Friday, March 30, 2012

Just the Basics . . . . Front sight, front sight, front sight . . . . . .

Yep, that’s the mantra I drum into new shooters.  Focus on YOUR FRONT SIGHT and PRESS the trigger.  If I can get them to do that consistently, I can fine-tune  the other issues – grip, stance, extension . . . .  all the little things that go into making a solid shooter.  There is such a temptation to just “take a quick look” to see where their round hit that focus is lost, frustration sets in and things slide sideways quickly.  I should take my own advice . . . .

True confessions – in nearly 50 years of shooting, I have never shot a round of trap in my life.   It’s just never appealed to me.  I love tactical rifle shooting – not a “long range” shooter – I love pistol shooting (though not just punching holes in paper), I love pheasant hunting (at least when there were still pheasants in Iowa), I love bunny hunting, squirrel hunting . . . . but I’ve never been hooked by trap shooting.

Well, last night I shot my first 4-rounds of trap.  The driving force behind this is that I am scheduled to take the NRA Shotgun Instructor training in about 3 weeks.  Part of the course is a shooting test – a round of trap, 25-rounds with a requirement to break 13 of the 25.  Heavy Sigh.  So, I thought I’d better do some trap shooting.  One benefit of being President of the local Izaac Walton League is that I have access to some amazing shooters – particularly trap.  Chuck comes to mind right away.  He’s a tad over 80 and usually shoots 20+ on every round.  His advice?   '”Bill, focus on your front sight.  I usually pull the trigger when the front of my barrel covers the bird.”  Watching Chuck, hearing advice I’d given over and over and over –  I’m thinking :  “How hard can it be??  Right???”  :)

There is an amazing amount of stuff going on with a trap shot.  You call for the bird.  It randomly flies out in one of about 6 different directions.  My mind went –“SHIT – THERE IT IS, THERE IT IS – GET IT, GET IT GET IT!!!”  Bang!!!  As I see the bird about a thumbs width above the barrel merrily flying on and splintering as it hits the ground . . . heavy sigh.  Front sight, front sight, front sight!!!   The mechanics are the same as with a handgun or rifle – RELAX, firm grip, good gun mount, solid stance and focus on the #*@#$^% front sight and just “cover the bird”.  Yep, nothin’ to it!  :)

Over the course of 4-rounds of 25ea I settled in.  My results??  First round – 8.  Second round – 18, Third Round – 11, Forth Round – 13.  Got some practicing to do!  :)

Remember – front sight, front sight, front sight . . . . . .

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