Wood to Wood
‘Wood to Wood’ is a term that a student of mine coined for my instruction to remind himself to keep his head down on the stock before, during, and after the shot is taken.
I’ve seen many skeet shooters lift or “float” their head rather than locking their head down hard on the stock. A lot of this seems to be due to bad stock fit. Many shotguns have adjustable combs that are adjusted too low. When the comb is too low, the shooter may be looking at the back of the breech, and in order to see down the plane of the barrel they have to lift or float their heads.
Recently, a gentleman I often shoot with was having a problem with lifting his head. After we spoke about this, we adjusted his stock properly and then he made a conscious effort to lock his head to the stock. After this small but significant adjustment, his shooting showed a marked improvement.
Another gentleman I watched shoot at a registered shoot was missing a significant number of targets — about 40% of them kept flying. When he came off the field, I asked him to show me his gun was unloaded, then mount it and point it in a safe direction. When he did this, I saw that he was “floating his head.” We raised his comb about a quarter of an inch, and I explained to him that he needed to assure himself that his head was down firmly on his stock before, during, and after the shot. When he went out to shoot the 28 gauge, he shot a 94, a great improvement, and his best score to date in any gun.
If you’re not locking your head down firmly when you shoot or if you’re looking at the back of the breech when your head is down tight, make the adjustments, or get a certified instructor or a gun fitter to help get you set up properly.
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who teaches American skeet and wingshooting. You can contact Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-803-2393.