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How to train sg shooting clay w/o really doing it?

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Im not a clay shooter. I only encounter flying clay targets in ipsc cofs. How can i train effectively for it w/o going to the range as in dry fire, or in the range simulation w/o using flying clay? My only sg know how is for practical shooting and very few duck hunting of yesteryears. 

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Shooting a few rounds of skeet and trap with your match gun (observing the load rules) will teach you more than 

any tang else you can do.   Miss in front          dont know of any dry fire exercise that works with hitting a moving target.

 

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the prob i have, is where the heck did i miss - low, high, ahead, behind?  not like rifle or pistol where you can see the splash/dust.  sure the best guess is low and/or behind, but how do you know for sure?

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I never used them in my former life as a skeet shooter, but Winchester makes AA Tracker shells that use a weighted wad to let you see where the center of your pattern is. Most clay shooters with decent eyesight get to the point where they can actually see their patterns with normal shells, but that definitely took me a while. 

 

I'd recommend finding a clay shooter who will take you to the range and give you some pointers. An experienced partner should be able to point out where you're missing, and give you tips on lead, how to shoot certain types of targets, etc...

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16 hours ago, davsco said:

the prob i have, is where the heck did i miss - low, high, ahead, behind?  not like rifle or pistol where you can see the splash/dust.  sure the best guess is low and/or behind, but how do you know for sure?

First things first, pattern board or grab a 18 x 24 plate and see if the gun fits you. Shoulder it with a quick aimed shot and make sure your pattern is in the center of the board or plate. Shim or trim your stock as necessary so that it hits center. Next, most IPSC flying clays are usually coming out of toasters or flippers and generally traveling relatively straight up. At the top of their travel, for a brief moment in time, they are completely motionless and no lead is needed at all. Just point and pull. The next easiest way to hit these clays is on their way up. Catch up to the clay and accelerate through it. As you accelerate through it and lose sight of the clay, pull the trigger while keeping the barrel moving. Same same for descending clays, except you really have to be moving the barrel fast. It is a much harder shot.

 

Occasionally I see a stomp pad that triggers a clay thrower, with the clay headed relatively outbound. From the shooters perspective, these also appear stationary in flight, moving on a steady rise. From this perspective, no lead is necessary, just point and pull. This is assuming that you hit the clay before it starts to descend. The best place to practice these shots is station 7 on a skeet field, shooting the low house outbound. If you want a little angle to work leads, move back to station 6 and again work the low house.

 

If you see a lot of crossers or just want to learn to shoot them, skeet is your game. Easiest way is to find a good coach and pay for a couple of hours of lessons. If you are a DIY kind of guy, just pick a station on the field and work that station until you can connect. Play with different leads and barrel accelerations. You will find a combination that makes sense to your brain and is repeatable. If you want to work on your mount and tracking in dry fire, find a room in your home with some working space, and observe the line where a wall meets the ceiling. From port arms mount the gun and track that line as smoothly as possible. Your body should be rotating as you mount the gun.

 

Hope the above helps.

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Remember Clay shooting is target focus not front sight focus.  It is a completely different game.  Your eyes focus on the front of the clay bird while it is moving, the gun naturally follows.

 

Skeet is good for crossers, trap for going away birds and clays for rabbits and pop ups.  At RM3G you need all three skills.

 

Some clay ranges allow you to practice on certain shots without having to do the whole course.

 


Try Shotgunworld.com for more info.

 

 

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Try your local trap and skeet range on slow days. My son and I would go mid week and be the only ones besides the range master. They can usually watch you and tell if you were high low front or behind. Ill be darned, every time he would give me another bird after his input.....id dust it. For me it was most common to be behind it when I would occasionally miss one. 

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To build on the above, if you are right handed and right eyed, you point a shotgun with your left hand, not your right hand.  It helps me to have my left index finger pointed down the barrels.  

 

The typical commercial shotgun sold in the US is set up for a male, 5ft-8in tall, about 180 pounds, right handed and right eyed.  If you deviate from that or have habits such as crawling the stock, you need to see a fitter before you go further.  

 

You can stand behind someone else who is shooting Skeet and point ahead of the bird with the necessary lead (this does not work everywhere).  Your eye focuses on the bird, but looks ahead of it by the necessary lead, and the shotgun will follow.  The lead at station 1 is 6 to 9 inches.  Station 2 is 1.5 ft.  Station 3 is 3 ft.  Station 4 is 4 ft.  The lead then decreases down to the other end of the arc.  

 

Constant lead described above does not work for me 3 places:   At station 2 on the outgoing bird, the bird has an angular velocity which is so high I cannot achieve a constant lead.  At station 2 on the mirror image outgoing bird, I have the same problem.  What I do is simply swing through and be pulling the trigger as I do.  This is a very different aiming technique, which the British use on live birds, chanting to themselves the succession of sighting plane pictures they have, "Butt, Breast, Beak, Boom!"  Once you get the muscle memory for the trigger finger, you'll break about 75% of these swing through birds.

 

The third place where constant lead does not work for me is at station 8.  This is the station out in the middle of the field, where the bird goes nearly over your head.  Here you need to call for the bird, catch up with the bird and cover it with your barrels, and be pulling the trigger as you do, keeping the barrels covering the bird.  

 

Presuming you are right handed/eyed, you can practice all these, standing behind someone else shooting.  You will look stupid doing so, but it worked for me, and may well for you.  

 

Visualizing the lead you need is not hard:  1 foot of lead at the distance you shoot at a clay pigeon is about the thickness of a finger.  Hold up the appropriate number of fingers on your left hand, and move your left arm such that you have the bird on the trailing side of your fingers, and you are looking on the leading side of the fingers.  This is valuable on stations 3 and 5, where you lead is 3 whole feet, which is a LOT of lead.  Where it is critical is station 4, where the necessary lead is 4 unbelievable feet.  

 

If you are presented with a bird and you don't know what the necessary lead is, try and figure out what range of leads might be right, and go with the one on the long side.  The shot charge going down range is usually visualized as an enlarging disc as it goes down range, but this is incorrect.  It is better to visualize it as a teardrop-shape, with a long tail.  For small gauges like the .410, it's all tail.  For larger gauges, if you go with too much lead but you are right for elevation, the tail will hammer your bird.  Shotgunners encapsulate this with the saying, "Miss in front!"  

 

For everything I do with a shotgun, except Waterfowl, I can do almost everything I need to with a 20 gauge.  I only need the payload from a 12 gauge on Waterfowl, and maybe on Trap.  The nice thing about this is the 20 beats me up a lot less, so I can shoot more rounds of Skeet.  I have several shotguns with barrels in both 12 and 20, and the difference is quite marked.  I also handload both 12 and 20 gauge, and it is possible to load a 12 gauge shell (traditionally 1 and 1/8 oz Lead) with a 20 gauge shot charge (traditionally 3/4 oz), and I see no difference in Skeet scores.   Maybe I see one in Trap.  

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