Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shotgun + shoulder = I'm a weenie

Now that the weather's nice, the club Chris joined last year has regular events during the week. One of those events is a shotgun clinic for newbies to learn to shoot trap.  It's free and is held by a couple of guys who really know their stuff when it comes to shotguns.  I've been anticipating this for weeks, now.

I went last night. And I learned. Oh, I learned.

  • Wardrobe choice is critical.  No more "normal" bras when shooting a shotgun or rifle.  Sports bra from now on.  I had an indent in my shoulder the rest of the night from that dang bra strap
    • I need to remember to grab my shoulder pad the next time I go.  I may also swap out the stock butt pad for a gel one.
  • Must invest in good ear plugs, possibly a pair of custom-fit jobbies.  The butt of the gun kept knocking my muffs off my head.  Anyone have any suggestions for AFFORDABLE but worthwhile ones?  I really, really hate the squishy foam things...not only are they uncomfortable, but they tend to fall out of my ears after about 20 minutes.
  • Need to get back to lifting weights.  I could handle the shotgun better than I expected, thanks to a few months of lifting, but I need more work.  My arms are still tired.
  • I need to stop flinching, anticipating, and closing my eyes.  Can't hit jack with my eyes closed!  This will be remedied with time on the range, I think.
  • I need to learn to move my body with the shotgun, rather than just moving my arms.  I apparently tensed my whole body up and failed at follow-through.
  • Need to swap out the cheekpad on the stock.  I think the shorter pad will help me get a better sight picture.  The tall one doesn't help me in the slightest.
  • I discovered I had the wrong choke in the shotgun last night...after I got home.  Heh, oops.  This has been remedied.
I didn't hit a dang thing, but I plan on going back in 2 weeks, hopefully better prepared.


North said...

Slip a foam pad just behind your bra strap. Strap holds the pad.

Laura said...

I have one, I just couldn't find it in the 15 minutes I had to dig up all my gear. I'll have it ready for next time. :)

Ben C said...

The Surefire "sonic defenders" ear plugs work well and are pretty comfortable. A set should be less than 20 bucks, and can be washed and reused repeatedly. They clean up nicely when forgotten in a shirt pocket going through the wash...

Mike W. said...

I have a couple sets of Radians brand gel plugs that I like a lot.

KurtP said...

I personally like the yellow foam ear plugs that are punched out of foam rubber.

You can roll them small enough that they go into your ear canal and really muffle sound.

Laura said...

Mike - i had a set similar to that and they fell out all the time. :(

Kurt - hate'em. those are the ones that fall out.

NotClauswitz said...

I have some of the Surefire earplugs called Sonic Defenders that I picked up out of curiosity at a gun-shop. They have a soft rubbery over-the-ear thingy that helps keep them on your ear and not falling out. There are two versions based on the soft nubby thing that fits into the ear-canal: EP3s have TWO flanges, and the EP4's with THREE flanges.
They are both size-sensitive and come in Small, Medium, and Large - and the size is relating to the dimensions of your ear's concha bowl.
They work pretty good and don't fall out on me like the foam ones often do...

Laura said...

DirtCrashr - thanks for that bit of info on the sizing. I was having a hell of a time figuring out how I was supposed to get the right ones.