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“Backsighting”....the Russell Book

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Trail, Jun 6, 2012.

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  1. Trail

    Trail Member

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    I’ve been reading some sections from the James Russell book, “Trapshooting Secrets”. He talks about “back sighting”. This seems very contrary to the concept of focusing hard on the target...which is what I’ve always been taught and taught to others.

    Basically he talks about a precise awareness of the where the bead is....but he doesn’t call it aiming. Sounds a bit like aiming to me. Can anyone familiar with this help me understand this idea....and share your thoughts on the subject?

    thanks
    Trail
  2. pigkiller

    pigkiller TS Member

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    I read both of Russell's book before the heavens intervened and I met my coach. I wouldn't recommend any of his books, least of all to a beginner. Throw it in the trash and get "insight to Sports Featuring Trapshooting and Golf" by Dr. Wayne F. Martin. That is a book all trapshooters should read.
  3. hmb

    hmb Active Member

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    Try his methods and see if they work. HMB
  4. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    I recall a Steve Martin movie about backsighting and its adverse effects...
  5. Martinpicker

    Martinpicker Active Member

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    I have read both the Russell books. I have also heard them panned over and over again on this site.I agree that there is some very debateable material in there. (The stuff about canting the gun comes to mind.) But about backsighting...instinct shooters think that you MUST not be aware of the bead!...I believe that they are subconsciencely seeing a sight picture of the bead (or the end of the barrel) and the target. Otherwise the shooter would have no concept of lead or when to pull the trigger. Frank Little's book is very highly respected and he talks about the proper "sight picture" and "bead/bird relationship" numerous times. Focus very hard on the target and let your subconscience put the bead on the bird. Jack
  6. Gapper

    Gapper TS Member

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    Remember, people have widely varied visual abilities. Terminology such as "backsighting", "shooting off the barrel", "soft focus", etc. are all ways of saying you have to use peripheral vision to your best ability.

    The human eye can't focus on two distances at the same time, nor can it change focus fast enough to jump from target to bead and back, especially as the shooter ages.

    Russell's book is OK, though you'll need to read between the lines and extract the stuff that'll work for you.

    You don't need to focus on the target with some extreme force, just look at it normally AND keep your eyes on it. GAP
  7. Shooter R

    Shooter R TS Member

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    Russels books are a lot like Wal Mart. You can probably find a few things that are useful, but there is also a lot of "other" stuff.

    Be assured, reading them will not hurt you! And if it gets you thinking about a few things, all the better.
  8. Just-A-Shooter

    Just-A-Shooter Member

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    Shooter R

    I disagree completly with you Russels books can hurt you. Most of what he claims is pure crap.
  9. 1atatime

    1atatime TS Member

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    The Russell books were covered in a series of posts a number of years ago - perhaps 5-10 years. I bought both at the same time, read them, then gave them away to someone I didn't like. The supermajority opinion was that they sucked.

    The books are poorly organized, the grammar is about 5th grade level (as in "are you smarter than a 5th grader") and the content is at best suspect.

    There are a number of good books out there to read. Someone mentioned Dr. Martin's book - it should be read and re-read and re-read - if you want to get better. One of my favorites is an oldie, a compilation of columns written by Frank Little back in the 90's.

    If you are going to build a foundation in Trap, get your info from someone who has "been there, done that". It doesn't cost any more to get what teh big boys write, and their stuff is proven to work.

    Shoot well,

    1 at a time
  10. Jennifer

    Jennifer Member

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    Those Russell books are pretty awful. I've read tens of books on trap including the Wayne Martin book, but I sold the Russell books to somebody on here about 10-12 years ago. That being said, I have always shot my best scores by knowing where the bead is. For me (not for most) the gun is primary and the target is secondary. That goes against tradition, but I do what works for me. Do whatever works for you. Jennifer
  11. tbobaa

    tbobaa Member

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    if you dont backsight why do you have a bead or why do people have colored beads why even have a rib?
  12. hmb

    hmb Active Member

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    For some it's because their guns don't fit and they have to aim them like a rifle. HMB
  13. tbobaa

    tbobaa Member

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    whats wrong with that i put my sights right in front of a running coyote and pull the trigger never mind i miss them to!
  14. tbobaa

    tbobaa Member

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    so you guys that dont backsight or see your sights can you go out in the dark assuming there is just light on the targets and none on your gun and break the same scores?
  15. hmb

    hmb Active Member

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    Of course we can, we use brain waves to control the flight of the shot. We hit the target every time. HMB
  16. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Active Member

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    I like Phil Kiner's video where he waves the end of a shell around in a scrambled pattern and says to try to hit this. The only way to do it is to keep your eye on the target and shoot when your gun gets there.
  17. miketmx

    miketmx Active Member

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    When James Russell was at his peak he was a Class B 22 yard shooter who had a few interviews with good shooters. One time years ago he actually came on trapshooters.com and tried to defend his explanation of canting the gun. He left in disgust after posting something to the effect that we were too stupid to understand, yeah right. On the topic of this thread using the front bead in peripheral vision while focusing your eyes on the target is OK but the term "backsighting" gives a false connotation that you are supposed to look "back" at the gun which is dead wrong.
  18. hmb

    hmb Active Member

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    To cant, or not to cant the gun, that is the question. If you are a right handed shooter and cant the gun to the left it allows you to keep your eyes level while bringing the rib and beads in line with your right eye. I think this is a good thing to happen. HMB
  19. hmb

    hmb Active Member

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    To cant, or not to cant the gun, that is the question. If you are a right handed shooter and cant the gun to the left it allows you to keep your eyes level while bringing the rib and beads in line with your right eye. I think this is a good thing to happen. HMB
  20. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Active Member

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    Russell has a book in which he tells shooters they can write off their shooting expenses, and increase the take home pay from their job by claiming additional exemptions for those expenses. That's tax fraud, pure and simple. One company that made similar claims was Renaissance-The Tax People in Kansas City. The company was shut down and several of the principals went to prison. Yet Trap and Field is still accepting advertising for Russell's book.

    I'm not saying that I think Russell should go to prison. On the other hand, I'm not saying he shouldn't...
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