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What does "shoot where you look" mean?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by joe kuhn, Aug 30, 2009.

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  1. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Ever since I first heard the saying, "Your gun should shoot where you look", I've wondered - what does that mean?

    So I've been collecting info in an attempt to bring it out into words. Here's what I've come up with.

    The book "Break 'em all" has a nice picture of a guy holding up a target with everything in the picture grayed out except a circle around the target about a foot or so in diameter. That circle defines a hard focus area and everything outside that circle is your peripheral vision area. Inside the circle is two eyed, hard focused vision on the target.

    To have a gun that shoots where you look means your hard focus area is covered by your pattern as your gun approaches the target peripherally and you feel compelled to pull the trigger.

    Right away I want to ask, "Why keep the gun and bead out of the hard focus area?". Answer: because you'll want to look at the bead. It's moving too.

    When I'm focused on a target, I don't want interference from the gun's bead/rib. My two eyed focus spot should be approached, not crossed, as I whack the target.

    Suppose my gun shoots flat. Then I'll have to cover the target and that's bad because then I'm going to lift my head to see what I'm shooting at - in addition to the interference and tendancy to bead check.

    What if my gun shoots way too high? Then I'll loose the connection between my gun in the peripheral area, and the hard focus target area. I don't have enough adjustment on my gun to explore this, so I'll just leave it at that. The word 'limbo' comes to mind.

    What validated all this is to notice that while I shoot birds with my pointer fingers, I keep my bead hand low and out of the hard focus area. This I do naturally and never realized it until I thought about that picture in the book and what I really was doing in my exercise without a gun.

    (I believe there are implications when setting up a gun at the pattern board, but that's another topic.)

    Is this clear?

    Joe
     
  2. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    What does

    Probably means the point of impact is where you think it should be on a moving target. Not hard to determine on a bench rest, but when everything is in motion you don't get to look back and forth at the "sights" and the target for a minute or two. You just achieve a sight picture that your central computer likes and it pulls your trigger finger for you. If your barrel isn't bent and is patterning where you want, this, in combination with your "fire control sytem" should shoot where you look. If everything wasn't moving, it sure would be a lot easier to accomplish.
     
  3. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    What does

    It's a small point, but you really don't want it to shoot where you look, but rather where you will be looking in about 0.1 to 0.15 seconds. It's easy to see how a higher-than-flat-shooting gun can do that (most of the time) in the vertical plane, but the horizontal is tougher to explain. You can't trust the gun to do it; you have to.

    Neil
     
  4. WNCRob

    WNCRob Member

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    What does

    Methinks this is getting a little too mental...paralasis by analysis. If you really want to get screwed up, just let your brain get in the way of your learned instinctive reactions.

    WNCRob
     
  5. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    What does

    Rob,

    As long as you've got a trainer who understands the dynamics and does the set up and initial instruction, then fine. What about the new guy who's trying to figure it out? He doesn't have a clue and someone comes along and says:

    Your gun should shoot where you look.

    Huh? What does that mean?

    This is the context in which I'm trying to work. "Just shoot it" doesn't go very far.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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    What does

    My coach explained it to me this way...

    Focus hard on the leading edge of the target. Keep your head firmly on the stock. If your gun fits properly, you don't stop your swing and your line of sight is true along the rib, the target will break when you fire. If it doesn't and you were looking at the right spot and you didn't stop, your gun isn't pointed where you're looking when you pull the trigger. Figure out why!

    Carol Lister
     
  7. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    What does

    If you would like to find out if your gun shoots where you are looking you can perform the following test.

    Take your gun over to the patterning board and shoot it like a rifle. By that I mean close you non shooting eye, line up the beads, and squeeze the trigger. Shoot five shots and make a note of the POI.

    Next, shoot your gun with both eyes open, look at the target, concentrate on the target instead of the beads. Shoot five shots and compare the POI with the POI from the first test.

    If both POIs are the same then your gun shoots where you are looking. HMB
     
  8. RV4driver

    RV4driver TS Member

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    What does

    I've discovered recently that it isn't enough to "not look at the barrel/bead".
    I actually have to "not be conciously (sp?) aware" of the barrel/bead.
    I believe that has been my trouble with easy straight away birds from 3. If I have time to spend on a shot, I become complacent and an awareness of the barrel creeps into my mind. As a result, I see the barrel doing a side to side bit at the end. Holding particularly high gun on 3 has helped a lot, as a quick instictive swing and trigger pull breaks the bird. The down side is a full angle to the left (not right for some reason) on 3 occasionally results in a distinct flinch.
    Now, having said all this, I find that if I shoot very quickly, I instinctively do everything properly and don't have time to think about leads, etc. and can't become aware of the barrel position. Best results by far.

    Still learning...

    Jeff
     
  9. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    What does

    I don't think it is a mortal sin to "Notice" the front bead in my peripheral vision at the moment of truth when I'm focused on the target. In fact I don't think it is any kind of a sin.
     
  10. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    What does

    "My two eyed focus spot should be approached, not crossed, as I whack the target."

    Could this be why people miss hard lefts with a flatter-shooting gun? Could it be that what looks like cross-firing is actually loss of focus on the target due to the eyes following the bead instead of the target (when you lead the target, I mean)?
     
  11. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    What does

    I've always thought "shoot where you look" is a rather meaningless description or directive. In "Break 'em all" that Joe quoted, I would have been happier if the picture would have included a grayed-out gun muzzle.

    I agree with Jeff. We must-be and are all aware of the location of the muzzle relative to the target when we fire. If we weren't, we would not know when to pull the trigger.

    Neil brings up a good point: We don't want the gun to put the center of the pattern where we are looking; we want the center of the pattern to go to where the target will be when the pattern arrives there and where the movement of the gun during the swing will put it following the delay caused by reaction time. (Try explaining THAT to a new shooter.)

    WNCRob's "paralysis by analysis" is a risk that occur rs anytime a concept is discussed at length. Things may be able to be over analyzed but analysis often leads to a greater understanding of that which is being discussed.

    Rollin
     
  12. pdq

    pdq Member

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    What does

    I take a much simpler approach. I've only been shooting trap for 5 years, so my steep learning curve is still pretty recent. For me, it's locking onto the target, then instinctively moving the gun via eye/hand coordination to the point where my peripheral vision is aware of the muzzle of the gun. When my brain sees the right "picture" between muzzle and target it fires the gun and the target breaks. But for that to happen, the gun has to fit me well so that the gun is pointed where it appears to be, else that 'picture' can be wrong by a matter of feet. I'm left eye dominant, so the first thing to make sure the gun was pointed where it appeared to be was taping up my left lens.

    BTW -- probably the best $50 I've spent relative to trap shooting is for Phil Kiner's DVD. Highly, highly recommended.

    Pete
     
  13. ccw1911

    ccw1911 Member

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    What does

    I wonder if a better way to explain it would be you want your shotgun to "point where you look" and to "shoot where you point it".

    Stock fitting takes care of the "point where you look" and rib or comb adjustments or barrel bending takes care of "shoot where you point". With a trap gun a little built in vertical lead as Neil points out will make the game a little easier.
     
  14. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    What does

    I'll try to condense this for those that want a simple answer. Shoot_where_you_look can be a relative term for having the correct POI.
     
  15. K80Dude

    K80Dude Member

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    What does

    Joe,
    I don't know of a better way to explain it then you did. My gun shoots a pattern high (yes this is from adjusting a lot and shooting at a patterning board). I have tried lower more traditional POI and struggled a lot having consistent hard breaks. So after all of the adjustments to be where everyone thinks you should set your POI I went back to a pattern high and the 25 "ink balls" came back.

    I would say the gun shoots where I look. After 3 fittings of my PFS over the last couple of months it is now perfect! If I miss a target it tends to be me being in a hurry and not setting my eyes and being ready for the target.

    I did not change anything about how I moved to a target or where I looked and unless I have the POI set where it is my scores struggle. With time shooting a different POI I could adjust to a lower POI but why bother? My gun is adjustable for the very reason of setting it up for your style of shooting and where you look. So it is set and I have no intention in changing anything. Since I got it finalized my worst singles score is 97, I would say it is good to go!

    I could take my front bead off my K80 because I never see it after I check my alignment when I mount the gun. After that my eyes move to a soft focus in front of the house, I call for a target and move to it. My students and others ask how do you learn to "float" the target etc. I have no answer for them because I do not do it consciously and I never see my front bead after I mount the gun. In fact if I tried to use my bead to "float" a target I bet I would not hit any or not very reliably. For handicap I simply change my hold point a little and am good to go. I still will shoot a light 1 oz shell, same as singles and targets break. Simple right? lol.

    I try to give my students a general idea of hold points and see how they shoot and adjust from there. If they have guns that can be adjusted for POI then great, but most do not so we have to adjust their hold point so they approach the target what best fits their style and eyes.

    The best way to set a gun to shoot where you look is to shoot it on paper adjust it to where you "think" it should be and go to post 3 and shoot straight away targets. You will either be getting good center hits or a number of different breaks. Once you determine how well you are breaking targets you continue to increase your POI for more smoke. If less smoke is found then you need to lower it. Once you find the sweet spot lock everything in place and re pattern your gun! You need to know where the sweet spot is on paper so if anything changes you can adjust it back to that sweet spot and you are good to go. It is my opinion people shoot a lower POI then they should.

    I am sure many of you already new this but it blows me away how many really don't know how to adjust a gun to shoot where they look for reliable and consistent center hits.

    Dave
     
  16. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    What does

    I guess it's hard to see things from a beginners mind when you've been running 100 straights for years and years. If you gun shoots where you look how are you going to hit the bird if you focus intently on the bird like all the experienced shooters tell you to? Maybe you'll catch the bird with the top of your pattern as it wizzes by while you are looking at the bird but if you're shooting that full choke all the champs say use you don't have much to work with.

    If your gun shoots where you look and you put that thousand yard stare on that bird to where you can see the dimples on it, and slap the snot out of the trigger, where is the shot going? It's supposed to go where you where looking when you slapped the trigger or released it for that matter. Problem is the bird is no longer where it was one the shot went out the barrel, it's moving. And maybe just maybe since your a rank beginner you might even stop the gun a little as you smack the trigger, that won't help either will it?


    Now can you just maybe see where beginners get confused when they hear all this stuff from everyone trying to help them at the gun club?

    A Little of the advice I've heard around the club.........

    Ok just put the bead right in front of the target and let er go Clem says, that's all he told me so I went out and tried it. worked pretty good. wish he'd told me to wait my turn them other boys got a little po'ed when I shot at one of their birds. But a lot of times by the time I found the bead the bird was in the weeds.

    George says no no never look at the beads, look at the target and when it feels right let er go. I have some experience about things that feel right but don't see how that would fit in out here in front of everbody. He had me tape up both my beads and then put some tape over my left glasses. Don't know what that was supposed to do but I nearly shot the skeet house with that set up. Puttin the tape on my right glass helped a little but I just couldn't get used to shootin in the fogg. I think having both eyes open with no tape works the best for me but with them beads taped up I was lookin at them anyway tape and all.

    Everyone is telling you wrong Bill says, you have to make sure them beads are a perfect figure eight first thing as soon as you stick the stock on your shoulder. But it hurts my neck to do that.. well you'll have to tuff it out till you can by that used Kreighoff Sam has a bargain on over on the gun rack. Anyways when you have them beads lined up just right point them at the edge of the trap house while you look out there in thin air about 10 feet in front of the trap house and call for the bird. When it comes out just move your gun to it and when the beads just touch the bottom of the bird let er have it. That worked sometimes but it was a mite confusing looking for the beads and the bird and I never could find that special quiet spot out there in front of the trap house. Sometimes I was just staring and never saw the bird come out till someone hollared at me, is it the same as daydreaming cause I'm real good at that. Maybe if they put a sign up or something around that spot your supposed to look at that's invisible?

    Ok Jimmy says first thing lets get rid of that modified choke, can't break no birds with that, I have a special full I'll let you use that will just boil them from the 16. And what are you doing with those 8's man you got to have some 3 dram 7 and a halfs if you expect to run with the big boys. Now with these loads just hold the gun up off the trap house about three feet and as soon as you see the bird sling your gun towards it and slap the bejesus out of the trigger at the same time. With your barrel moving that fast it will sling the shot out and you won't have to worry about leading or anything cause your pattern will be 40 feet long and 30 feet wide. Works for me and I won the club 16 yd championships in 1954. How many did you hit? Well the wind was real bad and it was cold but I bested everyone with a 76. I hit some his way but my jaw thought I'd pissed off Chuck Norris and I swear I was draggin my shoulder behind me.

    Bobby Joe is the man around the club, he can shoot anything and sometimes will help if he likes you or you buy him a few beers, don't hurt to buy a used car from him at his lot either. He looks like an Olympic runner fixin to take off when he shoots, he gets crouched down and pushes that gun way out there. He showed me how by doin that the gun don't kick any and you can swing a whole bunch faster. My problem with it is I'm bowlegged and a mule kicked in 4 of my ribs on the left side when I was 9 and I never could get them fixed so that side is kinda caved in a little. I was in a lot of pain when I got into Bobby Joe's shooting stance but Yancy my best friend said I really looked the part of a trap shooter, said I looked like I meant business, part of that was the the pained look on my face on top of everything else my Big Smiths were gettin too tight down in the privates area. I tried my best but I was like a kite in the wind, as soon as I tried to ketch up with one of those hard lefts my gun would drop down cause my chest would cave in a little and boy my ankles would get in a terrible bind. I hit one or two, Bobby Joe told me to keep after it just like that and I'd be hittn em all in a year or two. I'm afraid I'd never be able to have kids even if I could find a woman if I kept that up, them hard rights were cuttin into the boys if you know what I mean.

    Theys a couple of other good shooters who are gonna try and help me soon, man I hope someone can teach me how to hit them things. I can usually get a squirrel on the run with my old 22 and handn't never missed a quail but these clay pidgeons are getting the best of me.

    Next time this funny talkin guy is gonna teach me to meditate before I go out to shoot, never tried that but I'm willing to try anything, aint no kind of shootin I aint been good at. He talks real smooth and quiet so I believe I'll keep my eyes open and have Yancy close by just in case this is one of those fruitcake type guys.
     
  17. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    silverbulletexpress, I can put names on every one of the helpful guys above. Although your post was intertaining and told us all what to avoid, you didn't offer any advice as to what you think would improve a person's scores.

    Any advice for everyone?
     
  18. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    What does

    I think Dave gives us the best advice at the bottom of his note where he says, "The best way to set a gun to shoot where you look...". Notice he says you check it on paper first with a best guess, then go to targets and then check it on paper again at the end and make a note of it. Paper isn't used as a deciding factor. Actual moving targets are what is used - straight aways. I finally did this simple exercise after reading about it for years and was quite surprised to get much better breaks with a higher shooting gun. It was easy to see. Only trouble I had was on post 5 which makes sense because with both eyes open on paper my gun shoots to the left.

    Come to think of it, why do we shoot on paper like we we're shooting a rifle with a bench and one eye closed? It just doesn't make sense. I tried shooting with both eyes open and my pattern moved noticably to the left at 13 yards. I shot several times each way - off eye open/closed. I'm not asking for the reasoning, I'm questioning the method.

    Maybe we should be shooting paper like we shoot targets. Both eyes on the target, approach from the bottom and let go when you think you should.

    I should check moving targets set at straight aways from my yardage as well. The straight away method is becoming way more important to my way of thinking.

    Lots of good points by alot of folks - thanks.
     
  19. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    What does

    How does the method of shooting impact the topic?! Whether one employs a sustained, pull-away, swing through and/or Churchill style, does that, in and of itself, change the conversation?!

    Whatever happened to good 'ole visualization, where you learned to shoot the sight picture that worked, not worried whether the gun was adjusted to correct the sight picture. I respectfully think, we've gotten way too dependent on buying into technology to compensate for inadequate skills. Adjust this, that and the other things and after... what?! 10 targets, you'll be shooting 100x100!

    Ron Popeil and his Showtime Grill - "set it and forget it". How many threads do we see "which choke?!" If we're not supposed to use beads, Hi-Viz and other companies sure aren't listening, while buyers are buying... guns are coming with fluorescent beads, OEM. Beads aren't going anywhere, anytime soon.

    Joe... simple fix. Make sure the gun shoots straight at the target, for a given person's face. Fixed rib guns offer some POI above the front bead (if an adjustable rib/comb, don't screw it up by making it too high, then use super strong Locktite) and let the shooter practice for 200 rounds on fixed targets until he or she can figure out the sight picture.

    Got cross-dominance... slap some tape on the lens or shoot one-eyed.

    Focus on the basics... get off oscillating trap until they've got the fundamentals in place - it isn't as sexy as shooting fully moving targets, but what's the goal here?!

    Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect... Too few folks are the next Leo or Harlan anyway... give them enough tools to hit 80% and let them work to figure the rest out over time.

    Regards all,

    Jay

    Isn't that the way most of us started out
     
  20. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    What does

    spitter writes "Whatever happened to good 'ole visualization, where you learned to shoot the sight picture that worked, not worried whether the gun was adjusted to correct the sight picture. I respectfully think, we've gotten way too dependent on buying into technology to compensate for inadequate skills. Adjust this, that and the other things and after... what?! 10 targets, you'll be shooting 100x100! WHY=C-20-D

    Then you post, "Joe... simple fix. Make sure the gun shoots straight at the target, for a given person's face. Fixed rib guns offer some POI above the front bead (if an adjustable rib/comb, don't screw it up by making it too high, then use super strong Locktite) and let the shooter practice for 200 rounds on fixed targets until he or she can figure out the sight picture." If what you intially wrote is/was valid then why does a gun have to shoot straight as you previously said that a person would learn to adjust to the gun!
     
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