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Old June 11, 2012, 02:59 PM   #26
l98ster
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3) When you call for the bird, you start your swing...

Not if you want to shoot good scores. Why look in the window if you're going to start your move when you make your call? For newer shooters, you should start your move when you see the target, not before. Experienced shooters may let the target fly a little before they start to move.
Thats what I meant. It is very hard to write a post because everything is scrutinized. I try to be as specific as possible, but to no avail! Something is always shy of an absolutely complete explaination.

In American skeet, the call and the presentation of the bird go hand in hand (maybe not exactly at the same time, but close). I did not explain myself thorough enough when i said start your swing when you call for the bird. I should have said start your swing when you see the target.

Im not giving anyone a hard time, but when I write my posts, it takes a while because Im always adding or deleting to make sure I am completely understood, or to make sure I am thorough enough. I never seem to get it right on the head.
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Old June 11, 2012, 03:13 PM   #27
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l98ster, I'm happy to see that we're on the same page on this one. Neither of us wants the newbies getting frustrated because they're jumping their targets.
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Old June 11, 2012, 04:17 PM   #28
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I shoot 4 different shotgun games as well as hunting with a shotgun. The ONLY time I aim is with a slug.

I used to aim before I knew how to shoot a shotgun and I used to miss, ALOT. One day I about 30 years ago I was shooting doves and everything I had been told clicked and the those little feathered rockets began falling from the sky on a regular basis. Once I leaned to focus intently on the target and allow my onboard ballistic computer to do its thing, my hit ratio improved exponentially.

Any of you tactical shooters that think thats stuff is only for breaking clays and killing rabbits, I encourage you to watch some 3 gun video on you tube. You will see an obvious difference in aiming and pointing. The slower (still pretty darned fast) deliberate shots are with slugs. That is aimed fire. When they are running their shotguns full tilt they are not aiming. Often time Im shooting the second or third popper before the first one is hitting the ground. My shotgun shoots where Im looking, so as soon as Ive pulled the trigger my eyes have moved to the next target. As soon as my gun catches up I pull the trigger. Im not looking at the bead on the end of my barrel, Im looking at what I want to hit. The targets are different but the method is the same.
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Old June 11, 2012, 10:25 PM   #29
dyl
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still confused but that's okay

First, I appreciate the discussion from you all. Even if I don't completely see "the light" here, every little bit more helps.

Zippy, I'm actually trying to avoid making assumptions and that's why I asked about the nitty gritty of how does one actually go about pointing a shotgun. What does it look like, what doesn't it look like. This is pointing with a shotgun vs. aiming with a shotgun mind you.

There seems to be a few different viewpoints of how "pointing" is actually executed. For right now, I was mostly thinking about actions of the upper body.
Here's the different versions I've heard in the responses.

A) Shouldering, cheek weld / alignment the same as aiming. Difference: eyes focus on target

B) Shouldering, cheek weld/alignment all different compared to aiming. How? Cheek weld not quite important. Shouldering in a different way that allows for more motion somehow (less pressure?). Sight picture different than aiming with shotgun.

Comments on A) - I understand this explanation more. Everything I've learned about firearms strives for consistency. For example, if my shotgun is set up to only show the bead when in alignment, I can practice this way even if my focus is on the target. If cheek weld stays the same then this is how I understand how a shotgun "shoots where I look". Because if my upper body moves as an aligned unit then I can have some consistency.

Comments on B) very perplexing If I shoulder the shotgun with no requirements as to it's position or height on my shoulder, and there are no requirements to make about alignment, how do I as a beginner have a basis to work from? How does one know what direction he missed in? What keeps me from seeing 2 inches of vent rib on one shot or 6 on the next shot if cheek weld is not important?

Still confused, but you have tried. Valiant effort and I appreciate this thread.


I suspect that I might receive several different answers as to the "right" way to point - just as there are several methods of point shooting a handgun with books written about their inventors.
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Old June 11, 2012, 11:24 PM   #30
zippy13
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Dyl, I'm going to take a guess... are you originally trained as a rifleman? It's almost easier to introduce someone to shotgunning who's not shot before than it is to teach a rifleman. I was one who started with a rifle, and I had to do some unlearning before I got comfortable with a shotgun. It may sound like hearsay, but a lot of what we practice with a rifle goes out the window with a shotgun.

First some clarification: I consider a shotgun as something that shoots shot at a moving target. And, pointing works best in the situation. Some shoot slugs with their shotguns and they aim. But, if you're shooting slugs, it's not longer really a shotgun (a shotgun without shot becomes a musket) and rifle rules apply.

When I'm shotgunning, rifle basics like steady grip (including cheek weld), breath control, sight alignment and trigger control go out the window. What I'm looking for is a consistent mount, seeing the target, moving smoothly, seeing the correct lead, dropping the hammer and following through.

Think of it this way: With a rifle the object is to have the sights perfectly aligned at the moment the hammer falls -- with a shotgun the object is to have it hit where you are looking. Some of the required skills are mutually exclusive. With shotguns, we often hear the recommendation, head on the stock, eye on the rock -- really, it's almost that simple.

There is a lot of talk about proper stock fit and what bead alignment you should use, but these are really just aspects of being consistent. The main advantage of having a properly fit stock is that it reduces kick -- if you're flinching it's hard to be consistent.

In a recent tread about bead alignment, I suggested that a Skeet shooter, "Try this: tuck your gun up into your arm pit and start shooting high birds at Station-1. Looking above the end of the barrel, pretty soon you'll learn how much to float the target and you'll be smoking it every time." Dyl, if you give something like this a try, pretty soon you'll grasp the concept of pointing a shotgun. Check out LSnSC's comments (above), too.

Last edited by zippy13; June 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM.
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Old June 12, 2012, 04:28 AM   #31
darkgael
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Fit

Dyl: One important element about shotguns that I do not see mentioned in your last post is "fit" (referred to by my friend Zippy). Mounting a shotgun, knowing how to do it, is all well and good but if the shotgun does not fit me, it will not shoot where I look....unless I make adjustments to my mount that another shooter may not need to make.
That being said....most shooters do not take themselves to a shotgun fitter and go through the process. They simply make their guns work. I suspect that everyone has, therefore, a slightly different way of mounting a shotgun so that it will shoot where it is pointed.
Take two shooters - one tall and long armed, the other much shorter and more compact. They both own off the shelf 870s. The gun will probably have too short a stock for one of them and too long a stock for the other. Mounted the same way, the gun will shoot high for one and low for the other. Both learn to compensate for this in short order by changing the way that they mount the gun.
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Old June 12, 2012, 10:58 AM   #32
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Another aspect to consider - when aiming a shotgun like a rifle, you have the gun premounted. With SOME shotgun scenarios you may as well, but not all of them - International Skeet utilizes a low gun as does FITASC which is the International version of sporting clays.

Most bird hunter also use a low gun position while walking up their feathered quarry while deer hunters look for a rest so they can premount and get into position

The Move, Mount, Shoot I mentioned above addresses this. You first move to the target with a low gun, when you get to your insertion point you mount, as it hits your cheek you shoot the target - no scrunched up cheek weld, no checking sights front to back and back to front - it becomes an instinctive set of fluid moves that act as one
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Old June 13, 2012, 06:47 AM   #33
darkgael
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+1

Quote:
You first move to the target with a low gun, when you get to your insertion point you mount, as it hits your cheek you shoot the target - no scrunched up cheek weld, no checking sights front to back and back to front - it becomes an instinctive set of fluid moves that act as one
Wonderful description of an upland shot.
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Old June 13, 2012, 10:21 AM   #34
zippy13
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Most bird hunter also use a low gun position while walking up their feathered quarry while deer hunters look for a rest so they can premount and get into position
You know how some hunters will buy any new gadget that comes along. Perhaps you could market a motorized clays stand on wheels for those want to hunt upland with a premounted gun.
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Old June 14, 2012, 05:19 AM   #35
shortwave
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^^^^^^...

...and start 2-a-day workouts in the weight room.

Gonna need all the muscle's you can get to carry a pre-mounted shotgun all day long.

Last edited by shortwave; June 14, 2012 at 05:25 AM.
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Old June 14, 2012, 07:46 AM   #36
dyl
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Zippy, the funny things is my very first shot with any firearm was a 410 (not mine). Then I went to air rifle, then a .22, but quickly went to handguns and have progressed much farther with the handguns.

I get the feeling that learning to point is going to make me queezy every now and then
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Old June 14, 2012, 08:36 AM   #37
johnbt
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"how does one actually go about pointing a shotgun"

How do you point at the light switch on the wall without looking down your index finger? (Or at a squirrel in a tree or at a plane flying overhead?) You know, someone asks where something is and you just toss off a quick point with your finger without lining it up. It's usually close.

You just do it. Try it. Throw your hand up and point your finger at something. Then hold your hand still and move your head until you can sight down your finger. Most people will be very close to being dead on it due to a lifetime of practice.

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