Jump to content

Maintaining a sight picture


Recommended Posts

Not been shooting that long anyway but on certain clays my line is good but the shot pattern falls beneath the clay.

Rightly or not, I have put this down to my sighting picture, I have been told my mount and stance is OK so I have concluded it must be a sighting problem.

To explain this thought train, my initial starter gun had both a mid bead and a tip bead, My lessons instructor explained to me that the purpose of the mid bead was to help with parallel alignment of the eye and the tip bead primarily, however, a secondary use of the mid bead was that for new shooters, it could also be used initially to set the rib angle in relation to the sight line.

This was achieved by lifting the gun angle until the eye saw a "figure of 8", formed by the tip of the mid bead being the bottom loop and the tip of the foresight bead forming the top loop. After a while, when my gun mount became second nature, the functions of the mid bead would largely become obsolete as the angle of the rib would become muscle memory.

This worked great for me and my scores steadily improved as I developed my clay sight pictures.

Then I purchased a new gun with a tip bead only, thinking that muscle memory would kick in regarding the sighting angle, and for a while it did, but shooting once a fortnight plus any odd days that I could swing has not been enough to maintain this muscle memory.

So guys, I would much appreciate any good tips or techniques to help with re-establishing a good sightline picture with a single front beaded gun. two tips I have been given so far are raising the comb or  taping an object the thickness of a pound coin one inch along the rib and lifting the the forend till the tip bead can be seen over this object.             

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Double beads are for the pre-mounted disciplines i.e. the trap stuff.

Clays and game and woodpigeons should be shot with the gun initially out of the shoulder, you move, mount and shoot.

But the gun MUST fit and you MUST have a consistent mount.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get your gun fitted. There are many gun fitters out there. I used Nigel Teague (Of Teague chokes fame) based near to Dursley.

Having my gun fitted made a huge difference to my scores, going from 35 to 65/100 post fitting. 

I would use someone who is able to manipulate the stock permanently via heat and not just some coach who is going to fiddle with the adjustable bits.

Cost about £140 to have the stock bent to alter cast and comb height.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Double beads are for the pre-mounted disciplines i.e. the trap stuff.

Clays and game and woodpigeons should be shot with the gun initially out of the shoulder, you move, mount and shoot.

But the gun MUST fit and you MUST have a consistent mount.

Points taken TC. I think my mount is fairly consistent but it is still a work in progress that's for sure.

But my problem is , I think,  using the mid and tip beads as a front and back sight both to align and set gun angle.

Now, having lost the use of a mid bead as a means of setting the barrel angle I am seeking an alternative method. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Tonka54 said:

but shooting once a fortnight plus any odd days that I could swing has not been enough to maintain this muscle memory.

Try practising a few minutes a day at home. Stand in front of the longest internal wall and start to mount in one upper corner and swing along the wall/ceiling line. From what you say your line may be low so if it appears so, treat the gun as though it has a bayonet fitted and push with your leading hand as you would if using the bayonet. What you then achieve is to stop  the mount pivoting about that hand which causes the muzzles to drop and the gun should now come up on the correct line to start with. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also worth mentioning that your mount needs to be consistent. I went through a stage of spending 30 mins a day practising in the mirror.

When you think you have cracked it, place a small square of tape to a wall a few meters away, mount your gun to the tape with your eyes open. Close your eyes, dismount the gun and try to remount to the tape with your eyes closed. Only when you can consistently mount to the same point over and over with your eyes closed can you consider your mount to be consistent. I still can't do it after a year of practice and shooting a few times a week.

You can also try a 12 bore laser bore sighter to confirm you're aiming where you need to be. A few quid on eBay.

 

Edited by Poor Shot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Try practising a few minutes a day at home. Stand in front of the longest internal wall and start to mount in one upper corner and swing along the wall/ceiling line. From what you say your line may be low so if it appears so, treat the gun as though it has a bayonet fitted and push with your leading hand as you would if using the bayonet. What you then achieve is to stop  the mount pivoting about that hand which causes the muzzles to drop and the gun should now come up on the correct line to start with. 

Thank you wymberley , that sounds like a plan. My assessment is the same as yours in that my eye is very low on the rib and as a result my line of sight is a bit flat.

I have been told that ideally, I need to raise the comb and use a pattern plate till I hit where I am looking, then make a note of how much rib I see at that point and continue from there to set my mount seeing this same amount of rib every time. so many schools of thought though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Poor Shot said:

I still can't do it after a year of practice and shooting a few times a week.

Although I know what you mean, that sounds like someone who can't hit a given target yet continues to take the same point of aim. Sometimes it pays to try something different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Although I know what you mean, that sounds like someone who can't hit a given target yet continues to take the same point of aim. Sometimes it pays to try something different.

I just don't have a consistent enough mount to mount repeatedly on the same 5p sized piece of tape with my eyes closed. Always close but not exact.

Apparently most people would struggle and it's an excercise Ben Husthwaite recommends that everyone tries regardless of level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tonka54 said:

Thank you wymberley , that sounds like a plan. My assessment is the same as yours in that my eye is very low on the rib and as a result my line of sight is a bit flat.

I have been told that ideally, I need to raise the comb and use a pattern plate till I hit where I am looking, then make a note of how much rib I see at that point and continue from there to set my mount seeing this same amount of rib every time. so many schools of thought though. 

Pattern plate is good. Now, you have to start somewhere so looking at the rib is initially OK, but ideally you want to forget about it as soon as is possible and start concentrating on the target. To this end, once you've been to the plate and have bodged/padded up the comb until you're centering the pattern where you think you need to, go home and shoot yourself in the shooting eye in a mirror, mounting several time until you're happy and then do it several more times and take the average height which you figure the barrels appear below the reflected eye pupil. That's the information you need to work with. Unless you intend shooting at the Olympics in a few years, it's worth remembering that the human body is a magic bit of kit and can adapt to many guns to a satisfactory level with a bit of practice. Of course, it goes without saying that you can't beat going to a good competent fitter and coach, but it's horses for courses and the level which you want to achieve - or more appropriately these days, can afford. Good luck and good shooting.

Edited by wymberley
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would remove all beads .and just instinctively shoot the clay .

Take it to the pattern plate to make sure your hitting where you think your " aiming "

And adjust your comb accordingly  .and repeat 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Pattern plate is good. Now, you have to start somewhere so looking at the rib is initially OK, but ideally you want to forget about it as soon as is possible and start concentrating on the target. To this end, once you've been to the plate and have bodged/padded up the comb until you're centering the pattern where you think you need to, go home and shoot yourself in the shooting eye in a mirror, mounting several time until you're happy and then do it several more times and take the average height which you figure the barrels appear below the reflected eye pupil. That's the information you need to work with. Unless you intend shooting at the Olympics in a few years, it's worth remembering that the human body is a magic bit of kit and can adapt to most guns to a satisfactory level with a bit of practice. Of course, it goes without saying that you can't beat going to a good competent fitter and coach, but it's horses for courses and the level which you want to achieve - or more appropriately these days, can afford. Good luck and good shooting.

Again great advise W.  When I took up shooting I purchased my first gun from Orston shooting ground. I had an initial fitting done in the gun shop to make sure the gun wasn't miles away from a good fit, I then pattern plated the gun with my instructor prior to taking a course of 6 lessons, during which the instructor "tweaked" the initial fit.

Two thirds the way through these lessons I purchased a Browning 725, again from Orston , but this time the fitting was assessed in the shop and the remaining lessons were taken with this new gun without the benefit of pattern plating or fit tweaking as I appeared to shoot well with it as it was.

It appears I would benefit from having a proper fitting of this new gun and again pattern plating it. Another club member has suggested that what may have happened is that my initial mount as a beginner has now changed and as something as simple as an altered cheek pressure on the comb can drastically change the mount and fit of a gun, that may be the answer.

Thanks to all, some great advise and points made, definitely should be a cure amongst it.       

Edited by Tonka54
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, Tonka54 said:

It appears I would benefit from having a proper fitting of this new gun and again pattern plating it.

Definitely, most people can mould themselves around most guns and get an ok result but a good gun fitting session can really make the difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, wymberley said:

Try practising a few minutes a day at home. Stand in front of the longest internal wall and start to mount in one upper corner and swing along the wall/ceiling line. From what you say your line may be low so if it appears so, treat the gun as though it has a bayonet fitted and push with your leading hand as you would if using the bayonet. What you then achieve is to stop  the mount pivoting about that hand which causes the muzzles to drop and the gun should now come up on the correct line to start with. 

An add on to this advice is to get a cheap pencil torch and with tape wound around it slot it into the top barrel. When you swing along the wall / ceiling line you will be drawn to the dot of light and not to the bead or elsewhere. This helps you ensure that your swing is consistent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forget about beads and forget about “aiming”. You are not shooting a rifle! 
A shotgun is a different thing and all the naturally good shots shoot instinctively. Three bits of advice: look at the bird! look at the bird! look at the bird!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike a Rifle, a shotgun doesn't have a backsight. When properly mounted, with the comb FIRMLY up against the bony ridge below the eye, your eye becomes the backsight. If you can move the position of the gun about when fully mounted, you have in affect got a loose backsight.  When mounting the gun, you slide it up your cheek till it is stopped by the bony ridge.  ( There is a name for this ridge, but I have forgotten it )   You will have to shrug your shoulders up to get behind the stock, rather than dropping your head.  This is one way of mounting a gun,.....there are others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure of your age ? 
eyes change the older you get the more central your vision becomes 

people who have shot all their lives adjust through the process however comparatively new older shooters will usually require a bit of bending of the stock to help overcome this 

so as said above get a consistent mount and go to a good gun fitter 

though it’s hard to comment properly without seeing you shooting 

Hopefully it’ll be a easy fix 👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are right handed with a right master eye, then mount your empty gun at a mirror with both eyes closed. Then, without adjusting your mount, open your master eye. If it isn’t sat just above that top barrel or that front bead, then your mount is wrong. Repeat this exercise until that eye is where it should be each and every time you mount your gun. Then do this for a couple of minutes every day for the rest of your life. 👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Scully said:

If you are right handed with a right master eye, then mount your empty gun at a mirror with both eyes closed. Then, without adjusting your mount, open your master eye. If it isn’t sat just above that top barrel or that front bead, then your mount is wrong. Repeat this exercise until that eye is where it should be each and every time you mount your gun. Then do this for a couple of minutes every day for the rest of your life. 👍

Does that work for 'non lead'? :whistling:

I'll get me coat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UPDATE!!

I have this morning (22/5) been up to Hadfield Guns at Lakeside and subject to a discussion about my issue I have had my gun fit and mount checked.

The long and short of it was that the fit was out by a good bit, Since the original fit at Orston, which was done nearly 12 months ago, my face shape has changed quite a bit in that time and as a result this caused 2 problems with the fit and 1 problem with the mount.

Due to my age (68), and medication for type 2 Diabetes (Metformin), my face has become more gaunt, this resulted in my cheek bone sitting lower and further to the right upon mounting the gun, this resulted in a subconscious canting of the gun to the right as my brain tried to compensate for my pupil looking down the right side of the rib.

So, temporally fixes to cast and comb height applied and a realignment of my forend grip mastered, it was out to the pattern plate, four cartridges later confirmed both a 60/40 spread at 25 yards and that I was now hitting what I was aiming at. remainder of the box used on various stands resulted in 17 out of 21, so an immediate and vast improvement.

LESSON LEARNT. Gun fit and mount checks will be carried out on a regular basis from now on.     

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tonka54 said:

UPDATE!!

I have this morning (22/5) been up to Hadfield Guns at Lakeside and subject to a discussion about my issue I have had my gun fit and mount checked.

The long and short of it was that the fit was out by a good bit, Since the original fit at Orston, which was done nearly 12 months ago, my face shape has changed quite a bit in that time and as a result this caused 2 problems with the fit and 1 problem with the mount.

Due to my age (68), and medication for type 2 Diabetes (Metformin), my face has become more gaunt, this resulted in my cheek bone sitting lower and further to the right upon mounting the gun, this resulted in a subconscious canting of the gun to the right as my brain tried to compensate for my pupil looking down the right side of the rib.

So, temporally fixes to cast and comb height applied and a realignment of my forend grip mastered, it was out to the pattern plate, four cartridges later confirmed both a 60/40 spread at 25 yards and that I was now hitting what I was aiming at. remainder of the box used on various stands resulted in 17 out of 21, so an immediate and vast improvement.

LESSON LEARNT. Gun fit and mount checks will be carried out on a regular basis from now on.     

 

Well done! 

Right, I'm not swinging the lead when I say - more by luck than judgement - I was with you all of the way.

As you mentioned another range, I kept quiet. Had you not, then I would have suggested Lakeside - I have shooting family in Newtown Linford. I've not been up recently due to illness and it'll be a while yet until I'm sorted. When the arthritis struck and which has caused and highlighted other problems, I could no longer handle several of my guns one of which was a new recently purchased Chapuis which I like very much. Not an absolutely perfect fit, but good enough.

While the medics scratched their heads I was put on steroids until they came up with a suitable treatment. This made me look like a mobile Belisha Beacon on legs - bright orange all over. Oops! Back on steroids while they decide what to try next. Their choice did its upmost to stop me breathing so, yep, back on steroids again until the third choice which seems OK. I'd put some guns up for sale or return, but am not totally happy with some of the prices that they finally go for and didn't fancy giving the Chapuis away. I can understand it and it is a buyers' market, but I don't have to play and as at the moment I'm having some respite from the pain, I fetched it back. I'm the opposite to you and have put weight on my face and all is now superbly well. All I have to do once fit again is to lose 2&1/2 stone from everywhere else but there.

Edited by wymberley
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...