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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How to keep from canting the gun? What I mean by canting the gun is when I drop my shoulder some my right wrist turn like I'm moving my hand palm up and I turn the gun over to it's right side some. I'm guilty of this sometimes. I noticed with this one presentation I cant my gun and miss in the process. I got a rabbit going right to left almost at a right angle to me. It is a true pair with a flier off to me left going straight away and up. The kill zone for the rabbit is right about in the path of the flier. When I'm swinging on the rabbit I see the flier at that point going up. My eyes tend to start tracking the bird before I'm committed on the rabbit. My head doesn't lift off the stock , but I drop my shoulder and I cant the gun. I normally miss both these targets and they are not that hard to hit I feel. I shot and shot this station over and over. It is way more natural feeling taking the rabbit then the flier, but I often cant the gun missing. To ace this station I ended up reversing the order by taking the flier swinging up, then dropping back down, having to rush to pick up the rabbit to my far left and swing quickly before it is gone. Some how that really works for me almost never missing a target. :? . This just one instance, but there might be more I'm not aware of where I might cant? By reversing the order on this station I'm getting the job done, but not fixing the problem.
Now maybe it is due to the heavy clothing this time of year? All I know is I want to correct this flaw in my shooting form because it will cause losses that I shouldn't ever give up. It drives me crazy missing and know what it is i need to correct and can't seem to correct it. Any suggestions?
 

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"The kill zone for the rabbit is right about in the path of the flier. When I'm swinging on the rabbit I see the flier at that point going up. My eyes tend to start tracking the bird before I'm committed on the rabbit."

1. You don't have HARD FOCUS on the rabbit. If you can see the running bunny in the center, you absolutely WILL NOT see anything else.

2. How many birds in a pair? I hope you said ONE.

3. Try extending the index finger of your forearm hand and point at your target. That should help.

4. Now for the likely culprit... STANCE. Square up on the BREAK POINT of the rabbit. If your shoulders are centered at the break point, its very hard to drop one. That generally occurs when you run out of swing.

Try shooting this as a single crossing rabbit until its confortable.
Then shoot the crossing 'B' bird till its comfortable as a single.
Then put them together as a report. Then as a true pair. This easily could take six boxes of shells. But thats what it takes.

Let me know how this works for you!
 

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Hansumtoad said:
Now for the likely culprit... STANCE.
Seems the best bet to me too.

Over the last 5-6 years course setters have been combining presentations using straightforward targets thrown in such a way that they become as much a test of technique as of skill at reading them. If you've started to dip your shoulder you need to train it out immediately before it becomes a habit.

A senior coach of my acquaintance trains people by having them stand with the front leg straight, all the weight on the front leg, the knee locked back and using the back foot only to steady the body. The torso is kept upright and with the left (for R/handers) shoulder positioned vertically above the front foot. With that stance it's almost imppossible to drop the shoulder unwittingly because you have to bend at the waist to do it. The trainees do 2 minute sessions where they take the stance, mount, swing vertically and horizontally, gun down then repeat. This gets it in the muscle memory in double quick time.

On the other hand you could take the rabbit earlier or, as you say, reverse the order.
 

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Two of the best sporting clays shooters I've ever seen use a stance in which the lead leg is straight, the knee is locked, and the heel of the back leg is off the ground.
This is a common stance for trapshooters. Besides preventing a shoulder roll -over, its a way to avoid fatigue, since the knee is not supporting the weight of the shooter.
Watching videos of George Digweed, I noticed that his legs are straight and fairly close together, and all the rotation is done with the shoulders. For crossing targets, he is an advocate of the skeet shooters' technique of setting your stance where you intend to break the target, and then winding your body back toward the trap.
 

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"Two of the best sporting clays shooters I've ever seen use a stance in which the lead leg is straight, the knee is locked, and the heel of the back leg is off the ground.
This is a common stance for trapshooters. Besides preventing a shoulder roll -over, its a way to avoid fatigue, since the knee is not supporting the weight of the shooter.
Watching videos of George Digweed, I noticed that his legs are straight and fairly close together, and all the rotation is done with the shoulders. For crossing targets, he is an advocate of the skeet shooters' technique of setting your stance where you intend to break the target, and then winding your body back toward the trap."

As far as lifting the back heel off the ground, I would humbly and respectfully suggest that it is a VERY, VERY, VERY BAD idea. I'm not real sure how it "prevents shoulder roll and avoids fatigue" either.

Digweed uses the "belly button" stance where he squares up on the break point and uses his lower back, butt, and thighs to swing to the bird... and that's virtually universal for ALL target presentations. It's very efficient and allows excellent muzzle control. Its the very best position to be in at the break point. Shoulders square to the ground, plenty of swing left into the follow through, and torso relaxed.

Just a thought, but you might try it. As I said earlier, STANCE is the likely culprit for your sholder roll, but that implies a CORRECT stance. You guys that know what you're doing understand all of this, but would hate that someone needing help went off on a tangent leading nowhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think that I might just need to position myself more square. Perhaps after reading your post I was runing out of swing and it caused me to dip the shoulder. Standing here practicing I believe that is a lot of the problem right there. I'll give it a try come Sunday...
 

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Well, hansumtoad, I don't know what your level of expertise in the shooting sports is, but to state that what hundreds of the best shooters in the world consider good form, is in your opinion
a "VERY, VERY, VERY BAD IDEA" is a little presumptious.

The two shooters I'm specifically referring to are Shane Naylor
former North Carolina state sporting clays champion, second in the Grand American Handicap a couple year ago, and had a 99 average on 1200 trap targets in 2006. The other is Tom Cutler, many time Virginia state champion. This stance is especially popular in Europe, especially with the Olympic
trapshooters. I have seen many expert trap and sporting clays shooter utilizing this style.
 

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"Well, hansumtoad, I don't know what your level of expertise in the shooting sports is, but to state that what hundreds of the best shooters in the world consider good form, is in your opinion a "VERY, VERY, VERY BAD IDEA" is a little presumptious."

Whatever you say, Sir.
 

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01lariat said:
How to keep from canting the gun? What I mean by canting the gun is when I drop my shoulder some my right wrist turn like I'm moving my hand palm up and I turn the gun over to it's right side some. I'm guilty of this sometimes. I noticed with this one presentation I cant my gun and miss in the process. I got a rabbit going right to left almost at a right angle to me. It is a true pair with a flier off to me left going straight away and up. The kill zone for the rabbit is right about in the path of the flier. When I'm swinging on the rabbit I see the flier at that point going up. My eyes tend to start tracking the bird before I'm committed on the rabbit. My head doesn't lift off the stock , but I drop my shoulder and I cant the gun. I normally miss both these targets and they are not that hard to hit I feel. I shot and shot this station over and over. It is way more natural feeling taking the rabbit then the flier, but I often cant the gun missing. To ace this station I ended up reversing the order by taking the flier swinging up, then dropping back down, having to rush to pick up the rabbit to my far left and swing quickly before it is gone. Some how that really works for me almost never missing a target. :? . This just one instance, but there might be more I'm not aware of where I might cant? By reversing the order on this station I'm getting the job done, but not fixing the problem.
Now maybe it is due to the heavy clothing this time of year? All I know is I want to correct this flaw in my shooting form because it will cause losses that I shouldn't ever give up. It drives me crazy missing and know what it is i need to correct and can't seem to correct it. Any suggestions?
Hi 01lariat,

Many people suggest that its never good to cant a gun, or rifle and I must say I can`t seem to recall a rabbit target I would have shot better canted but I do believe it will occasionally get you out of trouble big time.
Essentially, you should hone your stance into a relaxed, feet slightly apart, weight slightly forward kind of routine and experience will automatically and subconsiously move your leading hand fore and aft depending on the presentation.
I do find that rabbits, being well below your usual line of sight are best tackled with slightly more bend in the waist, maybe a tad more in the knee/s but definately a bit more focus and aggression than regular flyers. You must resist lead on most rabbits. This is fundamentally the most oft repeated cause of rabbit misses.

Now canting can be very useful on an angled face or top showing teal type clay at distance. Instead of the usual coming from beneath and swinging through the line try almost premounting a canted gun and shoot a kind of maintained lead. But only if you are missing more than you hit.
 

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I have what I feel is a bad habit of lifting my back heel that I've always done but I'm now trying to 'fix'.

On a going away shot it doesn't seem to matter much but on wide pairs or when needing to change foot position in FITASC, it sure as hell doesn't help [me]!
 

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I've never watched Digweed shoot but have occasionally seen video clips. His stance is absolutely standard practice as used by all the senior shooters I've seen. Whether on not his back heel is on or off the ground doesn't matter; it's something that varies between people and the terrain. What matters is that almost all his weight is over the front foot. He doesn't swing from the shoulders, he swings from the hips, thereby leaving his upper body relatively relaxed. The upriight, forward weighted stance allows maximum gun movement in all directions with over 180 degrees horizontal swing and vertically further back than vertical. This matters in the UK where we see many high angle & overhead shots. Digweed's stance helps fatigue because the upper body is relaxed and not fighting against the gun, gravity or the rest of the body. It also has the added bonus that the shoulder, for the same reasons, can handle the recoil much more easily - another cause of fatigue & discomfort.

That stance has been the norm in the UK for generations, and long before artificial targets were invented. It is the result of accumulated wisdom. Those who shoot in a knees bent and crouched or hunched form, typically leaning forward and with the upper body in tension from the stomach upwards will tend to roll or dip the shoulder, be prone to head lift, will have limited gun movement (especially on high angle shots), and also be more likely to suffer with recoil because the body is resisting the gun more.
 

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01Lariat,

I'm assuming you are right handed.....right palm up turns gun on right side? Right shoulder drops?

Couple of things here........First, sounds like you are the victim of a good target setter. Your eyes will always want go to the fastest moving thing in view. Second, I don't mean this in a derogatory manner but, sounds like you're getting lazy with your form.

Let's deal with the second one first......Make sure your feet are positioned properly so that you can kill both birds in your swing's comfort zone. It is easier to drop your shoulder with your weight biased incorrectly on your back foot so, make sure most of your weight is on the forward foot. Your swing should rotate on your left ankle with your shoulders level. What sera says is true also, make sure your forward stance is a little exaggerated, face down for the low targets. I'll get flamed for this but, a mid bead helps me to ensure I'm starting the gun off level too. Then MAKE yourself swing level. This is the lazy part. I'm guilty of this too! Good practice should cure it though.

Second, if possible, change your break point for the rabbit. If you can break it earlier, even slightly, you'll take that trap bird out of the equation and give your self more time for it when it(the trap bird) does go. If this doesn't work then maybe a little later would be best.....letting your eyes go through the transition of focus-no focus-refocus if the trap bird doesn't get to far. Hold points are critical and vary directly in relation to break points. Most people hold too close to the machine and get left standing still by the target. This increases the time and distance required to put the gun in a killing position. Start in front and stay in front for ALMOST everything.

All of this should start with a well thought out PLAN! Everybody needs one!

In any event it, sounds like you are getting your pocket picked by an experienced target setter and I would much rather miss those type of targets than to have little or no chance at the STUPID ones.

Good luck,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No canting of the gun today. All I did was square myself better with the target. Simple and it seemed to cure the problem. How ever that station in question I just can't shoot the rabbit first and the bird second. I ran the station bird first and the rabbit second for a total of 95/100 at the registerd shoot today. Even though it was just for fun since I'm not a registered shooter "yet" I did score the high score for the day making me feel pretty darn good. The five I gave up were pretty dumb to. :? Thanks for all your guys input on the canting issue. With that behind me I'll keep on working on perfection. :wink:
 

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FANTASTIC!!! You ran the station.... Well done, Chris. I'd recommend you now keep doing exactly what you're doing. Hang the other way.

That said... when this way gets boring. Move the rabbit break point back with a corresponding Muzzle Hold Point. Immediate Hard Focus on presentation... walk it, kill it at the shorter Break Point and then go to the 'B' bird.

Anyway... again, CONGRATULATIONS!
 
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