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Pigeons compared to clays


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The best training for live birds I ever had, was going to a compact sporting layout with a dozen or so different targets.

Wear ear defenders that completely cut out external noise, so you can’t hear which traps are launching and get a mate to launch the clays entirely randomly, so you have to really concentrate.

Makes for much more ‘snap’ intuitive shooting IMO

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1 hour ago, humperdingle said:

The best training for live birds I ever had, was going to a compact sporting layout with a dozen or so different targets.

Wear ear defenders that completely cut out external noise, so you can’t hear which traps are launching and get a mate to launch the clays entirely randomly, so you have to really concentrate.

Makes for much more ‘snap’ intuitive shooting IMO

👍

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8 hours ago, Jacko3275 said:

👍

We have all chewed some fat on this subject as it very technical yet simple.

May I add to humperdingle and say your right and it takes a lot of the other post together because when you swing quickly sanp shooting you automatically follow through.

An old guy once told me it's like using a water hose in your garden to water the flowers and the little flick you can use to  make the water go further without doing anything else ( it's a visual thing but it sometimes works if you can see it in your mind )

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11 hours ago, Walker570 said:

How many pigeons at 50yrds do you wound but don't realise it.  A clay is inanimate but the aim should be to cleanly kill the quarry species whatever it is.

Nobody said they were shooting pigeons at 50 yards, read the post! 

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Well looks like both UltraStu and myself miss read however the initoial opening did refer to shooting clays at 50yrs and I believe we both got the impression that the shooter was wanting to hit live birds out there.  I still stand by my comment regarding shooting at that distance.

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I think the point is that just because the op thinks he is shooting at birds about 40 yds up .they maybe further around 50 or more .

Its extremely hard to judge the range of a bird straight up in the air .how often have you shot a crossing bird that drops straight down .and then paced it out to find its much further than you thought .

Crows some how always appear closer than they are .must be the big black shape .

I'm with walker on this .

On 22/11/2020 at 20:47, martinj said:

I was at a clay shoot recently and was breaking fast crossers at about 50 yards, hitting more than I missed but can I do that with pigeons? I can not.

 

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On 24/11/2020 at 10:03, lakeside1000 said:

Just as an after though I would never use 7's on pigeons as I don't believe they hold enough pattern or energy even at 30 yards, many will disagree but after 50 years of shooting that's my experience. 


I think I spent 2-3 seasons using 32g 5 (Black Gold) and 30g 6’s (Clear pigeon) shooting pigeons and game birds and found that I was getting a LOT of runners. Birds with broken wings and knocked down but very much still alive. 
 

This year I have shot 28g 7’s on partridge and pheasant and have never had so many birds killed stone dead in the air. 
 

Why a pigeon for some reason should be tougher than a large cock pheasant I don’t know. 
 

What I do know is, if you put the bird in the pattern, they are going down hard! 

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17 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Well looks like both UltraStu and myself miss read however the initoial opening did refer to shooting clays at 50yrs and I believe we both got the impression that the shooter was wanting to hit live birds out there.  I still stand by my comment regarding shooting at that distance.

Whatever! and I don't see what that has to do with this post. I was asking for help from someone who can hit flighting pigeons at 40 yards, do me the honour of not trying to add to that because it is irrelevant.

It seems that there are very few people reading this post who can do a lot better than I am doing although I have received some very thoughtful and helpful comments along with a lot of nannies spouting irrelevant dross.

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1 minute ago, martinj said:

Whatever! and I don't see what that has to do with this post. I was asking for help from someone who can hit flighting pigeons at 40 yards, do me the honour of not trying to add to that because it is irrelevant.

It seems that there are very few people reading this post who can do a lot better than I am doing although I have received some very thoughtful and helpful comments along with a lot of nannies spouting dross.

Martin,

It would be fair to say that I have done a fair bit of flighting pigeons. That doesn't make me an expert by any means but it may qualify me to comment.

Pigeons at 40m flighting out in the open should not present you with many difficulties provided that you know your gun, cartridge choke combination. My own method is to give that extra bit of lead than for decoying birds.

Roosting pigeons are different. It is more tempting to shoot at pigeons further away than normal as chances are usually less frequent. I try to see a space in front of the bird and shoot into that space ignoring if possible the many branches that are likely to be in the way.

I will always shoot more out in the open even at longer distances than 40m than I will roost shooting when the pigeons may only be 30m away.

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21 minutes ago, martinj said:

Whatever! and I don't see what that has to do with this post. I was asking for help from someone who can hit flighting pigeons at 40 yards, do me the honour of not trying to add to that because it is irrelevant.

It seems that there are very few people reading this post who can do a lot better than I am doing although I have received some very thoughtful and helpful comments along with a lot of nannies spouting irrelevant dross.

Diddums then:lol:

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On 24/11/2020 at 10:03, lakeside1000 said:

I rarely shoot roost areas as I have a real problem staying focused on the bird , I see branches but loose sight of the bird before getting a shot off, reaction time for me is slow and the fact that the bird appears overhead without warning puts me in panic mode to take the shot.

By the time I pull the trigger I am shooting branches off the trees or just an empty sky, My son who is in his 40's can hit them all day long but at 72 I am way too slow, and the more I miss the worse it gets with sheer frustration. 

I much prefer open farm land with wide clear views, giving me plenty of time to prepare mentally  for the shot, I use 31 gm 6's through a half choke and regularly kill out to 50 yards plus, I was standing with the gamekeeper last week as a pigeon came across out at 75 yards, (paced out later) I took the shot and killed it stone dead in the air.(the keeper was very impressed)

Long shots are a matter of confidence and experience, just watch Andy Crow etc to see long range accurate shooting.

Also the cartridge makes a lot of difference in pattern and energy at range, recently I have been trying out some Italian Romagnola by RC ,they are 31 gm 6's and pack a real punch .

Just as an after though I would never use 7's on pigeons as I don't believe they hold enough pattern or energy even at 30 yards, many will disagree but after 50 years of shooting that's my experience.

 

Isn't that a rather contradictory post. 7s are no good past, or even at,30 yards, but 6s will do 50 or even on a good day 75 yards it seems.

What I can never understand is how a particular cartridge can 'pack a real punch and others can't. By and large down range they'll all be travelling the same speed. If the shot size is the same, then they'll all have the same energy. The problem here, though, is the shot size as it could well be that the RC is more than likely to be a 5&1/2 unless the differing standards have been taken into account. This would give more energy, but at the cost of pattern density as the choke is the same (1/2). I'd hazard a guess that the 'punch' is as a result of the pattern which is not necessarily due to the cartridge but the gun.

On 24/11/2020 at 11:35, old'un said:

Sorry, but I have to say I'm one of the many.

:good:Me too.

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  • 1 month later...

A bit late to this thread admittedly, but the best advice I can give you regarding wing shooting, is increase the speed of your swing. 
Clays are always slowing down, there are no exceptions, and with the exception of skeet type targets you can generally sedately drift onto many of them. 
That doesn’t happen with winged quarry, unless you're shooting at a settling pigeon, and most are flying faster than they appear.
If you increase the speed of your swing, you will generally find this takes care of lead also. 

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On 22/11/2020 at 21:00, Ultrastu said:

50 yds is too far away to kill a pigeon .

There isnt enough lead on target or enough energy .

Clays require only a few hits at low energy to break .

40 yds is my maximum on pige and crows .

The energy and pattern fail considerably after this .

50 yards is a good bird, but certainly not out of range, even for 7 shot.

On 23/11/2020 at 12:41, JDog said:

Last week in a strong wind roost shooting at pigeons flying over tall trees I shot 8 for 27 shots. I  felt as if I had exceeded my usual standard of shooting by some margin.

That is a good ratio for such challenging shots!

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On 23/11/2020 at 13:17, JDog said:

Despite the old adage of not seeing the trees when roost shooting I fear that many of us do and this may put us off. I am normally conscious that I am looking for spaces in the canopy rather than shooting when I should.

I have often struggled with trees putting me off. My dad, on the other hand, seems to ignore these and is therefore a terrific roost shooter. I have often marvelled at the effortless nature of his shooting whilst stood in a wood. 

Ps. I haven't told him this.

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I've killed birds at 50 yds also. 

But reliably? No.

When I first started  out shot gunning  I was popping away at all sorts (as you do ) learning as I went, there is a lot to learn .and I soon realised that to make reliable kills the birds needed to be close enough for the pattern to be dense enough to do its job .when my skills were more up to scratch  and I could predict range better and birds flight direction and lead etc .

I tried to push the range out again (it comes with confidence ) only to be met with failure .not my failure to shoot in the wrong place  (lead etc ) but the gun /choke / cart  failure to put enough pellets on target at that longer range .

I stick to 40 yds now and enjoy my shooting much more taking reliable clean kills (or as near as possible ) and I feel much better about it  .

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On 24/11/2020 at 13:16, Ultrastu said:

Does nobody feel it unethical to shoot at a bird where we only have say a 20 % chance of bringing it down .  5 /1 cartridge ratio . 

I'd argue that you haven't missed the bird at all just peppered it with a few low energy pellets and watch it fly onwards  , to what ever fate becomes it later .

I know it sounds a bit holier than thou .but I strive when decoying to at least have a 2/1 cart to bird ratio at the end of the day .

I count my carts and if the number is getting a bit too high as the day goes on I try at least to rain in my ranges to around 30 yds this (funnily enough) does the trick and i can go 1/1 for a good 10 / 15 birds before i fuff a shot or 2  .

In Rifle shooting we always strive to be as humane as possible .why is shotgun shooting seemingly exempt .? 

 

does not matter whether rifle or shotgun, nor ratios, at some point shooting live quarry you will unintentionally wound without being able to follow up and dispatch. You either accept that or do not shoot live quarry.

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I think that a lot of people's '50 yards' is probably 40 yards or less, especially when up in the air.  A lesson I learned some 45 years ago when out shooting geese with an experienced 'Marshman'. A small party of pinks came towards us, I thought they were too high so just kept my head down. Suddenly 2 shots rang out from my pal and 2 geese folded. When shooting on a marsh, there is nothing to gauge height by. He had learned how much 'bird' to see either side of his gun and used that to judge the range.

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On 22/11/2020 at 20:47, martinj said:

Here's a question that has been puzzling me for years, I shoot clays and am an OK shooter, I have been doing clay (and pigeon) shooting for decades. I was at a clay shoot recently and was breaking fast crossers at about 50 yards, hitting more than I missed but can I do that with pigeons? I can not.

My problem birds are roosting pigeons, anyone who has done it knows what I'm talking about, you are standing under trees and birds are flying fairly fast over the treetops, looking for their buddies and a safe place to land, they are at a reasonable range, say 40 yards but should be killable with 1/2 and 3/4 chokes. In the past I have been continuously wasting cartridges, missing most of what I shoot at. If there is anyone out there who can hit them I'd appreciate a few tips.

I think my problem is that I am misreading the speed of the birds and am not giving the right amount of lead, I have experimented but this remains a major bugbear.

I realise that Pigeons are always going to be harder than clays due to the unpredictable nature of the quarry.

Hi, i shoot clays, have shot for England and also Great Britain, in a discipline known as Fitasc all over the world. When you shoot clay's, remember that they slow down, where live pigeons don't, this is a problem when changing from one to the other.    

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 09/02/2021 at 16:09, Hotshot100 said:

Hi, i shoot clays, have shot for England and also Great Britain, in a discipline known as Fitasc all over the world. When you shoot clay's, remember that they slow down, where live pigeons don't, this is a problem when changing from one to the other.    

Pigeons can slow down, and clays can speed up.

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