RECOIL - Consider The Consequences
April 2007 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
It was a bright, sunny day in early 2006 and my practice session was going exceptionally well. Looking into the sky I was startled to see a very large, black, shadowy mass,...which disappeared when I closed my left eye. I stopped shooting and called my eye doctor, Michael Holmes who said come in now. Immediately.
The bad news, my retina had partially detached. The good news, laser surgery could re-attach it, restoring my left eye's vision to 100%. Had the retina completely detached, the outcome would have been much worse. Fully recovered, I'm grateful for the great care I received and the technology available. Vision in both eyes is holding at 20/15.
Since 1993 I've been stating in my articles that heavy recoil is not only a very real disadvantage to good shooting but will inevitably catch up to those who ignore this. I see head lifting and flinching in my classes on a regular basis, both signs of the cumulative effects of recoil.
I personally do not use the super fast shells with heavier recoil. Why did I encounter this eye emergency? To be perfectly honestly with you, I simply don't know-nor did Michael. But I've now taken additional steps to hopefully avoid this emergency from occurring again. The first step was to purchase a PFS (Precision Fit Stock) which delivers a 50% reduction in recoil. The second step was to move to a 1 oz load at about 1,230 fps. Felt recoil is similar to a moderate 28 gauge round-and terminal ballistics (results at the target) remain excellent, including those birds beyond the 50 yard marker.
Ballisticians, the gurus who understand what really happens after the firing pin meets the primer, urge us to pay less attention to the feet-per-second statistics and more to felt recoil and-not the perceived-but the actual, improved results at the target downrange. I couldn't agree more.
While certainly not easy by any means, sporting clays is not a complex sport. But we can make it harder than it really is. If you were to ask me to give you one tip that could drastically improve your performance in the box, starting tomorrow, it would be this.
"Blazing barrels" is a term I heard used by Russ Vowell, a well known and highly respected Level III instructor. The term refers to excessive gun speed, hence this appropriate name for a swing that's out of control...............
All of you who know what self-talk is, raise your hand. That's right, it's that little voice in our head,...carrying on a dialogue with us. More specifically, that voice is you,...speaking to yourself. All too often, that little voice is saying something negative. It's chastising us, maybe even criticizing. While self-talk can be positive and uplifting, many times the dialogue is negative and can be harmful to our performance in the shooting box.
How many times have you been missing targets and heard that voice punishing you?...............