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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone played with any shot timers for trap shooting? We are continually looking for ways to teach/coach trap shooting to the new youth shooters. One issue that a lot of people have is the timing of the shot, either too quick or riding the bird too long. We have the idea of clock that shows the time between the call of the bird and the shot. We use a stopwatch now but it slows down the timing of shooting if we show each kid and can be incorrect by not paying attention. Any thoughts?
 

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Sounds like an easy way to develop bad habits. Early on I thought timing had more to do with it but now I feel differently.
Not all targets are the same speed. Not everyone picks up the targets the same from day to day. Slow/fast pulls will screw up timing.
Focus on fundamentals and they should develop their own timing rather quickly.
 

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Look into the dryfire system. www.dryfireus.com

The simulator will show you shot timing, shot cloud location vs target location, and a lot more. Lets the kids get tons of gun mounts and dry fire trigger presses with immediate visual feedback, no recoil, and no costs for clays or shells. The system also has add-ons that allow a full squad of 5 people to use the system together. I use my dryfire system with the 4H kids every year.

Call Bob Ridge at dryfire us, and he can give you more info.

If you are only worried about teaching timing, stand behind each kid and yell when you want them to pull the trigger. Most of them catch on to the timing in a few coached shots. Don't immediately push them to shoot faster; remember that the field guns that most of them use will shoot flat. Easier for them to wait until almost the target crest to shoot. Faster shooters will need higher patterning guns to be able to see what they are hitting.
 

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I also agree with wadhopper about fundamentals. I will intentionally vary the pull timing, target heights, target angles, etc. to make shooters focus on each target. If you have a full wobble trap, that is great training as well, to keep shooters from becoming a "timing" shooter, rather than being flexible and tracking each individual target trajectory and adapting.
 

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As far as target speeds, you are correct that ATA targets "should" be the same speed, but having your kids practice from about 39-46mph targets is good practice to give them more experience, make them focus on the targets, and make them flexible to conditions.

If they ever shoot ISSF bunker trap, the target speeds vary greatly between targets, since all the targets are set to travel the same horizontal distance, but have very different throwing elevations.
 

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Isn't that going to add a lot of totally unnecessary pressure to the shooters? Not only do they have to break the target, they have to do so in a specified time whether it feels right to them or not.
 

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Isn't that going to add a lot of totally unnecessary pressure to the shooters? Not only do they have to break the target, they have to do so in a specified time whether it feels right to them or not.
Agreed, and to add to it, head lifting, flinches from hell, jerking the gun, swinging past the target in a rush...lotsa baaaaaad things could result from unnatural timing.
Although...I must add:
My GF's first time out to a real trap resulted in my coach standing behind her yelling "SHOOT" and by god...3 out of 3 times resulted in a smoked target, and a lot of disbelief and laughter. Then she about blew the speaker cord in half so we called it a day. Overall, I don't feel it helped her since like I said above, it was so unnatural that there's no way it would be consistent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thank all for reply's. I understand some concerns here on timing. What we are working on here are the fundamentals of basic trap shooting with beginners (kids in 6th -12th grade). We try to time the shot at 1 second so that they break the clay at the peak. This is to show how and where to break the clays on basic trap: To early and you need a wider pattern and the shot pattern has not fully formed, too late and the lead is totally different as its falling and not rising therefore the tall rib trap gun is not being used correctly. The more they shoot the more they find their sweet spot, but with beginners there is a lot of variance. We will be getting a Terry Jordan wall chart for the beginners to practice on in the winter months.
 

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Waiting until about the peak works well with beginners with 50/50 guns, since they barely have to cover the bird at that point.

Once you get them past the basics, be aware that most competitive trap shooters with higher patterning trap guns will shoot 16 yard singles at about 0.8 seconds, which is about 33 yards out on straightaways. As the kids get more experienced and start to shoot faster, you'll probably need to start adjusting their stocks or ribs if possible to move their patterns higher on their guns and keep them hitting the birds without them having to bury the birds behind the barrel.

This advice is only for ATA trap. Bunker and sporting and skeet are different animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Waiting until about the peak works well with beginners with 50/50 guns, since they barely have to cover the bird at that point.

Once you get them past the basics, be aware that most competitive trap shooters with higher patterning trap guns will shoot 16 yard singles at about 0.8 seconds, which is about 33 yards out on straightaways. As the kids get more experienced and start to shoot faster, you'll probably need to start adjusting their stocks or ribs if possible to move their patterns higher on their guns and keep them hitting the birds without them having to bury the birds behind the barrel.

This advice is only for ATA trap. Bunker and sporting and skeet are different animals.
Correct. That is why I was asking if anyone has seen or created a timer that can be seen by the team or recordable by the coach. We do get the exceptional shooter in 6th or 7th grade in the first year but most pick it up in the second year. That is a different coaching technique for those kids. We have a lot of kids come out with field guns that shoot 50/50 the first year. The second year, if they continue, is when they typically buy a trap gun. We only coach ATA trap. We have a few that shoot other sports but not many ranges/courses for those around NE Ark.
Thanks for the input guys.
 
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