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Article 8 – 2019 (September)

person aiming shotgun at target range with guide

Russell Mark

Australian Shooter Magazine, Question and Answers

Article 8 – 2019 (September)

 

Question: I have been able to go to a club in Melbourne that shoots at night-time. I loved it, but I didn’t get to shoot this time however. Before I do are there any tips you can give a new shooter as to what you would do differently at night-time shooting as opposed to daylight clay shooting.

Peter Coleman, Albion VIC

 

Answer: Yes there certainly is. Dress warmer as the sun won’t be out. Good luck.

……..I could end this here, but I won’t, as it is a question I understandably get quite often.

If the floodlights are set correctly and if the trap houses have the added bonus of having extra floodlights in them then you will more often than not find the targets are easier to see against the dark of night as opposed to the variable daylight hours that can offer very mixed and at times difficult backgrounds to shoot over.

As far as everything else is concerned I believe there is no difference between night and day shooting. The shotgun you will be using is the same; the shot-shells are the same with the shot is leaving the barrel at the same speed. The targets will be the same brand and often these days still the same colour as fluoro-orange targets are very easy to see under good quality floodlights, these targets will be thrown at the same height travelling the same distance at the same angles. There just is no logical reason for you to change anything else either physically, technically or mentally to shoot a clay target at night as opposed to day.

There are plenty of night-time myths and remedies that have been offered over the years how to improve your scores under lights. The most common solution was to place a line of chalk down the length of your barrel so you could see the barrel clearly. If that isn’t the best way to take your attention away from looking at the clay target and focusing on your shotgun I don’t know what is. Don’t do it.

If you have to wear shooting glasses, which I would advise for safety reasons at the very least, then you may want to get an anti-reflective coating on the lenses and if possible wear side blinders and a cap to further keep any chance of the floodlights reflecting on your glasses.

In the winter you may be forced to shoot in the cold and wind and you will therefore be tempted to wear a thick sweater. This can indirectly change your stocks length and ultimately your point of impact. Go out and invest in some thin thermal underwear and a good quality thin rain jacket to stop the wind. If possible buy one without an obtrusive collar and your gun mount won’t feel any different. If you are finding you do indeed need to wear a considerable amount more then it may be worthwhile having a second recoil pad that is a few millimetres shorter to help keep your gun mount consistent. I would think if you have to wear that many clothes and are even tempted at wearing gloves then in my opinion you should be out skiing somewhere and not shooting clays. There becomes a point where it is just too cold. Wearing gloves is that point!

Just do what you always do. Avoid complicating things. It is that simple.

 

Question: Do you think it is a good idea to shoot Skeet practice with very tight full chokes and with 21 grams of shot so when I shoot a competition it will be really easy? I think this should help me.

Name and address supplied

 

Answer: No I don’t. I haven’t got enough space this month to answer this fully, but let’s start with this one. Smashing your confidence to smithereens in practice is never a great way to prepare yourself for a competition.

Practice what you will be preaching. Copy in training what you will be required to show in competition.

Questions to: Russell@GoShooting.com.au

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