Although I’m sure that a shooter of your caliber(oops, gauge) has never had this problem, I’m in a clays slump. I’ve had people watch me shoot, and they don’t see anything obvious that I’m doing or not doing. But, I must be. Whatever it is, I’m doing it on the skeet field as well–lousy all the way around. Where do you start looking?
Well, even for someone of my “gauge” it is a bit difficult to analyse problems over the ether. Normally, I have to be close enough to throw a handful or two. Since I have never seen you shoot, it is difficult to guess what changes might make you improve. Slumps can be intellectual, physical or technical. I have tried them all, as a teaching experiment only, of course.
One of the standard slump cures is to lock your guns up and take up golf for a couple of weeks. Personally, I’d just as soon foreshorten Mr. Winky as give up the game. You might also try switching shooting games for a while. If you are not a trap shooter, give that game a try. At the very least it will help you perfect your long shots.
If you think that the slump is recoil generated, try switching to a gas gun or 7/8 oz loads. A different gun is always good for better scores for a week or two. Borrow the gun, don’t buy, if you can because the “new” wears off after a bit.
Sometimes slumps are exacerbated by “trying too hard”. Translation: aiming. If experienced shooters are watching you and can’t figure it out, consider that it might be a slight slowing of the swing. This is hard to spot if it is only a subtle slowing. Try shooting your birds very quickly. Quicker shooting generates more muzzle speed and helps the follow through. Often that works well enough to get the confidence back and then you can return to normal technique.
Last, but definitely not least: Find an instructor and take a lesson or two. Everyone hates to pay to fix something that they think that they can do themselves, but sometimes it is the best way. It can be very much more economical to seek paid advice than to try to shoot your way out of a slump. If you have good instruction in your area, take some lessons. Amherst is within two hours driving distance of Keith Lupton in the Hudson Valley of New York. He is one of the best in the North East.
Must go and solve the problems of the rest of the world. Yeah, right.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)