View Full Version : not hitting

January 7, 2011, 08:25 AM
After many, many years of shotgunning I find that I can't hit clay birds (sporting) consistantly. What the hell is going on?
Very frustrating. This is true with o/u; sxs; auto; pump. I have no answer for my miserable performance of the last 3-months.
All ideas welcome before I throw the shotguns in the lake.

January 7, 2011, 08:28 AM

Give yourself a chance to get back into the groove.:cool:

January 7, 2011, 08:58 AM
First, get your eyes checked - dominance might have changed, or something else might be happening (friend went through the same thing and after I suggested that he get them checked, found out he had cataracts - now he is glasses and cataract free)

Pick ONE gun to use for a while.

Get it properly fitted to you

Take a lesson or three from a certified coach who can evaluate your form, stance, etc.

January 7, 2011, 09:23 AM
All ideas welcome before I throw the shotguns in the lake.

Which lake?

January 7, 2011, 09:51 AM
I'd agree on having your eyes checked. The slow change from 20/20 to 20/30 to 20/50 might go unnoticed, or a cataract in the dominant eye might throw off your depth of field perception.

January 7, 2011, 10:05 AM
I second getting your eye's checked a pair of glasses could line everything back up. I had the same problem with hitting a baseball in high school. From my Junior to Senior year I went from 20-20 to blind as a bat. After I got the glasses everything was spot on again.

January 7, 2011, 10:47 AM
Assuming no physical changes, it could be a case of "measuring" -- while trying to "see your lead", your focus/concentration has shifted from the target to the front bead. Keep your eye on the target.

Also, as we age, it takes longer for our eyes to shift focus from close to distant. You might try one of two approaches: after loading and before mounting, give your eyes a brief moment to adjust while you shift your focus to target distance, or load by feel while keeping your focus concentrated at target range. The second method avoids delaying the squad's progress.

January 7, 2011, 11:01 AM
I too am not having good luck at the trap range. I am just taking a break to calm down then I plan to go back. Maybe a little rest will help me go back with a fresh start.

Have you patterned your gun as of late?

January 7, 2011, 01:08 PM
I like OneOunces idea of having you settle on one gun .....and take it to the pattern board ( to make sure it fits you ) ....and then find a certified instructor in your area ....and get a couple of lessons .../ maybe even with a video that you can keep of your stance, shot execution, follow thru ...

I'd also consider buying a good professional DVD - Bobby Fowler Jr has one that I like very much - on sporting / but there are others... Sunrise videos has a lot of them ..

I'd also suggest shooting more "Skeet" - again with your primary gun, and really work on foot position, lower body rotation, shoulders level, eye on target, head on comb ...follow thru ....etc / and see where your skeet scores are / and if they're consistent. I don't care if you shoot high or low gun - but if your scores are not consistent plus or minus one bird - then you have some fundamental issues. A Skeet field gives you the pairs / and a lot of gun movement on crossing targets - and consistency / especially the consistency that you can't get on a sporting course, since every day, the course can be very different. Keep a notebook log on your skeet scores / which stations you miss and why ... and it'll show you a trend.

Regardless of your goals in sporting --- class C, B, A, AA, Master - or if your scrores are in in the 60's, 70' or 80's ....its important to know how you did compared to the other shooters in your registered class. You can't tell much in a "hunter class" ....because a lot of good shooters, maybe class A or better - got bored in competition / and just come back in once in a while and shoot Hunter class...and you can't compare yourself to a Class A shooter, unless you are really in class A. There are sporting courses I've shot that are more of an "eye exam" than a good fair course / with tricky shots, thru the trees, etc ..... vs a better course, where a Class C shooter can shoot in the mid 60's and have some fun ( class B, A, AA are probably 5 - 8 birds better per class - with the AA guys in low 80's ) - and a few birds to seperate the big dogs from one another in Master class - that nobody else can hit without a prayer and some uncanny luck. Weather, nerves, squad mates, position you shoot on a particular station - all kinds of things can affect your scores in sporting ... In sporting - I like to shoot with guys that shoot like I do - primarily with sustained lead - but my preferred sqaud has one Master Class shooter ( who every time I watch him, I learn a little about his hold points, break points, that I didn't see ) ...and if I shoot behind him, it helps me a lot ...but I can also consult with him, before I step in. I also like a squad that has at least one shooter that is evenly matched with me in terms of talent ( or lack thereof ) so we can gague how we are doing against eachother. I like it - when station after station - if we are 1 or 2 birds apart ...it keeps us both focused and working ...to get that 1 bird edge...or shoot for a pepsi when its all done ...or something ..just to keep an edge / but a fair comparison. The Master Class shooter - can beat me with his eyes closed ...so I learn from him / but I don't try and compete with him - because I'm just not there in terms of talent or the amount of work he puts in to stay at that level...

Even with a shotgun ....if all you do is go up there ...and slap at a target ...and pour shot downrange... and don't really focus, don't work on foot postion, follow thru, etc ....your scores will go up and down 20 % ....and it'll never change unless you fix the little things ... Its a shotgun / but you can't be sloppy - or it will cost you targets. When I finally got better at sporting, was when I was shooting 200 skeet targets a week / and consistently in the mid 90's ....and then when I had a plan, every time I stepped into a station ....and I executed it / and if I missed, I knew why ...and I made a little adjustment on hold point, or break point, or where I took the first target, vs 2nd, etc ....and my scores got more consistently in the high 70's to low 80's ( not great / but I met my goals ...) ...

January 7, 2011, 01:51 PM
I was having this exact dilemma many years ago.
When the worst shot of my group of friends was out-shooting me in clays, i didn't know WHAT i was doing wrong!! :confused:

Long story short, i needed glasses because i'm near-sighted..
It's all good now :cool:

Get yer eyes examined