By: Foster Bartholow
All throughout the USA, states are seeing a significant rise in youth participation in shooting sports. In states like Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and several others, you have thousands of kids picking up a 12 gauge shotgun and getting into the sport of clay shooting, which happens to be one of the safest sports for youth when compared to football, basketball, and other high-impact sports.
When you start examining the game of trapshooting, there are many intricate dynamics that come into play. Gun fit, ammo selection, hold points, stance, eyewear, and the correct mental attitude are just a few of the things we talk about during the youth shooting clinics we host.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned throughout my shooting career that will help both new and experienced shooters improve their trapshooting. If you’re new to youth shooting or coaching, the following topics will break down some of the fundamentals.
ONE vs TWO EYE SHOOTING
As we dive into the topic of one vs. two-eyed shooting, the first thing to do is to determine your dominant eye. This is critical to keeping proper sight of the target and will prevent the double vision of the bead or being cross-eyed. There are several ways to find your dominant eye. The easiest way is to straighten your arms out with your hands in front of you. Make a triangle with your thumbs and index fingers, then find an object to center inside that triangle. Slowly bring your arms back toward your eyes, and the triangle will naturally gravitate toward your dominant eye.
Now that you’ve found your dominant eye, I’ll explain what I’ve found helps most shooters how to determine hold points.
THE ONE-EYED SHOOTER
A one-eyed shooter is someone who is off-eye dominant and shoots with the opposite arm. For example, a one-eyed shooter will be left-eye dominant and shoot right-handed. These shooters have multiple options for shooting; they can either close their off-eye, or they can use the “dot system.” The dot system involves using a piece of tape or semi-transparent material on shooting glasses over the off eye. This prevents that eye from seeing the rib, barrel, and target, allowing the shooter to keep both eyes open without sacrificing their peripheral vision.Typically, one-eyed shooters hold fairly level on the top of the trap house as they cannot see “through” the barrel compared to two-eyed shooters.
THE TWO-EYED SHOOTER
Two-eyed shooters are those that shoot on the arm with the same arm as their dominant eye. For example, a two-eyed shooter will be right-eye dominant and shoot right-handed. Shooters like this will have an advantage over one-eyed shooters in that they have a better overall vision of the target. They don’t have to close one eye or lose vision with the dot system in order to focus on the target. This allows two-eyed shooters to have a higher hold point as they can see “through” the barrel. Typically, two-eyed shooters will have a hold point ranging from 1 to 1.5 feet above the trap house for an easier opportunity to swing to the target. I want to be clear that both options are great for shooters. I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum where shooters will try and change their shooting hands to match their dominant eye. There are great shooters that shoot both styles. Personally, I have the longest shoot-off at the Grand American world championships with 1,100 x 1,100, and my brother, Matt (being a two-eyed shooter) has shot 1,578 registered targets without missing. Both styles work, so find yours and rock it!
STANCE AND FOOTWORK
Many people think shooting a shotgun is all upper body and arms, but that’s a huge misconception. I always discuss using your whole body as a sort of turret to move to and throughout a target. Essentially, you’re using your lower, middle, and upper body together in one motion to create a fluid motion to that target. If you’re at home reading this, let’s try a quick drill.
To start, pretend you have your shotgun in your hands (you can try this with your shotgun too, but always ensure the gun is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction).
If you’re a right-handed shooter, I want you to move to an imaginary target flying to the right using just your arms to swing. If you’re a lefty, pretend you have a target moving to the left. Right away, you’ll notice the gun doesn’t feel very “locked in” to your face and may even feel like it’s wanting to come off your cheek. This can have a massive impact on your shooting, especially if there are several angles at play, like in sporting clays or hunting scenarios. Next, try this: for the righty, make a move to the same imaginary right target, but now use your legs, mid-body, and hips to drive your upper body to the target while keeping your arms stationary. Feel the difference? You might now notice that your face stays locked into the stock because there’s a huge reduction in arm movement. This shooting style keeps the barrel moving in the most accurate and consistent swing possible, from the start to the follow-through. Of course, using your arms to move up to the target is necessary, but if you can keep your body moving as one, everything will work together to get you to the target and follow through in one fluid motion.
Fluid movement is moving to and through the target at a good speed that feels comfortable to you. It’s important to remember that everyone's speed to the target is different.
Now, this is where your footwork is essential.
If you’re a new shooter, I always recommend as a rule to have a stance about shoulder width apart, or maybe slightly wider than your shoulders. I stand straight up with a slight bend in the knees, so they aren’t locked. If you’re facing directly at the trap house and you’re a right-handed shooter, off-set your feet and body to the right about 45 degrees.
This gives your body the ability to swing to the right much easier.
If your footwork isn’t correct for your post, you’ll max out your swing. Simply put, maxing out happens when your body cannot go any further and will resort to using only your arms to move, or break down the knees to swing further in that direction.
Luckily, there are a few easy fixes you can try.
Flare a toe. Many shooters think they need their toes straight out in front of them, which is not the case. For every inch you flare your toe out, you get approximately 6-7 degrees of extra rotation. Now, we certainly don’t want shooters thinking they have to stand with their feet completely flared out, but it’s a helpful tip to remember.
Make small changes. Don’t be afraid to make small adjustments from post 1 to post 5. Every post has different target angles, and your footwork should adjust accordingly. It’s all about finding and fine-tuning what works for you.
The last thing I’d like to discuss is how to help gain confidence in myself and other shooters while training, or what to do even when you’re training by yourself.
In trapshooting, I recommend shooters at the 16-yard line use a tighter choke such as an Improved Modified to Full, rather than an Improved Cylinder to Modified. You can see where you’re hitting a target much easier and make any corrections with hold point or footwork. With a tighter choke, you can quickly gain confidence as you start dusting the targets. It can be fun and validating to watch the clays explode.
Whether you’re coaching a youth team or wanting to improve independently, using a ShotKam is also a great way to help improve anyone’s shooting abilities by seeing where they are shooting, watching patterns hit the target, and seeing how smooth their move (and through) the target is. With the ShotKam, you can quickly identify any mistakes and improve your overall confidence in your shooting methods.
With Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays - it isn't all about hitting the clay target. It is having a diverse set of disciplines that give you a way to grow into the sport and how your skills develop. If you are starting in high school and are taking sporting clays courses, you can grow to competitive shooting quicker with learning tools like a ShotKam camera that replays your shots, so you can learn and adjust. Shooting Clubs often offer various disciplines in turn, using the same shooting grounds. And when it comes to your shotguns, some are more suitable than others (12 gauge vs. 20 gauge).
I hope these tips help you on the field this summer! If you need more help with shooting techniques, feel free to visit TrapshootingBros.com for private coaching clinics and help.
Clay shooting, at a high level, is a game of prepositioning, moving your gun to some distance in front of the clay, and pulling the trigger at the right time and point in space. It might be intimidating to think about the physics of breaking a clay target, but much like catching a baseball, shooting is almost completely subconscious. Every clay shooter understands the difference between feeling a connection to the bird, and a sense of discomfort when they are too far in front. It can be frustrating and almost confusing to put the same shot on a bird twice and get different results. Unlike most other sports that require strength and specific technique, shooting sports require a bit of hand-eye coordination and an incredible amount of mental fortitude.
With regard to the needed hand-eye-coordination, shooting can be compared to catching a ball. Catching a tennis ball is easy until you think about how you are catching the ball, where your hand is, when to close your grip, and how to move your hand so that it doesn’t bounce right out. In the same way, shooting just requires the human instinct to focus only on the object, and let our subconscious put our hands where they need to be.
While it can be paralleled to catching a ball, sporting clays do have an additional element when a 12 Gauge Shotgun goes off which your reflex will want to make you flinch. This jolt added to the coordination required takes you into a new space of concentration, coordination, and attenuation of a reflex.
However, if you want to become better at shooting, any pro will tell you that the only thing holding you back is your mental game. This, my friends, is the most difficult and intimidating area of your game to improve upon because it is personal, exhausting, and very difficult to diagnose. Not everyone can score a goal, spike a volleyball, or serve a tennis ball, but I guarantee that everyone has the instinctive ability to break any clay. Prepositioning and transitioning to a point in front of a clay target is technical; and although the techniques to do so are not necessarily needed, they can be learned. Making a move on a bird, establishing a connection, and pulling the trigger are all aspects of the game that are hardcoded into our natural instincts. If you approach the bird with trust, patience, confidence, emotional control, and focus, you will accomplish the steps above much more consistently.
Clay pigeon shooting is a game of consistently putting your subconscious in the best position to break a bird. When you successfully shoot a clay, it is not by your own knowledge of positioning that you broke the bird. A dead bird is always credited to your subconscious and its world-class ability to put your gun where it needed to be.
The best method is to create a practice plan that will teach you how to focus on your mental strength and elevate your game, unlocking the consistency that separates every successful athlete from those left behind. The Venn Diagram above can be used to outline your practice plan. Taking a pencil and paper, you can rate your trust, patience, confidence, emotional control, and focus according to how strong you are in those areas. Some circles will be bigger and some will be smaller; the junction of all of them is how big your consistency is.
Go to the range and work on growing each circle by 1%. In order to be more consistent in shooting, the center circle must get bigger, the only way to do this is by strengthening all of your circles. Having strengths only in trust and confidence will not increase your consistency if you are still lacking focus or emotional control. You can work on your patience or focus, making those circles bigger and stronger, and increase your consistency that way, but the best way to make real progress is to work hard on all areas of the mental game. Using a barrel camera like the ShotKam can highlight any areas for improvement and give you concrete evidence on how to increase your consistency. The ShotKam mounts directly to your barrel (allowing for varying action of shotguns), and thanks to its patented reticle alignment system, you can calibrate the crosshair to the bead of your gun so you can trace every movement in your videos. By frequently rewatching your videos (both the hit and missed targets), the ShotKam can actually help train your subconscious brain on where to put the muzzle.
Either on Trap shooting, challenging yourself with Skeet shooting where the mental game takes you to the next level or Sporting clays with multiple directions will be the most challenging. The journey can take you from recreational to competitive depending on what's offered in some shooting clubs.
Using the shooting plan alongside the ShotKam Camera is a simple yet highly effective way to get closer to mastering the mental game of any shooting sport. Finding the intersection of trust, patience, confidence, emotional control, and focus is what keeps the love of the sport alive in all of us.
In sporting clay shooting, the mental game manifests itself in trust, patience, confidence, emotional control, focus, and consistency. Sure, it does also have to do with a 12 Gauge Shotgun and a clay target too. You might be starting off with Trap shooting with some sporting clay courses, and if you are ready to elevate your game to Skeet shooting or Sporting clays your mental game will be crucial to be mastered.
In shooting, trusting yourself is trusting your subconscious. As the instinctual side of our brain is rarely exercised day-to-day, trusting oneself is often difficult and uncomfortable for new shooters. When a masterclass instructor advises you to shoot ‘carefree’, they typically mean to rely on your subconscious rather than overthinking. Let me explain why this is required of shooters.
In most other sports, successful athletes learn a new skill by being taught a move, repeating it many times, and hopefully ingraining it into their muscle memory. The newly discovered skill becomes a reaction rather than a decision. This training style works for most sports because a precise formula of actions is usually needed to achieve a specific goal or play. For example, a professional soccer player is considered elite primarily because of the arsenal of athletic moves and strategies they possess for getting past defenders. Thanks to muscle memory and honed instincts, an experienced soccer player applies the relevant skill for a specific situation in a split second.
Adapting the same skill development process and applying it to shooting is often key to success. The only learned skills to be repeated are before the breakpoint. Although there are many methods of approaching the bird – swing through, sustained lead, diminishing lead, and so on – these moves do not equate to hitting the clay. Beginners might think the way to shoot successfully lies in complex calculations of spatial awareness and lead time. However, practicing these methods puts your subconscious mind in the position to do the work for you. That is what separates shooting from all other sports. The best shooters are not concerned with repeating the exact same barrel movement between the first and the third pair; their goal is to repeat the same move towards the bird because it gives their subconscious the best chance of analyzing and moving their hands in the correct position, which changes with every pair due to changing focus, visibility, wind, etc. To try harder is to trust that you will never be more knowledgeable than the tool that is your subconscious mind.
Focusing on the bird allows your subconscious awareness of the barrel to move your hips, shoulders, hands and barrel exactly where it needs to be in front of the bird. Although uncomfortable at first, sustained practice will allow you to test your instincts and eventually learn to trust them. I believe this is the first and most important discipline for a shooter to learn. Do not be fooled to think that your conscious analysis, timing, and lead will ever outperform your subconscious instincts on when and where to take the shot. Although you cannot command your instincts to repeat themselves, time and practice will prove that relying on instinct yields better results than over-analysis.
Patience is another practice that aids in learning to trust your subconscious - practicing patience when shooting is crucial because it makes the shooter consistent, smooth, and quick. Hold point and break point placement are my metrics for patience because they reflect the shooter’s mental strength. Those two points (hold and break) should never be too far apart (let’s say the distance between should be no more than 10% to 50% of the flight path, depending on the two extremes of slow and fast targets, with the average being no more than 20% of the clay’s flight) or else too many thoughts start to creep into your head. The impatient shooter has a tendency to “ride” the bird, which suggests that they are focused hard on the bird for far too much time before the clay approaches the breakpoint, and they follow it for the majority of its flight. Why is more time on the clay a bad thing? How is that not a patient shooter? After explaining what the hold-point and break-point relationship should look like, I will answer these questions.
One of the best ways to minimize errors is by reducing your movement. Cut out the muzzle flip and the out-of-control movements. It takes much more skill and effort to develop a consistent shooting style with so many moving parts. To reduce the movement and thus, the error, shorten your time on the target. Establish your breakpoint, and don’t move your hold point too far back from there. Determine when you want to make your move and adjust your hold point according to your shooting style. If you shoot swing through, adjust your hold point to where you want to start your committed move. If you shoot diminishing lead, adjust your hold point as close as you comfortably can to the breakpoint. If you shoot sustained lead, adjust your hold point to somewhere between where the two points previously described would have been. A hold point too far back indicates an impatient shooter who wants more time to think about the lead rather than react to the bird.
Hold fast, and do not backtrack your hold point once the clay has been launched. This tendency is especially apparent when reviewing ShotKam videos because your gun follows your shoulder, your shoulders follow your head, and your head points to your focus. Many shooters call “pull” and move their gun in the negative direction from the hold point, so then they are left to play catch-up with more movement than was needed. The more time you spend focused on the bird, the more gun movement and over-analyzing thoughts will follow. For instance, when you approach a “big bird” station, do not be concerned with what the bird is doing when it is launched from 120 yards away. It takes one glance for you to know exactly where that target will be in 5 seconds. This style of clay is a common mind trick set by trappers. They want you to watch the bird for a long time, and experience tells us that when you can watch a clay for a long time, it is usually a slower one requiring less lead, which is not always true. You need the patience to focus on the bird only when you are ready to shoot, and your subconscious can analyze the required lead without your conscious brain saying, “I think this needs less lead than I would have given it.”
Your instinct works far better than anything you can learn yourself. A patient shooter waits for the right time to focus on the bird, reduces barrel movement, and trusts their subconscious to get the job done.
Here is a helpful YouTube video which shows leading targets at different distances:
Step 1: Confirm you are eligible
All 1st and 2nd Generation ShotKams are eligible for our trade-in program. To determine your ShotKam model, please refer to this article: What ShotKam model do I have?
If you are unsure of your ShotKam model, please email us at Support@ShotKam.com with a photo of the back of your ShotKam Camera with the rear screw-on cap removed.
Step 2: Your trade-in value
By trading in your old unit, you would get our new 3rd Generation ShotKam for C$549 (compared to C$699) with free 3-day international shipping to Canada. All taxes already included.
Step 3: Mailing in your old ShotKam
To proceed with the trade-in, please email us for our Return & Repair Facility shipping address. You may print out and complete our Return Authorization Form. Then, package the following at your convenience:
Your 1st or 2nd Generation ShotKam: camera tube only (NO brackets, hard case, or accessories please) - a piece of bubble wrap/newspaper is enough padding.
Printed and completed Return Authorization Form inside the package.
Ensure your name is on the outside of the package and we will contact you as soon as we process your unit for trade-in.
Do you have other Return Center locations? No, we only have one Return Center, located in Florida, USA. We do not have any international centers, but gladly accept packages from most countries.
Do I need proof of purchase to trade-in? No, you do not need proof of purchase to proceed with our trade-in program. We accept all older units back for upgrades.
How long does the trade-in process take? Once we've received your old unit and you've completed your trade-in purchase, we will fulfill your new 3rd Generation ShotKam order within 1 business day.
I've changed my mind. Can I get my old unit back? No, all trade-in transactions are final. Once we've received your old unit and completed your upgrade, we cannot send your old unit back to you.
30-Day Money Back Guarantee:
If you are not 100% satisfied, we're happy to help you return or exchange your purchase. Contact us within 30 days of receiving your order, then we will email you the steps for a full refund.*
Any items damaged due to reasons not covered under warranty cannot be accepted back for refund under our Money Back Guarantee.
NOTE: This guarantee only applies to orders placed on ShotKam’s webstore at shotkam.com.
* Associated shipping fees are not refundable.
How to Return for Refund: Request a Return Authorization Form by emailing Support@shotkam.com or messaging us through our Contact Us website form.
Two (2) Year Warranty:
If any technical issue arises within two years of purchase, we will repair or replace your camera free of charge. The warranty is non-transferable and remains solely with the original buyer. It does not transfer if the camera is sold to a new buyer.
In addition to the "Warranty Details" below, ShotKam may restrict warranty services when damage is caused by abnormal usage or water damage when the rear cap was not on (water can enter through USB port). This warranty does NOT cover any camera that has been either:
Disassembled (e.g. removal of front lens cap or back green lock ring).
Altered, repaired, or modified.
Damaged or destroyed by accidents or similar events or by any intentional, reckless, or negligent acts or omissions of any party.
Do not attempt to repair or modify the ShotKam Camera yourself. Disassembling the ShotKam Camera will void your warrant. This includes removing the front lens or the rear colorful metal ring that securely keeps the PCB inside the metal tubing. The only removable piece is the rear screw-on cap.
ShotKam LLC (“Manufacturer”) warrants to the original end user (“Purchaser”) that for 2 years from delivery date (“Warranty Period”) the ShotKam camera (excluding any third party software) and accessories (“Product”) will be free from defects in materials and workmanship when properly installed and used for its intended purpose and in its intended operating environment.
In the event of a defect, return the Product to the Manufacturer, but only after instructed to do so by Manufacturer. Email ShotKam LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Return Authorization Form. Purchaser shall ship and bear the cost of shipping the Product to Manufacturer, and Manufacturer shall bear the cost of shipping the Product back to Purchaser (after the completion of service under this limited warranty). Purchaser’s exclusive remedy and Manufacturer’s entire liability under this warranty will be for Manufacturer at its option to repair or replace the Product or refund purchase price less any rebates.
Manufacturer does not warrant against loss of any data (including data stored on Product returned to Manufacturer for service), and assumes no liability for such loss. Manufacturer does not warrant against barrel damage. Purchaser must ensure the bracket's rubber pads are flush against the barrel as this will avoid any marks on the barrel. Do not remove or bend the rubber pads on the mount.
Purchaser assumes all liability, and as such releases Manufacturer from any liability, for any accident, injury, damage, death, loss, illegal activity or any other claim that may occur resulting from or during use of the Product, whether or not such use is foreseeable by Manufacturer.
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We’ve recently had the opportunity to partner with hunting pro and YouTube star, Bobby Guy. In this video, Bobby takes the ShotKam out for the first time on a goose hunt.
A ghillie suit is a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble a background environment such as foliage, snow, or sand. It is usually a net or cloth garment covered in loose strips of burlap, cloth, or twine, sometimes made to look like leaves and twigs, and decorated with scraps of foliage from the area.
Geese don’t see color the way we do. They see red, green, yellow, and blue more vibrantly as a result of their retinas. They also have an extra set of cones, which allows them to see UV radiation. Geese are extremely sensitive to light and glares, so hunters should keep their guns down until ready to shoot.
Hunting with the ShotKam:
The ShotKam Camera is 100% weatherproof when the rear cap is ON. It is fine in rain/hunting scenarios, but it is not submersible, so it is not for underwater sports. The removable rear cap can be taken off for charging, then screwed on before shooting in order to protect the USB port from water damage.
The ShotKam automatically comes with a 12 Gauge Quick Release Bracket. We do have sub gauges if needed (20 Ga, 28 Ga, .410, 12 Ga SxS).
Battery life: the ShotKam will last 4-5 hours when hunting.
The ShotKam’s unique light-balancing technology will automatically adjust to varying light conditions, whether indoor or outdoor. The field-of-view is optimized for targets ranging from 5 to 100 yards and is effectively 4x magnified. The zoom cannot be adjusted, so targets beyond 100 yards will look small (equivalent to what they look like with the naked eye).
More hunting videos filmed with the ShotKam can be found here.
Follow Bobby on Social Media:
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/bobby_guy_films/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BobbyguyFilms/
Franchi Affinity 12 gauge
3 inch shells
Modified choke (temporary) - https://www.choketube.com/choke-tube-product-details-R.php?Winchester-Choke-Tubes&mf=9
Muck Boots - https://www.muckbootcompany.com/products/mens-arctic-sport-tall-boots?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-Ljov5Lt6AIVk4zICh24EgP6EAAYAiAAEgKAOPD_BwE
Sitka Gear - https://www.sitkagear.com/products/dakota-hoody/waterfowl-marsh
Under Armor Thermal - https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/search?q=Under+Armour+UA+Men+ColdGear+Infrared+Thermo+Crew+Shirt
Thermasole Sole Inserts - https://www.thewarmingstore.com/thermacell-heated-insoles.html
Hot Hands - https://hothands.com
Wiley X Glasses - https://www.wileyx.com
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In our first episode of Shooting Tips from the Pros, Emily interviews professional trapshooter, Kayle Browning.
In this episode, Kayle answers our customer's most frequently asked questions about trapshooting.
What is the difference between American trap, Bunker trap, and International trap?
K: "Bunker" trap is a nickname for International trap, so those are the same thing. In Bunker trap, there is an underground bunker with 15 different machines, and the angles are a lot harder (compared to American trap). The targets can variate 45 degrees left or right, and can go up to 3 meters high. In American trap, there is only one machine that isolates, and the height of the targets are the same.
The targets in American trap come out at about 42 MPH, but in Bunker trap, can be about 68 MPH (depending on where you are).
Do you clearly see the target from the beginning of the trap house to where you broke the clay?
Kayle uses her ShotKam video to explain her focal point, hold point, and to analyze one of her shots.
By watching Kayle's ShotKam video, we see that once the target comes out of the trap house, her gun (represented by the ShotKam's reticle) does not move. When the target gets above the gun barrel, her eyes go to the target, but the target is not yet clear. As soon as Kayle feels like she's got a clear visual connection, then she'll start her gun moving straight to the target. (See 3:39 in the video to hear the full explanation from Kayle.)
Do you prefer fixed or interchangeable chokes? What is your favorite choke size?
K: When shooting competitively, I like to use a sporting barrel, as it allows me to interchange my chokes. I use Improved Modified on the bottom for my first shot, then a Full Choke on my top barrel.
When hunting, I like to use fixed barrels, particularly the Parcours from Krieghoff. I like to use the Parcours when shooting Sporting Clays and FITASC as well.
What are the best ways to practice at home?
K: If you've got a trap machine at home, then that is a great option. If you don't, then there are a few drills you can do at home to practice.
You can practice your gun mount in a mirror so you can watch yourself. For example, if you are canting your gun when mounting it, then you will be able to catch this when watching yourself in a mirror.
Then, there is the indoor eye drill. You can put different "targets" up on a wall, and mount your gun. When you call "pull", move your eyes to the target first, then move your gun.
The last way (and my favorite) I'd recommend is if you've got a ShotKam - video analysis at home is a great way to "practice". Watch your videos and analyze yourself. Did I make a good move? Did my eyes lead first? The ShotKam is a great way to diagnose yourself while you're at home.
To Learn More About Kayle:
Visit Kayle's website here: https://www.kaylebrowning.com/
Subscribe to her podcast "Beyond the Podium" (with David Radulovich, World Champion) here: http://beyondthepodiumpodcast.com/
For Apple devices, subscribe to "Beyond the Podium" on Apple Podcasts here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beyond-the-podium/id1508428247
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In this video, you will learn about the parts of the ShotKam, how to mount it correctly, how to change your settings, and how the ShotKam records.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) How can I ensure that the ShotKam is mounted onto my barrel correctly? You can ensure that the ShotKam is mounted correctly by checking for two things. First, check that the ridges on the bracket pad fit into the grooves in the ShotKam (for a visual, please skip to minute 1:10 of the video above). Secondly, the USB port should be closest to your barrel. This simply means that the USB port (next to the control button on the ShotKam) should be directly underneath your barrel.
2) How often should I take my ShotKam off my barrel? The brackets of the ShotKam have rubber pads on the inside to prevent any barrel damage, but we do suggest taking the camera off regularly for cleaning. A quick wipe with a soft cloth will ensure that no moisture gets trapped in between the ShotKam and your barrel.
3) Does my reticle need to be re-aligned every time I re-mount the ShotKam? If you are using your ShotKam on the same type of shotgun and mounting your ShotKam the same distance back from the muzzle, then you will not need to re-align your reticle. If you use a mixture of types (semi-auto, pump), then the reticle will need to be realigned for each shotgun (and the "gun type" setting will have to be changed accordingly in the ShotKam app). So for instance, if the ShotKam is placed 8 inches back (from the muzzle) on the barrel of a 12 Ga break-action, then you can move it to any other 12 Ga break-action, just place it 8 inches from the muzzle end of that gun as well. 4) What is the difference between "Normal Shooting Mode" and "WiFi Mode"? Which should I use? This is a great question. "Normal Shooting Mode" is what you will use while you are recording videos during your round. One quick click (then let go) of the control button will put your ShotKam into "Normal Shooting Mode". You can confirm by checking the LED lights - you should only see one green LED. In "Normal Shooting Mode", your ShotKam will typically go into "Sleep Mode" after 20 seconds to conserve battery. You will see one slow blinking green LED light when the ShotKam is in Sleep Mode. You can close your action or bump your stock to waken the ShotKam, and the green LED light will go from blinking to solid when it is awakened.
"WiFi Mode" will only be used when you are aligning your reticle, changing your settings, or watching your videos on your mobile device (smart phone or tablet). To put the ShotKam into "WiFi Mode", hold the control button down for 3-5 seconds, then let go. You should see one yellow LED light, and one green LED light as well. You are now able to connect to your mobile device.
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One of our most frequently asked questions is "Can I use the ShotKam if I am shooting somewhere that has no WiFi or bluetooth?" The answer is yes, absolutely. The ShotKam has its own internal WiFi antenna, so you do not need to have any other source of WiFi, cellular data, or bluetooth.
In the video below, we'll explain how the ShotKam's WiFi works, how to connect it to your mobile device, and how to change your settings and watch your videos within the ShotKam app.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) I can't get the ShotKam's WiFi to appear on my phone's WiFi options, what should I do? First, please ensure that your ShotKam is in WiFi mode. Please hold the control button down for 3-5 seconds, then let go. You should see one green and one yellow LED light, confirming that the ShotKam's WiFi has been activated. Note: if you only see one green LED light, then please turn the ShotKam OFF (one quick click of the control button then let go), then try again. Please ensure you see the yellow and green LED light sequence before trying to connect your mobile device. 2) My ShotKam's WiFi keeps dropping the connection in the middle of watching my videos. What should I do? If you've just arrived back from shooting a few rounds at the range, then the ShotKam's battery is likely needing a charge. The main reason for WiFi connection dropping is that the ShotKam does not have enough battery to hold the connection. Please make sure that you are not too far away from the ShotKam (the WiFi range is 10 feet/3 meters), and this will ensure that your mobile device has got the strongest possible connection to your ShotKam. 3) Can I put the ShotKam into WiFi mode and have someone standing behind me, watching the live stream on my mobile device? While the answer to this question is "yes, it is possible", it is not recommended. The ShotKam uses such a high data rate when in WiFi mode, that the live stream video will have a significant lag and look pixellated. Most devices will not be able to handle the ShotKam's live stream, and the video quality will be noticeably decreased. We suggest always shooting in "Normal Shooting Mode", which is one quick click of the control button, then let go. To confirm that your ShotKam is in Normal Shooting Mode, please confirm that you only see one green LED light. 4) So in what instances should I use the WiFi? The ShotKam's WiFi will only be used when aligning your reticle, changing your settings, or watching videos on a mobile device.
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These tutorials will show you how to watch your ShotKam videos on a computer using a third party media player called VLC. Once you've recorded a round or two and are ready to watch and study your ShotKam videos, this is how we suggest you do so.
Note that there are separate tutorials for Mac computers and PC's, so be sure that you choose the correct video, thank you.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) VLC is freezing on my computer, what should I do?
For Windows PC:
We have found a new alternative to VLC Media Player called "Potplayer." It is a completely free media player that allows frame-by-frame viewing by pressing “F” (next frame) and “D” (previous frame). Please follow the steps below to install this video player onto your Windows computer:
1. Install Potplayer from the following link: https://daumpotplayer.com 2. In the middle of the screen there are two options to click, choose the 64-bit download. It will now begin downloading in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen.3. Once completed, click the download. You will be asked if English is your language, click Continue.4. Follow the prompts: Accept, Continue, and Next. There may be a few loading bars that quickly go away. Once you get to the page with a yellow sidebar which reads "Complete Install Potplayer," it will prompt you to hit "Close."5. The installer will load for about 1 minute. Once completed, it will ask you to accept the terms and continue through some more prompts. The final page will ask you to click "Install."6. Potplayer will then automatically open on your desktop for you to use. Save it to your Taskbar (icons at the bottom of your computer screen) by right clicking on the Potplayer icon and selecting "Pin to Taskbar."How to play your ShotKam videos with Potplayer:1. Plug ShotKam into your computer.2. Open Potplayer. If you cannot find it, type "Potplayer" into the search bar on the bottom left hand corner of your screen (Windows icon).3. Once Potplayer is open, clicked on the three dashed horizontal lines on the bottom right corner of the window.4. The window should then extend to the right where you can now see two tabs.5. Open the tab called "This PC." Next, click on SHOTKAM, and then the ShotKam folder.6. Click on a dated folder, then hit Ctrl + A on your computer. This will highlight all of your videos. Click Open.7. Use the "F" key (next frame), "D" key (backwards a frame), and the spacebar to pause/play your videos. If any of the previous 7 steps are confusing, then simply locate your videos within File Explorer (yellow folder), then right click on your mouse and choose "Open with: Potplayer." Your videos will now begin playing.
For Apple Computers:
We have found a new alternative to VLC Media Player called "Elmedia Player." It is a completely free media player that allows frame-by-frame viewing by pressing the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard. Please follow the steps below to install this video player onto your Mac computer:
1. Go to Elmedia Player's website here: mac.eltima.com/elmediaplayer.html?utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=media-player 2. Select "Download" (blue button)3. At the top right corner of your browser window, click on the grey down arrow to see your recent downloads.4. Double click on "elmediaplayer.dmg"5. Drag the Elmedia icon (triangles) over to the Applications Folder. This is to permanently save the video player to your Mac computer.6. Your Applications will automatically open, then double click the new Elmedia Player icon.7. Find the Elmedia Player icon (two triangles) in the Doc of your computer (bottom of your computer screen), then hold down the Control key and click the icon. Next, select Options > Keep in DockTo play your videos with Elmedia:1. Click on "File" in the top left (next to the Apple icon and Elmedia Player text)2. Click "Open" > Select ShotKam in the left column > SHOTKAM > Dated folders > Select your videos3. Now click "Open"4. Once videos are playing, use the spacebar on your keyboard to pause/play. Use the arrows on your keyboard to go frame-by-frame forwards and backwards.
Phone: (855) 473 - 5227