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hi, I'm IDShooter Jr. I'm IDShooter's son. I just passed hunters ed. and I want to go bird hunting this fall. I'm not to accurate with a shotgun, though. So far I've only blown up one clay pidgoen. Do you have any tips to help me shoot more accurately? I'd sure appreciate it. I'm really glad to be a member and I look forward to getting to know you all.
 

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Hi, ID Jr.
I've taught over a hundred boys and girls to shoot shotgun. First, try easy straight-a-ways and leave the tough crossers and incomers to later. One of the little Hoppes or Outers traps are much better than a hand trap, unless the thrower has a better arm than I have, and can throw them the same way every time. I'm assuming you can't get to a regular trap or skeet range.

There's 3 main problems for beginners.

Half the time a miss is due to stopping the gun when you shoot. That guarantees a miss, as you'll shoot behind the bird. You've got to follow through. I've seen a couple of very good adult rifle shooters miss everything and I think they were locking up just before they shot.

Another problem is shooting too quick. You bring the gun up to the bird and shoot. Only problem is, the bird is going one way and the gun is still going another. Get on the bird fast and then track it until you're moving the gun with the bird. When you're just learning you can't shoot as fast as the old boys at the trap or skeet range. You've got more time than you think you have.

Where to aim, or how much lead? On straight-a-aways, I tell the student to aim the unloaded gun at the treetops a 100 yards away. Trees don't grow very high here. Then I hold a red pen cap about 3/8" over the front sight to show them how the bird should look. You should be able to get on the bird while its still rising. Now track it until it just starts dropping, and shoot.

Don't waste time trying to get a super precise aim. If you're standing beside the trap, you should be breaking them at about 25 yards and even a full choke has a 20" pattern at that range. If you wait until they're dropping fast you'll have to shoot several feet under to get a hit.

Your gun might be shooting high or low. Shoot a couple of patterns and see. Trap guns shoot high, so the old boys can shoot fast at a rising bird and still see it. That OK for trap, but doesn't work so well for general field shooting.

Once you're hitting the straight-a-ways, move out 10 yards to the side where you'll have to lead them a couple of feet. You'll probably do better on one side than the other.

A word of advice to anyone teaching a beginner to shoot shotgun. Unless the student is used to recoil, don't start them on a stationary target. Most likely they've heard stories about bring kicked into the middle of next week. They'll stiffen up, expecting the recoil, and will feel the pain. On the other hand, they have to stay loose when they're shooting at moving targets.

Give it a try and let me know how you're doing.

Bye
Jack
 

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Hello and welcome!

Practice, practice, practice!!! That would be the only way to "get" better.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What Jack said, and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

I see a reloader in your future. Save all of your hulls.

By the way, what gun gun & gauge are you shooting?
 

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I'd like to say thanks, too! I've never taught anyone how to shoot a shotgun, so the only advice I had was keep your head down, swing smoothly, and follow through. Jr. is shooting a 20 gauge Winchester youth model pump, but I think the recoil still bothers him a bit - not that he mentions or admits it, but I noticed him flinching a bit while shooting the .22 afterwards. He had new-comers excitement, I think, and shot up a box of 20 gauge shells and part of my 12 gauge shells in his first session.

I'll try to scan and post a pic some time this weekend.

Oh, and Jack - I'm the target thrower (with one of those red plastic do-dads, so only about half actually acheived the desired straight away flight:p

Thanks again for the tips. Jr is going to be away for three weeks visiting my folks back east, but we'll practice more when he gets back.

So long!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Get a 20ga reloader and find out what the lightest & slowest practical load you can shoot is. Probably 3/4 or 7/8 oz, I would just guess.

Claybuster wads (cheap knockoff on the major brands) work just fine at moderate velocities if you can find them and that saves a little money. If the velocity is held down then soft shot (cheap) works OK too.

There seems to be a trend to 'magnumize' the 20ga, I suppose to make it compete with the 12.

Worse, the cheap 'promotional' shells that are tempting to start with are usually 1.) loaded WAY too fast and 2.) have the barest excuse for a shotcup. That, plus cheap soft shot, gives rather hideous patterns.

For example even though I'm shooting a 12ga my target loads are just an ounce, and only loaded fast enough to cycle my 1100. Very easy on the shoulder and also cuts the cost of the reloads a bit as compared to full 1.25 oz field loads. Slower velocities tend to give more even patterns, anyway.

You don't even have to make an auto cycle so that's not a concern.

Frankly I don't shoot any better in the field with the heavy loads, not that I can tell anyway.

I'll bet you can find a used MEC somewhere for cheap. When the boy loads his own shells, and especially if he's paying for the components, it tends to sharpen one's concentration on the range!

Sounds like you are starting him off right.
 

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Here is a pic of his first shooting session with the shotgun.
 

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This Thursday, I hope to be joining a gun club, and taking part in the trap shooting evening. Gonna be the first time in 20 plus years I have shot the 12 ga at anything other than a wish! I am looking forward to it, and practicing, practicing, practicing! :cool:
 

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I did it! I went to a meeting night at the Tri-Town Sportsman's Association, and participated in two rounds of trap shooting. The friend of mine that sponsered me let me use his shotgun, as I could not find the stock barrel to my Mossberg (don't ask). I shot the second round and the fifth round, for 19 and 20 respectively. My shoulder is rather tender today, but it was well worth it!

IDShooter Jr, it's not difficult, just listen to those that can instruct, keep yourself loose, and make sure you follow through. This is my first experience trap shooting, and I like it!

Next up - bowling pin pistol shoots, I can't wait!
 

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Jr.... this is Alex Stanton, Marshall's son and webmaster here on the forums. Just wanted to say that I went out the first day duck hunting with my single shot 20 having only fired a few rounds at a paper plate @ 25 yards and a few rounds at hulls my dad threw up into the air.

We were in a canoe out in a big slew on our way to where we were going to hunt when a little duck came zinging by... so I swung what looked about right and shot, then we paddled over to grad a very dead, very small green wing teal.

Since then that 20 has been my favorite, and while my dad's a good shot with his 870, I can keep up every day of the week with my little 20... and now I've got an 870, love it to death, but when it comes time to really kill something with wings, my 20 is what goes with me.

Reference: http://www.beartoothbullets.com/trail/archive_trail_talk.htm/16

Good luck, and maybe see you on a river up here some time this year.

Alex
 
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