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Shooting gun up or gun down


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Some friends always shoot gun out of the shoulder and mount after they see the clay and others mount and then call. I am trying a mixture of both, usually on crossing and high incoming clays gun down and gun up for fast away and low incoming clays. Is there a correct way for different target presentations?

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I believe that it’s personal choice unless shooting fitasc which requires you to shoot gun down as part of the rules.  And live shooting gun out of the shoulder gives you a far better view of your target.  I personally shoot a mixture dependant on the targets being shown (clays)  as for a correct way I would say no, only vast amounts of differing opinions ! Do what feels comfortable for you. 

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1 minute ago, Spr1985 said:

I believe that it’s personal choice unless shooting fitasc which requires you to shoot gun down as part of the rules.  And live shooting gun out of the shoulder gives you a far better view of your target.  I personally shoot a mixture dependant on the targets being shown (clays)  as for a correct way I would say no, only vast amounts of differing opinions ! Do what feels comfortable for you. 

that more or less answrs it

 

i shoot gun down for everything....which is right for me

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It's worth noting that many novice clay shooters are taught to shoot gun up as it is more forgiving if their mount is inconsistent. You can ensure everything is right before calling "pull" that way.

Many, like myself, just carry on doing it that way for almost all clay presentations.

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11 minutes ago, LeedsZeppelin said:

It's worth noting that many novice clay shooters are taught to shoot gun up as it is more forgiving if their mount is inconsistent. You can ensure everything is right before calling "pull" that way

Nothing wrong with that, except they then accept an invitation to a rough/walked up/driven day and, not having been taught how to shoot but merely to hit a target when they call for it, they are completely stuffed.

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For me it’s more natural and comfortable to shoot gun down , just seems most of my shooting this is the way so why change for the odd clay ? Sight picture is much better gun down ! And as mentioned on a game day or walked up or even a sim day it’s gun down but as previously said do whatever is most comfortable if you’re only shooting clay# 

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2 hours ago, London Best said:

Nothing wrong with that, except they then accept an invitation to a rough/walked up/driven day and, not having been taught how to shoot but merely to hit a target when they call for it, they are completely stuffed.

You're not wrong. But that's modern shooting for you.

A clay shooting instructor doesn't teach you how to shoot, he teaches you how to break clays.

If you people watch at a casual Sunday morning clay shoot, you can usually be able to tell who had their start in game shooting as opposed to clay. Maybe this is what the OP is noticing.

Often you'll see a game shooter calling pull whilst he is still loading his gun. The clay shooter on the next stand is still on step 2 of his 48 step zen-like pre-shot ritual. 

Even with no intention of doing any game shooting, I have fallen foul of not being able to shoot gun down proficiently. My first attempt at FITASC must have resulted in more penalties than kills.

Edited by LeedsZeppelin
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Shooting clays gun down is instinctive shooting and closest you will get to game shooting practise.

Gun up allows you to eliminate mounting problems if not completely repetitive and\or  gun fit issues.

If shooting clays for points go with what works for you, but if shooting as game practise, going with gun down is better as it represents field conditions closer and develops the muscle memory needed to get the same mount each time.

 

I normally shoot gun down as I find gun up gives too long a dwell time and normally a miss behind when it happens.

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8 hours ago, LeedsZeppelin said:

You're not wrong. But that's modern shooting for you.

A clay shooting instructor doesn't teach you how to shoot, he teaches you how to break clays.

If you people watch at a casual Sunday morning clay shoot, you can usually be able to tell who had their start in game shooting as opposed to clay. Maybe this is what the OP is noticing.

Often you'll see a game shooter calling pull whilst he is still loading his gun. The clay shooter on the next stand is still on step 2 of his 48 step zen-like pre-shot ritual

Even with no intention of doing any game shooting, I have fallen foul of not being able to shoot gun down proficiently. My first attempt at FITASC must have resulted in more penalties than kills.

laughed my socks off at that line...........when i was shooting skeet regular with my mates..it was like that all the time and constant chit chat...abuse and shooting with a fag hanging out of your mouth..............:lol:

thank you for reminding me of the fun we used to have.......

the serious skeet "professionals" who used to turn up waiting to take the range had a look of disgust on their faces....as if we disrespected the disceplin...

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Not so sure about a ‘correct’ way for different target presentations, but there is certainly a more practical or efficient way to give yourself a greater chance of hitting a target. 
As you say, it is much more sensible to start gun up for fast going away DTL type targets, and most dedicated clay shooters I know start with the gun just out of the shoulder and mount as they call for most other targets. 
As a game shooter, my biggest annoyance is that I sometimes find myself taking the gun out of my shoulder for fast report birds, but if you need to move your feet then it’s sometimes necessary. 
Shooting gun up just doesn’t feel very responsive to me, and I have to make a concerted effort to keep the gun in my shoulder on sim’ pairs. 

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I will continue to use both methods and try shooting shooting gun slightly out of my shoulder as well. How many years of combined shooting experience is contained in these replies? Priceless advice freely given, thank you.

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The simple question is: do you shoot clays to practice shooting or to get a higher score? I’m in the former and so shoot gun down, which as many others have said is natural shooting. We shoot flushes on clays, so a team of guns poaching from each other and birds coming at random whilst you are trying to break the barrels. For me this is the best, replicates real life and is great fun. No idea where the next clay is coming from so gun has to be down to allow you to move your feet and meet it. 

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15 hours ago, LeedsZeppelin said:

 

A clay shooting instructor doesn't teach you how to shoot, he teaches you how to break clays

A few years ago I was asked to mentor one of the participants at a BASC Introduction to Game Shooting day.  The person in question turned out to be a gorgeous young lady of 26. She told me her boyfriend had introduced her to shooting, she had shot regularly for over two years, she had regular lessons and was confident of her ability. At the first drive she wanted to stand with her gun mounted and pointed above the hedge in front of us. She was surprised when I pointed out this was not how to stand when expecting a shot and explained how a gun would normally stand during a drive. When I mentioned muzzles up and safety on she asked me where the safety catch was. (This after two years shooting!) I pointed it out and her reaction was that she had been told to ignore that button and leave it alone. I then found that the safety was seized up. After the drive ended I managed to free the catch with the aid of some oil and a screwdriver, so on drive two I was able to show her how to slip the catch as part of her mount or just before mounting as a bird appeared towards her. It was all new to her but she listened and learned very quickly and shot her first partridge that drive. By the end of the day she had shot another partridge and a few pheasants, really enjoyed herself and was saying she couldn’t wait to organise some more game shooting, because, and I quote, “it’s so much more exciting than clays.” 
Proper gal! 
Nice bottom too.

Edited by London Best
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Saw a young lass shooting at some clays a week ago. She had a cannon so heavy she could not maintain it in the shoulder for more than a few seconds but was being advised by an expert with flash skeet kacket etc etc.  50 years ago when shoot DTL or Ball Trap I always mounted the gun for a few seconds before calling the bird, but for all other clays I shot as I would normally do out in the field, mounting and moving the gun through the bird in one smooth movement, making sure, on those far away approaching birds I did not mount too early. 

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I call the clays with the gun just out of the shoulder. I find it helps to get the gun moving and maintain the swing. I have a habit of stopping the gun especially if I have too long to think about it. 

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1 hour ago, London Best said:

A few years ago I was asked to mentor one of the participants at a BASC Introduction to Game Shooting day.  The person in question turned out to be a gorgeous young lady of 26. She told me her boyfriend had introduced her to shooting, she had shot regularly for over two years, she had regular lessons and was confident of her ability. At the first drive she wanted to stand with her gun mounted and pointed above the hedge in front of us. She was surprised when I pointed out this was not how to stand when expecting a shot and explained how a gun would normally stand during a drive. When I mentioned muzzles up and safety on she asked me where the safety catch was. (This after two years shooting!) I pointed it out and her reaction was that she had been told to ignore that button and leave it alone. I then found that the safety was seized up. After the drive ended I managed to free the catch with the aid of some oil and a screwdriver, so on drive two I was able to show her how to slip the catch as part of her mount or just before mounting as a bird appeared towards her. It was all new to her but she listened and learned very quickly and shot her first partridge that drive. By the end of the day she had shot another partridge and a few pheasants, really enjoyed herself and was saying she couldn’t wait to organise some more game shooting, because, and I quote, “it’s so much more exciting than clays.” 
Proper gal! 
Nice bottom too.

I’m not too sure what relevance or benefit a safety catch has to do with shooting gun up or down. 

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

I’m not too sure what relevance or benefit a safety catch has to do with shooting gun up or down. 

About as relevant as the nice bottom.

I mentioned it as it was part of the story and was indicative of how little she had been taught on her lessons.

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4 minutes ago, London Best said:

About as relevant as the nice bottom.

I mentioned it as it was part of the story and was indicative of how little she had been taught on her lessons.

As a clay shooter she doesn’t need to be taught how to use a safety, they serve no purpose whatsoever. 

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2 minutes ago, London Best said:

One would have thought she would have known what it was!

If it was also the barrel selector then that’s possibly all she thought it did. It obviously can’t have been an auto safe. 

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3 hours ago, Scully said:

As a clay shooter she doesn’t need to be taught how to use a safety, they serve no purpose whatsoever. 

If we all treat the guns as they should be treated I agree a safety is not a requirement in fact I have always thought it to be the most dangrous part of a gun because of the likely hood of someone assuming the gun was therefore safe and so pointing it in all directions. A safe gun is an open one.  I was brought up as a child to slip the safety as part of my mounting the gun to shoot but all of my DTL/SKEET?Ball Trap guns  where non auto and never used.   I just think it looks so silly walking up a hedgerow or at a peg with the shotgun mounted in the shoulder in anticipation of a bird.  Certainly a bad way to start a beginner in my view. Better to shoot at a few clays using snap caps which has the benefits of training as skip shooting does with a revolver.  For those who don't know what skip shooting is. A shooting partner loads the pistol for you but may or may not put empty cases in a mongst live.  This trains you not to snatch or jerk when the pistol goes off or doesn't. 

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17 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

This trains you not to snatch or jerk when the pistol goes off or doesn't. 

In rifle shooting I was told by someone years ago, if you fire 10 rim fire rounds for every centrefire shot you take you will never need to worry about flinching. Not sure the shotgun equivalent is snapcaps but on clays I often shoot the ‘house’ 21gm steel as they are cheap. Certainly seem to be recoil free but I’m young enough and heavy enough that recoil doesn’t matter (yet!). 

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