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steady gun or moving gun?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by schockstrap, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. schockstrap

    schockstrap Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    This is a subject that has been bothering me for the last couple of years, so I figured I'd throw it out here for opinions...

    Pretty much every book/magazine that I've read about shotgun shooting teaches that we should keep our gun still until we see the target, then allow our eyes to track the target and draw the muzzle/bead to it. I know this is good advice because it helps me to get back on track when I find myself missing straight-away targets. I also see that Laura Winkel stated that advice to use a moving gun as she called was the least helpful advice she had received (this was in one of those "Ask the All-Americans columns in T&F).

    What confuses me, though, is when I watch the really good shooters in my area. Almost all of them are moving the gun as they call for the target, then redirecting it as their eyes lock on the target. Most of these guys are moving the gun up slowly as they call, but a couple of them actually move the gun down as they call. All of these guys are on the state team, one an all-american, and one that won the Grand American Handicap several years ago.

    When I played baseball, hitting coaches taught batters to keep the bat moving as they waited for the pitch. The theory was that it was easier to get your swing started with the bat already in some form of motion. It made your bat "quicker".

    When I try to put all of that together, I feel like I'm missing something by forcing myself to keep my gun still until I see the target and allow my brain to identify the flight path. Right now, I feel like this is the only way I can shoot good scores, but should I be practicing a moving gun technique? Is this moving gun thing a learned skill, or is it something that the good shooters get away with because of their experience/talent in the shootng sports?

    --Dan
     
  2. country gentleman

    country gentleman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    308
    Superman can fly. Batman cant. Just because you see a good shooter dipping the barrel as he calls, doesnt mean that you should. He may perfect that move, but not without adding a margin of error that you can live without. Most all claysports started from a gun-down position. Most have now evolved to a semi or full ready gun position. You wouldnt register trap targets from gun-down. Margin of error is simply too high to remain competetive. Im also not going to move my gun until I see the target. One good, fluid move, to and through the bird, will break your bird. Adding a move, that has to be altered and corrected on the way to the target, will keep your move from being consistent and keep your shot timing slightly askew from shot to shot. Good Luck. Todd Nelson
     
  3. colobiggun

    colobiggun Active Member

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    May 29, 2007
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    287
    I'm not convinced that a steady gun is as important as steady eyes. I think as long as the gun does not distract your eyes from looking for movement from the house, it is not that important. My opinion is the sequence should go: (1) Target appears. (2) Eyes move to the target and focus hard on it (3) Gun moves to the target. (4) Shoot the target, watching it break with your head on the stock. Everything else is just something to think about while not shooting.
     
  4. birdtracker

    birdtracker Active Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    1,203
    Dan:I see the same thing on a regular basis. But as Todd says one person may be able to do it. I can't. Before I learned to see first, if I started one way then came back I would fire behind the target. So I couldn't start before seeing the bird. I have a question along the same line. It goes back to this set of " to shoot well" guidelines. I see these people with odd unfit, nose touching the reciever, and poor form. The only thing I don't understand is I am watching them during the shootoffs at the state shoot! So I believe you have to find what works for you. And I have seen you shoot, especially doubles. Don
     
  5. code5coupe

    code5coupe Member

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    Jul 5, 2007
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    953
    You have to try the various ways to find one that works best for you.
    There is, obviously, no one right way to do anything.
     
  6. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
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    Dan I believe your baseball coach tip was to keep you from becoming stiff, or how my golf teacher said. You do not want to stay still to long, your brain will start to think this is what you want. keeping the bat moving or a swaggle of the club keeps your body ready for movement. For me actually thinking about moving the gun around before calling pull is just asking for trouble. For me what works is 1. my eyes are down in a area between post and midway to the trap before my turn. Then when it is my turn I close my action raise my head and find a point(pre determined) some where in the field beyound the trap in about the area of my hold point. I give it a look, raise my gun as if I where to shoot that point. The gun comes ap to my cheek, I slide it back into my shoulder let my eyes go soft( I like the term driving eyes, looking ahead not focused on any one thing, but ready for action) Call for pull, see it move to it BANG. works for me, I also shoot LH have way different hold points than most, stance is a lot more narrow than 90% of the shooters I shoot with, blah blah blah. One thing I can tell you change all though might be for the good, can sometimes apear to worsen your scores, only because your AUTO brain is drifting back to what it already knows and works. quick ex. I got a PFS and was glad because now I could get my XT shooting higher, well I got the thing shooting where I want on the pattern board BUT it took me about 1500, 2000 targets to get the brain training right. I kept reverting back to the old ways and shooting over the birds.
     
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