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Thread: Bit of help with clays

  1. #1

    Bit of help with clays

    Hi all,
    I've been going to the local clay club for a few weeks now, on and off due to work. It's a 50 bird sporting layout, and changes each week. People there say the layouts are hard by comparison to most. My problem is that I'm getting steadily worse. I peaked at 23 on my third week, the last few times I've scored 9, 5 and 8. Much as I'm enjoying it, I can't help thinking it's a bit pointless to keep going when I'm not getting any better and can't see why.
    I've had a couple of lessons in the past and did ok, I think repeatedly missing these targets is knocking my confidence.
    Is anyone, or can anyone recommend a decent, good value coach that I can reach reasonably easily from Kidderminster (Worcestershire)?
    Or alternatively would anyone be willing to have me tag along for a round, so that I can try a different venue without having to go and be Billy no mates? (And see if I really can't hit a barn door!)
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY

  2. #2

    I would suggest watching the lads at your local clay ground and seek the advice of the better shots for a bit of help, most are more than willing to help.
    One piece of advice I was given many years ago by an old boy who was an impeccable shot was "If you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same result" He went on to say if you miss change something either give it more lead if it's a fast clay or shoot well under if it's dropping, but don't pull the trigger as you did on the last clay because you already know the outcome.

    Remember if it was that easy we would all have given up years ago, enjoy the journey of discovery.

    ATB 243 Stalker.
    Last edited by 243 Stalker; 07-07-2016 at 20:20.

  3. #3
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Yes. Don't shoot "Sporting Clays". It's a competition and not a useful means of evaluating how your performance is improving over a period of weeks. Because, as you say, it changes from week to week and some birds (on a good layout) are deliberately "set" to be mentally difficult in that they are doing something else from what they appear to be doing.

    Shoot English Skeet. It's boring, repetitive but as it is the same you can measure yourself against a fixed known unchanging course of fire. Just the same as the club golfer that plays his or her club course week in week out. He or she quickly works out their "bogey" hole just as you, with English Skeet will quickly work out your "bogey" bird. Be it left to right in-comer or right to left out-goer.

  4. #4
    Thank you both for the advice.
    Maybe I'll start shooting skeet instead until I can hit a few. I suppose having consistently the same targets will highlight where I'm being inconsistent.
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY

  5. #5
    does you gun fit you? if you havent checked this could be a reason for your scores. main thing i find my self doing after a summer of just rifle shooting is stoping the barrels then missing behind you have to keep the momentum up. good luck

  6. #6
    You never hit anything behind, is the best bit of advice I was ever given, always swing the gun right through and fire , never poke and shoot at the sky ahead. Relax and keep practicing, a mate with a trap is always good. If you ever get to Derbyshire we can have an hour out. Tom

  7. #7
    Check gun fit.
    I used to shoot clays as a student, and was fairly good at it. However, all my recent attempts have been worse than useless.
    The only difference - I changed guns. My rickety old BSA fitted me really well, but the much better quality gun I inherited from my father doesn't fit me at all. I wasted a lot of cartridges before I fathomed this out.

    Now I just leave my shotguns in the cupboard, take my rifle, and wait until the clays stop moving...

  8. #8
    Worth checking master eye as well, if that is wrong then all sorts of odd things might happen.

  9. #9
    Hmm lots of advise on what you need to do and gun fitting . my 2p worth is get your self along to a clay ground buy 50 bird's or more do as many as you need to understand why your missing them on each stand, do this on each type of bird they have , start with standard incoming birds easy yes but start as soon as you see them lift, you prob will be under so if you can see it your going to miss them if you get the drift , then leave it longer before you take the shot so each set will be harder or feel quicker so you eye and mount grip/hand control will gain muscle memory , 2nd always shoot with some one better than you it will teach you how they act mount and lead. old school bum belly beck bang will keep your swing going , keep at it time and the more trigger time you can put in will pull you out of your slump and the destruction of self confidence .

  10. #10
    Get in touch with an instructor on cpsa. They will stand with you and tell you where you are. Don't practice on your own just like golf it ingrains bad habits. A lot of people will tell you to get in front and whilst true he amount of people you see missing birds because they give t way too much lead is equally frustrating and again shows the importance of having a proper coach to put your mind at rest and tell you where to point the barrels.

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