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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago I did a lot of shotgun and the only thing that would get bruised was my shoulder from poor placement of the gun. You learn from poor technique not to do that anymore. Never had a hurt cheek through all that though. Fast forward 25 years of letting the shotgun sit and during this time I used a rifle for my shooting. Then I ran a box of shells through the shotgun and I looked like someone hit me in the cheek. I surmised that you don't swing a rifle and I got used to that way of shooting. Then with the shotgun I was leading the clay and lost the cheek weld and thus the shotgun slapped me and I got hurt.

How about some basic instruction on cheek weld and placement. This new shotgun fits well and it mounts well and my sight picture is right down the barrel but I'm going to the range in a week and want to have this cheekweld in my mind and just looking for some advivce.

Thanks so much for your time to answer my question with some advice.

Lisa
 

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I'd double check the pitch of the stock. After so many years, in addition to any changes in your mount after shooting rifle for so long, it's entirely likely your physique has changed some too. Check that the recoil pad is contacting your shoulder pocket evenly from top (heel) to bottom (toe). If the toe contacts first (sometimes even slightly), the gun will rise when shot, resulting in check slap.

Good luck and safe shooting.
 

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Despite your feeling that the gun fits you well, it obviously does not or you wouldn't be experiencing this problem. In addition to gun fit, I suspect that your gun mount is not what it should be.

Trapperjohn01 has pointed out one area to check; pitch. That's a good suggestion as pitch is one of those things that can seem to be correct on a static mount while being significantly wrong. Another problem area can be length-of-pull (LOP), the distance between the trigger and the butt pad. You really need to have someone experienced in gun fit observe you shooting and then recommend needed adjustments.

Additionally, your long history of rifle shooting may have affected your gun mount. A shotgun should be brought up to the cheek with the head in an upright position, then straight back to the shoulder pocket. If that technique doesn't result in the proper eye position over the rib, adjustments need to be made on the gun.

Mounting the gun to the shoulder pocket and then positioning your head on the stock to get the proper eye position is a sure way to get an improper cheek weld...or, more correctly, no cheek weld at all. As soon as gun and body movement begins, the head will come up and away from the stock.

Again, you need to find a qualified instructor/coach to observe your gun fit, mounting and shooting technique. Seemingly minor corrections in gun fit and mounting technique can cure some pretty significant problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks TrapperJohn and OldSkeeter for the thoughtful responses. I think OldSkeeter you nailed it. With a rifle I spend a lot of time getting the gun set and positioned and I'm in good shape to pull the trigger. So when I took the shotgun out I tried to hold and shoot it the same way; thus I got hurt. I have recently watched a bunch of videos on how to "mount a shotgun" and the advice is always the same "bring the gun to the cheek and pull back to the shoulder". What was added here was hold your head straight THEN bring the gun to your cheek and back to the shoulder. So with that new knowledge I go get the pump gun that got me the last time out and sure enough I'm putting the gun to my shoulder and getting it positioned and then I'm positioning my cheek/face to the gun. When I looked at your picture OldSkeeter I noticed something that I haven't noticed before with the video's and it's your head is straight and level. Now I tried mounting the shotgun the "correct way" cheek first holding my head in the right position and low and behold I'm holding both these shotguns like shot guns instead of rifles and they "fit". I'm kind of a big girl at 5'9" and the "average" off the shelf guns fit me. The LOP was checked and that's good and it was my crazy mount that got me in trouble. Can't wait to go out and try it now! A rifle and shotgun are two differnt animals as the rifle is precisely aimed through a scope or sights where a shotgun is more look down the barrels with both eyes and a more natural point and shoot situation. At least I am going to work at it this way. Hopefully I will get past my 12 - 13 our out of 25 and like the sport better.

Thanks again for taking your time to respond and I will be more aware of what I'm doing now and what the outcome is or should be.

Thank you!

Lisa
 

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I'm glad to hear that you're working on your gun mount. Now, realize that it will take a little time to make it your normal routine. At first' you will need to keep reminding yourself of the correct mount procedure. Pretty soon, however, it will become routine.

Once you've had a chance to shoot with the gun properly mounted, please come back and let us know how things went.

OS
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am working with a Weatherby Orion and now that I know the mount is the key I'm working on that. I have never had an O/U before so learning how to just handle this gun is new to me. So I have it leaning against my counter in my house and as I walk by it I pick it up and practice the "correct" method of mounting the gun. The interesting thing is when I do it all correctly and stop and analyze how I'm holding the gun the mounted gun it's exactly how it should be and when I close my left eye and look down the barrel it's exactly where it belongs. I can't wait to shoot it as this is the first time I have ever mounted a shotgun correctly. Trust me I'm practicing it and now I know how it looks and feels. I'll just keep practicing and I certainly will report back after I shoot the gun to report how it goes. I think I will surprise myself with my score.

Thanks again gentlemen for your time and advice. You're making a shotgunner.

Lisa
 

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Hi Lisa and welcome to trapshooting. A couple of comments. First, unlike rifle shooting you have to move the gun to get it ahead of the target. In trap, that isn't very much. Except for the hard angles you just need to get the gun to the side that the target is headed. To do this you have to establish the magic triangle with your gun mount. The triangle is formed by your trigger hand, your cheek on the comb and the stock in your shoulder pocket. If you maintain this relationship during the shot you will be able to control where the gun points and maintain the established location of your eye in relationship to the front bead. Leave the barrels off your O/U and just mount the gun with your trigger hand. Move the receiver by moving your body. You will understand how that triangle can be maintained.

Second, as a woman there is a very high probability that you may have cross eye dominance issues. Go to Philkiner.com and review his comments and solutions. Also, google Nora Ross.

Good luck. Also, don't be too surprised if your gun mount doesn't correct you cheek bump. It is usually a mechanical problem with gun setup but that can be corrected by a good gun fitter.
 

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Welcome to SGW and trap shooting, Lisa.

If you actually are able to mount the gun well and consistently, you have a chance of eliminating "cheek slap," which is not fun at all.

Another thing to check is the "pitch" on your stock. Being a woman, I doubt that it is correct for you. Pitch is the angle formed by the recoil pad and the rib, approximately 90 degrees.

If, when you bring the gun back to your shoulder with the barrel raised to a normal shooting height, the whole recoil pad "top" to bottom makes simultaneous contact with your shoulder, the pitch is correct for you.

IF the pointed bottom of the recoil pad makes contact with your shoulder very much before the top of the pad, you are suffering with the most common problem with pitch. (It can be quite easily corrected by most gunsmiths by cutting the stock or by installing a tapered spacer between the stock and the recoil pad.)

Unless you are mounting the gun with as much as an inch of the recoil pad extending above your collarbone (very acceptable) and it is my guess that you would benefit by mounting the gun that high (women often have proportionally longer necks than men), the recoil pad should make contact with your shoulder with the portion of the recoil pad on the collarbone simultaneous with the pointed "toe" of the pad.

It goes almost without saying that if you need to mount the gun this way to allow shooting with a normal, erect head and neck posture, you will need to wear a shooting vest to protect your collarbone.

As far as swinging to extreme targets left and right, the angle formed by the gun and your shoulders should not change during swings. As was mentioned (I believe), the gun should not be pivoted on your shoulder. That is because it can move your eye relative to the rib during swings (and as the eye moves, so moves the pattern. Lateral gun movement should involve rotation at the waist and hips.

That is because when shooting a shotgun, the eye serves the same purpose as the back sight on a rifle. When either is moved, the bullet or the pattern moves in the same direction.

EDIT: Cheek on the comb: It is usually suggested that the cheekbone be
"hung" on the comb when shooting. Contact should be snug, just enough to prevent the contact pressure changing during swings to targets.

If too much or too little pressure is required to put the eye in the right height relative to the rib, problems arise, one of them being cheek slap. It is generally agreed that combs that are parallel with the rib are best if the comb is at the right distance below the rib to match your facial structure.

Do what was recommended above and check your eye dominance. It is extremely important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you gentlemen for the continued comments and detailed instructions and checks. I have been practicing the mount and checking it in the mirror. What really seems to be working for me is putting the gun to my cheek and pulling it to my shoulder. Looking in the mirror the butt of the gun is entirely supported and my cheek position on the "comb" looks and feels good too. I did the eye check and I'm definitely right eye dominate so that makes it easy as I'm right handed. I'm just anxious now to go out and try it. Hopefully this Sunday if the weather holds. I got a brand new "trap" shooting vest so everyone will know I'm new with all the new gear I'll be showing up with.

What's happening here is you men are giving me more advice then I have ever had shooting the shotgun and I so appreciate it. I remember back in the day the only advice I got was how to hold my right elbow so I wouldn't get bit by the butt of the gun being in the wrong place. Then it was just practice and have fun. I had fun and didn't break many birds but it was fun. Now I'm coming back to the shotgun and I really want to get better with it. I would love the confidence to hit what I was shooting at. I mastered the handgun and rifle so I'm coming home to the shotgun and will work on this now. I'll shoot it and see how it all comes together. The mount "looks" good in the mirror so I'm not too worried about hurting myself going out this time.

Thanks again for all your time and advice.

Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well gentlemen I promised that I would report back on my first experience with this new Orion and how it all went. I have to say I had a great time and shot three rounds of trap for a total of 75 shots. My scores were 13, 11 and 10. On the last round I was alone and thus was shooting faster and my score went down but I had a great time and most importantly didn't hurt myself.

I received a bunch of good advice from you men on how to mount the gun and today I got to watch others too. I was confident in the fit after watching myself mount the gun in the mirror and really see where the butt of the gun was on my shoulder. Also the tip of holding my head up and the gun really fit. I would mount the gun, close my left eye to check alignment and it was right on. Then I would open my eyes, aim and keep my gaze downrange and call for the bird. There is a lot happening so fast and especially for a new shooter that sometimes it seemed I was just blasting into the air. But on my hits I was actually getting the picture you're supposed to see when I squeeze the trigger and I would hit the clay. Bottom line my face and cheek are fine and I worried myself sick over this for nothing. But again, with your advice I had a real good idea what I was supposed to do. I can't wait 'till next week so I can shoot some more as I have to practice. I spent a good amount of time too watching others shoot and while I could not look down their guns it was interesting watching the mounts and face placement.

I had a great day, gun worked flawless and I broke some clays and I can only go up from here and am lookiing forward to that. Thanks again for you all taking your time to give me the advice you gave me. I'm using all the suggestions and having some safe fun with my new shotgun.

Regards genglemen,

Lisa
 

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I coach a college trap team in Iowa. At this point we have 26 shooters, 6 are ladies. My biggest frustration is gun fit with all the shooters. Have noticed that our ladies trend to mount the comb under their cheekbone trying to not mark their face by recoil. 4 have too long length of pull and non-adjustable stocks. We try to adapt the mount to the shotguns configuration. With poor results.

Only 3 shooters on the entire teem have well fitted guns. 2 are our top shooters, the other not far behind. One of our ladies enjoys a decent gun fit and is our top female shooter. If I could get mom and dad to spend the money for gun fit it would much easier to raise averages, win more events.

The reality is, if we shoot all 3 pallets of shells purchased for this years teem. Our trap teem will only get 15% better overall. Based on those already with better gun fit getting better and changing technique, fixing bad habits. In the Midwest, schools recruiting young active ATA shooters have a winning program. Good coaching always important, but scholarships and recruiting makes the difference. Sounds much like other campus sports.

Just having a proper LOP, or a bit too short of LOP helps improve scores. Patterning board work and offering an understanding of higher POI does improve consistency. Most student recruited to shoot targets show up with a field configured shotgun and have enough experience with that platform to break 70% to 90%. Winning scores in college shooting is similar to ATA. So being a big dog at home means little. Its our job to bring these D and C class shooters up to A and AA. Very difficult to make that much difference using poor gun fit and low POI. Learning advanced technique and mental discipline hindered making less difference.

What I'm saying is, put a priority on gun fit and good mounting technique. Not only will you feel less recoil in wrong places, but your scores and confidence will improve quicker. The top ladies in college shooting, shoot about the same score as their male teem mates. As a female shotgunner, consider one eyed shooting or be aware of your dominate eye staying dominate during the shot.

Good luck
 

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Assuming that your gun really does fit and that your improved mount is working for you, it is time to talk about shooting trap targets with a gun stocked for hunting. Trap targets are rising...or should be. You need to learn to shoot them on the rise and not let them get so far out that they are falling. And, since a field gun usually shoots about 50-50 Point of Impact (POI), you will need to cover the rising target to break it reliably.

Dedicated trap guns are set up to shoot 70-30 POI or higher and you can "float" the target just above the muzzle. If you do that with a 50-50 POI gun, you will shoot under the target. Just something for you to try the next time out.
 

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Another seemingly inherent problem with the ladies is to get them to press forward during the shot. Weight forward is not pressing to the target or controlling the shot using more muscle groups than their arms. Forward also helps keep the head on the stock during the shot. As with all 19 to 22 year olds, applying what they see and hear to themselves is taken less seriously, shooting is more about fun at that age, coaching and winning the more serious part.

Gun fit is only the basic start to shot gunning. Shooting is fun, as well as being a part of a teem. The work part is less expected by youth shooters moving into competition.

The OP will have positive results in all aspects of shooting including recoil to the face from weight forward, head forward and pressing to the sight picture.
 

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Lisa,

I think you've got terrific advice here from the other folks.

I will just add that if you're going to continue to shoot and enjoy trap shooting, you'll want a better gun. It's particularly difficult for women to get a properly fitted gun. I've heard some good things about Syren guns which seems to be the only shotgun company focusing on women, though a custom gun fitter can help you get most guns to fit you, usually with quite a bit of work.

Good luck, and enjoy your shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting discussion. My initial question that started this thread was my concern with getting hurt by the gun. I got enough information from you gentlemen that with the 75 rounds I sent through the gun yesterday I'm feeling fine today and I enjoyed the shoot yesterday. So together we overcame my fear and I'm eager to go shoot another day. My average hit ratio was 45% and I'm pretty good with that being this was the very first time I have fired this gun and shot trap in over 40 years. Stock fit is very important and I get that but at this point I "think" it fits okay. In looking at the rib on the barrel it has a slight taper down to the muzzle and this should make the gun shoot high. Remember this is the very first time I have done this "game" since I was in my 20's and i just played with it then and used a pump gun with a fixed full choke. I wasn't hitting very well back in the day and I moved to a rifle as I got much more positive feedback from that form of shooting. But I got this new shotgun and the how and why I ended up with this one is a very long story. But there was nothing scientific about the choice.

So here are some of my observations after thinking about my experience yesterday. I believe I have the basics of a good mount. Or should I say good enough with the gun in hand right now. Second, I thought I was ready to track the clay better then I did. I have been doing some reading on how this is suppose to go and I have only seen the "bird" and attempted to track it 75 times now. My hits "appeared" to be with the clay just over the muzzle. My misses "appeared" to be because I wasn't leading and "thought" take the shot now as the clay was running away. I've stood behind other shooters trying to "see" what they are doing and again it all happens so fast I can't figure out what is going on.

Another thought I have is to buy into a round or two of trap and never put a shell in the gun. Just work on tracking the clay out of the house all the way to the ground and work on the sight picture and swing. When I'm shooting I can only watch and track the clay three or four short seconds before I shoot and then it's over. I've watched some video's and the idea from them is to start out ahead of the clay and stay there with the lead.

Again, I can't thank you men enough for all your thoughts and comments here. Thanks to you I have a good idea of what I need to work on and watch out for. I never thought about gun fit before and in this sport it's apparently almost everything. I will seek out someone that is in the gun fit business and see what they have to say. It would be an interesting consultation just for more information. But the bottom line is I had fun and will go back and do it again and again. I'm very accomplished with a rifle but I have fired thousands of round down the tube. I'm thinking 45% on the first time out with the first 75 shots with all new gear I must have something going on right? A couple of the older shooters at the range complemented me that "I did so well" with my first time out. Apparently in the back room there was talk about "this new shooter" and at the very least I broke some clays.

I had fun and can't wait to do it again. Thank you guys for all your help and I will report back my progress.

Best regards,
Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I thought I would get back to you gentlemen and let you know how I'm doing. I have been to the range now three times and shot a total of 250 rounds though the gun. The last two times out I have received no injury from the gun what so ever. This was my biggest concern and what prompted me to start this thread.

I have been doing a lot of practicing with the gun at home mounting it and I think I have gotten that process down pretty well. As mentioned the gun does not hurt my shoulder or cheek at all. The LOP was checked and this is perfect for me. I mount the gun, close my left eye and my right eye is right down the comb of the barrel to the sight. I open both eyes, get my focus and call for the bird. I'm right handed and right eye dominant.

I have reread the advice given here and shooting a "rising clay" or "maintaining the correct lead" all work and I hit clays IF and when I can do that. I have only shot 250 rounds. My 250 round average is 45% hit rate. One time I hit as few as 6 clays out of 25 and I was ready to go home. On another round I have hit as many as 15. But I hover around 10 and don't seem to be "figuring" out a consistant method to my madness.

Is this a game of keep shooting until you figure it out with a lot of practice or can you practice at home but what do you chase with the barrel of the gun then? Am I expecting too much for only having pulled the trigger 250 times? Is choke selection really important? I have a mod in the lower barrel and an I/C in the top. I know the gun is doing it's job and I'm not getting a consistant sight picture as I'm still trying to figure out this tracking the "bird" business and swing.

Bottom line is I'm having fun and not getting hurt. Just wish I could do better. Hopefully in time.

Thanks for all your help, suggestions and comments.

Lisa
 

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First you need to keep your left eye closed and see what happens to your score AND to your ability to better control the shotgun.

Second, forget about leading the target, just shoot right at it when you get to it.

let me know how this works
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Phil Kiner said:
First you need to keep your left eye closed and see what happens to your score AND to your ability to better control the shotgun.

Second, forget about leading the target, just shoot right at it when you get to it.

let me know how this works
Well this is the only method I have not tried. As I have mentioned earlier, I am an accomplished rifleman so this may be more natural for me. It will be another week before I get back to the range but I will try it and let you know..

Thanks,

Lisa
 

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Hi Lisa,

Now that your gun fits OK here are a couple of things you can do to accelerate your learning to shoot.

1. While you may be in the small minority of women who can shoot with two eyes, it is far easier to learn using just one. This is because you can see the bead to target relationship and put the gun where you need to put it to hit the target. This is what your mind needs to learn the difference between success and failure. After a few thousand targets if you want to switch over and try two eyes, fine. To shoot one eye, start off with a half inch square of tape just to outside of your off eye's pupil. This allows you to look straight ahead with both eyes but will block the barrel AND the target when you mount the gun.

2. Lock the trap for straights from 3. Start on 3 and when you have hit 5 in a row, step to 2 or 4. When you can hit 5 in a row step to 1 & 5. This will allow you to learn to move the gun to just in front of the target and keep the gun moving through the shot. I can usually have new shooters shooting in the 20s after a 2 or 3 rounds of this.
 
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