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Pushing Front Arm At Target Is A Common Flaw In Trap

Monday, October 22, 2007

Photo: Winchester Ammunition
Trap hall-of-famer Nora Martin Ross has a simple drill to get the upper body parts working as one with the gun.

A straightaway target or one that's quartering just slightly is the easiest clay to hit for most trap shooters. Still, there are times when such presentations are missed, and the shooter is at a loss to figure out why. After all, the sight picture looked perfect.

If this is a recurring problem for you, there's a good chance you could be "arm shooting."

"Instead of moving the head, arm, shoulder and gun together, people sometimes just push their arm straight up," said Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) Hall-of-Famer Nora Martin Ross. "It happens a lot on a target that looks like it should've broke, but it didn't.

"It's just a lazy move that people make, and it's a very common thing."

Pull it Together

Martin Ross, a 29-time ATA All-American, said there should be a distinct feeling that the body parts above your waist are all connected.

"You have to feel like your head, arm, shoulder and gun are all glued together to move the gun right," she said.

There's a simple practice drill for this, and you don't even have to leave your living room. Just mount the gun as you normally do before you call for a target, and then mimic writing something on the wall in foot-size letters with the barrels.

As your writing, the relationship between your shooting eye and the front and rear beads on the rib of you gun should remain constant.

"It doesn't matter what you write just move the gun and make letters. If extra space comes between the beads, they you know you're off your head's coming off the comb or you're pushing with your arms."

Leave it at Home

Martin Ross is quick to point out that the beads are helpful for checking alignment during practice drills and prior to the target's releaswe, but they should be pushed completely out of the equation once you've called for the bird.

"Use them to get lined up, then that's it," she said. "Don't look back after that. If you do, the gun will slow down or stop, and you'll be behind or under (the target) every time."


> Martin Ross said the arm-shooting phenomenon isn't an issue on hard-angle targets because of the distance the gun must be swung to get the barrels on them.

> She was the first woman to break 100 straight in doubles at the Grand American World Trapshooting Championships, where she scored a 120-for-120 in a shootoff to capture the title in 1990.

> She signed a sponsorship deal over the summer to represent Winchester Ammunition.

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