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Friend who cannot shoot well
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Gil Martin
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Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

I have a friend and hunting partner who is a great guy, but cannot shoot very well. Last Wednesday, I threw 75 clay pigeons for him and he hit about five of them. I was trying to coach and throw birds, but that did not work very well. I have suggested he get some training from competent shooters. He does not want to admit he needs help. He says he just needs to get used to his gun. He buys a new shotgun every year and his shooting performance does not change. Anybody have a similar experience? All the best..
Gil

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:56 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

Like your friend, I too am not the best shooter around, but I have a lot of fun trying. You will find what works is to make the shooting fun rather than concentrating on the number of clays smashed.

Why does your mate buy a new gun every year? Is it because he isn't happy with the results of his shooting? Check your mate's gun for fit? This may be part of the problem. Have an expert check the fit and alignment for your mate...I bet this will account for more clays. Build his confidence with his gun and he will shoot better. Also, don't try to turn him into a AA Grade shooter in one session. Start from scratch, identify a couple of things that he isn't doing correctly and work on that initially. Little things like stance can help a lot...I found that pointing my front foot at the centre post helped me align myself better. Mounting the gun is another problem area. I found that raising my shooting side elbow to be parallel to the ground opened up the natural pocket in the shoulder for the butt...I then point the gun up about 45 degrees allowed me to mount consistently. Cheek meld with the comb and forward hand position on the fore-end also matter. Does your mate shoot with one or two eyes open? Is he using his master eye?

Another area that can be a problem is aiming the shotgun like a rifle. He needs to learn to point not aim the gun. The analogy I use is the same as pointing at and following a bird with your finger as it flies past. If the shooter stops when swinging through the target and aiming like a rifle he will not hit the clay...he needs to get into the habit of continuing to move the gun.

Correct problems only one or two at a time, that way he is not flooded with info that he will forget. But above all, don't take the enjoyment out of his shooting for the sake of results on the scoreboard.

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Last edited by Vince on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

Silly as it may sound, have you ever checked him to see which eye is his master eye? I had a friend that shot right-handed for years with miserable results. When I met him I noticed that he held his head in an odd position when shooting. I checked it out and found that his left eye was his master eye. The head position was an unconscious attempt to line the target with the opposite eye. He learned to shoot left-handed and vastly improved.

It's easy to find out. Have your friend point his finger at a distant point and close one eye and then the other. The eye that when open keeps the finger lined up is the master eye. May not by the problem, but I have seen it happen.

Best of luck.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

as above... but another way to check gun fit it to check that his gun is empty 3 times then get him to check it twice, you check it again and make sur the safety is on then stand 10-15 yards away and get mat to throw up shottie and aim at your eye..... thus the checks for emptiness(note I dont use unloaded) you should see bead and eyeball. if you see more of one side of barrel than the other he will be shooting off to the side. the underside of the barrel he be shooting high. A much easier way if you have the room is to stand on a bank/ high place beside a lake etc and throw clay(or stick if more PC ) and get mate to shoot it. the pattern will show on the water... also is he using a nice open choke???? trying to learn with full choke is very hard. balloons in the wind might be a good option for confidence boost aswell.

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

The fellow shoots off the right should and can hit pheasants. I suspect that he does not lead clay targets property, aims instead of points his shotgun and stops his swing. Other than that he does just fine. All the best...
Gil

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

Elvis, do the same procedure but use a mirror - it is safer and less likely to convince a new shooter that it is OK to stand in front of a gun.

Safety first.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

good point/idea PaulS
Gil try telling him to treat the clay as a birds head. it may do the trick.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:32 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

I could use a friend like that if he sells his one year old shotguns for a good price.

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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:07 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

Gil Martin wrote:
I have a friend and hunting partner who is a great guy, but cannot shoot very well. Last Wednesday, I threw 75 clay pigeons for him and he hit about five of them. I was trying to coach and throw birds, but that did not work very well. I have suggested he get some training from competent shooters. He does not want to admit he needs help. He says he just needs to get used to his gun. He buys a new shotgun every year and his shooting performance does not change. Anybody have a similar experience? All the best..
Gil

Coaching would be a great idea as would seeing what his master eye is. Also check how he shoulders the gun; when he shoulders the gun, his shooting eye should be naturally aligned with the sights on the rib of the barrel.

The first time I ever went bird hunting, I blasted the first pheasant that flew and thought all was good. Then I went to shoot sporting clays and was only able to hit 2 "birds" (the running rabbit). My "buddies" of course had a good time with that and my Christmas present from them was a box of 100 clay pigeons and a plastic thrower.

I went to get coaching and it turned out that due to my well above average size, my shotgun didn't fit me. The next time I went sporting clay shooting with my friends, I didn't mention the coaching and hit the first 2 birds thrown while one of them missed one; that made them a bit nervous. I wasn't the number one shooter that day but my performance wasn't an embarrassment either.

Do what you can to asses your friend's shooting technique but also emphasize to him that those who become good at things aren't afraid to get coaching and actually welcome advice from competent trainers.
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

If none of that works check to see if his nuts have dropped....or have someone else do it....no really I have to say I've never figured it out, shooting clays to me is so unnerving and the only time I ever had fun at it was when we went on a sporting clays course, what a riot! The rabbit thing when they roll a clay over some bumps in the dirt and it bounces along a little trail...I could do that all day. It did improve my shooting but not for long, soon as we got back to flying targets I was good at first then lousy again. I rarely shoot shotgun though. I notice my gun shoots to the right everytime and I swear I've sighted down the barrel at paper targets and it shoots to the right by about a foot.

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Joe Boleo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

Gil,
I can relate because I have been there and done that with friends that cannot shoot very well. Be patient, buy the castoff shotguns and wish him the best. Take care...
Joe
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

clothing is another thing to look into.... does he shoot pheasants in t shirt and shorts but go out after clays all rugged up and wearing the new shooting vest his nearest n dearest bought for him. it will change the length from butplate etc etc.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

Suz check the thickness of your comb (not that fancy tortise shell one that Jon brought for you) the thickness of the buttstock on your shotgun. you arent by chance shooting right handed but are left eye dominant are you as that will do it everytime. just try shutting your left eye (like winking at the cutie in the candy store) and see how/where your pattern goes.

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:36 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

Suz, you better keep your moon centered,
and the sun out of your eyes,
and the right elbow up and the buttstock close in that little hole that's formed on your shoulder,
or it kicks that you see stars dancing,
and you see your game or clay only going down in your dreams...


and to be serious (if that's possible):
- check for your aiming eye
when you're right handed and your right eye is aiming
- put your left footh 1 step in the direction of the target
- hold your right elbow high, in level with your shoulder so that a little flat part is formed where you can put the rear of your buttstock
- keep your left hand a little further to the front of the rifle, so that you left arm is somewhat more straight.
- now draw a line trough your target with the frontbeat of the gun and as soon as you reach the head (or where the head is supposed to be with a claypigeon), pull the trigger without stopping your swing.

when you still have problems, try a few times with only empty shells in your gun, so that you can perform the complete move but don't get kicked at the end.

And to end the advice from my (older) friend who teached me to shoot doves: "Keep on shooting, at one time you'll hit them and your mind will remember the view that's leading to a hit"

and 1 extra advice (shotgun fit and the relation to clothes are already mentioned above): don't change your shotgun. Keep the same gun! When you often change guns it will make everything much more difficult.
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: Friend who cannot shoot well Reply with quote

That was clever Aloysius! My shotgun was a gift to me, I'll never get rid of it, but also I don't have much use for it. I don't hunt birds or rabbits anymore. I did when I was in Arizona because it was much easier to find quail and dove and rabbits. It's just too far for me to drive here. I'll figure it out some day (or not)

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