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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading a lot of posts on this and other forums, and I know that I should be "pointing" rather than "sighting" it, so what exactly is the function of the bead at the end of the barrel? I shoot a Winchester Mod. 12, 28" full choke, plain barrel gun and am very new to shotgunning. I've had the gun for 30 years, but have never really done any hunting, and am just getting into shooting clays. I find that when I mount the gun where it feels "married" to my shoulder, my eyes are way above the receiver. I can put my left index finger on top of the receiver and still see the bead. The more I have thought about this, the more I think that, with this setup, I must be shooting low on everything. Is this right??? In order to actually look down the top line of the receiver and see the bead, I have to really pull my head and neck down into a very cramped and uncomfortable position. The alternative is to pull only the bottom half of the stock against my shoulder, which makes for a lot of recoil at one small point --- no fun either. I would appreciate it if some of you could tell me if my thinking on this is correct or not, and what I should do, if anything, to make the gun fit me better, fit myself to the gun better, get another gun, whatever?

Thanks in advance,

Dave
 

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fatshot said:
I have been reading a lot of posts on this and other forums, and I know that I should be "pointing" rather than "sighting" it, so what exactly is the function of the bead at the end of the barrel?
What is your definition of "pointing" and what is your definition of "aiming?" Let's start with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To me, pointing means to look down the barrel of the gun and track the moving target with your whole body and eyes combined, using the bead as a reference point only --- not the same as aiming a handgun, where you set the front sight on the target and center it in the rear one, and hold very steady before firing. However, it seems to me that, if you are going to do any good hitting targets by pointing, your eyes must at least line up with the barrel of the gun, even though you don't consciously "sight" it.
 

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fatshot said:
I find that when I mount the gun where it feels "married" to my shoulder, my eyes are way above the receiver. I can put my left index finger on top of the receiver and still see the bead. The more I have thought about this, the more I think that, with this setup, I must be shooting low on everything. Is this right???
Thanks in advance,

Dave
Hi Dave,

I believe that you will actually be shooting massively above your target. In order to shoot lower, your eye needs to get more in line with the bead, not sitting way above it. If you think about it, you are actually describing the set up of a high
combed trap gun which many like for various reasons and not always to do with POI issues.

Regarding your description of pointing versus aiming, I think yours is a handy enough explanation. Many (not me) dispute even the need for a bead, saying that since good shooting involves almost a trance like fix/lock/gaze on the target , that a well fitted gun and your brain will do the rest and smash the clay / kill the quarry. I think this would happen consistently and well enough, the minute they start throwing satellite dish size clays at distances below 30 yards. :lol: In my opininon not every moving target can be CONSISTENTLY broken whilst relying on gunfit/locking onto the target etc. Even sighting and deliberate aiming has its place on a round of clays or a settling pigeon fooled into your decoys.
You don,t mention what type of clay shooting you do but the easiest and only reliable way of determining you POI is to fire a couple of shots at a pattern sheet/plate. Incidentally, if I have figured your post correctly, then your cheek is probably out of proper contact with the comb too which is a definate no no.

Let us know if you ever get round to the pattern test.
 

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as yansica sard, you are likely shooting over-----a good/quick way to tell is find an unbroken, or large piece of a target on the ground at 30 yaeds or so. pull the gun up---eye focused on the target and fire at that piece. should be easy to tell where the gun shoots for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, you guys are right. When I diagrammed the whole thing out, I could see that the way I mount the gun makes the target LOOK lower than it really is in relation to where the barrel is pointing. My cheek really is in good contact with the comb, however. So what do I have to do --- completely cover the target with the barrel to start with and go from there? Or can I fit a really tall bead or something like that? One of my problems is that the guy I shoot with can't really tell me where the shot is going on my misses (about 80% of my attempts) --- it's hard to see it, especially now when the sky is grey all the time.
 

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First thing I'd suggest is to rig up a patterning board of some sort to find out where your guns is hitting when you have it mounted comfortably. Once you know where you're hitting, THEN you can make adjustments to the gun to move the point of impact.
 

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Don't compensate an ill fit with your head and neck or any other part of your body if you can avoid it. Customize the gun to you, not in reverse. That can be a pretty frustrating job if you don't have someone else to help you with it. Is there a fitter in your area, or another shooter there who can help you? It's just much faster with another pair of eyes on hand. It was a real pain for me until my coach and some other shooters helped out.
 

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As others have stated the gun should be shooting high. The only way to actually find out is to shoot at a pattering board or as Texas Ton suggested a piece of clay on the ground, I like a spot on a dirt bank better.

You shooting Trap, Skeet and/or Sporting Clays?

If the gun is indeed shooting high, you need to point under the target to hit it. Unless it is a rising target. To make the gun shoot lower you need to cut or bend down the comb, ie top of the stock. Before you do any alterations on the stock you should find out if your form and technique is correct. If no one at your local range can help you; see if you can find a certified instructor closest to you on the NSCA website. Here is the link =>http://www.mynsca.com

I see many beginners put too much weight on their back foot and keep their head up trying to off set the weight of the barrel. A correction of your form may be all that is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have only shot sporting clays so far --- no trap or skeet. I like the variety of different shots I have to make, and moving from one station to another through the round. I just wish I could hit more of the targets!
 

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The sight picture that I like is, gun in the pocket of my shoulder, head held almost upright, cheek firmly on the stock, not scrunched over on the stock, looking straight down the rib, I see the middle bead a fraction below the front bead.

Sort of like a figure 8 picture. After I call pull, I don't see the beads anymore, they're there, I just don't focus on them anymore.
 

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Dave,

The reason you're having so much trouble is that the stock dimensions on your gun do not fit your size and shape. That in turn requires the odd gun mount you have to use.

I agree with those who say that your gun is shooting above targets, probably way above them and with what purestoke wrote regarding getting your gun to fit. I have to add that I disagree completely about finding another shooter who can help you. 99% of shooters, especially those shooting sporting clays, know nothing about stock fitting. (Trap shooters know the most but only a small percentage of them can help you fit your gun.)

If possible, find a good stock fitter and visit him. The good ones will correct not only your stock dimensions but your shooting form as well. (When guns do not fit, the shooting form must be corrupted to even shoot the gun.)

If you can't visit a fitter, consider getting a copy of my book, "Stock Fitting Secrets." Click on the following link for more information. http://stockfitting.virtualave.net
 

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"...what exactly is the function of the bead at the end of the barrel?"

Fifty years ago my father told me it was to keep the gun from falling over when you leaned it against a tree. Turned out he was right. :)

John
 

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A front bead allows a shooter's peripheral vision to create a more accurate sight picture rather than just using the out-of-focus end of the barrel. http://stockfitting.virtualave.net
 

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I know, I know...I bought a copy and I'm working on it. :) And enjoying it, too. Thanks.

OTOH, I'm set in my ways, but trying to improve.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide if I'm going to shoot with my progressive lenses or single vision for distance(I'm extremely nearsighted) or contacts. I really can't see the bead anymore anyway with my eyes and progressive lenses are funny when it comes to multiple distances or seeing anything that's not precisely centered in the part of the lens for that distance. The real question is whether or not I want to take a chance on $5,000 eye surgery to correct my distance vision.

Meanwhile, I'm making good shots on ducks and geese this season without using a bead. And we haven't flipped the skiff over yet either. :)

Happy New Year !!!

John
 

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John,

I'm glad you're enjoyng the book.

You might try a fiber-optic front bead. It helped me but I am farsighted. If you can borrow a gun with such a sight, you might find it helps with you too.

Rollin
 

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Maybe I will try a small fiber optic sight. The sight I took off my used SX2 Waterfowl was a TruGlo Fat Bead and it was simply too big and too bright - as it turns out it's their largest sight. The green fiber measured 1/10th of an inch in diameter.

I appreciate the advice.

John
 
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