money on it and that is a
problem for many trapshooters for they never did their homework and consulted the proper
experts before buying the gun. I've said time and again buying expensive guns is a
custom purchase... not an off the shelf on my shoulder deal. You don't learn how to
shoot a gun... you shoot a gun that fits you... then you learn how to shoot targets!
You don't have to agree with me on anything here. Heaven forbid if I get
blamed for divorcing your loyalty to your gun. I'm just telling you the way it is
and maybe, just maybe, you'll take a second look to see if the gun you are shooting is in
fact the right gun for you. I know many will try a high-rib gun at the practice trap
and fail to break as many targets as they did with their loyal spouse and say, "I
can't shoot this confounded thing!" That's not proof. You may have to buy
the gun and shoot 500 rounds to really tell if it's right, and one thing I can assure you.
If the gun fits, shoots where you look and the rib and comb are adjustable... you
will learn how to shoot it! And in the end you too will swear by the
Not all the pros shoot high-rib guns though many do. The key is to take
the straight easiest route to success not the most twisted road that may lead nowhere.
Trapshooting is never easy, but it is easier to see targets with a high-rib gun...
and s/he who sees the target best usually breaks the targets best. That's a shortcut
worth taking. The low-rib gun is like paying tolls on an Eastern turnpike... who
needs it? What benefits are there? All they do is tax the spirit and take your
money and give it to someone else, and it's still a bumpy ride.
So the bottom line is this. Your next gun purchase should be your last...
or at least close to that figure. So step up to the stepped-up rib and go to work
breaking targets. After all, you paid to break them so it's just not fair to you to
let those orange or green fruits just fly away unscathed into the horizon.
You need to get into
competition now to be a good shooter and to have real fun!
A shotgun and you.
For more information
Contact the ATA , Shotgun Sports Magazine and Clay Shooting Magazine
I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO SHOOT
This is not true.
Many new and casual trapshooters practicing at local gun clubs 'for fun' believe they must
shoot better to compete in the big registered shoots and shy away from the prospect of
signing up. "I can't beat them guys!" I also hear, "I
just shoot for fun" as another reason why they don't participate. Do you
fall into this category? Let's talk!
Let me assure you I fully understand your reluctance as I (and
everybody else) went through the same thing, 1)
You do not have to shoot better to begin competition shooting and, 2) It is more fun than shooting at the local club...
10-times more fun! 3) It is perfectly normal to be a bit
intimidated to the prospect of signing up!
| Fear is the predominate factor to overcome... fear of shooting an embarrassingly
low score. This fear is unjustified and totally unreasonable. If you
attend any registered shoot you will see very low scores even among shooters who
have competed for 20-years or more! I'm talking low 60's in handicap! If you
look at your own practice scores you may be surprised to see you are doing way better than
There is no reason to fear shooting a low score. Trapshooter's at these
shoots are very cautious of 'racking on' anyone's scores as they are usually not very
proud of their own scores! Everyone gets a dose of 'humbling lessons' at these
shoots... as most everyone who attends loses! So your fear of losing and
shooting a low score is not realistic, so you may as well get your calendar and mark it to
attend the next shoot!
| The fun factor of shooting registered targets is more fun than shooting
at the club on Sunday's. Many more functions are planned, larger banquets and
fun-shoots like Annie Oakley's and Buddy Shoots. There is the fun of taking
mini-vacations out of town to meet new friends you haven't even met yet. And at the
Grand-level shoots your wife can take-off on excursion tours offered by the shoot
promoter on shopping trips, museum visits, etc.|
When the sun falls and the stars flicker above you can sit around and chat with
people nibbling on tasty morsels of food they use to attract friends (it's a dirty trick
to get company but it works). So if you shoot for fun... you are missing out on the real
fun if you don't attend registered competitions.
| Now for those who want to shoot better before entering competition and plan to
practice until you get better? It doesn't work that way!
First, competition shooting is totally unlike practice and there is no comparison
whatsoever. Secondly, you can practice all you want at the club and hit high 90's in
handicap and when you go to the registered shoot you'll blow it and lose badly and that
will crush your spirit greatly.|
| You will not be shooting against the pros! You will be assigned
an entry-level class and you will shoot with other shooters with the same
abilities you now have, more or less. So it is not inconceivable to actually
go to a registered tournament shoot... and actually win it! It happens all
the time. So there is no need to fret and delay. Pack your bags and
get ready for the next registered shoot!|
| Sooner or later you will attend registered competitions.
Many, many, many, shooters have told me, "Never will you ever see me shooting
tournaments. It's not my thing. Believe me." And two-years later
guess who I see shooting? Yep, it will happen to you too! If you keep shooting
on weekends the day will come your friends will 'go for it' and eventually you will feel
'left-out' and join-in on the fun. Believe me, it is more fun
shooting registered shoots than simply practicing on Sunday afternoons. Just try it
once and see for yourself. You at least owe that to yourself to have some real
fun, don't you?|
|The day arrives you will get the urge to shoot better and to do this you'll need to
enter registered shoots.|
- When you practice at the local club you are shooting on familiar ground.
You know the traps, the targets, the speed and feel of the traps and targets, and the
people around you will be upsetting to your natural squad-building at the registered
shoot. This comfort zone will not be there when you attend your first tournament
shoot. Everything will 'look different' and the targets thrown may be faster or
slower or of a different color and this will upset your timing and sight pictures.
The background scene will be strange and will cause eye-flicker. All of this will dump
your scores for you have gained little to no experience of shooting at other clubs
and variant conditions. So it's a waste of time, energy and a life of fun to wait
until you shoot a better score. Don't make this mistake!
- The formal nature of the shoot will upset your mind-set and the internal fears of
shooting a good rank will be destructive to your final score. Competition stirs
adrenaline like no other factor and it can not be generated at the club on a
Sunday practice shoot. Try as you may... it's impossible. So no matter how
much you practice it's all for nothing until you get your feet to the fire during
competition itself. Only competition can elevate you to a new level.
- To be a better shooter and to get your scores up you have to enter competition,
and the sooner you do the better shooter you will be. The longer you delay
the worst it's going to be for you to compete! The better you get at the local
club... the lower your score will be in the registered tournament event
and that will create more fear and perceived embarrassment to you. If you delay...
you pay. It's all part of competitive psychology.
- How are you going to learn if you surround yourself with shooters that are not
top-notch trapshooters? Knowledge is passed on by pros to friends
and to you at these shoots. Along with the actual experience of shooting
competition... you learn! Your knowledge base remains limited if you only practice
at the club on Sunday afternoons.
These are just a few reasons why you
must sign-up now!
So mark your calendar and let's go!
Do yourself a favor. If you love to
shoot your shotgun, the registered shoot is the place you want to be! The time to
join is now!
Setting the record straight
of the many myths misleading shooters.
A willinglness to learn.
For more information
Contact your inner mind of reason.
THE MYTHS OF TRAPSHOOTING
| Angled targets travel in straight lines.|
False. Gravity exerts anti-linear momentum forces upon targets. All angled
trap targets "bend" along a curved-arc flight path. The better
trapshooters are conscious of this fact and insure they aim/point/acquire the target's arc
before pulling that trigger. Once learned it becomes a natural subconscious act, to
a degree, but awareness of this anomaly is critical to obtain consistent solid hits and
|Straight-away targets are straight.|
Straight targets bend left or right but never travel in a
straight line. It is so rare to see a true straight-away target they are practically
non-existent. You can see this for yourself by locking the trap machine and see how
many target will strike the center field post. Most targets will still fall left or
right of the post and that's with with machine "locked" in position on a calm
day. When the trap oscillates those off-centerline targets increase
dramatically. Always aim to shoot left or right of a straight-trending target, never
at its center.
|Never use the sight beads when shooting trap.|
Sight beads are necessary to use. Back-sighting is a
requirement to learn how to shoot off the end of your barrel, to tighten the sight picture
and to control trigger timing. You can't shoot with your eyes alone in handicap.
Eye/hand coordination is not precise enough to establish precision dispatching of
edge-on targets. You have to use the sights more than you currently believe.
This is not rifle-aiming, but close to it.
|You must learn to shoot singles to be good at handicap.|
No. The two games are very different. Each requires
its own technique. If this were not true you may as well start shooting double-rise
(double-trap) or Olympic trap so you can shoot DTL or ATA handicap targets properly.
Each game is different, so do not believe the myth you must shoot singles 16-yard
targets to excel in handicap. Specialization is required.
|A soft eye focus is required prior to calling for target.|
Not true. You have to learn how to pre-focus the eye along
the sight rib to energize centralized vision. Pros will casually tell a novice to
use a soft focus but they fail to consider they themselves are using centralized vision
focus due to the tremendous level of eye-training they have acquired over the years.
Once learned it appears as a soft focus but to the beginner it is not. Also,
pre-focus allows the shooter to enter the slow-motion mode of shooting, allows the target
to appear brighter and the targets come to the shooter instead of having to chase them
|A shooter can setup his/her own gun fit.|
Extremely rare. Only a few can who have the inner
knowledge. Most all shooters are shooting guns that are not fitted properly and have
never consulted with a stockfitter for a check-up. A mirror will not help to perform
fit tests as the shooter will tweak adjustments to "make" it look right.
An outside view is required. Too many targets are missed due to failing to insure
good gun fit.
|30-inch patterns is the standard and most reliable.|
A common myth. In singles you'll get away with it, but not in long-yardage
handicap as the pattern fails. The central hot-core is what breaks targets with
'reliability' so pattern down to the 25" pattern to establish the tightly-packed
central core. If you don't, you will miss targets when you did not miss at
all. The 30" pattern works against you in handicap shooting. If the
25" pattern is too much for you to learn then try the 28" pattern first to learn
to adapt to the increased precision required to break the targets then migrate to the
|Release trigger solves flinching.|
It is a management tool, not a cure-all. Flinching
comes in many forms not just recoil flinching. Release triggers do help many
shooters and is a viable tool. There are alternative techniques to explore before
switching to the release trigger as these triggers will not cure sight-picture
flinches where you pull the trigger at the wrong time and miss the target.
|Shooters don't need lessons.|
A prevalent misconception especially in the USA and
Canada. Every shooter needs instruction to learn the finer points of trapshooting.
There are too many shooters who shoot in competition not really knowing what is
really going on out there with the targets. There are tricks to this trade like any
other sport or occupation. If you don't learn these little secrets you eventually
hit a wall that can't be broken down and the dreaded slump materializes.
| A new shooter should begin at the 16-yard line.|
Everybody does this but it's wrong. The new shooter
is too close to the targets and they appear too fast to the eye like shooting skeet
targets. The gun must swing faster in a wider arc so they learn right away
to "push" the muzzle to the target, often violently. Shooting 16-yard
targets is difficult to do for the brand new shooter and no sense of preliminary accuracy
is acquired. Put the new shooter on the 20-yard line so they can see the target a
little better and slower and not have to swing the gun so wildly. Once they get the
hang of it then let them shoot the 16's.
|Canting a shotgun is a grave error.|
Only if performed with no specific purpose. A new
shooter will cant the gun because the mind's-eye is seeing the curving targets and telling
the body to respond to follow the arc. The shooting coach will eliminate the canting
so as to establish proper swing dynamics. However, once swing form is learned
canting is a technique a shooter can intentionally use to get on the target quicker and
smoother and shape the shotstring for dead-center hits. It is an advance moving gun
technique. You will see pros using it. It's subtle to the untrained eye but
canting is used with great success in trapshooting.
|Many shooters are using the wrong size choke.|
Absolutely. Most shooters are using a choke that is
throwing a wide pattern to obtain "easy hits" but the pattern fails just enough
to keep the scores down in the non-winning area. Tighten up the choke. You'll
miss targets at first due to learning how to get more precise hits but in the long-run
you'll begin to pick up those previously lost targets and see impressive scores.
Learn to shoot with precision not with a choke. Practice with an extra-full
choke! This will build precision. Later, in competition, you can open up the
choke a bit if you wish to help counter for those slight misalignments, nervousness
induced errors, etc.
| It is easier to shoot at the 27-yard line.|
When shooters at shorter handicap distances shoot the 27-yard at Turkey or
Buddy-shoots they seem to pump some good scores; "Hey, it's easier here than where
I'm standing!" So the drive to get to that "easy" 27 is very
attractive and all efforts are expended to get there quickly. The day of victory
arrives... success at last! Then suddenly - almost immeditely upon arrival - the
scores dump to the pits and stay there. What happened to that easy
27? It's not so easy anymore! In fact, it's hellishly difficult. You can
thank your unconcious mind for the trip to hell because it brought you there, not by pure
skill, but my emotion and luck. On the journey to the 27-yard line precision
shooting techniques were never learned and when that luck runs dry (and it does) a
shooter can not escape from the plateau. The wall is hit hard and the shooter is
trapped in a snare. All efforts to escape fail and the relentless slump materizes,
feeding on itself, and the walls squeeze in to crush the shooter's spirit and
scores. Now there is help! You can take lessons from a coach to escape and/or
read my books to learn these precision shooting secrets. Try as you may, you will
never escape this hellish slump on your own efforts. You must have the knowledge to
break free. It's now or never.
|You must have natural-born talent to become a professional
Totally false! Many, many, pros will tell you how badly they shot when
they first started out... often worse than your scores when you first shot! One Hall
of Fame pro told me when he fired his first round of trap he couldn't hit any of
the 25 targets and it took him ten tries before he hit ten of them! Talk to
Olympic Medallists winners and they will tell you just how little natural-talent
plays a role to perform professionally. You have to learn pro
techniques! You also need advice, support, lessons and instructions. Some
shooters can rise to high levels of achievement on natural-talent, but few do. And
even those that do rely on the "inner knowledge" they picked up from other
professionals! Pros don't shoot in a vacuum. No man is an island. Get
the knowledge and you can become a professional trapshooter!
|Nobody gives lessons for free.|
Not true. There are many free resources you can use
to learn trapshooting.
- Click here for free trap shooting
lessons and click here for answers to many questions.
- Talk to professional shooters... ask questions. Many
trapshooters feel intimidated to approach these professionals. Simply push past that
barrier and introduce yourself and open with, "Can I ask you a question about (gun
fit, sight pictures, etc.)?" It's that simple. Most will never say no so
you'll get your answer. Keep conversation brief and short, a couple minutes or so,
and the next day you will get even more advice if you ask.
- Subscribe to shooting magazines. The subscription cost is so
low relative to the information given the shooting lessons given in the articles
themselves are essentially free.
- Search for internet sources where advice is given and where
shooters talk to each other on-line.
- The library may have shooting books you can read for free.
- You can pay to have shooting lessons from a coach/instructor.
Yes, the cost is there, but if you win option money due to the increased scores -
those shooting lessons were free. A good investment was made.
| You never aim a shotgun, you point it at the
Just watch a pro shoot and tell me s/he is pointing the gun at the targets when
shooting handicap targets... and I'll show you a pro that is no longer going to stay a
pro. You bet these pro shooters aim their guns! After 25-years of shooting
40,000 targets a year it may even appear to be pointing to them at times, but the truth is
they are using those sight beads/muzzle to put them on the target. It's the only way
to get that sure-fire hit each and every time. No luck here or relying on pure
eye/hand coordination as the sole factor. Fact is, at the 27-yard line there is
little eye/hand coordination taking place. It's pure intentional calculated
precision moves to the target; trigger control, eye focus, gun and eye holds, tracking the
target's true line of flight, fine-tuned back-sighting, etc. Techniques that have
nothing to do with pointing a shotgun. Don't believe the myth you point a shotgun
for if you do... you will continue to point and lose to the pros who know better.
There are many secrets to trapshooting.
|Eye/hand coordination is a predominate skill in handicap
False. There is very little angular muzzle travel at
the 27-yard line, a bit more at lesser yardage's but dangerous to assume handicap shooting
requires polished eye/hand coordination as would shooting singles or double trap at the
16-yard line or other disciplines such as skeet and sporting clays. A higher degree
of precision aiming is required in the handicap trap game where the shooter must learn how
to use the sight beads without rifle-shooting. A technique called back-sighting
which allows the shooter to shoot off the end of the barrel.
|Shooting Glasses? A waste of money.|
False. Shooting glasses are designed with lenses
ground to centralize vision into the focal zone where the iris is located so you see the
target with more rod receptors, about 750,000 more! This
enhances your shooting greatly the moment you put the glasses on. The better you see
the target the easier it will be to hit it. Many shooter are missing out on these
benefits. Lens filters also enhance target centering and clarity. The cost is
now way more affordable!
|Do not think when shooting in competition.|
True and false. If you don't think you'll be
shooting blindly with a dead mind. Using trigger words and simple positive
statements will keep you focused to the job at hand. The top Olympic shooters are
fierce competitors and they mentally converse with themselves with a vengeance when
shooting. It elevates desire and forces you to enhance performance and crush
negetive thoughts; "You have to beat the devil to submit to your will not his!"
You need quick lessons on your first day so here's some shooting tips.
The will to learn and have fun.
For more information
This Web site has all the information to take you where you want to go.
The best bet is to ask the gun club manager to have some give you some basic
instruction on safety procedures, how to stand correctly, how to move from station to
station, how to shoulder and hold the gun. Once this is performed you can begin to
take that first step to learn how to shoot trap targets.
Now you may only want to try just one or two of these items on your first day or
two of trap shooting. You don't want this to become a technical exercise as you are
only trying to have some fun.
- When you are standing on any one post/station you will now notice that when a target
exits you will receive one of three basic angled targets... left, straight or right.
Keep this basic thought in mind and it will help you eliminate all of the angles in
between from concern.
- Now, the idea here is to setup your gun hold (where you hold the gun over or on the
traphouse) to take advantage of the most severest angled target you will receive on that
specific post. Post 1 the hard extreme left target is the most difficult so you want
to mentally prepare yourself for that target to emerge. You don't anticipate it will
exit, but if it does you are ready to go for it. Post #2 a less severe left target.
Post #3 you'll receive minor angled left and right so there is no need to setup for
any of these angles so you setup for the straight target. Post #4 and #5 is the
reverse of #1 #2 as you'll setup for the extreme right angled target. Easy, huh?
It is. But breaking the target is always still hard to do... to do it
- Try taking a nice deep breath before you call for the target as this will settle the
nerves and add a boost of oxygen to the eye to increase your vision of the target.
- If you can't hit the targets you can try closing your eye and rifle-shoot the target by
aiming at it. The trick is to not take your eye off the target otherwise the muzzle
will stop and you'll shoot behind the target. So no peeking back at the sight bead.
- Don't be afraid to put that gun's muzzle/sight bead way ahead of the target before you
pull the trigger.. it's hard to shoot behind a target this way.
- When you miss a target just remember there are two basic reasons why. You shot
over the top of the target or behind it. It is an extremely rare event that you will
actually shoot below a target or too far ahead of it. This is an important thing to
keep in your mind when learning how to trapshoot. Now you can focus on leading the
target (advancing the gun ahead of the target) and to keep the muzzle pointed at the
bottom or below the target. Trap guns are designed to shoot high, meaning when you
fire the gun the shotstring pellets will actually be shot a bit higher than where you
aimed. Stay below and ahead of the target and you'll be hitting much more of
- Do not mount (place gun on shoulder) too quickly. Do not be in a hurry here, okay?
It is important to learn right away that you mount the gun smoothly to your
shoulder, like in slow-motion, and socket it into your shoulder firmly. Pull the gun
in snugly so it's nice and tight. This will help you maintain control of the gun and
reduce and recoil from banging your shoulder.
- Now you must keep your head down on the gun's comb. So snug your cheek down and
feel that it is down before you call for the target. Now be aware, if the gun does
not fit you the gun may rise up a bit and whack you in the cheek with a slight sting.
If this happens ask the gun club manager if there's another gun you could use or
place some shock absorbent material to the gun. Even a folded towel taped to the
comb will do the trick. Now push your cheek down snugly. The more you push
down the less recoil you will experience (as long as the comb is fitting your face
- Now that you have the gun shouldered firmly and your cheek is down on the comb, close
your eyes for a second and "feel" what this feels like. This is how you
must remain when you call for the target, see the target and move the muzzle to the
target. You cannot loosen your grip on the gun and you cannot lift your head from
the comb. If you have a hard time seeing the target leave the traphouse, then lower
your gun hold so you can.
- Try holding the gun all the way down to the traphouse before you call for the target.
You will see the target better but you'll have to swing the gun a bit more than the
high gun hold method. The high gun hold is holding the gun straight out horizontally
like many other shooters you see doing. But here's a hot tip the pros use and many
experienced trapshooters don't know. Lower the gun hold an inch or two more from the
straight out horizontal. This will help you see the target quicker and be able to
swing on the target's true flight path. If you don't do this you will be swinging
the gun left and right only and you will miss way too many targets doing this.
- When tracking the target with your muzzle make sure you do just that! Think of the
target as a freight train on railroad tracks. You want to get onto the same railroad
track and follow the muzzle along this track until you catch up with the target.
Believe it or not, many shooters forget to do this!
- When you swing the gun, don't push or jerk the muzzle. Relax! Allow your
entire body to move the gun to the target by pivoting from the hips and upper body.
You and the gun should feel like a "ridged" piece of steel so the gun can't move
unless you move your body to the target. This is called using Body English and it's
an advanced shooting form that is correct for the beginner to learn. You lose
control of the gun and all accuracy if you push that gun with your arm to the
target. Let your body flow to the target.
- Be smooth to the target. Don't rush it. Don't be in a great hurry to shoot
the target the moment it exits the house. Let it get out there a ways so you can see
it. Don't worry if other shooters are shooting faster. You will too, later.
Just relax and try to put that sight bead on the target if you can.
- You don't have to aim the shotgun at this stage of your learning experience. Just
keep your eyes solidly locked onto the target at all times. Never take your eyes off
the target, okay? It will take a little time for your eyes to learn how to look at
fast moving targets. Hey, this is your first time shooting so don't worry about it.
If you want to train your eyes for the next round keep watching the targets fly as
other shooters shoot and try to focus in on a little broken fragment. This will help
you to learn how to see small moving objects. When you do this the target will
appear bigger and easier to hit.
- Try shooting handicap targets at the 20-yard line. This is a better place to learn
as you can see the targets better (smaller but they appear slower with less blur to them)
and you don't need to swing the muzzle as much (the angle decreases with distance from the
traphouse). This is also where all the big money is made in trapshooting.
Handicap shooting is more difficult but much more rewarding to learn.
- Don't make the mistake of practicing for months on the 16-yard line. There is no
big money shooting singles (16-yard targets are called, singles targets).
- Don't get caught up in the score trap! If you shoot the singles too much, say a
month or two, you will start to see you are hitting most all of the targets. Then
when the handicap trap game is started the singles shooter's tend to shy away from it,
"I can't shoot with them pros. My scores go down and I get embarrassed."
This is a trap trapshooters fall into early in their shooting and you must avoid
it. Get yourself onto the handicap shooting line as soon as you possibly can and
learn from there... like today! Why? Because your 16-yard singles
score will automatically increase because handicap is a harder game to learn. You
will hear you have to learn singles to be able to shoot handicap targets first. This
is a myth. Do not believe it. Singles shooting can never help you shoot well
in handicap as the handicap game is much more complex and totally unrelated to shooting
singles. Use the reverse process here and you'll see amazing score increases with
singles targets after you learn to shoot the handicap.
- Everyone will give you tips and lessons. Listen, but don't try to absorb all of
the things told to you all at one time. Many shooters cannot fully explain to your
why certain things are done or how to do them, but they can tell you what is right or
wrong (usually wrong is explained due to they not knowing the inner workings of the game).
So take advice with a grain of salt.
- Find out who the "best" shooter is at the club and ask this person questions.
If the shooter is a big-mouth braggart type, don't. No matter how good of a
shooter... these types of people tend to enjoy giving bad advice to new shooters.
Thankfully, they are rare in trapshooting, but a few "Glory Seeker
Know-It-All's" do exist.
- I know this is your first day of trap shooting, but you should check out the
opportunities available to you to enter competitive shooting. Yes, you are ready!
Just a few practice sessions like you have done today, say, four more and you'll
have the basic safety instructions to begin. You don't begin shooting
competitively waiting until your scores increase. That's not the right way to learn
trapshooting! You dive right in! Don't get into those hang-ups so many
shooter's have fearing to enter competition shoots... waiting for their scores to
increase. That's not the way to go, okay? Trust me on this one!
That's enough for today, and for the next month of shooting to learn.
Print this page and bring it with you the next time you go to shoot... you'll be glad you
Contact the ATA to get into competition and
start having some real fun trap shooting! And when you're really ready to start
learning this great game, read the book "Trap Shooting Secrets" by James Russell
and get ahead of your competition, fast!
Governing bodies guiding the sport of trap shooting.
About $15 per year.
For more information
In USA and Canada contact the ATA
THE AMATEUR TRAP SHOOTING ASSOCIATION
NOTHING AMATEUR ABOUT IT !
First, you have to join to shoot registered targets in tournament competitions.
The ATA alone gives you access to over 1,250 gun clubs holding registered
shoots. There are more than 6,000 formally conducted tournament shoots
taking place in the USA & Canada with the ATA alone not counting the PITA's shooting
schedules. Bet you didn't know that! And you'll find competition shoots in
your own home town or just a skip and a bucket away. Believe me you will be very
surprised to see what has been going on in or near your own town and never heard a
thing about it. After all, you don't overhear people talking, "Hey, lets go
trapshooting!" Despite the sport's private nature, you will be pleasantly
surprised how welcome you and your entire family will be when you arrive. And you
will even be more surprised to see just who is attending these shoots!
And did you know there are 8,000,000 clay target shooters? Yes, millions.
So if you thought clay target shooting was an obscure sport you are right to say it
is an unpublicized sport... but would be an oversight to assume it is a sport nobody is
interested in. A low profile keeps the ATA membership ranks in the 110,000 member
range. This figure will certainly rise as the word is getting out fast about
this new sport. The sport is decades old, but new to so many
people who have no knowledge of the sport's existence. It has always been a reserved
sport for the well-heeled. See the article, "What Is
The ATA assigns your classification and handicap yardage scores, etc.
Membership allows you to win trophies and prize money. Now for $15 per year that's
one heck of a good deal especially in today's expensive economy. What can you buy
today for $15 that will last a year and award you recognition and money? So it's an
investment well made. And you'll never get a better fun value factor. Have you
checked out the membership fees for golf clubs? Many are thousands of dollars and
you never get a chance to play against the pros.
Now, tell me one sport where the average person can walk in off the street,
plank down $15 and shoot against professional players? Only trap shooting allows you
this privilege. Certainly, many shooters feel this a disadvantage, though the
positive side is it can bring you up to the professional shooter's skill levels.
And, you most certainly do not need to place into 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in a shoot to win
money! The option system will reward you regardless of your final score.
Just break good scores on one or two traps and you'll be seeing some cash in the
handicap game. And... you get four chances to break a good trap score on
every handicap event! The ATA rules manage the money, so the payoffs are distributed
fairly and accurately.
So now we have some neat benefits just for joining the ATA; the ability to shoot
against the pros and earn money even when you lose. Amazing sport! Those are
the rules now. Anything could change, but the money will always be there for the
trapshooter regardless of rule changes... trap shooting is a money game. Always was
and always will be.
But there is more! You can buy insurance for your gun with the ATA and
they are implementing more benefits for members every year. You can find out about
them when you join.
Now, once you get into this sport and join-up with the ATA. You get the
opportunity to approach the pros, sit and chat with them, have your photo taken,
etc. Can you do this with any other sport? Hardly!
Plus, you can ask the pros questions to get tips on shooting to enhance your
skills and even take lessons from them too! Again, you can't do that with other
sports. Just try it with golf and see how far you'll get. You'd be lucky to
receive an autograph, very lucky, never mind a smile and a handshake. In
trap shooting you will not see a rope barrier to keep you away from the professional
Hall of Fame and All-American shooters. Frankly, the sport does not
discriminate between amateur and professional... all are treated equally. All have
equal access to facilities and to each other. You can't beat that kind of social
environment the ATA promotes!
And then there's the World's largest shoot, The ATA Grand American. A
worldwide event attracting over 100,000 shooters and spectators. You don't see that
on the TV news! But who cares? We don't need the media to have fun!
The ATA has it's own magazine Trap &
Field Magazine. For approximately $25 per year you'll receive a fine magazine
full of shoot results, photo's of wining shooters, shooting tips and advice, and much
So that's just part of it. You'll have to experience the exhilaration for
yourself. The time to join is now!
Permissions Granted: You are welcome to print and publish this
article in whole or in part on condition the copyright and text is not altered and a
visible link to our Web site is retained in (or immediately adjacent to the article)
giving credit and Internet access to readers to James Russell Publishing.
This licensing right is transferable and perpetual. Please retain book cover images
in the article and links to our home page. You may rearrange the page design layout
to fit your medium. You may print the individual tips as a series in monthly
installments as long as you retain book images and links to James Russell Publishing
in each published installment. Book images must not be used for any other purpose other
than related to this article or in conjunction with a bookstore affiliate program for book
wait another day ...
for life passes us by as we
and on knees we pray, "If I
only had one more day!"
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