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Help in looking at target.....

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by biff, Jan 6, 2008.

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  1. biff

    biff Active Member

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    With a gun that shoots where you look, what causes you when looking at the target to miss? I know that bead checking or aiming at the target will cause misses, but what causes you to not keep your eyes on the target? Is it an eye flinch or blink? Or is it caused by head lifting or just what in the heck causes a miss like this? Biff
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Biff- I know three ways I do it. First, lifting my head. Second, not staying into the gun as I swing. I swing my arms instead of keeping my upper body moving as a single unit. Third, least common, cross firing.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Biff....I think you have hit on one of the biggest problems in Trap. Just having a gun that shoots where you look is only the FIRST hurdle. That has to be before anything else can happen. The rest is mental discipline and execution. Lots of things ,of course, can cause a miss. Not having an adequate focus on the target is usually, in my experience, simply a matter of discipline. Head lifting will cause a lack of follow-thru, also a reason to miss due to interuption of the eye-target alignment at the shot. From what you describe, it sounds like just a matter of forcing yourself to maintain EVERYTHING at and after the shot.
     
  4. Beak

    Beak TS Member

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    I agree with Pat totally. Most of my misses come when I lift my head off the stock to see where I am going to miss the target (in advance). Beak
     
  5. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    I have deep set eye sockets and a prominent bridge on my nose kind of a Neanderthal shaped face. When I mount the gun, I'm lookin through the upper left corner of my shooting glasses. If I had any guts at all, I would try a Twisted Sister type of stock with offset comb and serious drop at the heel.
     
  6. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    It's almost like trying to ask a hot-shot rough framer how he can drive that spike with three swings of his hammer without missing or really even thinking about it.
     
  7. biff

    biff Active Member

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    Pat, I patch my off eye so I won't crossfire, but having been a one eyed shooter at first and putting the front bead on the target in order to break it; I sometimes feel when I miss as if I aimed at the target as I used to do. Arm swinging has been a problem of sorts but recently I feel I have covered it by using the "Double Delta"(arms parallel to the ground forming two opposing triangles)method which has prevented me from arm swinging. Head lifting is present, but I am FORCING myself to stay in the gun while watching the target break(hopefully) and is something I am continually working on.

    Hipshot3 mental discipline is something I work on at all times even when I'm not on the line. Believe it or not but DOUBT or fear of missing is also being dealt with and especially when I miss a target for an UNKNOWN reason! Seems as if my little mind is working overload with all the things I am trying to accomplish and think about while on the line and trying TOO hard has been a nemisis of enormous proportions! For some reason I just don't keep my eyes on the target, evidently at the presise moment I should! I look in the right place, pick up the target direction, lock onto the target and shoot. It is much worse in Handicap as the target looks smaller and there is so much space around it. I'm sorry to ask this but I have worked on everything I could think of......there has to be a secret to this. Biff
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Biff- I also patch my left lens but occasionally on left targets I guess I lift or tilt my head a little and look under the patch. I can tell when this happens. Just before I release the trigger, the target seems to disappear from sight. Also, there is a great difference between looking at a target and totally concentrating your focus on only the target. Baseball hitters will often say that if you do not see the rotation of the seams on a pitch, you are not really looking at the ball.

    You also seem to be getting a little discouraged. If so, stop that type of negative thinking. Targets are tougher to break this time of year. The Sun is low and the light level is reduced. It is cool and that hinders body flexibility. We shoot trap all year but the best scores are shot in May, June, July and August.

    Yes, there is a secret to shooting trap. It is, have fun, and if you shoot poorly, look forward to the next time you have the opportunity to improve.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Biff,

    Assuming you have your gun and/or yourself adjusted to shoot where you are aiming when you establish your gun mount, the most important thing is to maintain that intial geometry through your swing. The only reason we miss is because that geometry breaks down due to lifting the head disrupting the vertical geometry or swinging the gun with our forearm, sometimes caused by crosseye dominance, disrupting the horizontal geometry.

    After thousands of targets, we are usually able to maintain the correct geometry through muscle memory by replicating successful swings for each target presentation. This is a subconcious act like touching our nose with a forefinger,(even with our eyes closed), hitting a nail or a baseball. However, being human, we make physical mistakes. These are usually caused by a concious thought interfering with the subconcious act.

    There are two components involved with "seeing" the target. The first is to recognize the target path/presentation and establish the relative speed of the target along that path. Your brain will use this information to recall and implement the previously successful gun movement required to intercept the target. An often overlooked component of this act is the ability to adjust the speed of the swing to the relative speed of the target so that when you shoot, you will be shooting where the target is going, not where it is. This is called having the right tempo. You may have heard that term in reference to golf swings matching handspeed to clubhead speed.

    The second component of sight is recognizing when the swing has attained the proper relationship to the target to fire. Of these two, the first is more important because without it you will not get to the second successfully.

    The best and most experienced shooters are those that can quickly recognize angle and speed and match their gun movement to the target path presented. This is why they can shoot well becasue they can more quickly adjust to target path variances due to wind, target settings, background, etc.

    In my own shooting, Leo suggested that after I establish a solid gun mount, I look into the house to pick up the target as it emerges from the lip of the house. This has helped me greatly in quickly judging target speed and angle and, consequently, really slowed down the game. As such, my swing to intercept the target path is smoother and consistantly more successful.

    YMMV
     
  10. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Biff....I ditto what both Pat and Brooks said. At this point, some shooters would just give up if they felt the problem was to great to overcome! IT IS NOT THAT GREAT! You can take some degree of comfort in knowing it is a VERY common problem.....it can only be solved by sticking with it and having a dogged determination to master it! Which you WILL do! One other suggestion....just for the hell of it, try this! Start with a higher gun hold....let the target come up to gun level...then move smoothly to it with only a HORIZONTAL swing...fire as you reach the target and continue the swing at the shot,always staying on the wood. No "lead", as such, is needed! Let us know how this worked!
     
  11. biff

    biff Active Member

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    Pat, good advice and I'm not planning on shooting till the weather warms up. Normally when I have shot in the warmer months I was able to see the indention in the top of the targets, Saturday when I shot it seemed hard to even see the whole target. I also have been using the Terry Jordan wall chart training my eyes to look hard at the leading edge of the targets, on the 16 yd. targets I shoot directly AT this part of the targets. On Handicap I do look more in front of the angle targets without getting out very much. I will be at the Dixie, so Pat maybe you will get a chance to see if you can see any flaws in my shooting if you are there. Shooting IS fun and the challenge is to master it like the masters do.

    JBrooks, both components you mentioned are very worthwhile and important considerations in target breaking. I was also shooting my release trigger for the first time since Jimmy Ljutic "Hopped it up" which could have made the shot go where I'm not used to thinking it was going therefore it could have made it seem I wasn't looking at the target. It is definitely faster than I'm used to so with use it will take a little while for me to catch up with it! I hadn't entered that into the equation till you brought "the gun movement to the target path" component up, thanks.

    Hipshot3, I tried some of that after the Grand where I watched Randy Ross in some ot the shootoffs where he was holding a higher gun. I talked with him afterwards and he sees the target direction/path below his gun and seems to hardly move his gun at all in going to and breaking the targets. That worked for me till I shot some targets which were varying in elevation, if they never rose above my barrel I had trouble seeing or getting on them lost track/couldn't lower the gun on the target without seeing them and therefore missed. So I went back to holding a low gun on the house and looking above my barrel; my periphal vision would determine the target path and when it was a clear target I locked on it and shot. I know I must seem to make all this more complicated than it is and that trap is supposed to be shot by just using the subconscious mind, but I'm just trying to sort out a few things with a little help from my friends, Thanks! Biff
     
  12. gunner x

    gunner x TS Member

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    Biff, not keeping one's eye's on target, if that is the question, is the result
    and less than 100% attention not just on the target itself, but its leading
    edge and the space it is about to enter. This takes effort. It also requires
    trust and the ability to be unaware of the muzzle while still employing
    peripheral vision. The human eye desires to track the muzzle and it will shift
    back and forth based on conditions. The target area and its flight path are
    paramont, and you must make a concerted effort to train accordingly.
    Test: Stand on the 16yard line, any post, without a gun, call for and watch a
    few targets. They look easy and they are easy. Now mount the gun and call for
    a target and notice the distraction created by the muzzle and rib. If you sense
    this, and you must, than you are lacking total attention to the target area.
    Proper training is the correction. Stop Looking and Start Seeing.
    All food for thought.

    Always Sharing,GUNNERX
     
  13. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    GUNNERX, good post guy. Taking your post one more step, at that point, it's what Frank Little was referring to, the bird/bead relationship so often. He never said it quite like that but I feel it's what he meant. Intensely looking at that leading edge and seeing with your peripheral vision the bead pass by that edge is what does it for me. Looking at but not seeing that target intently is the lull factor trapshooters get caught up in. Hap
     
  14. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    biff- Look me up at the Dixie. I will be classifying all day Sunday and will help out classifying when I am not shooting the rest of the days.

    Pat Ireland
     
  15. mercedesman1981

    mercedesman1981 TS Member

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    Pat,

    I thought you were a one-eye shooter because of the cross dominance problem (I suffer the same problem).

    I tried this device:
    http://www.gamaliel.com/cart/product.php?productid=2231&cat=1208&page=1
    instead of a blinder. The blinder didn't make sense to me because the reason for using two eyes is to improve target acquisition, at least so I thought. The device works, though I have trouble with my right eye making the sight picture strong enough to accurately hit the target. Well, there is that problem and the 20yd line seems to be giving me fits. I'm having a devil of a time hitting the hard rights/lefts and can't tell where the shot is going and I can't get enough practice time in. When I was shooting bullseye, two bricks of .22/week was not unusual. I don't get nearly that much practice for trapshooting.

    I hope this helps,
    Mike
     
  16. otnot

    otnot Active Member

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    Biff, I hadn't shot since mid November so I went out to practice the basics this weekend. See the target above the barrel before moving, soft focus ect. Well what I found out was with all that running through my mind I couldn't hit the side of a barn more less a clay target. So I just started shooting as fast as I possibly could and took away my conscious mind and started to just smoke them. It seems the more we analyze what we do the more it disrupts the subconscious mind from doing it's job.

    JB that was a great analogy.
     
  17. biff

    biff Active Member

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    Mike, that might work, but I don't look/see the sights while going after the target....if I do I will miss the target. That was what I was calling aiming at the target, both my beads are blacked completely out...they are only there to correctly align my gun when mounting it. Hope it works for you, we have in the past used the Keen Sight which completely hides the front bead which I feel is much better than the side blinder.

    Pat, I thought you were going to the Dixie and have been squadded. I was hoping you would offer to help by taking a look at what I possibly may be doing. Thanks!

    Gunnerx, I honestly don't see my rib when looking at the target which is why it is extremely important that I see the target totally and completely when I know it is time to shoot. I have told some of my shooting buddies that my sights/barrel never come into anykind of view when I shoot the target....I know that has to sound real crazy, but once mounted I never again see the sight/barrel till after the gun fires! All I do is look hard at the target and when I hear those voices in my head say"SHOOT" I shoot! When I used to shoot with one eye, I just put the bead on the target; it just won't work for me that way using both eyes and a 100% high shooting gun! Having confidence in what I'm seeing when I look is paramount! So as you said I WILL put 100% attention on looking at the target. Thanks

    JT, while you are smoking those targets just smoke a bunch of salmon and fly down to the Dixie, don't you realize it's cold in Alaska? More fun to shoot in the sun!! Biff
     
  18. otnot

    otnot Active Member

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    When I mount my gun I never look down the barrel. I'm looking at the front edge of the trap house before I mount my gun and never take my eyes off of it. I hold about a 1 to 1.5 feet above the house so the bird is visible sooner than a high hold. I never see the barrel or the bead until like you the shot is fired then for some reason my eyes revert back to the barrel. When my gun is mounted I am looking under the barrel to pick up the target's flight path as soon as it leaves the house but the barrel isn't visible at all. I had to take the green fluorecent beads off and put on a silver bead otherwise my eyes would come away from my look point back to the bead just as I called for a target which resulted in a lost target.

    LOL, yes it's cold as hell up here and snowing today. If I hadn't already bought my tickets for Tucson I would have loved to come to the Dixie grand.
     
  19. gunner x

    gunner x TS Member

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    Biff, it is very probable that you may have to address three of four issues
    which are inhibiting your ability to break targets consistently. I will list
    just a few.

    1. A Ocular deficiency commonly called tunnel vision. Meaning you lack peripheral vison. Trapshooting requires two types of vision.

    2. Are you shooting a UnSingle? If so, you may be "Strong Arming" the forend
    leading to a cant.

    3. One most also determine and locate his/her own NATURAL Point of Impact not
    just a number that has your or my fancy.

    Those are only a few points that many shooters take for granted and overlook.
    The Best advice, the Best, is to obtain a COMPETENT instructor who knows how to
    instruct and relate to a student. Do this One on One, and definitely not a
    group. Avoid the clubhouse and Negative fellow shooters. Pay the Man--Solve
    the problem. This is not difficult and in the course of one day it could be
    peaches and cream!

    Always Sharing,GUNNERX
     
  20. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    Biff If your really serious call me Joe Goldberg 609 231 6187 As a gunfitter and instructor I see this all the time actually your not looking at each and every target properly just most of them. Vidiotaping your self shooting can sometimes help. Lessons with a compitent Instructor will obviously help.
    Depending on where in the country you are located I could give you some recomendations on whom to talk to.
     
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