TRACT Optics

My gun patterns left

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  • slsc98

    Active Member
    May 24, 2012
    5,274
    Escaped MD-stan to WNC Smokies
    I see that Barts closed a few years ago...I wonder if he/they are still doing fittings? I'd love to get my gun fitted to me.

    He is. Or, at least he was a year or so ago, post-Covid PlanDemic, as I spied him on the skeet field with a client at PG.

    Also, a member here posted about him helping them with adjustments also within the last 12 months iirc but, I can’t seem to find that specific post …

    If you call up to PG, hopefully whomever answers the phone can give you the latest (if they sound non-commital (“Uhhhhh”) quickly ask to speak with whomever has been there the longest (preferably “Morgan” if he is there)

    PG Trap & Skeet Phone 301-577-7178

    There is also a “resident” professional instructor there whom I am confident knows his way around “three or more” adjustment stocks … just can’t recall his name dagnabbit!

    Same thing, someone at the counter can give you his info over the phone as well …
     

    Biggfoot44

    Active Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    27,690
    3, why are you patterning at 13 yards


    I'm not GTO , but it would make sense if you were primarily testing for POI rather than the patterns per se . The patterns will be tight enough that you are judging the aiming , rather than pattern variation .
     

    Biggfoot44

    Active Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    27,690
    Getting another experienced shooter to pattern it could rule out software problems.

    That's only a partial answer with shotgun , where it's primarily about gun fit , rather than " sights " .

    The experienced shooter may have different neck length , cheek bones , etc than GTO , and inherently different POI .

    Could be mounting and technique.
    Could be the stock dimensions are not ideal for GTO.
    Bbl could actually be bent .
    Either the choke tube itself , or the choke threads in the bbl could be off center .
     

    E.Shell

    Active Member
    Feb 5, 2007
    9,069
    The right side of the grass.
    Having a shotgun fitted is great when you can get help, but fitting an adjustable stock is nothing one cannot do themselves.

    First, one should verify they are within their 'natural point of aim'.

    Being out of your natural position will influence lateral point of impact and recoil recovery. That is, one's posture should be stable and foot position should place the shotgun on target with no straining or twisting of the torso.

    The easiest way to check this is to find an aiming point, concentrate on it for a few seconds, mount the shotgun with eyes closed to point at the target, then open your eyes and see where the gun is looking. If your shotgun is pointing left, then adjust your foot position slightly by moving the left foot forward a few inches, or the right foot back a few inches. Retry the exercise; look at a target, close your eyes, mount the shotgun and open your eyes. Repeat this as much as needed to establish correct foot position in relation to the target position. This is a universal concept that applies to any sort of gun handling.

    Once natural point of aim is established and found to not correct the point of impact problem, we can move on to checking/fitting any adjustments present. Stock adjustments are made in order to bring the gun naturally to your eye.

    First step in fitting is the length of pull. Normally, length of pull is checked by bending the shooting arm to 90 degrees at the elbow, placing the shotgun butt in the inside corner of the elbow, against the bottom of the bicep and verifying that the trigger finger curls naturally around the trigger with the first pad engaged.

    If the trigger finger goes too deep into the trigger guard and the first pad extends past the center of the trigger, the length of pull should be longer. If the finger does not comfortably reach the trigger, the length of pull should be shortener. Once length of pull is correct, we can move to comb/cheekrest height.

    Setting the comb height is relatively easy and is done in similar fashion to finding your natural point of aim. It is important to check comb height by closing the eyes, then mounting the shotgun, then opening the eyes to see where your head position is. If one attempts this adjustment without the 'eyes closed' technique, we tend to subconsciously adjust our head position to provide the correct sight picture, which leads to straining. Adjust the comb height to where it seems correct, then test by mounting the shotgun with eyes closed and seeing where you are.

    One note here is that many shooters do not properly lay their cheekbone on the cheekrest, which creates an irregular head position. Try to lay the head solidly on the stock so that you can have a consistent position.

    For hunting and skeet shooting, one normally looks for the rib to be flat and nearly invisible, with the front bead seeming to sit right on top of the receiver. This usually gives us an 'dead-on' point of impact. For trap shooting, where the bird is rising most of it's flight, most people do best with a very small amount of rib showing, giving us a slightly high point of impact so that we can keep the rising bird in sight and still hit it.

    Our final adjustment is the cast. "Cast on" is when the gunstock is toward the shooter, 'cast off' is when the gunstock is away from the shooter. This affects lateral point of impact and cheek pressure. Ideally, laying your head firmly on the cheekpiece will put your eye in direct alignment with the rib. This is another 'eyes closed' experiment, because we will do the same thing: automatically and subconsciously move our heads around to correct for poor fit. Close your eyes, mount the shotgun and open your eyes. If the rib is not aligned adjust the stock slightly and try again.

    These adjustments will slightly affect each other, and cast will affect natural point of aim. Once you think you're set, go through the 'eyes closed, mount the gun' exercise and make fine adjustments until the time when you mount the shotgun, you can open your eyes and have a perfect sight picture.

    When the sight picture is correct, recheck your natural point of aim in relation to the target position. Most trap shooters reference the traphouse because targets typically go equal distances in both directions.

    Finally, as pointed out above, if one flinches and jerks the gun during the shot, point of impact can be displaced. Do some snap cap exercise and try to eliminate any tendency to move the gun during firing.

    After thoroughly checking and carefully adjusting fit, verifying natural point of aim and eliminating any flinch tendency, if the gun still shoots left, bend that rascal. Typically, two bags of birdshot can be placed on the bench, one under the breech end of the barrel and one under the muzzle end. To move impact right, you'll want the right side facing upward on the bags. Down pressure can be applied at the center of the barrel to create a very slight bend. It won't take much to affect your point of impact, so don't get carried away. You can use a pair of V-blocks and caliper to gauge if and how much you have moved the center of the barrel. Bend it VERY slightly and try it.
     

    gtodave

    Member
    MDS Supporter
    Aug 14, 2007
    12,008
    Mt Airy
    Having a shotgun fitted is great when you can get help, but fitting an adjustable stock is nothing one cannot do themselves.

    First, one should verify they are within their 'natural point of aim'.

    Being out of your natural position will influence lateral point of impact and recoil recovery. That is, one's posture should be stable and foot position should place the shotgun on target with no straining or twisting of the torso.

    The easiest way to check this is to find an aiming point, concentrate on it for a few seconds, mount the shotgun with eyes closed to point at the target, then open your eyes and see where the gun is looking. If your shotgun is pointing left, then adjust your foot position slightly by moving the left foot forward a few inches, or the right foot back a few inches. Retry the exercise; look at a target, close your eyes, mount the shotgun and open your eyes. Repeat this as much as needed to establish correct foot position in relation to the target position. This is a universal concept that applies to any sort of gun handling.

    Once natural point of aim is established and found to not correct the point of impact problem, we can move on to checking/fitting any adjustments present. Stock adjustments are made in order to bring the gun naturally to your eye.

    First step in fitting is the length of pull. Normally, length of pull is checked by bending the shooting arm to 90 degrees at the elbow, placing the shotgun butt in the inside corner of the elbow, against the bottom of the bicep and verifying that the trigger finger curls naturally around the trigger with the first pad engaged.

    If the trigger finger goes too deep into the trigger guard and the first pad extends past the center of the trigger, the length of pull should be longer. If the finger does not comfortably reach the trigger, the length of pull should be shortener. Once length of pull is correct, we can move to comb/cheekrest height.

    Setting the comb height is relatively easy and is done in similar fashion to finding your natural point of aim. It is important to check comb height by closing the eyes, then mounting the shotgun, then opening the eyes to see where your head position is. If one attempts this adjustment without the 'eyes closed' technique, we tend to subconsciously adjust our head position to provide the correct sight picture, which leads to straining. Adjust the comb height to where it seems correct, then test by mounting the shotgun with eyes closed and seeing where you are.

    One note here is that many shooters do not properly lay their cheekbone on the cheekrest, which creates an irregular head position. Try to lay the head solidly on the stock so that you can have a consistent position.

    For hunting and skeet shooting, one normally looks for the rib to be flat and nearly invisible, with the front bead seeming to sit right on top of the receiver. This usually gives us an 'dead-on' point of impact. For trap shooting, where the bird is rising most of it's flight, most people do best with a very small amount of rib showing, giving us a slightly high point of impact so that we can keep the rising bird in sight and still hit it.

    Our final adjustment is the cast. "Cast on" is when the gunstock is toward the shooter, 'cast off' is when the gunstock is away from the shooter. This affects lateral point of impact and cheek pressure. Ideally, laying your head firmly on the cheekpiece will put your eye in direct alignment with the rib. This is another 'eyes closed' experiment, because we will do the same thing: automatically and subconsciously move our heads around to correct for poor fit. Close your eyes, mount the shotgun and open your eyes. If the rib is not aligned adjust the stock slightly and try again.

    These adjustments will slightly affect each other, and cast will affect natural point of aim. Once you think you're set, go through the 'eyes closed, mount the gun' exercise and make fine adjustments until the time when you mount the shotgun, you can open your eyes and have a perfect sight picture.

    When the sight picture is correct, recheck your natural point of aim in relation to the target position. Most trap shooters reference the traphouse because targets typically go equal distances in both directions.

    Finally, as pointed out above, if one flinches and jerks the gun during the shot, point of impact can be displaced. Do some snap cap exercise and try to eliminate any tendency to move the gun during firing.

    After thoroughly checking and carefully adjusting fit, verifying natural point of aim and eliminating any flinch tendency, if the gun still shoots left, bend that rascal. Typically, two bags of birdshot can be placed on the bench, one under the breech end of the barrel and one under the muzzle end. To move impact right, you'll want the right side facing upward on the bags. Down pressure can be applied at the center of the barrel to create a very slight bend. It won't take much to affect your point of impact, so don't get carried away. You can use a pair of V-blocks and caliper to gauge if and how much you have moved the center of the barrel. Bend it VERY slightly and try it.
    Ed, as usual, you are a wealth of knowledge. I can't believe I didn't apply the long range "eyes closed" method to this, but I will tomorrow.

    I really feel that I have the gun set up right, or at least very close based on your LR training. I'm confident that there's an issue in the gun. Tomorrow I should have new chokes, and i can confirm my hold. We'll see what happens.
     

    gtodave

    Member
    MDS Supporter
    Aug 14, 2007
    12,008
    Mt Airy
    I took a few more shots to pattern today...brought two guns, multiple chokes, and a table/sled. Turns out it is something in the combination of my hold and the rest I was using causing the pattern to go left. When I shot before, I was resting the gun on a sandbag on either a table or a ladder (depending on sit vs stand). I've done that hundreds of times with a rifle while seated, with zero problems. Somehow with a shotgun it's a problem. When I put the gun in the sled on the table, it patterned fine. Did the same with both guns.

    I guess I'm holding the gun a little loose, and the recoil is pushing the gun to the left. I'm going to pull it tighter in to my shoulder and try again to see if that changes. I don't think I'm flinching since I know I don't do it with a rifle, but I'll have someone load the gun for me to be sure.

    So overall I guess that's good news...I don't have to bend anything and I can use the equipment that I have. But it's still a problem I have to sort out.

    FWIW I am able to shoulder the gun with my eyes closed, and when I open them I'm getting the gun lined up properly, so I think I have the stock set up pretty well. I might try a grippier recoil pad though to try to mitigate any movement under recoil.
     

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