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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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I'm not a serious clays shooter, but I can often see the shot cloud. I have 20/15 vision, but I don't think that is the key. You need to look through it, not try to focus on it. It is a dim shadow against the sky.

"Smoke" is an excellent description. A smoke cloud is a cluster of small particles, after all.

Last edited by Carl46; 10/02/21 07:41 PM.

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Yep.
Years ago, a shooting buddy diagnosed me as shooting ahead of the birds on a skeet range, as he had seen the shot swarm.
A 30 Y.O. USAF fighter pilot at the time, he had something like 20/10 vision when he had attended pilot training.
He pointed out that he did it best on overcast days, preferably with fairly high humidity.


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I shot formal 10 meter air pistol for many years and soon after getting into serious training I could see the flight of the pellet almost every time. Soon after I could see the flight of bullets from firearm pistols. I clearly recall seeing the red bullet bases of Geco 9mm's.

A few times I have seen slugs out of shotguns when sighting in. But I have never managed to catch sight of a shot cloud. I am wondering if the shot cloud could be seen in low velocity loads. If so, then the eye could be trained to see the shot cloud by starting with low velocity and building up to regular velocities. It is easier to see something if you know what you are looking for.

If we could train to see the shot cloud consistently that would be the end of many "expert" careers.

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They're seeing a mirage

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One doesn’t actually see the shot but a disturbance of some sort. You have to focus about 2/3 of the way to the clay and have a blue sky behind it and (for me) to have the right angle of light and not be facing anywhere towards the sun. Given the right conditions I can see more than half of the shot clouds.


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I have seen the shot cloud many times and it sure wasn't a mirage.
It appears as a dirty smudge for a second. I don't have ecceptional vision either, in fact it's poor.
I see it standing behind the shooter on an overcast day.
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This reminds me of the first time I saw my BB in flight. After a while, it became common.
Similar with skeet. When I was "on" the clay would seem to move in slow motion and even stop while the shot hit it. Not all the time, but a great feeling when it occurred.


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Tom, interesting you mention the aspect of High Humidity. I would imagine that the shot may in some way squeeze moisture droplets from the air and make the effect more visual. Much in the way that if you crack a flag by waving it sharply and it condenses moisture droplets. You might be on to something there as to why it's more noticeable in certain conditions. Lagopus.....

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Like, none of you fellows have ever seen the vorteci (sp?) coming off the rear wing of a Formula One car?

It’s the way the light reflects off the air of different density.

I see the shot cloud regularly as a smudge, or as smoke.

Occasionally, to steal a phrase from Michael Macintosh, I see the shot cloud “like a swarm of angry bees” enveloping the bird with a wet smack.

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Originally Posted by lagopus
Tom, interesting you mention the aspect of High Humidity. I would imagine that the shot may in some way squeeze moisture droplets from the air and make the effect more visual. Much in the way that if you crack a flag by waving it sharply and it condenses moisture droplets. You might be on to something there as to why it's more noticeable in certain conditions. Lagopus.....

Pretty much what I always figured.
I never saw it myself, just passing on what a seriously skilled skeet shooter and field wing shot told me. I did slow my swing and broke a lot more birds that day.
He’s no BSer, either. If he tells me he saw Santa Claus, I’m putting out milk and cookies.


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