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I assume that like most other activities that require refined techniques and development of skill, the most efficient way to learn quality shotgunning is by using an effective instructor.

But, l'm sure that some instructors are far superior to others, but not necessarily more expensive.

What characteristics does a person need to look for in an instructor? I know there are different accreditations an instructor can receive, but what do they mean? I guess I'm looking for good, sound instruction without paying through the nose.
 

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Hi birdiman,

I think, like with most other things, that the most important thing about a firearms instructor is that they can teach effectively. It doesn't matter if they can break clay targets while standing on their head... if they don't do a good job of getting you to understand what they're teaching, it's a useless and frustrating exercise... :eek:

I can tell you that when I first started shooting skeet, I made some calls to the larger ranges in my area asking about instructors. Good instructors cost between $50-$70 an hour around here.

But I got lucky. I started shooting regularly with all the old-timers at the club, and I've found a couple who not only are terrific shooters, they are good teachers. More importantly, they are willing teachers, in that they are eager to help new guys shoot better.

When I first started in skeet about a month ago, I was shooting in the high teens. But then one of the old-timers took me aside and we shot a practice round where he grilled me on swing-through shots on the middle stations where I was weakest. Now I'm shooting in the 20s and my best score jumped up to a 23.

So, I don't think I'm able to answer your question about how to locate a good coach (the kind you pay for.) But what I will tell you is that sometimes the best coach is the kind you can find for free just by hooking up with the members at your local club.

At the very least, you can try that first, and if you don't find anyone, then ask around for good paid instructors.

I've probably gotten a couple hundred bucks worth of great advice already! :p
 

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Good Post Sander, sound advice.

I've also found a couple of old timers at the range that have really helped out. I watched for guys practicing by themselves on the range and then approached them after their round. Amazing how willing they were to help and to introduce a new clay buster to the sport.
 

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my experience as a wing shooter new to trap was that my hunting skills translated to averaging 21, 22 or 23 kills. after a while it was obvious that I had hit some kind of a wall and that I needed coaching on technique. I paid $75/hr for individual instruction and it was worth every penny.

I got coached on a long check list of things from foot position, hold points, gun mounting, posture, how to smooth out my swing, timing and some intangibles like a more aggressive attitude.

the hour lesson ended with my first 25 straight. getting a coach is definitely worth the money.
 

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Here's a little something I've found out after having had to be coached in nearly everything I do (with the exception of shotgun shooting, and I prolly SHOULD be instructed in that too): think twice about working with officious individuals who think there's only one way to accomplish whatever it is. Some things only work one way, but most are subject to various approaches. So, if I were looking for a shotgun coach, I'd do what Sander said. If I were paying for one, I'd avoid the guy who was too wooden and set in a single path. My 2 cents.
 
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Yep you're best bet is to start shooting at a club with some friendly old timers who can teach you just the basics then let you go from there. At a later time, the birds you may have consistant trouble with, the old timers will happily give some good advice. BUT BEWARE of the EGOTISTICAL BUFFOONS who try to shove too much info down your throat just because they like to hear themselves talk. They will confuse you to the point of your willing to give up the sport entirely. Observe the better shooters and their foot placement on the different stations, shooting stance, etc.
 
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