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 Post subject: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:13 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Colorado Western Slope
Hello All:

I've been shooting skeet regularly for three decades and have recently taken up trap. To put it simply, I'm struggling. In skeet, I consistently shoot about 96%, but in trap, I'm very inconsistent. My biggest problem is that when I miss a bird, I don't know WHY I missed. I'm looking for some advice or tips or even mental "cues" that I can employ to start shooting the game more consistently. Typically, I'll shoot a 22 or 23 and then on the very next round a 17! It doesn't matter whether its at 16yds or handicap.

When I started skeet years ago, an older gentleman at the range told me to "choose 1," either skeet or trap because: "you won't be good at both." Is that true? I hope not, because I don't want to keep struggling, but I'm not going to give up. I really enjoy both games. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know its NOT the gun because I bought a "proper" trap single (BT99) that fits me well. So the problem is obviously me. I'm not young anymore (72), so I can't see the shot string which used to be very helpful.



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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:44 am 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 6:57 pm
Posts: 2673
First, are there target presentations causing the most misses?
Second, you may be moving the gun too much because skeet requires a swing and only the hard angles in trap require a swing of the gun.

Try this. Hold the gun about parallel to the ground. When the target comes up just get the gun to the side of the target in the direction it is headed. Getting there will create all the lead you need in trap. Hold a little off center on three, over the front house corners on 2&4 and a couple of feet outside the house on 1&5.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:06 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:40 pm
Posts: 108
jmacgreg wrote:
When I started skeet years ago, an older gentleman at the range told me to "choose 1," either skeet or trap because: "you won't be good at both." Is that true?


No. You can be good at both. If you wanted to be the best at each sport you may need to re-prioritize some things in your life.

jmacgreg wrote:
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know its NOT the gun because I bought a "proper" trap single (BT99) that fits me well. So the problem is obviously me. I'm not young anymore (72), so I can't see the shot string which used to be very helpful.


Pattern the guns to make sure they are both pointing where you are looking.
Set the trap machine on straight aways and master that first (shooting 5 shots per station as you would regularly)
Set the trap machine on a different angle and repeat.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:42 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:11 pm
Posts: 70
I experienced a similar situation. I had only shot skeet for years, because my range only had a skeet setup. My brother got into trap and actually built his own trap range. I thought I'd be showing him how to shoot, only to find I sucked at trap. Biggest frustration for me is that I could't tell how I was missing.

On the advice of a shooting instructor, I bought a Shotkam and mounted it. Looking at the videos showed me that I was pretty consistent in how I missed each particular shot. Sometimes behind, sometimes above, sometimes too much lead, all depending on the throw.

I think I could have probably figured it out by shooting enough, but the Shotkam really helped speed up the learning curve. For me it just makes sense that it is easier to make adjustments once you know how you are missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:39 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:28 pm
Posts: 1044
Location: Skeet and Trap Fields
I did the same thing last year. I'm 64 and primarily a skeet shooter who started to mix trap shooting in on a regular basis. I agree with the advice to pattern your gun to make sure it's not shooting left or right and you will probably want it to place 70% of it's pattern high. I say probably because some prefer a flatter shooting gun and some want their pattern even higher. If you are not floating the target above your barrel, a 70% high pattern will likely work well for you. If you like to float the target, a 80% or 90% pattern may suit you better or if you can't change your gun POI, you can adjust your aim accordingly.

I'm also a mid-90s skeet shooter. I started out shooting trap scores in the mid-teens and gradually my scores progressed to breaking 20 and now I'm a 88-93 avg shooter. I'm planning on attending my first ATA match this Sunday. My trap shooting is not as consistent as my skeet shooting but I'm to the point where I now know why I've missed. At the club where I shoot, they only shoot on Sunday morning and they're busy and shoot full squads, so I didn't have the opportunity to lock down the trap and learn each angle without the oscillation. If you can't have the trap locked in place, it can take awhile for you to get enough shots at each presentation for you to figure out your leads.

After experimentation, I find that I do better holding about 3' above the trap house and I concentrate on keeping my focus out in front of the trap. I find reducing my vertical movement and making an aggressive move to the target helps me. My best advice is to just keep at it. You're an experienced shotgunner, you'll figure it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:25 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:33 pm
Posts: 6340
Location: Mascoutah IL
I went the opposite direction and transitioned from trap to skeet. One difference I noticed right away is that many skeet shooters tend to actively focus on precise leads at each station. The have some level of conscious focus on the barrels so they can measure the lead. They can get away this this on the skeet field because the exact path of the target is know for each station.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:32 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 6973
Location: Creston, Iowa
I shoot both trap and skeet, 5 stand and sporting. Trap seriously, the rest for fun and to participate with other club members. I shoot trap well above average, the rest maybe average, have no desire to be competitive in the other clay disciplines. Have coached trap and skeet at the collage level. As a trap clinician and only advised the basics in skeet/sporting.

There are so many potential issues with the question.... "what am I doing wrong" or "where am I at" it is a difficult analysis without being there with the shooter. I can be certain of gun fit and point of impact setting. Most problems will relate to these issues. Its not hard to get a new to trap shooter on target. From there they will develop confidence and muscle memory. If the gun is a close fit, it will be proper POI for the discipline and it is always better to set the POI to the shooters personal preferences than to note where the shooter is placing shot and for them to adjust their point and timing to the guns fit and POI. That not impossible, only takes thousands of targets to re-program their subconscious. Leaving a potential bad habit of reverting back to the old habit.

Without a coach/clinician or someone that understands the game and its requirements, it will be a long road to perfection. Start with gun fit with adjustable features to set the POI to your preferences. From there you will work on technique and perfection.

Maltz

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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:19 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 1710
Location: SW Missouri
I started out shooting skeet off and on about 30 years ago. Then about 15 years ago started mixing in sporting clays and 5 stand. About 4 years ago, started mixing in trap. As I am primarily a hunter, I shoot targets with my hunting guns. When I started shooting trap, I hit most of the hard lefts and hard rights but was missing a lot of straightaways. I think this was due to 2 things. The first, which won't apply to you since you have a trap gun, was that I was shooting under the birds as my hunting guns are either 50/50 or 60/40. I tried covering up the bird and tried swinging up through the bird but was inconsistent with those methods. Eventually, and this might not be the best answer for everyone, I experimented with changing my mount so that I would see more rib and found a mount that works for trap. So I mount the gun one way for trap (see more rib) and a different way (see less rib) for everything else. The second reason, which was already alluded to by Jim Tyner in a previous post, was that I was moving the gun too much for trap on straightaways and shallow angles and my follow through like I was used to on skeet was working against me on trap. I learned to use much less gun movement and follow through on any trap target that wasn't a hard left or hard right. Those two things greatly improved my trap scores after having a background in skeet. Of course if I was shooting trap competitively, I would get a proper trap gun with adjustable stock and dial it in. But recreationally with my hunting guns, this is what worked for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:40 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 4413
Location: somewhere east of the I-95 corridor, until you get to connecticut. but you can bank on vanzant, mo..
are you willing to travel to mo in oct?
double20 will be here. he can attest to my ability to help.
be glad to assist.
ps...yaking on the internet aint gonna get it done. you need someone whos seen it for decades looking you over one on one, to achieve what you want.

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Former NSSA All American
Former Member Navy Shooting Team
NRA Shotgun Instructor
Range Owner:
http://www.vanzantclaypigeonfarm.webs.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:18 pm 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:13 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Colorado Western Slope
[quote="bobski"]are you willing to travel to mo in oct?
No, wish I could though. Not in the cards right now. Thanks for the offer. I will suck up my pride and try to find someone at the trap club to help me out.

BTW: The first thing I did with the BT was pattern it. It marks at 70/30.

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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 4413
Location: somewhere east of the I-95 corridor, until you get to connecticut. but you can bank on vanzant, mo..
good luck. have fun.

_________________
Retired Military Aviation
Former NSSA All American
Former Member Navy Shooting Team
NRA Shotgun Instructor
Range Owner:
http://www.vanzantclaypigeonfarm.webs.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:30 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 6973
Location: Creston, Iowa
The best free help is from a good shooter that knows why they shot well. As much experience as possible and a good communicator willing to help new shooters. The more problems they have solved for themselves personally, the more bad habits beaten, the more help they can offer.

Remember .... The better the gun fits and the better the POI is set to personal or subconscious preferences. The fewer problems to fix. There is no resolve available to those willingly breaking chips, chunks and starburst. They will never know how or learn to place shot on center target.

Maltz

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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:13 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 5:55 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Indiana
Forget leads. See the target, shoot the target. Let your eyes do all the work.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:31 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:28 pm
Posts: 1044
Location: Skeet and Trap Fields
I went to my first ATA shoot today. I just shot the 16 yd singles. They placed me in B class and I broke 94. I left before all the scores were posted so I have no idea how I placed, but I was pleased with that score for my first one.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:46 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:51 pm
Posts: 88
Location: brisbane,australia
Forget leads. See the target, shoot the target. Let your eyes do all the work.

+1


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 6973
Location: Creston, Iowa
twohigh wrote:
I went to my first ATA shoot today. I just shot the 16 yd singles. They placed me in B class and I broke 94. I left before all the scores were posted so I have no idea how I placed, but I was pleased with that score for my first one.


Nice shootin' there rookie.......Maltz

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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:28 pm
Posts: 1044
Location: Skeet and Trap Fields
Thanks. I don't expect to shoot many matches in a year but I did enjoy it.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:06 am 
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Posts: 6973
Location: Creston, Iowa
twohigh wrote:
Thanks. I don't expect to shoot many matches in a year but I did enjoy it.


Ya.....I remember thinking that as well. Now, my picture is in this months Trap&Field magazine celebrating my 100,000th registered singles target. Next year, another 100,000 target achievement, but in handicap. 50,000 doubles targets as well for a quarter million ATA target club membership. Then I have shot over another 1/4 mil in non-registered trap and clay game targets.

Cost? 180 acres of good Iowa farm ground. I have no regrets......

Maltz

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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:02 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:28 pm
Posts: 1044
Location: Skeet and Trap Fields
Maltz, I've been there done that with rimfire benchrest where I shot a match somewhere most weekends, traveling up and down the east coast and out to St. Louis. I'm not looking to get that involved in any shooting discipline again. But since you are so experienced, let me run this by you.

After the last round, I knew how many I missed (scores of 23, 24, 23, 24 for a 94). Before leaving the field I double checked those scores by reviewing the score sheets. Yup, the scorer had it right. At registration I was placed in B class and just played the Lewis system. I drove to the match with a couple other guys who wanted to leave right after shooting,before the scores were posted, to beat some weather we were expecting. They said the results would be posted on the State Association's web site and any winnings would be mailed to me by check. The scores were posted yesterday afternoon and my score was reported as being a 93. One of the guys I shot with knew how many he missed and checked the score sheets and he shot a 92. His score was reported as being a 93 also.

I figure there's nothing I can do now about my placement/awards at this match but an experienced friend said to wait until my score is posted at the ATA site to see if it was correctly reported to them and if it wasn't that ATA could have the club re-check their score sheets. I was wondering if I should report my score on my shoot history card as a 94 as I know it to be or as a 93 if the club mistakenly reports it to the ATA as they did to their State Assn.? Thoughts? I know that in the future I'll drive separately and stick around long enough to see the scores posted. I knew I wasn't in contention for anything with a 94 in B class (except for maybe the Lewis option) but when shooting a formal match I want credit for every target I hit.


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 Post subject: Re: Help for a skeet shooter?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:28 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 6973
Location: Creston, Iowa
twohigh wrote:
Maltz, I've been there done that with rimfire benchrest where I shot a match somewhere most weekends, traveling up and down the east coast and out to St. Louis. I'm not looking to get that involved in any shooting discipline again. But since you are so experienced, let me run this by you.



I would call the clubs trap chair or official and ask if someone would review the score sheet. They would have kept them even if results were 3S software entry and electronically sent to the ATA. It is possible for a miss entry, miss count or more likely the score keeper made a correction and not marked the sheet properly. Management will decide by ATA rules and that gives you the responsibility to check the scores each trap and make sure the score keeper is up to speed on math and markings. I also have experience in running ATA shoots and data entry on 3S software. Let me say, its easy to make a mistake in data entry if your over whelmed or busy trying to run too many responsibilities at the same time. Typical of to few club volunteers.

All can be corrected in score and ATA, but if the checks are made out and sent (likely) it is very hard to fix payout. The very reason the ATA makes rules for corrections checked at the end of each trap. If it were me as shoot management and have been many times, I would make every effort to make your ATA experience a good one. Even if the club must make the difference up in a option money error.

Something like this has happened to all of use old timers and we not only understand, but being trap shooters (perfectionists) want it fixed as well.

Maltz



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