Many shooters we encounter have trouble grasping the concept of lead needed to hit a moving target. There are different types of lead and they all have their place in wingshooting. Let’s go through the 3 main types of lead to help you get a better understanding of how you can establish lead with a shotgun.
Swing Through or Pull-Through
The shooter mounts with the gun behind the target, then accelerates the gun through the target, pulling the trigger when the right amount of lead is achieved.
The shooter mounts the gun on the target, then accelerates the gun forward of the target, pulling the trigger when the right amount of lead is achieved.
The shooter mounts the gun ahead of the target, matching the target speed, pulling the trigger when the right amount of lead is achieved.
One thing that is important no matter which type of lead that you choose is follow through. Follow through is the continuation of your swing after pulling the trigger. Follow through ensures you don’t stop the gun as you fire. If you do stop the gun as you fire it will reduce your lead and result in a miss behind the bird.
The other big question I know a lot of you have is, when do I know I have the right amount of lead? That is a great question. When you throw a ball to someone that is moving, how do you know where to throw it? Or when you are catching a ball how do you know exactly where your hands should be and when you should close them? There is really two answers, one, your eyes see and then your brain calculates the speed, distance, and direction of travel and then you hands and body respond to the data to move where they need to. We have that natural ability in us, but of course, just like any sport or activity; it needs to be practiced to increase the skill level.
We know that is can be very frustrating to get out and practice and keep missing targets without knowing where you are missing. There are a few great options to help with this. First, grab someone that is an experienced shooter to come with your. An experienced shooter should be able to help you see where you are missing. You can always hire a shotgun instructor or coach. A qualified instructor will cost you some money but will save you a lot of frustration. I also want to mention one other too. Winchester has developed the AA Traacker round that allows you to see where you are shooting. Instead of shooting round after round guessing and getting frustrated use the AA Traacker round.
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Now get out there and improve your wing and clay shooting! If you have any comments or questions please leave a comment below.