Swing For Shooters: product details

Also see:

This man needs Swing For Shooter!

Interesting article in The Tatler:

"David prefers the country to the city 'by miles', says another friend. He's a fully-functioning country sportsman; he shoots, on one occasion partridge but more regularly clay, although he is happy to admit he's 'not a brilliant shot'."

Perhaps someone would be kind enough to let him know that, with Swing For Shooters or DyFire, he could soon be shooting for England (again)!

Contents:

Swing For Shooters provides accurate targets using a laser moving across the wall in front of you with the same angular trajectory and the same angular speed as a real clay. It supports all types of trap, skeet and sporting clays - including FITASC.

Swing For Shooters allows intensive practice, at home, in the warm and dry - ideal for those wet or cold days or for midweek practice to keep your gun movement honed to perfection! You can easily practice 100 targets in an hour - lowering your gun and relaxing after each target.

The photograph below shows a prototype Swing For Shooters with the base made from laser cut acrylic. The production version is made of sheet steel.


Background

The DryFire clay shooting simulator is the number one clay shooting aid used by thousands of shooters world wide - including weekend shooters as well as local, national, world and Olympic champions.

Clay shooting is about acquiring the target (seeing it leave the trap), mounting the gun, Swing For Shootersing to follow the target, shooting and following through.

The clay is moving so you can't aim at it because it will have gone by the time the pellets get there - you have to allow for lead (pronounced "leed").

You allow for lead by ensuring the gun is pointing the right distance ahead of the clay when you shoot or you can use "Swing For Shooters through" - Swing For Shooters the gun from behind the clay, match its speed, accelerate a little, Swing For Shooters through it and then shoot. This is sometimes called "bum, belly, beak, bang"!

DryFire presents laser or projected targets exactly as you would see them at the shooting ground. They follow the same angular trajectories, at the same angular speed, as a real clay. So, when you acquire, mount, Swing For Shooters, shoot and follow through with DryFire you are doing exactly the same thing as you do outdoors - using your own shotgun.

DryFire also has the ability to "see" your shot. It knows exactly where your gun was pointing when you pulled the trigger. It has lots of information, including details of the cartridge you are using, to work out where your shot cloud would be when it reaches the target distance.

DryFire tells you exactly where the shot cloud is in relation to the clay: above, below, ahead, behind - to the nearest centimeter! Of course, if your shot cloud envelopes the clay, and if sufficient pellets strike it with sufficient energy to break it, you have a hit. Otherwise you have a miss - but at least you know what sort of miss it was - which is hard to do outdoors unless you have the right weather conditions and superb eyesight!

Back to the original need

Wodcraft International has now developed "Swing For Shooters" which enables shooters to practice gun mount and gun gun movement using exactly the same targets as DryFire but without the ability to see where the shot went.

With Swing For Shooters the angles you swing through, and the speed of your Swing For Shooters, are exactly the same as outdoors.

Swing For Shooters isn't DryFire

Swing For Shooters can't "see" your shot so it can't provide the level of feedback provided by DryFire. However, it is an excellent low cost introduction to practising gun movement at home.

You can find out more about DryFire below along with the £50 money-off voucher that comes with Swing For Shooters..

You can see an animation of our current Swing For Shooters design here.


Why practise gun movement?

Practising gun movement is about building muscle memory to become so familiar with your gun, and with "move, mount, shoot", that you go into auto-pilot mode leaving you free to concentrate on the three most important things in clay shooting: the target, the target and the target! That may be a cliché, but there's nothing wrong with clichés when they are true!

This makes Swing For Shooters ideal for use between shooting sessions - especially between instructor sessions.

Swing For Shooters is not a blaze-away, shoot-em-up game (that's for fun or for kids) it's for newcomers and seasoned shooters who are serious about improving their skills.

Key features of Swing For Shooters

It's time to swing into action, clear the flying ducks off the wall and set up Swing For Shooters for some gun movement practice without the feedback provided by DryFire.

  • Practise with your own gun - because that's what you will be using at the shooting ground!
  • Practise when you like - no rain, no snow, no cold.
  • Swing For Shooters is controlled by USB from your laptop or PC.
  • Battery driven - recharged from a USB port.
  • Uses a red laser to show the trajector of the clay.
  • Uses the same target trajectories as DryFire.
  • Shows wide targets (crossers, skeet 4 etc.) and high targets (teal etc.) as well as the odd bunny rabbit!
  • Allows you to set up wherever you like - preferably facing a blank wall.
  • Quick to set up. It needs its location (distance from the wall, height above the floor) and your location.
  • Assemble the unit, download and run the software, plug it in , enter the distances required, select your discipline/target, call "Pull", start Swing For Shootersing!
  • Integral bubble level to ensure things are set up correctly.
  • Standard tripod bush for easy mounting and locating.
  • Soft rubber feet for resting on any horizontal surface: table, desk etc.
  • LED indicates when the system is ready to release a target.
  • Voice activated - call "Pull" to release the target.
  • Shows individual targets (e.g. Skeet 4 High) or a complete round - stepping through the targets as you do at the shooting ground.
  • Supports all clay disciplines: skeet (English, American Olympic), DTL, ABT, American Trap, Olympic Trap and sporting (crossers, away, quartering, rising teal, rabbit - even overheads!)
  • Data projector not required.
  • Single head only - one clay at a time! DryFire supports doubles.
  • Small: 85mm long, 75mm wide, 78mm tall - it fits in the palm of your hand (if you have large hands!)

£50 voucher for DryFire

Every Swing For Shooters comes with a £50 money-off voucher, valid for six months, which you can redeem against the cost of a DryFire dual head unit purchased directly from the DryFire store.

When you become really serious about your shooting you will need DryFire.

Pays for itself in a couple of weeks

DryFire may seem expensive compared with Swing For Shooters but it pays for itself in an amazingly short time.

Do some sums:

  • Cost of 25 clays: £7.50.
  • Cost of 25 cartridges: £6.60.
  • Cost of return travel to shooting ground (say 20 miles @ 50p per mile): £10.00.
  • Total (assuming 3 rounds, 75 clays, per session): £52.30.
  • DryFire single head system pays for itself in £756.00 / £52.30 = 14.56 sessions. I.e. under 45 rounds - 1,125 targets.
  • DryFire dual head system pays for itself in £1008.00 / £52.30 = 19.27 sessions. I.e. under 60 rounds - 1,500 targets.
  • Shooting 100 DryFire targets a night (easily done!) means the system pays for itself within two weeks!

So, the payback period is a few weeks!

With DryFire you get better feedback than you could ever get on the shooting ground - no more: "I think you missed behind", or "I think you clipped that one" - DryFire tells you exactly where your shot went.

Remember: DryFire allow you to practise at home, at any time, with your own gun, in the warm and dry.

DryFire comes fully assembled and calibrated - ready for use straight out of the box.


Swing For Shooters - ideal for gun dealers

Swing For Shooters is designed to help all shooters but is of particular use to newcomers who need all the practice they can get.

The newcomer with his/her first gun (and gun cabinet, ear protection, eye protection, cartridge bag, gun slip, etc.) is naturally keen to get started.

Swing For Shooters is a great product to sell alongside that first gun, it takes up very little space (85mm x 65mm) and it is ideal for keeping on the sales counter.

You don't need a computer or particular skills to demonstrate Swing For Shooters - just switch it on!

When not connected to a computer Swing For Shooters goes into demonstration mode displaying a range of different targets including crossers, going away, incomers (pheasant) and rabbit. The battery comes charged ready to display over 1,000 targets!

In fact, not only is it a sales opportunity, it is an excellent way to demonstrate a gun - along with gun mount and gun movement.


Modelling a clay target

Clays are fascinating objects - well, they are fascinating when you try to model their flight mathematically!

Early days

Shooting at live pigeons released from a trap soon went out of favour - it was considered "unsporting" to trap or rear birds just to shoot them.

The first replacements for live pigeons were glass spheres filled with feathers which could be seen when the glass was broken.

Initially targets were thrown by hand then spring-loaded throwing mechanisms were invented to do the job.

Mud domes were easy to manufacture and soon took the place of the glass spheres. These were the first "clay pigeons".

Then along came George Ligowsky of Cincinatti, USA to really get the ball rolling. His patented trap system, and the competitions he created for it, soon became a world beater.

Today's traps are highly automated and, powered by a 12V vehicle battery, they can hold hundreds of clays and support every possible discipline by generating targets at any angles and at any speeds.

They can be controlled with a cable release or acoustically with a microphone.

"Call 'Pull' to release the target" - just like Swing For Shooters!

The clay itself

Clays aren't:

  • bricks - nor do they fly like bricks.
  • bullets - nor do they fly like a bullets.
  • balls - nor do they fly like balls.

Look closely at a clay (there will be plenty of unbroken ones lying around when you start shooting!) - the first thing that strikes you it is the shape - it is an upside down saucer - convex on top and concave underneath.

A clay is rather like a Frisbee and has many of the same attributes when it flies.

A clay "flies" from the trap and "parachutes" to the ground - that makes it somewhat hard to model ballistically!

The clay travels very quickly when it leaves the trap and rises slightly because it is edge-on to the direction of movement and the convex upper surface generates lift - just liike the aerofoil of an aircraft wing. The top surface is not perfectly smooth, it has ridges which break up the airflow and cause drag. The ridges act as turbulators and vary from one manufacturer to another so different clays fly slightly differently.

As the clay begins to lose energy it slows down until it reaches the highest point in its flight. Then, instead of tumbling over, the concave underside takes over like an under-cambered wing causing it to float like a parachute to the ground.

During this final stage in flight the clay is most affected by wind - which is why a clay launched almost vertically away from you into a strong headwind will end up travelling over your head and landing behind you!

Modelling the trajectory

We took hours of videos of clays under different conditions and we developed a mathematical model which accurately reflects the trajectory of any size clay launched in any direction, at any initial speed, at any vertical angle and in any wind conditions.

The rule books for different disciplines define where a clay starts, some point during its flight (the Skeet "hoop" for example) and the point where it lands. We model the rules but we also allow for the anarchy that makes sporting such unpredictable fun - traps can point anywhere and release clays at any speed - we still model the trajectories accurately.

The trajectories displayed by Swing For Shooters are exactly the same as the paths followed by clays at the shooting ground - the same angular path and the same angular speed - so your Swing For Shooters indoors is exactly the same as outdoors.

Breakability

You can "hit" a clay but not break it because the total energy remaining in the few pellets that strike it is insufficient to break it.

The energy in pellets decays over time/distance and the volume of the shot cloud containing the pellets gets larger over time/distance. We model the expansion of the shot cloud as the pellets leave the muzzle of your gun.

So, at longer distances fewer pellets will strike the clay and they may have insufficient energy remaining to break it - your pellets have bounced off, you have "dusted" the clay but it doesn't score as a hit. Note: "dusted" is not the same as turning the clay to dust with a dead-centre, close-in hit. Oh, for more of those!

The solution (within the rules of course) is to use catridges with more energy or to use tighter chokes to keep the shot cloud together.

Actually, the correct solution is to hit the clay accurately (with the right lead!) at the correct point in its flight - when it is closest to you and not heading off into the wild blue yonder.

Note: Swing For Shooters can't model breakability because it can't see your shot so it can't do the necessary calculations. However, when you are ready to move upwards, DryFire does see your shot and knows exactly what cartridge you are using (muzzle velocity, shot weight, shot size) so it can model breakability very accurately.

ISSF rules

ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) rules (section 6.3.6) define the general specifications for clays used for international competitions. We model these clays.


Table top tripod for Swing For Shooters

Swing For Shooters has a tripod bush in its base so it can be used with a standard or table top tripod.

Using a tripod makes it very easy to ensure that Swing For Shooters is level before starting practice.

We use the Manfrotto Pixi Mini tripod - a work of art and good design!