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Teaching brand new shooters to shoot

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by joe kuhn, Jul 4, 2011.

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  1. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    I've been honing my presentation for the new shooter who's only been to the club a few times, has a brand new 870 or Mossberg and is breaking around 15 targets, probably less. They're usually slow to shoot because they're trying to line the gun up to the target with their eyes going back and forth - target, gun, target, pow. Targets are sometimes on the way down before they shoot.

    Today I tried my speel on my wife Holga, just to see how it would work. She's been talking about coming to the club to see why I like trap shooting so much. My thinking is to show her what I do when I shoot and maybe she'll understand.

    So I showed her by fake shooting her nose as the target. My hands were the gun and I swung from the lower left to her nose, the whole while looking at her nose. When the gun came across her nose I shot. Then from the lower right, then from just below her chin for a straight away.

    Somewhere in there I had her start doing it and noticed she was arm swinging so I corrected her for that problem. Luckily, I had modeled the correct swinging technique. She caught on right away. She was nicely swinging her torso with her cheek locked into her trigger hand and timing the shot with the crossing of the gun over my nose, the whole while looking at the target. In the end, she did all three starting points without my asking and did them correctly, so we stopped. She had one bead check early on, but that stopped after my verbal correction. At the very beginning I had to tell her to watch my eyes because she was watching my arms which probably lead to her arm swinging. I should have prompted her when we started to avoid this. "...Holga dear, watch my eyes..."

    The exercise took less than 5 minutes and I saw plenty of change. I think she could do it with a real gun. I tried something similar with a new shooter at the club except for the 'now you do it' step. For that to happen I've got to see some real enthusiasm to know they're willing to step out of their comfort zone and do this silly practice routine with a relative stranger.

    Safety should be first, of course, but everything else should spin off the basics I've described above. These core skills should be present from day one. Other points can be added after these are cemented into actual shooting:

    Eyes always on the target.

    Cheek stays on the gun and move your torso to get to the target.

    See the gun come across where you are looking by using your peripheral vision.

    Shoot when the gun hits the target.

    The list of addons to the basics is as long as a new shooters attention span: stance, lean forward, poi, gun fit, etc.


    Joe
     
  2. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    I do a presentation at our annual youth day shoot and usually get the new shooters sent my way at the club. Here is the outline that I use. It's easy to forget things when I am trying to do it off the top of my head. Anyone is welcome to use if this is helpful. Mark

    Introduction to Shotguns and Shotgun Sports

    Types of shotguns -

    Break-open (single barrel, over/under, side by side)

    Pump

    Semi-automatic


    Parts of a shotgun -

    Receiver (trigger, safety, barrel selector, action release, magazine)

    Barrel (rib, beads, choke, ejector/extractor)

    Stock (grip, comb, butt stock/recoil pad, fore stock)


    Ammunition -

    Gauges (12ga, 20ga) (uncommon 10ga, 16ga, 28ga, 410 bore)

    Shell length (2 ¾”, 3”) (uncommon 2 ½”, 3 ½”)

    Shot size (pellets/FPS)

    For Targets use 2 ¾” length, 7 ½, 8, or 9 size shot, 1 1/8 oz. shot or less.

    Patterning a gun, choke selection (IC, Mod, Full), Point of Impact (POI)

    Shotgun Safety -

    Action open unless shooting (also in gun rack, unless O/U)

    Keep shotgun unloaded and finger off trigger until time to shoot

    Never point barrel at a person

    Shotgun Fit -

    Correct stance and gun mount

    Eye alignment (sighting eye is rear sight)

    LOP (length of pull, distance from trigger to recoil pad)

    Shotgun Choice (Brand/cost, action type, barrel length) Trap guns vs. Field guns

    Gun fit adjustments (LOP, comb, cast)

    Recoil issues (gun fit, gun type and weight, ammo choice, accessories)

    Hitting a Target -

    Determining eye dominance (finger pointing test), one eye/ two eyes open

    Hitting moving targets (example, throwing a rock at a rolling ball)

    Techniques for leading a target with a shotgun (keep the gun swinging)

    Concentration and consistency are key

    Types of Shotgun Sports -

    Targets (“birds”, “clay pigeons”) size, colors, composition

    Trap (5 stations, one target house, targets going away)

    Skeet (8 stations, two target houses, targets crossing)

    Sporting Clays (multiple stations, varied presentations, imitates hunting)

    5 Stand (5 stations, multiple presentations, singles, and doubles)

    Trap Shooting -

    Rules and Routines (5 stations, 25 targets/shots, oscillating trap machine, yardage)

    Signing up to shoot, getting scored, ear and eye protection

    Squads, squad leader, scorer, rotation to stations, load only one shell

    Voice releases (noise and when to load a shell in your gun)

    Range etiquette (safety, talking, pouches/picking up empty shells, shell catchers)

    Practice shooting (don’t shoot broken target coming out of the house)

    Competition shooting (PITA, ATA)
     
  3. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    ...and the poor kids actually have to sit through all of that at one time, in one sitting??<center>
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    </center>

    MK
     
  4. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    ...and the poor kids actually have to sit through all of that??

    MK
     
  5. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    I use good visual aids and cover these basics in about 20 minutes. The youth day groups rotate every 90 minutes, so they get over an hour to shoot at targets. They are mostly successful, being as I have laid the groundwork, and they go away all smiles. I have taught kids in school for over 30 years, and have high expectations for learning and paying attention. I tell them right off the bat that our goal is to be safe. If they end up having fun, that's good, too. If they screw around, they are gone, lesson over. Easier to teach at the gun club, than at public school.

    I see the previous poster deleted his sarcastic post, but being as I typed this out, I thought I would let it stay.
     
  6. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    The goal is to get the new shooter's scores to rise, build their enthusiasm and eventually have them sign up for a real clinic.

    Some of the best traits of this technique are:

    1. It's lean. There's no fluff, just basic skills a new shooter can use.

    2. It's centered on basic skills so they can be present in the new shooter's shooting behavior early on. This prevents a situation where the new shooter does the wrong thing for a long time and has to relearn the correct behaviors, which is very difficult, filled with starts and stops, and frustrating. We want to avoid having to deal with remedial shooting like it's the plague.

    3. It's simple which makes it easy to learn. Keep it simple.

    4. No hardware is required. All you need is a willing new shooter.
     
  7. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    You should take the NSCA Instructor's Clinic and get certified. You learn a lot of good stuff in there. Not specifically geared to trap shooting, but wingshooting in general.
     
  8. Boxbirder

    Boxbirder Member

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    As Joe stated have them take a lesson with a coach or a clinic. Years ago my friends dad took me to a trap club, I had a blast and before I knew it all the guys there where helping me. Problem was I was left eye dominant. I stuggled with all there pointers for years. So much I hated to to go hunting with my friends I missed so many shots.

    One day I was shooting at a club with a well respected writer-shooting instructor was in my group. We shot a round with 4 other guys then it was just him and I. I didn't know who he was at that time but he explained the eye domination issue. I certainly wasn't going to walk around with tape on my glasses.

    The following week I took a lesson from him, I started shooting lefty and he had a clean slate to work with. It was the best thing I ever did to improve my game. If only all the guys that were so willing to help knew about that little issue I might not have wasted years trying to keep improving on a bad foundation.
     
  9. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Joe:

    If I can offer anything, its to start them off crawling at the patterning board... nobody takes the effort to figure out where the gun points. I know there is a segment of folks against that, but I find that if the shooter is confident in where the gun points, they have better success.

    I always start any protege, assuming the worst - so I start everyone right behind the traphouse... I actually set a box of shells upon the trapshouse roof. With the trap set to a fixed position, we begin dry-firing. After a brief DF exercise, we go live-fire.

    Stringing a handful of breaks together, we move left and right of center for mild angles. If we are successful at the TH, we move back to 8 yards and repeat... again, all with fixed target presentations. If my apprentice continues to be successful, we then move back to 16 yards and repeat.

    It is only after successfully negotiating 16 yards with solid "fixed" results, will I then oscillate the trap...

    BTW... you're a much better man than me... at our Open Houses, I let Sandy work with Brian and Don (LOL)... I wasn't going to instruct my wife!

    Best regards,

    Jay
     
  10. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    I've been waiting a long time for the second most important thing to do with the new shooter. I think it's been uncovered. Yes, I want 1, 2, 3... a recipe with reasons for the order.

    Was shooting next to a lady who was shooting way too fast. She was just pulling the trigger and as suspected she hit just one. By chance the target flew in front of her shot. We talked between rounds and I gave her the above speel. She had a real hard time doing what my wife did readily. We practiced, took a break and practiced again. She was stopping the 'gun' when pulling the trigger. I have to think about that one. Eye dominance check needed? Back we went. Then she broke 4 in her second round.

    A buddy of mine commented that she doesn't mount the gun the same way twice. That's it. All the correct eye focus in the world won't matter if you mount it high in your shoulder one time and low the next. Same with her cheek on or off the comb.

    Later, Joe
     
  11. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    GUN FIT, as Joe just said!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. det131

    det131 Member

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    Joe:


    Not a bad starting routine. You can make that more realistic and safe by using an old rifle stock. I have several that I use that came from an assortment of firearms, 700 Remington's, 70 Winchester's, Marlin 22's, etc. You can find them at gun shops often for less than $20.00 in their bargain barrels, etc. Sometimes you can talk them out of them when you explain what you are going to use them for, i.e., teach new and young shooters proper gun mount, eye focus, move to target, follow through, stance, etc. Potential new customers you know.


    I find the biggest advantages to using this kind of teaching tool are:
    Not demonstrating by pointing a firearm at another person.

    They are lightweight so fatigue is not an issue. Additionally younger or small frame shooters are able to get into a proper stance because they are not trying to balance an 8lb or heavier firearm.

    New shooters are not intimidated by learning the proper mechanics on just a stock.

    They can safely practice at home. This is a big one. Imagine your liability if your new student goes home and blows a hole in the bedroom wall injuring someone in the living room because he/she was practicing gun mounts at your suggestion.


    You can use these stocks as is or dress them up with wooden dowel barrels, make ribs out of trim wood, or use pipe, sinkers, etc. to add weight to build upper body strength and endurance as your shooter advances. Lots of ways to use them, the only limit is your imagination.


    Jim
     
  13. washandwear

    washandwear Member

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    Hi

    We usually start at the trap line instead of the patterning board. I think a new shooter should demonstrate that he/she has the gun fit, gun mount and skill to hit a bullseye at 13yds with consistency before moving to the trap range. We should work with the new shooter to get the proper gun mount, gun fit and skill to hit the bullseye first and then work on the skills needed to hit a moving trap target.

    Regards

    W&W
     
  14. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    When a friend and I first took my grand daughter to the club we started at the pattern board. We went over the safety and proper handling of a shotgun. We first let her shoot a 410. It did not take long to find out she was left eye dominant and shooting rigth handed.

    She then started shooting left handed, still at the pattern board. I can not even begin to open, load or shoot left handed. We then later went to a 20 gage and then a couple of my 12 gages. She liked the Cole best over my P gun I shoot.

    We then went to the trap fields. First day out and she was breaking them much better than I did when I started. Seems she broke an 18 on her app. third round. It took me months. She really did good. No bad rounds. Ray
     
  15. BIG JIM IN BAKERSFIELD

    BIG JIM IN BAKERSFIELD TS Member

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    X Trap 2, You have the right idea. Always teach a new shooter on a stationary target first. I see too many people trying to get someone that has never shot a gun before, trying to hit moving targets. It takes a while for newbies to comprehend hand, eye, barrel, and target coordination. I have seen people trying to have beginners shoot skeet and sporting clay targets to no avail. All they did was confuse and embarrass the new shooters. Just a waste of time and targets. Jim
     
  16. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    I love the idea of getting junk stocks from gunsmiths. Will check at Gander the next time I'm up there. Thanks.
     
  17. det131

    det131 Member

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    Joe:

    Might ask around the club first. Somebody there has restocked one or more and has the old ones just sitting around the house, you known just in case they need it sometime. Often a good source of free ones.

    Jim
     
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