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Proper Stance

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Valerie Jones, Jul 17, 2012.

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  1. Valerie Jones

    Valerie Jones Member

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    Hi everyone . . . first-time poster and brand new shooter. I've been avidly reading the board the past few weeks. I just started trap and I am absolutely hooked.

    I was hoping some of you might talk a little bit about proper stance. I am reading Rollin Oswald's book and was surprised when I saw he suggests positioning one's feet close to what I would describe as a 90-degree angle from the shed. I think I've been standing at more of a 45-degree angle. Admittedly, I have little clue what I'm doing. My 45ish stance is just what felt comfortable for me.

    I would really like to become good at this sport and I would like to address bad habits before they begin.

    Thanks in advance for your opinions/comments/advice and best wishes to you all.

    Valerie
     
  2. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    There is no universally accepted stance in trap shooting. But how you stand in relation to the target will affect your gun fit, so it is something you need to decide about before worrying about if your gun fits you or not. I use a more open stance, what I call an athletic ready stance, feet shoulder length apart, knees bend, body facing the target, able to swing either way to shoot both angles of the possible target. Weight more on the leading foot, and lean into the shot. Google proper trap shooting stance. Have fun on your journey. Mark
    [​IMG]
     
  3. jhoward

    jhoward Member

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    There is a good article by Ricky Marshall in Trapshooting USA magazine a few months back that has some pictures of what he considers proper foot placement. I've linked the article above, the article begins on page 63 and the pictures are on page 64. They should give you a good starting point.
     
  4. Jack L. Smith

    Jack L. Smith Member

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    Valerie, welcome to TS and trap shooting. Mark is correct that stance can effect gun fit.

    Gun fit it the most important thing and from there, many other issues are related including mount, stance, posture, hold points, calling, movement and on and on. This is a relational sport, and getting a good basic fit and mount are the foundations.

    It is hard for anyone here to email the best advice for you, altough there are many experienced and talented members here and their suggestion will be valuable - but what is really important is YOU. Your fit, mount, stance, are all very personal.

    Rollin's book will help you interpret the advice you get here and elsewhere.

    In my opinion, your best path is to ask around, and find a local, good, experienced trap shooting coach with excellent references, and work with them One on One to get the basics for your foundation.

    If they are good, you'll develope a trust and understand the sport a lot better, and they'll see you and guide you, step by step starting with Gun Fit. (which, by itself may take a while)

    You can read books about trap shooting, but the books can't read you.

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.

    JS in PA
     
  5. det131

    det131 Member

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    You're off to a good start.

    For a basic starting point, since we are all built a little different and what is comfortable to one may not work for another. Think of the middle of the target breaking area as 12 o'clock on a clock face. A line drawn across the tips of the toes will point toward 10 o'clock and your shoulders will point toward 2 o'clock (right handed shooter). Reverse for left handers. Since all our movement should come from the hips and waist that will allow for maximum comfort on rotation of your swing and help keep your face in the gun. Mount the gun to your face in an upright position. Pull the gun in tight to the shoulder, press your face firmly to the stock, look out over the target area, then push the muzzle of your gun two inches toward the target with your upperbody. Call for target, lock you eyes on the target, deliberately move your gun, from the hips and waist, in front of the target and pull the trigger. Good job, now break the next one too. Think of your upper body as a tank turret, it stays locked in position and all movement comes from the hips and waist. Stay focused on that target, for the 3/4 of a second it takes to call and shoot it, it is the only thing that exists for that moment in time. Stay locked into that gun. When the target breaks get your eye to the biggest piece and put your gun on it until that piece touches the ground. If it should not break get your eye back on in and do the same thing. Do not concentrate or worry about misses, eventually you will know why you missed. Concentrate on the broken targets, what it looked like when the gun went off, what it felt like, etc. Constant positive reinforcement for what you are doing right. Have someone stand behind you and watch where your shots are going. If you are consistently over the target try mounting the gun a little higher on the shoulder, if you are under try mounting it a little lower. This is shotgun shooting, you don't have to be presise like a rifle, we just need to be reasonably close, but we have to be reasonably close in front of the target. They just don't break if we are behind them. One more thing, Look at the Target.

    Have fun

    Jim
     
  6. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    A long time recommendation is to have your toeline (line from big toe to big toe) parallel the centerline of post #1, #5 for leftys, on all posts..
     
  7. davidjayuden

    davidjayuden Well-Known Member

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    All good advice.
    I like to teach (right hended) shooters to set up for the hardest right hand target. For example pick out a spot in the sky where you are likely to fire at that hard right, then adjust your feet accordingly so that you are comfortable there. Then swing to the left and if that gets too uncomfortable then you can adjust your feet a little bit, but not much. The reason that I set up favoring the right targets is that I find it is way easier and more natural to swing your body across to the left than it is to force the gun to the right.
    Another trick is to set up the way you think that you should. Then close your eyes and shoulder your gun comfortably. When you open your eyes is the gun pointed where you feel it should be? If not, don't twist the body but adjust your feet and try it again.
    It is good that you are interested in mastering the basics now, because it is much tougher later once the muscle memory has begun.
    Good luck, and be prepared for some frustration along the way. Progress does not look like a smooth line from the lower left to the upper right on a graph. Progress has some huge drops along the way.
    dju
     
  8. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    get a copy of Daro Handys DVD and watch it. He goes into detail on stance and it helped me a bunch
     
  9. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    Valerie,

    I believe you misread what is in the book. I advocate what BigM-Perazzi wrote (actually, miswrote, I believe), that a line across the toes should be parallel to a line drawn down station 1 for righ thanded shooters as a place to start. This stance can be used for all stations; just keep the toe-line parallel to a line down the center of station 5 (RH shooters) or station 1 for left handed shooters.

    The goal is to choose a stance that can be used consistently on each station and one that allows swinging as far as extreme targets travel on each station but not much farther. This reduces the risk of introducing sloppy swings.

    The stance used also partially depends on the amount of flexability in the waist and hips. You don't want to arm-swing the gun because that would risk eye alignment with the rib. Rather, use body rotation powered by the legs.

    Shooters differ in their flexability AND in the amount of arm-swinging they use. The reason I do not advocate turning 90 degrees from the direction of the shot (as is normal for rifle shooting) is that to shoot with a closes stance such as this, weould require arm swinging for extreme targets to the left on stations 1 and 2.

    As someone mentioned, the stance is not chissled in stone. A little variation is fine. Just avoid the need to arm swing the gun for any target and the risk of a sloppy swing.

    Rollin
     
  10. Valerie Jones

    Valerie Jones Member

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    My sincere thanks to each of you for your response and recommendation. I have a much better understanding now of foot placement and will have a lot to keep in mind when I return to the range this Saturday.

    I am half way through your book, Rollin, and find it very enlightening. Thank you. Admittedly, I was confused when reading the chapter on stance: There is a particular chart which I obviously misinterpreted.

    Allowing only for my extreme swing (and no more) gives me a very good starting point. Rereading this thread (a number of times) will be an extreme aid.

    I purchased a new BT-99 Micro last week. I understand I need to work on my stance before I consider any moderations/gunfitting. I wonder whether I might benefit from an adjustable comb and some type of recoil unit, but I've learned here that I should not consider any alterations to the gun at this point.

    Thanks again.

    Valerie
     
  11. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    An easier line to reference for a beginner is one from the center front of the trap house roof to where the extreme left angle will land. Foot placement should parallel that line, toe of the leading foot should point into the center of that triangle. Same through all shooting stations, opposite for lefties.

    Hap
     
  12. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    Stand in a way that you do not bind when swinging for a hard left or right target. DO NOT STRAIN(SP) when following a target.

    I have seen people stand facing the target others with the 90 and 45 degree stand and one who spreed his legs so far apart that his butt was about 18" off the ground. We laughed hard when we saw that.
     
  13. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    I stand with the line thru' my toes roughly at a 45 degree angle to the yardage line on post one progressing to roughly a 90 degree angle to the yardage line on post five.

    John C. Saubak
     
  14. Gapper

    Gapper TS Member

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    Hap nailed it!

    I would add the gun has to fit before you worry about stance, not after.

    GAP
     
  15. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    If you think your gun fits now, try changing your stance and body orientation to the target, and see how your gun fit is affected. The more face on your body is to the target, the less LOP you need. Tactical shotgunners shoot face on to the target, and usually need about a 12" LOP. The more you rotate away from straight on, the longer the LOP is needed. Stance affects gun fit. You shouldn't worry about fine tuning your gun fit, until the other variables, stance, mount, etc. have been grooved. Mark
     
  16. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    Mark has a point, I'd also add that the less LOP you have the more open should be your stance altho' in practice I'm not so sure which should come first, the chicken or the egg? I'm a pretty big guy and I find that when shooting offhand with a carbine with the standard 12 1/2" pull that I have to use a pretty open stance to avoid pulling my shots to the right. I think tho' that it's better to have a gun that fits you and then adjust your stance accordingly.

    John C. Saubak
     
  17. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Valerie: If you weren't confused before, the many responses should have finished the job. Some use different stances for doubles, singles & handicap, all different games. In my opinion, get the gun fitted, first, then do everything you can to attend a Nora Ross clinic, as soon as possible. Shoot a while, then sign up for another "Nora" to reinforce everything you've forgotten. Since you're hitting the books, stay as far away as possible from the Wilson "secrets" books. In the meantime shoot & have a good time; Nora will get you on the right path, later.

    best...mike
     
  18. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    Set yourself up to be able to make the most extreme target on each post, if you can make the gun movement to get to it, that is all you need. It is also helpful if you start a log to document things that are happening,changing, improving, getting worse, problem targets etc. This helps to find your most problematic area so you can systematically work on improvements. Find the best shooters in your area and talk to them, perhaps you'll be able to shoot with them or use them for a coach and "monkey see, monkey do". Most important is to have fun, you can make this seem like work if you don't approach it properly. Shoot often, shoot well,and remember shooting is fun and relaxing!
     
  19. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't get caught-up in figuring out lines etc., it isn't a science. My view is just stand so that you would be comfortable shooting a rifle at the midpoint of the left and right extreme breaking areas (maybe favor the extreme side somewhat). This way you can comfortably swing the gun to either side within the potential target area. This should result in a much more closed stance than those shown in the graphic in the earlier post. Maybe I'm different, but I'm not comfortable shooting a target flying 90 degrees straight away from an open stance. Lot's of shooters set themselves up this way, but I just don't like it myself.
     
  20. Old Doc

    Old Doc Member

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    George Digweed has taught that you hold your gun at 45 degrees to your body and point the gun in this position at where you will break the hardest to hit target in any shotgun game. Your feet follow and a line through the balls of your feet is 45 degrees from the gun. On 5 the line through the feet is parallel to the walk on 1 about a 45 degee angle to the walk for a right hander. The line through the balls of the feet are parallel to one through the heels. Any difference from this results in less rotation at the hips where the swing takes place. D Winter
     
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