Help. Can't hit broad side of barn

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Postby countrygent36 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:46 pm

thaner wrote::withstupid: good point. I should also add that the other big no no is lifting your head. This can happen when you get frustrated. You try to see the bird better or see where you are shooting and you lift your head off the gun and shoot high. This is a common problem for target shooters and hunter even if they pre mount the gun and have their head down good at the start.


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Re: Help. Can't hit broad side of barn

Postby countrygent36 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:15 pm

portahunter wrote:I need help. I can't seem to hit the ducks to save my life this year. I shot just about ever shell there is out of my 870 this year and can't hit anything. Can't hit anything with other guns too. Federal Ultrashoks are working the best for me but even then I'm shooting way more shells per duck than I was last year. I was assassinating the ducks last year with the same gun and this year I can't hit squat. I've had marginal luck on geese with regular steel. 8 of my 13 geese this year came from shooting a box of Dead Coyote T's at them. I'm not rushing my shots either. I'm shooting shells that have a muzzle velocity of 1450 fps and closer than 20 yds, I'm putting the bead on the tip of the beak and past 20 yds to 40 yds I'm leading them 3-10 inches depending on the approximate distance. It's the same as when I was slaying them last year. I just can't figure out why I'm not hitting them or when I do feathers come off and they keep flying. Went 0 for 18 this morning.


I have this problem as well, every year. I have to rethink myself back to an archery lesson. Quite loooking at the deer, look at the spot you want the arrow to hit. I always shot instinctive, no sights.

If I remember that one lesson, I swear, I could shot around a tree and hit my target every time.

When I shoulder my shotgun, even though I thought I just had to have the hi viz sight, I don't use it. I watch my target, squeeze, hit. I watch the sight, squeeze, watch birdy fly away.
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Postby portahunter » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:07 am

Shooting didn't improve today because I didn't go. Would have been going by myself and my two hunting choices involved either pulling the boat through shallow water or over a levee. I'm a small little person and I can't quite do that. All the suggestions sound good and thanks. Hopefully, I can get the time and money to do some clay shooting this summer. I'm doing an internship at a local wildlife management area that I hunt alot. Will get to catch alligators and band mottle ducks. Only part that sucks is that I don't get paid. Good experience though.
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Postby dudejcb » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:26 am

I agree, getting the gun to shoulder cleanly is a VERY big part of good shooting. Each year at the beginning of hunting season I practice by picking various spots in the room and repeatedly practice throwing the gun forward from waist level, up, then back into my shoulder ina semi-circular motion so that when it arrives on my shoulder I have the correct hand-eye-gun alighment and am already on the target point I've picked out. I do this at several angles and directions to simulate the twisting, high-low stances and gyrations so often encountered in real world hunting.
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Postby pennsyltucky » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:58 am

adding motion to that will help to not focus on the barrel. swing across the room aiming at the 1/4round where the ceiling meets the walls. especially going thru corners. try it laying on ur back. it does help
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Postby LaRedneck » Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:21 pm

This may be far fetched since you've had previous good seasons but are you familiar with "dominant eye". If not picka small target say a door knob and put your hands together out in front of you making a small hole to look through. You can do it with one hand or both but look at the target through the hole with both eyes then close one eye if the target moves out of the hole then that eye is your dominant eye vise versa, say your right eye dominant if you close you left eye the target should still be in sight.
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Postby Boomn4x4 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:55 pm

dudejcb wrote:If the muzzle velocity is 1450 fps, then it takes about about 0.062 seconds for the shot to travel 30 yards (90 feet). If a duck flies at 45 miles per hour that is equivalent to 66 ft/sec. That means that in 0.062 seconds of shot flight time, the duck has traveled 4 ft, so your lead should be about a little more than that...


Your calculations are right on the money, but you left somethign out....reaction time. The time it takes for your brain to say "now!" for the signal to drive down to your finger, your muscle to pull the trigger far enough release the hammer, the hammer to hit the pin, the powder to ingnite, and the shot be fired could EASILY add another 0.05 seconds to the calculations. Also muzzle velocity is 1450, but average speed to the target may be more like 1000 fps. This 4 ft lead is already up to about 10ft. minimum for a true crossing shot at 30 yards
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Postby dudejcb » Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:11 pm

you are right. I left an awful lot out of the equation, including velocity drop off, and your other time lapse factors are pretty funny. When I was writing that stuff I wondered if I might have strayed a bit too far into the enginerd world, but at least it gives our shot shy friend a starting point to come to grips with estimating less than "minimum" lead requirements.

I thought about giving him the fast barrel swing, "shot-slinging" method, (not to be confused with the sling-shooting method) but didn't know where to begin, as I ususally use that one instinctively after I've missed on the first shot and am catching up to and passing the bird with the barrel... This method ususally comes into play on crossing chukar or pheasants, where a great deal of surprise and miss-anxiety is involved.
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Postby portahunter » Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:49 pm

I'm right eyed dominant and my reaction time is excellent. Last year I went on two guided hunts were the guide told me to stop shooting becasue I always shot first and ever time I dropped one or two birds. I may take a couple of those biodegradable skeet out to the marsh with me tomarrow if there are no ducks out there.
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Postby Sagebrush » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:14 pm

You can shoulder the gun anyway you want !!

If your cheek is not down on the stock and your eye

looking down the "rib" it is a miss !!


Canting the gun is a different story !!
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Postby portahunter » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:09 pm

I'm taking my trusty 20 ga. tomarrow. I've shot ducks out to 45 yds with it and it is light and extremly easy to shoulder and should allow me sufficent time to complete my follow through. Wish me luck.
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Postby CrackerJackShot » Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:06 pm

Well Sage Id say your right, but your wrong. True, the positioning of the butt of the gun on your shoulder doesnt matter at all. BUT, It is almost impossible to get your cheek where it needs to be if its in even the slightest of an awkward angle. Also, shouldering is important cause you dont want your gun to be rotated... you need to make sure that the butt of the gun is straight up and down.
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Postby portahunter » Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:59 pm

I'm astounded. I put three 3 1/2 inch BB's into a specklebelly at 20 yds and the thing flew a mile before it died. First shot I flipped the bird around and he recovered, second shot was a solid body hit and he dropped several feet, and the thrid shot almost put him to the water but yet again he recovered and he and his buddy flew about a mile before they both died. :thumbsdown: I'm looking for possible explanations.
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Postby Cupped-n-Committed » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:59 pm

CrackerJackShot wrote:Im going to go with the shouldering. I know that is one of my problems, when I have them. If I miss a bird all I have to do is make sure the next time I pull the gun up and shoulder the gun perfectly and they fold everytime. Leading isn't that much of an issue, usually your brain can determine how far to lead in front, especially if youve hit them before. It kinda records it into a video memory that you can't actually see but it remembers it.
And yeah, consentrating on the barrel will certainly mess you up. But just make sure that your shouldering correctly, its a commonly overlooked mistake.


I'm with him. I never even notice the bead on my gun. If it fell of I would not even notice. I shoot bows with out sights and we call it instictive shooting. Your brain learns to adjust the point of aim with out you thinking. When you think you miss!! It is the same with shotguns. it is not a rifle. I have gotten triples that happened so fast I just reacted and my instict took over and my thinking did not get in the way when I reacted.

Think of this. Did anyone have to give you a sight to throw a baseball? But I bet you could almost hit a basketball at 40 yards, without sights. :mrgreen: That is instinctve throwing!
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Postby Thundersnow » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:54 pm

portahunter wrote:I'm astounded. I put three 3 1/2 inch BB's into a specklebelly at 20 yds and the thing flew a mile before it died. First shot I flipped the bird around and he recovered, second shot was a solid body hit and he dropped several feet, and the thrid shot almost put him to the water but yet again he recovered and he and his buddy flew about a mile before they both died. :thumbsdown: I'm looking for possible explanations.



This is not "OPINION" this is fact. At 20 yards a Light modified (between a improved cylinder and mod) is going to put almost EVERY pellet in a 18 circle. Whatever choke you shoot is going to be tighter than you want at 25 yards. You just hit the goose on the fringe in a non vital area. Typical "too tight of a choke".
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Postby pennsyltucky » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:45 am

portahunter wrote:I'm astounded. I put three 3 1/2 inch BB's into a specklebelly at 20 yds and the thing flew a mile before it died. First shot I flipped the bird around and he recovered, second shot was a solid body hit and he dropped several feet, and the thrid shot almost put him to the water but yet again he recovered and he and his buddy flew about a mile before they both died. :thumbsdown: I'm looking for possible explanations.


first shot went in front of his nose, second went over top his head, and the third, i bet u got a single stray in him. how many did he have in him when u cleaned him? i assume you were expecting longer shots than 20 yards and probably had a mod in?
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Postby thaner » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:51 am

:withstupid: I would say misses or one pellet grazes on most shots. Too tight a pattern is as bad as too open unless you center them. You put more than a couple body hits on a bird and they go down. Say five or 6 BB in the body is enough damage to take them out and with three solid hits at 20 yd. they would be messed up. Head and neck hits and they hit the ground now. One or two pellets in the vitals of the body and they sail until they drop dead. I did it yesterday myself. Hit some honkers and wrecked the first with BB at 35 yd. with head, neck, and body hits, then they swung fast right when I hit the trigger again and my second body hit the next bird because it had turned away taking the head and neck around the front of the body so the pattern hit air to the side and the body with about three hits, and a few feather hits for show, It looked like a devastating hit. It sailed but dropped dead in the air after a long glide. It had two solid rib hits right to the vitals, but it takes a while for them to die just like a lung shot deer will run a ways and I think a bird can glide basically dead.
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Postby Sagebrush » Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:35 am

Well maybe with all the years I have had in the field and
many years at the trap club for fun and ATA shoots in
the AA class............

Bringing up the gun to my shoulder is "automatic" ??

You know when everything is "right" when it feels good and
you have a barrel,sight "picture" that is lined up correctly.


Guess I am just lucky, to have things that work for me?

Once in a while I will do it wrong and have to re-mount the gun,however!!

I never said I was perfect. :salude:
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Postby portahunter » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:02 pm

The first shot hit him in the wing and rolled him over barrel role fashion. Second shot hit him in the body because I watched him buck and start to go down and I guess the thrid shot hit him with a stray pellet or two. I don't know how many pellets he had in him because we didn't recover them. They landed about a mile away in waist high salt grass. I never even tried to go after them. I'd of had a heat stroke trying to get to them. It was 70 degrees and I was wearing waders. :thumbsdown:
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Postby portahunter » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:04 pm

All the tips have been good but I'll have to work on them during the off season. As of now my season is over. Getting ready to put the duck stuff up and pull the fishing stuff back out. Thanks guys. :thumbsup:
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Postby Sagebrush » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:14 pm

I have been fishing for three weeks.

Only three open lakes and one river right now.

This morning was a warm 8 degrees and high of 32 !!

Reno, does have four seasons !!
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