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One Box One Bird My Journey to Better Shotgunning

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Johnm1, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. George P

    George P Member

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    Oh, they were leading, but for them, it just was done subconsciously gained through those years of experience.
     
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  2. red rick

    red rick Member

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    Last season was my first time dove hunting in over 30 years . I was also 1 bird a box . Lucky I was hunting beside someone that limited out and gave me his birds . I wrapped them in bacon and smoked them on the grill . They were delicious .
     
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  3. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    George, you may be right. I don't really know and they're all gone now, so I can't ask. Pap always said "I don't know what I do; I just shoot the [email protected] things." Words of wisdom...

    Mac
     
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  4. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    George is right. They were leading.
     
  5. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    I learned to shoot shotguns from my girlfriend ,"you shoot worse than a girl". Took a while but I figured it out, didn't grow up with shotguns and really never cared about them until we stated shooting clay pigeons. She cant touch me with a pistol though so it's all good fun. And yes it's still a close race with the shotguns.
     
  6. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    It was very very successful lesson today. I'm very glad I went. Although we talked about many things, there was one that stood out. How to shoulder a shotgun. It is odd that I had never heard this before. Cheek then shoulder. For my entire life I have been putting the gun to my shoulder and bringing my cheek to the buttstock. We went through two stations on the Sporting Clays course. Four houses all together. It was easy as he instructed me on the correct hold points and aim points. I had quite a lot of success today. I find that I can call my misses very well. Now comes time to practice. I may very well go back after a couple of weeks of practice. We will see how things go.

    Although we used his Remington 1100 with skeet chokes, we spent some time to see if my Sterlingworth is suitable. Fortunately it is and I will practice with it hopefully tomorrow.
     
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  7. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I shoot 50% on doves, and never practice.
    No cherry picking either.

    First time I dove hunted in the 80's..... got one in first box.
    Next day (rough conditions again) I got 7 or 8.

    The lightbulb went off, I quit trying to hurry, the gun was fast enough ;)

    Relax and you'll be able to make the hurried shot when it comes.

    One thing I do.........is I pick out the sequence of shooting before the birds get into range.
    And then I shoot it.

    If I miss the 1st am onto the 2nd.

    Break the flow and you'll not be smooth and proly poke at em, or shoot behind.
     
  8. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    That's what I do.
    Just shoot.
    May remember bead/barrel in ref once in a great while.
    If I think about it, miss.
    If I just look at the bird and bring the gun up.........the bird usually dies.
    Even on some really tough shots.
    (have gotten standing ovations in the dove fields quite a few times).
     
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  9. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Sold my 26" 12 ga 1100 w synth stock.
    It worked, but was too light IMHO.
    The heat, allergies.........was not going to dove hunt anymore.

    Pops has an 1100 Trap.
    If I get a 28" Mod bbl I can run it (non toxic mandated at F&W area).

    We (bud and I) usually get drawn.
    Did OK last yr, around 50%.
    One guy in the better spot, and crowding me on some shots.........shot better.

    Don't understand the sky busting, or crowding.
    This not far from major urban area and I find most folks from there lacking in sport.

    I let a bunch of stuff go so others down the way can get good shots.
     
  10. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    For the last 20 years I've run 870's and 1100's.
    Because they fit me very well in stock form.

    Sucked, had a Browning Citori that was pretty nice.
    But it hit high for me so I sold it.

    Yeah I'd like a fancy gun. Dove hunting isn't risky to a gun.
    But I learned long ago to run what works, and my cheap 870 Express supermag turkey gun (23" Remchoke) has made a darn good showing several times.

    We can adapt to a gun, even have one modified for better fit..........but IMHO don't make the mistake of running something that just doesn't work for you.

    Know some guys that still fight their gun and shoot poorly because of it.
     
  11. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I'll try with the sterlingworth tomorrow but I'll buy a new gun if that is what is needed. The intent is to shoot better.

    While testing for eye dominance I found that neither eye is really dominant anymore. In an earlier post I described being significantly left eye dominant until a minor stroke 6 years ago took 40% of the vision in my left eye. So I decided to shoot my strong hand (right) which is how I currently shoot a rifle. We used a sticker on my left eye glass lens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    A good shotgunner can pick up any gun out of the rack at a range and shoot well with it. (Ask first!) Rudy Etchen and Daro Handy both became legends in Trap shooting shooting stock 870 Wingmasters for many, many years. A good fitting shotgun will help a beginning/mediocre shooter shoot better, however. I shoot Remington 870/1100's very well, field or Trap versions. Just got a 25 with my 1100 Competition Synthetic Thurs., first one since starting leagues again after a 35 year hiatus. Just bought that gun a month or so ago, used my 870 Tactical Magnum last year and the start of this year. The high comb on the 1100 allows me to see the bird when I fire at it, the low comb of the 870 forced me to cover the bird to hit them, and I lost one occasionally to that. So fit does make a difference.

    Should have kept it; good for Trap that way, and pheasants.
     
  13. George P

    George P Member

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    The best clay shooters, regardless of the game, have custom stocks (or devices to make it like that). Add that to their natural ability and eyesight, and that is why they can do what they do.

    George Digweed is a world champion from the UK. There are many You Tubes on him, with one having him breaking a clay target from ~125 yards away - his gun was fitted to him, and he is blessed with great eyes. This is not like shooting a rifle - you do not scrunch down and fit yourself to the gun; the gun must fit properly to be successful. That's not saying that folks with some extraordinary talent can't do OK, but it does mean they would be doing a lot better with the right tool - in this case, one that fits them.
     
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  14. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Another good day at the course. I went back to the same stations as yesterday to reinforce what I learned yesterday. About the same results with 21 out of the 25 birds. Including a double as the last two shots. I shot my sterlingworth today. I'm still not sure what the barrels are choked but they were sufficient. I think I know the left (tightest) choke isn't full. It can pass a dime. The left choke may be cylinder as I can't feel any restriction with my pinky. The fit of the Sterlingworth is at least workable for me. As in it worked today. I don't have enough experience to tell if something else would fit better.

    So, I think we can call progress.

    (edited to get my right and left correct)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  15. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I’m fortunate in a very wierd way. I learned to shoot on a pair of worn out shotguns. One is a store brand 16ga marked westernfield (Montgomery wards) and the other a H&R topper Jr 410. Both of those guns were full choke and both of them had an issue with beads blowing off. As others mentioned I would remove the bead and just figure out a new sight picture. That in and of itself may be a good excuse to buy another old gun that is missing the bead.
     
  16. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    So far I have been able to ignore the bead sight. Now, can I maintain that focus is the question?
     
  17. George P

    George P Member

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    Just because it can or cannot pass a dime tells you nothing about the choke. Take your gun, with the ammo you intend to use and hit the pattern plate.
     
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  18. George P

    George P Member

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    Time will tell that.
     
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  19. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Time is always the telling factor. When I finally took golf lessons I had to stop playing for 9 months, the changes were so radical. I took two series of golf lessons and in those months sometimes my practice on my own would set me back. There are fewer moving parts and, I'm a lot older and may be wiser.
     
  20. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I took the day off today to accomplish several tasks. One being to again practice what I had learned. It was very windy this morning. Switchy 15 MPH winds gusting to 20 mph. Not great but it wasn’t work. I tried to focus on my stance. I knew it was too wide even during my lesson but the results were ok. Today I consciously closed my stance and put more weight on my forward foot. The results were poor. I’m done with excuses so I’m not going to blame it on the wind. I stopped before the box of ammo was empty hoping to not reinforce anything bad. I’ll have to go over the session in my mind. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to go back to the stance that I was comfortable with.
     
  21. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Nothing wrong with a wide stance. I shoot in a stance that is very close to the rifle combat stance taught today. I don't bend the knees down as far, but keep some bend in them, because they are your elevation adjustment. Your hips are your windage adjustment. I stand facing straight forward on all 5 posts. Not straight down the middle of the walkway, but directly perpendicular to the front line of the trap house, if it extended all the way across the stations. This way you are facing the correct way for the farthest angle you will have at that station; all the rest will be easier. This works for left or right handed shooters, BTW. (I shoot off both shoulders, though more off the right, even though I'm left-eye dominant.) The most important thing to remember about stance is pick one you are comfortable with, one you can stand in through all 5 shots on a station, and then stay in it for all 5. One less thing to worry about (The number of things to be worrying about when you call pull is zero.) while you are out there. One thing I do when I get to a station is with the gun down swing my body to the left and right limit sticks to be sure it is comfortable and the least amount of motion needed to reach the limit sticks. This lets me know I'm in my position.
     
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  22. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    That's funny. I've had days like that, no matter what I do they just keep flying. I guess it wouldn't be fun if it was too easy.
     
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  23. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I'm going to go back out tomorrow. Hopefully there will be less wind and go back to the stance I was comfortable with both during the lesson and the first follow up session.
     
  24. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Today was the first day I shot without some help. It's pretty easy with the instructor. The next day one of the range hands actually pulled for me. And he was a help as well. I did have issues today seeing the front sight. I'm not sure why? The previous two outings I might as well not have had a front sight. Some old, bad habits are hard to break.

    I did find the pattern board today and shot each Barrel. But I could not figure out how they marked the circle. It was getting hot and I just left. I'll figure it out next time I go.

    I thought that the standard distance for pattern testing was 40 yards. But this was set up with a maximum distance of 35 yards. Is there a standard distance for pattern testing or can you pattern test at any distance?

    I did buy a chamber gauge / choke gauge that arrived today. By measurement the chokes cylinder and modified. I realize that is just a straight measurement and the true constriction is the difference between the bore and the choke diameters. But it gives me a pretty good idea of what I have. The pattern board will tell the final story. The chamber measures greater than 2 5/8 inches but it is definitely shorter than the 2 and 3/4 inches. I have read that the Sterlingworth's where designed from their Inception 2 Fire 2 and 3/4 in shells. But the Chambers we're intentionally cut short to 2 and 5/8 in. I believe, to provide better performance with the shells available around the turn of the last century
     
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  25. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Friday's outing was not very good and I was anxious to get back on the right track. I didn't think of my stance and just stood comfortably. I was able to ignore the front sight today. Still at the practice stations shooting the same 5 houses. But I got back to a positive with 17 out of 25. I think this time it is going to work. I'm anxious to move on to other stations that present differently but I'm ok working on my confidence. And today did that.

    It might have helped that there was no wind today compared to Friday's outing. But I think it had more to do with doing things right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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