Muscle Memory System of Robert Louis
Written by Deborah K. McKown, Shotgun Life
it comes to shooting clays, muscle memory is one of those
things that can be either a blessing or a curse.
blessing when you imprint the proper way to mount and swing
a shotgun into your motor skills so that they become “second
nature.” It’s a curse if you’ve developed an awful swing or
mount that has already turned into a so-called “bad habit”
that becomes difficult to break. Either way, you can see the
subconscious power of muscle memory at work every time you
step up to shoot a clay target.
In a nutshell
muscle memory implies the benefits of ongoing repetition to
develop a motor skill that requires less and less conscious
thought to execute. Shotgun instructors and other experts
in the field would argue that muscle memory is associated
with the notion of instinct shooting, where you are able to
immediately identify a target break point, pull the trigger
and score the hit. Regardless, developing good muscle memory
that ensures top performance can be a challenge.
muscle memory may not be considered part of the core curriculum
for clays shooting, you’ll read about it in material from
The author shooting skeet.
book “The Coaching Hour Chronicles: Conversations in the Pursuit
of Sporting Clays Excellence – Volume 1” Gil and Vicki Ash
write: “You create muscle memory through slow, repetitive
movements that you can feel, not see. You don’t create muscle
memory visually. You create it through feel. I will be very
blunt and honest with you. If you will spend fifteen to twenty
minutes a day, by yourself, in a room with a gun, (not loaded
of course) with your eyes closed and shoot five stations,
six pairs in a row, with the gun, with a routine, with your
eyes closed, you will begin to feel your swing.”
author of the book “The Orvis Guide to Gunfitting,” says in
the book: “First you commit the fundamentals to muscle memory.”
Bowlen’s book “The Orvis Wing-Shooting Handbook” advises:
“To be a successful shooter, you must understand the basic
technique involved and practice enough to maintain muscle
memory and timing.”
instructor Chris Batha has written: “Learning and constantly
reinforcing the muscle memory of planning, implementing a
plan and problem-solving will help hone your mental toughness
in the stress of a competition or in a shoot-off.”
way to develop muscle memory is to shoot a lot of targets.
The caveat here is that you had better make sure your shotgunning
basics are good or you risk embedding poorly learned skills
that can hurt your game long term. That means you should have
taken lessons from a trusted, qualified instructor to get
down the fundamentals of foot position, gun mount, focus,
stance, swing and so on. Once you feel comfortable that you
have mastered the fundamentals then the rest is practice,
out to actually shoot, however, can present some familiar
obstacles. There’s that thing called a job, which dominates
most of our time. We all have family obligations that take
precedence. There’s those long, dreary winters for many shooters
who can find their favorite clays course buried under snow
for several weeks at a stretch. And what about money? Some
of us fret over the price of gas, ammunition and target fees.
In a perfect
world, all of us would be able to practice our clays shooting
as often as possible with little concern for time, weather
in mind, what I discovered is that the Robert Louis Company
has an arsenal of products that can help clays shooters develop
muscle memory at home.
From the Robert Louis Company, the Basic Ultimate Practice
Shooting System, which includes the All-Gauge Red
LaserShooter, All-Gauge Green LaserShooter, LaserPro and
Pro-Kit case. The company bundles products for savings
over individual purchases.
clays shooters have turned to either books or instructional
DVDs when it came to improving their skills from the comfort
of their favorite sofa. I think of those products as passive
learning tools. They convey vital information while you’re
sitting there munching popcorn. Robert Louis, meanwhile, provides
products for safe, indoor practice with the primary intent
of actively developing muscle memory.
owner of the Robert Louis Company, packages these hands-on
devices under the umbrella of Indoor Shotgun Training Products.
In his suite of offerings, laser beams, as we typically see
on laser pointers, serve two purposes: they either substitute
as flying clay targets or they are inserted into the muzzle
of the shotgun to indicate point of impact (where they can
also serve double-duty for determining proper gun fit).
The All-Gauge UltraBrite Red LaserShooter
from the Robert Louis Company.
LaserShooter concentrates on gun swing and mount – shotgunning
techniques where good muscle memory is critical. You drop
the rocket-shaped LasterShooter into the muzzles, where it
projects a red or green laser beam. Mount the gun and swing
it so that the beam follows the seam of where a wall meets
the ceiling. See where the laser is pointing. Surprised? You
may very well be once you see the laser beam in action.
calls this process Dry Mounting. Think of the seam as the
line of the target. From the perspective of enhancing your
muscle memory, the LaserShooter turns the art of a gun mount
into a science with quantifiable results that you can measure
and improve upon.
instructors would say that a small flashlight inserted into
the muzzle could serve the same purpose. But does it really?
If you’re looking for precision control, the laser offers
a sharper image of your swing compared with the diffused light
pattern of a flashlight. Remember, an inch at the muzzle can
translate into several inches or feet at the point of impact.
Do you want to risk it?
to letting you practice your mount and swing, the LaserShooter
can serve as the first step toward determining whether or
not your shotgun actually fits. When you look down the rib
of your shotgun, you may think the comb and point of impact
are properly aligned; but when you mount the gun to that seam,
the laser could show you that the muzzles are pointing in
a different direction that you had anticipated. The next step
would be a pattern board or perhaps a proper gun fitting.
LaserShooter fits 12 gauge and 12/20 gauge shotguns. The All-Gauge
LaserShooter comes in four gauge sizes (12, 20, 28 and 410).
The LaserShooter is available in two different beams: The
basic Ultra Brite Red and a Super Brite Green. Mr. Foege says
that the Super Brite Green is considerably more visible than
the Ultra Brite Red. The red and green also lets two shooters
practice together. The basic LaserShooter in red costs between
$150 to $250 depending on the number of gauges you select.
The green version ranges in price from $230 to $330.
purchase a $29 Trigger Switch for the LaserShooter. The Trigger
Switch simulates firing the shotgun. One end of the Trigger
Switch has a metal band, the other a wire that connects to
the LaserShooter. You slip the metal band around your trigger
finger. When the band touches the metal trigger it closes
a circuit that actuates the laser beam. Among other things,
the Trigger Switch can be helpful in diagnosing flinches.
The Trigger Switch works on any shotgun that have non-conductive
coatings (such as Benelli, Franchi and Blaser) on their internals,
thus avoiding the necessity of a grounding wire.
comes to developing muscle memory, the company’s other helpful
product is the LaserPro White Lightning Moving Target Projector.
It’s actually quite ingenious. The technology is encased in
a box that’s 7½ inches long, 3¾ inches wide
and 1½ inches tall. An adjustable table-top tripod
projects one or two moving laser targets. Using two lasers
you can designate the lead beam as the theoretical target
lead while the trailing beam becomes the target. The other
alternative is to use both beams as a doubles shot.
are three control knobs that afford near infinite variety
of targets within the parameters of two beams. You can adjust
speed and lateral movement – the same motions pertaining to
overhead targets that run along the ceiling by turning the
box on its side.
have presentations that enable you to monitor your lead (determine
if you’re stopping the gun), mount and line of target. The
LaserPro gives you the constant repetition needed to hone
your shooting skills – emulating the practice that you might
use at a troublesome station. It costs $385.
Louis Company will sell you banner for $370 that depicts a
skeet and trap range on which you throw the beams. It’s 9
feet wide by 4½ feet tall.
The LaserPro Moving Target Projector
mounted on the
Wobbler Olympic Gold True Target Oscillator.
component of the LaserPro White Lightning Moving Target Projector
is the Wobbler. Like its name suggests, the Wobbler mimics
wobble trap. The Wobbler is a brick-size box. You attach the
LaserPro to it and the wobble oscillates side to side. Again,
if you mount the LaserPro sideways on the wobbler you’ll achieve
the same effect for overhead targets. Dialing in the various
modes, you can use the Wobbler to reproduce dropping targets,
chandelles, fast quartering outgoers and birds that curl away.
the Wobbler can expand the library of targets that shooters
will experience in the field. For the rest of us, practice
makes perfect. The Wobbler is priced at $179.
the Robert Louis Company has a full system that addresses
higher performance through muscle memory. Mr. Foege offers
various product bundles that lower the costs of individual
In making a cost comparison with course time, there are a
few things that you should take into account. First, you’re
saving money on shells, course fees and gas. Second, you could
conceivably cut back on a lesson or two with your instructor.
And third, there’s less wear and tear on your body: no recoil
or extreme weather.
clays shooting enthusiasts, the more I practice, the better
my game. My sporting clays scores have definitely improved
lately on the order of 10 percent. And I credit that to a
better swing and smoother mount, which enable faster target
acquisition – all the attributes of improved muscle memory.
looking for an inexpensive and convenient way to practice
your clays shooting, the muscle memory system of the Robert
Louis Company is worth investigating.
Deborah McKown is the Editor of Shotgun Life. You can reach
her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upland Almanac, Winter 2012
ShotgunWorld.com - Review by Jay Gentry, April 5, 2011
weekend I had a chance to try out the Ultimate Practice Shooting
System sold by the Robert Louis Company. This system is to
clay shooting as a pitching machine is to baseball. I can
certainly see the value in it. They have developed a system
that displays a moving laser light against a vinyl banner
representing a skeet field. As the laser dot moves across
the simulated skeet field you shoot at it with a laser light
attached to your barrel. Each time you pull the trigger a
laser dot is shot at the moving target. Does this help? Absolutely!
The key to many sports is developing a certain motion until
it becomes part of your muscle memory. This is exactly what
the Ultimate Practice Shooting System does for you.
use the Ultimate Practice Shooting System you'll need a blank
wall. It doesn't have to be huge because the system has a
window adjustment. This allows you to control the distance
that the laser dot is thrown left to right or right to left.
It also includes a speed adjustment and the ability to throw
singles or doubles. That's a very cool feature. I also need
to mention that they include a template that allows you determine
the POI (Point of Impact) of your shotgun. Using this you
can determine if poor shooting is due to poor gun fit. That
last nifty gadget was the 'Wobbler'. You attach it to the
laser target and it simulates ...well they explain it best
on their website...
"The WOBBLER is an oscillating mechanism that moves an
attached LaserPro back and forth to duplicate real life Sporting
Clays and Trap targets. Used alone, the LaserPro projects
straight line targets; used with the Wobbler, the LaserPro
projects real-life targets that arch and move in unpredictable
Was all of this easy to use and setup? Yes. The directions
are easy and the equipment seems to be high quality. I highly
recommend this product to anyone that wants to improve their
Read more about this product at http://www.shotguncombogauge.com/