Gebben Miles won the 2012 World Championship of FITASC at Northbrook Shooting Ground in Chicago, signalling his arrival at the pinnacle of the world stage. So ,what better time to launch a DVD masterclass in shooting, capitalising on the publicity and showcasing his ability and skill.
Gebben is an accomplished coach, and this DVD feels like a natural transition from 1:1 instruction to a relaxed but precise presentation style that is well constructed. The video is filmed at the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club, and most of the shooting is done at night under floodlights, and whilst this might seem alien for many European viewers, it actually helps the video by enabling the clays to be clearly seen against a dark, desert night sky, with bright floodlights picking out clays, traps and other key points of reference. It also allows for crystal clear graphics to be overlaid onto the screen to show key points from the techniques and tricks that Gebben is showing the viewer.
The DVD starts with a walk through of the fundamentals, with Gebben giving a very quick tour of the shotgun, over-and-under and semi-automatic and explaining the basic equipment and clothing required to start shooting.
Next, is quick walk-through of some safety instructions – ensuring the guns are only loaded in the stands, and are always broken when not in use – common knowledge for most shooters, but useful for those that might be using this as an introduction. Gebben then covers his fundamentals of moving with a shotgun, talking about how he controls the gun during lateral and vertical movements, an interesting section that can give some good pointers to a beginner.
Then, it’s on to the tools and their instruction – Gebben walks through ten key ‘tools’ for tackling targets, and step by step explains their application, use and pitfalls. I really liked this section, each method was broken down slowly and then demonstrated with the use of clear on-screen graphics and a number of replays of Gebben shooting targets whilst applying his own techniques.
For each method the shot is broken down clearly with Soft Focus, Hard Focus, Hold Point and Kill Point all displayed along a clear target line graphic. It is easy to see how he acquires a target and then moves the gun into position for a kill, and the dark night sky allows the clay to be clearly visible as he takes the shot.
There are camera shots taken over the shoulder giving a shooters eye view, and slowed down versions of the shot with on-screen graphics running whilst Gebben gives a clear voice over commentary. Gebben takes time to separate the lower body movement, and then the hand movement, and takes time to explain possible reasons for missing if a particular shot is tried.
At the end of each method, Gebben plays back the key points of learning to take away – along with a great mantra, “trust yourself, and watch the target break”.
He repeats the same key points for each of the ten tools that he uses to demonstrate how almost any target can be killed. The differences between the tools are sometimes very subtle, but Gebbens well-paced explanation can help you find the differences and how you can apply them to your problem targets.
For the English watcher, some of the tool names might be a bit alien, but they become very clear when demonstrated against the targets. Sustained Lead and Rabbits are clear, but ‘Bump the Lead’, ‘Catch Move’ (with its guest appearance from David Radulovich) and ‘The Hold Out’ might feel a bit strange at first, however ‘Cut Across’ – the tool for loopers feels like a great explanation of the tool you should already be familiar with!
Finally – the video has a good section on Report and True (Simo) pairs and how the hold, kill and target acquisition points might need to change to help executing the pairs. Once again, the clear on-screen graphics help to explain the techniques clearly.
The bonus section of the DVD has some good starter information on pre-shot routines.
The DVD is not without its quirks, some of the editing is a bit strange with shot ‘disappearing’ back into the gun, and Gebben appearing to fire three shots from his Krieghoff! There is also a spelling mistake on the titles which grated on me – but you can overlook these things when the DVD can give you lots for your toolbox.
Overall though, this is an excellent DVD which demonstrates a number of solid techniques and tools to help tackle difficult targets. I’d recommend this to anyone that is learning to shoot, but wants to develop their ‘toolbox’ of technique to apply to difficult and tricky targets. Gebbens clear commentary and coaching is coupled with good on-screen graphics and some clear filming to make this watchable and useful.
Quiet Dust Shooting is available through a dedicated website, with clips at www.quietdustshooting.com, it is priced just under $40US – but there is a digital download version for $35 which represents good value for money.