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This is a forum post from one of our KV Members.
We don’t provide a magic wand. We provide instruction, tools and support. As in anything of value, it’s up to you to do the work to achieve your goals.
More Feedback from the KV Member Forum
Hello all, I’m Tim and a new shooter of any type effective this summer. I was asked to attend a sporting clays event early summer, used a borrowed pump-action gun with an 18″ barrel, and was hooked immediately. The folks who took me in are fantastic.
However, knowing I am a new shooter I wanted to learn quickly and not ingrain bad habits too firmly. I attended the Milford Hills 2-day clinic this September and shot with both Vicki and Gil. I thought I’d document a few thoughts and experiences as I adopt to shooting and this method in particular.
First: I discovered Gil’s video on Trap hold points and followed those for the trap team and season with the folks who welcomed me in to their team. The Gil Trap videos were helpful for me to figure out where to put the gun and where to look at a trap house. From those videos, I explored more of the material online and found the OSP class coming to Wisconsin. Signed up immediately.
Second: My process of learning OSP may be quite different from many of you on the forum and other shooters I am encountering. It seems many of you have habits that need to be unlearned first (and are written and discussed), whereas I’m newer and only wanted to simplify process for me to get up to speed quickly (which I will document and update below). So much of the coaching hour topics and forum topics seem to be more of a process of elimination of bad habits than simply establishing new ones.
Third: Gun fit…what a process of finding a gun and getting it to work. So many opinions, so much information and opinion and misinformation. As noted above, the $200 pump-action shotgun was taken out of my hands after the first 5 shells on my first day of trap, and an old-timer gave me his lucky Browning 325 to use. What a great gesture and a fun gun to shoot. I purchased a used CZ o/u as a “starter” gun to try to start figuring this all out (shorter LOP, longer LOP, cheek pads, etc.) and finally gave up on it. I’ve since replaced it with a new o/u and got stock extensions to make it fit me as I am a little taller. Gil spent some quality phone time and photo reviews prior to the in-person clinic to get some of these fitting things sorted.
Finally, some abbreviated thoughts on where my development is currently:
1: Keep things simple, keep them repeatable. If it doesn’t seem too relevant right away, I’m not using it as part of my shot routine. I’ll explain more as I go along, but things right now like hold points or complicated pre-shot routines seem cumbersome or unnecessary at this point. Your opinions and my slowly growing body of shot knowledge may alter these. Also, Gil recommended just shooting and practicing singles, so that’s mostly what I’m working on today. Report pairs and True pairs get mixed in with friends, but on my own I’m taking them one-shot-at-a-time.
2: Preshot: Observe the clay flight, first for the break point (find a tree or feature reference to view later). Name the shot out loud (challenge, catch, converge). Then back up to where I can first see the clay (trap or exiting foliage). Set feet, weight up on the lead foot. Load the gun.
3: Quiet Eye: Take a deep breath and let my eyes settle back on the BP. Relax.
4: Initiate: Close gun, soft mount, and swivel head and eyes to the view point (trap or branch). I’ll let the gun find its natural half-way or earlier hold point, I don’t fuss where that might be. Slight pause, initiate challenge move (start moving barrels) and call pull.
5: Follow up: Because I don’t have a huge shot inventory yet, sometimes my not specifically picking a hold point means the clay gets out ahead of the barrel, and I catch up. Sometimes I’m waiting for the clay to get to the moving barrels, which means the hold point was too far out. Correct HP for the next shot. Review the mental lead to make sure it was right and adjust if I didn’t get a good break.
I’m keeping things simple for now; no worrying about a hold point for the gun (I let it find it’s own place), no worrying about too little or too much time when set to call pull (I get ready after the quiet eye and just initiate), I’m not worrying about scores. I go to the course and if I miss some types of crossers or quarters repeatedly, then I’ll grab a box and go do that target again and again to see if I can fix it.
I’ll keep adding to this thread as I discover more, but for now I’m only picked a few items to practice with every shot to keep things simple and repeatable.
Great post and well thought out. One thing I will mention for you going forward is learning quickly is NOT part of the journey with a shotgun. Part of the solution to improvement with a shotgun is Slowing DOWN!
I started pretty much like you about 4 years ago and started with OSP to avoid the bad habits. So your not as different from all of us as you may imagine. I started with sporting clay so a of bit difference there. So looking forward to your observations. Some of the learning has to do with sequential steps, so you have to understand/pass through A before you can get B kind of thing. Welcome to the forum, take your time have fun.
Me for example , I had no desire to shoot skeet or trap when I started but when I missed enough targets on the course that my squad mates shot easily , saying ” oh that just a trap shot”,
Or ” that is just station 4 at skeet”. So , I find myself looking into these disciplines as well, and appreciating what they have to offer.
Feedback from Social Media
You won't find a couple of instructors more passionate about the Sporting Clay's game.
I took a lesson with Brian Ash and it was the best thing I had ever done for shooting. I was always worried about eye dominance since I am left eyed dominant and shoot right handed. With in the first two hours he asked me how was my eye dominance and what he had taught me I no longer had that issue. I can't wait to take my next lesson, I might have to leave Ohio and go to Texas just for a lesson
I didn’t suddenly become a great shooter, I just applied what you show in the videos and have become much more consistent. Since we 1st talked, I have been averaging 22 birds across all of my rounds of shooting. Thanks again for all of your help and I look forward to the in person class in April 21.
Spoke with you on the phone while you were cooking, and it was the best time I have spent going over shooting. I did the 3 bullet drill until my arms fell off, left to rights are no longer a problem, and I picked up, Match the speed of the target and pull the trigger. Well this past weekend I shot the Gamaliel Cup in Nashville with the big boys.
Hello Gil! Your ``sustained lead`` method works marvelous!! Could hardly miss the long ones today....even a 70 yarder! Many Thanks! BTW: Bullet drill is da bomb!!
The program and presentation by Gil and Vicki is terrific. It is NOT a slideshow and lecture of ``tips and tricks``. It is based on a programmatic approach to every step that occurs when a shot is taken. Their teaching techniques are based on how adults actually learn a new skill. The graphics make is very clear how their techniques work and are easy to follow and the hands-on instruction is worth every dollar and hour I invested. Did you ever wonder whether and why your shot was over, under, ahead or behind? You will find out!
Holy Smokes !!!! This clinic was better than I could ever have imagined. Gil and Vicki are FANTASTIC instructors and people. I am already thinking about a return trip or other way I can continue my training with them. Join them for one of the two day clinics and I assure you that you WILL NOT be disappointed!!!
First I learned that the active working part of my mind can only work on processing a maximum of four things at a time and mostly 2 or 3 things. Knowing that it has to switch back and forth among them using up available valuable time and focus. This makes it critical to reduce the variables in my pre-shot routine. Second I discovered one way to simplify my pre-shot routine. I do not need to use my working memory to create lead. That being the case I do not need to concern my pre-shot moving picture with the separation distance between target and gun barrel. I worked hard on only picturing a stable separation with the barrel in front of the target. Third the stroll or gun moving prior to “pull” worked almost all of the time. The only problem was not trusting it and stopping or getting nervous and distracted. These were less and less as the clinic went on. Anyone who has not spent a day or two with Vicki looking “over” your shoulder is missing a truly enlightening experience. Thank you so much Vicki… You too Gil.