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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I'm new to trap shooting and I'm really enjoying it. For some reason I am having a very difficult time hitting the birds that go straight away from me. The ones at an angle I hit much easier than the ones that fly straight away from my station. I've been told to aim under the bird because it’s still rising. I obviously do this because I hit the other birds and they are still rising but at an angle. I have a Trius One Step thrower at my house and the other day I shot 2 boxes of ammo on just straight away throws. I'm very inconsistent on those throws. When it’s at an angle I more consistent and hit them at a much higher percentage. It’s been driving me nuts because the easiest clay to hit is the toughest for me. For example my last trap shoot my score was 21, but 3 of my 4 misses where on straight away birds. I'm shooting a older BT99 which I have patterned and yes it shoots high. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Keep your head down on the stock and the gun moving.

Imo, one can shoot too much at a frustrating presentation and end up just practicing missing.
Relax...it's supposed to be fun.

Is your home trap throwing equivalent targets to registered?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My home trap thrower is no where near the same as a true trap thower, as mine is much slower and not nearly as powerful. Believe me I'm having a lot of fun shooting and its nice to do it with my oldest son. My second son is asking about it too, my third is only 9 but I'm sure they will all eventually want to shoot. I certainly don't want to practice missing, but I know that shooting more often is the only way to get better, so I shoot when I can.
 

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Too many of my misses are in the "straight away" camp, too. I could be all wet here, but I suspect the problem is, they rarely are truly straight away, but once I decide that's what they are, I get sloppy and end up on the wrong side of the target. If the target has a definite direction it's easier to stay mindful of getting the gun on that side of the target.
 

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I certainly don't want to practice missing, but I know that shooting more often is the only way to get better, so I shoot when I can.
Shooting more often is not the same as shooting at one single presentation in an extended practice session.
That was my consideration to you.

Getting better at shooting, imo, involves more...than shooting more.
Each to their own tho.

(y) with the kids.
 

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Often shooters think this is the easy target and get sloppy on it. Unlike an angled target, there is not the tail of the shot string to help you. You must be right on that target. Some will lift their heads to get a better look at it and miss over the top, some will shoot a little prematurely (I hate it when that happens) before the shotgun is truly on the target and shoot under it. Why would one just assume it best to shoot under a rising target?? If you are using a field grade gun that shoots flat, you need to swing thru the target to get your shot pattern above to where the target is going. Of course that advise changes if you have a trap shotgun set-up to shoot a high pattern In which case, you need to figure out just how high your pattern is hitting. Is it a 70/30% high pattern where you can touch the target with the bead of your shotgun and it will account for the rise or is it a 90/10% or higher pattern where you need to see some daylight between your beads and the rising target. Some shooters like to float the target and others want to just touch it. Without patterning your shotgun or watching you shoot, it's impossible for us to say for sure why you are missing.
 

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Pattern your gun and see where the POI is relative to your POA. Many trap guns have an adjustable comb. Most righthanded shooters need a comb moved to the right to get a centered (left to right) POI vs POA. Most trap guns will be designed to shoot high. 4" high at 26 yards would correspond to a 70/30 pattern. BT99 is designed for 70/30 with stacked beads.
 

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Straight away..... the most lost target in trapshooting. Lost by both experienced shooters and newby's. Having coached high school and college shooters with the hand to eye coordination of a cat, the usual suspect is changing timing from angles to straights. Taking more time to kill angles, then jumping out of control at straight away. Placing shot low and under the target while the target is still aggressively climbing. They look so easy. man. For those that have not taken time to set center the guns POI on raising targets, the timing issue raises its ugly head more often. You must place the shot center core on raising targets, or lead the target vertically using your personal trigger sight picture. Slow shooters trigger when the target is more level. All shooters must use the same amount of gun control and trigger timing on straights as with angles to insure the pattern is centered vertically. The angle is your lead and follow through, but the guns vertical POI must be either set or learned then timed properly to keep shot on the target.

Relax and take your time killing those straight away SOB's.

Maltz

(best way to set vertical POI)
Practice trap - by yourself - set to throw straights only - full choke ......... Stand on post 3. Shoot 5 targets and notice how well you are breaking the targets. Add a washer to comb height, shoot 5 more. Add a washer to comb height, shoot 5 more.
When to targets are getting crushed the vertical POI is set. Switch the trap to full angles and shoot around post to post to test the setting on all angles. Use the same timing and gun control on all targets. Build confidence while confirming the guns setting and ammo selection. Improve your averages quickly. ALWAYS remember..... Your mount and dominate eye position over the comb must stay in place during the shot and while moving to the target. Your back sight is controlling the expected shot placement. move the eye a 1/4 inch and miss the targets. Pretty simple....eh
 

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Here's my theory....and the solution I used when I struggled with straight away targets.

When people pre-mount the gun they mount with the gun pointing straight out. This creates a situation where a straight-away target could be hidden behind the gun for a moment longer than a right or left bird would be. This causes the shooter to start to lift their head to find the bird. Even if they don't lift their head, when the bird appears you are more likely to shoot with a dead gun.

Solution: Use a lower hold point when shouldering the gun. Even so low as holding at the foundation of the trap house. This gives you better visibility of the target and requires gun movement for every target.
 

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Like others have mentioned for me I was holding too high and covering the bird on straight aways and.. my left eye wants to take over but.. the very biggest problem I have with straight aways is I lift my head. Just a tiny bit but enough to miss the clay. I HAVE to focus on keeping my cheek on the stock.
 

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Try a hold point at the op edge of the trap house's roof. The foundation of the house is unnecessarily low.
If you are shooting with both eyes open, the bird will never be blocked out by the gun.
 

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1989 Citori Trap, 30”, standard stock . . one gun for everything
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Firemandivi . . you said . . "I've been told to aim under the bird because it’s still rising.", New trap shooters often take a little longer to get the shot off and by that time the clay has transitioned from rising to level flight or even descending. Using Maltzahn's procedure detailed above would be a great way to find out where the gun needs to be pointed (over, on, or under the clay) to consistently break clays . . accounting for how fast you are shooting them and how high your gun shoots. Here's a good reference that shows the trajectory issue clearly on page 4.
 

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I held about 2' or a bit less(difficult to know exactly) over the house and for a straight-away at each station.
Thinking back, I can't recall ever covering up a target.....I looked and saw the bird under the barrel, moved to and onward, boom somewhere in the process.
Was it covered?..dunno.
A miss was never clear from a covered up bird tho, how does one know that?...by assuming a covered clay is why the head was lifted?
Lifting off the stock is not only from loss of target view, to me.
Sounds like amongst all the reasons to miss is a tad of trying to apply preciseness.
Might want to unwrap a bit.

Plus, how many true straight-aways does one actually address in 25?
1....any?
 

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From newby to breaking 80% you have trained your subconscious to pull the trigger when the timing and sight picture is right to hit the target. You continue to refine your point and trigger timing to improve, but every target better average takes a greater effort and awareness to control every aspect of the shot accept your internal or human computer - subconscious. Your subconscious is there to make life easier, too protect you mentally and do things by muscle memory. We can not control our subconscious, only conscious effort. Shooting each target consciously is work and will make your mentally tired sooner than expected. Expecting perfection with your conscious effort will be disappointment.

Once you have developed a subconscious response to pointing a moving target you also develop more confidence in your ability, hand to eye coordination as well as the equipment being used. Confidence is the next step from a 80%er or shooting/averaging 20 per trap to 96%er averaging 24 per trap. Considered a very good shooter. Every target better than 96 average is not only difficult to achieve, but that shooter will be in the top 5% of all shooters.

Find ways to further develop your subconscious and gain added confidence. Become analytical, consider every detail of your shot placement. Keep notes on your form and develop a list of important aspects of each shot made... a routine check list. The more serious you become about this sport, the more effort to be made. You decide how important it is to excel at the sport. If fun includes work and disappointment, a willingness to work through slumps with out emotion. How much pride, recognition and achievement is wanted.

I have been "all in" most of my adult life. Hundreds of thousand targets and hundreds of thousand of dollars. My perspective, may not be for you. What are you wishing for? That is the price of American trap shooting fame.

Maltz
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again for all the advice and believe me I'm taking it to heart and will be using it all. I'm currently shooting an older model BT99. I have patterned it found it shots very high, at least compared to my Benelli Supernova. At 30 yards I would say its about 12" from where I was aiming. I'm quite new to the BT99 and was using the Supernova, but now my son is using the Supernova and I had to find something else, thankfully a good deal came to me and I'm using the BT99 now. I shoot with both eyes open and watch the bird not the bead. Every now and then I don't and I'm really working on fixing that. Hopefully with more time with the gun I will improve, its hard to remember to aim so far below the bird with the BT99. I'm really enjoying shooting trap even though I miss way too often its still a lot of fun and thankfully my oldest son is really enjoying it too.
 

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That is quite high especially if you were used to a flat shooting field shotgun like your Benelli. There are ways to lower your POI if you can't get used to such a high shooting shotgun; lower comb, raise your rib by adding an Add-A-Rib.
 

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Yeah, I bought a Beretta Mark II this spring, and the factory setup was patterning around 80/20 for me. The rib does have a fair amount of slope, but much of that 80/20 was due to the Monte Carlo raising my eye above the rib. Lowering the comb would've dropped it some, but I didn't want to end up with my head less level. So, I raised the rib. Found some 10mm x 10mm carbon fiber square tubing on eBay. The height seemed about right, and happened to match the width of the rib. I did need to fill the ends with JB Weld before finishing with a sander. I also Dremeled pockets on the bottom to clear the factory beads without disturbing them. Attachment was accomplished with some 3M double sided molding tape from the auto parts store. New sight is a Champion Easyhit, which adhered nicely to the carbon fiber. Total cost around $60-70.

Gun now shoots about 60/40 for me, which works pretty well if you're not too quick on the target. I'm thinking about putting an adjustable comb kit in it so I've got some tuning flexibility.
Hood Motor vehicle Bumper Wood Automotive exterior

Oh, and being hollow carbon fiber, it hardly affects the gun's balance.
 

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12 inches high at 35 yards is not high to most high average shooters. The faster you move to the target or if you tend to stop/slow follow through at the shot......the higher you need with POI. Quicker target visual lock and control move, (muscle memory) the target will still be aggressively going up at the shot and requires more vertical lead. It is your handling that dictates the needed POI to pattern center moving targets. It is personal, related to what sight picture trips your trigger and your handling/timing to and through the target. We are all different and must develop our own shot sequence that delivers the shot pattern center moving target. Just because I shoot 100% high - 15" high at 35 yards does not mean you should try to duplicate my vision, form and handling to be successful. Anyone that has learned to center targets and has the discipline to make fewer mistakes during the competition.......wins. There is no right or wrong, only you.

Maltz
 

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Here's my theory....and the solution I used when I struggled with straight away targets.

When people pre-mount the gun they mount with the gun pointing straight out. This creates a situation where a straight-away target could be hidden behind the gun for a moment longer than a right or left bird would be. This causes the shooter to start to lift their head to find the bird. Even if they don't lift their head, when the bird appears you are more likely to shoot with a dead gun.

Solution: Use a lower hold point when shouldering the gun. Even so low as holding at the foundation of the trap house. This gives you better visibility of the target and requires gun movement for every target.
Shot trap many years with a Model 97 30” full and a low hold always gave my highest scores.
 
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