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***Sight Pictures and Swing Dynamics***

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by gdbabin, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    I've been thinking about sight pictures, bird-bead relationships and their relationship to swing dynamics. I realize this is a very subjective topic as there are so many variables that have an impact on what any one of us see when we snap the trigger.

    I shoot a 32" 3200 Comp. with the factory fixed rib and non-adjustable factory MC stock. I shoot "two-eyed" with a magic dot on my left, very dominant eye, from the right shoulder.

    In straights and shallow angles, when I see the bead on the bottom edge and just left/right (depending on the angle), I let her go. If my head stays down, the result is a very pleasing ball of dust.

    On the hard angles once I see the direction, I move my gun to a position well below and very much in front (large "air gap") of the target and then shoot. For the most part this works well for me, but is a less precise activity compared to the shallow angles and straights.

    I wonder does the large air gap work because I'm essentially spot shooting the hard angles? I'm curious to try riding the target's path more closely with an appropriately paced swing and pulling the trigger just when the bead passes just below and in front of the target with little or no "air gap" followed by a continued follow through.

    I got to thinking about this during the weekend while I shot my first-ever round of doubles at the Westy. For the first 25 pair I only hit one second bird (26). On the second round I decreased the lead on the second bird and scored several dead pair (38). I realize "several" may make some of you doubles pros chuckle--I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever hit one of those damned second targets!

    It seems to me the elimination of any perceived air gap would be conducive to increased accuracy/consistency. I can't adjust my gun readily so I wonder if I change my swing dynamics that I may be able to pull the trigger with a tighter bird/bead relationship.

    While I wait to try it on the practice field, I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts that they might be willing to share.

    Guy Babin
     
  2. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    Have someone watch you and see whether you're stopping or slowing the gun. As to what "picture" you need to see, no one can say for sure. You will figure it out, but only if your technique is repeatable. Most everyone needs to see some daylight, but some see more than others, and some see the same, but describe it in different words.

    One of the best I've known claimed he shot "right at" everything. I'm certain that's how it looked to him.
     
  3. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    In a very recent issue of NRA American Rifleman there was an interesting article about 4 different methods of wingshooting; Swing through, Pull Ahead, Sustained lead, and Spot Shoot. For ATA Trap shooting the Swing Through method is the most common and for Sporting Clays the Pull Ahead is probably the most flexible. Last April we had an excellent thread about Bird Bead Relationship and it will explain many things if you do a Search. Since you use the Magic Dot spot of tape on your lens, I know from experience that your view of the Bird/Bead is more pronounced than a typical two eyed shooter. Most experienced trapshooters will tell you to never look at the bead and only look at the target and this is accurate advice. The 3200 has a very fast lock time and more daylite between the muzzle and the hard angle target may be necessary than a gun with a slow lock time. Your experience with shooting more trap targets will teach you what your built in computer ( Brain ) needs to know about the correct lead. My advice is to NOT SLOW down and let the "FORCE" guide your gun to the bird. Shoot a little faster and don't worry about bird/bead relationship.
     
  4. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    miketymx,

    Thanks for the link to the other thread... it is a very good one that I had read in the past.

    I'm not asking what sight picture is correct. Also, I understand the focus has to be on the target and not the end of the barrel.

    The probably ill-stated intent of my post was to explore the relationship of swing dynamics and sight picture. Is it possible to reduce the air gap in my sight picture by altering the way I swing to the target?

    Just for reference I'm a second year shooter with a high 92% over 2200 singles, and 86% over 1350 Hdcp for TY07.

    Guy
     
  5. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    " Is it possible to reduce the air gap in my sight picture by altering the way I swing to the target?"

    Exactly, that's the point. The faster you swing, the better you maintain swing speed, and the farther behind the target you start, the less apparent lead. Start far enough behind, swing fast enough, don't slow the gun, and you can shoot right at the target.
     
  6. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    Guy, I would like to help but without seeing you shoot, we can't tell if you move the gun so fast that you have to stop it so you spot shoot the target or what ?? I assume that you hold a low gun because you are essentially a one-eyed shooter with the Magic Dot. I would work on the "start from behind and swing under and up to the target and let her go when you catch up to bird" approach rather than real fast swing and stop the gun and then shoot if that is what is happening. If the truth be known what I do from the 27 on a hard right off Post 5 is to swing my gun below the flite path of the bird on a rising arc and intercept the bird but this is a muscle memory thing and not a conscious move because it happens so fast and I only notice the bead after the shot.
     
  7. KelleyPLK

    KelleyPLK TS Member

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    Guy you should take some shooting clinics ! You arent supposed to look at the bead when shooting a shotgun you point it at target . EYE stays on target ! Handeye coordination does the rest . SMOKE ! Take the beads off the Gun and shoot , Soon you'll never want them back on . True shotgun shooting .



    Pat Kelley
     
  8. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Eyes on the target at all times. You should trust and allow your ability to make the decision to pull the trigger. You should only see the bead for a brief moment out of your preferial(sp) vision as it passes the target. then watch the target explode during your swing through. Never, never, never take your eyes off the target.
     
  9. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    I don't look directly at the bead or the end of the barrel, but as Mr. Ireland says, I'm aware of it in my peripheral vision.

    I don't calculate distances (gaps) before shooting either. I know when it's right for me and pull the trigger--if my head stays down they usually break.

    I'm merely exploring different approaches that might work better. Hard angles aren't as "automatic" as the shallow/straights and I shoot them in a deeper zone.

    Guy
     
  10. Opion8ted

    Opion8ted TS Member

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    It is not difficult to develop a gun movement dynamic which will allow you to shoot with zero perceived lead, both horizontal and verticle. I find it much easier to match to muzzle to the target rather than try to figure out what a lead should look like and maintain it. The zero lead was extremely easy to adjust to and ever so much more productive. I learned that looking at the front edge of the house to aquire the target and determine flight was a big help and when you let the target rise above the barrel it allows you to move quickly to the bird, point it out and shoot at it. Your swing will take care of lead.
     
  11. JM747

    JM747 TS Member

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    My 2 cents worth is that if you are 1 eyed shooting right at a target you will miss behind most times, and when you do get a hit your swing was faster than usual and even though you pulled the trigger with the bead right on the target you still had lead when it went bang. I think most trap shooting is a combination of follow through and moving to a point in front of the target and when the sight picture is right pulling the trigger. Interestingly as a one eyed shooter I have been trying to change over to two eyes, and the first thing that dissapears {for me} was sight picture, no barrel or sight in peripheral vision at all, and talking to lots of two eyed shooters this seemed normal, and not many would admit to seeing any bead in their sight picture. As a 1 eyed shooter I took this for granted. When I first started shooting I was told it was better to miss a target in front than behind and I think that was good advice. I have been shooting for 3 years and am AA on 21 yards. Easier to do in Oz as we use both barrels and shoot most comp from 15 yards. I use a 30" K-80.
     
  12. smsnyder

    smsnyder Well-Known Member

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    i learned a great lessson this week end thanks to Daro Handy's book. Disconnect the mouth with the eye. Mount gun and don't move eyes or gun when calling for target. PERIOD. Don't chase flash. Tough to do. I let target go after calling and than move to target. my scores are going up big time. look at target not bead. target will not outrun you.
     
  13. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    Guy:

    Straightaways rise at about the same rate as hard angles. If your front bead touches straightaway targets when you fire and they break, the same should hold true for hard angles, horizontal or forward lead ignored for the moment.

    Your swing on hard angle targets means that the barrel is intersecting their flight path rather than catching up to or overtaking the targets. Since they break with the barrel well below the targets, something else must be going on to account for this. My guess is that you are raising your head. If you didn't, the pattern would be below targets as your sight pictures indicate it should.

    Swings that intersect targets require more precise shooting than those that follow the flight path of targets. The reason is that there are two separate variables when intersecting targets, the forward lead along the path of the targets and a judgment of when to fire, concerning the upward movement of the barrel. That involves two judgements or decisions rather than just one when the barrel more closely follows the flight path of the targets.

    Shooters do it regularly but the skill level required to do it successfully is greater. In effect, the mind must compute seperate vertical and horizontal components of barrel movement when judging when the sight pictutre is correct and the gun should be fired.

    Intersecting the path of targets and then moving the barrel along that path to overtake them is simpler. (Simpler, not necessarily better) Then, only one one mental computation has to be made, the position of the barrel relative to the path of targets.

    I suggest you consider this and getting the barrel on the flight path of hard angles rather than swinging low and raising the barrel to intersect targets.

    You used the phrase, "if my head stays down", indicating that sometimes it doesn't. Your gun mount may be affecting your head's staying down. If you don't already, mount your gun with the heel of the stock even with the top of your shoulder or even slightly lower with the heel on your collarbone. It will reduce the distance your head needs to be lowered to place your cheek on the comb and reduce the likelihood of your head's comong off the stock during swings.

    There is also a tendency for right-handed shooters to pull the stock away from their cheeks on hard rights from station five. The inciddence of this happening increases when swinging with the forward hand providing the swing power compared to the swing's being powered by rotation at the waist and hips. That may or may not apply to you.

    Rollin
     
  14. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    The Magic Dot on the off shoulder eye lens wipes out a large area of view and essentially makes you a one eyed shooter. If you cover the flight path of the target with a high gun, you will lose sight of the target because your barrel will be in the way. With a one-eyed technique your line of sight has to be over the rib and not through it. A low gun hold allows the one-eyed shooter to track the target along the flight path where a true two-eyed shooter can see the target right through the rib and have a higher gun hold.
     
  15. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    Thank you Rollin, several of the points you make are very interesting.

    The closeness in the rate of rise on all targets, regardless of angle, is an element I hadn't considered, but makes perfect sense.

    I honestly don't feel I miss significantly more hard angles than shallow/straights, but I am much less confident when I get one thrown on either of the extremes.

    You may be correct in suspecting I'm lifting my head on the hard angles. I tend to concentrate on getting the sight picture correct more than keeping my head down when they fly hard right/left. When I get shallow/straights, I have much more of a feeling of being locked into the stock--I can even hear the springs and other parts within the receiver working.

    As you state this may mean I'm steering the gun with the forward arm, although I know I use body english to twist and bow slightly at the waist as I move to the hard angles. I'll have to further analyze what's going on.

    I'll also experiment with the simpler "move along the path" technique instead of my intersect method to see if it works better for me.

    Only one element of your wisdom confuses me. It seems to me that mounting the gun lower in my shoulder with the heel on the collarbone would require my head to move further down to meet the stock rather than less. It appears that I need to re-read your book.

    Guy
     
  16. country gentleman

    country gentleman Member

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    Guy,
    I could write a book awswering the questions you asked. Sometimes the rabbit hole goes very deep. No way to find the bottom of the hole w/o seeing how you mount and move the gun. Rollin, Mike and others have made some great suggestions as usual. I wouldnt disregard any of it. Heres my 2 cents.........When I encounter a 1 eyed shooter, using 1 eyed hold points, using average swing speed and average shot timing, using a gun that shoots a little high [60-75%}, Is is typical to percieve the things you mention in the original post: Example...I can touch a straightaway bird, but must hold beneath extreme angles. Very very common and reasonable as well. Extreme angles are a flatter target. Its normal to see a little float, vertically between the bbl and bird. Swinging faster will show you less lead true enough, but will not close the float gap on a flat target. Also, a faster gunbarrel is harder to consistently reproduce. Not saying dont try it , just select your gun speed carefully. Lowering your POI will close the float gap, but will require that your bbl be closer to the bird on all shots across the board. A flatter POI requires 2 things to counteract the change. A longer move to the bird or a faster move to the bird. As always I will encourage you to seek out a professional fitting and coaching session to uncover and eliminate any problems we cant see from a keyboard. Yours in Shooting, Todd Nelson
    Hi Rollin.
     
  17. fearlessfain

    fearlessfain TS Member

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    the worst thing on a shotgun is the front bead and if you look at it that is what you will shoot at.
     
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