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Old August 17, 2009, 09:50 AM   #1
Join Date: November 7, 2008
Posts: 19
Target Panic

Hey all. I have formed a problem I cannot get rid of. I went through this last year with my bow, now I have it with my Muzzleloader. Here is what is going on.

When I get my rifle set on the bench loaded and ready, I get my cheek against the stock and right when I close my left eye to look through the scope I am looking for the trigger. The crosshairs are not even close to the mark I am aiming for but my head is telling me to pull the trigger. I tried aiming with my finger outside the trigger guard, but as soon as i see the target through the scope I am going after the trigger and it is driving me crazy. I also tried getting my crosshairs on the mark before cocking hammer, but as soon as the hammer is cocked I'm pulling the trigger. If I'm shooting clay pigeons with my shotgun I'm fine, but switch barrles and load a slug to shoot a still target and it's back to the same panic. If I don't cock the hammer and just look through the scope at teh target I can hold it on my mark all day. But once it's time to fire it's all over. I know its a head thing I just can't break it. It started about 2 weeks ago and I'm going nuts because of it.

Anything you guys can suggest to help me get rid of this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by flybub; August 17, 2009 at 10:08 AM.
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Old August 17, 2009, 09:59 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Western Colorado, finally.
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I can tell you how to get rid of it with the bow.... learn to shoot with a back tension release.

With a gun, a similar answer might be a release trigger, the type where you pull the trigger and it doesn't go bang until you LET GO.

You will probably need the help of a professional instructor to get rid of severe target panic.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
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Old August 17, 2009, 10:07 AM   #3
Join Date: November 7, 2008
Posts: 19
Hey peet, I beat the target panic with my bow by taking off my site and shooting a blank bale for a couple weeks and that seemed to cure it. Thanks for the reply.
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Old August 17, 2009, 09:21 PM   #4
Dr. Strangelove
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Join Date: August 1, 2008
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 1,420
Try shooting off a shooting rest (Lead-sled, etc.) or sandbags.

Sight, cock, drop that right (or left) hand and just look through the scope at the target for a while. Imagine all the processes involved, all the way through to the bullet hitting the target. Then slowly bring the trigger hand back up and force yourself to go through the process again in slow motion.

Are you running the scope all the way up to the highest magnification? That can make a target look like you are chasing a butterfly. Go with the lowest magnification setting you have for a while.

Edit - Better yet, take your .22LR and shoot that at 25 yds. That's the best way to find out what you may or may not be doing in your shooting habits. Nothing like zero recoil to show bad habits. (not specific to you, flybub, everyone could benefit from a little short range .22 practice)

One more edit - Don't close your eye to look through the scope, if you need to do that, you need to adjust your scope mounting. Is your dominate eye opposite of your "handedness"? Meaning are you a lefty with a dominate right eye, or a righty with a dominate left eye?

Last edited by Dr. Strangelove; August 17, 2009 at 09:33 PM.
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Old August 17, 2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Please don't go hunting with this condition until fully cured...
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Old August 18, 2009, 07:29 AM   #6
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Oxygen helps.
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Old August 26, 2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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Read Zen and the art of archery. It states" You do not shoot the bow, the bow shoots itself". It is great book and will transend more that just archery. The archers shot for 2 years blindfolded just to get their form right. So when they shot, they used their mind, not their eyes to shoot. So if you don't have to think to shoot, just shoot, then there is no target panic, just zen. Read it you won't be dissapointed. If you are not satisfied, email me, and I'll buy the book from you. No joke.
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Old September 7, 2009, 03:24 PM   #8
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Sutherlin, OR
Posts: 32
At the range shoot the gun a few times with no round in the chamber. Go through your normal routine of aiming and firing as if you had a round in the chamber. Then have a buddy load the gun for you each time. He will sometimes load a live round in the gun and sometimes he will not. You will not know each time you fire. This will take a while to break. But the first thing you have to accept, is that it is all in your head. This is also a very good way to help people that flinch when shooting. John
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