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Missing straight-aways...

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by ScottD, Aug 21, 2007.

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  1. ScottD

    ScottD TS Member

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    I’ve been shooting trap for about a year. I’m able to shoot 4 rounds a week (2 league, 2 practice). My league average is 47. I’d really like to stop giving away a couple of targets every 50!

    I’ve noticed a CLEAR pattern in my lost targets—I miss straight-aways. What makes such a quiet target so problematic? Are there things I could be doing to increase my mental toughness? Is the problem mental toughness? If not, do straight-away targets require a different technique? What can I be doing during my limited practice rounds to stop giving away targets?

    I’d be really appreciative of any advice…
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    MIA gave good advice, especially if you hold a high gun. I hold a low gun (just below the front lip of the house) and will sometimes mis read a very slight angle as a straight away.

    If you can just look at the bird and not worry about where the bird is going, your body will take care of things. We sometimes think too much about what we should do if we get a hard left from post 1 or a straight away from post 3. Actually, we do the same thing. Keep our head down, look at the bird and move to the bird. This will work for any angle from any post.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. WarEagle2017

    WarEagle2017 Active Member

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    what choke ( constriction ) are you using ??? an angeling target has to pass through a long shot string------ a straight away don't. Pattern your gun with differant chokes, my guess is that you are using a Mod. .020
     
  4. bcnu

    bcnu Active Member

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    Can't really say without watching you shoot. But, you might want to look at your hold points, especially if you are missing the "straight" away targets on the same post most of the time. There are very few straight away targets. They mostly all have a little angle on them to one side or the other. Good luck, John
     
  5. R_T

    R_T TS Member

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    4 common reasons why straights are missed: misreading a target as a straight when it's a shallow angle and shooting on the wrong side of it; relaxing cheek on the stock to get a better view of this target's very short apparent flight path and shooting over it; misreading the target's rate of climb because of its path and stopping the gun and shooting under it; bad gun fit that can and will cause the first 3 errors.

    Michael
     
  6. Bob A

    Bob A TS Member

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    First off, as BCNU says, there are very few straights. I prefer to think that there's no such thing as a "perfect" straightaway. There's some curve to practically everything and following the basics as outlined above should help.

    The problem many of us have and that noone has yet mentioned is lifting your head. It's more common on what we perceive as straights since they look so easy. We lose concentration for that split second, forget the basics, and lift our heads to watch for the sootball that never happens. Any time you lift your head on an "easy" bird, you'll miss.

    As long as you keep in mind that there is "no such thing as a straight," you'll find it easier (mentally) to maintain the basics and keep your head down.

    Bob
     
  7. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    Scott;

    All the reasons were given above. The only one missing is the cause of shooting so quickly and raising the head slightly to bet a better view of a target's smoke-balling.

    The reason is ego. Newer and intermediate shooters usually don't shoot targets as quickly as more experienced shooters and they realize it. When an "easy" target appears, this, they feel is a good time to shoot it right out of the house. Why? Because it feels good.

    It is said that straightaways from post 3 are the most commonly missed targets. I don't know if that is true but it easily could be. If it is, the reasons given above explain it.

    My advice would be to forget about shooting these targets quickly and swing on them with the same precision you use for all other targets. There is plenty of time for a smooth, accurate swing. Do not snap-shoot.

    Rollin
     
  8. tomlieb

    tomlieb Member

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    I had the same recurring problem with straights and sometimes still do. I worked with a coach that got me to relax and not hurry the straights. "What's your hurry? You've got all day with these targets" he said. Once I relaxed and gave the straights the same time and let the gun go to them with the same timing as the other targets, the problem went away. Still occurs sometimes though when I get jumpy. I just tell myself "Whats the hurry, you've got all day" and get control again.
    Tom
     
  9. midalake

    midalake Well-Known Member

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    I agree on control with the stright away. I try to take an extra bit before I move the gun on a straight-away. Without knowing where you hold, and where you focus other answers are hard to answer.

    GS
     
  10. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Lock the trap at any angle. Stand so the bird is a straightaway.

    Shoot at it, above it, below it until you _KNOW_ where to put the gun to break it.

    Then shoot there.

    Everything else is fluff.

    Neil
     
  11. Cherokee Kid

    Cherokee Kid TS Member

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    Are you refering to the straight from post 3 or a perceived straight from the other posts?
     
  12. piddie

    piddie TS Member

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    This is an easy question. Shoot at the right edge of all straight aways. That's because targets curve right due to spin. Also, almost all guns shoot left due to poor fit. And last but not least, most traps throw north and southwest winds will make them go right.

    piddie -- your trapshooting advisor for free
     
  13. Clay Addict

    Clay Addict Member

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    Neil is on target!
    Lock the trap on a straightaway and shoot 100 today, 50 the next time out and 25 every day out for the next month. You will learn exactly where you need to shoot, what your head is doing, and that they are the easiest target to miss because of countless reasons. After a good practice program you will be grinding them with all the confidence you can muster. We get in a hurry to shoot every bird and we may have a problem with a specific "zone" and never shoot that "zone" over and over. Practice is the key.
    CA
     
  14. Trapgeezer

    Trapgeezer TS Member

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    While peeking and head lifting are said to be the most common cause, undershooting is really the culprit. A gun hold slightly to the side of a straight away will allow quick aqusition and and lessen the chance for a misread. It must clear the barrel though in any case. YMMV

    I am not sure I agree with Piddie that_all_targets curl due to rotation. They sure don't (in still air) at my club. Perhaps some adjustment is in order on his trap.
     
  15. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what world piddieeeeee lives on, but if a target is going to curl, it curls to the left, here on earth.
     
  16. piddie

    piddie TS Member

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    Trap arms are on the right side of the trap. The target rotates clockwise when viewing from the top. Thus and therefore, all targets on a windless day curve to the right. That's a fact hope this heaps help.

    comments?
     
  17. code5coupe

    code5coupe Member

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    I believe most of us miss straightaways because we mentally "let up" when we see one.
    A hard focus on the bird, head locked down on the stock, a smooth swing, normal timing....just like you use on every other target....will break those straightaways. You can bet on it.

    Trapshooting is 99% mental.
     
  18. ScottD

    ScottD TS Member

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    Firstly, thank you all for taking the time to offer advice. You've all given me lots to work with.


    MIA: I hold low so the bird starts above the base of the sight picture. I’d never considered that the near-vertical climb on the straight-away. It makes sense that it would appear to be rising faster. I’ll try to not let the apparent speed make me rush the shot.

    Pat: If I understand you clearly, you’re saying “stop thinking” about the shot. When I have to swing on a target, I end up not being able to think and the break is usually centered in the shot stream. The straight-away may be giving me enough rope to hang myself. I’ll try to shoot them like all the others.

    Drhuner: The choke is the Krieghoff #2. If I’m not mistaken, it is (as you guessed) equivalent to mod. How would using the #2 set me up for difficulties on straight-aways?

    Bcnu: I’ll try to slow my action on the straight-away and wait for the angle to develop. League shot in the rain yesterday and the shot traveling through the water showed me how slight angle misreads were leading to losses.

    R_T: I seem to mostly shoot over so I’ll try to stay on the wood. I’ve heard that staying in the gun after the shot and following a piece to the ground is a good drill for this. Is there anything else I could do to routinize staying in the gun?

    Bob A: Head-lifting is starting to sound like the culprit. I’ll try to push my shooting routine past the trigger pulls so I don’t look for a break before I’ve finished my job.

    Rollin: I’m not consciously aware of time when I shoot. Even though I’m not trying to rush the straight-away, you may be dead right though. I can see where rushing in the context of a more rapidly rising target could be causing me grief. During my next practice shoot, I’ll try to really attend to how quickly I’m throwing lead on the straight-aways.

    Tomlieb: Thanks for relaying your coach’s advice to me. I’ll try to control the tempo on the straight-aways and make sure I have control.

    Midalake: I’m a left-eye dominant right-handed shooter and therefore: (1) shoot one-eyed; (2) hold low on the house. My hold points are approx. 9 inches left of house on 1, left edge of house on 2, middle of house on 3, right edge of house on 4 and approx. 9 inches right of house on 5. Am I be over-anticipating the angle releases?

    Neil: simple pragmatic advice; great. And I think there’s something to your implication that I don’t know where to put the gun. If I had to summarize how I feel when I shoot a straight-away it would be something like “I dread pulling the trigger because I’m not confident that my efforts will lead to a break.” Regardless of the cause of the miss (rushing, peeking, not knowing where to put the gun), working with a locked trap should help. In the past though I’ve always been a little suspicious of this… Because I always know that the bird will be straight, my impression has been that the shot isn’t really the same. Still, it should help ossify the sight picture.

    Cherokee Kid: I’d say I lose most of the straight-aways while shooting from 2 and 4.

    Piddie: interesting… I’ve seen MANY targets curling slightly to the right.

    Clay Addict: Right… I don’t see enough of the buggers in a conventional round to work on an improvement.

    Trapgeezer: OK, keep the metal out of the way so I can see the target faster.
     
  19. midalake

    midalake Well-Known Member

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    Scott D, very interesting, I am a one eyed shooter as well [use a dot] and I hold Exactly as you do on the house [I like holding out for the angles]. I agree with you that you are shooting over the target. The reason is you MUST be under on the angles to see them correctly. If you have not worked with your POI lately this might be a good time. You said you have a K gun so I would think you can change a little. I would add a washer or two at the comb or if your high on the gun adjust the rib a little higher and try to shoot it. I have fought this for many years on plowing over straight-aways this has really been the only fix. Also make sure you are not moving the gun on the call. If you have the ability to shoot over both voice, and hand call do it. This will tell you if you are moving the gun.Also as the shooting season goes on sometimes a POI increase is needed as you have the ability to identify the target quicker. So one will have a quicker target take time.

    GS
     
  20. midalake

    midalake Well-Known Member

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    I need to adjust my advise. Do not add washers to the comb, if you can lower the comb a little do so, if not then try to raise the front rib a little. any way you can try to lower your POI a little.

    GS
     
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