picked a BT99 at a great deal, I have heard you have to shoot under the bird and you cant cover the it or you go over the top, should you shoot at the base or can you shoot right at it, also whats floating the bird? Thanks any help with a BT would be great
The Browning BT-99 is a great singles trap gun. You bought a good one.
Here’s the deal for setting up the gun’s point of impact for trap targets.
Technoidal Immutable Rule #47: Every shooter is different! There. That gets me off the hook.
Now that I have established my “out”, I’ll tell you what most trap shooters want to do. The trap singles targets are normally shot quickly enough so that they are still rising, not flattening out or falling. That usually means that they are shot 15~16 yards out of the house, more or less. If your gun’s point of impact if 50/50 (half pattern above target, half below target at the distance it is shot, you will have to aim above the rising target to hit it. Aiming above a rising trap target means that the barrel will obscure the target for a moment and you will be shooting blind. This can be done if you have a good swing and follow through, but it does make it harder.
Visually, the easiest way is to be able to see the rising target over the muzzle as you shoot. This means that the gun has to be visually pointing below the rising target. Obviously you will shoot underneath (behind) the outgoing rising bird if the gun shoots just where you look. So, to have their cake and eat it too, most trap shooters set up their guns to shoot a bit high. 70/30 would be a common arrangement. This way, you can see the rising bird on top of the barrel quite clearly, but the shot will go higher and you can see the bird and also hit it. Win. Win. That’s why singles trap shooters mostly like high shooting guns.
To see where your particular gun shoot for you, put up a piece of pattern paper about 32 yards away (a typical bird breaking distance from the 16 yard line). Mark an aiming point in the center. Aim your BT-99 like a rifle at the center and shoot at least three shots, one over the other, to get a nice heavy pattern to show you where you are. The way you can judge whether you are centered up and down 50/50, 60 high/40 low or 70 high/30 low. It will also show you whether your cast is correct left and right.
Now you know how high your gun shoots. If you like to “float” the bird (have the target just on top of the front bead), you will want that gun to shoot a little high. It’s helpful if someone can look over your shoulder while you shoot some birds. He will be able to tell you whether you are high or low on the birds. It’s pretty easy to see if someone else is shooting, but often hard to tell for yourself when you are shooting.
Confused yet? Welcome to the club.
All the best,
Shotgun Report’s Technoid