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Will seeing shot help me become a shooting instructor?

John Bidwell
Good luck in your choice of job and I hope you do well – there will always be a need for good shooting instructors.

An ability to ‘see shot’ momentarily after the gun has been fired is a trick that can be learnt and one that does help make things a little easier for a coach trying to get a client to hit the button.

But it certainly isn’t the be all and end all of his role in the scheme of things.

His mission is to determine WHY the shot charge is being placed high, low, behind or in front of a target and correct the cause of it.

But to answer your question; the ability to ‘see shot’ is helped – or hindered – by the type of background to the target.

Banks, bushes and other vegetation are a hindrance, as too is a bright blue sky.

The best conditions are grey clouds on an overcast day.

The trick is to look over the client’s gun shoulder (without stooping too low) so that you can look over the top of the gun, and beyond the muzzles when shooting.

Let your gaze rest on the corridor between gun and target through which the shot pattern will pass.

If you get too low on the shooter’s shoulder the gasses at the muzzle from the fired charge will obscure your view.

What you’re looking for is a flickering grey smudge that appears briefly in view before disappearing as quickly as it came.

If, with a perfect background, you still can’t see this small ‘shimmering cloud’ then shift position behind the gun and look a little closer toward the target to see if that helps.

With a little trial and error you should hopefully get into the knack of looking in the right place quite quickly but always remember that ‘seeing shot’ is just the start of a coach’s job.