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Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed many coaches standing directly behind their student and from that angle coming to an opinion of what caused a miss, behind, ahead, etc. When I try the same system of looking from behind a shooter, I have a general idea of where they are aiming but because the shooter's head is in my line of sight unless it is is a gross miss, I really have no idea what caused it. What am I doing wrong.
 

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try watching the hits too, a lot can be understood by smoke or lack thereof
 

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Traders. I do that with guys/gals I coach. I can actually see the shot column go by the target when they miss. I cannot see it when they hit the target. But if they are shooting a full choke gun I can judge the hit by where it strikes the target. Agreed one shot could be an anomaly, but when the big pieces continually go the same direction it tells me how to adjust them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I understand how to judge the quality of a hit. What I don't understand is how anyone can stand behind the shooter and see exactly where the shot is going in a miss. When I try, all I see it the back of the shooter's head. It completely blocks the view. What am I doing wrong?
 

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Uh, have you ever considered standing in a place where you see the target, not just the back of the shooter's head?

You can then - if conditions are right - get an impression of where the shot went relative to the bird when the shooter misses it. It's just an impression, though, a fleeting glimpse of something a bit darker on one side of bird or other. I've tested it and found the feedback seems pretty accurate. In contrast, I've found that people who "read (my) break" are just guessing.

Neil
 

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<blockquote><I>"...What am I doing wrong?..."</I></blockquote>

You're taking advice from people with over-active imaginations and inflated egos. And judging the quality of a hit isn't as easy as it seems. Just because a piece flew off in a particular direction doesn't mean that it was hit by the part of the pattern that would logically send a piece off in that direction.

MK
 

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Traders,

Your mistake is in trying to look down the top of the barrel like the shooter does. That obviously won't work because the shooter's head is in the way. You have to look along the side of the barrel. It takes some practice, but if done right, it can be a pretty accurate method.

Secondly, you have to be in almost direct line with where the shooter is shooting. Unless the shooter has the trap locked down for a certain angle, it's only a guess which of the 5 angles the shooter is going to get. So, unless you just happen to guess the correct angle of the target and get into the right position, you're not likely to have a good view of where the shooter is actually shooting.
 

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The thing to do is not to stand directly behind a shooter, it is relatively rare to have the right light and target conditions to be able to see shot consistently. I am not convinced that seeing it is a reliable indicator of where you actually missed everytime but at times it is useful. Some people, myself included can tell misses by the stance and body language of the shooter and where the barrel is pointing. It does take a lot of experience but if you are interested in this sort of thing then it is a skill that can be developed.

Target breaks can also be read and here again experience is key. It is not an absolute science because it is possible for a front end break to occur from anywhere on the pattern but overall it is very reliable particularly for reading ones own breaks because you tend to have a good idea where you are anyway and the breaks simply reiterate that.
 

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With a right handed shooter stand behind and a little to the right. That way you can see the gun, the shooter and the target. You will be able to see the relationship between the gun and the target. Did he stop the gun, did he lift his head, did he have the right lead? Those are some of the things to look for. HMB
 

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Traders:

You may not be doing anything wrong. For me, the process is based on the totality of several indicators. The most reliable reads happen when several indicators point to the same problem. The flip side is that I find it much more difficult to evaluate misses for shooters with good skils and who consistently make some small error.

Following are some of the indicators:

1. Sometimes one can see the shot column relative to the target. That isn't common for me but it does happen when conditions are right.



2. The flight of the wad is arguably the least reliable indicator but it sometimes provides useful clues.



3. Looking over the shooter's shoulder (right side for right handers) is the best location to stand for all the reasons yansica1 listed. Shooter stance, body posture, gun mount, gun swing, and the location of the barrel relative to target when the shot is fired are all indicators.

As an aside, unambigous feed back is important. "You were absolutely over and slightly behind that quarter right" isn't the same as, "you may have been over and I think a little behind it too". If I'm sure, I say so. If I'm not sure, I make that plain as well.

Sometimes I don't see any clear indication of why a particular target was missed. When that's the case, I tell the shooter "I don't know." I mention that because when some "coaches" don't know or aren't sure, they guess. Guessing is a disservice to the shooter.

With the exception of All Americans that coach for a fee, I'm not sure I completely trust anyone's ability to consistently and accurately judge missed shots.

sissy
 

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Interesting thread. I am not a shooting coach, but I feel strongly about this subject. For one to stand behind, aside, or whatever and inform a shooter "where" they think their shot just went, is crazy...

First, (judging misses),, shooting behind a target, alongside a target, ect, ect, doesnt tell anyone "why" the target was missed.

This is a fundamental game we all love, to truly gain an insight why you have missed, especially when your misses become consistent, (say left 1/4 targets from post 1&2), then I believe it pays to visit one of the true trainers.

Just my thinking for what its worth. Now if I would just listen to myself...

Matt Nicol
 

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Several years ago I saw some shotgun shells( I think was in cabelas but not sure) that had phosphorus ( or something similar) either in the shot or coated on the shot so that you could easily see the shot pattern. Has anyone used this or know anything about it??

From what I remember it was pricey ( like 25$ a box of 12g) - but might be a great teaching tool for someone who is having a hard time telling where their shot pattern is in relationship to the target

just a thought

RMR
 

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Do they know were their gun shoots, POA vs. POI? Take them to a pattern board and show them the relationship between were they are looking and were the shot is going. You will be teaching them to read their own misses.

Wayne
 

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I hope someone can explain how a couple of pellets make the target bits fly in this direction or that. I have always had trouble with the way it works. Particularly up and down, but side to side is little better. Please include enough detail so we can decide it it makes any sense; it never has to me.

Second. you can check on the reality of all this very easily.

1. Set a trap for straightaways. Dream up some rotation for the way you will try to shoot: maybe left, center, right, high, center, low. Makes no difference what it is, just try to follow it.

2. Get a "target-break reader" to read the breaks and another helper to note down the results.

3. Try to follow your shot-placement plan. You will find it is hard to hit a target shooting just a bit away from it and you will miss a lot of targets. But say you chip one shooting high on it. If your "reader" expresses and opinion on that shot, tell your helper if his evaluation was correct or not, based on where you tried to shoot.

You will need two or three or four boxes, but by then you will probably see two things:

a. When you missed completely, the reader got the direction you were shooting "correct" a lot of the time.

b. When there was a poorly broken bird and "reading" was attempted, the reader was wrong far more often than he or she was right. It's just guessing, that's all, and the reader would do about as well if he or she weren't even looking, just calling whatever came to mind.

Try it.

Neil
 

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The reason your method does not work is because you are aiming the shotgun like you would aim a rifle. That method does not work. HMB
 

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Set up a quality digital video recorder on a tripod have some one track the target for you--play back real slow --you'll see the shot string & its realtionship to the target---this will be very enlightening----took a Phil Kiner clinic---this is one of his tools---it works

Phil Berkowitz
 

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Phil, I took Phil's Kiner's clinic and liked it, but one of my aims was to see what the videos could tell me about shot clouds and target breaks. Unfortunately, the quality of the CRT TV set at the club was not up to the job and as far as I was concerned, it was too fuzzy to get much of anything out of it. Some saw some stuff I guess but it pretty-much eluded me.

I guess I'll have to try it myself.

hmb, of course you can aim a shotgun like a rifle. This idea -"That method does not work"- is just another shovelful in the mountain of BS virtually burying trapshooting which keeps people form learning to shoot in a hurry and well.

Last month I went to Hog Heaven with an MX-8 I'd only shot a couple of boxes with and in the singles broke 198/200 and "shot like a rifle" at all but a handful of the targets.

It's hard and requires a lot of trigger control. But it's perfectly "possible."

Neil
 

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I have my kids wear really long billed fishermen's type caps for practice - the longer the better. It's MUCH easier to pick up any kind of head movement, especially from the side. Of course, you don't want the bill to obscure a rising target but wherever they wear it, you can see movement much easier. Then "keep your head in the gun" means something to them because even they can detect a little more sunlight when they pull up.

But here is what I REALLY wish I could do…

I wish, when a kid did something goofy, I could arrange for them to receive a small shock. Whenever they break a bird they think they are naturals. The problem is that when you do something incorrectly - no matter how goofy it is - you will still break a target about 60% of the time. Trying to tell them to do something differently after they break or even chip a target is difficult to sell. You know the old saying: "Hire a kid while they still know everything!" ;-)
 

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Geez, a break is a break. Unless you are shooting a lot of constriction (.035 Plus)and draw some smoke off a side of the bird, don't try to read too much into how the bird breaks. There are too many unknowns about the external ballistics of a shotshell. One is consistency, I have seen some pretty awesome patterns that lacked consistency. Then we must remember that the pattern board is only a glimpse at what happens on the way to a target at a set distance, with that shell at that time frame in one dimension. From all my reading, and experiences I have come to conclude that, No one knows it all, some are excepted as authorities with very little "solid" evidence,and even with "solid" evidence most of it is subject to scrutiny or interpretation, it comes from a very small portion of test data and that the whole shotshell experience is a random cloud of chaotic design that we try to mold into something solid and explainable. We can't explain because we cannot control it 100%, we can control a few of the contributing factors that affect the random characteristics of a shot cloud, but it is still random. CHOKE FOR SMOKE!!
As far as how to judge the miss, if the shooter is staying in the gun, and following through, he should know where he missed, a coaches job is to determine why the shooter can't tell why they missed, self analysis, and correction is the key to productive shootimg.
 

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Judging the miss is difficult. Like stated judging a near miss, or partial hit is great to tune in but when you have kids that are just plain out lost its hard. Best thing I did was buy a Dryfire for my kid. Got him into the "hit range" and from there he can tune in on his own.
 
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