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Why Those Straight-away Targets Are Harder?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by JBrooks, May 4, 2009.

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  1. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    I have been doing some interesting reading on aspects of vision such as smooth pursuit and saccades. There are doubtlessly some members here who can correct or expand upon these comments but I think they are worthy of some consideration.

    Smooth pursuit refers to the visual ability to track and focus on an object in motion. It is how you can read the number on the side of a race car going by or, in our case, lock onto a target in flight. Saccades are super quick movements of the eye that allow for the refreshment of visual stimuli to the retina when the yes are staring or gazing at an object, kind of like how a TV screen gets refreshed by a cathode ray tube being swept by light beams.

    A series of saccades can help the eye catchup with a moving target at which point smooth pursuit allows the eye to lock onto the target. Now the interesting aspect. Smooth pursuit works best in the horizontal plane and the saccades cease once smooth pursuit has been achieved such as in tracking a hard angle target. Further, smooth pursuit in the horizontal plane allows the brain to predict the continuing line of flight and the timing of the target in arriving at points along that predicted line. This may be why we can swing through and shoot at the right time.

    However, in the vertical plane, and particularly where the target appears to be arcing up as opposed to following a straight path, such as a target going straight-away, the saccades don't cease and your brain is having to process a "choppy" image. This may be why we have a tendancy to roll our head back to help our eyes track the rising target thereby changing the geometry between our line of sight from our eye, through the front bead, to the target and the line through the center of the bore to the target causing us to shoot below the target.

    Or not.
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    JBrooks- Very interesting thought. It is more difficult to gage speed of an object coming straight toward or away from your eyes. If you were to stand directly in the middle of a railroad track and watch a locomotive approaching at 60 MPH, it would appear to be moving very slowly (trust me on this, don't try it).

    Understanding vision can be very complex. We do not see with our eyes. All the eyes do is send a large number of small electrical impulses to the brain and the brain form an image from these impulses. The eyes are much like the cable going to a TV set and the television screen functions like your brain.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    Yeah, those straight targets are tough. They curl to the left or right. The infamous "straight" target on station 3 has cost many a lost bird. Dave T.
     
  4. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    I am a PRO at missing station 3 straight aways.. Never hold in the middle of the house.. Always a little to the left or right.. That helped me..
     
  5. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Because they appear easier, thus the lack of resolve and discipline to break it.

    Curt
     
  6. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    OK, I'll bite...

    There is an Optometrist in CT named Bill Padula who actually explains this really well.

    He says we have two types of vision - not in the classic sense (focal & peripheral), he says these two are in fact the same thing (Pat Ireland gets this right - it is the brain's perception that gives us vision, not the eyes, so the variations of vision are merely functions of the perceptual process in the CNS).

    Padula says we have what he calls 'focal' and 'ambient' vision. The focal is the combination of the classic focal and peripheral vision - it is what we 'pay attention to.' The ambient is what grounds us in space.

    Think of a GPS unit - it will tell you exactly where you are (focal), but it is reliant on an un-seen concern - the satellites in space that tell it where it is (ambient). We do not attend to the ambient part of vision.

    If these two are out of synch we have problems. The best example I can think of this is if you are sitting on a train stopped at a station, and there is another train right next to you - one of the two starts to move and for a few seconds you do not know which one is moving - the disorientation you experience is the focal and ambient vision being out of synch.

    I have done a HORRIBLE job of explaining this - I have included a link to Padula's web site if you wish to learn more.

    To answer the original question I suspect that we have much more experience with the lateral movement in our visual fields - the vertical is less common and hence we attend to it less well.

    This suggests that practice could change this...

    David D
     
  7. BT-100dc

    BT-100dc Active Member

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    PerazziBigBore: Agree 100%; holding left or right of center when on Station 3 is the answer. The target is seen better and this should minimize lifting the head. The target that I most have a problem is a straight-away from Station 5. Now if I hold half way between center and the right end of the traphouse, then that helps. The tradeoff is I have to be awake when the hard right appears. BT-100dc
     
  8. Mismost

    Mismost TS Member

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    Great timing on this subject! I have just become interested in the vision aspect of target shooting, the major part the eyes play in this game, and how/what I can pass on to my 4H shooters.

    I'm now reading "An Insight to Sports", Dr. Wayne F. Martin...so far it's been a good read and has some great eye exercises. Got this interest stirred up when I took the Level one Coaching Class for trap and we were given a simple eye exercise and that exercise made an immediate difference in how quickly the targets came into focus. In short I was amazed! Passed this exercise on to our 4H Team and judging by the dust balls, more targets hits, and the expressions on the faces of the kids, I'd say it worked for the ones who used it!

    From that one exercise alone, I am convinced we can exercise and strengthen our eyes, or at least help them function better on the line. Have spent years working on form, money on chokes, played with reloads and shot sizes, and never gave any thought to working on my eyes. Rule one is look at the target = it's all about vision = improve your vision to improve your shooting. If you can't tell, I'm kind of juiced up about this vision thing!

    Anyway, I want to do more reading on this subject! Know any other good books about sports vision?

    Thanks!
     
  9. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Straightaways harder? Probably not. Just go out into a snowy field after a trapshoot and see where most of the unbroken targets lie. You'll see that more whole targets lie at the extreme ends than anywhere else. I doubt this indicates more straight targets from one and five are missed compared to angles.

    Missing straightaway targets regularly is more often indicative of an impact that is too low for repeated success causing missing underneath. Shooters are often thoroughly confused by this issue especially when the resident "experts" usually tell them they shot over the top. If straightaways are an issue try raising your impact and the problem usually goes away!!
     
  10. Bernie K

    Bernie K Member

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    The straight away target is the hardest target to hit for one main reason.. On any target that moves to the right or the left the shooter has a very wide margin to hit that target about 15 feet of shoot string for the bird to fly thru. On a straight away it's one ball of shot if your using a full chock you have about a 15in circle of shoot. Also most shooters according to Frank Little shoot under a straight away.
     
  11. wlc

    wlc Member

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    Mismost, What is the eye exercise that you use? Thanks
     
  12. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Of course I sleep good. It's called a clear conscious. You should try it.
    In fact, the only sleep I ever lose is worrying about your well being. LOL
     
  13. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    I wonder are the targets truly "straight aways" or are we seeing the flight path as such, as the target deviates from straight away just enough to cause us to mis? The other thing that I've noticed about my own shooting is that the "easier the target " the more apt I am to take the shoot for granted and miss. When hunting, and the bird presents and easy shoot, I find that I miss those at a higher precentage than the harder presentations.
     
  14. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Beause there are no straight aways. HMB
     
  15. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    To add to Bruce's point. How many true straight aways does one get in a round of trap? If you had a ribbon running from your standing spot to where a true straight would land, how many would run down that line? I'm not talking about one curving on it's path farther out either. Mis-read it six inches or a foot, miss it by twice that at least. Remember too, if targets are set according to suggested ATA settings of 17 degrees, you won't get many if any true straight aways from posts 1 and 5? Set as such, you'd have to be standing to the right of station one about 3 feet, left of station 5 the same?

    Most true straights are missed by hurrying the shot with an arm only move and a vertical stop. Shooting under is the usual result. Hap
     
  16. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Peeking over the top of you gun (head lifting): result shooting underneath the target. even though it appears you shot over the target.
     
  17. Bernie K

    Bernie K Member

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    Shootlow.. The fact is you have a string of shot that can be up to 15ft long check out pictures that have been taken of the string.. your not going to get it with 7/8 or one ounce but it can be up to 15ft long. If your just a little ahead of the target the bird has to fly into it..fact.
    PS what was I to get study? thanks Bernie
     
  18. Mismost

    Mismost TS Member

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    wlc....The exercise they gave us is very simple. With your head erect and held still, look up as far as you can, look left, down, and right...pushing you eyes as far as you can, feel the burn. Then move them clockwise, again to the extents possible, then counter clockwise. Then repeat the set with your eyes closed. Finish with another eyes open set.

    You need to make this a bit uncomfortable...you should FEEL these 6 little muscles that move your eyeball. The effects seem to last about 20 minutes and it was noticeable after the very first set I did....it seems to "warm up" your eyes. Did I mention it's free? I love a good cheap trick!!

    The book, An Insight To Sports, said to make a binocular string which is a 10' piece of heavy twine with 3 beads or fishing bobbers set about 2 feet apart. Tie a loop in each end and loop one end over a nail or a door knob. Hold the other end to your nose and focus on the first bead...you should see the string form a vee pointing outward and see double images of the other 2 beads...hold for 3 seconds. Shift to the center bead and the string makes an X through the bead, hold for 3 seconds. Shift to the far bead and the string makes a VEE pointed at the last bead, hold for 3 seconds. Later, you can hold the string higher, lower, or off to one side. This is supposed to help develop your convergence muscles. Which will help you get a faster focus on the target. Work it for 2 to 4 minutes...that is all you will WANT to work...your eyes will feel the strain! It seems most of us have couch potato eyes...we've got lazy eyes.

    There are several other simple "devices" in that book...but this is as far as i have gotten.
     
  19. Post  2

    Post 2 TS Member

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    I have never noticed straight-away targets being harder to hit. They are in fact easier. As one poster noted look at the fields where the targets fall. In all cases that I have observed the most untouched targets lie in the extrem angles areas. I would guess some people are just looking for another excuse for missing a few clays. Keep your head down and don't move the gun until the target is identified then break it. Post-2
     
  20. Rusty Razor

    Rusty Razor Member

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    There are no hard targets in trap, lock the trap any where shoot 3 at a station you won't miss any because you know where they are going. when I miss it is due to a lot of things I have done wrong but you really can't blame it on a hard target. After the miss you could break the same target ten times in a row. If I know how I missed a target I won't miss the same one agian until a next miss pushes it out of my mind. Now if I could expand my memory capacity I would miss a lot less. Jim Henry
     
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