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Author Topic: Gun Barreling
not on the rug
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Hey guys. So I'm a very experienced compound shooter and hunter but brand new to the trad game.

I seem to have the bow dialed in now in terms of arrow setup, but I'm trying to figure out an aiming technique. My needs are to be able to fling some arrows in the back yard and to hopefully be hunting with the bow by next fall. I'm probably not going to shoot 3d with it or any form of competitive archery. I'd like to feel comfortable out to 20 or even 25 yards eventually.

That being said, the person I worked with (literally a world class compound archer and guy who has been shooting recurves since the 60s) was having me high anchor and gun barrel in order to aim. Within my first few shots, I was shooting 5-6" groups on the 12yd range in his shop. I had a ton of fun. I have been shooting at my house the last few days at 15 yards and keeping a relatively consistent 8-10" group. Also, I'm comfortable with keeping both eyes open when I shoot

That being said, gun barreling still feels relatively unpredictible to me. I am struggling to find a consistent anchor. I ordered a 3 under tab from 3rivers, but in the meantime I'm shooting an old split tab.

Any reason to not gun barrel?
I don't really like the concept of gap shooting. I've tried it and it just doesn't feel comfortable to me, particularly in a hunting situation.

String walking or a fixed crawl approach is a bit more interesting to me. Especially the way it was explained in "the push."

The bow I'm shooting is a galaxy ember takedown recurve. Not ILF.

Should I just stick with the gun barreling? Any pointers on high anchor points? Ring finger to corner of mouth?

I'm definitely open to criticism and suggestions. Thanks

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moebow
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Brand new to trad?? Just shoot for a while, couple months. Aiming is something that will come with time!! You need to learn shot execution before you worry about aiming. Aiming is just ONE step in the shot sequence and really not the most important step.

Arne

--------------------
11 H Hill bows
3 David Miller bows
4 James Berry bows
USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

Are you willing to give up what you are; to become what you could be?

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McDave
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Following on what Arne said, it's really not gun barreling that feels unpredictable to you, it's your lack of solid form, a dependable anchor, etc.

Gun barreling means using a high anchor where the arrow nock is right under your eye at full draw. Point on means the distance where you can put the point of the arrow on the spot you want to hit, without having to hold over or under the spot to allow for the trajectory of the arrow. Depending on where you anchor, your point on might be 15-20 yards if you gun barrel.

The main problem with gun barreling is that you're limited to rather close distances, which is not really a problem in your case since all you want to do is hunt at distances of 25 yards or less.

The second problem with gun barreling is that it's difficult to efficiently use your back muscles with such a high anchor, which limits your ability to get more accurate. Other archers have solved this problem by using a fixed crawl, which enables a lower, more efficient draw, while also moving the arrow up under the eye for a short point on. The problem with a fixed crawl is that it requires pretty good form to pull it off, since the arrow nock is separated from the fingers, so any form errors are magnified.

The usual progression for a trad archer would be to shoot instinctively for the first year or so, primarily working on form, which means that reference aiming methods (aiming by reference to the arrow point, for example) would not even be a part of the program at this point. Some people love the instinctive method, and stick with it until they become quite good at it. But usually not good enough to hunt with it during the first year. Most people who don't want to stick with the instinctive method switch to a reference aiming system after they have developed good form.

If this seems like a laborious process, consider that under the Eastern tradition, people are not allowed to shoot the bow until they have drawn the arrow for a year or more.

The bottom line is that people who like traditional archery tend to be process oriented rather than goal oriented people. That means that they enjoy shooting arrows more than they enjoy hitting anything (although they certainly hope that with continued practice they will hit more stuff as time goes on). If you are a goal oriented person, this would make no sense to you. You want to kill a deer and take it home. There are more efficient ways to accomplish this objective than with a traditional bow.

--------------------
TGMM Family of the Bow

I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

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not on the rug
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I think you hit it right on. The lack of a solid anchor is frustrating me a bit. I clearly need to get more arrows down range and figure that out. Form feels good so far. The higher anchor point definitely makes it more of a challenge to draw properly from the back muscles. If I draw with a lower anchor in mind (pointer or middle finger to corner of mouth) then its far easier to engage and utilize the back through the entire draw.

I am a tinkerer at heart. I love everything about the process of shooting my bows. I love tweaking and tuning bows. I love setting up arrows. I'm also the type of person who jumps in to a new pursuit head first. All I want to do right now is love and breathe traditional archery. That being said, I am goal oriented as well. I see no point in doing anything unless I'm doing it 100%. I do things until I master them.

So...would your advice be to ditch the gun barreling and just shoot the bow "instinctively" or should I simply use a lower anchor point and learn how to fixed crawl?

I prefer to find a technique that works for me and focus my efforts on perfecting that technique. If I continue the gun barreling, what would be some solid anchor points to focus on? Right now the only consistent point I'm finding is the back of my thumh to my cheekbone

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McDave
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The best advice I can give you at this point is to get volume 5 of Masters of the Bare Bow and study Jason Wesbrock. In my opinion (he may disagree) he gun barrels. He also may be the best person alive in the world today at that style of shooting. He has 4 or 5 anchors he will explain to you, some of which I have adopted myself (even though I don’t gun barrel).

--------------------
TGMM Family of the Bow

I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

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not on the rug
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Thank you
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Jock Whisky
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All good advice. With respect to aiming I tell the people I teach that aiming before you have your technique down is like shooting a rifle with a crooked barrel, different powder loads and bullet weights. Unless you get the gun in order you can aim all you want and never hit a thing.

Arne is right. Aiming is just one of the steps and there are others that are much more important.

--------------------
Old doesn't start until you hit three figures...and then it's negotiable

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YosemiteSam
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I'll differ from McDave a bit. I found it easier to gap first and then develop an instinct while shooting. While my form was developing, it was helpful to know that at least my aim was consistent. It helped to control at least one of the many variables that go into a shot. After a while, I acquired some instinct. But I reflexively gap most of the time.

Gap shooting isn't much different than the single-pin sighting method of some compound shooters or the MPBR of a rifle shooter. Smaller gaps are easier than larger gaps. Long arrows, heavy arrows, high anchors and fixed crawl, string walking and face walking are all ways of making the gap easier to judge. Each have a compromise built in. I've settled in on long, heavy arrows, 3-under and a middle finger index and that works well enough for me. Gaps are only about 9" within hunting ranges so I just imagine my handspan somewhere below my bullseye, hold that gap & execute the shot. If I do that last part right, everything else takes care of itself. And a sharp-bladed 600+gr arrow will do anything I'll ever need it to once it arrives on target.

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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not on the rug
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Update:

So I've been shooting as much as possible and I found several issues with the gun barreling.

1-not finding a consistent and comfortable anchor with it still.
2-it's effective range is about 15-16 yards. After that, arrows are just dropping.
3-I just don't like it

I basically just started drawing with my eyes closed and found that I feel most comfortable with an anchor of my middle finger to the corner of my mouth. From there, I was trying to use the arrow tip as a reference point, but honestly that actually feels weird to me. Like my eyes don't know what to focus on. I feel like I don't know how much of the arrow point to use and was getting some vertical variation in my shots.

So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.

I also think I need to trim my new tab down a little bit. I got a new Fred Eichler 3 under tab but judging by what others have posted pics of it may be a little too wide and a little too long. Some minor trimming may be helpful

As of now, I'm shooting off the shelf, but I think I may add a rest.

Because this is new to me, it feels foreign and a bit more complex than I thought it would be. It's just as nuanced as shooting a wheelbow

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McDave
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From your latest post, it sounds like you’re making some changes. Why not just change to something that has evolved into good form over many years? If you would like to do that, I can recommend all of Arne’s videos, Rod Jenkins videos, particularly volume 3 of Masters of the Bare Bow, and Rick Welch’s videos. If your goal is to develop your own style, go for it, but if your goal is to become as accurate as possible in the least amount of time, then I would recommend studying an existing style that has proven to be successful.

--------------------
TGMM Family of the Bow

I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

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JNewton
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Hey, not on the rug!

First, I have to point out that I consider myself very much a "re-learning archer". I quit bowhunting (and bow shooting) to rifle hunt with family members. Getting back into it now, and am mostly having struggles with form consistency. Point being, my advice may not be the best you can get here. I still hope I can help a little, and encourage some also......

quote:
So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.
This really hits home to me. I pretty much have the same thing going on. Now, I love to shoot groups, or at least attempt to. [knothead] On the shot right-to-left variation, I've done 3 things that have helped my shooting, personally.

1. Focus on consistency of ALL PARTS of my shot cycle. Get this fundamental down to the point where you're almost bored with it. I will practice simply swinging my bow arm up with my elbow in my shooting position, without even pulling back on the string. Next, I'll introduce pulling to anchor, but not shooting the arrow. And so on, through the little individual details of my shot cycle.

2. A clicker has helped my draw and release be a bit more consistent. As per the above advice to focus on all parts of the shot cycle, it's helped me focus on pulling straight back with my release, using back tension.

3. Like you, I found with my 59# recurve, my groups went to crap as I got tired. I went down to my 50# longbow, and it was pretty much more of the same. Somewhere here in this forum, I found the advice to just shoot 1 single arrow at a time. It makes me focus on making the most of this one shot. I try to visualize each shot as a shot on a deer, and I HAVE TO make it count! Kinda pretty much like in a hunting situation, which, like you, is my ultimate goal. One arrow at a time gives me way less fatigue, a better "mental outlook", because most of my shots hit closer to where I want them to hit, and I get a bit more exercise with all the walking..... [thumbsup]

At any rate, I hope this advice is good, and that it helps. That's my intent here. If it's not, I hope someone with "better credentials" will correct me.

--------------------
Jimmie
A transplanted Okie living in Sandy, OR

Jim Brackenbury Drifter T/D Recurve 59#

OMP Ozark Hunter Longbow 50#

A cheap fiberglass recurve from a garage sale, that actually shoots pretty good (30#?)

Posts: 39 | From: Sandy, Oregon | Registered: Oct 2017  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
not on the rug
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quote:
Originally posted by McDave:
From your latest post, it sounds like you’re making some changes. Why not just change to something that has evolved into good form over many years? If you would like to do that, I can recommend all of Arne’s videos, Rod Jenkins videos, particularly volume 3 of Masters of the Bare Bow, and Rick Welch’s videos. If your goal is to develop your own style, go for it, but if your goal is to become as accurate as possible in the least amount of time, then I would recommend studying an existing style that has proven to be successful.

I was sort of following the advice I was given earlier and just shooting some arrows with actual aiming being the least important part of the shot sequence.

I have actually been watching videos from all of those guys and a handful of others and picking up lots of information from all of them.

I think I'm at the point with the recurve that I just need to be shooting more arrows. Let my brain really learn what it feels like to shoot it. Focus on my form and sequence and just have fun.

Unfortunately, that's when the other half of my brain kicks in and goes twitchy on me for not shooting 2" groups at 20 yards like I do with my compounds. While I am enjoying the processof shooting the recurve, I'm finding the results portion of it frustrating. I think it's the feedback portion of the shot. So, when I shoot my compound, I go through my sequence, my anchor points line up, my peep and sight align and I apply back tension until the arrow releases. There is constant feedback throughout the process letting me know if what I'm doing is correct or incorrect.

With the recurve, its a stick and a string. I go through my sequence, anchor and have no idea if I'm pointing my bow at the bullseye. There is no feedback and my brain hasn't experienced shooting it enough to know what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.

That, in a nutshell, is why I wanted to focus on an aiming system from the beginning. You guys told me otherwise so now I'm trying not to even think about aiming and just going through the shot process and using my instincts to point the bow in the right place

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not on the rug
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quote:
Originally posted by JNewton:
Hey, not on the rug!

First, I have to point out that I consider myself very much a "re-learning archer". I quit bowhunting (and bow shooting) to rifle hunt with family members. Getting back into it now, and am mostly having struggles with form consistency. Point being, my advice may not be the best you can get here. I still hope I can help a little, and encourage some also......

quote:
So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.
This really hits home to me. I pretty much have the same thing going on. Now, I love to shoot groups, or at least attempt to. [knothead] On the shot right-to-left variation, I've done 3 things that have helped my shooting, personally.

1. Focus on consistency of ALL PARTS of my shot cycle. Get this fundamental down to the point where you're almost bored with it. I will practice simply swinging my bow arm up with my elbow in my shooting position, without even pulling back on the string. Next, I'll introduce pulling to anchor, but not shooting the arrow. And so on, through the little individual details of my shot cycle.

2. A clicker has helped my draw and release be a bit more consistent. As per the above advice to focus on all parts of the shot cycle, it's helped me focus on pulling straight back with my release, using back tension.

3. Like you, I found with my 59# recurve, my groups went to crap as I got tired. I went down to my 50# longbow, and it was pretty much more of the same. Somewhere here in this forum, I found the advice to just shoot 1 single arrow at a time. It makes me focus on making the most of this one shot. I try to visualize each shot as a shot on a deer, and I HAVE TO make it count! Kinda pretty much like in a hunting situation, which, like you, is my ultimate goal. One arrow at a time gives me way less fatigue, a better "mental outlook", because most of my shots hit closer to where I want them to hit, and I get a bit more exercise with all the walking..... [thumbsup]

At any rate, I hope this advice is good, and that it helps. That's my intent here. If it's not, I hope someone with "better credentials" will correct me.

Thanks for the advice. I think it's excellent. Years ago I was doing the "shoot 1 arrow only" when I wanted to take my compound shooting to the next level.

I will focus on all aspects of my shot cycle and just stick to instinctive aiming for now and see where that takes me.

Thanks

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JNewton
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Personally, I think you're on the right track! [thumbsup] For MY intended purposes of shooting, I don't really want or need an aiming system like Gap Shooting, Gun Barreling, String Walking, or etc.. I like Instinctive shooting, for what I wanna do. If I were to only want to shoot groups, or compete in 3D comps, Field Archery stuff, or things of that nature, then an aiming system of some sort becomes a necessity. No argument; some form of sighting is superior for that. But for my intended purpose with a bow (short range shooting), I see nothing wrong with Instinctive shooting......

Just strive to be consistent in all aspects of your shot cycle, and be patient. Make the elements of your shot cycle "repeatable" ( hand position and grip on the bow, head position, anchor, release, follow through, & etc.). The level of accuracy you want to get won't happen overnight, in a week or possibly months. It does take some time to "get good" at this game. You have to put some arrows downrange. Remember this if some frustration tries to creep in. Keep it fun & upbeat. Again, above all else, Be Consistent! (which is waaay easier said than done, in my case, hee hee.....)

With what I've heard about the weather there on your side of the country, are you able to get out to shoot much? Is it pretty much an indoor deal, for now? We keep hearin' it's cold enuff to freeze the nads off a Eunuch, and such..... [campfire]

--------------------
Jimmie
A transplanted Okie living in Sandy, OR

Jim Brackenbury Drifter T/D Recurve 59#

OMP Ozark Hunter Longbow 50#

A cheap fiberglass recurve from a garage sale, that actually shoots pretty good (30#?)

Posts: 39 | From: Sandy, Oregon | Registered: Oct 2017  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
not on the rug
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quote:
Originally posted by JNewton:
Personally, I think you're on the right track! [thumbsup] For MY intended purposes of shooting, I don't really want or need an aiming system like Gap Shooting, Gun Barreling, String Walking, or etc.. I like Instinctive shooting, for what I wanna do. If I were to only want to shoot groups, or compete in 3D comps, Field Archery stuff, or things of that nature, then an aiming system of some sort becomes a necessity. No argument; some form of sighting is superior for that. But for my intended purpose with a bow (short range shooting), I see nothing wrong with Instinctive shooting......

Just strive to be consistent in all aspects of your shot cycle, and be patient. Make the elements of your shot cycle "repeatable" ( hand position and grip on the bow, head position, anchor, release, follow through, & etc.). The level of accuracy you want to get won't happen overnight, in a week or possibly months. It does take some time to "get good" at this game. You have to put some arrows downrange. Remember this if some frustration tries to creep in. Keep it fun & upbeat. Again, above all else, Be Consistent! (which is waaay easier said than done, in my case, hee hee.....)

With what I've heard about the weather there on your side of the country, are you able to get out to shoot much? Is it pretty much an indoor deal, for now? We keep hearin' it's cold enuff to freeze the nads off a Eunuch, and such..... [campfire]

Thanks again. I'm ok with focusing on being consistent. I am a hunter through and through and have nothing but the utmost respect for wildlife. I won't take a stickbow in the woods until I get it right. If that means next season or even the one after, then so be it. I will only hunt when I feel like I'm shooting at my own high standards, and not before that.

It has been in the single digits here, with negative temps overnight. I've been very limited to what I'm shooting. Maybe even only a dozen or two arrows a day, but I'm still practicing my shot sequence indoors and then letting off.

The temperature rose dramatically in the past few days and I was able to come home from work and get out in the yard for an hour or so each night. It's currently 48 degrees out and you'll find me out in the yard this aftenroon flinging as many as I can before the sun goes down

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