View Full Version : Point shooting v. Aiming a shotgun - can one change?

Ackley Improved User
March 22, 2005, 12:53 AM
Can a middle-aged man switch from aiming a shotgun to point shooting a shotgun - or is it too late? I've read the books and seen the video tapes. My first try was a disaster.

March 22, 2005, 01:34 AM
Can a middle-aged man switch from aiming a shotgun to point shooting a shotgun - or is it too late? I've read the books and seen the video tapes. My first try was a disaster.

The first time I rode a bike when I was a kid it was a "disaster". If you are phisicly capable of firing a shot gun and have the will to acomplish "point shooting" then you can.

No matter what, keep practicing, don't give up, and you will acomplish you're goal.

March 22, 2005, 01:52 AM
According to some martial arts guys, and some psychologists too, it takes about 300 reps of a given activity to learn it. And around 1500 to master it. So if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.

Sure, you mainly have to train yourself to do the one type aiming rather than the other. No surprise the first attempt is not so comfortable nor the results good.

Dave McC
March 22, 2005, 09:27 AM
Don't give up easy. It takes some time, maybe 1K rounds to make ANY change when wingshooting.

BA/UU/R and things will shape up.j

March 22, 2005, 10:56 AM
If you are used to "aiming" then you are most likely closing one eye. Check to make sure the correct eye is dominant and then start shooting with both eyes open, this will help a great deal.


Ackley Improved User
March 22, 2005, 01:45 PM
I just started clay-target shooting (skeet less than 500 rounds, trap ~1000 rounds). The first attempt at point shooting was not good - went from 20+ average skeet shooter to 10+ average. But, I've only shot ~250 rounds with the point shoot method. I'll take your advice about opening both eyes - I should be able to do that, then hopefully improve from there as I become a point shooter. Thanks for the positive input.

March 22, 2005, 03:05 PM
I had very good help from an instructor. I would suggest , also, that you stay away from trap - it's far to easy to aim the gun in trap. Keep working at it ,it will take a while.

March 23, 2005, 04:14 PM
The late Gene Hill, in his Shotgunners Notebook had this to say on the subject:

"...in my opinion the perfect shotgun is one that I'm entirely unconscious of; it is merely a place to put two shells. I don't see barrels, I don't feel stock--it's part of me, like pointing a finger or, simpler, just looking. And that's the secret here: just looking. As simple as it seems, a vast number of gunners sight down the barrel instead of looking at the bird. Let me assure you, you can't do both and be a good wingshot. You must ignore the gun and look, and look hard, at the target--and wherever you eyes go, the gun barrel will go all by itself! Doesn't that sound easy? It is and it works."

My instructor at the Remington Shooting School broke me of the habit of aiming by forcing the barrel on my gun through the bottom of a Dixie Cup, then sliding the Cup up until its open end butted up against the forend. He then secured it there with electrical tape. This obliterated my view of the barrel and forced me to LOOK AT THE TARGET, just like Gene recommended.

Know what? It DOES work! Leave the Cup in place until your scores improve. Your squad mates may laugh (at first), but who cares if it helps you achieve your goal of being a better wingshot?

Try this on your own gun and see if it helps.

Good luck, and good shooting!

Ackley Improved User
March 23, 2005, 07:49 PM

With a Dixie cup over your barrel, wouldn't it cause you to lift your head to see over it? I thought with point shooting, you were supposed to keep your cheek against the comb thus putting your eye-line along the barrel, while not focusing on or "seeing" the barrel.

Regards, AIU :confused:

March 24, 2005, 09:15 PM
The Dixie Cup was a small one like you find in those dispensers that are sometimes attached to the sides of Igloo water jugs, and all it did was block my view of the barrel and the bead-sights (to which my eyes seemed magnetically attracted). Since I could no longer look at these, I had to look at the target (which I could see clearly, beyond the Cup). You are correct, you must keep your cheek firmly planted on the stock; however, this was not a problem for me (I just couldn't seem to see beyond the barrel!)

I was dubious about my instructor's "invention" until I tried it and smoked a bird from the 16-yard line, then from the 17, 18, etc. During the School we also shot Skeet and Sporting Clays, and (as you would expect) it worked there, too. Wow, did it feel good to see those targets break!

Give this idea a try and see if it helps you. What do you have to lose?

Good luck, and good shooting!

March 24, 2005, 09:35 PM
Hunter, what you described by looking at the target was exactly what was told to me by some wise, shotgun sage. As he put it, your brain is the best calculator of speed, distance, etc. As you look at the target (clay pigeons in this instance), once your eyes have focused on the target, your mind has already done the calcs. Just fire. you know what? My clay score went up. Don't fight the brain, it hurts.

March 24, 2005, 09:42 PM
As my instructor at the Remington School said, "Don't think, SHOOT!"

Ackley Improved User
March 25, 2005, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the tip - I'll try it, especially since I'm going to need all the help I can get.