We have been in Florida for the past 21 days, and while wish I could say we were enjoying the warm sunshine, it was cold until the last day. We were in our down jackets and rain gear and those shorts stayed packed.
At each of the three clubs we visited, the mythology of gun fit came up a lot. We did a lot of explaining and redoing guns that students brought, either by lengthening them or putting the adjustable combs down to their lowest point.
I even had a left-handed student use my right-handed gun and he was amazed that he could shoot it so well. My comb is very low and very easy to mount.
We are finding that the combs on most guns are too high for people to shoot without really having to cheek them hard. If they have to cheek it that hard, it doesn’t fit.
Light cheek pressure allows you to put the gun in the same place each time. If you have to cheek it hard it may not always go to the same place on your cheek. You never cheek the gun as hard when you are shooting as you do when putting the gun up to your cheek to check it.
The other issue we came across is the thought that you need to mount the gun to your face in the setup to make sure you are lined up right.
But what happens? The barrel is the last thing you see, so it is the first thing your eyes go to when the shot is sent. Now we all know that that is not a good thing to look at the barrel and have the gun stop. Then you have to catch up with the target and you look like you are conducting a symphony orchestra instead of shooting a shotgun.
You know where the gun is. And I know you all do your gun mount drills so you know where it is. So you shouldn’t have to look at it in the setup.
Plus, that motion to pull the gun up and check it also makes your arms and torso tighten up so you have to relax before you can move with the target. So why not start out relaxed so your eyes can see more easily and you can begin your move with the target?
You need to move with the target when you see it and not hesitate until it almost gets to the gun because that puts you behind the target. Wouldn’t it be nicer to be out there waiting on the target rather than trying to catch up with it?
I don’t know about you, but I like the “catching” idea as opposed to the “catch up” idea. It’s a lot easier and puts more Xs on the card.
Learn to mount the gun! People that learn to mount the gun are safer on the range and in the field and learn this game three times faster because they are not worrying about the gun.
Another issue of “Gap-itis” reared its head. Stop looking at the gap, because you are not looking at anything and you have put the gun and target in the peripheral. That information is old, as there is a delay getting it to the brain then the hands.
This especially came in when students were shooting farther targets, but it also came in on those really close targets where there is no gap and everyone kept putting a gap on those close ones. With quartering targets out in front of the stand in particular, there is less gap and you perceive yourself shooting right at them.
Yes, there is lead on each target you shoot at, but it is perceived differently by everyone. So let the subconscious do its job and don’t second-guess it. You must break all targets between you and 30 yards and then half of the harder ones and you will have a pretty good score.
Why is it that even really good shooters miss those close targets? They get a little complacent and don’t feel like they have to be as focused on those.
But guess what? You better be just as focused on them as you are on the longer ones. You want to come off the course and say, “I broke all the close targets.”
So, work on your gun mount, three-bullet drill, close targets, your setup, and routines. The shooting year is just beginning and now is the time to get ready for a great year of shooting.