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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just about everyone I have talked to, Just about every video I have watched, Look at the bird not the beads, which is what I try to do and when I have my full concentration on the bird I normally break it.
I have had several ask me"do you float the bird or cover the bird"
I don't know what to tell them because I don't know myself. I know how my gun patterns, but as far as shooting trap I never look at the beads if I can help it because if I do I usually miss that target.
 

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You have the same thought process as I do, I really can't tell some one when I pull the trigger or my process for breaking the target other than, I cover the bird keep moving the gun and then my brain takes control.
 

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I believe “shot gunning “ is hand eye coordination

I believe the key to success is making your gun shoot to what YOUR eye and brain wants to see.

Do not look back at the beads………………



GS
 

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Well I look at the target and not the beads.
I don't loose sight of the target so I guess I float it.
If I cover the target ie loose sight of it I generally miss.
 

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I have had people tell me they never see the barrel in relation to the bird but then say ,when they miss a bird, they were behind , over it etc.
Now if you cant see the barrel bird relationship how do you know why you missed the bird??
 

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What's confusing is the language we use when trying to describe the process. Reading just these few posts. you'd think there is no difference between "looking" & "seeing", not to mention that no one even used the word "focus."

Right now, you're focusing on my words. Can you tell me you can't "see" your keyboard, even though you aren't "looking" at it?
Furthermore, without shifting your focus from these words, can you not make a reasonable estimate of how far away the keyboard the is from these words? Without turning to "look" at it, can you not estimate how far away the lamp on the table is, the wall next to you, etc. ? Of course you can.

I don't FOCUS on my bead, but I SEE it and I know where it is. During the shot, when I'm on autopilot I TRUST my brain to fire the gun when the barrel is in the right spot. That (should) takes place in such a short amount of time with such intense focus on the target that I don't consciously register the bead/bird relationship the instant before the shot. However, in the visual playback that takes place 1/2 second after the shot, I can clearly SEE the relationship...the target was suspended a few inches above my bead just as it exploded....it was a bit further above my bead than I typically see and it's still sailing....it disappeared from sight beneath my bead just as I slapped the trigger and I think "Damn! I lost it." Then I drop the gun and see the single piece falling away....I shot high.

I get feedback from every single shot I take. I feel badly for anyone who misses just 1 or 2 in 25 and says "I don't have a clue."
 

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One third of your brain mass is used for vision. Focus on the target with such intensity to see it very clearly, and it will break every time, if you are doing only this when the trigger is pulled.

I still feel that with the lead hand being connected to our nervous system, and the brain always knowing where that hand is, makes the connection between the visual aspect, and motor skills aspect, allowing us to hit the target through these references. Being that our eyes can only focus on objects very clearly in a two degree cone, and our peripheral vision outside this cone is just a clouded view of light, makes me think that using the bead for reference of a shot is not likely. That is unless you are covering the bird to break it, at which the trigger pull is simultaneous. The barrel is in the front hand, and that is what the brain is using for calculation, to match the visual intersection for the shot, IMO.

This is why I say to do this test. Stare at a very small object out in the distance, to the point of very clear focus. About five seconds, just for this test. It does not have to be that far away. Now, close your eyes, and point your index finger of that lead hand, which would be holding the forearm (Barrel). Open your eyes. Now being as that is the opposite side of your dominant eye, you will have to lean your head over to use the dominant eye. Where is that finger pointed? It should be directly at that target, or very close. How can this be? You can do this with the dominant eye side too, with the same results. This is why I feel pointing the index finger down the forearm, straight down the barrel helps with this reference, for newer shooters especially.

I also notice this, for two eye open shooters of course. If you are ambidextrous with your winking capabilities, hold your dominant eye arm out pointing at the object, with both eyes open, focusing, and concentrating on that target. Open and close your non-dominant eye. That pointing finger in your peripheral vision does not seem to move. Now open and close your dominant eye, while focused on that target with both eyes open. That finger now seems to move side to side. Could this be the reason why when we crossfire, we see that barrel reference in vision, but don't see it when we stay focused on the bird with very acute concentration? Thus the non-dominant eye is becoming the main focal information, and creating a different angle of focus, allowing us to see the side of the barrel.

Also our eyes can't focus on an object thirty yards away, and focus on an object thirty six inches away at the same time. Which is why when we bead check, we here loss more often than not. If that visual focus of the bird is interrupted at any time, once you are focused to clarity, you will not hit the bird more often, than not. I really, really feel this is the main cause of a "Flinch". Whether it be visual focus interruption, caused by an object, or brain function short circuiting that visual link. Example; thought or fear of recoil.

That reference of floating, or covering really is just that. If the bird disappearing is the trigger mechanism for the shot, you are not floating the bird. If you shoot without covering the bird, you are floating the bird. Distance of the float IMO, can not be judged, if you are concentrating on the target to the degree you need to hit it. You may however get lucky once in a while, and be able to see what this approximate distance is, by hitting the target, while looking for the lead distance. The problem there is, your focus will be on one or the other when you pull the trigger. Hard to calculate that, without guessing.

This is why when I hear people ask the question,"Do you float the bird three or four inches?" when shooting someones gun makes me laugh. Unless you have the bionic mans eye, I don't know how this would be possible to calculate. Even if you determine POI on a board, it really does not make that the true distance in reality, of shooting a moving target, IMO. You are aiming in that instance, where you are allowing focus out far, and then in near, to line up the shot. Can't do that when shooting at a moving target out at distance.
 

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Focus hard on the target. Very hard.

Your gun patterns high, float bird.
Your gun patterns flat 50/50, cover bird.

Less is more.
 
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if there was a 4" circle drawn on a blackboard and i asked you to walk up to it and put your finger in the middle of the circle, would you look at the end of you finger to do it? that's what pointing a shotgun at a clay target or bird in flight is to me. focus intently on the target and my reflexes, depth perception and focus (assuming good gun fit) do the rest. for some it comes natural, for some it can be learned or taught if it does not come natural. for some it never happens. for those, it's find the target, find the end of the gun and then try to get the front end of the gun on the target. most evident when watching shooters shoot doubles. natural to some, can be learned or taught for some, but for some, it's finding the target, find the front end of the gun, get the two together...times 2...

milt
 

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I'm using the front bead and floating the bird over the bead. I sometimes shoot over the target because I didn't hold my gun below the front of the house. A proper hold before calling for the bird means I break the bird. Don't hold it in the right position and I miss.
 

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Do yourself a little favor. Ask your local club to lock the trap on straight-away. Stand on Post 3 and shoot a couple of targets. If you are not smoking those straightaway targets, change the POI of your shotgun. That is easily accomplished by changing the height of your comb. Raise the comb, you will raise your POI.

Do not shoot a gun where you must "float" a target or even think about those beads. Use the straightaways from Post 3 to dial your gun it. If you do this it will not matter if your mind cannot recall where the bead is when you pull the trigger.
 

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With a shotgun you point not aim! Here it is simplified, after mounting the gun place your face on the comb, line up the beads with hold point on the trap house and call for the target. Focusing on two things, keeping a cheek weld and the target not the beads! Hand eye coordination will take your hand(gun) to where you are looking! If you think about it you missed! It's an instinctive process that shouldn't be over analyzed. A trapshooters biggest enemy is that thing on your shoulders, i.e. It's always your head that causes you to miss- lifting off the stock or over thinking! Pull bang smoke!
 

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This conversation ought to get a bunch of new shooters really screwed up. How do you shoot a 80/20 and not float the target? How do you consistently break targets if you don't know your barrel bird relationship? How do you know where to shoot the bird if you don't know POI of your gun?

I agree with another site poster who says put some of your creds up here so readers know if you are qualified to give your so called advice.

Don
 

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Bigdon, as we both know, trap targets are rising. People shoot guns that put more shot above the bore ( like 80/20) so they do not have to lead the target in the upward direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When I bought my gun the first thing I did was got to a pattern board, mine does shot a 60/40 pattern.I do know if I back check to the beads while shooting trap it's about a sure thing that I will miss. I do check my beads when I set my gun hold on the trap house,after that I just focus on the bird.
 

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This conversation ought to get a bunch of new shooters really screwed up. How do you shoot a 80/20 and not float the target? How do you consistently break targets if you don't know your barrel bird relationship? How do you know where to shoot the bird if you don't know POI of your gun?

I agree with another site poster who says put some of your creds up here so readers know if you are qualified to give your so called advice.

Don
Creds? How about close to 40 years of experience with both skeet and trap and bird hunting? I'm no "big dog" or professional but I've shot Lord knows how many 25,50 or 100 straights at skeet and with the exception of never having shot even one 100 straight at trap;many 99's and who knows how many 25 ,50 or 75 plus straights? Go back and read Mike Campbell's post above. I can't say I am EVER aware of the bead but I AM at least aware of the end of the barrel and especially so when shooting skeet as there is more gun movement at that game than trap. Mostly I shoot right AT the bird with swing speed and follow through AUTOMATICALLY giving the correct lead...with experience a trap shooter will shoot faster and that usually requires a higher p.o.i. such as 80/20 even though he is still shooting directly at the bird..
 

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To me the beads are used for setting your hold points. When you shoot enough, you sense where the barrel is, but are focused on the target. I've had times where I don't realize I pulled the trigger, but the bird always smokes. This is being in "the zone", brain to trigger , no thinking. If your thinking ,your aiming-not good for trap, rifle yes, trap no. I remember Michael Jordon hitting 3 pointers all night when "in the zone" throwing his hands up as if to say ,"I don't know? what it is?" The task is how to insert yourself in that frame of mind on command, the great shooters can do this when it counts. I'm sure every shooter has raised his awareness when shooting with a excellent squad and realizes that you rise to the level of competition. The cadence of an experienced squad eliminates time to think, and fosters an environment to get into " zone". Now if someone can tell me how to do it on command, I could write a book and retire.
 

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While I'm thinking about it go shoot a couple rounds of skeet. Maybe the first couple times don't shoot the doubles but let the puller just pull you a single from the high house and then a single from the low house..next round go ahead and try the true doubles....I've seen countless new shooters miss the first target and in their rush to break the second something miraculous happens and they break it...that's because in their hurry to get it their subconscious mind takes over and eye/hand coordination breaks the target....that will teach you how to shoot a shotgun.
 
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