LarsJ

A newcomers take on OT

7 posts in this topic

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen. 

As I can't go shooting today, I will pester you with some thoughts. 

As I wrote in my introduction I'm a VERY new shotgun shooter. Im brought up on automatic weapons (either magazine or belt fed) and been shooting them for 25 years.. In that world I'm a shooting instructor, and also a close quarter shooting instructor (hitting a5 size paper targets within a second with rifle in relaxed position and standing with side to target ranges between up to 40 meters in different inviroments). 

Well I started shooting shotgun, and first month I was out with a colleague and shootings a typical Danish shooting for Hunters. Quartering left and right, straight away and straight in. Shoot the single, true pairs and single... And so on. 

In August I said to my self, I'd better get up the grounds where the Olympic Trap guys are, I'm a member of that club after all (in order to get my SGC, which only takes about 2 weeks in Denmark if you an average citizen). 

I came up there and started shooting. First round of 25, I hit 14 and was actually quite pleased with that. So was the rest of the clubs members that had scrutinly watched me. Well even though some of them are older gentlemen now, 2 of them have participated in the Olympics, medal winners in European championship (back in the 80 and 90) and one became 22 in this year's WC in Moscow. So quite apt people. And one of those guys have been old school gunsmith since 73. (you know proper gunsmith, can also make stocks from scratch and so on) 

As I had bought a Turkish ATA arms SP Trap (my rationale was actually quite good reviews by English shotgun journalists, and if I didn't like shooting not a big loss), as that was what I could afford at the time. After the first round the former olympian/gunsmith pulled me aside. "Let's look at that gun,mount it for me!"  Did as I was told. 1 your stance is wrong, you have to be more upright, you chase the clay to much".. So we changed that. 2 mount it again.. And then he adjusted the comb with cast of and hight. Of you go again and shoot a new round.. Well it was a 11 and I was gutted. But luckily I knew I had changed 3 parameters and it will affect my shooting. After a good month now, and after roughly 18 rounds of 25 I'm doing 17 (well last 8 rounds have been 17 with only two dips in those 8 rounds). 

So what have I learned as newcomer to trap. The Danish trap community is very small (sub 100 on competitors level). 

They are tremendously friendly people, but also fierce competitors. 

Join a club where there is some one that can give you sound advice (and willing to). 

Gunfit is essential. 

Find your preferred size chokes(the ones that came with the gun, not aftermarket) and forget about them after that.(spend your money on clays and shells instead )  

Don't fuzz about ammunition, find one that's to your liking and affordable (better to shoot 2000 shots than 500). Use the 24 grams, you will not do better with 28, you just get more money out if pocket and more recoil. 

It's a seat of the pants type of shooting (never ever aim/think,  then it's out of reach and the buzzer sounds).

Find out where your misses are. And try to analyse why (I have highest missed percentage on the 5 straight aways, which they apperently aren't .) 

Find a way to calm down before the call. (mine is see the clay, and set up a road block. That's what I say to my self every time before I call) 

It's a mental game, it's a game against your self and your brain. If you can win that battle you can win matches (in the competition I was shanghaied into, which I enjoyed tremendously, I made two big brain mistakes. 1. I knew I was doing good, having 3 targets left. I looked at the scoreboard and saw if I hit the last 3 I could get, the for me,  magic 20. Well I just punched 6 holes in the sky). The 2. miistake I was doing the first day was: first round was 17,second 17. I was actually doing good I thought and I want to do it better. Well focused then on doing good, instead of one clay at a time.. Bam I did 13.

And to all you rutine trap shooters a bit of advice. Embrace the newcomers. Let them have the time when you shoot in a squad, and give them advice while shooting (have one not shooting in the squad stand behind and tell them where the miss is in relation to the the clay). It can be annoying for the other shooters (so keep a low voice). But it's frustrating for a new shooter not knowing where the miss is. So routined shooters need to accept it. 

Hold back on the friendly fluffy rabbits/snobbery over equipment. Better to have a shooter with low entry equipment, than not having any shooter at all isn't it?  Actually one of the guys in my club borrowed mine (sub 1000£ new) and did 24. So I know, unfortunately, I can't blame the gun. 

Don't overload the newcomers with information, it will result in brain overload. Pick one or two to fucus on. 

If newcomers break etiquette, tell them politely. (leaving peg to early, not unloading from 5 to 1 and so on). And if they cough or otherwise incendently release the clay, give them a repeat and tell them what would happen in a competition, same as a second barrel misfire. After the round explain it so they get to know the rules. Can be useful when they either have to ref  or shoot competitive. 

Out of curiosity how much do you pay for a round of 25? In my club it's 3,5£ and the price for a 1000 shots is between 130 and 150£ at the dealers (typically low tier Kent/Eley or Cleaver T1 24 gr 7) 

Admin, if this is in the wrong forum please move it (I was in doubt if it was trap or newcomers). 

Lars 

Reason for edit: Minor spelling and grammar mistakes. 

Edited by LarsJ
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Good write up Lars. Pretty much captures the essence of OT.

I did find one part of your post rather upsetting though.. 

The prices you pay to shoot. :cry:

We are paying around €8.00 per 25 clays and €230 + for carts. 

Good comp carts are a round €300. 

Many of us have cut down shooting a quite a lot  due to the cost.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Paul120 said:

Good write up Lars. Pretty much captures the essence of OT.

I did find one part of your post rather upsetting though.. 

The prices you pay to shoot. :cry:

We are paying around €8.00 per 25 clays and €230 + for carts. 

Good comp carts are a round €300. 

Many of us have cut down shooting a quite a lot  due to the cost.

 

 

 

Yes you pay way over the odds for 25 targets... but the ground has to make a profit whereas at the club where I shoot the shooters own the ground so 25 targets for me is €3.50 and annual membership is €25  if you are a non member 25 targets is €5  unfortunately nothing can be done about the cost of cartridges though but some club do buy them in bulk for members the problem there is if you don't want to use that particular make of cartridge you are goosed.

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Lucky that you have the club and obviously the volunteers to run it. Is it different over there, do the members not leave it to a few guys to do all the work and if they do, how long does it take them to become completely pissed off and then do another few guys step up until they suffer the same fate or is there a magic ingredient there that avoids this common pitfall.

Hope so because the Commercial element will step in and you'll be paying much more.

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lars

100 serious competitors is probably not far off uk. OT is a very niche discipline in most countries.

as you have found out hanging on the target or analysis of the shot during the shot is fatal. You need a well established gun mount and pre shot routine, nothing must change EVER hit or miss pre shot routine MUST remain unchanged throughout the comp. Trying stuff is for practice sessions.

it is my opinion that the one single factor that will increase trap scores is absolute focus on the next target and nothing I repeat nothing else. If pre shot routine and gun mount can be carried out without conscious thought the mind is free to focus totally on the target. To be more precise not the target as a whole but THE FRONT EDGE (leading edge) the mind is so focused on this specific area that the subconscious pulls the trigger. If gun fit is correct, gun mount and pre shot routine can be carried out without thought and focus is on leading edge the target WILL break. Deviate from this in or allow the conscious brain to take over and you will miss.

fast trap cannot be shot in the same way as any other discipline.

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Judging generally from my performance I'd say I was unconscious most of the time.  Is that the same thing?

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its similar Charlie me old mate...but 😉

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