12. What is the
biggest mistake you see shooters doing?
There are many. Here's a few; they shoot a gun that
does not fit them... they think it fits, but it doesn't fit at all. No proper setup
procedures and horrible gun mounting form. Calls too loud causing the eyes to lose
focus and muzzle dancing destroying any chance of getting reliable target hits.
Pushing the gun instead of swinging; they push the gun away from the eye which is the back
sight bead! Flinching; shooters flinch when you tell them they are flinching.
They deny it and so fail to correct the problem at the expense of their scores.
Flinches come in many forms, more than you realize or heard about, but they all can be
cured. Head-lifting; Good Glory everybody is doing it... it's like a natural
habit, even the guy/gals that squish their cheeks too hard onto the gun. They don't
know how to steer the gun with their cheek! That stops head-lifting and
increases precision aim and stops muzzle shoving, etc. Shooters shooting an
ill-conceived zone. Their timing is out of synchronization with their inner time
clock and they are unaware of it. So, no real zone or timing exist and here comes
the flinches! Pulling the trigger when the sight bead is not on the target is a
"timing flinch." A very common problem that destroys trigger
control. All of these subjects are covered in my books in great detail.
Answers given by the professionals, tested and explained so you can know the truth about
trap shooting and the secrets of the game. It all make sense once you learn it.
12 - A. What is timing? I hear about
it but don't really understand it.
Generally when shooters speak of timing they only relate to one
form of timing and that is Shoot Timing where the shooter is timing the shot to remain in
a specific zone. There's many forms of timing; Swing Timing, Shot
Timing, Shoot Timing, Trigger Control Timing, Internal Time Clock Timing, Squad Timing,
Eye Focus Timing, Setup Timing which I explain how to use each in Trap Shooting
Secrets and Precision Shooting books. Let's stay with Shoot Timing...
Most shooters have got it all wrong when they shoot on this singular timing factor as they
are trying to hit targets with time alone and that is not how you establish a zone.
If you try to shoot on time alone you will never be consistent of getting the bead on the
target. What happens is, the time that you think is right to pull the trigger is not
in synchronization with the eyes. It's a huge mistake most everyone is doing
because they truly do not understand timing and how it is applied. They see a pro
shoot fast and they mimic the form, but you can't do that. The pro is seeing things
totally different than you are seeing and therefore can hammer the target quickly with
amazing precision. Shooter's believe shooting fast establishes the zone and timing
but they have it all wrong... it's shooting slower, swinging slower and using proper eye
and gun holds in conjunction with eye pre-focus techniques that begin to establish the
zone and timing. Once these little tricks are employed then speed increases
naturally as everything goes into slow-motion mode. It seems slow to you, but it's
really fast and precise shooting. It's a technique to learn. If you
don't learn it you will never be able to shoot quick with any certain reliability.
And we only covered just one of the timing factors mentioned above. There is more to
trap shooting than most trapshooters realize.
12 - B. Why do I see so many back-fence
shooters missing so many targets?
Shooter's who have never learned the inside secrets to trap
shooting are going to miss a ton of targets at any yardage and will remain inconsistent
shooters - one day good, one day bad - and this can be measured on a daily basis from trap
to trap; one trap good the next bad. There are way too many shooters just putting
their gun up, calling for the target and chasing it down and that's the major error...
they are not attacking the target with a specified plan. The pros don't play around
with these games, they know exactly what they are doing and know how to hit the target
because the way they setup for targets is really unique and unseen to the untrained
eye. The distance from the 27-yard line makes the game a tad more challenging than
20-yards, but it's not distance... it is technique and control that makes for breaking
targets consistently. So when you see the back-fence shooters missing targets it's
telling you that you can earn your way back with lucky wins at small shoots and end up a
basket case stuck on the fence losing way too many shoots to the shooter's who know the
inside secrets of the game. If you fall into this category, regardless of the
handicap yardage you shoot, it will pay you many rewards to learn these professional
12 - C. Why did you name your book Trap
Shooting Secrets? What's so secret about trap shooting?
Every professional shooter has picked up his/her knowledge
from other pro shooters. That's why they shoot so well. These inner secrets
are truly secretive and they are not revealed in magazine articles or other books.
They have been passed on from pro to pro as if it were a secret society with treasured
knowledge. There is big money in this sport and those secrets of precision
shooting are not going to be given away by those who are doing all the winning.
That's career suicide! I interviewed many top gun shooters over the years and they
revealed these little secrets one-by-one (after I asked the right questions) and I tested
and compiled them into books. When you read these book you will see some amazing
things and learn quite a few astounding tricks of the trade... things you never heard of
But I don't just tell you about them, I show you how to
do it with well over 130+ practice tips and hundreds of instructions. Trap
Shooting Secrets and Precision Shooting books are the first ever
"how-to technical books" on trap shooting. No other book even comes close
to matching the effectiveness of these books. Why? Because we don't talk
about trap shooting, we do it, like having a pro coach by your side teaching you these
secret shooting techniques. There are many secrets to every skill, trade and sport
and trap shooting has its full share of secrets too. So naturally, the book title; Trap
Shooting Secrets, seemed fitting to the purpose as that what it does... reveals the
hidden knowledge pros have been using for years. If you want to shoot well you'll
need the knowledge to get the job done right. Everybody needs lessons and
these books will give instructions for you to follow. When you apply the knowledge
you will see your scores increase and the targets being hit harder than ever.
12 - D. I've been shooting one year now.
What should I be practicing now?
Here's a short list.
- Identify your gun and eye hold points for each post and determine the proper eye focus
for each station. If you are using the same holds and focus on each station you will
not progress. Targets will keep slipping by and there will be little to no way to
correct this insidious problem. Many shooters are plagued with this curse and
consistency evades them intensely.
- Work on your timing to insure it is in total synchronization with your eye and gun hold
- Try developing the moving gun techniques into your setup. They will break down
momentum locks and enhance visual acquisition of the target and increase muzzle control.
- Control your breathing. Learn how to master this and you'll get huge benefits;
lower stress levels, increase vision, energize the mind's concentration and release
energy when exhaling as you call and shoot. It creates smooth swings.
- Learn your zones. If you have no idea what a zone is you definitely need help
here. The zone will make or break you.
- Choke to get the 25" hot-core pattern. You need reliability in your hits to
crank a solid score.
- Check your setup. New shooters do. Experienced shooters think their setup is
just fine when it's likely all wrong.
- Talk to pros and ask questions. You are at the stage now to pick up the finer
aspects of shooting.
- Hire a consultant or coach to give you shooting tips, advice, instruction.
- Keep learning new things, new ways to break the target. An idle mind relaxes and
falls into ruts which will neutralize your scores and your ability to advance.
- See question number 7-H again. It applies.
12 - E. Can I use the Improved Modified choke
on the long-yardage handicap?
No, generally, unless your pattern indicates you
are receiving a 25-inch hot-core. You can use the choke and it will break targets.
You may even pick up a few targets that you've been having problems with but
you will miss targets you shouldn't have missed too and that dreaded tit-for-tat game
begins... solving one problem and creating another. Shooter's play with chokes
because they are looking for the shortcut to high scores. Wrong! There are
only two shortcuts and they are to learn to shoot with precision and have the pattern core
dense so you can break the target when you are on it. There is no room for error in
handicap shooting. This is not golf where you can hit the ball numerous times to
sink it into the hole. In trap shooting you have to get the hole-in-one each and
every time. You can open the choke and deceive yourself and even get yourself
punched to the back fence... then the trouble begins and doesn't end! The
choke is a tool not a technique so the choke always has the ridged propensity to help or
hurt, and in most cases it hurts the shooter. When you first switch to the 25"
hot-core pattern with a tight choke scores drop and shooters' think it's all wrong so they
open the choke to regain their average scores again. Trouble is they stay average
shooters and can never cross the bridge to excellence because the pattern is failing and
they think they are missing targets when it's the choke doing the missing. There is
no possible way to correct a problem like this with technique. You can practice
forever for days-on-end and if the choke is allowing targets to escape, well... tighten up
the choke and end the misery once and for all.
12 - F. I love trap shooting but I don't shoot
well to compete. How can I learn to learn to improve?
You have just taken the first step seeking the
solution. Your question is very broad yet requires numerous answers so I
can't give details. Read everything on this web site, subscribe to as many
trap shooting magazines as you can afford and start shooting registered shoots. This
is where you really begin to learn all about trap shooting... there is no substitute!
Experiment with every little thing that comes to your mind about how to break
targets a different way than the way you are breaking them now. If you keep
shooting same-o-same-o you can't learn a better way. Don't rush yourself. Many new
shooters are in too much of a hurry to get to that back fence. Believe me, you'll
get there, but when you do, you want to be able to hold your own and compete with the pros
or at least earn your option money. It serves you an injustice to get there too soon
and fail. The learning process is a slow methodical approach when performed
properly. Haste makes waste. Learn to enjoy annihilating each target
with a devotion not just enjoying pulling the trigger and playing the game for fun.
Get a bit more serious and you'll begin to open that door to knowledge. And when you
shoot better you'll have more fun too! Keep loving the game because it's the
only game that will love you back with many years of enjoyment!
12 - G. My thumb bangs my nose sometimes when I
shoot. Is this a problem I should be concerned with?
For the nose? No. Unless it hurts
allot. For the targets? Yes. You are missing targets. Not
because your thumb slams your nose causing your focus to be diverted, but because your
Length of Pull is too short and that is upsetting your swing dynamics, gun balance and
sighting plane. The simple fix is to extend the butt-length on your gun. You
can use a thicker recoil pad and that will push the gun forward as it is locked to your
shoulder and your thumb will be clear of the nose. The thumb and nose distance
should be about 1" away from each other. Again, a stock-fitter is your best
bet for superlative advice on these matters as each body is so different and a custom fit
is ultimately the ideal. It is these "little things" that many
trap shooters ignore and they will spend thousands of dollars practicing
for high scores over the years and a stock-fitter could have solved the problem in
seconds. What is really sad to see is a trap shooter quit the sport due to poor
scores yet the shooter is shooting a gun that never fit him or her. If you
really want to fail in trap shooting stay far away from the stock-fitter! And
don't ever deceive yourself into thinking you can setup your gun by yourself.
You can't! Even if you had the knowledge you can't see yourself... and a mirror
won't work either. Seek professional advice and you'll receive professional results.
12 - H. I am a veteran shooter. I tire
easily in competition. Could you share some advice?
- Vitamins, take plenty of vitamins in multi-vitamin
singular pill form like Centrum brand with antioxidants. Drink plenty of water
throughout the day especially before shooting.
- Don't shoot the entire program. Three events may be too much to handle pick one or
- Drink Poweraid to balance fluids. Two cups before shooting and two after.
- Motivate yourself. Think young, be young. Go out there believing you won't
get tired. Shoot one program this way.
- Relax more if you feel tense on line. Stress strains the brain and will exhaust
- Take a deep breath prior to shouldering the gun for each shot. It will give you
energy. Shallow breathing won't.
- Take a Melatonin tablet to insure you get a deep restful sleep the night prior to the
Age has inherent limitations but if you follow this seven-step plan you will be
able to perform quite well.
12 - I. The bottom fell out of my shooting.
What can I do to get it back? It's a mystery to me.
The solution can be simple. Missing targets, more than
usual, is a subconscious phenomena which materializes into reality. Some people call
it a habit and so it is though on a deeper level in the mind. The subconscious
mind is always waiting in the wings to hit the target or miss it so it must be tamed and
controlled. It knows no right from wrong. This is why visualization works so
well as it instructs the subconscious what to do. A simple method you can use right
away is to get on post #3 and stay there for 25-shots. You can lock the trap if you
want so it will not oscillate. Fairly easy targets here (if you can say any target
is easy, I dare not). Pound away these targets and you will reset the
subconscious mind into dust-balling targets. This boosts your confidence again and
all the sight pictures return. The habit is broken and your back in the game.
Does it work? Try it and you'll believe.
12 - J. I need a quick method I can use to keep
my head down on the comb.
There are a few methods explained in my Trap Shooting Secrets
book so I'll give you a quick method you can use. Pull the gun in tighter into your
shoulder. Routine has a way of loosening things up and you need to
check on this if it's happening to you. This solid pull into the shoulder locks the
cheek down far more than if your gun mount is simply placed comfortably with little
pressure into the shoulder. It also give you more control over the gun. So
just snug in the gun a bit tighter than you are doing now and maintain that pressure
all the way to the target and stock vertical rebound will be reduced which is likely
causing your head to lift, but a loose fit mount will always cause the cheek to rise ever
so slightly when seeing the target emerge from the trap
house, when swinging the muzzle,
and again... it will rise a bit more at the moment you pull the trigger. The head
does not always rise in one abrupt motion... it floats ever so gently and that makes it
difficult to detect for many shooters. "I don't lift my head!" They
do! Just that they don't feel it rising. I have techniques
that will lock you solid to the comb and you'll feel it the moment the cheek
tends to rise, correct it and break the target. It's explained in my
13 I need a shooting tip I can try today.
Drop your gun-hold a couple inches if you shoot a high-gun.
If you shoot a low gun raise the gun hold so the sight beads are just a smidgen above the
trap house. Now pre-focus your eyes up and away from the traphouse about 6" to
12" vertically in-line from your gun hold. Perform a hard focus, not a soft
one. Pick a blade of grass, a leaf or branch on a tree. Your eye must not see the
rib of the gun or the sight beads; this is so your eye will lock on to the target when the
target enters your pre-focus zone. Call, but don't move that gun until your
eye has seen the target angle and locks solidly on to the target. I know this is a bunch
to chew on at one time, so take each step in stride. Practice this and see what
happens. After a few rounds you'll notice you are not only seeing the target angle
sooner, the target is slowing down and is highly illuminated. The target is slow,
bright and easier to hit. Swing smoothly. The target may appear to escaping
the zone, but in reality you have just experienced slow-motion shooting and the target is
breaking faster than you were shooting before. It's amazing, but true. there
is more to this technique, but this will get you the idea to at least feel the
difference in your shooting. Don't worry, you'll miss targets. We are not
trying to hit the target but see the target and get into that slow-motion mode the
pros use all so well. Swing smoothly. Use the upper body to turn the gun,
pivot by the hips, don't push the muzzle. Forget about timing, just get that sight
bead on the target then pull the trigger with authority.
13 - A. I tried the above in question #13 and it
didn't work. Why?
Because there is too much information to consume all at one time.
Break each phase down into smaller segments and practice that way. Then you
can put the whole ball of wax together and see how it blends into one precise form.
Keep raising or lowing your eye hold until you adjust the zone to where you want to break
the target. Finding that "sweet spot" for the eye and gun hold for that
specific station post is the secret. You'll find it, and when you do, write it
down. Each post has a different eye and gun hold point. It can get
complex so you'll need to read the books to get it down. Many drawings are provided
on this subject to make it easier to learn.
13 - B. What do you mean having a sense of fear
of the target?
If you have no fear of the target you are shooting brain-dead
meaning you have lost respect for the target to outwit you and you couldn't care less if
you missed it. There are two stages to fearing the target, 1)
New shooters, in the first 3-years or so of shooting are quite nervous about missing as
they know how damaging it is to scoring well so they have a healthy respect for each
target and strive to master it, "Take no survivors" mind-set.
Progress is made and the shooter wins events and get punched yardage. Eventually,
the shooter gets to the back-fence and the bottom falls out (loss of goal, desire,
purpose, mission) and often the fear of the target is no longer eminent. A
lazy-brain shooting mode is implanted, "I'm at the back-fence now so I can relax a
bit. Plus, If I miss it's expected as everyone misses targets from here."
The intense war between the shooter and target must be reestablished to rebuild this
primal fear of missing, 2) Once the fear factor has been
regenerated the Catch-22 develops where fear must be eliminated. So why
bother with generating fear when you only have to get rid of it? It's a technique
to get your mind focused again on what is important... to stop missing the targets.
The psychology behind it is deeper than explained here but to sum it up, there has to be
something at stake. Not money, not pride or glory of winning itself, but a basic
fear of failure to hit the target. This fear, though should be slight but ever
present, will keep a shooter on the wire ever so alert to not slip up, prevent brain-dead
shooting with no purpose. Fear is an asset when used to motivate and to raise a
shooter's level of performance. Everyone who shoots competitively loves trap
shooting. Perhaps a tad too many shooters love the targets a bit too much and are
giving them excessive respect at the opposite spectrum... you should dislike the targets
for they are not your friends. They are devious fellows on a mission to outwit and
escape your efforts to ruin your scores and ultimately to embarrass you. Be
afraid, be very afraid!
13 - C. I practice religiously every weekend
and I'm not seeing progress. Why?
Many reasons, and the books explore all of this, but I'll focus
in on one huge error shooters make. It's not how much you practice on weekends that
will allow you to penetrate the wall and progress onward. It's what you do at home!
You will learn more at home than you actually will shooting at real targets
on the weekend! You have to shadow-dance with your gun. If you learn anything,
learn this... "The setup is more important than the physical act of swinging and
pulling the trigger." Most weekend shooters are simply rehearsing
and not truly practicing. No one has taught them the true techniques on how to
practice, a hidden art of sorts in trap shooting, a great mystery no one explains, so no
one learns. This is a prevalent cause of failure and it is a disease every gun club
has within its ranks... shooters rehearsing the same old mistakes over-and-over again.
This rut must be broken and can be by two means, 1)
Feel. When you practice shouldering the gun at home all
typical trap shooting distractions are removed and the inner mind can focus on the
"feel" of the gun mount, cheek pressure and swing. Try this with your eyes
closed and you'll feel things you've never noticed before! Good shooting is
performed through feeling, not emotion, but an intimate feel of yourself and the
gun to be one. This tones "muscle memory" and trains the subconscious mind
to adhere to rules and standards you demand, 2) The next phase is; Visualization.
When you shadow-dance you are now shooting imaginary targets, shooting each
of the three basic angles on each imaginary post. Now you will truly imbed
visualization skills that will "smooth-out" the kinks in your shooting.
You are establishing a mental link of feel, visualization and the physical act of shooting
that will build tremendous levels of confidence and precision shooting. The entire
game is now playing in your mind and your body is making the moves, the correct moves to
the targets! Here you will resolve flinching and poor trigger control to
boot! It's so simple of a technique few believe it has any worth, but those
who do it know otherwise. If you can't shadow-dance daily, then do so at least once
prior to leaving home to practice (or to a registered shoot). It's the best warm-up
routine ever devised! Way better than shooting singles targets to warm-up for the
handicap event. It truly works, it really does. Try it and see how much better
you will perform. These little secrets to trap shooting pay huge benefits for those
who know and apply them!
13 - D. I try to dustball targets persistently
but I can't. What's the secret?
Many secrets to this. I will give you one small tip you can
apply. It is very generalized and basic, but it will help you to unlock your mind
and see a new way of breaking targets. When you practice you don't focus on
dustballing the target as many shooters do only to find it eludes them. That broad
way of thinking is simply not convergent enough to improve your hits. Start looking
at your breaks and if they are chippy, simply strive, mentally, to improve the quality of
your hits. Now the vast majority of shooters cannot control the quality of
their hits because they do not really see that precise alignment of sight bead-to-target
when the trigger is pulled so they can't make any progressive adjustments. Here is
how you do it. You call for the target, swing normally and when you pull the
trigger your "freeze" the muzzle. Stop the swing abruptly. You are
snap-shooting the target, actually rifle shooting it so you can see what you did right or
wrong the moment you pulled that trigger. Where was the sight bead in relation to
the target? Did you see it?
Now you can begin to make those slight bead-to-target alignment
adjustments to see where that sight bead has to be to dust-ball the target. You
are now opening the door to precision shooting, the exact same methods the pros use...
bead to target = dust-balled target. Now there is a fallout to this method so be
careful you do not freeze the muzzle in your shooting routine or look back at the sight
bead as that will freeze the swing to a dead stop. Yes it is true you do not need to
follow-through on trap targets, but most all shooters should not freeze-shoot targets
until they have mastered the precision shooting techniques. A good example, is to
watch Daro Handy shoot... he uses the freeze-stop method, but he knows where to put that
sight bead precisely to puff the target. Many pros use the method. You can
learn it too. Just trying this tip out on the practice trap will give you a new
insight to shooting targets. There is more than one way to break a target!
13 - E. You know so much about trap shooting.
Can I learn this too to improve my shooting?
Yes. First, nobody knows it all and I sure don't.
Even the pros are still learning the game after shooting for a living for 40-years!
It's an intricate sport, way more complex than many shooters realize. The learning
process never ends, but for most shooters believe it or not, the learning process
never began! Sure they shot their way to the back fence but it wasn't from pure
precision-enabled skill but from luck. Keep shooting and you'll get lucky too here
and there and find yourself walking a mean street at the 27-yard line where everyone is
beating up on you. That can happen at the 24-yard line too. You will
learn... once you break out of the dead-set mind-frame. That's what my books do,
open the door to understanding unfolding the inner aspects of the game so you can see how
the targets fly and how they are dispatched with precision hits. It breaks down those
mental slumps that are holding you down like a ton of bricks. If you feel pinned
against the wall it is because you do not have the knowledge and instruction to break
through the wall. Once creativity is released through understanding you begin to
see things differently and you know exactly what you are doing wrong so you can fix the
problem. That's when high-performance shooting occurs once you get the
knowledge. It solves all of the problems. Everyone can learn this
stuff. It's not a skill thing where natural talent must be applied. It's ideas
put into action. And many shooters are simply blinded to ideas so that wall crushes
them relentlessly for years. Knowledge is the key that opens the escape hatch.
If you can shoot 15-targets out of 25 consistently (most everyone can do better
than that)... you can learn these professional shooting techniques. No
problem at all.
13 - F. How do I set a goal in trap shooting?
I want to break 100-straight!
The goal is too broad. Everyone wants to shoot 100-straight
and they never will do it consistently until they first learn how to take on the little
goals. Each phase of the setup is a goal. You master each phase until
the setup is down pat. Then you set your next goal on dead-centering the target with
back-sighting techniques. Then you take on the biggest goal of all... shooting one
target at a time. There is not such thing as 100-straight, it's 1-straight one at a
time! You really have to work hard on your thinking to convince yourself of this.
You are not shooting 25-targets or 100-targets. Just one target. You
are likely saying, "I know that!" Sure, everyone knows it, but are they
truly doing it when they are shooting? This doesn't come easy to do, and if you
think it is easy then you are certainly doing it all wrong. That 1-target pressure
is so intense it will make you sweat! Watch the pros and you'll see the hard work
and effort they expend just to get that 1-target. It's a real intense battle out
there on the line and any thought of shooting any more than 1-target will get you a lost
target. The psychological pressure is mean and unmerciful.
14. I have a terrible time shouldering my gun
for a solid mount. It keeps slipping. Help!
Some people have a tough time here due to body dimensions.
If you shoot a flat recoil pad you should be shooting a convex pad if your shoulder will
fit, of course. If not, you could try the "Locator Pad" which has two
extensions to assist locking the gun to the shoulder. It's only about $6 so it won't
break your bank. Individual Recoil Pad Company, P.O. Box 2004-B, Sacramento,
CA. I don't have a zip code, but the order should still arrive okay. They also
customize the pad with your name if you wish. If this recoil pad test does not work
you must go see a stock-fitter to have your gun fitted. Don't ignore this problem as
mismounting the gun is a prime prerequisite for many missed targets for it kills the
setup... and when the setup fails so will your scores fail you. It's a serious
problem and you do need to follow up and get this fixed right away before you waste more
money shooting a gun that won't shoot where you look.
14 - A. You write much about the subconscious
mind in shooting. Is it really important?
Incredibly so. Remember seeing a squad member miss a target
then and all the other shooter's on the squad miss too, one after the other? Then
when someone finally hits the target everyone begins hitting them again? That is no
coincidence! This is only 'proof positive' the subconscious is powerfully active in
the sport of trap shooting to a very high degree. Remember pulling the trigger when
you knew the sight picture was nowhere even close on to the target and you shake
your head and say to yourself, "What the heck did I do that for?" The pros
have a name for this and it's called, "Brain Damage." It's when
the subconscious mind takes over your shooting for you, and when it does, it just loves to
do the exact opposite of what your conscious mind wants to do. I know this sounds
strange but it's as real as the sun rising tomorrow! You're shooting just fine and
suddenly, out of nowhere, you get a violent trigger flinch and it's like, "What
the #@!* happened?"
Here's the gist of it. The subconscious is a secondary mind
(I'll use that instead of technical terms) that silently watches and waits for
instructions from your conscious mind and it knows no right from wrong. It does not
have the capability to know good or bad (it's not your moral conscious in that sense,
okay?) It's the area of the mind the entertainment hypnotist communicates with that
upon some comical command will make a bloody fool of yourself quickly and you will
obey. That's how powerful it is. It's so powerful a hypnotist could touch you
with a cold spoon, yet say it is white hot, and a red burn welt will appear on your
skin... a real burn! Okay, when you are shooting, your subconscious mind is waiting
to learn and you have to tell it what to do for if you don't, it will do it's own
thing (which it doesn't know you want to hit the target and if it does it won't allow you
to do it). All it knows, in trap shooting, is it desires to mimic what it last saw -
seeing the other guy missing his target of course, and that's what it does. You see
this in shoot-offs a lot and we tend to lose control and it's not just nervousness
either. I'm just touching the tip of the needle here for a basic explanation.
Now, you have to understand that the subconscious mind exists
first before you can learn to master it, I should say, control it as best you can.
There is a war raging within you when shooting targets. It's not that you
don't know how to shoot the target, but "something" is making you do things to
miss it. That "something" is the subconscious mind, period. It's a
diabolical problem for trap shooters to fight this internal war. The subconscious is
always at work in opposites, trying to defeat what your conscious mind is focused upon
executing at the moment. The danger is, "You can't shoot mindlessly... you must
remain focused." That's why you hear the pros say, "Stay focused."
Keep your conscious mind vigilant to the task at hand for if you defocus the
subconscious steps in and will miss the target. Sounds weird but it's reality and
the better shooters know what I'm talking about. Trap shooting is 95% or more a mind
game, the ability to communicate with your subconscious and you can teach it to
obey your desire with simple "Trigger Words" and other commands. Next time
you're on squad and you see the chain-reaction target misses just tell yourself,
"Those targets are dead and and I'll break the chain - and this target - here and
now." You will break the chain and gain a score point and smile. That is
an "instruction" to the subconscious to obey your "command."
That's right, you talk to yourself. That's not thinking when
you're shooting... it's intelligent shooting! You'll learn these techniques in my
14 - B. I try to maintain my own timing but the squad
keeps speeding me up and I miss targets. Help!
Perfect example of subconscious influences taking charge of your
shooting. You want to slow down but that "something" keeps making you
"mimic" the other shooters. Believe me, it's not your concern to disrupt
the squad's rhythm causing you to speed up... it is the subconscious mind taking over.
First, do not try to block out the squad rhythm when it speeds up.
The more you try to remain focused on blocking you lose the battle. You
want to be fully aware of the speed increase or decrease and accept it! Now
you can begin to manage it. Second, you must keep telling yourself,
"The squad is machine-gunning but I'm going to execute my own timing and shoot my own
game." That is the command. Now you are back in control. The more
you are aware of your surroundings the more power you gain and the higher the
concentration level. That's high quality concentration... that's right, the exact
opposite of blocking out distractions! Third, keep learning to
stay in control by using this simple, yet highly effective, method and keep saying the
trigger words to yourself as you are reloading your gun and waiting your turn to shoot.
Use a simple command such as, "maintain timing." You will
be amazed just how well this works.
14 - C. You mean I have to disrupt the squad?
If you are shooting with a squad of sloppy shooters, those who
have no true sense of setup timing and proper squad rhythms, yes! Trap shooting is a
lonely sport. It's just you and the target. The squad can't help you hit the
targets and win (a good squad can but that's the next question I suppose is coming?)
As you become a more finely-tuned shooter you begin to see these serious errors other
shooter's are committing and you can't play their game for they are going to lose... so
like the blind following the blind each falling in a pit, you can't go. Somebody has
to open their eyes and scream, "Look out!" and that somebody has got to be you!
Look at this in another light. When trap
shooters start on the first
trap you'll notice they are cautious and allow the target to escape a ways before firing,
then as targets begin to break they all speed up shooting the target closer-in and the
next shooter quickly mounting the gun and firing. Boy, do they have it all wrong.
They believe the rhythm is "key" and if they can stay in "any
rhythm, fast or slow" they will shoot well. Sorry, go look at their scores when
the event is over. When you get in the rhythm trap you will miss targets
when the squad misses because your subconscious mind has taken over again and allowed your
setup to be blown to pieces. You can't have a 6-second setup then suddenly you have
a 3-second setup because the squad now wants to shoot in fast succession.
You can't constantly be changing your internal time clock and
hitting targets in a zone that keeps changing due to slow to fast to slow variations in
shooting. Once you begin to undulate with the squad, you're sunk! It's all
over. You may as well pack your bags and go home because you are now shooting on luck
with no technical form. trap shooting is a precision game and you have to
be precise with all you do. So you shoot your own game in your own timing and
you break the targets in your own zone, not the squads'. Understand this now?
A little bit, at least? Here's a tip. Be squad leader! You get to reset
the pace each time it is your turn to shoot. The other squad members don't seem
to get so flustered when the rhythm is broken a bit here. What they want to hear is
a, "Bang!" when the gun fires and they machine gun rapidly after hearing your
shot. It keeps them happy (with a good fast rhythm and low scores) and it
allows you to take home the money. It's not cheating. It's knowledge applied
14 -D. I tried being squad lead-off and my
scores tumbled. Never again. It's not for me.
Of course scores will dump at first. You have to learn to
be a squad leader it doesn't come natural to many shooters. I shoot left-handed and
I struggle with left targets but I shoot leader because the benefits are very convenient.
I can always find an open squad to shoot on as post one is usually vacant
(few wants it). My scores and averages dumped terribly when I started shooting post
one. Many reasons. Disruptions that need to be handled, dud shell
checking, etc. But the worst for me was having to get my tougher targets on my first post.
I had to retrain my thinking... all the targets are tough! You can shoot good
scores starting out on any post but #1 - and for a few #5 but #1 has the responsibilities
and makes it a "concentration bust" for most shooters. The trick is
learning how to manage concentration. You learn how to turn it on and off at will.
It's really quite easy once you get over that first 1-year hump. A
lot of shooter's won't pay that price and I don't blame them, but they will never gain the
benefits of pacing the squad properly and remaining in complete control of the timing and
zones. If I shoot well on post #1 the other shooters will score better too as their
subconscious minds click-on to what I'm doing. That's how I stay in control of my
game. There is one thing I'll share here that is eye-opening in trap shooting.
Learn to think in opposite of what everyone else is doing and saying for
what most do are wrong and what most say are mislead. Just reading these pages will
give you that insight what you perceived to be correct was in fact wrong or at best
half-right. Shooting post one? These tough jobs are really fun! You can learn
to love what you once despised.
14 - E. Tell me how a good squad can help my
Good luck, really you'll need it to find a good squad. When
you get into the pro ranks you'll then be able to get on the best squads... with shooters
who know what's really going on out there. You will hear pros say it over and over
again, "A good squad will set the tone of the shoot." What does that mean?
It's not the rhythm! It's the timing! Read that again. When
the subconscious mind takes over it creates rhythm and we know that is
dangerous. Think now, think in reverse. When the timing is proper the rhythm
falls into the smooth groove... not the other way around. See reverse thinking
developing the solution? What is timing in relation to squad rhythm?
When everyone is shooting the targets in the same zone, consistently!
If you have a shooter or two breaking targets close in on some, far on others, it messes
up the entire squad. That subconscious is watching and it will make you change your
zone too. So it then becomes a difficult shoot when you have to keep managing out
other's visual mistakes entering your mind. The benefits of shooting post one is
beginning to shine a bit brighter now as it gives you that time to reset you mindset and
reset the squad's tone.
Now, once you understand the complexities of zone-shooting, you
will then be afforded the opportunity to shoot with the better shooters. They can
see you coming a mile away and will invite you on their squad one day, or two, or
more. For now, you have to just knuckle under and learn to shoot your own
game. The best thing you can do is forget squad rhythm, forget about it. Get
your setup-timing and zone down and hit your targets and just let the machine-gunner's blast
themselves into oblivion scores. It's a tough fight and a nasty job, but that's what
you have to bear if you want to be a good trap shooter... you must be in total control.
Nothing can influence you! In fact, the best practice you can get is
to sign up with strange squads you don't know and go to work. That's one great
learning experience like going to trap shooting college. That's what I did and I
still do! I just love the challenge of it - though I hated it when I first became
aware of timing and rhythms as my scores dropped badly - I had to learn how to fight the
internal war within.
14 - F. Interesting! Tell me more about squads.
Too many shooters are looking for security blankets. They
have to shoot with their "buddies" but they totally miss the mark, this is not
a buddy game. It's not a team! It's not a party. It's not a social
event. It's strictly business. Even if you are shooting a league it's not a team on
the line. It's you and the target and that's a lonely job out there.
That's why I keep saying not to shoot with family or members from
your own gun club when in competition. Too many emotions run like a raging river on
the line and scores dive deeply to the bottom of the score sheet. No security
blankets. Get rid of all the hang-ups. Now you know the
"real" reason why club members shoot together. They falsely believe that
by shooting with a familiar squad they will shoot well. The score sheets will not
lie. Break up this squad and each will see their scores rise. Some may falter
due to lack of skill and blame the squad rhythm. See the danger zone here?
It's not the rhythm that hurt their scores, it's inexperience. They can't shoot
without their buddies... and they can't shoot with their buddies. That subconscious
mind has got them in a iron-clad grip and they won't let go of that comfortable security
squad-building gives them. That's not how you build a squad anyway based on
friends or handicap distance alone. It's the quality of the shooters. So
before you lie down in the bed make sure there are no fleas in the mattress. The
squad can be helpful but it only helps when you've elevated your level of shooting to
match the other high-caliber shooters who have the inner knowledge of the
14 - G. I didn't know trap shooting was so
complex. I thought it was an easy sport!
There is allot to learn about trap shooting. It is not an
easy sport. The better you get, the harder it becomes... tremendously hard
work. It will not get easier for you. If shooting is getting easier
you're in trouble. It means you are shooting on luck, shooting with your eyes only,
pointing the gun and not back-sighting and not maintaining your zone. If it's easy,
it's fun and if it's fun it's all over. You'll get a string of luck and end up
pinned against the back fence when the luck runs out. Now you have more trouble of
learning precision shooting trying to get rid of old habits. Many never learn
precision shooting because it is not readily taught. Who's teaching this
stuff? Can you name five in the USA? It's not hard to hit the targets, but
it's easy to miss them and that's where the job gets tough because that potential to miss
is so prevalent and will creep in and bite you if you don't remain totally focused and in
control. It's the battle within yourself that must be fought and won on each target.
That, is not easy to do 100-times in handicap shooting. Trap shooting
is hard work and it's horribly harder for those who don't have the knowledge. There
are tricks, secrets and methods in this game. Learning them is trying upon the soul
and crying upon the shoals until it finally comes together. But the sport,
with all it's difficulties is fun, fun, fun, in its own way to each individual. The
"addiction" is strong and learning can be fun too. Now don't get me
wrong here, trap shooting can get easier but it will always remain hard work to keep it
15. When can I return to a soft eye focus?
After you learn how to acquire the target with centralized
vision. Once this procedure is learned then a soft focus can be used, but in all
reality it is no longer as soft as it was prior to learning the technique.
Professionals tell you to use a soft focus but you must recall that they have been
shooting hundreds of thousands of targets and what appears 'soft' to them is certainly not
soft to the novice. Problem is, most everyone has been hoodwinked on this one
due to much misinformation. You'll read in many magazine articles or hear from
other shooters, "Apply a soft eye focus then call for the target."
Well, if you do this (and you likely are) you are looking at the targets all wrong and
it's no wonder so many slip away. Eye pre-focus techniques are very powerful
and they control the zone and timing factors not to mention the dead-centered hits on the
target. Once you see how it's done your eyes become accustomed to the form of
central vision focusing and it then becomes a natural function. But if you've never
learned the technique your scores are in for big trouble and trap shooting will become
inconsistent and frustrating. You can't just stand there on the post, look out
lazily into the field and call for the target and expect to execute a precise shot.
All you'll end up doing is "react" to the target chasing it instead of
"attacking" it with a precise plan of action.
15 - A. What do you mean by chasing the target?
Most everybody you see trap shooting is totally unprepared for
the target. They call, target exits and they chase it down, hit some and
miss some. The pros don't chase targets, they attack them. If you
watch them shoot you see very little muzzle swing. Everyone thinks this is because
they shoot fast in a tight zone but that's not the whole story at all, in fact it all
works in reverse to conventional thinking. The pros setup is so precise the target
is simply coming to them! Example: If your eye hold, eye
focus and gun hold is setup properly the target simply arises right where you wanted to
break it or very close to the planned assault zone. It just comes to you... you
don't go after it. Neat trick of the trade nobody taught you that one before,
right? When you setup properly the zone is already established, so when you call,
the target exits and your gun is just inches away from the target and shooting fast
becomes natural and precise because you are already on the target when it exits the
no-streak zone. So no matter how much you practice to shoot fast it won't work if
you are not setup properly.
15 - B. I'm confused. Exactly what is a
zone anyway and why should I use it?
There are a few zones. When I mention a zone I generally
refer to the field of view you see prior to calling for the target. The Precision
Shooting book will give you plenty of drawings on seeing the zone and how to adjust
the zone for depth, height, width and vertical and horizontal movements. Zone
shooting is advanced shooting techniques in the Precision Shooting book,
but the Trap Shooting Secrets book will most certainly get you started and well
on your way to establishing your zone and timing, especially your timing which is so
critical to discover and apply. Everyone has a zone and an inner time clock and they
must find it and finding this zone is easy with a little instruction and assistance.
The zone is like a bubble floating above the gun's sight bead where the targets enter your
field of view. This zone can be compressed, expanded, shifted to any position
including a depth of field adjustment. A bit too complex to explain here, but this
zone is so important to trap shooting it's amazing more people don't even know about
it! I also find it incredible such secrets have remained secret for decades but
that's another story.
When you use a zone to shoot in, half the battle is already
won. You know exactly where the target will be when it exits regardless of its angle
and you know exactly how to break it. Now that was an explanation of the general
zone. The other zones are; Timing Zone where your inner time clock is
synchronized. Then you have the Trigger Zone where the sight picture is
established to fire at the target. You also have Eye Focus Zone to center your
vision upon the target in the general zone. A Target Zone where you will focus in on
the target and a Swing Zone to control the gun to ride the track to the target, etc.
These zones are all part and parcel to the setup. You can see there is a lot
more going on long before you pull that trigger! Fact is, getting to the
target and pulling the trigger is the easy part. Learning the setup is where
all the secrets reside and it is these secrets that allow the pros to shoot so
15 - C. Are your books credible? Who is
endorsing your trap shooting books?
Yes. The books are credible but you don't need to take my word
for it. Many professional shooters recognize the merits and value of the
books. Click here for a few comments I've received
from Olympic-class shooters and American trap shooters from the ranks of the PITA and ATA
competitive groups. They can tell you just how good the books are with more
conviction than I could.
15 - D. Do you ever have bad day's where
shooting just isn't fun and what do you do about it?
Sure do. Sometimes the days are so horrid that I feel as if
I never should have taken up the sport. Feel like a failure. Know what I mean?
But that's just the human weaknesses we need to recognize that we are not machines
and will always make errors. Bad day's are just bad day's. What I try to do is
learn from them even when I'm not in the mood to learn. There is a fine line where
the bad day can actually turn into a prolonged slump so one must be careful to not let a
bad day dump the spirit too deeply into the black pit of despair. Pull yourself out
of it by remembering all your past victories! Okay, you're having a tough time this
season. So what? We all have them. It's just your turn in the
barrel and that's all it is. The biggest reason why I wrote my books was to first
help myself then help others. Too often I see people come to a shoot with a smile
and leave with a frown. That's sad. These shooter's love the sport and if I
can help a few to 'hang in there and not quit' then I feel I've made a worthy
contribution. And trap shooting, often, is not fun. It is a business to many
shooters, the business of making money in the options or a personal venture to excel and
win the shoot.
The pros are not 'having fun' they are punching the time clock.
"It may be a fun job, but the job ain't fun." So as you
progress in your shooting you'll reach many levels where frustration is triggered and in
time you will better be able to manage them in a business-like fashion. It just does
one no good at all to mope and blame. Take responsibility for your poor shooting...
and do something about it. Hit the practice trap, read, study, ask questions, think!
That's what a bad day is for... an opportunity to learn. Be happy you are a
trap shooter. You are one of the elite! There is no other sport so technically
demanding. Be proud you are part of this wonderful class. No matter how poorly
you are shooting there are few shooters who can beat you! Take a pistol or
rifle silhouette shooter to the traps and you'll kick butt. Realize just how good of
a shooter you really are and you'll see a way to climb out of the hole. Sometimes
you have to recognize your achievements and glory in it to stimulate the mind to produce a
new outlook on things which gives you a neat boost to your self-confidence. This
mind-set will positively enhance your shooting! "Think like a pro... be a
15 - E. I have never shot 50-straight. It
keeps eluding me by one or two targets. Why?
You likely have two major problems, 1) Improper
Motive: Most shooters set the 50-straight goal for one purpose, to collect
money on the perfect-fifty options. While this is okay to have a winning goal it can
be a stumbling block if your subconscious mind is fighting you, preventing you from
getting that money by dumping targets. It's a bit deep to explain here but change
your motive to wining 50-targets by only shooting 1-target at a time. Big numbers
are hard for the mind to handle. Even the number 25 is too much. The mind will
rebel. It does not like that sort of pressure. It will handle the pressure of
shooting 1-target, but not 50. So get your mind off the numbers greater than number
one, 2) Mental Barrier: You have constructed
a wall you do not truly believe you can penetrate. You are basing all your future
success based upon your past successes and failures and straight-jacketed any chance of
exceeding these past successes. This itsy-bitsy tiny hang-up is a belief system you
have established deep within your consciousness and it will materialize into reality... as
you think and believe. The mind is extremely powerful and faith is the most powerful
force in the universe next to love. So you must begin to dare to believe you can
exceed beyond your past performances. Remember that 25-straight wall? It
was a bear to crash it, but you did! Well, the 50-straight is simply a 25-straight
two-times and the 25 is simply one target 25-times. One target! You break the
big number scores with just 1-target. That's how you get the 50-straight and the
perfect-fifty money. The barrier is your belief. Change your thinking...
change your life! It's all in the mind. Anyone who is slipping the
50-straight by only one or two targets has a psychological flaw, not a shooting
problem. And this flaw can be conquered. Takes a bit of work and some time,
but you'll get it. And once you do you'll be getting many more 50-straight's
too! Then the next wall arrives 75-straight.
15 - F. What is a "crisp" trigger
pull and how do I get one on my shotgun?
Place your forefinger fingernail under your thumb fingernail and
"snap" them. Did you hear that small "click"? That's a
"crisp" trigger pull. There was no "creeping" sound or feel,
just a sharp immediate "snap." A gunsmith can file the sear so the hammer
will fall crisply and also set the trigger pull pressure while you are getting this done,
and don't forget to have the "lock time" adjusted so the hammer will fall
faster. A 3 to 3 1/2 lb. pull may be fine for you or you may want more or slightly
less. 2 1/2 pound pull may be too sensitive and cause flinching. A trigger
pull that is too hard to pull can do the same and may even "slow or stop the gun's
swing" and / or "pull the gun off the target" too when you pull the
trigger. If you ride the trigger then trigger crispness and pull poundage becomes
important. If you slap shoot? Less important, but still important so don't
ignore it. But don't get a mental hang-up on triggers. Set it and forget it
then check it before you shoot, but get your mind far away from the trigger especially if
you miss targets. The more you "think" about the trigger the more it won't
feel right and you'll find yourself making adjustments to the trigger too often.
I've seen shooter's go through an entire season fiddling with their trigger
trying to get it right and it never seems right to them at all. Take a shooting
lesson and this hang-up will be solved in the first 10-minutes or less. Shooting
lessons will solve so many of your problems very quickly!
16. Any opinion on one-eye vs. two-eye
Many shooters who are shooting poor scores and shoot with
two-eyes could be better off shooting with one-eye, believe it or not. One-eye
shooting has benefits of tunnel-vision and pinpoint sight picture viewing. Why live
with horrible scores? If you can't shoot two-eye due to severe crossover you should
do something to correct the problem or start shooting one-eye. This doesn't apply to
all, but to the few that really suffer from low scores and can't see the targets clearly.
Two-eye shooting has advantages of less eyestrain and holding a higher gun, but the
bottom line is there are many, many, one-eye shooters who are incredible shots. To
each their own. Both methods work in the trap shooting discipline, so no need to
split hairs. The point is, do all you can to shoot the way you want to and if it
fails then do all you can to shoot with a new technique. Many times you will find
that simply by trying another technique it opens up a new world of seeing things and when
you return to your old way of shooting it all clicks together. So try one-eye
shooting so you can see sight pictures tightly then go back to two-eyes and incorporate
what you have learned. And then again, you just may learn to like one-eye shooting.
Whatever it takes to win!
16 A. When I try new things my scores dump and
it sets me back. Why should I continue?
Of course your score will fall. Don't get caught up in the
average trap! I know so many shooters who are in a constant state of competition and
are trapped so tightly they have no room to breathe and grow. Example:
A shooter has a 93% handicap average and is adamant in keeping that average
at all costs and build it higher. But the shooter is not increasing but falling or
having a hard time keeping the average on a steady keel. The shooter refuses to try
new things because when s/he does, the average falls and friends at the local club apply
peer pressure, "What happened to your shooting?" If you're afraid
to let your average fall then you will have a tough time getting your average up in the
top ranks because "skills & techniques" must be learned to get there!
There isn't a shooter alive who wouldn't trade a temporary low reduction in score for a
higher score average later. But there are many shooters who don't understand that a price
must be paid to get those high scores and that price is a low score to learn professional
shooting techniques. It's a big step to enter the professional arena and it takes a
big dose of courage to experiment to improve one's shooting. Do you have what it
takes? Yes, you do. Just do it. Endure the pain of the low
scores. Let the friends laugh, but they won't be chuckling when you get it down and
they see you winning the big shoots! And they most certainly will be crying out loud
when you whip them in a shoot-off. Every professional shooter has gone through this
tribulation and look where they are today! Who's laughing now?
16 B. I would like to write a book on trap
shooting. How do I begin?
It's a very tough job as there are so many variables to consider
when writing on such a subjective and complex subject. Essentially you start with a blank
page and start filling the page with words and hope you are getting the message down
right. Then you'll find out you are not, so you edit it and find again it's
still not right. It could take you three 10-hour days just to get page #1 down
enough so you can progress to page #2. This process goes on every day for three
years or more! Then you have to design your illustrations and number them and
reference them inside the text. This task is not as easy as it appears. Then
you edit everything, make changes and discover the computer is not making the changes!
Believe me, this happens all too often. It will show the change on the
computer screen and when you print out the draft the change was not made. This is
why you will always see grammar errors in every book published. At some point you
have to then find the courage to let it go, errors and all, and find a publisher.
Many publishers will not publish a trap shooting book for two major reasons, 1)
The market is too small so they can't sell enough books to make a profit, 2)
They have a book already similar to what you may have written. If you do find a
publisher are you willing to only earn 10% royalty? A $10 book will only pay you $1.
Is it worth it to you? You could self-publish but now you have to pay
all the production costs to design, print, bind and warehouse the books, marketing
advertising expenses, shipping of the books, accounting, bookstore management marketing,
copyright and ISBN registrations, bar codes, etc. Is that worth it to you? You
will have to sell 1,000 books just to see your first $1 in profit! So, my advice is
this. If you want to write a book on trap shooting (or any other subject) you had
better want to do it to help other people and be willing to lose money to do that
otherwise you won't survive the process. There are many "small" books on
the market and they charge $10 or less for the book, but a small book has less information
To be successful you have to write a large book and you run
up against three problems, 1) You have to have the knowledge to do
that and, 2) book production costs rise to high levels and that means you
can't sell the book for $10 to even pay for the printing costs! And 3)
few publishers want to publish a large book. My books are large books loaded with
knowledge, the type is closely set (as you see here) in the books. So, in reality
you are getting about 400 pages per book compared to industry typesetting standards!
To sum it up, 3-years or more of writing 10-hours per day, no time for trap shooting, and
when you do you are "burned out" from thinking trap shooting
day-after-day-after-day! For me it was 6-years for two books! Little chance
you can sell the book for a profit, but you can if your book is powerfully unique and
valuable. Can you handle this? If so, then go for it! Maybe it
would be better if you write magazine articles first? Ask
Shotgun Sports Magazine and other
magazines for a Writer's Guideline sheet. You should obtain a subscription to Writer's
Digest Magazine and join their book club. They have all the information you
need to get into the writing or publishing business. If you have a book and you need
a publisher, read our Submission Guidelines.
16 B. I set my point of impact to 80/20 and I
keep shooting over the top of the targets! Help!
You are breaking the targets too slowly, letting them reach near
the crest of their flight. It's time to speed up your shooting. You will have
to read the Trap Shooting Secrets book as the process to learn faster shooting is
a bit too involved to explore here. As of right now, today, put your gun's POI
setting back where you had it and continue to shoot your targets where you normally do and
go have fun shooting. You have to know what you are doing when you set POI or it
will get you some very low scores, fast. Read the TSS book then make your
adjustments. Your timing has to remain "in phase" with the POI and there
is a process you must complete to tighten up the zones to shoot as quickly as the
pros do. It is wrong to believe fast shooting will come over time, it won't, at
least fast precise and accurate shooting won't! POI is really quite a complex
subject, more than most shooters realize due to the fact it must be set in-phase with the
shooter's internal time clock for timing sequence reasons. If the POI is wrong you
can't get the fast shots. If it's right and your timing and zone is wrong you can't
get accuracy in shooting the tight zone. The TSS book explains all of this and the Precision
Shooting book fine-tunes it for you.
16 C. I shoot 27-yard handicap and I can't win
anymore. I am totally frustrated! What should I do?
Don't be frustrated. The back-fence is a trap for many,
many, shooters and a hellish place to be. Everyone wants to get there but
once there, they fall apart big-time. Lack of knowledge is the reason. Having
a few good days will give you handicap punches way before you are truly ready to be
punched back. In a sense, the system is unfair that if you win just one-time you get
"punched" when you should be punched based on an average, but this would open
the door to Sandbaggers Heaven. Oh, well... we have to live with what exists today.
Do you want your shooting career to end right now? If so, stay on the
27-yard line and keep doing what you are doing. Believe me, a vast majority of
shooters discover the 27-yard line to be the demise of their careers! It's like
being hit with a freight train on the day after you win the lottery. It's just not
fair! So this is what you have to do, 1) Put in
for a yardage reduction and try to get two-yards reduced, if you can, to the 25-yard line.
This is the sensible thing to do, but most shooter's are not going to do
that. Why? Because they want to be seen shooting with the top-guns!
That ego thing can bring about failure in the sport of trap shooting, 2)
Read the TSS and PS books
and get the technical knowledge of the game then, 3) It's
time, it really is time to start taking shooting lessons. You have hit
a wall and you won't plow through it without knowledge and instructions. You
simply need someone to tell you what you are doing wrong and show you how to do it the
right way. A good shooting coach, trainer,
instructor, mentor will take you out of the pit and put you back into the winner's circle
once again. Every top athlete has a coach/trainer. Every Olympic shooting team
has a coach/trainer. Every 27-yard line shooter doesn't! Put 2 + 2
together and you will see the light. There is no reason why you should be attending
every shoot knowing you are going to lose, or "hoping" you will. Get the
knowledge... it's time! Sure it's going to cost you money, but right now you
are wasting way more dollars shooting on luck when you could invest in yourself
by taking lessons and win shoots or option money to rebate
the costs! Now read steps 1, 2 and 3
again and act on it. Begin the process to better shooting and you'll have a lot more
fun trap shooting than you do now!
17. Why do we miss targets?
Considering most targets are missed over the top or behind,
something is wrong, geometrically. Poor stance and swing geometry is certainly a
prime causation. Poor stance permits muzzle rise on the swing. No swing will
always cause way too many shots behind the target. Follow-through is performed not
to hit targets because trap target's shallow angles need no follow-though, but only to
insure you don't stop the muzzle when pulling the trigger! That's the main reason
for dropping targets along with poor swing dynamics. Of course, head-lifts, poor gun
fit, forearm grip too tight and too close-in are problems too, along with improper eye and
gun holds, chokes, not recognizing target behavior... the list goes on. We are not
machines. Even the pros miss targets, just not as many. A simple question
that requires a book to answer. And two books now exist to answer all of your
shooting difficulties and concerns!
Trap Shooting Secrets
and Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's Bible.
17 - A. Your books are expensive.
Why is that?
The books retail at $34.95 and all things considered are quite
economical. I've had shooters write saying we are
selling the books too cheap! Consider the knowledge you will receive that
can be put to use for a lifetime of high scores and the money you will win makes
the books a valuable investment indeed. For less than the cost of shooting one
tournament you gain a lot more skill and money than you would without the knowledge these
books give. Not to mention the fun and pride you will have winning tournaments...
how do you put a price on that? Yes, the books cost more than other books on the
market, but no other book delivers like these books do! The bottom
line is... these books will make you money so the initial cost is trivial! Book
publishing is an outrageously expensive endeavor and that's why we see no trap
shooting text books on the market until now. I'm bearing the risks and costs to
further the sport to make these books available to trap
shooters who really want to
excel. In the end I believe you will see the books are not expensive when you begin
to rake in the option money! Many, many shooter's are making a bunch of money in
these option pay-outs and you can too.
Fact is, you don't even have to win the shoot to
win! If you can hammer out a couple good traps... your shooting fees for the day
have been paid for you!
By using the techniques in the books you will pick up those lost
targets to put you in the money. It's more expensive not having the knowledge and
continue shooting poorly!
17- B. On warm days I miss more targets
than usual. Why is that?
A few things, 1) Heat radiation from
the barrel creates heat-wave distortion that you may not see very clearly but is present
just enough to mirage the target at the point of pulling the trigger. Wipe the
barrel with a damp cloth after each shot or install a ventilated high-rib on your
gun. 2) You may be low on water intake. Thirst is
never a good indicator of fluid need. By the time you feel thirsty the adverse
effects to the nervous system is already quite advanced and this too affects the
eyes. Carry water in your shoot bag and sip between traps long before you feel
thirst, 3) As your body warms up it can easily cause a
shut-down of the nervous system long before a heat stroke condition. Wear a gel
collar around your neck and you will stay cool where it counts the most... the
brain. As the brain heats it slows down and when this happens your shooting falls
apart. If you cool your brain with the gel-collar it will function at great
speed. Your body may feel like it is in an oven on a hot day but your mind stays
sharp and clear. I wear them on warm days, 4) Warm
weather also has other effects such as digestion assimilation speed, so eat light and take
a pinch of salt with your water. A bag of potato chips will do the trick. You
can die of thirst in a lake of fresh water without salt!
17- C. What size choke should I use on
handicap targets? Everyone tells me different and I'm confused.
Trap Shooting Secrets will solve your problem and
finally nail it down for you so you won't have to worry about the choke again, once it's
set. Here's the basic rule. Regardless of your handicap yardage,
install an extra-full choke and practice with that tight pattern. This eliminates
slop in your shooting and builds precise accuracy. There is no better way to build
precision than to do this (but not the sole way as other techniques are required for
precision shooting). Then when in competition you can open up the choke a bit
more (to a degree, but so much that you won't become lazy again). This is the basic
rule and there is another... the final choke setting you will shoot with will have a tight
25" hot-core pattern not a 30" pattern with a 28" fragmented core.
That is the secret to choking and maintaining precise reliable target breaks. Loose
patterns will only give you loose scores. Once you setup your choke all your energy
should be expended on concentrating on breaking targets knowing you have the pattern's
reliability to get the job done. This factor, of shooting tight-core patterns, also
keeps your concentration level up as you know there is less room for error (actually you decrease
room for error and enhance your odds of hitting the target, but it's too involved to
explain here). Tight chokes will get you where you want to be. The learning
phase is a bit grueling at first as scores drop, but once you get precision into your game
scores skyrocket and stay there!
17- D. Can you share some trap shooting
tips I can try when I go practice next? Easy ones!
Okay, nothing complex. Here's a few easy ones.
- Practice shooting phantom targets at home before you go out to practice.
This will setup your mind to shoot with a level of precision you could never obtain
otherwise. Do not forsake the power of visualization. Good shooters have a
powerful sense of visualization and employ the tactic religiously.
- Hold the gun tighter than you do now. Pull the gun firmly into the
shoulder and maintain this firm pressure. This will help to keep your head
down and maintain increases control over the gun. Don't maintain an iron-clad grip
on the forearm. This is one reason why you should wear a shooting glove so you can
apply rearward pressure to your shoulder yet not have to grip the forearm tightly to get
the job done.
- Make sure when you swing you are following the inside track of the
target. You must follow that imaginary line. Think of the target leaving a
trail of smoke. That's the line. Swing the gun so the muzzle approaches the
target inside the target flight line. This usually means to keep the muzzle under
the target when tracking it. This will help you from shooting over the top of the
- Try to miss the target by shooting too far ahead of it. Yes, try to
miss it! This will convince your subconscious mind to not fear leading the target as
it is difficult to miss a target by leading it, even with excessive lead. You'll
determine just how far you can lead a target and still hit it. This is important to
learn as shooters miss due to two major errors, shooting over the top and under. See
item #2 above as a reminder.
- If you are slicing targets? Slow down your shooting. Lower
you gun hold an inch or two. You are rushing the target and losing your natural
- Don't practice when you are tired. It will only train your subconscious mind to
miss targets like a bad habit, for exactly what it is. Missing will create more
misses. Rest, take long breaks. Close your eyes and give them a chance to
relax too. Enjoy the game. It's only a game. It's okay to be serious but
seriousness is also a mental technique that must be learned and controlled
not just applied.
- Be patient with yourself. Realize your progress will have peaks and valleys.
Accept this fact and you'll have more peaks than valleys. If you beat up on
yourself with fits of frustration and disappointment it only sets you back. Learn to
smile upon your failures with a laugh or two. Stop getting into a habit of walking
off the trap station at the end of a round with a frown expression. It's time to
outgrow it and move onward with a professional attitude towards the game.
- Practice with a shooter who is better than you are. Many shooters avoid this for
fear of being beaten time and time again but it's a fine way to instill seriousness into
your game so you can beat the better shooter. Who's the best shot at your club?
Openly challenge this shooter with a shoot-off! It's fun and you'll learn way
more than if you hadn't. Place a side bet if you want to raise the stakes and your
concentration level. Paid dinner is a fine bet. You may starve for awhile but
soon you'll be getting the free meals!
- Focus on what is possible so as not to limit your thinking. It may be impossible
for you to break 25-straight but it's not impossible to break 1-target. Do this 25
times and you have 25-straight. Convince yourself that it is easy to break the
1-target you are going to shoot. Let your mind begin to play a positive role in your
- When you miss a target do not become defensive. Maintain your aggression or
even increase it but not so aggressive that it becomes an "emotion."
Caution will cause more targets to slip away. It reverses the game. You start
chasing the target instead of attacking it and you lose control. Stay in command at
- Do not think of your finishing score. I know you will, but learn to try so
you can concentrate only on that 1-target. This will help you to practice sound
- Forget about timing, zones and just do everything you possibly can to put that
bead on the target and pull the trigger only when the bead looks right! This is
practice so practice this. Be aggressively relaxed and feel confident and sure when
you call for the target it is already broken.
These are just a few easy tips. There are dozens more but these will get
18. Tell me another trap shooting secret I can
When you practice, shoot with a full or extra-full choke.
You don't want a huge pattern working for you to reinforce errors in aim. Oh, yes.
You have to aim a shotgun for two reasons, 1) If you don't
you'll miss targets, 2) If you don't see a sight picture how will
you know when to pull the trigger? Is that why you pull the trigger when the gun is
nowhere near the target? Likely so. Many shooters refuse to admit they must
aim. They don't understand it's a different sort of aim unlike rifle shooting, it's
called back-sighting. Here's more tips; use visualization prior to calling
for the target because it works. Know the three basic angles on each post, prepare
for the worst angle but never anticipate (expect) it, just setup for it. Turn
down bad pulls or they will get you a low score. Shooters get seriously defective
pulls and don't even realize it and wonder why they missed.
Beware of squad rhythms that disrupt your normal timing.
Learn eye and gun holds. Shoot a 25" hot core pattern in competition.
You'll still have an effective 28" annular ring with high reliability. Make
sure gun fits and shoots where you look in the zone. Adjust point of impact so you
can put the bead on the target in the zone and smoke the target hard. Buy a
Kick-Eeez recoil pad to restrict comb rise on recoil rebound that will otherwise slam into
your face. Use 5% antimony shot in tournaments. Stop counting targets.
Don't think, just use mental commands and trigger words. Talk to the pros.
They will give you good advice if you ask, but you have to ask to get them talking.
Keep reading and studying the game. You will never stop learning this game!
18 A. Give me a tip that will help me shoot
better on the 27-yard line I can use today.
There would be too many to give you. Here's a few you can
use, 1) Shoot at the 29-yard line for a practice run then go back
to the 27 and see if this helps. For some shooter's it does, and other's it simply
messes up their timing. Try it and see if it helps you or not, 2)
If not, step on the 24 or 25-yard line and run a practice. Again, this may or
not help you, 3) Install an extra-full choke and get to work
on the 27-yard line to build precision into your game then go back to your full-choke and
see what happens. Make sure the extra-full choke did not shift POI when you do
this, 4.) Try lowering your gun hold an inch or two and raise
your eye hold by an inch or two and see if this new zone will help you, 5)
If not, lower your eye hold while still holding a lower gun. This
should be enough for a day's work of practice for you, and then some!
18 B. I shoot an Over & Under. Which
barrel should I use on the handicap game?
Many O&U shoot a bit high on the bottom barrel and flatter on
the top barrel. Some shooters prefer the bottom while others prefer the top.
Why the discrepancy? It's the shooter's timing factors, where they break the target.
A shooter who shoots near the target's peak will find the top flatter barrel
desirable. A shooter who shoots very quickly will find the higher shooting bottom
barrel best. The O&U has two different point of impacts for a reason, 1)
the gun is used to shoot two targets so the first shot the target is rising fast and the
bottom barrel has more POI, 2) The second target is getting away a
bit and not rising as fast so a slightly lower POI is required. So, the answer to
the question is use the barrel that most accurately breaks the targets for the zone and
timing you normally shoot. If you shoot a semi-auto on Olympic or DTL trap
firing two shots on one target or double targets you only get one POI setting. This
is not to say it is a disadvantage to cause a disaster (barring shell shuttling jams) as
long as you adapt to it. But the O&U is a viable advantage to have for this and
DID YOU KNOW ... ?
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THAN 200 PAGES OF TEXT INSTRUCTIONS !|
IT'S A HUGE BOOK!
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19. I've read many books and articles and I
still don't learn. Why?
There are no technical trap shooting books that act as a coach
telling you what to do and how to practice. Trap Shooting Secrets fills
that gap. Precision Shooting takes you beyond into the next stage where
precision shooting targets can be mastered. It's good to read all of the books and
magazines to get a balanced view of the game, but sooner or later everyone is going to
need that personal coach to help them discover mistakes and correct them. My books
get that job done. Video tapes are fine too, but they too lack that personal
instruction that is needed so the shooter can say, "All right, that's what I'm doing
wrong and now I know how to solve it."
19 - A. Which trap gun has the best features?
That's a tough question as no matter which gun I would recommend
would certainly not be the consensus of others for guns are like cars and trucks, everyone
has their favorites. So here goes one recommendation to look at, no, make that two.
Beretta S682 X-Trap Over & Under or the Beretta Vandalia single barrel
high-rib. That's what I would be looking at right now if I were in the market for
new gun. Beretta does have an impressive record in Olympic trap shooting.
There are other guns too you should peruse that may have more adjustable features.
You won't need many adjustments if the gun is fitted, the point of impact and core-pattern
is met as specified. I've always said Browning makes a good gun for the money, I
still do. Perrazi and Ljutic are fine guns too.
19 - B. I have a fixed choke barrel. How
can get that 25 inch hot core pattern?
There are only two ways, 1) You can have the
barrel worked so a choke can be installed. I don't like that route of altering a
barrel so drastically as it's irreversible, 2) Purchase factory
ammo and keep switching from brand to brand to try to get the best hot core you can.
You may want to consider buying a gun with removable chokes. Certainly you can use
reloads but you run into problems with "custom built" loads in
competition. That's why you only have two options, not three.
19 - C. I am new to trap shooting only shooting
three months. What is timing anyway?
The timing you are likely encountering is basic shoot timing, the
time you allow the target to travel before you break it. Instead of calling,
"Pull" say, "One" and keep counting, "Two" as the target
flies and on, "Three" pull the trigger and see how close you are to the target.
Maintain this timing until you can swing to the target and break it on the
count of three. The next timing factor is to work on your trigger control.
Don't pull the trigger until you see the bead on the target (or ahead of it, forward
allowance lead). The next phase is learning call-tone timing, swing timing,
zone shooting, etc. A bit too advanced for you at this stage. You'll do
well just to begin working on what I just gave you. Timing is everything, but all,
by no means. Timing is very important to understand and employ but you must
remain flexible too, but not too flexible. It's a bit too deep to discuss here in
this forum as there are many other elements that must be incorporated into form to blend
with your timing. The books I wrote explain all these phases.
19 - D. Tell me something I can do at my next
shoot that will give me a deeper insight to trap shooting.
Easy. You've never heard of this before but I guarantee you
will learn some closely guarded secrets to the game if you do just this. Bring a
pair of binoculars with you and zero-in on the professional shooter. You'll see
things your eye could never before pick up on. Examples: Gun
mounting integrity form, gun hold points, gun hold offsets to the house, cheek pressure,
steering the gun with cheek, Body English moves to target, swing muscles used, muzzle
alignment to target, timing, zone, and much more. You have to know what you are
looking for so start with those I've mentioned. Also, set your stop-watch and time
the pro shooter. Examine the time of setup (from last shooter's call to the
pro's call) and then 'time' the shot (call to trigger pull). You'll begin to see the
precision in the setup and the zone these shooters' are operating in. Write down
what you see. Do not trust your memory as you'll surely forget. Take
these observation tips home and practice a few.
Hit the gun club and incorporate what you've learned into
Sunday's practice. You'll start getting to be a better shooter almost
immediately! What you are doing here is observing the finer aspects of
the professional shooter and it is here you will see where the targets are really
broken... long before they even call for the target! The setup is more important
than the act of actually swinging to the target and pulling the trigger. Like
bowling, if your ball fails to line up properly on the alley markers before it leaves your
hand you're not going to have that ball strike or spare, even though your eye remains on
the target pin/space. If your eye and gun holds are nowhere in particular how
are your going to break the targets consistently? If you just retrieve your
binoculars out of the dusty closet you'll be enlightened way above other shooters you
haven't done this. So simple, yet so revealing. If you don't have binoculars
or stop-watch, at least you now know what to look for when watching a pro
19 - E. Why should I take shooting lessons?
Won't your books solve this issue?
There is no doubt the books can take you into the professional
arena, but if you read my books then go see a professional coach/teacher for trap shooting
lessons even more incredible things can happen! Contemplate taking all the
knowledge you have learned in the books and then take a lesson from Scribani Rossi, Daro
Handy, Phil Kiner or Kay Ohye... imagine the deeper-level of instructions you could
realize. You would be so far ahead of any shooter in the class! It will be to
your advantage to tell the instructor you have read TSS and PS and ask for individualized
lessons. This way your coach/trainer will know your level of expertise is of a
higher caliber and not fiddle around with the basic stuff to help you "polish"
your shooting. You can never learn enough in trap shooting... the more knowledge you
obtain the higher the rewards you receive. Magazines, books, videotapes and personal
lessons all work together to that common goal... knowledge.
19 - D. I took professional trap shooting
lessons and still can't shoot top scores. How come?
When you first take lessons from a professional coach/trainer
they usually start at the basics. Perhaps you were beyond the basic stage and did
not really learn much on the first lesson or two and then you decided to quit.
Professional trap shooting can not be taught in just a handful of lessons.
The books I write gives you that most important "time factor" to study
and learn at your own pace, to acquire the inside knowledge so you can assimilate it
without cramming it all down in a matter of hours. You put this new knowledge into
practice and finally understand what is really going on out there with the
targets and with yourself. At this point, say a few months after reading the books,
you take a professional shooting lesson - you will be "ready" to ask the right
questions and "absorb" the information from the coach/trainer. It's like
you have to get your Ph.D. before you obtain your Doctorate degree. The principle
applies to trap shooting. Believe me, professional trainers love to work with
shooters who are knowledgeable as it is easier on them to "tune-in" the shooter.
So the books, ultimately, gives you more bang for the dollar! Instead of a
dozen lessons, you may only need two or three lessons after reading the books! That
saves you hundreds of dollars, but it also gives you that giant push forward as
you and your trainer are operating on a higher level from the start. Then
you only have to take an occasional refresher lesson to maintain your edge. The
money you earn in trap shooting pays all these costs for you. The shooters who
stubbornly refuse to read and take lessons end up paying dearly to those who have the
knowledge. It's like this in every sport and every business endeavor, it's a fact of
life. Knowledge give you power. Get all you can!
19 - E. I feel overwhelmed attending registered
shoots knowing my chances are slim. Any help for me?
We all know our limitations and our past performance trends are
limitations, but we have to begin the process of reflection to see our progress. You
shoot better now than when you first started trap shooting. What you consider a low
score a novice would kill for. The problem is you have stopped progressing.
It's called hitting the wall. The trick is to realize, "You
will experience what you perceive!" So you are now ready to learn about
establishing "conscious contact" with your thought patterns. Imagine if
life held all sorts of good things for you but you spend all your time regretting past
losses! Get the picture? Higher consciousness simply means being more aware,
and neutrally so, with as few preconceived limitations as possible. This begins to
open the door of understanding so you can see beyond past upsets. Now you should be
able to attend a registered shoot with a new belief, "I stand a good chance of
breaking a higher score." To say, "I'm going to win this shoot" is
too much, too soon. Take your beliefs in small steps, "Every shoot is getting
better than the last. I am hitting the targets with more authority and I'll
certainly do so today." You may slip up on a few shoots and be setback emotionally
for a spell, but if you allow yourself to believe you are progressing... you
will! Tell yourself when you feel overwhelmed, "I'm going to shoot with
more precision today and pay extra attention to seeing the target" then believe
what you just said. Trap shooters need to learn how to stop punishing themselves
with negative thoughts and beliefs. As you know, emotions are very dangerous to
scores. You see shooters who miss a target react with exterior showmanship of
frustration; wagging head in disgust, tossing shells to ground, facial expressions of
disgust, etc. These are reflections of the internal "thought
pattern" taking hold of the shooter... in a bad way. You'll see more lost
targets! You have to train your mind to stay in control so damaging negative
emotions will not creep into the game. It's a learned approach to keep the
endorphins dorphing, maintaining pure concentration and focus. I teach you how to do
all this in the Trap Shooting Secrets book.
20. How do I know your trap shooting books will
It's guaranteed. Your scores improve in 30-days or return
the book (in salable condition of course) and the purchase price is refunded. No
other book makes that guarantee! Look, if you spent years interviewing professional
trap shooters don't you think you would walk away with a ton of knowledge? Well,
that's what you're getting in the books. Believe me, these tips, tricks, methods and
procedures are rarely spoken about but I can assure you they work. Once you
understand them you'll watch a pro shoot and say, "Oh, right... that's exactly
what they do, just like the books said they do. How come I didn't see that
before?" The letters I get from shooters tell me the books work as they
win the big shoots. Olympic class shooters and the shooting schools who train them
are buying and selling the books. I suppose you could say the books have proven
themselves to be valid. They should be too... after all, the knowledge came from
professional shooters who shoot for a living and veterans who know their stuff. The
source of the knowledge imparted holds credibility. That's the bottom line.
And if you want to see what the books have done for other shooters click on our
testimonial page. None of these people were paid
anything for their testimonial and they are not close friends of the author doing
favors... they are heartfelt letters of appreciation. They give their testimonial
freely to help you! They knew what the books did for them, and they simply
want you to benefit too. Trap shooters are absolutely fabulous people so it is
no surprise they are generous with compliments and recommendations.
20 - A. I subscribed to Clay Shooting Magazine
and they use shooting terms I don't understand. Help!
In Europe - the Great Kingdom of shooters - they shoot games we
stateside Americans wouldn't dare. That's another matter. ABT
is Automatic Ball Trap or known as Wobble Trap which we shoot as Continental Trap where
the trap wobbles oscillating left & right and up & down. Targets can rise
sky-high or race along the ground clipping the grass. When double targets are thrown
it is called Doubles ABT. DTL is Down the Line just like our trap
shooting but the scoring system is different with 2-shots to the single target is
allowed. A first hit is scored 3. First missed, but second fired shell hits
target, you get a score of 2. Miss both you earn the goose egg of 0. Olympic
Trap is UIT Bunker Trap known as Olympic Trench using 15 fixed position traps in
a bunker to throw the targets. Universal Trench uses only 5 traps.
Double Rise is the same as our ATA doubles game. Single
Barrel is the same as our trap game. And there's a few more terms tossed
about but this should tune you in.
20 - B. I'm a beginner shooter. Will Trap
Shooting Secrets book be too deep for me?
It may be. But this is the time you really need the book
when you are first starting out so you can learn these hidden tricks of the trade now
rather than having to relearn from imbedded mistakes later. Some of the principles
and terminology may go over your head at first, but in the following 3-months of shooting
with trapshooter's you'll get the jargon down and begin to understand the book. I've
had many novice shooters buy the book and start impressing other shooter's with the
quality of target hits and score rise. That's not magic, it's just that you are now
shooting right-on target! There is nothing worse than starting out in this trap
shooting game. You have everyone giving advice. So much, it overwhelms
you; "You're stance is wrong." "Gun mount is faulted."
"You shoot too slow." "You're too nervous." "Try
this." "Try that." It never ends. These
advisory shooters are well-meaning but they flood the mind of the new shooter with advice,
but they can't 'communicate' the theory or technique behind the advice and create
confounded confusion and frustration. And, there are a few bad apples who
will intentionally give you poor advice just so you won't get better to beat them.
These are the local Trap Kings and they are to be feared.
20 - C. How do I deal with a loud-mouth
braggart trap shooter? Gets on my nerves badly.
Every club has one Big Bully that struts about within
his Kingdom of Fools gazing down upon his peasant subjects as he brags loudly of his
abilities. They are notorious to deal with. They watch everyone shoot
and once you begin to be a threat they focus in on you like hungry lions. It all
begins and remains with jokes and laughter but under the mask is intense psychological
warfare to attack your subconscious. The moment you slip up, "Well, what's your
excuse this time, Joe? I thought you said you finally got it all
together?" Well, you never said that but those words instill hidden internal
conflict within the mind. It's a joke - but it's not - and these Trap Kings are Masters
at these mind games. You have to mentally block their comments immediately not with
anger but with a realization of the game they are playing on you. That's
the secret. Most shooter's just think the loud-mouth is just being himself and
having fun, but if you really observe them in action going from shooter to shooter you see
the pattern, the internal rage of jealousy materializes in the form of friendly
These shooters are so jealous and protective of their own glory
they prowl constantly seeking attention and worship. They usually have a cliche'
following and this snooty gang will retaliate against you if you offend in anyway their
King. Your death sentence begins on the day you beat Caesar's score and suddenly you
are stalked at every move and pounced upon at every opportunity with jabs and jokes.
Suddenly, you're a celebrity and you get the Royal Treatment. They will stand behind
you when you are shooting. Some will make strange noises, talk loud, laugh and make
comments to inflict sound damaging insertions to disrupt your concentration... all in the
insidious guise of fun. It's hard to be the black sheep and many shooters crumble
under the strain shooting a dumped score as they try to block out the noise. Yes,
they do it at registered shoots, not just at the club. The danger is you can't play
their game. If you begin challenging the King or his slaves you lose and they win as
they have your focus. Put all your energy into breaking the target not beating
the opponent! Don't ever compete with the King just beat his score and that will
shut him up - for a day or two. These Lions are bad boys and the less contact you
have with them the better off you will be, professionally. How many times have you
heard the gossip flying about one shooter wanting to beat another just to teach him a
lesson or two? That's an unwinable game so don't play it. Play your own
game! Now that you are aware of the conditions you can now manage them a bit
20 - D. What is the best lens color to use?
I like purple when shooting orange or green targets. That's
my preference as my eyes are sensitive to strong sunlight even on cloudy days. The
West Coast the sun shines brightly forever it seems. Purple is great for forested
backgrounds but I've found that they work very well in all conditions. The contrast
of the target on a purple background is impressive even against a blue or gray sky.
Technically speaking the best lens color is the color of the target you are shooting
but in the real world diverse and moving backgrounds when swinging to the target makes
this infeasible. Gold or bronze lenses are very nice indeed. Many shooter's
use Vermilion red but it doesn't work very well as the red splash is a "hot"
color and causes the eye to tire and targets are frequently dropped on the last couple of
traps. Hmmm, how many shooters do you know who use red lenses pop good
scores? Yellow is out the window. They are sold as shooting glasses but
not for trap shooting, okay? My advice is to try purple, bronze or gold.
Everyone is going to be different here so there are no fixed rules on lens color.
But it is important to find the color that works best for you, and that requires
experimentation. What do the pros use? That's something you should take a peek
at. Each will use a different color but you may discover a common theme within the
diversification such as; tint range, lens size, etc. For trap shooting, Luca
Scribani Rossi Shooting has competition grade shooting glasses. Their International
frames are to be seriously considered.
Quote from a British Shooter's words
"You can't shoot if the blasted
sun is in your squinting eyes and you can't see the bloody target!"
21. I was told to concentrate when shooting.
How the heck do I concentrate?
That's a big subject to cover here so I'll just touch on
it. My books handle this subject in good detail. Concentration is awareness of
one's surroundings with mental focus to perform the job at hand. Both must exist.
You can't concentrate with a strain or block out noises, etc. Think
opposites of what you see other shooters doing. Watch the pros and you'll see these
opposites in motion. A pro can stop, speak to someone and go right back and run them
even in shoot-off conditions. A distraction is not a distraction to them... it's just
part of trap shooting. You'll see shooters walking from station to station, trap to
trap with zombie expressions. Don't do this. There is a big difference between
focus and strain and tension and concentration. Concentration must be managed,
turned on and off. Turned on when it's your turn to shoot, turned off when
reloading. You relax between shots and between traps or you'll burn out. The
mind will not tolerate extended extremes in concentration and it will shut-off from
exhaustion. That's why so many shooters fall apart on the last trap or two.
21 -A. Give me a tip I can use in competition
this week without my having to learn anything.
Walk slow like the pros! It's not old age doing it.
They know a secret! By walking slow you breathe slow and when that happens you
become calm and able to perform at peak levels. So practice this when walking to
your trap. You do it when changing stations. Intentionally put yourself into a
slow-motion mindset and amazing things begin to happen. Confidence and concentration
increases and a smooth swing and shot develops. This is something you don't have to
'learn' you just 'do' it. You asked, so there it is. Try it and see the
results for yourself. Watch other shooters and you will see tension in their walk
and in their shooting. The nerves are on edge. They call too loudly yelling
and then they shoot too fast with snapping motions and they miss targets. How can
you be smooth if you're in a hurry? Mellow out, breathe smoothly and you'll see a
performance increase. Your call tone and volume should compliment this
smoothness. If you yell when you call you just pumped too much
adrenalin into your
muscles and the smooth fluid swing is gone out the window.
Yes. The call should be loud enough so you don't get slow pulls
but too many shooters are going too far into the extreme and demolish up their
setup. Be calm and be smooth! Watch the pros shoot. You have to see them using these
techniques. It's all there to see it's just that most trap
shooters don't know how to
evaluatea a shooter properly and can't see the subtle acts these pros are really
doing. Now that you are learning these things when you watch a professional shoot
you'll begin to see what they are 'really' doing out there. When you watch a pro
shoot don't do what the other shooters are doing. They keep looking at the target to
see it break. Do the opposite. Look at the shooter! Examine what they
are doing in their setup. Check out everything imaginable; like the shoes they wear.
Ask yourself why they wear that type of shoe... or better yet, get up the
nerve and ask the pro the question. It will have something to do with stability, balance
or weight shift to heel or whatever. Then do something about it... go get yourself
some shoes like that!
21 - B. I tried wearing shooting gloves and I
didn't care for it. Will not wearing a glove hurt my shooting?
It will. Perspiration and gun oils (oil & water do not
mix) will create a lubricant causing the gun to slip as you swing. It doesn't take
much of a slip to lose control of the gun. You may never feel this slippage but your
heart will when you look at your score. The glove on the forearm will give you that
solid rock foundation on the gun to maintain control. Don't play around here. Get a shooting glove. Thin leather is best with ventilating holes.
Some women don't like to wear gloves when shooting but there are gloves available
that will accommodate wedding rings at golf pro shops. You normally don't wear a
glove on your trigger finger unless you are trying to break a nasty trigger flinch.
21 - C. I don't feel I have what it takes to be
a good trapshooter. Any advice?
Olympic trap shooter: "I've always been the one who
fails but now I have the gold medal." ATA Hall of Fame trap
was a basket case shooter in the beginning. I suffered all the failures and ridicule
and lost more events than I've won." Another ATA Hall of Fame trap
"I am still learning this game."
As you can see here, talent can be learned. Pure
determination and persistence can take you where you want to go as long as you are willing
to learn and progress. Your first lesson is to stop thinking
you are never going to make it, that you are not good enough, you are a failure. It
is these awful negative thoughts and beliefs that makes or breaks you. Even when you
are, in reality, shooting badly learn to say, "I am learning. I will
progress. It may take time but I am seeing progress daily. I believe I can and
I will." If you watch the Olympic athletes you'll see the grief they experience
too when losing but they keep on and return again to win the gold (silver and bronze)
medal. The power of persistence with a dream is unstoppable. Failure is the
steps one climbs to reach the prize.
Look at your failures as steps to winning. Nobody wants to
lose, but those who win believe they can and do. It is difficult to retrain your
thoughts. Here's how not to do it; "I'm going to win this shoot"
or "I'm going to get the back fence this year." These thoughts
are too shallow as they focus on the external. To obtain the external while
retaining the skill and quality to excel into the long-haul you work on the inner
self-attitude and beliefs. Once you believe in yourself all the external successes
arrive and they remain with you. I know many shooters who are so desperate
to get to the back fence. They want that goal so bad and so desperately they get
into a hurry-up-and-do-it mindset. They practice every weekend (practicing the wrong
way, usually) and they do reach their goal by attending every small shoot they can getting
punched to where the big boys are. Then they fall apart, slide into horrific slumps
and get trapped in a hellish situation of losing every shoot they go to. They need
to work on the inner aspects and start learning professional shooting methods now or
forever remain in slump hell.
21 - B. If a shooter arrives at the 27-yard
line how can that be wrong?
It is a shallow victory with no lasting results that brings forth
terrific misery upon many shooters. That back fence is a mean and terrible place to
be and the pickets are sharp and always requires relentless painting to remain functional.
There are too many shooters who have no business being there... for their own
good! It's the 27-yard line where failure is the worst and most damaging to
the shooter. Realize this; if you keep shooting competition you are
going to have some good lucky days and get punched yardage especially at the small shoots
where competition is less. If you can't repeat the winning performance with any
degree of consistency you just bought your ticket to doom. You may feel happy.
You may have an ego boost. You may enjoy the thought of shooting with the
pros for that status symbol but it won't last a month to a day if precision shooting is
not learned. And the truth is, most shooters are shooting on eye/hand coordination
alone and that's the "luck factor" that materialized to get those punch-wins.
It's not repeatable so the bottom falls out.
These shooters keep believing, and are told by some writers and
other shooters to master eye/hand coordination, but fail to identify the handicap
game in these instructions. You can point a shotgun at the 16-yard but you will certainly
fail at the 27-yard because it demands more than pointing to hit these
targets, a lot more! So the truth of the matter is simply this; if you are in the
long-yardage area and you are not winning the major shoots or placing high scores it's
time for you to abandon the simplistic error-prone pointing/eye/hand coordination methods
and learn how to shoot precisely with the precision techniques the professionals
use. It's time to move up and onward. But how do you do that? You
can take lessons from a pro or a good coach. If you can't do that you can purchase
my trap shooting books and get on track today. It's pure common sense if you are
stuck in a rut losing and scoring low it's time to learn new techniques to
demolish the mistakes your are making. Believe me, you can shoot and you have the
skills already... its just that you need instruction to take you to that next level of
21 - C. I'd like to explore the
shooting the Olympics. How can I do that?
Easy. Just contact USA Shooting. They will
train you! They have shooting coaches in every state so you don't have to practice
in Colorado. There are qualification trials to pass before you can be
accepted. It won't be easy! But if this is your dream USA Shooting can make it
happen! They have residency programs too. It's like going to shooting
college. Don't wait until you become an accomplished 27-yard trap
you'll have to relearn just about everything you've learned to shoot Olympic Trap.
It's a fast target game with severe target paths. Age is not a factor. Woman
may certainly apply. Let's support our Olympic shooters! You can join
USA Shooting or purchase logo products to help finance our USA Team. And you
can even attend and shoot the regional competitions! Do you think you can
compete? You sure can. Give it a try!
21 - D. I need something quick and easy to give
me a winning edge at my next tournament shoot. Any tips?
Quick and easy? Okay. When you sign up to shoot ask
where some of the professional shooters are squading and shoot behind them as close as
possible. The pros know target angles and conditions so well they will have the
traps readjusted when they are off kilter. They will have sloppy target setters and
pullers replaced and have faltering trap machines exchanged. This can give you an
edge. I personally don't believe in relying on such tactics to the point of being
fanatical about where you shoot but there is a reality the pros do know the proper times
of day to shoot specific traps at specific gun clubs to obtain the best lighting, peculiar
wind conditions, trap misalignments, etc. It beats shooting traps that are not
ideal. Picking the time of day and specific traps to me is cheating. Sure,
having that knowledge is great but is it truly fair to everyone else? I
believe gun clubs that use the lottery system of trap assignments are doing a good thing
to level the playing field for all shooters. Too many local and pro shooters know
the conditions all too well at certain clubs and they take that edge to full advantage at your
expense! I am adamant about fair play for all and let skill alone bring forth the
true deserving winners.
22. I didn't score well on the test. How
That was an easy test. The first thing you have to unlearn
is conventional wisdom. Professionals do not use conventional wisdom for it they did
they would be shooting scores like everyone else. Start thinking that maybe what you
learned is 50% or more, is wrong. Trap shooters learn from hand-me-down gossip and we
all know how it changes as it's passed from person-to-person. Magazine articles
attempt to package it, but are limited in the number of words they can use per article so
it's all sort of compressed and trap shooting is a very difficult subject to write
about so the writers are having a tough job trying to keep you guys and gals
informed. You should thank them for their efforts. When you begin to question
conventional wisdom enlightenment arises and truth begins to surface along with the
reality of the game. There are many theories, but results is the ruler, the king of
the hill. When you gain the knowledge and understanding you'll score high on the
test and on the trapfield.
23. Tell me how to concentrate.
Concentration is not walking by the traps with a zombie
expression... that's overkill. Your mind will not tolerate that level of exertion
and will cause you to fall apart on one of the traps. Concentration is not shutting
off the world around you, it's actually hearing everything going on, just that you are so
focused on breaking targets it doesn't bother you. So, the more you try to
concentrate the more you are self-defeating yourself. The harder you try, the harder
you'll fall. It's not about stress or strain or zombie-states of mind. There
are methods you can use to induce intense controlled concentration mind-states and shut it
off at will to give your mind a rest. Watch the pros and you'll see they have this
ability. It's a bit complex to discuss here, but the books do get you right into
23 - A. I've developed a flinch pulling the
trigger violently. What can I do?
Flinching is no simple explanation as it arrives from numerous
sources other than recoil. You are experiencing a Trigger Flinch and since you've
'developed' this 'violent' condition it can be resolved with some ease. The problem
is always a synchronization disturbance of timing and sight picture but in your case it is
just likely you are 'thinking' of it too much. The more you think about the problem
it remains with you. You need to refocus your attention away from the trigger flinch
difficulty and concentrate more on seeing a solid sight picture. The act of pulling
the trigger is a subconscious act. It will happen when the sight picture is true,
naturally, without thought or effort on your part. That is the key to trigger
control but that control can't happen if your timing is off and your setup is south of the
border. That is the first step to take when managing a flinch. There's more,
much more you can do to fix this phenomena. Trap Shooting Secrets book has
a huge chapter on resolving flinches. So hit the practice trap and forget about
flinching and concentrate on the sight picture and slow down your shooting a bit as you
may be over-speeding your nervous system and that will create random violent
flinching. If the problem persists you are becoming too sensitized to the trigger so
wear a thin shooting glove and see if you can tame the beast. Shooting the wrong
zone will create flinches, very nasty ones at that.
23 - B. What mind-set must I develop to shoot
Relaxed is best, but who's relaxed these days? Then again,
too much relaxation you don't have the drive. A tad of adrenaline rush is good if
controlled. A burning desire to hit the target is a great thought-line to practice
until it becomes obsessive and habitual. Everyone is different so a good coach comes
in handy when dealing with competitive psychology. Desire alone will not break
targets as it is only one element in the setup and a phase in the swing. Your
mindset involves energy channeled through the eyes as if the gun were an extension of your
body and your eyes are shooting the target not the gun. It's a feel to be
developed. Once you develop the feel of shooting properly confidence automatically
rises. That's why I say to feel all your moves; stance, posture, gun mount,
shouldering, cheek pressure, swing, timing, zone, hold points, etc. You need to get
on a very intimate level with your gun so much so that it no longer feels like a gun in
your arms... it's you! Once you get that down mind-set becomes a bit easier to
simply focus and concentrate on the target to win the event. Did I say,
"Simply?" It's never simple to hit targets, but always easy to miss.
23 - C. What is the number one cause of failure
in trap shooting?
Not learning! Shooting for the sake of shooting believing
high skill levels can be achieved without formal instruction won't cut the cheese.
There comes a time where every trap shooter reaches a plateau or firewall that simply
cannot be overcome with practice sessions alone. There are many shooters who are
busting lousy scores and refuse to do anything concrete about it mistakenly reasoning they
need more practice. What they really need is more knowledge! If there
is one thing trap shooters have in common - predominately so in the USA - is stubbornness
to accept sound shooting advice and a great reluctance to take formal shooting
instructions. It's like, "I don't need to take lessons"
then they go out and pop an embarrassing score and they really believe this vicious circle
will come to an end. It won't. What happens is you get locked in a vice
and it keeps squeezing all the willpower and energy out of you until total frustration
develops and you hit the wall.
At this point the trap shooter is in deep trouble and fails to
realize it. A case of extreme tunnel vision develops and the game becomes
progressively more and more difficult instead of easier and more fun. Although
professional trap shooters appear to be shooting like a machine they are in fact extremely
creative in their shooting, always looking for that new way to break the targets and they
can do this because they have the imaginative knowledge. You can too, but you'll
have to learn the secrets first and you won't find this valuable knowledge at the local
gun club shooting with your friends because they don't know the inside story either. This
is why I wrote the trap shooting books so you can have this knowledge.
23 - D. When I shoot sometimes I get a
headache. What can I do?
Most shooters get what is called the "Silent Headache"
where no pain is felt but that "something is wrong" feeling exists and the cure
is simple, take an aspirin of sorts. But actually experiencing the pain is another
entirely different matter. I'm not a doctor so my advice is only information.
If symptoms persist a doctor could help you, I'm sure. Some shooters
get what the gold and tunnel miners call, "The Nitro Headache" which is the
result of breathing the spent fumes of nitroglycerine explosions... exactly what is
powering our shotgun shells. These fumes can, in some people, trigger the
Nitro-reaction and result in the headache. To counter this, the best you can do is
take counteractive vitamins especially the anti-oxidant formulas. Chelated magnesium has
been shown to reduce migraine headaches.
Other shooters get headaches from other causes such as; crouching
on the gun that is a direct result of firing a gun that does not fit properly. This causes
muscle strains in the neck area that triggers headaches. Here's a few things
you can try. Have a cup of coffee! Most people think this will cause a
headache but in all reality the caffeine constricts blood vessels reducing blood flow to
the head. Two cups and that's all. Any more and then it may cause a
headache. Breathe deeply for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds and do this eight times
and this will help break tension. If ice is available apply a bag of crushed ice on
your head where it hurts. The cold shrinks the inflamed blood vessels that are
causing pain. Recoil can cause headaches in some shooters so invest in a good recoil
reducer that allows the gun to move backwards like a Howitzer cannon. These are the
best devices going for just about everyone.
24. This is my fourth trap gun and I'm still
struggling to get my scores up. What's wrong?
Looks like you're on that eternal vigil to blame the gun or hope
you will find the gun that breaks targets. Only you can break targets.
Changing guns will mess up your shooting seriously. It takes thousands of rounds
(ammo) to acclimate a new gun. First, you have to find the gun that is balanced,
fits and shoots where your look. You can't find that gun because no manufacturer makes it
for shelf sales. You have to custom order the gun to fit you. The gun must
conform to you, not you to the gun as most shooters are doing. At first, buying a
new gun your scores often rise due to your renewed enthusiasm and focus, but then scores
fall again. Look, you can't just pick up a shotgun and learn how to shoot it.
It will take you way too many years to learn that way. Most shooters don't even know
what point of impact their gun shoots at. You need instructions, lessons, advice,
tutoring, encouragement. It's not the gun, it's you. But I do admit, you have
to have a gun you like, it must fit like a glove and shoot where you look in the zone,
etc. The gun doesn't break targets, you do. See a stock fitter when you plan
to buy a gun. Make certain the gun fits you and you'll be one happy shooter.
24 - A. Lately, I have becoming immobilized by
fear. What can I do to control this?
Fear is the enemy. It all begins with a seed of doubt, then
concern, then worry, then apprehension, then the torment of fear itself takes charge.
What now happens is you are shooting targets out of fear of missing instead
of confident conviction in breaking the target. The mind-set is now diverted away
from shooting even though your are concentrating and "hoping hard" to hit the
target. Complex emotions and thoughts have infiltrated the mind. The
next phase of fear creates the anxiety attack where the nerves begin to shake you up,
literally. Panic sets in and once panic is established the devil has had his
way with you and grins as you lose. The key is to discover the "seed of
doubt" that triggers this entire chain reaction. It could be that you are
concerned of making a good showing for the crowd? Maybe a bit concerned of what
people will think of you if you miss a target and lose? Even placing too high a
demand on yourself, "I got to get 100-straight today." It should
be, "I need to get one-straight, one at a time and that's all. One
Everyone feels fear one time or another. For some it is so
intense a Valium must be taken to control the adverse destructive effects. I have
suffered extreme panic attacks that have come out of nowhere with a bloody buggery
anxiety attack of global proportions. It hit me this year right out of the blue and
I wasn't even nervous at all. An extreme shaking of the legs that just would not
cease and kept getting worse to the point I thought I was riding a bumpy wood
rollercoaster. It's the pits and something that just comes and I have no control
over it. Ironically, when it does happen, even with the gun shaking... I don't miss
the target! I don't know why that happens other than the fact I put more energy into
shooting to overcome the torment. In all rights, I should miss every target when I
am shaking like an earthquake but it just does not happen.
Other shooter's have the same problem of panic attacks and fear
mindsets. For me, I have to take a Valium sometimes, usually on the first or second
shoot of the beginning season after a long lay-off from shooting over the winter.
After that I don't need any more. I can tell you this, it all starts with a basic
concern or thought and it grows from there. Discover what you are worried about and
you will at least be able to prevent or reduce the anxiety. And, the more you shoot
with peaceful conviction the less stress you will encounter. There is more to this,
but this should be enough for now. You are not alone!
24 - B. You say the European shooters are
better than USA shooters. How is that?
Easy. They have been shooting in competitions way longer
than we have and shooting much more difficult games and their competitions are backed by
big name sponsors. They still give away Rolex watches to new cars and $50,000+
purses to the winner. DTL (Down The Line) is similar to our ATA trap shooting on
5-lanes but the targets fly at 80 miles per hour in a 40 degree arc and they shoot
"sparrows" which are smaller than our targets! In ABT (Automatic Ball
Trap) known as Continental trap, the targets' exit below ground level in a bunker and exit
at 120 miles per hour at varied height levels! Get the idea? ATA trap is
simply too slow and easy. Plus, most every gun club has an assigned and certified
shotgun instructor. Just about everyone takes lessons. And, auto-voice release
is quite standard practice so pullers are not required. They don't have the slow and
fast pull problems we have. They are way ahead of us and we are way behind them.
Now this may change as I am trying to get some of these top-gun shooter's to
come to the USA to give us some shooting clinics and so far it looks pretty good. It
will be announced on this web site when it happens. I'd also like to start DTL
shooting in the USA as a new discipline for us. This may take some time, but it is
something I'm working on. I believe if we shot some of the tough games like DTL and
Olympic trap many shooters would see improvement in ATA trap shooting too.
24 - C. Why observe professionals? Isn't
is wise to develop your own style of shooting?
Yes, it is wise to develop your own style, but when you consider
a pro boxer they study all those great champions who came before him. From this
point he will study the professional techniques to incorporate into his own style.
You will notice all pro boxers have a personal coach to develop the technique and style.
25. Any more advice on how I can improve my
Tons more, we haven't even scratched the surface, though there is
not enough space here. Listen to advice, all advice, good and bad for the what you
thought was bad may in fact later be right. You will obtain jewels of knowledge even
from the novice shooter who experienced something you long ago have forgotten... like swinging
to the target, locking your head down to comb, reevaluating your
stance and setup routines for changes, including gun fit changes that happen
very slowly over time, etc. The next time you see a pro, ask a
question. That's where you're going to learn many neat tricks of the
game. Be willing to learn and try new things. Be open-minded and
you'll begin to see a rise in your scores and the quality of target hits
will impress you.
25 - A.
Is skeet shooting different than trap in that a field gun
can be used for this sport?
You have to do it the right way
and that is to buy a gun designed for the purpose at hand. A good trap
gun can handle Down The Line, Olympic and American trap targets (not
double-trap unless the gun is automatic or a combo-gun otherwise you need an
over&under trap gun for double-trap), but it will not shoot skeet or birds
with any degree of success. Same with a hunting gun will not hit clay
targets. It could on the 16 to 199 yard line in handicap, but it will
miss many tons of targets beyond 20 yards. You will need two
guns to shoot; one for skeet and one for hunting. Yes, you can use a
field gun to shoot skeet targets, but don't expect perfect scores. A
field gun is just not a skeet clay target shooting gun, but it can be used
to help you shoot better. Just don't expect to shoot competitively
with a field gun. However, a good skeet gun can shoot very well when
hunting live birds. So, the skeet gun can do both. Check out the
free article selecting
your first gun.
-B. I need a low-cost gun I can shoot most
games with. Any suggestions?
Everybody who starts shooting
clay targets wants a low cost gun, but what you really need is a good medium
cost gun that is professionally fitted to you. You should take
shooting lessons too. Now you will be starting out properly.
There is no substitute for professional instruction by professional
shooters! If you can't afford the above, then look for an over &
under 12 gauge shotgun with a 30" or 31" barrel. This gun can shoot
all the clay targets, even some sporting clays games at a novice level.
You can't shoot skeet with a gun like this unless you bought a combo-gun
with a short skeet barrel arrangement. You can have a lot of fun with
a sporting clays gun to shoot skeet, sporting and 16-yard line trap targets,
but don't expect stellar scores, just have fun. Another alternative is
to buy a cheap gun for each sport, but this can have devastating effects
perpetually altering the learning curve and is not recommended. See
this free article buying your first trap gun.
choke should a brand new trap shooter use?
A new shooter at the 16 yard
line shooting singles targets can benefit by using the Improved Cylinder
choke then switch to the Light or Improved Modified choke on the 17, 18 and
19 yard line. At the 20, 21, 22 yard line use a tighter choke such as
the full choke. At the 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 use the extra-full choke.
When shooting doubles we are shooting at the 16 yard line so you can use
this formula; for the first target (normally the straight-away target) use
the Cylinder choke and on the second target use the Improved Modified.
Of course, you can and must experiment using different size chokes depending
on the shooter's timing and the gun's ballistic behavior, but this simple
formula is a good place to start and grow with. Also, a new shooter
should use the maximum shot quantity and powder charge available under the
established rules to enhance breaking of the targets. As of this
writing it is 1 1/8 oz of shot and 3 drams of powder.
shot size should a brand new trap shooter use?
A new shooter at the 16 yard
line shooting singles targets can benefit by using #9 shot on the 16 yard
line. Use #8 shot on the 17, 18, 19 20, 21, 22 yard line. Use #7
1/2 size shot at the 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27. When shooting doubles we
are shooting at the 16 yard line so you can use #9 shot for the first target
(normally the straight-away target) and use #8 shot on the second target.
As the new doubles-shooter gets better scrores with experience they can
switch to #8 on both targets and then switch to 7 1/2's to absolutely
improve the odds of breaking the target with this larger more energetic
25-E. What is
Just close your eyes and imagine
yourself shooting targets with great success and precision. This is a
very powerful form of mental rehearsal that leads to precise shooting,
increased confidence and success. I explain these techniques in my
trap shooting books.
Keep on reading...
here for the next page.
by James Russell All Rights Reserved