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Woohoo! Tried sporting clays!

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by cracked butt, May 21, 2005.

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  1. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Last night I tried sporting clays for the first time. Don't know why I did, maybe just to get away from the wife and kid for a few hours and meet new people, but I ended up having a blast.

    The people who I shot with were a lot of fun, there was any air of seriousness that you often find on the trap range, just working class guys having fun with their field guns.

    The setup had 8 stations, throwing a total of 50 birds at angles that I've never seen before. I used to shoot a lot of trap and shooting 25 straight today for me is still no big deal to me, but the Sporting clays course absolutely humbled me, I ended up hitting 16 out of 50 possible :(

    Now I'm obsessed and can't wait until next week to shoot again.


    BTW, does anyone have any pointers on how to lead birds that are thrown and are flying below and towards you?
     
  2. sm

    sm member

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    C'mon now, tell us how you really feel. :D

    Sounds as if you had a great time, with some great folks. 16/50 is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Clarify if you will please.

    If you mean you are on a hillside, and the birds are "flushed" and flying low to a spot below your feet...

    I know you said you were a trap shooter, I am a Skeeter. Are you familar with High one in Skeet? One lets the bird "sit atop" the muzzle about 3" ( each person will see this different as you know) pull trigger and follow thru.

    You do this sorta opposite for the target coming in low and at you , you need to follow thru , which means 'pulling in' as your follow thru.

    Or -

    I am a Pass Shooter / Swing thru shooter. Often times I am starting behind target, match speed and angle, swing thru, and keep swinging...I do the same thing on the target you asked about. I am " swinging in" really fast.

    If this is a double, I will shoot second bird first, swing in like crazy get my lead on the frst bird and slap that puppy.

    HTH

    Others more modern than I will have input.
     
  3. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Yup

    I've only shot skeet once, and that was about 20 years ago, but I think I have an idea of what you are describing on that shot.

    I'm a swing trhough shooter too, but I tried to snap shot the odd birds because I was at a complete loss on how to shoot them. I've never really had any shots where I had to swing down hard and didn't know if that was the right way to go about it. :eek:

    I found that on many of my misses, I was anticipating where the birds were going to go, and held my muzzle at that point anticipating where they would be, then I ended up shooting way behind them because I didn't bother to get a good swing through them.
     
  4. sm

    sm member

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    Don't beat yourself up, I kid you not, 16/50 for the first time is great!
    Sporting Clays are humbling - period. The main thing is 1) You tried it, 2) You had a LOT of fun. 3) You are gonna do so again, and have more fun. :D

    Trap/Skeet gets folks in a "timing rut". Even if we shoot low gun and delayed Skeet like original SKeet . We know the flight of bird, hold points, and where we want to break it. Skeet targets ~ 55 mph look fast to new shooters, after some experience - we don't feel rushed , and the targets do not seem to be going that fast.

    SC, with the little windows of opportunities - are a challenge, supposed to be. It is not uncommon to snap shoot. I mean where are your hold points and such?

    Go back to basics, you have the Correct Basics. Shoot YOUR Correct Basics YOU know from being a Pass Shooter/ Swing thru Shooter. Watch the birds to get the eyes and human 'puter, to input this. If you have to lead off, step up like you own it, give a good crisp call for the bird,and pick it up, match speed/ angle and keep swinging as you pull thru and slap that puppy.

    Be Assertive !!


    Concentration is mentally keyed up - physically relaxed - Misseldine

    Don't Think - Shoot.
    Don't impede the natural
    - Mentors of mine

    Missed stuff don't fell -me

    That last one...oh I know all about how that works :D
     
  5. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Glad to see this. SC is a lot of fun, and a good way to improve one's shooting. A couple things.....

    You'll see folks madly changing choke tubes for a shot 4 yards different from the one they just smoked. Screw in a Light Modified and leave it alone for most shots.

    Hold points and break points are crucial. An advantage we have in SC is we know the shot in advance. For most shots, holding the gun halfway between where we see the bird and where we want to break it is about right.

    Never forget to have fun. Some of us get a bit obsessive and are less effective thereby.

    Enjoy....
     
  6. mike1966ga

    mike1966ga Member

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    Yeas ago I worked in a welding shop, and on friday after work we would go to the "bone" yard (the place where all the old used equiment was stored) and shoot skeet, well, we called it that anyway ;) we would take turns buying the skeet and two would be throwing and one would be shooting, one time some one brought a auto thrower in, well it was not as much fun as a hand thrower,
    to easy :evil:
     
  7. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Generally, I've found that, if you ask nicely, and one of the other shooters has some experience, he can tell you what you're doing wrong or where you're missing.

    I consider myself fair with a shotgun. First time at the clays range was maybe 38-40 for 100. Worked that up to 50-55 range with my 870. I got a Weatherby O/U and the first time out shot a 78.

    Last year, I was by myself and happened to run into a guy that I found only lives a few miles from me. He has a Citori with the hydraulic recoil reducer. We were discussing it. He asked if I wanted to try it. I broke 20 straight. His size and build are almost identical to me, and the gun fit perfect. If there's a shooting sport where gun fit is critical, it's clays. Birds are going every direction.

    I was in the local gun shop, and they had one identical to mine, except it had a reducer. Shop owner says they can't sell them, even though they run $300 or more installed. Guys don't understand what they are or think they look "goofy". I ended up trading even up :D

    I wondered by so many guys use O/U's. Snob appeal I thought. Once you try it, there's a ton of difference. With the hydraulic reducer, you can also adjust the buttplate up/down and side to side. Just a thought, and you certainly don't have to have it, but if you're gonna get hard core, things like this help.

    Your comment about the guys being "nicer" seems correct. Without getting into a debate, skeet and especially trap guys tend to be wound pretty tight, at least the few I've been exposed to.
     
  8. PJR

    PJR Member

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    Since taking up sporting clays a a few years ago I have almost entirely stopped shooting trap and only shoot skeet to practice my sporting clays. Sporting is a very addictive game because each course is different and even a familiar course can be changed by altering presentations, moving the target thrower or the shooting stand.

    You need to bring the full bag of tricks to sporting clays because as there is no one style of target, no one style of shooting works in every situation. Sometimes you need swing through, sustained lead, pull away or whatever suits you best. There is no one rule for gun hold, choke selection or break point. For each station you need a mental plan on where to hold the gun, how to swing it and where you want to break the bird.

    The key is sorting out the target. On some courses what appears to be a very straight forward target is in fact a lot trickier due to the background. What you think is a crosser is in fact angling away and needs less lead. It's not like skeet where ever target is the same. To support what Dave said, spend less time changing chokes and more times watching targets.

    Be careful though of too much advice (even mine ;)). There is no one way to shoot the game. I struggled for a couple of years until I found a professional instructor from whom I learned a method that works for me. I have stopped reading books, watching video tapes and listening to the comments of fellow shooters. If you want to pursue the game find a good instructor and work on a strategy that works for you.

    Paul
     
  9. sm

    sm member

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    Agree, and well said.

    True Story: On one station the birds flashed thru one small window , trees again, then a bigger window then trees for sure. Think Low 5 at skeet except the shooter is well below.

    Well we all were trying to shoot too fast, at that first small window,( trying to shoot second bird first) then hoping to hit the first bird in the bigger window. Well that was the theory we had kicked around anyway.

    Our Guide, being a great shooter, commented " Oh - you guys are thinking what I am, we keep doing that and eventually we are gonna fell every leaf - maybe some trees, and get that shot in the little window".

    Tall lanky black man driving another cart - For $20 each I'll get my youngest boy to lop of some branches...that help?

    I think we laughed so hard, we had tears, we made him laugh, he spewed his soda - when we all, including our guide started reaching for wallets. :D

    Two ladies in the goup - 'nah, we'll just show more leg in these shorts and bribe the score keeper". We all blushed, laughed ....we had too much fun, scores didn't seem to matter as much as the friendship and good time we were having.
     
  10. ysr_racer

    ysr_racer Member

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    Man, I love sporting clays :)

    [​IMG]
     
  11. sm

    sm member

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    Happiness is...

    :D :D

    Your Pic says it all...
     
  12. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    I tried it again last night. The course seemed a little easier, but I also slowed things way down and ended up hitting 10 more targets than last time. :)
     
  13. MSGT9410

    MSGT9410 Member

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    The first time I ever went, there was a total of 75 targets... I hit 56/75, and it was my second time even using a shotgun :what:

    I decided to pick up doing that on a regular basis, so that's why I'm shopping for a new shotgun right now :D
     
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