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Don't get in a habit of timing your shot. In other words don't call, and swing and shoot to a cadence. Only shoot once your gun is on(or past) the bird. I have in the past thought I had to swing and shoot in a certain time frame to make a routine. I was missing birds pushed by wind and birds that I didn't get to yet.
 

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HAVE FUN WITH IT A HTS A HIT A MISS IS A MISS DO YOUR BEST TO LEARN AN DONT TAKE YOURSELF TO SERIOUS. AND WITH LUCK YOU WILL BE ONE OF THE ONE IN THE ROCKING CHAIR AT THE CLUB TELLIN HOW YOU USED TO BUY BOXES OF 12 GUAGE OR 50 DOLLARS A BOX
 

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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.
Take a class from one of the pros that give clinics. Expensive in the short run but cheap in the long run. They will set you on a proper course without going thru the pain of unlearning bad habits and poor technique. You will reach your potential so much faster that it will actually save you money. Nora Ross is my favorite trainer. Her classes are about you and not about trying to teach you her technique. db
 

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until you get consitant find a gun that fits and stick with it! shooting multiple guns from the onset will only get you frustrated at being inconsistant. unlike shooting sports with stationary targets where you have the "luxury" of walking the shots to the mark moving targets don't give you that "luxury". ya either hit it or you don't one shot, one chance.
 

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Keep your face firmly on the gun until you are in your follow through and any gun or ammo will break the clays. Second is get your gun fit and or buy the book The Gunfitters Bible, on Amazon. Invaluable, especially if you cannot get to a professional gunfitter. A great gunfitter is The Country Gentleman, Todd Nelson, out of Alabama has helped my wife and I immensely. She made All American and we both have made our State Team (we just started in 2016)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Keep your face firmly on the gun until you are in your follow through and any gun or ammo will break the clays. Second is get your gun fit and or buy the book The Gunfitters Bible, on Amazon. Invaluable, especially if you cannot get to a professional gunfitter. A great gunfitter is The Country Gentleman, Todd Nelson, out of Alabama has helped my wife and I immensely. She made All American and we both have made our State Team (we just started in 2016)!
That's awesome! Congrats to you both on your success!

I'm in Dallas, TX and have found a few gunsmiths that advertise gun fitting. That said, not all gunsmiths are created equal and in my experience, you find the good ones through word of mouth. Twice I've had to take a gun to a second gunsmith else to fix the work the first one did.

Does anyone know of a decent smith that can do a fitting in North Texas?
 

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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.
Try, i.e., rent, borrow, or whatever, different shotguns and find an action type (i.e., O/U, auto, double), gauge, and barrel length, that shoots where you look and feels right to you...do not buy any shotgun just because it is pretty, popular with others, or "just what you need" according to others. After that, if you want, you can make it look pretty, or find one that you think is pretty, and make it shoot like the first one. My experience is that most shooters are very willing to let you try their shotgun under controlled situations, and that experience is most valuable in evaluating what works best for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Try, i.e., rent, borrow, or whatever, different shotguns and find an action type (i.e., O/U, auto, double), gauge, and barrel length, that shoots where you look and feels right to you...do not buy any shotgun just because it is pretty, popular with others, or "just what you need" according to others. After that, if you want, you can make it look pretty, or find one that you think is pretty, and make it shoot like the first one. My experience is that most shooters are very willing to let you try their shotgun under controlled situations, and that experience is most valuable in evaluating what works best for you.
First things first, your avatar picture is AWESOME! The last two duck seasons in north Texas have not been great. The limit in the boat with you makes me sufficiently jealous.

Great advice and I have absolutely found that to be true when I visit the range. Thus far my experience with trap shooters has been very distinct from other hobbies. When I tell someone I'm new to the sport they go out of their way to make sure I feel welcome. What really surprised me was people I'd just met offering to let me use their shotguns that cost more than some cars.

To date, I've been shooting my Browning Citori 12 ga. field gun with 28" barrels. After test driving a few guns I think I am going to purchase a used Beretta Silver Pigeon II combo, 34" unsingle and 30" double. I like shooting Berettas, good natural fit from the factory, and I have no desire to spend a ton of money on a Kriegoff or something similar until I develop the skill (assuming I have the ability at all) to appreciate the technical differences between the firearms.

Thank you for the note and the recommendation!
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
HAVE FUN WITH IT A HTS A HIT A MISS IS A MISS DO YOUR BEST TO LEARN AN DONT TAKE YOURSELF TO SERIOUS. AND WITH LUCK YOU WILL BE ONE OF THE ONE IN THE ROCKING CHAIR AT THE CLUB TELLIN HOW YOU USED TO BUY BOXES OF 12 GUAGE OR 50 DOLLARS A BOX
Unfortunately, I think the days of reminiscing about cheap ammo are on us now :eek:
 

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Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service! One of my Soldier's is attending SFAS in 36 days and wish him the best, as being selected is truly an accomplishment to be proud of. My best advice for shooting is: 1. Have fun- if you aren't having fun then why do it? 2. Shoot for a while and then decide what upgrades/ changes you want to make. Try shooting a myriad of other guns and get an idea of what you like and dislike and what changes you would make. 3. Whatever gun you decide on, having it professionally fitted to you will make a tremendous difference. You can also buy an adjustable stock or adjustable comb but I don't see the need for it. The gun is for me, not other people, so I would rather have the stock made to my dimensions and be done with it. Not knocking adjustable stocks or combs, but I suppose the military has ruined adjustable things for me. Army rifles will remain in inventory and what fits me won't fit someone else so that makes sense to have them adjustable. On my own guns, I never want to have it adjustable.
 

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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.
I started out with a used Beretta 391 set up by Dennis Devault "RIP" that I bought from a friend that had won a lot with it. It was a great gun to learn on and didn't break the bank. My 2nd gun was bought used on trapshooters.com and it is a Kolar combo, I love it.
 

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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
You absolutely do not need premium ammo, remington gun club is great ammo, federal top gun, estate, they are all 2nd tier shells but do the job just fine. Now you just have to find someone who has them that isn't trying to get rich on one box.
 

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The biggest thing I wish I could grasp when I started was you are not in a competition with others; whether it be league, ata/registered, or fun shoot, practice...your are only competing against yourself. This was brought up the other day when another shooter came up to me and asked why I dont pay attention to the clays when its not my turn...after I gave him that explanation he said "no, I was referring to why you don't pay attention to the flight patterns while others are shooting" which leads to my next point which I also wish I knew when I started...I am no guru by any means (my averages will prove that) but I feel that over analyzing bird flights will lead to anticipation, anticipation can get you into trouble in trap, you can never expect that bird to take that flight path you think it will, you need to be instinctive...know what do do wherever that bird goes flying, it will take some rounds to get to that point. It's hard to describe, but when you get that level it feels almost equivalent to runner's high, eveything kind of mellows out ...others call this 'the zone' the more you shoot, the more you will experience it.
 

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..I am no guru by any means (my averages will prove that) but I feel that
You should have left it there. Other people, whose averages WILL show their superiority, do watch those birds. And can adjust to adverse wind conditions. Or higher than usual birds. Or lower than usual birds.
 

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You should have left it there. Other people, whose averages WILL show their superiority, do watch those birds. And can adjust to adverse wind conditions. Or higher than usual birds. Or lower than usual birds.
I took a 16 year break from trap, though not 'superior' in scores yet, this was a train of thought that was passed on to me from a quite successful shooter that I respect...I have come leaps and bounds in the short time I have been back in the game ...I didn't write the above post to be a taken as gospel by any means, exactly why I stayed I was not a guru, just wanted to share a tip that has helped me along...may not be for everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 · (Edited)
Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service! One of my Soldier's is attending SFAS in 36 days and wish him the best, as being selected is truly an accomplishment to be proud of. My best advice for shooting is: 1. Have fun- if you aren't having fun then why do it? 2. Shoot for a while and then decide what upgrades/ changes you want to make. Try shooting a myriad of other guns and get an idea of what you like and dislike and what changes you would make. 3. Whatever gun you decide on, having it professionally fitted to you will make a tremendous difference. You can also buy an adjustable stock or adjustable comb but I don't see the need for it. The gun is for me, not other people, so I would rather have the stock made to my dimensions and be done with it. Not knocking adjustable stocks or combs, but I suppose the military has ruined adjustable things for me. Army rifles will remain in inventory and what fits me won't fit someone else so that makes sense to have them adjustable. On my own guns, I never want to have it adjustable.
Thanks for the note and best wishes to your soldier attending SFAS. He picked a good time of the year for the weather. In addition to the physical prep I suggest he get smart on knots and lashings for team week if he’s not already. Poorly built contraptions with weak knots can make events dramatically more difficult, and painful, than they need to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
What’s your singles average/classification?
I registered for the first time last weekend at the Southwest Grand so I currently have a B classification.
I don’t have an established average yet but typically shoot a 92-94 in practice.
Based on the Texas shooting schedule I expect to have a real average by August.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
You should have left it there. Other people, whose averages WILL show their superiority, do watch those birds. And can adjust to adverse wind conditions. Or higher than usual birds. Or lower than usual birds.
I can see the wisdom to both points. I absolutely watch the birds to see what the environment is doing especially on a day with gusty, opposed to sustained and consistent, winds.
That said, I don’t worry about other shooters score compared to mine. Or try not to anyway.
 

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I registered for the first time last weekend at the Southwest Grand so I currently have a B classification.
I don’t have an established average yet but typically shoot a 92-94 in practice.
Based on the Texas shooting schedule I expect to have a real average by August.
I was asking peeshooter his average. Since he made the ABSOLUTELY remark.

You will have a real average after 500 targets. That’s what most State shoots require. But the computerized records at ATA will give you a running average so, if you broke a 99 at that shoot the average will show as 99. Etc.
 
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