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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hoping to get a few people's opinion on how high above the gun hold their visual hold is. As a two eyes shooter I opt for a high hold of 1' - 1 1/2' above the house lid, slightly lower than parallel with the ground.

If your eyes ares softly focusing out to the point where the bird transitions from being a blur to being resolved as a clear object, then this could be considerably higher than your hold point - giving a larger gap between where your barrel is starting, and where your eyes are starting. A lot of tuition videos I've seen simply say to soft focus 'just above the gun', which implies only just higher than the gun hold point. Personally I find the gun drawing my eye too much when looking just above it.. but at the same time I don't want to be too disconnected from it. I have seen one or two tuition videos recommending a visual hold just to the left of gun hold with no mention of height (for a right handed shooter) up to station 3, and the reverse for station 4 and 5.
 

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Everyone's eyes are differant. The point where a bird transitions from a streak to a clay target is differant for everyone. Some people can look under the barrel and make a move, others like to float the bird and stay under it, some hold low, track it and shoot it.

Try all of the above and see what works. I think a flatter shooting gun you will want to hold lower (gain momentum to get to the target) and a higher shooting gun hold higher (make only horizontal movements to the bird). Or you may find yourself somewhere in between and thats OK too. The biggest thing is HOLD STILL until you see the bird, not the streak. When it becomes a bird and you can lock onto it, then go smoke that sucker.
 

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I shoot with both eyes, I have been told I am an instinct shooter.
If I ever see a clear target I am not aware of it.
My squad mates talk about seeing the rings on the target, I don’t.
I have found out what works for me most of the time and that was through much trial and error.
You will have to find what works for you but as lhedrick1 says hold the gun still until you know where the target is headed, good luck.
 

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I shoot with both eyes, I have been told I am an instinct shooter.
If I ever see a clear target I am not aware of it.
My squad mates talk about seeing the rings on the target, I don’t.
I have found out what works for me most of the time and that was through much trial and error.
You will have to find what works for you but as lhedrick1 says hold the gun still until you know where the target is headed, good luck.
I've heard people say they too can see the rings on the target. No matter how hard I focus on the target even when everything else is just a blur, I can't see the rings. Heck, I had to ask one guy if the targets were solid orange or if they had a black ring..they have a black ring but all I see is the the orange dome. So long as I keep that hard focus, I don't even see the end of the barrel or bead.
 

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I've heard people say they too can see the rings on the target. No matter how hard I focus on the target even when everything else is just a blur, I can't see the rings. Heck, I had to ask one guy if the targets were solid orange or if they had a black ring..they have a black ring but all I see is the the orange dome. So long as I keep that hard focus, I don't even see the end of the barrel or bead.
I shoot with both eyes (not very well mind you). For a long time I struggled with seeing what people told me was a "soft focus". I generally start with my barrel about parallel with the ground ...... I then adjust it up or down depending on targets and how they are flying. I have found that on days when I am shooting good - it happens to correspond to the days when I see the targets really well (du hu).... As I have aged, I do not see the targets the same each day (big surprise huh).
I have found that on days I shoot well, I never look down at the gun. That is the total complete opposite to shooting rifles (I am talking old school rifle with iron sights) - in rifles and pistols the focus has to absolutely on the front sight and the target is fuzzy.....With a shotgun the target MUST BE CLEAR and the front sight-barrel fuzzy, period. I look out into space in front of the house or field as I look further out than some say you should ("they say"). When I mount I never look down to check beads - if I do, it seems to take too long for me to get my eyes back out front before I call pull. If the focus is shifting somewhere between your barrel and "out yonder" when the call comes and target appears -- for me it is generally a lost bird. The focus of your eyes (muscle movement) can come back to you faster than it can go out away. In that regard your eye is like a rubber band - takes effort to push it out, and relax and it snaps back. As far as vertical - I have tried it all - through the gun, under the gun, off the gun, above the gun..... yadda, yadda. I general simply push my eyes "out yonder" about parallel with the barrel (just over it). As I said, it seems that on days I am seeing the target well my eyes stay "out yonder" while I am mounting and calling for the target. When I see the streak in my prereferral vision I try to let my eyes go to it and when it comes in bright focus - the gun starts moving and I clearly see the intersection of the black line and the orange dome - the targets seem to slow down and explode. If the gun moves before I get radar lock on the target and it is focused - it is generally lost. If I cant seem to clear the target my scores struggle. With solid orange targets I have trouble clearing them up, they look like fuzz balls, and scores suffer.
 

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The OPs question is about the “gap” between the barrel and the look point, not so much about where to hold. Personally, I cannot let my look point stray to far above my barrel or I get in trouble. I get “disconnected” from the barrel and will start missing birds. When that happens I have to consciously force myself to look directly down the rib before calling for the bird. I can understand, however, that this might cause “bead checking” for some shooters.
Denny K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The OPs question is about the “gap” between the barrel and the look point, not so much about where to hold. Personally, I cannot let my look point stray to far above my barrel or I get in trouble. I get “disconnected” from the barrel and will start missing birds. When that happens I have to consciously force myself to look directly down the rib before calling for the bird. I can understand, however, that this might cause “bead checking” for some shooters.
Denny K.
Point your gun where you look.
Was out on the trap field today and tried a few things. Watching the birds fly that some other shooters were calling for I generally found the best eye placement for me to pick up the bird was just above and outwards from the standard trap gun holds points.

The thing that confused me with trap when starting out is that you generally don't point the gun where you look until the moment you pull the trigger. You will be looking across the gun while tracking the bird, as your centre vision gets progressively narrower so does the gap between your eyes and the barrel until the moment you sense your self arrive at the bird they are in unison, pull the trigger and punch through it.
 

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The target presentation dictates how high you can hold.
For 16 yd & doubles I I'm holding above the house and looking underneath for the target to come out. The gun is already moving laterally when angles come out before they have cleared the gun.
By the time the target cleared the gun you can lock on.
Handicap I'm looking above the house and mounted down on the roof.
If you have a gun that fits and can mount consistantly you can look above below or to the either side and the gun will end up pointed in the right spot.
This works for me but doesn't mean it's the best or only way.
Henry
 

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I point my gun just below the top of the trap house. I look for the target about 3 ft to 4 ft above my gun. I try not to move my gun until I get a good look at the target.
 

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If at anytime my gun blocks or even slightly obscures my vision of the bird my head is coming off the stock. This is true for many shooters. Yes less gun movement can be better but correct gun movement can make the shots where you saw the bird clearly but have to trust the gun to be doing the right thing when you pull the trigger. Shooting a target that starts against a dark or black background put tracks into a bright sky can make a target seem to disappear. Trusting my gun movement has had several 50 straights in this condition. Could I do it with a higher hold? I don't hold high so I will never know.

Al
 
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