Really Good Shooters Never Agonize

Rifle Shooting: A Guide to Agonizing Reappraisals. During my trapshooting career, a number of facts were indelibly seared into my youthful brain. They just went out and broke every bird that came out of the trap. He used a Remington 870 pump for singles, handicap, and doubles, even though he could have afforded anything he wanted. This can lead to much groaning and smiting of foreheads. If he’s unhappy with his shooting in a match, he’ll haul out his data book, lay all his equipment out on the garage floor, and get down in the prone position and analyze what he did. Machinery does not vary. His mantras are consistency and thoroughness. You do not develop a load for high humidity, or heavy mirage, or incoming wind. Agonizing appraisal can be the way to improvement, but only if you agonizingly appraise the right thing.
fclass target

During my trapshooting career, a number of facts were indelibly seared into my youthful brain. I became aware that the really good shots—the men and women who missed one or two birds all season, just so they could remember what it was like—never changed guns. They never experimented, or tinkered, or diddled, or agonized. They just went out and broke every bird that came out of the trap. Everyone else experimented, or tinkered, or diddled, and God knows everyone else agonized.

My favorite story along these lines is that of Rudy Etchen, who was an ATA Hall of Famer, and one of the great trap doubles shooters of all time. He used a Remington 870 pump for singles, handicap, and doubles, even though he could have afforded anything he wanted. When he was asked why he didn’t at least use an o/u for doubles like everyone else, he said, “But what would I do between shots?”

But when…

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