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Video: Clay Shooting in Slow Motion

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June 13, 2011

Video: Clay Shooting in Slow Motion

By Phil Bourjaily

On only a couple of occasions have I seen shot in the air –- not just the wad, or a disturbance -- but the actual pellets. Both times the shot looked copper-red in color although I don’t know why. The first time I was hunting, and saw a friend’s pattern blast by a rooster pheasant, which crumpled in the air. The second was at my gun club, watching high school kids shoot trap. It was fascinating, and I wish could see shot all the time.

So, I loved this video. For one thing, I never get tired of watching clay targets break, especially the older pitch kind that leave a black smoke ball.

And, it’s interesting to see how the targets break. While we can debate whether or not long shot strings help break targets that you over-lead or not, you can see here that shot does string out even at the 21 yard distances on a skeet field. On the really close station 8 shots all the pellets arrive more or less at once, but on the longer shots you see the first pellets in the string break the target while the ones that arrive milleseconds later grind and regrind the pieces.

Comments (22)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Great post, Phil. About the only time I remember seeing a shot column was during a dove hunt in Mississippi. The hunter was using a 3.5 inch 10ga. handloaded with #8. You could see what appeared to be a bowling ball at about 30-40yds all the way out to about 75yds. Until he let us in on his secret, he had everyone shaking their head in amazement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

KOOL!

Slow motion shows the mechanics of what is going on from break of the trigger to impact to follow through.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jackie_treehorn wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

very cool to see!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Love the smoke!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I dunno Phil...this being a Monday and all, most of that video looked like normal speed to me...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

The young guy shooting the Benelli seemed to show a lack of follow through after the shot.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

In a good mood today. Plus 1's for everybody.

IS the guy at 47 sec. wearing any ear protection? Must be something really small if he is... Just sayin'.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

For my benefit, I would have liked to have seen a gun NOT mounted, and the movement of the gun as it is mounted, and then how long the gun stays on the cheek before the shot is fired. And to question beekeepers observation about follow through...there need not be any IF the barrel was moving when the shot was touched off..whatever micro amount of follow through because of the momentum of the barrel is enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Very cool video! I love watching the shots where everything just disappears into what looks like dust.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Break em up!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

And it was neat to see that there are broken clays before the fired shell gets about 8 inches from the ejection port.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Sayfu and Beekeeper -- You are both right. Once the shot leaves the muzzle, further follow-through in terms of gun movement doesn't make any difference. The follow-through that matters is keeping your head on the stock until the target breaks. The kid with the Benelli clearly picks his head up off the stock which often leads to shooting over targets.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZCORR wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

That's an awesome video. I think I like watching the guns cycle as much as watching the clays break.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RipperIII wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Great video!
I enjoy seeing the superhigh speed vids, both of shot and bullets.

I've seen my shot a few times, at the range, never in a hunting situation.
One day, a bright overcast day, I could "track" my shot to the target, and I adjusted my shooting accordingly (I was a touch low and behind).
Worked great the rest of the afternoon,... but it is a tricky "habit to break" trying to see your shot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

What is even trickier is to analyze why your shot went where it went. I can stand behind someone and often see their shot, and where it went but where mine went?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

I had a shooting coach tell me once that I was habitually shooting over, and that is not something I could ever learn by watching myself shoot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

@Beekeeper:
On a skeet field, less is more. Meaning the less you moved the gun, the less your margin for error was. At Stations 3,4,&5, my barrel would never move more than probably a foot to 18". Granted my hold point was about 1/4th of the way to the center stake and the target was broken never farther than 1/2 way to the center stake. That was why the guy shooting the Benelli looked like he didn't have any follow through. This method really helped especially when shooting doubles at 3,4, and 5.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Does anybody besides myself hate Biodegradeable targets?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

What's the advantage of "chicken winging" your rt. elbow rather than keeping it at your side?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tunadave wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Yeah, I've had the unfortunate privilege of seeing shot in the air. Back in the "old days" when you could still use lead for waterfowl I was reloading my own 3" shells. Two friends and I went goose hunting on a really rainy day, and had a flock of about 7 birds coming into the decoys. We all stood up to shoot, and all that fired in my gun was the primer. Apparently the powder had gotten wet. We saw the whole shot charge travel about 10 yards before it hit the ground. One of my buddies just turned his head, looked at me and said with a straight face "Well, you DID have a really nice, tight, pattern."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

tunadove...had the very same experience..just the primer went off on one of my lead reloads in my O/U and not enough kick to set the trigger in the other barrel. I dumped the shells, and fortunately rather than trying to quickly reload, looked down the barrel, and the wad was stuck near the end of the barrel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tunadave wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Sayfu,

Yes, that's Rule #1. If it just goes POP, don't even think about pulling the trigger again until you are certain your barrel is clear. Otherwise, you might end up with one of those short-barreled blunderbusses like they used to use in Jolly Old England, or worse. I did indeed check (I value my life more than a goose)and the wad did clear the barrel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Great post, Phil. About the only time I remember seeing a shot column was during a dove hunt in Mississippi. The hunter was using a 3.5 inch 10ga. handloaded with #8. You could see what appeared to be a bowling ball at about 30-40yds all the way out to about 75yds. Until he let us in on his secret, he had everyone shaking their head in amazement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

KOOL!

Slow motion shows the mechanics of what is going on from break of the trigger to impact to follow through.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jackie_treehorn wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

very cool to see!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I dunno Phil...this being a Monday and all, most of that video looked like normal speed to me...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

The young guy shooting the Benelli seemed to show a lack of follow through after the shot.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

In a good mood today. Plus 1's for everybody.

IS the guy at 47 sec. wearing any ear protection? Must be something really small if he is... Just sayin'.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Love the smoke!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

For my benefit, I would have liked to have seen a gun NOT mounted, and the movement of the gun as it is mounted, and then how long the gun stays on the cheek before the shot is fired. And to question beekeepers observation about follow through...there need not be any IF the barrel was moving when the shot was touched off..whatever micro amount of follow through because of the momentum of the barrel is enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Very cool video! I love watching the shots where everything just disappears into what looks like dust.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Break em up!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

And it was neat to see that there are broken clays before the fired shell gets about 8 inches from the ejection port.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Sayfu and Beekeeper -- You are both right. Once the shot leaves the muzzle, further follow-through in terms of gun movement doesn't make any difference. The follow-through that matters is keeping your head on the stock until the target breaks. The kid with the Benelli clearly picks his head up off the stock which often leads to shooting over targets.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZCORR wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

That's an awesome video. I think I like watching the guns cycle as much as watching the clays break.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RipperIII wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Great video!
I enjoy seeing the superhigh speed vids, both of shot and bullets.

I've seen my shot a few times, at the range, never in a hunting situation.
One day, a bright overcast day, I could "track" my shot to the target, and I adjusted my shooting accordingly (I was a touch low and behind).
Worked great the rest of the afternoon,... but it is a tricky "habit to break" trying to see your shot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

What is even trickier is to analyze why your shot went where it went. I can stand behind someone and often see their shot, and where it went but where mine went?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

I had a shooting coach tell me once that I was habitually shooting over, and that is not something I could ever learn by watching myself shoot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

@Beekeeper:
On a skeet field, less is more. Meaning the less you moved the gun, the less your margin for error was. At Stations 3,4,&5, my barrel would never move more than probably a foot to 18". Granted my hold point was about 1/4th of the way to the center stake and the target was broken never farther than 1/2 way to the center stake. That was why the guy shooting the Benelli looked like he didn't have any follow through. This method really helped especially when shooting doubles at 3,4, and 5.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Does anybody besides myself hate Biodegradeable targets?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

What's the advantage of "chicken winging" your rt. elbow rather than keeping it at your side?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tunadave wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Yeah, I've had the unfortunate privilege of seeing shot in the air. Back in the "old days" when you could still use lead for waterfowl I was reloading my own 3" shells. Two friends and I went goose hunting on a really rainy day, and had a flock of about 7 birds coming into the decoys. We all stood up to shoot, and all that fired in my gun was the primer. Apparently the powder had gotten wet. We saw the whole shot charge travel about 10 yards before it hit the ground. One of my buddies just turned his head, looked at me and said with a straight face "Well, you DID have a really nice, tight, pattern."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

tunadove...had the very same experience..just the primer went off on one of my lead reloads in my O/U and not enough kick to set the trigger in the other barrel. I dumped the shells, and fortunately rather than trying to quickly reload, looked down the barrel, and the wad was stuck near the end of the barrel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tunadave wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Sayfu,

Yes, that's Rule #1. If it just goes POP, don't even think about pulling the trigger again until you are certain your barrel is clear. Otherwise, you might end up with one of those short-barreled blunderbusses like they used to use in Jolly Old England, or worse. I did indeed check (I value my life more than a goose)and the wad did clear the barrel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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