New to Skeet
Question and AnswerPlease feel free to contact me about any skeet questions.My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Allen, I have a question I've been meaning to ask for awhile. After a shot, I like to hold my mount and see if the beads are still lined up. That is to see if the gun is moving at all in reference to my body. On fast left-to-right shots, like H2 and H3, I find the beads aren't lined up and the barrel is pointing a little to the right of center. For the same shots going the other way, L5 and L6, everything is straight when I finish the shot.
What do you think this is, a fit issue or maybe a forward hand movement?
Thanks in advance,
If I remember right you are right handed. I would say this is common with right handed shooters, but not really what you want. You always want to finish like you started.
The reason you notice it on these fast shots is gun speed. The momentum carries the gun away from your face. This is really easy to cure most of the time, if you are not pushing the gun with your left arm. Even if you are, this will cure it most of the time. That is turn your feet more to the right, another thing is to hold out a little more and make a less aggressive move to the target. One other thing is length of pull, if the gun is too long it can cause some of this. Also you can move your left hand farther out on the forend, which helps control the gun more and limits the amount you can push the gun with your arm. I am sure if I could watch you shoot I could tell just what you need to do. You could do a video with your phone of these shots and email it to me and then I could give you a more precise answer.
Allen aka WAM
I am in my late seventies and pushing eighty, but in excellent physical condition. I shot skeet for a brief period of time in the eighties, even took some lessons from the late Ed Scheer. my shotgun , at the time was a Bretta 686 with full set of Kolar tubes. Three years ago, started to shoot skeet again, and purchased a super skeet K-80 with full set of Kolar tubes.
Gil Ash told me that the shotgun(K-80) had a high stock and high rib, and I will be shooting high. He recommended a number 3 stock.
I took the K-80 to Champlin Arms, had a thinner recoil pad installed, and bent the stock. I patterned the k-80 with the LM choke on the lower barbell and Skeet on the upper ( not from the rest).
Unless I press my face into the stock, the pattern registers high.
I, am not doing well with either of the two guns, although slightly better with the Bretta. My problem is high 2 and low six and on occasion high one. I do not float the low 3,4,5 .
I have been told numerous times that I shot above number one and two high.
I do not believe that my poor performance is because of Gun Fit, for indeed the Bretta fits perfect. I wonder if the high rib blocks my right eye, and I am shooting with left eye. Or cross eyes dominant ?
I have to close my left eye to hit the one low with both shotguns.
Do I benefit from an IC choke on the lower Barrel do you have any suggestion for me .
I am and will remain grateful for the kind consideration of me .
I apologize in advance for imposition on your time.
First, you should have your face tight on the gun. It sounds like you could be cross dominate, which can be cured with a eye patch (occluder), see my website on how to put one on in the right place.
Also you can change the front barrel hanger on the K-80 to lower the point on impact on the bottom barrel and the top barrel shouldn’t matter that much ,if you single load for singles, because the 2nd shot on single doubles is a close shot anyway. And no I don’t think an ic choke will help, but it depends on many things, like shells, where you break the targets and etc.
I hope this helps and feel free to ask questions anytime.
Allen aka WAM
Allen - Have enjoyed your site and just read the Q&A. Writing about H2 you
say it's the only target that you move on the flash. Does this imply it's
the only target that you rely on your peripheral vision for your look point?
Are you otherwise looking into the window to first see the targets and
subsequently make a move?
With the exception of a few stations (primarily 1, 2, 7, 8) I'm
inconsistent when it comes to my look points - a lot of variability. So mid
field I tend to drift between looking straight into the window vs just off
the house to catch that first flash like on H2 (a technique I mostly use
when shooting sporting and trap). Mostly relying on sustained lead my break
points on the mid field stations are just before or at the center. Not
surprisingly the inconsistency with where I look doesn't promote a lot of
confidence. Any thoughts? Thanks - Sean
I do look at the edge of the window, but don't hard focus. I look only hard
enough to keep my eyes still. When you do what I do, you have to have a 1/3+ hold point, that is a hold that allows you to see the flash, pick up focus on the target, then move when the target is at the proper relationship with the gun. Your eyes are way faster than the target and faster than you can move the gun, so it is really easy to let the eyes do the moving with the target until you need to move the gun. Now it is also easy for the eyes to out run the target, so it takes some discipline to get a custom to this way of shooting. The main thing is for the eyes to be still and ready, and by looking at the edge of the window helps my eyes to be still. I relate it to baseball, I want to see the ball come out of the pitchers hand, I don't look somewhere between the pitcher and home plate. I want to see what the target is doing as fast as possible and this method gives me all the time that is there. I see the flash, my eyes pick it up, focus on it, move with it to my gun start point, lock on it, see the lead and watch the target break.
Hope this will help you.
Allen aka WAM
Thanks I agree and appreciate the advice.
One last thing, "quantity of practice" from what i have read recently and what your saying; my 5 or 6 rounds a week is not going to get it done. I need to work harder to get to that AAA across the board level. From a positive point of view, I am doing pretty well to get to where i am with such little practice.
I think you need to plan on 3 to 4 secessions a week and more would be better. But don’t get to a point that you are just going through the motions, as it is easy to get burned out. When you practice you need to make it count, down load the practice journal I have on my site and keep good notes, so you can review before each practice.
Hope this helps.
Allen aka WAM
Allen, I have been on your website and like what you are doing. Keep up the good work.
I am an experienced shooter and AAA in the big guns but looking to improve. I want to raise the scores of my poor shoots. I would like your thoughts on practice.
I believe you should practice skeet as you would in a tournament. I am looking for station practice ideas and thoughts.
Kim Rhode the 5 time Olympian states " shooting rounds at is a waste of time". She will shoot 25 targets of the same shot before moving to the next shot. Money and time prevent that from being an option for me, but would a modified version work?
Thanks in advance.
As you and I know, what works for one, may not work for another.
With that said, here is what I do. When the season starts I shoot rounds with one thing only in mind, keep my head locked on the gun. I will do this for a week or until I know I don’t have to think about it. Then next I will work on finishing the shot and not taking the gun down for 3 seconds after the shot. I will do this for a week or until I automatically do this without having to think about it. During the time that I am working on these I don’t care how many or how few targets I break. I believe that these 2 basics are 2 of the most important, because if you don’t do them you will never shoot good scores. Now next I will shoot 100 targets just like I would in a tournament. Then I will shoot 2 to 4 boxes of 3 4 5 doubles. Then I will go back and work on any shots I feel are not up to standard.
Now to answer your question, I am really not sure, it works for her. But here is where I am at, I need to break that shot/ whatever shot the 1st time after I have just shot the shot before. I mean if you are AAA, then you know how to break the shot, then it becomes a matter of stringing the shots/ rounds together. My suggestion for you would be to get some tight chokes and refine your sight picture at practice. Take that leeway out that you have with skeet chokes and learn what the true sight picture is, after all I think that is what Kim is doing, just in another way.
Hope this helps.
Allen aka WAM
I hope this finds you and yours well, and recovered from Thanksgiving!
You mentioned in a recent post on SGW, that you shoot tighter chokes at certain times.
What are you looking for when you shoot modified or tighter chokes? Does it make you concentrate better?
Since I shoot 7/8 oz of 9’s in the 12 ga, I use IC chokes to tighten the pattern. Skeet chokes seem to chip a lot of targets for me, using the same load.
If I were to switch chokes what do you suggest as a starting point?
Thanks and I hope you have a Merry Christmas!!
The reason for shooting tighter chokes is to refine the sight picture, the pattern is smaller so the shot has to be more precise or you will miss the target.
After shooting tight chokes and going back to say a skeet choke you have to remember that the breaks are not going to be as hard and don’t let it get in your head that you are not on the target.
A little story, I had been shooting full chokes all winter and went to a tournament, I shot a low 6 and when I pulled the trigger I knew I had missed it, but it blew up and I thought, I would have missed that with a tight choke. This made me realize that there is too much room for era with open chokes to really learn the right sight picture. But you need to be able to hit them first and new shooters don’t need to try and shoot tight chokes until they can break all the targets well, even then if they struggle bad with tight chokes and start missing to many, it will hurt their confidence and do more harm than good.
Not everyone is capable of shooting tight chokes, it took me over 10 years to really be able to shoot them.
As far as what to try, if you are using IC, then try a light mod, then try a mod, work your way up until things start coming down hill, then go back one choke more open. Now this is only for practice, and I would not recommend shooting them in a tournament.
Hope this answered your question and Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to ME.
Allen aka WAM
Hey Allen, I'd like to ask for some help setting up my new gun.
I got a used Kolar 2-barrel set. One of the first things I did was set both
adjustable ribs to 50/50 per the manual. I verified the 12ga barrel and all
3 tube sets in the carrier shot 50/50 on the patterning board.
Since then, I've been shooting very well with the 12ga @ 50/50. I'm
averaging 99 in singles and 97 in doubles. When going to the 20ga, something
is wrong. My scores go down to ~85.
I believe The problem is my POI. I practice with IC chokes (the tightest I
have for the tubes) and I found myself chopping the bottom off a lot of
birds. I switched the POI to 60/40 (per the rib lines, not pattern board
verified yet) and I started crushing everything as I typically do.
After that long background, my question is: how does one "tune" their POI?
Is it just something you evaluate as you shoot and adjust as necessary?
Thanks in advance.
I think that a 60/40 pattern works best for most shooters, as it keeps the
target in the shooters view. The difference in the size of a 12ga pattern
with open chokes vs a 20ga with a ic is a lot of difference. You would
probably find that things would be even worse with the 410. So what you can
get by with in the 12ga you won't be able to with the smaller guns. There
are 2 way to change the poi with a gun with a adjustable rib. You can change
the rib or you can raise the comb of the gun. Here is what I feel is the
best way, adjust the rib so that the top and bottom barrel shoot the same
poi, then raise the comb to get it to shoot 60/40. I have found that most
shooters float the target and don't even know that they do, I found this out
by fitting guns to shooters. And the float is something that varies from
shooter to shooter and seems to be what the shooter get accustom to or used
to seeing. Now after my long spill, this is how I suggest to tune your poi,
1st put the 410 tubes in with the tightest chokes and stand on 7 and shoot
low house targets making comb adjustment until you are truly centering the
targets. Then put in the 20ga tubes or 12ga barrels and shoot some targets
on station 4, if the breaks are good leave it alone, if not ,say you are
knocking the bottom off raise the comb a small amount, if you are splitting
them in or shooting high let the comb down a small amount (but never get the
comb so low that if you press your head down as hard as you can and you
can't see down the rib, always keep the comb high enough to see down the
Oh and by the way it takes about 6 months to really get comfortable with a
new gun, no matter how good it fits. You may shoot it way better than your
old gun, because the old one may have not fit you as well. But I can tell
you that 6 months is what it takes and it gets better after that, the longer
you shoot it the better it will get to a point.
Sorry so long, but It was such a good question I wanted it on my website for
all to read.
Good luck, good shooting and if I can help more feel free to ask.
Allen aka WAM
I hope you are doing great at the World Shoot!
After the Tidewater Challenge 2 weeks ago where I embarrassed myself with a 88/100, I stopped shooting. A practice round or two and I was missing a lot. I have no idea why.
Last week I shot a 49/50 and this past Sunday a 74/75. So I know I can do lots better.
My shooting partner commented that I always shoot good in practice, but not so good in tourneys. One of the guys on SGW suggested I have clipboard-itis.
Translated I think that means my brain goes to left field when I see the clipboard.
Have you ever heard of that? What is the solution to solving it?
Best of luck in the shoot!
I have heard of this and I think all shooters have this problem one way or another. Some shoot better when the score counts. It sounds like you are trying to hard or don’t trust yourself. This happens when you start trying to make sure you hit it and leads to measuring. The best way to cure this is pick your break point and shoot the target there no matter what, you may miss a few but after a while you will start to trust yourself and the scores will go up.
Hope this helps and good shooting.
Allen aka WAM
First of all let me thank you for your time and contributions to all of us aspiring skeet shooters. I have been shooting for a bunch of years now but have rarely shot registered events. I have taken clinics with Todd Bender and our dearly missed Wayne Mayes. I feel that my fundamentals are pretty solid. My question for you is about hold points. I have watched your video on hold points and the Wam stick which I think is a great invention. I tend not to look at specific objects on the field to find my hold point but look at the relationship of my hold point within the space between the center stake and the house. For example on H2/L6 I find the visual half way point then move in slightly which puts me just over 1/3 out from the house. On L3/H5 I hold visually 1/3 and on H4/L4 visually 1/4. All of these put me right about 1/3 out from the house. Having the experience that you do know of others that use this kind of method for finding the 1/3 out hold point? Do you think it is accurate enough or should I learn to find an object on each field to mark my hold points?
Thanks in advance,
I don’t know if anyone finds their hold point the way you described, but it is not consistent enough. Let me explain it this way, hold point are very individual , meaning everyone is different, but all are close and some on yours may or may not be the same as mine. It all depends on where you see the target and how you react when you see it. For example, if you make a consistent move on a target and you shoot the nose off, you should move 1 rib width closer to the house, this will put you in the center of the target, same way if you shoot the back off, you would move 1 rib width out from the house. So now, do you think your hold points are that consistence from field to field and club to club, I doubt it. That is how important hold points are and with the way things look different at different fields and clubs, you need a way to be spot on. Once you shoot for a while with these exact hold points, your move with the target will get more and more consistent which will result in better and more consistent scores .
So learn to find something in the back ground and don’t forget about the height, as it is just as important as how far out.
Hope this answered your question, feel free to ask any time.
Good Luck and Good Shooting
Allen aka WAM
Alan, I tried your "patch" and I have a few questions. When I'm shooting h2
I see a lot of the tape and don't seem to pick up the bird as quick same for h3. I'm right handed and hold AA in all guns but 410, A class. I tried your tip because at times h3,h4 and h5 seemed along way off and not in real
focus. When I mount my gun with "big eyes " I would see down the left side
of the barrel. A slight squint eliminates this but I would prefer not to.
With your occluder the targets are in focus. Should I try a smaller patch to give me more field of vision. I'm 57 and have hunted all my life and have shot skeet competitively since 2006.
Thanks : by the way good shooting at the Masters.
Some can use a smaller patch and it depends on how far away your glasses are
from your eyes, as the closer the glasses are the smaller the patch can be.
I would 1st try to move the patch a little to the right, but not far enough
so if you close your right eye you can see the end of gun with your left
One thing you said that concerns me is, "when I mount the gun with big eyes
I see down the left side of the barrel". This sounds like a gun fit issue,
as no matter how wide open you open your eyes, how your gun lines up should
Also as you have found squinting causes you to loose depth perception. And I
think the reason you are having to squint is a eye dominance issue, but I am
not sure as it could be a gun fit issue.
Send me your phone # and I will call so we can talk.
Allen aka WAM
I’ve almost emailed you many times. I usually back out because I don’t want to bother you.
Background- forum member(agmc4me)(Gordon) and new skeet shooter. First tournament was last year in July. First lessons were in August…LOL
I shot a Browning feather last year and many though it was the wrong gun. I had fun and started learning the game with it anyway. Sold it this year and have
Shot my Beretta A303 26” special skeet barrel. My shooting has been pretty solid for me 23/25. I believe the basics are sinking in and that the Beretta actually
fits me well. I say this because I shoot a 1100 20 gauge in 20 and I’m up and down with it. The 1100 is clearly an inch shorter LOP.
I’ve gotten to shoot friends Kolars and K-80’s but I’m not in the market for those types of guns yet. Maybe after the kids braces and college.
To my questions.
1) Benefits to a high rib gun
2) Parallel comb.
The reason I ask is Browning has the 725 in Skeet with a low rib and parallel comb and the Sporting in high rib tapered comb. I think a 725 with High rib and parallel comb
would be perfect but they don’t make it that way. I held a 725 the other day and did not think it was heavy enough.
You are not bothering me, ask as many questions as you like and if you want to talk, let me know and I will give you my number.
The reason for the web site is to help shooters and no other reason, well maybe to be remembered as a helpful guy when I am gone. Lol
I am not very familiar with the 725, but did look at one for a guy this weekend to see if I could put adjustable comb on it and the stock bolt hole was too close to the top of the comb (no room for hardware). It was very lite and would not be my first choice, but I am not sure about the 725 skeet model, as this was a field gun. I would guess it would be heavier, so that would be good.
The benefits to a high rib is, the barrels are out of the way, as you don’t hardly see them and it promotes a more heads up shooting. But I some what disagree with the heads up part, as I feel you can get to the same place with more drop at the heel, but that can cause cheek slap if the pitch is off.
The parallel comb is in my opinion is the best type of stock for skeet and trap shooting, as you start with a premounted gun, you can not put your head in the wrong place, unlike a tapered comb. As a new shooter this helps until you become more regular in your gun mount and stance, Also I should say it helps us more seasoned shooters as well.
If you have a gun that really fits, you should never have to look to see if things are lined up, if you have to adjust the gun every time to line things up, you are fitting yourself to the gun, not the gun fitting you.
If I were you, I would chose the parallel comb over the high rib. I have shot both very well, but I like a flat or ramp rib better, as it seems easier to loose the sight of the target under the high than the flat rib, but that is just me, everyone is different.
I don’t know what a 725 cost, but I would look for a good used tubed gun. If you look and find a good deal on a used tubed gun, you probably won’t loose any money if and when you decide to sell it. But more than likely you will if you buy a new 725. I have seen some good used k32’s with tubes at a good price and they will wear out many of the 725’s. As you know you can shoot a lot very fast at skeet compared to sporting.
If I can be of help to you let me know and if you want me to keep a eye out for a used gun for you let me know.
I hope I answered your questions.
Allen aka WAM
In your recent videos made there, I noticed you commenting to several shooters to stand on the front of the pad. Is there any special reason you like that? Personel like or is there an advantage.
My own position varies from station to station, but I favor the back side of the pad because it gives me the feeling that the targets are slower. I also tend to ride targets too, and I’m old (70) and slow, left eye dominant and shoot right handed.
It rained here all weekend and I dug iris plants in the rain. AS a result, I have a sore throat from hell! But I’m planning to shoot about 11 if I feel decently.
Looking forward to meeting you and your WAMstick in June!!
Where you stand on the pad is a personal thing, but you should stand as far back as you can on 1, 7, and 8. Also on 1 you should stand so the high house target goes over your shooting shoulder.
The reason you stand back on these is it gives you longer to see the target or should I say on 1 & 7 you see the target quicker, which gives you more time to adjust to the flight of the target.
Now on 2&6, the reason to stand at the front of the pad is it also gives you a longer look at the target, as the longer distance you are from the house, the longer you have to see it. Just like you get to look at a long incomer longer than you do a fast out goer, same principal.
Now on 3 4 5, the reason is so you have closer shot, not by much, but still 3 feet closer, and where this really comes into play is when you shoot doubles on these stations especially on 4 where the 2nd shot is 25+ yards.
I still plan on doing a foot position video sometime soon.
Hope this answered your question.
Allen aka WAM
Allen, I really like what you are doing with your website. In regards to patterning you said you basically line up your beads in a flat manner and shoot from a rest. I understand the concept of making sure everything is the same. However, my fit and mount has a space between the beads which allows a more upright or heads up position. My gun was fitted several years ago by Todd Nelson and tweaked a little by LP at one of his clinics. I'm thinking this would not matter when patterning cause we are seeing where the gun actually shoots and how my gun is fitted will impact where the gun is shooting in regards to my mount. So when patterning, should I lower my sight line and line up the beads? The last time I shot a paper I shot freehanded to see how the gun patterned. I blv that is what Todd had me to do prior to my fitting.
To answer your question, yes
The reason for lining up the beads and shooting off a rest is so that you a consistent way of telling where the gun actually shoots when comparing all the tubes and barrel.
Not necessarily how the gun is set up for the shooter. In other words the gun may shoot 50/50, but the shooter may want to see the target above the gun (60/40), so the comb is raised to get the desired sight picture and POI.
Also you may want to shoot the gun off the bench with the sight picture you have when shooting the gun. This will tell you what your actual POI is. The reason I say you may want to do this is, loose or add a few pounds and things change that could affect your POI.
Hope I answered your question, if not feel free to ask more.
Allen Aka wam
Thanks for posting your instructional videos, the "mount & fit" one describe to some degree one of my problems when shooting 410. Every time I miss a bird I realize that I'm lifting my head, my gun (citori 625) fits me like a glove but I keep rising my head for some unknown reason (at least for me) Is there any advice or mental exercise you use to keep your head in the stock?
A brief info about me and relevant stuff.
* I'm a left handed shooter
* Started shooting in 2007 but switched to 410 like a year ago.
* Only able to shoot 200 targets per week
* Loading my own 410 #8 shot @ 1273 fps average
* Gun citori 625 sporting 32" barrel and briley skeet chokes
* No problem breaking clays when using 12ga, 20ga, 28ga (using similar velocities and #8 shot @ 1200-1250fps)
* Personal skeet record in 410 (94/100)
What I'm doing well or wrong? Feel free to be honest with me, my goal is to become a better shooter. Any help on this matter will be appreciated.
Here are a few things I feel will help, but one question, is this a tube set? Or are you shooting different guns? Also do you just practice with the 410?
1. Use #9 shot in the 410
2. Pattern the gun for poi and compare it to the other guns or tubes. (I will have video on how to do this soon)
3. When you pattern it, check and make sure you have at least a 18” pattern at 17 yards with the 410
4. Do not practice much with the 410, shoot something that gives you confidence like 12 or 20
5. When you get to where you are breaking 100’s with the big guns, go to a tighter choke in practice
6. Make sure you are mounting the gun high enough on your shoulder, you should not have to push your head down to the stock
7. Pull the gun in real tight with your left hand (being left handed) The reason for this is, the 410 has very little recoil and you don’t have to hold the gun as tight, when you don’t hold the gun as tight ,you don’t keep your head as tight
8. Make sure when you hold your head down as tight as possible, that you can still see down the gun (rib), if the stock is a little low, it will cause you to pick up your head, I like to see a little rib between my beads, that way I can keep the target in view (a little float)
Good Luck and any other questions, feel free to ask.
Allen aka wam
Ive learned 3 ways..
1. Cadence (Bender)
2. Break first bird… then move gun other way, and Then look behind the Gun
3. Break, dip and follow through, catch second bird, come back and shoot (Giambrone)
What works best in your Honest opinion… I just finished my rookie year… won rookie of the year in TX and placed All American… Doubles is where I need the most help.
Also if you don’t mind a follow up… Shoot 20 or 12? I have been shooting my K80 in 20 … if I shoot the Browning autoloader with 1 and 1/8 oz shells I have an advantage and break a few more… sometimes… may be in my head.
Again, what do you think?
Much appreciate your thoughts and advice.
First off, congratulations on a great 1st year.
There is an advantage to shooting the 12ga, if everything is set up right.
I plan on doing a video on how to balance and weight 2 guns, so they feel the same.
On doubles you will have to find what works best for you.
Here is what works best for me on 3 4 5.
On 3 and 5 I try to break the 1st bird about 12 to 15 feet before the center stake, then slow the gun and go almost to the second bird. Turning around in front of it and then breaking it just past where I broke the 1st one.
On 4 high bird 1st, I hold on the out of bound marker, wait for the bird after the call until it is less than 4 feet of reaching the gun, Then a quick move to a 4 foot lead breaking it 20 feet before the stake. ( I have to tell myself to break it half way to break it there ) Or tell myself to break it as fast as I see a 4 foot lead Then it is a follow through with eyes shifted looking for the second target When I have it in sight, turn the gun and stick it, this will put the targets on top of each other or almost. On the low bird 1st same hold point (out of bound marker) but it seems that I have to wait for the target to get a little closer to the gun (almost to gun) I can also break this one 5 feet later if the high bird is high, but if it is diving (high bird) I need to shoot it 20 feet before the stake. The key for me is breaking the 1st bird on 4 in the right spot, which looks like half way to the stake, but is actually about 20 feet before the stake.
Most shooters break the 1st bird to late and then jerk the gun to where they think the second bird is, then when they do break the 1st bird in the right spot. The 2nd bird is nowhere where they are used to seeing it and most times they have jerked the gun and the second bird is at the stake. Instead of going to the 2nd bird, seeing it, turning with it and breaking it. They are used to having to jerk the gun to get to the 2nd bird, because they are used to shooting the 1st bird too late. The key is to break the 1st bird soon enough.
Here are some tricks to help, Put the hoop up and when you shoot the 1st bird then look to the hoop (don’t use a metal hoop because of ricochet) Put 2 empty shells in the gun and shoot the targets, you can really tell where you are without the gun going off. Then put a empty in the 2nd shot and shoot some like that. I have done this many times and once asked why am I wasting targets, “I said I am saving shells”. lol
Hope this helps, remember this is what works for me and may not work for you and a coach standing there is always best.
Allen aka wam
I'm thinking about buying a new O/U gun. Everyone I talk to says "buy the one that fits the best" If I listen to this advise I will never buy another shotgun, none fit off the shelf. I'm 6' 3", 185lbs, long neck with high cheek bones, nothing fits off the rack.
Aside from fit or brand, what should a new shooter look for in a new gun?
There are several makers that produce guns that will last the average shooter a lifetime. Beretta, Browning, Caesar Guerini, Perazzi, Zoli....and on and on...
Given the variety of guns available, what are the most important features to look for?
Thank you for your time,
I guess you are talking skeet gun. So it would somewhat depend on how much shooting and your budget.
Are we talking competition or casual shooting?
I look for good factory support and a brand that there would be no problem in getting a custom stock. Also I like a gun I can work on or change parts myself, if the need comes up. For these reasons I like the KOLAR the best, it is made in the US, the service is fast and good when needed. I have 2 Kolars, one for back up, which I have never needed in 15 years. I have been shooting the same gun for 15 years and have spent less than $500 in annuals. This gun has well over a million rounds through it. Not to say that the other K gun or P gun or B gun isn’t good, they are. It comes down to what you like the feel of. I would, knowing what I know now, if I were a new shooter, find a good used Kolar with tubes Send it to kolar and have all updates done and made like new. If you decide down the road this is not the gun for you, you will have something that you should get most of your money back, if you sell it. Put a adjustable comb on it and butt plate, if it doesn’t have one and shoot it. Then latter if you want a custom fit stock, you will know where to start. Now if you can afford new, then go to Kolar and have them fit the gun to you, it cost very little more to do this.
Don’t do what most of us has done, that is buy something that is not what you want to save a few dollars, It will cost you money in the long run.
I have shot the other guns, my second choice would be one of the other 3 (K80, Perazzi or Blaser).
The B guns are good but I don’t like there feel and I am not sure if they would hold up to how I shoot.
If I can help in some way, let me know.
Allen aka wam
I am having trouble understanding or at least getting it to work for me the total target focus concept . I have been shooting skeet for years looking for leads and I believe this method is holding me back.
Baseball is something I feel I do understand and the ball is picked up with your eyes as quickly as possible in the pitchers hand and watched intently looking for movement and rotation and your hands release creating the swing without any thought.
I believe I am on the right path using the baseball concept . I know my gun shoots where I point as it as been fitted to me and I have checked it on a pattern board . My question for you is do you have any suggestions or drills that will help me gain more confidence where I can trust the shot and not be lead checking?
Good question, you are on the right track with the baseball concept. But here is where you may be off track, “I have been shooting skeet for years looking for leads” This is what a new shooter does to learn the sight picture, at some point you should have learned them and not have to think about them (leads). The best drill or practice is when you practice, think only about looking at the target and when it looks right pull the trigger. In other words you have to learn to trust yourself.
Here is something I use and read often. Block everything out including fellow competitors, ref’s, noisy spectators and most of all internal self-talk. AWARENESS OF TECHNIQUE IN COMPETITON IS A DISTRACTION, as by pushing technique thoughts out of your head, you are TRUSTING that your body and mind will deliver what you need at the time you need it. (you must be loose and relaxed). You must stop yourself from thinking and force yourself to trust the skills you’ve been practicing. This is the prerequisite to performing subconsciously.
Also you might get a copy of Bob Palmers book Mind vs Target, it helped me to understand what I knew, but didn’t know how to apply it.
Hope this helps, any other questions feel free to ask.
Allen aka wam
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. As far as placement of the occluder goes, I've done it 3 times. The first was a guess, and I had an improvement. The second time I refined it a bit and had a small improvement. The third time, I worked at it a lot, then I saw your video. I popped in a different lens and used your method, I wish I had seen your video sooner, it would have saved me a lot of time. 15 minutes using your method placed it almost exactly where my 2 hours of my time and 175 shells put it. GOOD JOB WAM, excellent advise, thank you.
Hold point, when I put the tape on I thought I should move closer to the house to see it better. Well, that didn't work out so well. Next time out, I will try as you advise and I'll see how it goes...
Again, thank you for your time...it is much appreciated.
I am glad the video helped.
The reason for moving or keeping the occluder to the right is so the left eye can still see to the left.
This sometimes causes the shooter to have to move the hold point out a little bit on the high house targets, so the occluder is not blocking the left eye from picking up the flash of the target.
It is mostly on high 2 and high 3 that you will have to move out some.
Allen aka wam
First, I would like to thank you for giving your time to help us learn the game of Skeet. I come from a rifle and pistol background and found Skeet is not as easy as people, such as you, make it look.
I've been shooting Skeet for about 6 months now. I was doing well (about 95%) at stations 1, 2, 6 & 7, and not so well at 3, 4 & 5 (about 5%). Since putting the Occluder on my left lens (right handed shooter) I've shot much better (75%) on 3, 4 & 5, but I have started having issues with high 2, I haven't hit one since I put it on. I think I'm not seeing the target as well as I used to.
My question is... When you install an occluder do you need to adjust your hold/look points? If so, how do you determine the proper adjustment?
Thank you, Chuck
It is hard to know without watching, but 2 things I can think of is, your hold point may be to close. If you are shooting on a field that has another field to your left, then hold out within 2 feet of the distance marker for the field to your left, which is about 3 feet past parallel of the house. Now the other thing it could be is if you have the occluder too far to the left, the occlude should be vertical and what I found is that you want it almost as far to the right as possible. If the occluder is 3/4" wide, and you mount the gun and you close your right eye you probably won't see any of the barrel, if you do move it to the right. This is the reason in the video that I said punch a small hole in the lineup tool, because moving the occluder fractions left or right has a big impact on what you see and when you see it.
Hope this helps, any more questions feel free to ask, as I will tell you what I think, but it may or may not work for you. As I have always said, "if it is not working try something else, you have nothing to lose".
Allen aka wam
Thanks do much for your reply.
So far as seeing lead, yes that l can do most times but not when the eye issue raises its ugly head.
When l was shooting international skeet as you well know its more so based on precise repetition, as targets are much faster unlike American skeet, l may be wrong here but l suspect that slower targets are more likely to cause these dominance issues particularly those thrown as crossing or at 1/4 angles.
I will try what you suggest so far as occluder dot.
Is this also something you now use 100 % of the time when you shoot skeet ?
Its strange that low 3/5 causes these issues as you would assume that the right eye commands the major point of focus given this bird is right to left l can only assume that as the target is seen more at central vision the left eye for some reason takes over, very frustrating.
I will sure give you a call after l have spent some time with the occluder.
Yes I use the occluder 100% of the time, I really don’t know it is there, until it is not.
Allen aka wam
High 2 is shot eight times during a 100-target event (hopefully only eight times). It is considered by many to be the most difficult target in the game. For many internet spectators, a better understand of that shot would go a long way, allowing them a greater enjoyment of the game.
For right handed shooters, using a sustained lead technique, a hold point of 1/3 of the way between the house and the center stake is standard. Some might hold tighter, others further out, but the topic of your thread is ‘Eyes’. I don’t want to side track onto anything other then ‘look points’ and/or technique for eye focus. It would however be beneficial to thoroughly understand your methodology for ‘Eyes’ on High 2.
High 2 Look Point: Are you looking significantly left of your barrel, perhaps ½-way back between your barrel and the window, or even farther left then that? You indicated that you do not see the high house building in your peripheral vision, but what about the other side? Is your look point so far left that you do not see your barrel on the right side in your peripheral vision? Are there certain benefits and/or pitfalls that you see in that look point that others should be aware of? Is there a ‘standard’ or starting point for a location to look for the target, and then adjustments from that starting point? Something like the 1/3 mark for the hold point.
Secondly, you indicate that one of the keys is not to move before the target flies into your focal zone. Keeping one’s look point stationary, waiting for the target to fly into your focus; well that is easier said then done! It really is a mental thing, it’s what I call ‘eye discipline’ and it is one of the things that separate you from the rest of us schlubs. Do you have any mental techniques that you utilize? Example, do you conscientiously tell yourself ‘eye discipline’ just prior to stepping onto the pad or some other such trigger? Or does 'staying at home' come easily to you without any type of special mental technique?
Appreciate your help!
Ok on high 2, I hold about 3 feet past parallel, level with bottom of window, head locked on gun (don’t turn head away from gun), look as far to the left as possible and I don’t see the gun, move on the flash, shoot at the nose of the target, don’t wait to see it clearly, you will see it clearly just as it breaks. This is the only target that I move on the flash.
As far as mental techniques, the only thing I think on this shot is look at the target.
With all targets especially fast out goers, if you make a good normal move and you shoot the nose off, move the hold point in a rib width, if you shoot the back off of the target, move out a rib width. And yes, hold point are that critical.
Hope this helps.
ALLEN aka wam
Can I ask about how you test and judge your choke performance. Do you spend a lot of time patterning your different chokes on a board, or do you just shoot targets and get realtime feedback from them by the way they bust targets? The reason I ask is that I have been playing with some different skeet chokes latterly and the ones I seem to shoot best with aren't the best performers on paper. It's got me stumped.
I like to see how they pattern, the problem is understanding how to read a pattern. Another thing is where the chokes shoot, as some just shoot a more consistence POI. When I work with new chokes there are 5 things I look for.
1. How uniform the pattern is
2. How open the pattern is
3. How the POI is
4. How they break targets
5. How many targets I break with them
I want the chokes to break the targets good, but not so good that I am giving up size of pattern.
I want the choke to make me feel good about my shooting and give me confidence.
I want my chokes to all shoot the same the same POI through all gauges.
I want the chokes to work well with my loads and not build up excessive plastic in a tournament.
I want a lot don't I. lol
Allen aka wam
Allen when I use the ruler method typically my guns are nearly 3/4 inch longer than that rule method. I do really push the gun into my shoulder which must help some. I have known it for some time but your video got me to thinking. I also use trap pads with one of Henry's adjusters. Bumpbusters are used.
What are your experiences with someone like me who is shooting LOP a little longer than the ruler method?
My method is a good place to start and is usually very close, but there are always exceptions. The trap pad and bumpbuster could make some difference, I am not sure that much though. What I see when the gun is too long is, the shooter has a hard time getting the gun mounted high enough, which leads to having to push your head down to the gun, which leads to picking your head up. The other thing I see when the LOP is too long is, as the shooter rotates and pushes the gun up to the target, it causes the shooter to push the gun away from their face. This is what I have seen, but doesn't mean this is the case with you.
You just need to ask yourself, are these things that I am doing?
Good Luck Allen aka wam
On your video on gun mount, just exactly where is the recoil pad in the shoulder pocket? I used to have it sort of in the center of my pocket. Since I have made these comb changes, I have been trying, actually purposely, mounting the gun a little higher. I think I read on SGW that someone mentioned the pad should be even with the collarbone or top of the shoulder.
Where the recoil pad goes depends a lot on how much drop at the heel and cast the stock has.
If the gun has a adjustable butt pate, you can move it to where it needs to be when you have the gun mounted so that your eyes are centered and your eye rib relationship is right.
In other words keeping your head up and not having to push your head down to the gun.
To just say, put the recoil pad even with or above the collarbone is a misleading statement.
For example, if the gun has 4” of drop at the heel and you mount it 1” above the collarbone, the comb could be higher than your eye or where you cannot put your head on the gun.
It is always best IMO to use the face to establish where the gun goes in the pocket, then move the pad to where it needs to be for comfort.
Hope this helps,
Allen aka wam
Could you elaborate on this comment you made on Shotgun World
"I saw something that reinforced what I knew today, that is where you hold the forend really has a lot to do with controlling the gun and how you rotate."
What position on the forend allows best control and rotation? Thanks in advance for the insight.
It is my belief that a hold farther out yields the best control. If you think about it in this way, if your forend hand is back close to the receiver and you move it up say a inch, the end of the gun goes up 3 or 4 times as much, the farther out you get it the less the multiplier is. So a small move when the hand is out farer doesn't effect things as much. Also it is harder to push the gun away from your face with your hand out farther. This also seems to promote a better rotation. If you look at LP's gun and mine along with others, we all have a extra long forend, for this reason.
This is just my opinion and I am sure that others will say different. Hope I answered your question.
Allen aka wam