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I really enjoyed shooting skeet, and then switched over to trap. It's a much faster game and shooting on a squad of those better or equal to me gave me competition, which improved my intensity, and scores. Nothing big deal - I'm a B shooter I guess. I love going to the hard rights.
With life changes (read that not enjoying 100 mile drives essentially to shoot just 300 shells) I've gotten into handguns now. I don't shoot paper. Whether I fire 1" or 4" groups isn't important to me, and I don't like walking out there, marking the holes or putting up another paper. But shooting steel plates is something else. I very much like the instant feedback from these reactive targets. Having about a dozen of them out there, of different sizes and at varied distances, and shooting fast in double action or slower in single action (for better precision), I'll easily go through 100 rounds of ammo in 5-10 minutes, or 300 in a half hour.
But I can see only the target (and not know where my gun is actually pointing), or see/focus only on the sights (and then not being able to see my target clearly). Maybe that why I shoot reactive targets and obtain the instant feedback of a ping, similar to the instant feedback of a broken or smoked bird.
Could you provide me with your thoughts on all of this? Thanks. John
 

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When you shoot iron sights you focus on the front sight. The rear will be slightly blurry and the target more so. For the action shooting you prefer, change out your front sight to a Fiber optic front sight. You may want to change the rear as well. The FO glows in sunlight and is easy to see, even if you are focusing on the target.

Alternately, you can put a reflex red dot on your pistol. That will allow you to see the target clearly with the red aiming dot superimposed on it. All but one of my pistols is so equipped. It helps these old eyes shoot straight.
 

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John, what I gather from your enjoyable post is that your age has affected your eyesight in such a way that has made the gun's sights hard to focus upon. If that's the case, welcome to the club! I'll be 70 next February and could see my targets very clearly but my handgun sights were a fuzzy blur. It's called being farsighted. I tried wearing reading glasses and that made the sights crystal clear but the black bull of a 25-yard NRA pistol target looked like a blurry football standing on end. Several years ago, I wrote about that in my column in Shotgun Sports Magazine and received an email from Dr. Harold Morgan of Olean, New York.

When Dr. Morgan told me he could make lenses that would allow me to see both my sights and the target with clarity, I was a skeptic but provided him with my distance and reading prescriptions, the distance at which I usually shoot my handguns (25 yards) and whether I am left- or right-handed. He sent me a Randolph Ranger frame with one left lens and five right lenses to try. All of those right lenses were an improvement but one of them makes both the sights and the target about 95% clear. Call Morgan Sports Optical at (716) 373-0766 and see what they can do for you.

There are some gadgets you can buy to help but nothing works as well as the right corrective lenses. Fiber optic sights are easier to see but horribly imprecise for something like bullseye shooting. I can even do something up close like reload my revolver cylinders and 1911 magazines with them on and feel no eye strain until I try looking at something 100 yards or farther away. Make the call; you will be glad you did.

Ed
 

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I shot combat and match rifle in the regular Army (trained with 6th Army rifle team), National Guard, and civilian. Shot combat pistol as a civilian. Shot active ATA through 80's was AA 16yd. Rifle and pistol is really different from shotgun in that when shooting rifle or pistol focus starts with the sights then switches to the target/front sight alignment, then back to the front sight, then the shot is fired. Focus is on the front sight at the time the shot is taken. Shotgun is opposite. When the gun is mounted the sights (middle/front bead alignment) are checked and then the target becomes the center of focus through the shot. I know this is a simplistic view but describes the basic process for both.

Maintaining focus on the front sight during rapid fire pistol and rifle strings is hard. As you progress through the rapid fire string focus can gradually shift from front sight to target (target Gazing) causing the barrel to drift out of alignment with the current target being shot at. It takes a lot of conscious effort and practice to maintain that constant focus on the front sight.

I have a friend who is a very active pistol shooter and a lukewarm shotgun shooter because he can't maintain target focus with the shotgun. He has a really hard time transitioning between the two sports. He can't keep his eyes from coming back to the front sight of his shotgun instead of maintaining focus on the clay pigeon. Like the rifle and pistol, losing focus will cause the barrel to drift off target causing a miss. Again, it takes conscious effort and lots of practice to maintain absolute focus on the clay pigeon from the time you call for the bird, see it, through breaking it.
 

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I really enjoyed shooting skeet, and then switched over to trap. It's a much faster game and shooting on a squad of those better or equal to me gave me competition, which improved my intensity, and scores. Nothing big deal - I'm a B shooter I guess. I love going to the hard rights.
With life changes (read that not enjoying 100 mile drives essentially to shoot just 300 shells) I've gotten into handguns now. I don't shoot paper. Whether I fire 1" or 4" groups isn't important to me, and I don't like walking out there, marking the holes or putting up another paper. But shooting steel plates is something else. I very much like the instant feedback from these reactive targets. Having about a dozen of them out there, of different sizes and at varied distances, and shooting fast in double action or slower in single action (for better precision), I'll easily go through 100 rounds of ammo in 5-10 minutes, or 300 in a half hour.
But I can see only the target (and not know where my gun is actually pointing), or see/focus only on the sights (and then not being able to see my target clearly). Maybe that why I shoot reactive targets and obtain the instant feedback of a ping, similar to the instant feedback of a broken or smoked bird.
Could you provide me with your thoughts on all of this? Thanks. John
Being able to see is important, as we all know, when shooting. Good glasses or good contacts if needed is the very first step as previously suggested.

My situation is/was a reverse of yours. I was primarily a handgun shooter who has recently (about a year) developed an interest in trap shooting. I had considerable to learn and am still learning about trap shooting and think I would like to try skeet once I am a little better at trap shooting. (I'm breaking between 80-90% in 16 yard practice.) I have no interest in competing so it is just for personal satisfaction.

I used to shoot handguns competitively. I ranged from law enforcement shooting to cowboy mounted shooting. I was a NLEFIA Certified Instructor and specialized in close quarters combat and trained Illinois Bureau of Investigation Special Agents after they decided that standard policy firearms instruction was inadequate and even dangerous for undercover agents.

I have some questions:

  • What distances are you shooting at?
  • What is your end purpose?
- Are you training for self-defense?
- Are you just plinking?
- Are you planning on hunting with handguns?

Your answers might get you different solutions.
 
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Try a red dot or reflex sight. It will bring a new dimension to your pistol shooting. I do a lot of 'plinking' with pistol these days but use to be very active in the action pistol games. But I just love to shoot and I don't have to be at a trap shoot or a pistol match to have fun. I can also go plinking just about anytime and the nearest old dump is only about 10 minutes from my house - very low cost entertainment.
 

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I agree with wolfram. Once I got older shooting handguns with open sights became much more difficult for me. I switched to red dots and reflex sights, what a big difference. I also shot action pistol games but at 76 I can't do much of that anymore. I do really enjoy plinking and shooting steel though.
 

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high cap guns make up for the need to focus on a sight.
it becomes a spray and pray situation. fire 3, heck one will get it.
i shoot paper. im tired of shooting moving things with pistols and rifles.
paper relaxes me.
i like the science of same hole.
i find plinking a waste of ammo and time.
i shoot shotguns and enjoy them too.
its apples and oranges and not many can switch back and forth.
its all attitude and disipline. thats why they call shooting a disipline.
choose one, dial in and go shoot.
my 2 cents.
 

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This year I made a decision to become active again in shotgun sports. Bought a trap gun. Just bought a sporting/skeet gun. With that being said, I haven't shot any pistol or rifle. I shoot a lot of archery but I don't find that I have any issues switching back and forth. Archery is similar to rifle/pistol. Setup, sight, target/sight alignment, sight, release.
 

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I went to trapshooting from competitive handgun shooting and had a hell of a time adjusting to looking at the target and relaying upon my hand-eye coordination to put the gun on the target. But it works and I went on to AAA27A status before shoulder woes took me back to handguns and rifles.

Ed
 

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All good reads guys. I literally have to consciously tell myself when I go shoot pistol/rifles to focus on the sights vs the target & I mean literally tell myself that practically every shot of I'm going to be somewhat accurate in my shot placement on the targets (paper or steel).

For me it's a mental game after shooting trap for almost 30yrs (approx 100-200 rounds per week) & pistol/rifles maybe 100-300 rounds per month. They are definitely different.

Thankfully, it sounds like you can make the transition fairly easily. A lot of folks can't; especially those that were in the military for many years & never shot a shotgun. I see it a few times a year at my "home" club where a "newbie" comes out & gets so frustrated because they can't break the clays. My first question is always if they're a Veteran. Then I'll explain looking at the target vs sights, etc, etc which has been covered many times in threads on this forum.

Happy Shooting!

P.S. I'm nearsighted with a fairly strong prescription; I always have my eye doc up (technically negative) the RX strength in my right up just about an extra 0.25-0.50 or so & it helps when shooting trap :)
 

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With a handgun or a shotgun I point,

Problem I have is with a Bow seeing through the peep to the pin then the target.

I find it best to drop the glasses, ( bifocals ) and just squint,

DGH
 

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Just wish there was a nearby range with metallic targets! Hearing the pings/gongs would really be a hoot....paper punching is okay, but reactive target sights/sounds adds to the fun. Regards, Ed
May I strongly second that wish? I suppose clubs with outdoor pistol ranges could put them in - or even have members donate them - but they would likely have to be set in concrete to keep people from stealing them.
 
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There is a potential ricochet problem with shooting steel. About 15 years ago, a local club put in a pistol pit for pins and plates and had to both dig it deeper and install rubber-coated concrete walls between the lanes to keep bullets from getting out. Now that club hosts a week-long shoot every year that draws shooters from the entire country. You have to register well in advance for a relay; they can't handle walk-ins.

Another club to which I belong recently installed an action pistol range with dirt banks all around it and holds monthly matches for both rimfire and centerfire guns. It's really growing in popularity.

Ed
 

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John, what I gather from your enjoyable post is that your age has affected your eyesight in such a way that has made the gun's sights hard to focus upon. If that's the case, welcome to the club! I'll be 70 next February and could see my targets very clearly but my handgun sights were a fuzzy blur. It's called being farsighted. I tried wearing reading glasses and that made the sights crystal clear but the black bull of a 25-yard NRA pistol target looked like a blurry football standing on end. Several years ago, I wrote about that in my column in Shotgun Sports Magazine and received an email from Dr. Harold Morgan of Olean, New York.

When Dr. Morgan told me he could make lenses that would allow me to see both my sights and the target with clarity, I was a skeptic but provided him with my distance and reading prescriptions, the distance at which I usually shoot my handguns (25 yards) and whether I am left- or right-handed. He sent me a Randolph Ranger frame with one left lens and five right lenses to try. All of those right lenses were an improvement but one of them makes both the sights and the target about 95% clear. Call Morgan Sports Optical at (716) 373-0766 and see what they can do for you.

There are some gadgets you can buy to help but nothing works as well as the right corrective lenses. Fiber optic sights are easier to see but horribly imprecise for something like bullseye shooting. I can even do something up close like reload my revolver cylinders and 1911 magazines with them on and feel no eye strain until I try looking at something 100 yards or farther away. Make the call; you will be glad you did.

Ed
This is likely to be very productive. In many of the Lasik surgeries each eye is lased differently for this exact reason. One eye so you can read street signs, one eye so you can read the cars dashboard.
 

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There is a potential ricochet problem with shooting steel.
Yes there is! This JUST happened last week to a friend of mine. He was shooting steel plates at an outdoor range, went to scratch his head, & had blood all over his hand! Was a ricochet...went right thru his hat & skimmed his head.

Luckily it wasn't worse. Always remember your eye protection! I joke with him now saying for him to remind me to get out my old bulletproof vest from when I was a Trooper, to the range the next time we shoot together :)

-Larry, Founder
www.ClaysForACure.org
Clays for a Cure | Facebook
 

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This is likely to be very productive. In many of the Lasik surgeries each eye is lased differently for this exact reason. One eye so you can read street signs, one eye so you can read the cars dashboard.
My wife had that same procedure during cataract surgery. She likes it but she has no depth perception and slows down at night when cars approach from the opposite direction. Also, she is left-handed and when she wanted to learn to shoot a year ago could not use my right-handed rifles, requiring that I buy her some left-handed ones. Have you seen how few quality bolt-action rifles are being made these days?

Ed
 
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