Mental Training > Chain Analysis

“Actions have consequences.” —Stephen Dobyns

My friend Dave and I were engaged in our usual Wednesday sporting clays shoot when we came upon a station I immediately disliked. “I’m not going to shoot this one,” I told Dave. “I can’t ever do well, so I’ll just let you shoot.”

2020 Grand American Highlights

The 2020 “Covid” Grand American is in the books. As many of you are aware, the pandemic crisis caused the state of Illinois to close the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta this year. In early June, the ATA opted to relocate the 2020 Grand American to the MTA home grounds in Linn Creek, Missouri.

Know Your Reloads

Transitioning from Clays to Game

When it comes to advice on crafting elite shotshell reloads for clays or bird shooting, trust a certified, credentialed curmudgeon.

We’re not talking just any salty old shotgunning crank here. Trust The Curmudgeon, a.k.a. Dave Fackler, a U.S. Navy veteran and main-frame systems engineer by trade and for decades one of wingshooting’s most uncompromising researchers in wringing maximum ballistic efficiency from handloaded shotshells.

Sporting Clays Star Meagan Harrington

Meagan Harrington had a breakthrough season in 2019, rising quickly to the top of an impressive field of ladies that may be more competitive than it has ever been. After dominating in the 4-H youth shooting program, where Meagan excelled in trap, skeet and sporting disciplines, she decided to pursue a spot on the U.S. Sporting Clays Team, which she successfully achieved this past year after several impressive performances in major events. The 21-year-old Texan was born and raised in Corpus Christi and now resides in College Station.

Ray’s Technical Corner

Q I would like to inquire about introducing my nephew to skeet shooting who is a new shooter using a .410. He has never fired a shotgun and is 14 years old. How would you recommend I proceed?
Landon Malevich, MI
via e-mail

Take Advantage of Professional Coaching

One of the things I have learned in my years of skeet shooting is if I ever take up another sport, the first thing I’m going to do is find someone who knows exactly what is going on and start from there. I know in the end I will save myself time, money and lots of frustration. Whether you’re a recreational or competitive shooter, you can improve your game through better information by deciding to take a clinic or seek professional help. Let’s talk about how you should approach such training to maximize the experience.

Ray's Technical Corner

Ray responds to questions from readers on technical, repair and maintenance issues with shotguns. If you have an inquiry about an ailing shotgun or just want some tips on keeping your gun shooting as long as it can, send your questions to Ray via e-mail to and watch for his response in a future issue of Shotgun Sports.

Mental Training > Eye on the Rock

“Eye on the rock, head on the stock.”

—wise saying

I started out as a competitive pistol shooter before I decided to dip my toe into shooting clay targets with a shotgun. I hunted most of my life, usually with a shotgun, but when I tried to shoot moving targets, I initially tried to shoot them the way I shot a pistol.

Mental Training > Let Me Repeat That

“Practice makes Perfect.”

—Ben Franklin

I am writing this in mid-April in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, so I have a lot of time on my hands being stuck at home. I’m not able to go to the YMCA (where I usually meet my friend Dave) and our local gun club is closed due to being “non-essential”, so I have to figure out what to do about my shooting.

There is some respite. I just started out working as a physician for the local VA clinic. This gives me some time away from home, but that is only for a few hours a week. I still needed to shoot.

The way I decided to deal with the problem was to go back to the basics. In the most basic way.

Coaching New Shooters in Doubles

For all shooters, and especially new or youth shooters, American trap doubles can be the most entertaining of all the trapshooting events. You can see this in the faces of the youth team shooters as they compete in this event. It can also be the most frustrating for new shooters who don’t understand the basic fundamentals of the game.