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 Post subject: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:26 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:56 pm
Posts: 8
I'm sorry for what may be a long back story, but it explains my dilemma.
Back when I had joints that didn't creak like the Tin Man's and could occasionally get to a trap range, I used to shoot 17s - 22s with some consistency using a semi auto 12 ga. It was all casual. After a long break (like 15 years or so) I got into it again, this time with available time and a local range. I stumbled onto this place in 2019. It's strictly trap, no skeet or clays, no other firearms, no pro shop. So far, so good.
Once I joined the club, I get introduced to the crowd. First I'm told that the semi is not quite the thing - it doesn't throw shells at the next guy (actually almost straight down and I DO pick up my spent hulls), but really not what a serious trap shooter uses. OK, after trying a few things I end up getting a BT-99 Micro Midas (I'm short plus I have a bit of a hinky left rotator cuff so I need something a bit light). With some adjustments for LOP, drop at heel, and such, it more or less fits me. Then the fun begins.
Four guys start giving me pointers. The pointers are not consistent. They also do not mix. I'm told to raise my right elbow parallel to the ground; or 45 degrees; or somewhere in between. Place my left hand farther up the forearm to slow my swing; close to me to speed my swing; forget all that and get a shotgun with a longer barrel or get an OU. Place my feet parallel, 45 degree angle; point more right; point more left. By the end of the first few months, my scores (which were lower than from my younger and more agile days anyway) had dropped to a low of about a consistent 4 - 5 out of 25.
I have started to smile more and listen less to expert advice. Slowly I have gotten to around 50% or so of birds thrown. Now the question. Are there actually a few different consistent styles, or is there really only one style for trap, or is it so individual that only a private coach (a one and only) can help?




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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:35 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:59 pm
Posts: 1220
Location: Soda Springs, Id.
well.
you need to be able to swing the gun [at least as far as the targets are flying] and you need to be focused on the target.
the only other thing you need to do is keep your head on the stock.

after you get some time in then you'll start evaluating yourself and making some improvements.
[like a bit better and more comfortable to you hold point on each station before calling the target]

after that you'll have an understanding of what your doing, and if you want to get good go and see a real coach, preferably one with an understanding of gun fit.

before then you'll be able to help yourself by knowing where your gun is shooting and doing the first 3 things above.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:37 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 4520
Location: somewhere east of the I-95 corridor, until you get to connecticut. but you can bank on vanzant, mo..
no one is the same.
you must learn BASICS.....then create your own personality.

just like when a teen gets to a point where he doesn't want mom or dad telling him what to do....he must break off and learn to fly on his own.
when things start getting hard out in the world, and the thought of that nice warm bed back home begins to sound like a better option, hopefully he will stay the course, meet good friends, and he will take their advice to heart and succeed.
who you choose as friends determines your success. too many friends just confuse. find a favorite who thinks like you, and stick with it.
some people who are all out on winning (whatever) pour tons of money in every imaginable thing to achieve it. you cant buy success on vendors row. it takes time and practice and shots down range.
everyone will tell you 90% of the game is mental. 10% is mechanical(the gun)
yet....90% of trap shooters spend more on gadgets and blame the gun for failures, rather than just learning the gun, being satisfied, and learning to shoot it.
I shoot a 60 year old gun. did nothing to it. stock as the day it was made in Winchester new haven...and it does just fine.
something to ponder before you get roped into things you don't need.
good luck and pm me if you are close to mo. be glad to help you.

_________________
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: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:44 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:56 pm
Posts: 8
bobski wrote:
no one is the same.
you must learn BASICS.....then create your own personality.

just like when a teen gets to a point where he doesn't want mom or dad telling him what to do....he must break off and learn to fly on his own.
when things start getting hard out in the world, and the thought of that nice warm bed back home begins to sound like a better option, hopefully he will stay the course, meet good friends, and he will take their advice to heart and succeed.
who you choose as friends determines your success. too many friends just confuse. find a favorite who thinks like you, and stick with it.
some people who are all out on winning (whatever) pour tons of money in every imaginable thing to achieve it. you cant buy success on vendors row. it takes time and practice and shots down range.
everyone will tell you 90% of the game is mental. 10% is mechanical(the gun)
yet....90% of trap shooters spend more on gadgets and blame the gun for failures, rather than just learning the gun, being satisfied, and learning to shoot it.
I shoot a 60 year old gun. did nothing to it. stock as the day it was made in Winchester new haven...and it does just fine.
something to ponder before you get roped into things you don't need.
good luck and pm me if you are close to mo. be glad to help you.


Back before I was an avid bad trap shooter, I was an avid lousy golfer. My time on the course was Sunday afternoon after the morning match was over. I wrote a talking blues song about it. Here's the verse about equipment (talking blues riff if you please:)

I'm a Sunday Afternoon Golfer
On my clubs I do not stint
My driver cost a thousand bucks
My putter cost a mint
But I still can't hit the fairway
I go 8 shots to the green
I'm a Sunday Afternoon Golfer - the worst you've ever seen
It's a 4-letter word, Lord have mercy from above
G O L F
Golf's the game I love.

Of course my new 4-letter word is T R A P, but I learned the equipment lesson long ago. It don't matter how expensive your driver or shotgun is if your swing sucks.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:22 am 
Presentation Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:30 am
Posts: 698
Location: Massachusetts
Here’s what I’ve learned after a decade or so helping others.

Before you can learn to shoot, you need to learn where the gun shoots.

Once you get a decent fit, you begin learning.

There are 10 things you’re doing wrong.

You can only fix one at a time.

Knowing which one to fix first is what’s most important.

A few of the things you do wrong will never be fixed. That’s what makes you, you.

Most of the greatest shooters I know have some serious quirks, do not try to mimic them.

Find one person you seem to click with, then ignore everyone else.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:16 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:29 am
Posts: 235
The best advice I can give is know where your gun hits, hold point at each station (lots about this on the internet), keep your head on the stock and follow through. I have only been shooting trap for a little over a year and those four things in IMHO are the most important.
Keeping your head on the stock can be harder than you think, so defiantly concentrate. The last thing I do before calling for the target is say to myself keep your head on the stock. Once I started doing this I started hitting targets.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:36 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:56 pm
Posts: 8
sandrooney wrote:
The best advice I can give is know where your gun hits, hold point at each station (lots about this on the internet), keep your head on the stock and follow through. I have only been shooting trap for a little over a year and those four things in IMHO are the most important.
Keeping your head on the stock can be harder than you think, so defiantly concentrate. The last thing I do before calling for the target is say to myself keep your head on the stock. Once I started doing this I started hitting targets.


Lifting my head is probably my number one mistake to cure. Also following through on the swing. I know the "what," it's the "how" that's the problem and also where all the advice from good-intentioned people makes for confusion. As I mentioned above, I've managed to get past the worst of the confusion which raises my scores to around 50%, but I guess from what you and others are telling me, I need to develop my own style to master the basics. That's what I really needed to settle in my head.
I will try to find a place that has an instructor who will be my sole source of advice until I do develop. I thank you and everyone who has answered my original post for your input.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:45 pm 
Presentation Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:30 am
Posts: 698
Location: Massachusetts
Head lifting is the easiest thing to fix.

All you need is a friend and a wooden spoon.

Have the friend stand behind you as you shoot, if you lift your head he taps you with the spoon.

If you continue to lift your head he taps you harder.

Eventually you will stop lifting your head.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:11 pm 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:02 am
Posts: 1805
Ben,
Until you find a good instructor, let me suggest going to YouTube and looking at the videos posted by Chris Batha. He has several series of short, to the point videos for all the clay disciplines.
I'm a big fan of all his and IMHO if you watch and apply what he tells you to do, you'll be solidly back in the 20's in no time.
He also has a book, Breaking Clays, that covers all the games and for us weekend warriors, should be mandatory reading.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:31 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 7005
Location: Creston, Iowa
Chris Batha doesn't shoot trap, assuming your on a trap forum to talk American trap and shooting in the 20's, 80 -89% is just average. Isn't that what your "too much help" issue is about. Taking advise from just average shooters is easy since there are so many. Taking advise from the top trap dog at the club seems to make more sense or from someone like a lifetime ATA All American elite of the elite shooter like Phil Kiner, video/clinic.

Maltz

_________________
Have gun, will travel


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:12 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 9:17 pm
Posts: 2931
Location: Kansas, Land of Oz
Yes, conflicting advice from trying-to-be-helpful shooters can be frustrating, confusing, and counter-productive.
You're on the right track: listen to the advice, smile, maybe try it and see how it works for you, then move on. Eventually, if you ignore the advice, you'll adopt a style that you are comfortable with.
Might be better to observe the better shooters at your club (you know, the ones who regularly post 24's and 25's). Note how they do it. Give their processes (foot placement, arm position, body posture, focus, etc.) a try if you like them.
We ALL went through the same thing when we started. Some of the advice was good, some was unwanted. Comes with the territory.

Just keep this in mind:
"no one is the same. you must learn BASICS.....then create your own personality."
The guy who told you that knows what he's talking about when it comes to advice.

One other thing: as a trap shooter, I'd rather take advice (on breaking clay targets) from a top tier Sporting shooter than from just anyone who claims to be an expert trap shooter on a forum....including your humble servant. Leo and Phil are the two exceptions who don't have to toot their own horns, and don't.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:47 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:56 am
Posts: 343
I don’t shoot trap so this is very generic advice. I shoot sporting clays. But no matter. It is all of a piece. Published (books) advice is much more consistent than word of mouth. Fewer contradictions at that level. Try reading about what you want to learn instead of listening to casual acquaintances. And that sets up my next suggestion: you can teach yourself to shoot pretty well using what you learn from books, certainly as well as you used to. And the best part is that the books never get offended if you ignore their advice, because it doesn’t work for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:19 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 5:55 pm
Posts: 2079
Location: Indiana
Once the POI of the gun is established, I try to keep it simple.
1) Foot position
2) Hold point
3) SEE THE TARGET
If the gun shoots where you look the eyes and hands do the rest.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:16 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2381
Location: Attica, Mi
And did any of your new friends ever mention a " shell catcher " can be purchased for about 13$ on Ebay that will catch the shells fired from a auto ? It's what many auto trap shooters use. If you use to shoot in the high teens you don't need the locals advice. If you're looking for some, buy Phil's book or DVD. You can find em here.

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Venue shotgun chairman of the LCSC and the LPSXSA


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:41 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:56 pm
Posts: 8
bladesmith wrote:
And did any of your new friends ever mention a " shell catcher " can be purchased for about 13$ on Ebay that will catch the shells fired from a auto ? It's what many auto trap shooters use. If you use to shoot in the high teens you don't need the locals advice. If you're looking for some, buy Phil's book or DVD. You can find em here.


Actually, the one semi that I use now does have the shell catcher that you mentioned (I installed it myself). I use that when I'm having a more severe shoulder issue than usual, especially if I'm using 1250 fps ammo (couldn't be choosy during the height of the ammo shortage). Otherwise I use a Browning BT-99. I should note that after about 30 rounds or so, the shell catching becomes intermittent, although the ones that pass through do tend to go straight down. It takes a little rebending of the piece that holds the catcher in the up position to bring back shell retention reliability. I'm assuming that piece will break off one of these days.

My older semi, now retired, just plopped the hulls straight down.

I think that I did mention in my first post that I'm not a total newbie, just a geezer getting back into it and more seriously than when I was younger and my joints were still self lubricating. I do intend to buy Phil's DVD once I have gotten a DVD player; ours died a while ago and was never replaced due to the use of streaming services.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:19 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 7005
Location: Creston, Iowa
Think Ive read every trapshooting word Phil has written and have all of his video's. His latest edition is less about basics and much more advanced in vision and on the mental side of the game. The way he videos and equipment used allows the viewer to see the shot cloud as it passed the target and the mistake the shooter made to miss the target. It easily can be perceived by the viewer and relatable personally.

It is the perfect video for those already trap experienced and looking to improve by reducing errors. Guess, that is the game in a nut shell anyway. Learn the basics and then learn how to place shot center target every shot. Fewer errors, bigger scores.

Maltz

_________________
Have gun, will travel


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:26 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 4520
Location: somewhere east of the I-95 corridor, until you get to connecticut. but you can bank on vanzant, mo..
thing about youtube is, the instructors (actors) don't get to yell at you when youre screwing up. how convenient for the student. he gets to do what he wants and goes away thinking hes been educated. invest in a human.

_________________
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: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:42 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 4520
Location: somewhere east of the I-95 corridor, until you get to connecticut. but you can bank on vanzant, mo..
gentlben68...put music to this one!

im a sunday afternoon shooter.
on my guns i do not invest.
a couple hundred i do spend,
i drink away the rest.

my ammo was bought on clearance,
my barrels seem to be bent.
advice offered sounds like insults.
and a score of 10 is my best.

im a sunday afternoon shooter,
ill never really be good.
not eager to glean and listen,
do away with pride, i should.

bobski

_________________
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: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:25 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 9:17 pm
Posts: 2931
Location: Kansas, Land of Oz
bobski wrote:
thing about youtube is, the instructors (actors) don't get to yell at you when youre screwing up. how convenient for the student. he gets to do what he wants and goes away thinking hes been educated. invest in a human.


Good advice, that.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooting styles - too much help not helpful
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:53 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:04 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Denver, CO
My wife and I and one of our trap league friends drove up to Cheyenne, WY from Denver in late October for a one day clinic with Phil Kiner. The emphasis was on checking our gun fit (adjusting combs) while shooting videos over our shoulder. We all really enjoyed the session. I think we shot about 7 rounds and watched video in between. I would highly recommend Phil.
Tom




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