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Old August 3, 2000, 08:09 AM   #1
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I think it is time for some controversy in this forum. So here goes.

I shoot Sporting Clays, and I took up the game because it is more challenging and interesting than either Trap or Skeet. Both of which are too regimented and , at competitive levels, no fun at all.

One of the attractions of Sporting Clays is that each set or "Stand" throws completely different targets.Each course is unique and provides a new challenge.

When I started shooting the requirements were that the butt of the gun be off of the shoulder and could not be mounted untill the target appeared. This threw another element of skill into the game, as proper mounting technique is sometimes difficult to do time after time.

A couple of years ago the NSCA and the SCA both changed their rules to allow pre mounted guns. Their alleged reason was that it was too difficult to enforce the previous rule.

I believe that this new rule will turn the game into another Trap and Skeet. Pre mounting takes away the spontaniety of the target presentation and does away with the requirement to practice gun mounting. Also, I have noticed that some courses are setting up targets that have to be taken with a mounted gun, forcing diehards like me to miss or premount.

The most difficult of the clay target games, FITASC sporting, as it is shot in europe, still requires the gun to be off of the shoulder and not mounted untill the target is visible.

In effect, the pre mount rule has made the game easier and bumped scores upward. I have seen many shooters who thought they were great fall flat on their faces shooting a FITASC course.

I never shoot tournaments anymore, because I still cling to the rule that the gun not be mounted untill the target is visible. My scores have suffered in comparison to friends who pre mount on every presentation.

I find it interesting that Olympic Skeet still requires a low gun start. Even though the targets thrown are faster than targets in Americal Skeet.


Geoff Ross
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Old August 3, 2000, 08:25 AM   #2
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I've never shot clays but I tend to agree with you. Clays emulates a hunting situation (running rabbits, quail etc) and no one carries a shotgun premounted while hunting.
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Old August 3, 2000, 09:36 AM   #3
Dave McC
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Kinda like the IPSC when it first started, Geoff. Quit IPSC when I saw a gun that I wouldn't carry on the street win.

I don't premount and if my score isn't as high as it could be, so be it...
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Old August 3, 2000, 01:07 PM   #4
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The gun should be off the shoulder. That's the way most people hunt. I'm for tradition in rules.
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Old August 3, 2000, 01:17 PM   #5
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I have shot a lot of Trap & Skeet but have never shot Sporting Clays, however I agree with you's my understanding that Sporting Clays is supposed to simulate an actual hunting environment, therefore the gun should never be pre mounted.
My 0.02 cents.

"Lead, follow or get the HELL out of the way."
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Old August 3, 2000, 08:10 PM   #6
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I've never bought the "too hard to enforce the rule" business. I think it was whining from shooters who wanted to buff up their scores and who would wet themselves if they had actually to fire at a live bird. It also helps those who bend themselves to fit their gun instead of having the gun fitted to them.

That said, rules are rules. My experience is that on some stations a mounted gun is an advantage. High incomers or springing teal come to mind. On other stations, like rabbits, seeing the target early is more important and a pre-mounted gun is a hindrance.

Shooting five-stand favors an unmounted gun because you usually don't know where the bird is coming from and you have to look around to see it. Can't manage that if a gun is at your shoulder.

One of the best sporting afternoons I had was shooting a walk-up course in the U.K. You walked down a path with the traps set in various directions. The trapper followed you and pulled targets at his discretion. An unmounted gun was the only way to go.

International Skeet is a very humbling way to spend an afternoon. Very low gun, faster birds, doubles at the mid stations and the call delay all make for a challenge.

I'd put my vote into returning sporting to a low gun game. International Skeet and FITSAC seem to manage and I'd hate to think the Europeans are smarter than us.
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