1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Crossfiring - Another two cents

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by gunracer, May 24, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gunracer

    gunracer TS Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Let me preface this whole discussion/comment with the statement that until a few years ago I was a "two-eyed" shooter. By this I mean everything, rifle, pistol and shotgun. It didn't matter if they were iron sights, scopes or beads, I used both eyes, ALL THE TIME. I have been involved in competitive shooting of one kind or another for 40+ years of my life, (I'm 50 now). From trap and skeet as a youngster through NRA Bullseye/HP Rifle, PPC, IPSC to a return 3 years ago to trap shooting.

    Within a few months of getting back into the sport, I noticed that I was missing targets that I knew I saw clearly, but missed anyway. I did everything, fooled with POI, loads, holds, leads, but it always came back to nuisance misses that I knew I should have broken.

    That's when I decided to take a class with the hopes that a pro could sort out the problem. since I live in Colorado, and Phil Kiner was just a couple of hours away, I scheduled a private lesson with him.

    Well, before we started shooting, Phil checked my gun fit, and found that I the only adjustment needed was to move by cheek piece about 1/16th of an inch to fully center my right eye. We then proceeded to the range and from station 2, on the third bird thrown, a little 1/4 left angle appeared, I saw the target clearly, made a move and promptly missed. Phil had me shoot a few more and on the next 1/4 angle left I missed again.

    Phil chuckled and said he saww the problem, or at least he said he felt like he knew what I was doing and we went back into the club to view the video. Well there it was, bigger than life itself, a miss low and behind the target.

    During the next 4 hours and 150-200 rounds, Phil tried everything, a little tape, a lot of tape, but the problem didn't go away until we blacked out my left lens with electrician's tape. From that point forward, it was ink-ball city. We finished the day with the tape off, but closing my left eye.

    I apologize for the long winded introduction, but since that time, my scores have steadily improved. I am now carrying a 96+ singles average and have moved back to the 24.5 yd line.

    That was until a few weeks ago when SELF DESTRUCTION. I shot a 69 on the first handicap and an outstanding 76 on the second ‘caps. After the first 100 I raised my comb by one of Phil's blue washers. Most of my hits in the first 100 were barely bottom hits, but in the second 100 it seemed like I was shooting over everything. It was the worst handicap I ever shot. I immediately took the spacers out and went to the practice trap and shot 24 out of 25 from the 23 and 23 out of 25 from the 25, but again the breaks were mostly chips. The only smoke I saw all day was from post 3 at the 23 yard line where I got three straight-straightaways during those two practice rounds. The next day I shot another 200 ‘caps. I broke 92 on the first 100 and 90 on the second. Again I went to the practice trap and this time broke 25 from both the 23 and the 25 yard line.

    When I got home, I sent an e-mail to Phil explaining all of this and a couple of days later, Phil called me back. We discussed a multitude of things, but he asked me to give something a try, as he felt that maybe I was peeking and that my old crossfiring friend had returned. What he suggested was the next time I was at the trap club, to completely tape my left lens, shoot a round of singles, then move back to the 24.5 shoot a round of 'caps, then add a spacer and shoot another round.

    Well low and behold, 25 straight ink-spots at 16 yards and 25 straight solid hits from 24.5. Not the pretty ink-spots from the 16, but pretty well centered hits. I then added the spacers and I only thought I was ink-balling targets from the 16. I literally was blotting targets fromt the sky, all 25 of them. I thought this was just too good to be true, so I grabbed another box of shells, and proceeded to shoot 24 of 25. The lone miss was straightaway from 3............you guessed it, I lifted my head to see how well I could miss it!!!!!!!! HOWEVER, the 24 I did hit, evaporated from the sky. Hard lefts, hard rights everything but that one straightaway, ceased to exist, at least in any form recongnizable as a White Flyer target.

    Now, I am not a Doctor, and I won't even beging to try and discuss or understand the physiology of the human eye/brain interaction, but I do know what works. And as much as I would like to return to the "old days" of two-eyed shooting, I realize that will not happen. I do realize that shooting "one-eyed" places me at a disadvantage, but it is a disadvantage that I will live with and overcome. I know that 74 out of 75 handicap targets is not indiciative of how I may shoot the next time out, but I do know, that I have never hit targets that solidly. The black tape will remain and I will stumble around with reduced depth perception at the club, but hopefully, the "peek-a-boo" game will remain at home with my grandchildren!!!!

    In closing, I don't know or care what the overall percentage of people that crossfire is, but 100% of this shooter crossfires and Phil Kiner figured it out very quickly and gave me the skill set necessary to address the problem. He also has remained involved and available in his coaching, long after the intitial class. In my humble opinion, this is the mark of a great teacher and an even greater mark of a man committed to shooter improvement and this sport in general.

    Phil Kiner...........Thank you!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    653
    Well stated. That headlifting brings on a multitude of problems.
     
  3. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    10,124
    Location:
    Northampton PA
    Of course it works. Phil Kiner knew it and now you know it too!!
     
  4. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,226
    Location:
    Mesquite, Nevada
    gunracer, did your attack on a clay speed up, remain the same or slow down from the way you shot prior to fixing the problem? Hap
     
  5. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,959
    Gunracer- Do you shoot right or left handed? The targets missed low and behind were they rights lefts or both?
    Joe
     
  6. gunracer

    gunracer TS Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Hap - I've tried the attacking mode, but I find myself trying to over-shoot my ability to see the target clearly. Now, I force myself to see the target, make a strong move on it and then the gun goes bang..........I really don't think about it, but it seemed like yesterday I was breaking the targets in the same area I normally break them, neither sooner or later.
     
  7. gunracer

    gunracer TS Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    gunfitter - I shoot right-handed, that is why I was behind and below the 1/4 left, which is what I stated in my original post. Rights have never really been an issue, even from post 5. I think this may have something to do with the fact that I swing a bat or golf club naturally from the left side of the plate or ball and I find the swing of the gun is much more intuitive.
     
  8. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,959
    Gunracer- thank you for your comments.

    Before anyone gets too upset I'm not saying that what was done for you did not work and correct the problem.

    You were not crossfiring! In order for a crossfire to take over the left eye must take over. This is not semantics but a fundamental difference in opinion.

    As a gunfitter I know intimately the effects of eye position in relation to the axis of the guns bores. If ones off eye is left and above the bore a crossfire would involve the left eye taking over and referencing the end of the gun. Should this condition exist it would be impossible to shoot low and behind. One would shoot high and outside on a left and high and inside a right target.

    What is really happening is the gun is slowing down due to a lack of focus on the target. (BEAD CHECKING) One easy correction (not always the best) is to blind the offending eye Then there is no confusion since the one eye should always be in line with the barrels unless you lift your head.

    Joe
     
  9. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,226
    Location:
    Mesquite, Nevada
    "If ones off eye is left and above the bore a crossfire would involve the left eye taking over and referencing the end of the gun. Should this condition exist it would be impossible to shoot low and behind. One would shoot high and outside on a left and high and inside a right target."

    That's the reason I asked the questions above. I've never totally understood this cross-firing problem and where the shot charge winds up on film. As a right hand,right master eyed shooter, if I close my right eye and "aim" with the left, the shot goes in front of the left quartering angle and high. Only stopping the gun could cause it to be behind and low? Making the bird bead relationship with the left AND stopping? Shooting directly at clays depending on follow through to attain the necessary lead might be a culprit too?

    It would be interesting to see the results of taping the master eye on a good shooter and video his shots too. Those results may depend heavily on how that shooter actually sees or makes his bird/bead relationship too. If he normally shoots quick depending on follow through to attain lead or whether he actually sees that lead with his peripheral vision? Lots of questions I know but cover your master eye and try it.

    Hap
     
  10. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,959
    Hap- Eureka finally some one has some common sense and some understanding of what is going on.

    Joe
     
  11. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    I cannot stand tape on my left lens. Way too distracting. And I don't like the loss of 3D vision, especially when hunting. That's why I went with a Uni-Dot. I know some people don't like them, and indeed they are not a universal solution to the problem of cross-firing. But the same thing can be said for tape.
     
  12. trapshooterjoe7

    trapshooterjoe7 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    551
    Gunracer, YOU ARE RIGHT, Phil is top notch, he has helped me and his DVD has helped me a great deal.Joe
     
  13. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,965
    I have shot a shotgun with both eyes open since age 12 in 1952. My Singles average was over 96 on 80,000 registered targets but yesterday in perfect weather conditions I broke an 88 and 11 of those 12 misses were on left angle targets. I was not bead checking, the truth was that I couldn't even see the gun only the target and the barrel was invisible. I think the problem was that my left eye locked on the target and the Uni-Dot bead was not involved at all. Maybe my left eye saw the left side of the black Uni-Dot tube in my peripheral vision but I sure don't remember seeing the fiber optic bead. I believe the following explanation;

    miketmx- If you are successful shooting with two eyes open, don't change. If you cross fire now and then, you may want to change. Both eyes will converge on the same object, but the position of the object appears to change when only one eye is used to see the object. Look at something with both eyes, then hold your hand over one eye and then move it over the other eye. The object appears to move. The amount of apparent movement increases with distance. Normally the brain, primarily relying on the dominant eye, interprets these two different images into a single image. Double vision occurs when the brain does not do this.
    Most two eyed shooters are right handed and have a right dominant eye. Occasionally with this configuration, the left eye will take over as the dominant eye and the target will appear to move just as the object moved when you move your hand over one eye and then the other. Usually this will happen on left hand targets and the target seems to just disappear as you shoot. This may only happen once in several hundred birds, but for a top shooter, one more bird out of 300 is very important. Most of us miss so many birds because of other reasons, the occasional cross fire is of little consequence.
     
  14. racer

    racer TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    541
    Hap- a right hand person doesn't start out aiming with their left eye. If you line up with your right side first you will end up pointing low and to the left of the target. If you are imagining pointing at a right hand target, you will be low and in front, low and behing for a left. Try it with your head slightly turned toward your "shooting arm"....enjoy! Dan

    Gunfitter is out in left field on this one- or quartering left!
     
  15. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,226
    Location:
    Mesquite, Nevada
    racer, I completely understand everything except how the left eye takes over and what happens at that point.

    "If you line up with your right side first you will end up pointing low and to the left of the target."

    racer, have you blocked your right eye to see where the bead is in relation to a stationary spot on the wall? If it's the off eye doing the pointing of the gun, how can that be? The off eye is usually a tad higher than the master eye and farther away from the bores centerline. Unless of course the head is perfectly level which is unusual for most. I'm trying to understand what some are seeing and it isn't making sense to me if it's the left eye doing the work. Drag out your gun and cover your master eye and tell me what your seeing when pointing the bead at a spot on the wall with your left eye??

    Hap
     
  16. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,556
    I am right handed and I have a very dominant left eye. I swing a baseball bat and a golf club left handed. I have a cross fire problem.

    Joe and Hap are correct if we limit the discussion to extending your right hand and pointing at a target with your finger and then alternately close your left and right eye. When doing this, your finger is stationary but it does appear to move in relation to the target. This simple test can lead to the conclusion that when one cross fires, he would be shooting high and to the left of a target.

    But, on the line something else happens, at least something else happens to me. I only cross fire on targets going to the left. When I do this, just as I shoot, the target totally disappears from my vision. All I see is my gun barrel. I stop the gun because I can't see the target and shoot low to the left.

    My problem is compounded by another factor. I tape about the top 30% of my lens. I will now and then tilt my head up so I can peek under the tape with my master eye.

    Pat Ireland
     
  17. midalake

    midalake Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,671
    I am cross eye and have shot a patch for 15 years. My whole take on this....I would rather miss two/hundred with my own mistakes, than miss two or more/hundred cross shooting. This is my average and this is my experience with shooting over the years.

    GS
     
  18. racer

    racer TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    541
    Maybe we are debating similiar view points. The original post and Pat's both describe what I see when I believe cross firing took over. Sometimes it seems like I was moving on a left hand target and the gun goes off, forgetting to keep watching the target. My attention span isn't that short...yet. Dan
     
  19. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,460
    Location:
    SE PA
    Hap, et al, you shouldn't think there is only one reason (per person) for cross firing. For a number of reasons, it varies, even during the same sub-event.

    I cross fire, a_lot. I don't have a dominant eye, and what happens to me may help some of you who do understand why sometimes things go haywire.

    I'm right handed and shoot right handed. I shoot much better when the sun is behind me in positions anywhere from 3:30 to about 7:30 o'clock. I have been shooting a low (for me) POI, around 10"-11" at 40 yards. I am aware of the bead when I shoot, but do not "aim". I have tried tape, dots, eye patches and the like over my left eye and cannot stand it. I'd give up trap shooting rather than shoot that way. I realize this might be unique to me. It may not bother those of you who do have a dominant eye and cross fire.

    I own several brands of the "dot" sights with the tube behind them. Yes I can only see the dot with my right eye. No, it does not cure cross firing for me.

    Since the problem was pointed out during both of the Phil Kiner clinics I've taken, I've become quite adept at identifying when it occurs, and what transpires as it happens. Unfortunately, it is not "real time" enough to correct for it during that shot. I can think of maybe two times I corrected an "in process" cross fire.

    At the first PK clinic Phil noticed I was shooting way in front of left targets on post 1. Even though I didn't hink so at the time, video proved him correct. Later that day he placed a gob of tape over my left lens. I missed every single target I shot at. I made my automatic move to the target, could see the bead was off target, but pulled the trigger anyway. I didn't realize the significance of that at the time, but I do now.

    At the second clinic, we tried again with the tape, etc. If I aimed, I could hit the target. I continued to use the tape for almost two months. My singles scores didn't improve much and my handicap scores tanked. I still don't know why. I did have an enormous problem picking up left going birds. Anyway, I took the tape off and went back to two eyed shooting.

    Subsequently, Phil asked me to try an experiment and report back to him. I did. The results were not as he had hoped, but they absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt, add 17 more similar adverbs here, proved to me that I had to see the target with both eyes in order to hit it with an automatic move.

    Phil hasn't published this yet, so if you don't have a dominant eye, ask him to try his experiment. It will not cure cross firing, but it will allow you to center your targets.

    Okay, enough preamble. Here are the kinds of things that happen to me.

    On days when I cannot see the target with clarity, or there is insufficient contrast against the background, some hard left targets from post 1 and 2 will simply disappear just before, or just as I pull the trigger. This has been noted by others above, and I have no explanation for it.

    On days when conditions are good and I clearly see the target, I still cross fire sometimes, but differently. On some left going targets the muzzle will jump to the left an instant before I fire. I've noticed this more on targets that are set high or fly high because of conditions. I believe this is caused when my right eye loses sight of the target. My low POI requires I swing through the bird, which effectively cover it up as far as my right eye is concerned. My left still has a clear view and my brain jerks the muzzle left to compensate. These misses are high and left. There is no bead checking involved. Bead checking makes me shoot behind.

    The same holds true for straights, but almost never for rights from posts 4 and 5. There, the same visual sensation takes place, but for some reason, my brain compensates for it. On a high, hard right from 5, at the moment of firing, I am aware I am seeing the bird with my left eye. I'm aware the barrel is pointing high right. I pull the trigger and the bird breaks. I have absolutely no idea why my brain can compensate for this on right going targets, but cannot for lefts and straights.

    I've noticed that when I have shot a lot of pistol or air gun during the week, my right eye becomes slightly dominant. I see the rib and the sights aligned. I see the bead on the bird and it breaks. In these instances, if I am off target a little, I'm off to the left. I'll blow the left side out of some targets, but never the right. When everything is going correctly, my eyes are locked on the target. I am aware of the rib pointing toward the target, but not "straight" at it. My right eye sees it as pointing slightly left, but I "know" it is pointing directly at the target. My brain is triangulating. It's like standing in the center of railroad tracks. When you look into the distance, you are not looking down either rail. Each makes an angle and points to the spot they converge in the distance. It is the same for me all the time when things are going correctly.

    All of the above is true when the light is coming from behind. I can see the bead, but do not aim. When I try to aim, I do not hit the target, ever. So I am convinced I use the bead in a semi/subconscious way without actually aiming.

    When the light comes from the front, or it's dark and dreary, I cannot use the bead effectively. I don't see the target well either. In those instances, all bets are off. I have to use Phil's trick, shoot on autopilot, and hope for the best.

    Anyway, I hope this helps some of you. I'm absolutely convinced there are shades of gray in this cross firing bit, and one size does not fit all. Usually, I'm "balanced" if you will. However, sometimes I'm strongly dominant with one eye or the other, or favor one eye. I often find myself lining up the sights on my pistols using my left eye. I hold them in my right hand, and have no idea why that sometimes happens. I think the same thing happens to everyone, but to a lesser extent. I believe you can be strongly right eye dominant as a normal rule, but still encounter times when that dominance is reduced. Perhaps even reversed for certain shots.

    I've stood behind several AAA shooters (state and national team level) and watched them shoot. They almost never miss, but when they do, they miss by a mile. I'm not saying cross firing is to blame, but it's an option. You have to wonder how they thought a barrel pointing in that direction was ever going to result in a hit.
     
  20. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,226
    Location:
    Mesquite, Nevada
    I know this weird process takes place and thanks to Phil K. for bringing it to light with his use of the video camera. Unless you know what a problem is, it's impossible to fix it!

    "But, on the line something else happens, at least something else happens to me. I only cross fire on targets going to the left. When I do this, just as I shoot, the target totally disappears from my vision. All I see is my gun barrel. I stop the gun because I can't see the target and shoot low to the left.

    My problem is compounded by another factor. I tape about the top 30% of my lens. I will now and then tilt my head up so I can peek under the tape with my master eye."

    Pat, if this was my problem, I think I'd exhaust all the ideas I could think of to improve on it? Taping the top 30% of your master eye lens don't seem to work as hoped for? Can you think of a way to tape that lens to prevent that eye from seeing the barrel yet can see the target with clarity? How about a vertical window, a tad wider than the pupil? Ever look through a crack in a board fence? As I said, I'd try anything to improve my vision on a moving clay target!!

    Not knowing diddle squat about this subject I probably shouldn't have even posted my thoughts on the subject!! Best of luck to all of you though!

    Hap
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.