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This week my local club shut down the sporting clays course for the winter and will now run 5 Stand until the spring. I only started shooting a shotgun in January and feel I have made fair progress over the summer shooting two rounds a week and averaging in the low to mid 60's. I really don't know if that is good, bad or avereage progress (thoughts on that would be appreciated).

Recently I have been feeling that I was starting to understand shotgunning better and have been seeing the bird and feeling lead. Well that was up until last evening when I tried 5 Stand for the first time. I did absolutly horrible and felt like all the gains I made over the summer in sporting were lost. I shot 10 on my first round of 25 and 8's on the next two rounds. I literally went to bed last night and woke up this morning thinking about what I need to do to figure out 5 stand . For me, in 5 stand it is much harder to remember and then pick break and hold points. In recollection I think I totally abandoned any effort to try doing so and also totally abandoned my pre shot mental program. That caused me to just chase targets with the gun.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice for me.
 

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Pay attention to the show birds, (if any), or to the folks in front of you (next shooter) as you will get the same shots next. Most 5-stands that I see where I live are not at far as most sporting stations due to simply having less real estate to work with, so maybe some of yours are shorter and faster shots???? My 5-stand at my local clubs uses 9 machines, including one that is an elevated outgoing wobble (so you have no idea where it's going) as well as an incomer that is a trap double machine that throws one horizontal and one comes in low. After a few times, you get a feel for them. I think once you get a little more practice with them, your scores will go up.
 

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thecoinopcollector said:
This week my local club shut down the sporting clays course for the winter and will now run 5 Stand until the spring. I only started shooting a shotgun in January and feel I have made fair progress over the summer shooting two rounds a week and averaging in the low to mid 60's. I really don't know if that is good, bad or avereage progress (thoughts on that would be appreciated).

Recently I have been feeling that I was starting to understand shotgunning better and have been seeing the bird and feeling lead. Well that was up until last evening when I tried 5 Stand for the first time. I did absolutly horrible and felt like all the gains I made over the summer in sporting were lost. I shot 10 on my first round of 25 and 8's on the next two rounds. I literally went to bed last night and woke up this morning thinking about what I need to do to figure out 5 stand . For me, in 5 stand it is much harder to remember and then pick break and hold points. In recollection I think I totally abandoned any effort to try doing so and also totally abandoned my pre shot mental program. That caused me to just chase targets with the gun.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice for me.
I would say that your progress so far and your recent experience with 5-stand are fairly typical. I've known some very good shooters who, in their first 6 to 8 months, couldn't hit the side of a barn if they were inside the barn yet they went on to become excellent shooters. Some made Master class in sporting clays.

Regarding 5-stand, don't worry about your initial performance. It's a different experience for you and is confusing when shooting the game for the first few times. You'll see progress after a few more times.

As mentioned previously, watch the targets and try to remember their flight paths. As soon as you finish one pair of targets, look at your menu to see what is coming as the next pair. Then plan how you're going to shoot this pair. Planning for report pairs is not too hard, but planning how to shoot true pairs takes a bit more experience.

Again, don't worry about your scores at this early stage. Better scores will come if you pay attention and concentrate on the targets and how you want to shoot them. Always keep thinking ahead in the game of 5-stand. You'll get the hang of it with some more experience.
 

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I used to shoot a lot more sporting. When I started I was stuck in the 60s for 2 years. Then suddenly jumped into the 80s. Our club only sets up 5-Stand about 8 times a year (different every time). It is popular. I can shoot anywhere from a 23 to a 15. Addicting isn't it. I have to agree with Ulysses, your results seems pretty typical. Having fun is the most important thing.
Wait until that sporting course opens again, and how good you will be then.
 

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5 Stand is a blast, so first and foremost, do not worry about your scores.

First, when you arrive, see if you can watch a round or two before you start shooting. This will allow you to see all of the different target presentations, and where they are coming from. Watch how more experienced shooters are taking the pairs. On my range it lists the targets that will be thrown. Do yourself a favor and take a one of the stations or 'stands' further down the line (i.e. station 4 or 5). While the first shooters are shooting, find out which target(s) you will be shooting at and figure our your plan for how to shoot it/them (By taking one of the stations further down the line you give your self some time when you rotate to a new station to start planning for the first target). Between shots, do not get too caught up in looking at the other shooters. Your priority is to ID which targets you will be shooting at, what is your plan for shooting them, getting your stance set up correctly. Once you are ready to go then you can look at the other shooters. When it is your turn, take your time. Do not feel as if you have to rush. A couple of other things. At least at my club it is not uncommon for a shooter to ask advice on how to take a tricky pair? A shooter, especially when seeing a new course, or new to 5 stand are encouraged to ask 'Which target to take first?'. Finallyl, see if they can throw report pairs for you the first one or two times you shoot the course.

It bears repeating that you should stop worrying about scores and just have fun. As you continue on with the game all of this will become second nature. 5 stand presents some different challenges from sporting clays, but it is really fun, and another very social game.
 

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coin: Scores will come when you treat every target like a micro-tournament. Kill each one and then add them together.

5 stand requires more concentration on the 1st pairs and none afterwards cuz there's no repeating the pairs. So -- you have to be in the moment. Also , you'll need to train yourself where to look to pick up the 2d target of a true pair. Find it w/ your eyes , then move to it.

Actual practice will improve your results. {hs#
 

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Another thing to consider, once you've learned the flight path of each target, is that your shot may be drastically different on Stand 1 than it is on Stand 5. For example, an incoming, curling battue may present an easy broadside target from Stand 1, but may present a knife-edge to shoot at on Stand 5.

There are many other such examples where a quartering shot may turn into a crosser (or vice versa) depending on which stand you're on. As such, the "perceived" lead may be different on different stands. The more you shoot the game, the more evident these things will become to you, but you have to think. You don't just go up there and shoot the same identical pair 4 times in a row like you do in sporting clays. Five-stand requires more thinking and more strategy...... particularly on true pairs.
 

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If you aren't hitting targets, work with the scorer to just throw the same bird, until you figure it out, then move to the next bird. It will come with practice.

There is a free App you can get for your phone or tablet called Clay Hunt. You shoot singles and true pairs. It's a kick!
 

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Ulysses said:
Another thing to consider, once you've learned the flight path of each target, is that your shot may be drastically different on Stand 1 than it is on Stand 5. For example, an incoming, curling battue may present an easy broadside target from Stand 1, but may present a knife-edge to shoot at on Stand 5.

There are many other such examples where a quartering shot may turn into a crosser (or vice versa) depending on which stand you're on. As such, the "perceived" lead may be different on different stands. The more you shoot the game, the more evident these things will become to you, but you have to think. You don't just go up there and shoot the same identical pair 4 times in a row like you do in sporting clays. Five-stand requires more thinking and more strategy...... particularly on true pairs.
You beat me to it. Great post.

When you look at the targets you'll be getting from the perspective of the other guys shooting them; make sure to only consider YOUR hold points and break points from your station. Try not to worry about killing them where that person has to.
 

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As others have said, spend some time watching good shooters hit the clays, and try to remember what's coming at each station so you can avoid some of the confusion that can come with trying to figure out what's coming seconds before you have to shoot.

I shot with a friend two weeks ago, it was his first time at 5 stand, he hit 11. I was in the high teens. Before that, we both hit 82 in clays. It's a different game...
 

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Coin,

If you haven't already, this may be the right time to invest in a lesson with a good instructor. It may be a basic flaw in your shooting that he/she can straighten out quickly which will help with both 5-Stand and Sporting.

Demi
 

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I would say that you are right on schedule, maybe ahead of schedule if you are shooting over 60% in Sporting Clays in your first season, that is very respectable.

5 stand is a different beast, and can be intimidating for new shooters. Many of the shots are not seen on a Sporting Clays course, especially in the Northeast where the courses tend to be in the woods, resulting in shorter and faster targets. Many of these stations frame the presentation, by removing any background distractions, so it's easier to concentrate.

A 5 stand course can be chaotic for new shooters, especially on the report and true pair presentations. The openness of a 5 a stand course can create difficulties in judging speed and depth of the target. Sometimes these presentations may also be higher and further than what is seen on a Sporting Clays course.

My advice is to have somebody stand behind you informing you of where the target is coming from, and brief description of the presentation. The trapper can also give you a bit more time between birds, on the report pairs. When shooting true pairs, concentrate on the easier target, and don't worry about the second bird. Many times, the easier bird is missed because the shooter is concerned about shooting the second presentation. Some of the longer presentations, which are tempting to shoot, may require patience before pulling the trigger. Waiting for the bird to slow down and open up can seem like an eternity.

5 stand has a rhythm, and once you get used to the pace, and an awareness of the presentations , your score will increase. Based on your early 5 stand scores, I would say you are right on schedule. Experiencing new presentations, and shooting in the wind and snow, will make you a better all around shooter, and will be beneficial to your Sporting Clays shooting next Spring.

Don't get discouraged, and don't compare yourself to others. Nobody shoots 5 Stand well when they just start. Have fun and ask a lot of questions .
 

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This is an obvious statement, but when shooting clays, say it's four report pair. When shooting pairs 2-4 you're making refinements of how you shot pair 1, and you're more likely to hit them on tries 2-4 because you're practicing the same presentation four times in a row.

With 5 stand, you get one chance at a presentation, and it never repeats. That alone makes it a harder game.
 

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I have the opposite problem. I shoot 5-stand generally a couple times a month and then shoot an actual sporting clays course 2 or 3X a year. I generally score 10 -15 birds worse out of 100 in sporting clays than 5 stand. I'm sure it's the target presentations and the greater variety on the sporting clays course. It's pretty frustrating to me.
 

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5 stand can be intimidating and frustrating at first, but stick with it and when they open the sporting course again it will probably seem easier. It takes awhile to get comfortable with only having one chance at a pair but pretty soon it will feel normal.
 

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Halwg said:
I have the opposite problem. I shoot 5-stand generally a couple times a month and then shoot an actual sporting clays course 2 or 3X a year. I generally score 10 -15 birds worse out of 100 in sporting clays than 5 stand. I'm sure it's the target presentations and the greater variety on the sporting clays course. It's pretty frustrating to me.
I've seen some 5 Stand setups that were really easy, and some that were incredibly challenging!
 

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My guess is that your club rarely changed the target presentation on the sporting clays course so your improvement was a result of learning the individual target presentations of that course during the summer. Then when you started shooting 5 stand the presentation was entirely different from what you had learned. You need to learn to train your brain subconsciously judge speed, distance, angle and required lead for a target you have never seen. This is done by practicing on many different presentations while maintaining a hard focus on the target with your cheek firmly planted on the stock.
 

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As everyone else has said, 5 stand is only confusing the first few times that you shoot it. My club just put in a dedicated 5 stand course this year and the first couple times I shot it I had no idea what was going on. My club uses all wireless promatic machines and they can change up the game just by switching programs on the remote. It's pretty cool actually. So we have beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and pullers choice. Beginner is all report pairs and known targets. Intermediate is report and true pair with known targets. Advanced is all true pairs with known targets. Pullers choice is unknown target combinations but report pairs. If you ask nicely, they can even throw pullers choice with one or two true pairs. Pullers choice with two true pairs is obviously challenging, but a ton of fun if you're shooting with a group that really knows the course.

When I started playing 5 stand, beginner was totally confusing. Now I can shoot pullers choice with two true pairs and still shoot between 19-22 depending on how I'm shooting that day.

My wife has been really struggling on the sporting clays course the last couple weeks but when she steps onto the 5 stand she's like another person. I can't explain it...she'll shoot a 45/100 at sporting clays and be pissed. Then we'll hit 5 stand and she shoots a 20 on pullers choice with a true pair. I'm totally baffled as to why she has so much trouble on the sporting clays course but steps onto a 5 stand station with total confidence. I only mention this to point out that everyone is different. Some people need to totally dissect every aspect of a presentation in order to be successful. Others, apparently like my wife, do better not thinking about all the little stuff and just react to what's thrown.

I've introduced about 6 or 7 people to 5 stand and every single one of them struggled the first few times. That said, the first words after a round are always - wow, that was hard but really cool, can we shoot it again! Once you learn where the birds are coming from you'll be able to shoot it with confidence.

Stripersonfly had a great piece of advice! Start your game on station 3, 4 or 5 so that you can get a feel for the presentations and pace.
 

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Shoot the five stand with as many(up to 5) of your shooting friends as you can, relax and have fun. Pay attention to the menu card clear your head and let it fly like you are in the field! my first 5 stand i was completely lost!Its preety good practice for simo pairs but real fun with the right bunch!
 
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