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 . . . . . .