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 Post subject: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:17 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:36 am
Posts: 1033
I've allways thought I probably held my elbow high due to my years of rifle shooting. Is there problems with this? Not that I'm seriously thinking about changing my form as I shot my first two 24's today back to back.


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:25 am 
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 8:17 am
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Location: Piedmont North Carolina
I also shoot with my elbow fairly high to help smooth my swing and reduce the tendency to shoot with my arms rather than my hips. If this isn't correct form, it never showed up in my averages.

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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:35 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
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Location: Colorado Springs, Co
You'll look like a trap shooter! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:02 pm 
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Location: Brillion, WI-25 mls S of Green Bay
Shooting with the upper arm parallel (or nearly parallel) with the ground offers benefits.
It reduces arm-swinging the gun. This is beneficial because arm swinging can move the stock away from the cheek and misalign the eye with the rib during swings in the direction of the side on which the gun is mounted (to the right for right-handed shooters).

Arm swinging the gun can also lead to pulling the barrel down near the end of long swings. Shooting with the elbow raised greatly reduces this tendency. Ideally, the angle formed by the gun and a line across the shoulders should not change during swings in either direction.

A raised elbow also makes consistent gun mounts easier to develop since the shoulder pocket is much more identifiable with the elbow raised. Too many shooters (in my opinion) underestimate the importance of a consistent gun mount.

Even when shooting pre-mounted shooting disciplines such as trap, skeet and non-FITASC sporting clays, inconsistent gun mounts or equally problematic a mounts that are wiggled into place because they were not quite right once is completed, are very apt to result in eye movement relative to the rib during swings, often resulting is missed targets.

Obviously the stance used by shooters has an effect on the need to arm swing the gun to reach extreme targets. So does body flexibility in the attempt to swing with upper body rotation at the waist and hips powered by the legs.

Even with a good stance some shooters are unable to avoid arm swinging. For them, there is no alternative to lowering the elbow and trying to reduce the amount of arm swinging required by adjusting their stance.

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Author of "Stock Fitter's Bible, Second Edition," which explains the interrelationships between shooting form, stock dimensions and a shooter's size and shape http://www.amazon.com/Stock-Fitters-Bible-Second-Edition/dp/1451570384


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:03 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:22 pm
Posts: 546
Location: Texas coast
For many years young little league baseball players were told by volunteer coaches to get your elbow up to hit the ball when batting. We all now know that nothing could be further from the truth and in most cases the resulting motion required to hit the ball with an elbow up required one to drop ones hands to the level of the ball resulting in an upward swing and likely a miss. Needless to say with kinesiology studies coaches figured out being comfortable, balanced and more natural stance with elbow down was better in hitting a baseball.

Bender, Shima and many fine shooters advocate shooting from a balanced and comfortable position. The extra effort to hold ones elbow up in an un-natural position provides questionable benefits in comparison to the effort expended to do so. Bender and Shima, two of the best coaches and shooters shoot with elbows in a natural and comfortable downward position.

Likely would be better off to be relaxed, place proper mental attention to using your lower body to move to the target instead of a style that puts stress on shoulder, elbow and wrist joints that requires more use of energy. Keep your eye on the target and head on the gun.

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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:44 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:36 am
Posts: 1033
Strange thing is the elbow up is natural and comfortable, I never noticed it. I am barrel chested so that may make a difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:34 pm 
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Whenever I'm worried about keeping my head on the gun (usually at Station 8) I raise my elbow to 90' and this seems to lock my head to the stock. Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Location: Texas coast
Here is some follow up for you on elbow position:

A AA, all state shooter and Texas hall of famer at our club started suffering from shoulder pain. Doctor said stop shooting and come in to get a check up. After having the shooter show how the gun was held, elbow up parallel to the ground the doc said "bingo, that is an un-natural position for your shoulder and it exacerbates the recoil impact to the shoulder". Over time and in particular with older shooters the elbow up position is not good for the physical health of the shoulder according to this particular doc.

The shooter started shooting again with the elbow down in a natural relaxed position with little to no pain. The shooter when I ask about it said that it was a realization that the elbow up was really more of a "trigger" mechanism than a real mechanical advantage in keeping the head down. So just started adding a mental "head down" trigger and it works as well if not better than the elbow up trigger. She shot a 98 this past weekend in one gun at a shoot and no shoulder pain, I do not remember the other scores.

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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:01 pm
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I shoot elbow up. No shoulder pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:38 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:27 am
Posts: 3066
Location: North Central West Virginia
Slate Mike wrote:
Whenever I'm worried about keeping my head on the gun (usually at Station 8) I raise my elbow to 90' and this seems to lock my head to the stock. Mike


That is absolutely spot on!


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:30 am 
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Location: Brillion, WI-25 mls S of Green Bay
I favor the elbow raised to a height where the upper arm is parallel to the ground for several reasons.

It helps keep the cheek and eye in the same location relative to the comb during swings. It is much easier to move the gun away from the cheek during swings to the right for right-handed shooters when the elbow is lowered. This of course changes the gun's POI and can cause a right-handed shooter to shoot behind targets traveling to the shooter's right (to the left for left-handed shooters).

A high elbow also helps prevent the gun's barrel from dropping during swings to either direction. This can happen whether the shooter is rotating the body using waist and hip rotation or arm swinging the gun.

A raised elbow also raises the shoulder pocket slightly. This if often beneficial because many taller shooters need to lean their necks forward to place their cheeks on their combs. Not only does this require a slightly longer LOP but it also invites raising the head during swings and shooting over targets.

Mounting the gun with the top of the recoil pad extending above the collarbone a little helps but so does a higher elbow in addition to its other benefits.

Is it natural? Of course not, but the benefits far outweigh the minor disadvantage of unnaturalness, in my opinion.

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Author of "Stock Fitter's Bible, Second Edition," which explains the interrelationships between shooting form, stock dimensions and a shooter's size and shape http://www.amazon.com/Stock-Fitters-Bible-Second-Edition/dp/1451570384


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:01 pm
Posts: 751
Rollin - Well stated.


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:00 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:33 am
Posts: 1207
Location: Southern California
Until recently I shot with my right elbow parallel to the ground, but discovered that doing so twists my barrels counter clockwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:20 am 
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Location: Brillion, WI-25 mls S of Green Bay
TheKlawMan wrote:
Until recently I shot with my right elbow parallel to the ground, but discovered that doing so twists my barrels counter clockwise.


That's OK. With a high rib gun, you won't need to lead targets traveling to your left nearly as much. :wink:

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Author of "Stock Fitter's Bible, Second Edition," which explains the interrelationships between shooting form, stock dimensions and a shooter's size and shape http://www.amazon.com/Stock-Fitters-Bible-Second-Edition/dp/1451570384


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:16 pm 
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TheKlawMan wrote:
Until recently I shot with my right elbow parallel to the ground, but discovered that doing so twists my barrels counter clockwise.


This is one of the purposed of an adjustable butt pad. But you are shooting great these days so I'm surely not going to suggest any change! :lol: {hs#

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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:32 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:33 am
Posts: 1207
Location: Southern California
Rollin Oswald wrote:
TheKlawMan wrote:
Until recently I shot with my right elbow parallel to the ground, but discovered that doing so twists my barrels counter clockwise.


That's OK. With a high rib gun, you won't need to lead targets traveling to your left nearly as much. :wink:


I hear you there. Probably one reason I was shooting left of POI.


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:33 am
Posts: 1207
Location: Southern California
Baron23 wrote:
TheKlawMan wrote:
Until recently I shot with my right elbow parallel to the ground, but discovered that doing so twists my barrels counter clockwise.


This is one of the purposed of an adjustable butt pad. But you are shooting great these days so I'm surely not going to suggest any change! :lol: {hs#


Oh the INFAMY! If this is great I just want to be bad - but I am! :cry: :P


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:18 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:26 pm
Posts: 95
Location: San Jose, CA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EchKEnk5nAk

Take a look at this video of the 2013 Skeet HOA. Notice how none of the finalists are keeping their elbows at a perfect 90 degree angle.

It is hard to argue with Rollin because he knows more about shooting form that I'll ever know. Personally, I keep my elbow at a ~75 degree angle to the ground. I think it provides all the benefits Rollin listed above while still being comfortable for a full day of shooting.

Grip preference also plays a key roll on your elbow placement. I like beaver tail forearms and like to get a nice full grip on my shotgun. Others like to let the forearm rest on their index finger. For me, it is physically impossible to get a full grip while holding my elbow parallel to the ground.

The fact is, I want to be as comfortable as possible when I step on the pad. Trying to force an unnatural elbow angle would be just as distracting as bee flying around my head. My suggestion is, don't let your elbow hang lifelessly under the gun, but don't force anything unnatural.


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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:12 am 
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I might have misunderstood, but I think we are talking about the elbow of your trigger arm, not the side holding the fore end.

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 Post subject: Re: Elbow position?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:26 pm
Posts: 95
Location: San Jose, CA
:shock: I'm an idiot. Carry-on guys.




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