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Howdy!

I wanted to introduce myself to the board and solicit advice anyone may have for someone new to the sport. Browsing the various threads it is clear there is a ton of knowledge on the board.

I am new to competitive trap but have a lot of shooting experience. I love bird hunting (dove, ducks, quail, pheasant) and I was in the Army for 15 years. For 12 of the 15 years I was privileged to serve in Special Forces (AKA the Green Berets) and attended several shooting schools. So lots of trigger time but outside of bird hunting my experience has been rifle and pistol shooting.

Thinking back to when you were brand new to the sport, what is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started? E.g. a technique, best practice, equipment, ammo choice, etc.
You don’t “aim” a shotgun so don’t focus on the beads. Focus on the target and your brain will know when to pull the trigger. Don’t “ride” the target. When the bbl is in the right place — it is in the right place. It won’t get more right by riding the target. Use a full choke, at least 0.030 of choke for all single targets. If you shoot doubles open the first shot to a 0.020 choke. No more open is needed. You won’t “buy” a target with an open choke, you will lose them.

Fundamental principles rule the game. Hang tight to the basics and you’ll be OK.

Watch a Phil Kiner or a Leo Harrison video. Both are available from vendors on here. After a short period of shooting try attending a clinic
 

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First off Welcome to TS.com.

Secondly Thank you for your service!!!

For 12 of the 15 years I was privileged to serve in Special Forces (AKA the Green Berets) and attended several shooting schools. So lots of trigger time but outside of bird hunting my experience has been rifle and pistol shooting.
This could actually work against you for shooting a moving target. Your focal point must always be downrange and looking at the target. You never want to look at your sights on your shotgun during the shot. Its good to make sure your beads are lined up when you mount the shotgun. Then find your guns hold point. Your eye's hold point. They are almost always in a different spot. Then soft focus your eye. This will allow you the quickest focus on the target when it leaves the house.

Many will allow you to try their gun for fit/function and slowly you will get a feel for what it is you like and are willing to add to your stable of firearms.
Take your time before buying a new/used shotgun. Try as many fellow shooters shotguns as you can. This will help you find out what makes and models fit you and your stance the best.
You don’t “aim” a shotgun so don’t focus on the beads. Focus on the target and your brain will know when to pull the trigger.
As I mentioned above. Your hard focus must always be downrange. Your brain will see your barrel in your Peripheral vision. You will not knowingly even know where your barrel was when you pulled the trigger if do everything perfectly. This is because your sub-conscience does all the other functions. It will move the barrel in the proper place and pull the trigger at the proper time and follow through with your swing all while your conscience part of your brain watch's the target. Best of Luck on your Journey into the Clay Target Sports. break em all jeff
 

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I almost forget your question on regrets. If your serious about shooting targets? Then buy the most expensive shotgun you can afford right off the bat!!! Of course your never want to go into debt doing this. The Browning O/U shotgun is the least expensive target shotgun you can buy. Of course many shooters will up-grade there shotgun in 18 months!!! Or they will quit shooting altogether!!! This is just the way it its. So bare this in mind when you buy a shotgun. Again Good Luck to Ya. break em all jeff
 

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Welcome aboard, and again Thanks for your Service.
Gun Fit is the most important thing about clay shooting.
But how you find out what a good fit is , is where you will get many answers. I have only been in the game since 2014. The more you shoot the more you will learn.
When you hunt animals, you rarely pattern your shotgun, unless you did for Turkey. If you did you are one of the few. Learn to pattern a shotgun, so you know where that gun is shooting for you.
Even if it's a borrowed gun.
Adjustability in a clays gun is very important, because we change, weight, size, etc. ,our Point Of Impact changes.
 

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As for ammo, I know, or have been told, STS and AA are considered the best for competitive clay shooting.
Are there other good options? Since I’ll be shooting up front for a while do I really need premium ammo?

That said, I’d happily shoot whatever I can find in the current market
STS and AA are the hardest shot. There are a lot of threads on shells. At 16 yards any walmart promo shell will work
 
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Welcome! Clay target shooting is an awesome sport but does differ from rifle and pistol since your sight is actually your dominant eye. Many new to shooting moving clays do well as soon as they learn the sights on a shotgun are for alignment before they actually seek to destroy the moving clay. Look at Terry Jordan's wall chart and his instructional guidance. Two of the best friends of my lifetime and my "brothers of a different mother" were 5th SF!
I was going to ask if there were some good dry fire drills. Thanks for the recommendation
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thank you to everyone thanking me for my service.
It was definitely one of the best jobs in the world. I was given lots of guns and explosives and was allowed to do bad things to bad people.
 

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Accurately shoot patterns with all or any guns you intend to shoot trap with.
Only a fool would shoot a gun that's incapable of doing the job its intended for.
 

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Howdy!

I wanted to introduce myself to the board and solicit advice anyone may have for someone new to the sport. Browsing the various threads it is clear there is a ton of knowledge on the board.

I am new to competitive trap but have a lot of shooting experience. I love bird hunting (dove, ducks, quail, pheasant) and I was in the Army for 15 years. For 12 of the 15 years I was privileged to serve in Special Forces (AKA the Green Berets) and attended several shooting schools. So lots of trigger time but outside of bird hunting my experience has been rifle and pistol shooting.

Thinking back to when you were brand new to the sport, what is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started? E.g. a technique, best practice, equipment, ammo choice, etc.
Trying as many guns and waiting a bit to develop a style before committing to a premium gun. A Beretta or Browning is a great starter placeholder while you find yourself.
 

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Welcome ! Don’t know where you’re located but I want to invite you to come shoot at Linn Creek Missouri.
I’m sure your military training has instilled many life skills that can be applied to a successful shooting career.
If you want to learn from the best get Leo Harrison’s video. Google him and you will find he has won more Grand American championships than anyone else in the history of the sport.
I continue to market his videos. You can text me if you don’t yet have private message privileges.
Good shooting! The most important thing to remember is....
IT’S A FUN THING !
Mrs Leo Harrison
573-795-6992
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
1st off thank you for your service. Things I learned. Don't take advise from short yardage shooters. Quality Glasses and colors DO make a difference. Buy a gun with an adjustable comb. .Shoot a full choke, and shells do make a difference once you get into mid and long yardage handicap.
One thing that is completely new to me is shooting under lights. It’s an odd environment. Bright but hazy with no real shadows making depth perception challenging.

Has anyone found a particular color of lenses that are good for night shoots with the stadium lights?
 

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One thing that is completely new to me is shooting under lights. It’s an odd environment. Bright but hazy with no real shadows making depth perception challenging.

Has anyone found a particular color of lenses that are good for night shoots with the stadium lights?
Very light yellow.
 
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Welcome!

Lessons learned? First, there is no one way of breaking the target. There are ways. One on one coaching from a qualified instructor or, attending a clinic will introduce you to the different ways aka styles of shooting. Your job is to practice them all and pick the one that works for you.

Second, don't scrimp on a quality pair of shooting glasses. Fogging lens, frames constantly sliding down your nose, and restricted view will distract from shooting well.

Third, start competing asap Leagues, ATA, whatever. Don't think, "Well I'm not good enough yet. I'll practice some more and then shoot in a match." Get out there and push yourself. Nothing will move your shooting forward like competition.

Fourth, have fun! It's a game not a way of life.
 

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Howdy!

I wanted to introduce myself to the board and solicit advice anyone may have for someone new to the sport. Browsing the various threads it is clear there is a ton of knowledge on the board.

I am new to competitive trap but have a lot of shooting experience. I love bird hunting (dove, ducks, quail, pheasant) and I was in the Army for 15 years. For 12 of the 15 years I was privileged to serve in Special Forces (AKA the Green Berets) and attended several shooting schools. So lots of trigger time but outside of bird hunting my experience has been rifle and pistol shooting.

Thinking back to when you were brand new to the sport, what is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started? E.g. a technique, best practice, equipment, ammo choice, etc.
First off thank you for your service. Welcome ! You will find a lot of information on here and even more ADVICE. Some of it good , some of it not so much ,and really comes down to opinion. My suggestion is not to try to absorb too much too quick . Today there is a lot more info out there than when some of us old timers started. You will find HUNDREDS of opinions of best guns ,equip, shells, etc. I would just take time to sort it out for yourself. What works for one person may or, may not work for you. Watch and listen to those who are pretty fair shooters and those who have been in the game awhile. There are several good videos by guys like Leo Harrison, Phil Kiner , Richard Marshall Jr. ,etc. that might help you but remember , while they may provide a wealth of info , each shooter has to develop his or her own style to a degree. You might go on line to U Tube and watch a Video called "Trap Shooting with D.Lee Braun" . It was made by Remington pros years ago but, gives some good views of basic Trapshooting fundamentals. Again Welcome and good shooting !
 

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This could actually work against you for shooting a moving target. Your focal point must always be downrange and looking at the target. You never want to look at your sights on your shotgun during the shot. Its good to make sure your beads are lined up when you mount the shotgun. Then find your guns hold point. Your eye's hold point. They are almost always in a different spot. Then soft focus your eye. This will allow you the quickest focus on the target when it leaves the house.
Actually, I'm sure he has plenty of experience with that on the two-way range; your focus must always be outward, hence the term "thousand yard stare".
The hardest part of this for him may well be not doing all this instantaneously.

As I mentioned above. Your hard focus must always be downrange. Your brain will see your barrel in your Peripheral vision. You will not knowingly even know where your barrel was when you pulled the trigger if do everything perfectly. This is because your sub-conscience does all the other functions. It will move the barrel in the proper place and pull the trigger at the proper time and follow through with your swing all while your conscience part of your brain watch's the target. Best of Luck on your Journey into the Clay Target Sports. break em all jeff
I'm sure he's got the subconscious thing down, or he'd have never earned those patches. Once you've developed muscle memory of your mount, starting point, soft focus in the distance, Sugah_B, The instincts developed from a thousand days on the square range, and the two-way range, will kick in. Maybe "Scan your Sector" could be your pre-shot routine mantra. ;)

In the mean time, I offer you this:


It's old, but the fundamentals never change.
 

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As you shoot and practice one of the biggest things that helped me was to develop a good follow through after the shot. It doesn’t have to be a big over exaggerated movement but just enough to make me keep my head down through the whole shot process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Welcome ! Don’t know where you’re located but I want to invite you to come shoot at Linn Creek Missouri.
I’m sure your military training has instilled many life skills that can be applied to a successful shooting career.
If you want to learn from the best get Leo Harrison’s video. Google him and you will find he has won more Grand American championships than anyone else in the history of the sport.
I continue to market his videos. You can text me if you don’t yet have private message privileges.
Good shooting! The most important thing to remember is....
IT’S A FUN THING !
Mrs Leo Harrison
573-795-6992
Thank you very much for the generous offer Mrs. Harrison! I’m in Dallas, TX and will definitely take you up on the offer the next time I’m in your part of the world
 
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