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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started out shooting skeet about 10 years ago with both eyes open. I had some instruction in 2018 where the coach put a large black patch on my left lens and I have shot that way since then. I have some desire to shoot other disciplines and decided this spring to try and transition back to shooting with both eyes open since there was no real diagnosis or much discussion during the instruction of cross dominance. For the most part, the transition has been easier than I anticipated. I've been at it for around one month now and am hitting most targets pretty hard. The first round I shot with two eyes, I shot a 24 which was encouraging. I anticipated that I might struggle on some of the baseline targets (1, 8 or 7), but they have not been an issue at all. The only target that I'm occasionally struggling with now is high 2.

For high 2, my look point is currently the same as it was when I was using a patch which is on the target flight line at about 1/4 of the way back toward the house from the gun hold point (1/3 out). From ShotCam video, I can see that sometimes I'm missing in front of the bird, or occasionally below. I'm not having similar issues with low 6. Any thoughts?
 

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Relative to your position, high 2 is going down and most shoot over the top of it. The exact sight picture you need is in the Reading Targets book and the picture was taken with an eye camera NOT a ShotKam. Let me have an e mail address and I will send you the picture. www.peteblakeley.com
 

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What is your own post shot analysis? What do you “see” on Hi2 &Lo6? Does it match what the camera shows? Do you “rest” your eye at your look point? Do you see the flash/blur/target and make a smooth, controlled move to shoot the target? What do you see/feel when you pull the trigger?
 

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LG The picture in the book shows the exact sight picture needed to break the target. As I said, this was provided by a camera that was in exactly the same position on the gun that the shooters eye would be, NOT a ShotKam. The sight picture in the book has been confirmed by multiple skeet champions, both Olympic, American and English. The sight picture is 100% correct..........but I'm not looking for a fight, just trying to help.
 

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I'm cross eye dominant. I shoot with both eyes open. After enough practice, it works fine for me. Even with practice there are still some issues, which I've learned to deal with over the decades.

Decades ago, I started out with a small square of clear scotch tape on the safety glasses over my dominate eye to sort of force my non-dominate eye to work harder, while still being able to acquire the target with both eyes open. I no longer need it.

It's also something that I was able to practice at home, as often as I wanted -- without shooting. I've always considered nice shotguns as works of art. I never minded watching TV with my shotgun, and every now and then mounting the gun and quickly acquiring a lamp across the room. I didn't have to get off of the couch, and it was good training.

If I haven't shot for a long time, I feel the problem lightly return. Or, if there's some kind of pressure, like I'm hunting and haven't seen a bird for a long time, I also feel the problem lightly return. So, in these cases, I kind of cheat. I start out with both eyes open to acquire the target, then squint my non-dominate eye only just enough to blur out the wrong picture, as I get close to pulling lead. After enough practice, or the pressure fades, I don't need to do that anymore.

I find that having both eyes open in sporting clays (especially after the targets have been changed) and in hunting, is a GIGANTIC HUGE advantage. If I had to shoot sporting clays or hunt with one eye closed, it would feel like shooting with one hand tied behind my back. On the other hand, some handicaps may be overcome, so whatever works.

I should also mention that my Browning has a middle bead -- this helps immensely with my cross eye dominance. Personally, for me, if I had a shotgun without a middle bead, I'd have a middle bead put on. Personally, if I only had one bead, then I'd have to shut one eye. I've imagined whether it would help to paint the two beads different colors, or make them different sizes -- but can't get myself to go that far with it.
 
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One other thing. I don't understand using a huge black patch. LOL might as well simply close one eye? Am I missing something?

I'd try to train to master shooting with both eyes open. But it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work. I'd go to closing one eye (you shouldn't need a huge black patch), but only if I couldn't master shooting with both eyes open.

When you start working on it, keeping both eyes open is going to feel uncomfortable -- like signing your name with the wrong hand. It will also feel frustrating when you start missing targets. I'm not trying to claim that it's easy to train yourself to overcome cross eye dominance. That discomfort and frustration will make you feel like abandoning the attempt. But if I can do it, anybody can do it.
 

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One other thing. I don't understand using a huge black patch. LOL might as well simply close one eye? Am I missing something?

I'd try to train to master shooting with both eyes open. But it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work. I'd go to closing one eye (you shouldn't need a huge black patch), but only if I couldn't master shooting with both eyes open.

When you start working on it, keeping both eyes open is going to feel uncomfortable -- like signing your name with the wrong hand. It will also feel frustrating when you start missing targets. I'm not trying to claim that it's easy to train yourself to overcome cross eye dominance. That discomfort and frustration will make you feel like abandoning the attempt. But if I can do it, anybody can do it.
Scotch tape dab- this is the way.

A black patch changes the amount of light one eye sees, and the brain opens the pupils of both eyes, leading to eye strain. A little dab of scotch tape in just the right place allows for peripheral vision but anything in the shooting area is fuzzy so the right eye automatically takes over. Both eyes see the same amount of light.

My eye dominance crosses back and forth, too.
When I am fresh and rested, I have learned to concentrate the effect away.
When I get fatigued or have not practiced in a while, back to the glasses with the tape.

In the end, you can teach your brain. But in the final end, do what works for you!
 
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Hi, Pete. No conflict intended—our posts must have been concurrent as the forum did not show me your post. I have no problem with your offer of photographic assistance. Hopefully the OP will see if there is a difference in his mental picture and your “eye view” photo.
 

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For the most part, the transition has been easier than I anticipated. I've been at it for around one month now and am hitting most targets pretty hard.
I would say, one, you have been very fortunate, and, two, keep working at it because it will only get better over time.

With everyone I have seen try to switch it has taken months or years to really get it. It sounds like you are on the fast-track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To provide a bit more information, I went out today and shot additional targets. First off, I don't believe that I am cross dominant in my vision at all. When I do my part in placing all of my focus on watching the target, I am getting good breaks.

I did not shoot exclusively H2 targets today, but did shoot quite a few of them. I compared what I see on H2 to what I see on L6 specifically. On L6, once the target has transitioned from a blur to a clear target I do see the target somewhat more clearly. On this target, I very clearly see the rings and even nicks/small chips around the skirt of the target when there are some. When I see this, the target gets demolished. My move on both targets is pretty smooth and I've been following through and staying in the gun consistently.

On H2, I also see the blur and a clear target, but maybe not as much detail on the target before pulling the trigger. Part of this is because you see much more of the bottom of the H2 target than on the L6 target. The targets at this club are orange top, black bottom.

I understand that the view from a ShotKam is not going to match exactly with the site picture I see when I am shooting. I just referenced the ShotKam because I had it and it clearly shows in the misses where the shot is relative to the bird. I've hit enough H2 targets to know what the site picture should be, but for whatever reason my subconscious makes a bad move sometimes. On this target I'm probably in the range of shooting 21/25 whereas on the rest of the targets it is more like 23/25 to 25/25 in practice. I will keep at it, today was better than yesterday.

I will also say that on 3-4-5 doubles I'm able to pick up the second target much quicker with two eyes than I'm able to with a patch.

Also, it was not one of the reasons I switched to two eyed shooting, but I had been developing a flinch previously. I have not flinched since switching. Hoping that may be gone as it was frustrating.
 

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It sounds like you are fixing your issues with these targets and just need more practice and reinforcement. The usual disclaimers to advice on the internet apply and I urge you to find a trusted shooter or instructor work with.

I have a strong belief that a good move (with eyes locking on the target, and increasing focus as the body moves the gun to match speed with the target) is basic to skeet. Find that perfect hold and focal point to support your break point to build confidence in your move. Did your ShotKam show any issues with your move? How did your barrels get to the wrong spot as the shot was triggered?

I just tried shooting 10 flats without a patch or closing an eye. I shot mostly trap and sporting because skeet is shot a the perfect distance and angle to compromise the eyes. Although an old skeet shooter, I shot sporting above 75% and trap probably above 90% but never, literally never, knew where my barrels were. My brain just erased them to "clear the picture". I shot a final round of skeet for a 4. A good move and focus took care of most sporting and trap targets, but skeet is very unforgiving if your eyes don't support you.
 

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LG No problem and thank you. I always try to help shooters if I can on here but as you know, sometimes there can be some conflict. I showed the pictures in the book pre publication to some well established skeet champions and they all agreed that they were an accurate interpretation of the correct bird/barrel relationship they needed to break the targets.
 

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If you are consistently shooting in front of 2H you might want to try moving your hold point closer to the house. If you are out too far in front of the target when you see the flash and start moving your shotgun, you are likely just staying too far out front. Trying to slow your swing doesn't work. That's just a recipe for a miss. By moving back your hold point you can either shoot swing-thru or pull-away to obtain the correct lead, or, sustained lead if your hold point is just right. It worked for me.
 

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I did not shoot exclusively H2 targets today, but did shoot quite a few of them.
Maybe shoot a truck load of H2 targets, until you figure it out? I have the most fun when I shoot without a scorecard. I try different methods of leading the target, different ways of holding the gun, different ways to acquire the target, and so on. Without a scorecard, I'm free to experiment and sometimes almost miss on purpose to see the differences, the benefits and so on, of different things. Have some fun with it. See what happens.

I mean, if you can get to where you can shoot 25/25 of H2, then all is well, yes?

Disclaimer. I'm a total newb. Haven't shot much in decades. So I'm talking out of my hat. Take it for what it's worth. Only an idea.
 

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One more thing. Sometimes I think back to when I was a child. I shot for fun. No scorecard. No pressure. It's good to go back to those days, occasionally. To experiment without fear of embarrassment. I get odd looks when I hand back the scorecard and say, "I won't be using this today." Strange that that's strange. But I while I'm shooting just for the fun of it, I relive a little bit of the joy of what it was like, a million years ago.

Get on H2 and just screw around. Have some fun. See what happens.
 

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The basics in this video are good. The only thing I would suggest different than what is in this video is don't be set in stone with your foot position. I find belly button to the low house window position has my body shifted too far to the right for both the high house and doubles. Shift the body more to the left to put it in a more comfortable position for rotation from the high house to the center stake.

Also if you use a patch try using transparent tape and not frosted or black.

 
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Relative to your position, high 2 is going down and most shoot over the top of it. The exact sight picture you need is in the Reading Targets book and the picture was taken with an eye camera NOT a ShotKam. Let me have an e mail address and I will send you the picture. www.peteblakeley.com
Uh...no!

The Skeet Field
Today’s skeet field varies little from its 1920 beginnings. It has eight shooting stations and two trap houses. Seven of the stations are arranged in a half moon between the two trap houses, and one station is directly between them. The high house, on the left side of the field, throws its targets from a trap 10 feet above the ground. The target rises to a height of 15 feet by the time it travels to the center of the field. The low house target, on the right side, leaves the trap house just 3-1/2 feet from the ground. It also rises to a height of 15 feet by the time it reaches the center of the field.
 

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Superskeet I understand perfectly what you say here with the high house target rising towards the center stake you and you are correct. But please look at the ShotKam video. Are you saying that relative to your position that target does not appear to be going down? In other words, is the target movinh on a horizontal trajectory? Because if you are, I'm afraid you are wrong. If you still doubt what I say please stand on #2 and hold a level up. on the trajectory of the high house target at the center stake. The VISUAL perception from #2 is that the target is going down (due to something called parallax) relative to your shooting position and in that case you must shoot slightly under it. The line of the target is ALWAYS more important that the lead required. If you still don't believe me please stand at the corner of a building and look at the line the gutter follows. It is obviously level and horizontal to the ground, correct? Now swing your gun along that line. Did your gun move on a horizontal line?

Shooters routinely miss H2 because they have too much gunspeed and their gun moves along a horizontal line. Unfortunately, the gun movement required on that target is not horizontal. If you don't shoot slightly under it, you will miss.

And if you still doubt what I say please ask 40 times all American Robert Paxton, Norwegian champion Tore Brovold, Saif Bin Futtais, Anthony Terras, Emin Jafarov or Joe Neville.
 

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Superskeet I understand perfectly what you say here with the high house target rising towards the center stake you and you are correct. But please look at the ShotKam video. Are you saying that relative to your position that target does not appear to be going down? In other words, is the target movinh on a horizontal trajectory? Because if you are, I'm afraid you are wrong. If you still doubt what I say please stand on #2 and hold a level up. on the trajectory of the high house target at the center stake. The VISUAL perception from #2 is that the target is going down (due to something called parallax) relative to your shooting position and in that case you must shoot slightly under it. The line of the target is ALWAYS more important that the lead required. If you still don't believe me please stand at the corner of a building and look at the line the gutter follows. It is obviously level and horizontal to the ground, correct? Now swing your gun along that line. Did your gun move on a horizontal line?

Shooters routinely miss H2 because they have too much gunspeed and their gun moves along a horizontal line. Unfortunately, the gun movement required on that target is not horizontal. If you don't shoot slightly under it, you will miss.

And if you still doubt what I say please ask 40 times all American Robert Paxton, Norwegian champion Tore Brovold, Saif Bunfites or Joe Neville.
I've been shooting registered targets since 1968 and have never perceived it as a dropping target unless the target is not properly adjusted....and I rarely miss(or even chip) High 2.

Look at the video I just posted!! Is it dropping?????
 
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