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Jimmy Heller

 Trapshooting Association

Hall of Fame

9 Time All-American

12 Grand American Trophies
45 California State Trophies
California State Singles Champion
California State Handicap Champion
California State Doubles Champion

California State High All-Around Champion
California State High Overall Champion
Western Zone Handicap Champion
Western Zone Doubles Champion
Western Zone High Overall Champion
Golden West Grand Handicap Champion
Golden West Grand Doubles Champion
Autumn Grand Handicap Champion
Spring Grand High All-Around Champion
24 200 x 200 in Singles
24 100 x 100 in Handicap from the 27
108 100 x 100 in Doubles
148,650 Singles
    314,950 Handicap
 129,300 Doubles



(ATA Hall of Fame Induction Program Book)


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“I make sure I have good vision of where I want to see the target break the house with no anticipation in my body or my eyes, waiting to see movement of the target itself.  If you do those things correctly, the target will be broken automatically.”



Hall of Fame   Jimmy Heller

An iTrapshooter.com interview
Copyright 2012
All Rights Reserved.

Page 2


Gene Hapney:  Which aspect of trap guns do you consider most important to consistent shooting, a popular brand of shotgun or a stock that’s fitted to you?


Jimmy:  Definitely a stock that is fitted to you, and adjusting that stock to let the gun shoot where you’re looking.  Also take into consideration the length of pull.  For example, mine is 15-3/8s inches length of pull and zero pitch. This helps the impact to be higher compared to a negative pitch gun.  


Gene Hapney:  How important is a quality trigger pull and have you experienced any problems with yours?


Jimmy:  I feel trigger pull is very important.  Yes, I’ve had problems in the past. Sometimes a little creep or travel has had to be completely taken out.  I shoot between
3-1/4 to 3-1/2 pounds of pull.  In my opinion, it allows me to know when my trigger goes off compared to a light trigger (1-1/2 to 2 pounds).  As you make your move to the target, your gun goes off and you never reach the target.  This can lead to subconscious flinching.  


Gene Hapney:  Do you visualize breaking the next target prior to calling it out?


Jimmy:  Gene, Gene, Gene . . . you’re wearing me out!  Not really.  I make sure I have good vision of where I want to see the target break the house with no anticipation in my body or my eyes, waiting to see movement of the target itself.  If you do those things correctly, the target will be broken automatically.  We get in trouble by subconsciously anticipating the target leaving the house.  For example, when you call for a target and you don’t get a target, what’s going on?  Most people have their eyes already looking or moving for the target, and the gun moving also.  When you call and don’t get a target, nothing should be moving.  You’re not tracking anything yet.  Analyze your breaks to adjust your gun to shoot where you’re looking on a consistent basis.


Tom T:  If you could offer any advice for a new shooter who has yet to break his or her first 100 straight, what would it be?

:  Not to put value on the target.  How many times have you gone out to practice and run 25 because there’s no meaning to it but to have fun and break some targets. In competition, everyone tends to put a value on the target to break 100 straight.  One scenario would be running 75 and going to the last trap . . . how many times have you heard other shooters say, “if I only run this trap, I’ll break 100”?  That puts more pressure on you as a shooter because you’re counting your targets.  I’ve always made each 25 targets on a trap just another 25 targets.  You have an endless amount of targets to shoot that day and should take them one at a time.  That becomes a part of the mental game of trapshooting. Mentally, it’s a challenge to make the fourth trap the same as your first or third trap.


Dennis Dixon:  My question is this, on your way back, did you have trouble with one particular yardage and what did you do to overcome it?  Thank you.


Jimmy:  Yes, I did.  I got stuck on the 25 yard line for approximately two years. Sometimes you reach a plateau and there are no stepping stones to know how to get past it.  I had a little frustration but as time went on I analyzed gun movement and lengthened my stock and started to experiment.  The further back you go, the less gun movement you should have and the less gun movement you want.  For me, that was lengthening my stock and raising the point of impact up which allowed for more vertical lead, which led to less gun movement up and down.