Clay pigeon shooting expert


The majority of American skeet shooters shoot with the gun mounted into the shoulder before the target is called for. And very effective it is too, as evidenced by the huge scores they achieve at this discipline.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t adopt a similar approach with English Skeet ‘on this side of the pond’ if the fancy takes you because it’s a style that easily accommodates the flat, fixed and horizontal trajectory of the targets.

What’s more, the ‘broken knee’ stance ensures your head stays low on the comb, even when you change the direction of swing for the second target of a pair.

Pre-mounting the gun with a high elbow position (in much the same manner as carving a Sunday roast) is not to be encouraged however if you shoot Sporting clays or game in the field.

Such a style might work on close range crossers and going-away targets – as in trap shooting – but it too easily restricts swing on more steeply angled birds and birds travelling at different speeds and in different directions.

For instance, try shooting a high, fast, quartering away tower bird from behind followed by a high driven bird on report and you’ll soon discover the limitations of a bent knee, pre-mounted gun and high elbow position!

For completely relaxed gun movement and maximum body flexibility the gun butt needs to be held out of, and slightly below, the shoulder with both elbows comfortably placed at about 45 degrees to the body.

It’s a style that’s equally effective at Skeet… so I know which one I would be cultivating if I were you!

  • Bob Aguiar

    John makes some good points but as an instructor who teaches mostly new shooters I’d have to agree with the bent knee, high elbow and forward foot turned into a comfortable position. Recoil, being the number 1 deterrent to new shooters, can be better absorbed in this position. The high elbow assures a ‘pocket’ for the butt pad to rest in and the avoidance of the gun slipping onto the bicep. As a shooter progresses, they develop mount modifications which suit their individual body type and targets shot.