Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,914 Posts
jwmhunt said:
:? Is it best to shoot clays with both eyes open or use one like aiming a rifle?
Both eyes open a shotgun is pointed not aimed (like a rifle). Not a stupid question, I started to shoot skeet that way until my buddy said after 3 weeks "it's like your not picking the bird up with your left eye" and I said "You're supposed to shoot with both eyes open? :shock: "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,099 Posts
Try to use both eyes.Some people have to "wink" at the bird b/c of eye dominance issues.They use both eyes til the last second then wink the off eye.I used to have to do that but now I use the "DOT."

Don't look at the barrels....you should have some awareness of the barrels as a BLUR in your peripheral vision.More than that and you can't give the target the hard focus needed to break it.

Think of it as a baseball bat.The batter does not sight down the bat .....but while looking only at the ball,swings the bat to a place that the ball is going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
I'm a new shooter, trying to learn as much as possible so here is what confuses me.
I know the value of hard focus on the bird, when I do it well I break a lot of targets, but if your shooting a crosser that requires lead, shouldn't you be focusing/looking on an area in front of the bird. If you shoot where you look, then a hard focus on a target wouldn't allow for lead. Am I just splitting hairs and over analyzing this?

Using the batter analogy, at some point as the ball gets close to the body, a batter can't see the ball anymore. I've never seen a world class batter stare the ball into the bat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
IMO, you want the hard focus on the target. As you shoot more, you develop a feel for the correct amount of lead required.

If you focus hard on a particular object, it's not like you lose the ability to see everything else in your field of view. Your brain is constantly and simultaneously processing all of the information which comes in through your eyes. If your focus is on the target, I don't think it's a big stretch for your brain to register the position of the barrel in relation to the target, even though you aren't intentionally looking AT the barrel.

Personally, I shoot low-gun at almost everything. Most shots evolve like this:

1) I call "Pull!"
2) As I see the target moving, I begin moving my barrel(s) and mounting the gun.
3) Most of the time, right as the target comes into very crisp focus (ie. I'm able to see the rings or the ridges on the shoulder), the mount is complete and I pull the trigger.

The vast majority of the time, this results in a break... even when it takes quite a few feet of lead. I mentioned in another thread that I'm currently sometimes missing a target in the middle pair (assuming three pairs at a station). When this happens, I typically do what I just described on the first and last pairs. For the pair where I miss, I think I'm allowing myself to become more aware of the lead... when results in measuring... which often results in a miss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Sera, yes I know I am over analyzing this, but bear with me.

Everything I read and taught says that a proper gun mount allows the shooters to shoot where he/she is looking. I haven't read anything to dispute that. So if you are set up to shoot where you are looking, then shouldn't one be looking in front of the bird when the trigger is pulled to shoot the lead distance? Else 1 factor of the "focus hard", look where you shoot, build in a lead is incorrect.

If our mind "builds" the lead into the shot by feel, then we are not shooting where we are looking if we focus hard on the bird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
trivan - Give this a shot. Look out a window and pick out an object 30 yards or so away. Now, try to focus on a spot in the air 2 feet to the right. When I do that, my eyes almost immediately focus onto the background.

When you're shooting a clay target, it is moving (typically at a high rate of speed), while the background stays stationary. Trying to focus on anything other than the target itself will tend to make your eyes shift focus either further out (to the background) or closer in (to the barrel).

Even when shooting a target requiring a lot of lead, there isn't a huge amount of measurable distance (at the gun barrel) between where your eyes are looking and where the barrels are pointed. Also, I would contend that reproducing the lead accurately is a skill that has to be practiced and ingrained into your internal "targeting computer". This is confirmed by the simple fact that most people tend to do worse when they have to play farther away from the target.

If you're new to shotguns, I'd strongly recommend trying to focus on the target itself and shoot a bunch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Trapper - thanks for the experiment. I actually accept and practice the method of hard focus on the target and it works well for me.

All I'm questioning is the inconsistent message that is given to a person like myself that researches everything to death and in this case, we are not shooting where we are looking.

I took the liberty to jump ahead in the book I'm reading Successful Shotgunning by Peter Blakeley, the chapter called The Logic of Lead. Surprisingly he uses my examples in the book on page 204.

The set up is that he is giving a lesson and working on a full-crossing shot.

Taken from Successful Shotgunning by Peter Blakeley:
"Fred [the student] still couldn't believe his ears. 'You mean I shouldn't be looking at the target when I trigger the shot?' [Blakeley] 'Nope, not if you want to hit it', I said 'If you want to hit it, you'll be looking at the space in front of the target where it is going to be when your shot arrives."

It goes on to mention the US Open 2001/2002 winner Jon Kruger quotes in Sporting Clays magazine Dec 1998, page 50 "...this isn't want Kruger does, Instead, he's trying to focus on a spot somewhere out ahead of the target"

I guess the fact is everyone is unique and must determine what works best for them. I'll stop thinking now... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
All I'm questioning is the inconsistent message that is given to a person like myself that researches everything to death and in this case, we are not shooting where we are looking.
One of the reasons for the inconsistencies is that there is no single "correct" way to shoot a target. As long as you get the muzzle into the right spot and pull the trigger at the right time, the clay will break. Couple that with the fact that people (instructers even) will describe the same event/method in different ways, and it can often get contradictory and confusing.

For example, depending upon whether you are shooting maintained lead, pull-away, swing-through or intercept, the amount of lead and how it changes will be very different. Some people perceive lead at the muzzle... others at the target. That will all effect how you describe your method to others.

Say I'm shooting on a skeet field, and am at Station #4. Assuming that I'm shooting sustained lead, I'll see the target very clearly, but swing the muzzles about 4' in front. I'm looking at the target, and given the right lighting conditions, I can see the ridges on the shoulder... but I also have the barrels pointed out in front of the target.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Thanks Trapper and everyone else for a good exchange of ideas. It's what makes this forum great. I would guess other sites would have just called me a Newbie and have been done.

I have stopped thinking about it and will just have to do it and find what works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
trivan said:
Thanks Trapper and everyone else for a good exchange of ideas. It's what makes this forum great. I would guess other sites would have just called me a Newbie and have been done.

I have stopped thinking about it and will just have to do it and find what works for me.

Hi Trivan, might be a little late for your post but just joined up.
Basically, once shouldered, the gun will be pointing where you are looking and in peripheral vision. If you take your eye off of the target to look at an empty space, ie. the lead picture, the target will be in peripheral vision also.
Better to focus on the target and use peripheral muzzle awareness to achieve the desired lead.
So perhaps, the gun may point where we look, but not always point where we focus.
UK Instructor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,264 Posts
Ensign said:
Better to focus on the target and use peripheral muzzle awareness to achieve the desired lead.
So perhaps, the gun may point where we look, but not always point where we focus.
I'd say that's exactly right and it mirrors closely what I was told by an expert coach back when I was in the same boat as you.

I was also advisedd by the same coach to avoid getting too technical and to rely more on "The Force".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Hi jwmhunt,
Assuming that it's not just because sporting might be more difficult for you to shoot, you may have cross dominance issues.
Think about this.
We are prescribed glasses to correct our vision at differing distances, in this sense, you could be suffering from cross dominance problems at certain distances, where central vision may kick in at say 30 mtrs, or indeed, opposite dominance may be the culprit.
If your 'eye' behind the rib is sound, try dimming the opposite eye when you mount on a target, this will give a good indication of whether you are still on target.
Don't try too hard to solve this yourself, (I know I say this a lot), but see a decent coach. Good luck
Ensign
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top