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Swing: how it works

Three reasons why Swing works

  • Angles - this is covered below.
  • The glass wall - also covered below - this expains how a wide crossing target will fit on a 4m wall.
  • Targets come to you.

    At the shooting ground we move from one stand to another and our view of the target changes accordingly.

    For example, a skeet high target should be always the same (except for wind effects) but it looks completely different when seen from stand 1 compared with stand 4.

    With Swing you stand in the same place and the software brings the target to you.

    So, when you select stand 4 high you will see a wide crosser travelling from left to right. When you select stand 1 high you will see a going away bird.

That is the most important thing to understand:

Swing displays the target as seen by you on the stand you selected.

Angles and angular speed

Sorry, this is a (short) lecture - but bear with us because the key to understanding why Swing works is to understand that clay and game shooting is all about angles.

How many times do your hear a newcomer say:

"How far ahead should I shoot, one foot, two feet - whatever?"

You could respond by going over the top like this:

"For a standard clay, rather than a midi, mini or battue, released from the trap at "X" mph at a vertical angle of "Y" degrees and a horizontal angle of "Z" degrees (relative to the shooter) and taken directly in front of the shooter at "A" yards away using a cartridge with a muzzle velocity of "B" feet per second with "C" ounces of pellets with each pellet having a mass of "D" ounces and using half chokes then the point of aim should be "E" feet in front and "F" feet above in order for the centre of the shot pattern to strike the clay - assuming no wind! Of course, if the distance is too great when the pellets reach the clay, even if it is in the centre of the shot pattern, it won't be a hit because the pellets no longer have sufficient energy remaining to break the clay."

Not helpful and not the sort of sums we want to do on the stand!

In reality this is what happens (assuming the gun is pre-mounted):

  • You take up position where you are relaxed and facing the point where you intend to break the clay.
  • You swing back to your hold point where you intend to acquire the target.
  • You call "Pull".
  • You acquire the target and start your swing.
  • Depending on your technique you swing with the target, accelerate through it and shoot - "bum, belly, beak, bang".
  • You continue your swing ("follow through") to avoid stopping the gun and missing behind.
  • If you have judged it correctly your muzzle will have swung far enough ahead of the target to allow time for the pellets to reach it and turn it to dust!

Your hold point, where you wait to acquire the clay, is at an angle left/right of your straight ahead position.

You swing through an angle before you fire.

Your muzzle will be pointing a certain angle ahead/above the clay in order to hit it.

This explains why Swing works, indoors, when you are only a few feet from the wall.

  • You swing left/right exactly the same amount to acquire the target.
  • You swing through exactly the same angle, at exactly the same angular speed, before you shoot.
  • Everything indoors is exactly the same as outdoors.

Swing does all of this but, unlike DryFire, it doesn't provide feedback after each shot.

The "Glass Wall"

Swing treats your wall as if it was transparent and you were looking through it at a real clay layout. The best way to explain this is to show an imaginary shooting stand and an imaginary trap.

The animation demonstrates how a target trajectory fits on the wall (Note: the wall shown is for illustration only - Swing doesn't show an image of a wall on the PC screen.):

The wall represents your field of view - as seen from your eyes in the last frame of the animation above.

When you swing left to your hold point in front of the trap, you will have moved through the same angle as at the shooting ground. When you call "Pull" and track the target (the laser dot representing the clay) you will be swinging through the same angles, at the same angular speed, as at the shooting ground.

Swing shows the complete trajectory of most targets, from trap to ground, because you are fairly close to the wall. In all cases, your gun movement and angle of swing will always be exactly the same as outdoors - that's why Swing is so accurate and so useful in building eye/muscle coordination - you do the same thing indoors as you do outdoors.

Swing hardware

Swing generates the target as a laser spot.

The system contains two servo motors, one in the base moving horizontally and one mounted in a bracket on top of the horizontal servo so it can move vertically.

The combination of the firmware Swing's electronics, and the software running on a PC or laptop, enables the two motors to move to any location in front of you with the laser being turned on at the start of a target trajectory and off at the end.

Swing contains a battery (charged over the USB port) so it can be used totally stand alone after a few targets have been stored in its memory by the PC software. Swing's small size and ability to operate stand-alone makes ideal for taking to the gun shop when you are trying a new gun.

A microphone is provided so you can call "Pull" to release targets.

The three LEDs indicate charging (yellow), fully charged (green) or "Ready" (red). "Ready" indicates that Swing is ready for you to call "Pull".

The Maths

To be sure that each target is exactly the same as the real thing Swing takes into account variables such as:

  • Mass of clay
  • Area flat-on
  • Area edge-on
  • Energy required to break it flat-on
  • Energy required to break it edge-on
  • Drag on top surface
  • Drag on bottom surface
  • Minimum drag angle (in degrees)
  • Drag shape on top
  • Drag shape on bottom
  • Positive lift
  • Negative lift
  • Lift angle zero
  • Lift angle negative
  • Friction