Clay pigeon shooting
JOHN BIDWELL says:
You don’t say how long you’ve been shooting but, by the sounds of it, not all that long.

Chances are you haven’t yet learnt how to mount the gun properly – an automatic action that’s both smooth and unhurried.

If you are just starting out then I really do recommend that you spend a few minutes each day dry mounting the (unloaded) gun in the comfort of your own home.

The simplest exercise is to stand in front of a mirror and bring the gun up to the reflection of your master eye which you should see just over the top of the centre rib.

Start with the stock tucked just below your armpit with the muzzles pointing towards the reflection of your master eye in the mirror. Assuming you are right handed, push your left hand towards the mirror and, at the same time, lift the gun with the right.

‘Pushing’ with the left ensures the heel of the stock clears the armpit, and ‘lifting’ with the right allows the butt to slide nicely into your shoulder pouch. Don’t aim the gun. Concentrate on the reflection of your right eye in the mirror and you should find the muzzle comes to the point of aim every time.

Dry mounting like this helps you get used to the weight and balance of the gun but continual mounting tires the muscles so restrict yourself to just three or four minutes per session, once in the morning and again in the evening.

If you’re happy with the way you mount the gun, and still feel rushed, then pay a lot closer attention to where you look for the target, and hold the gun in relation to its line of flight.

Commonest cause here is looking too near the trap, thereby allowing the clay to get too far out before you focus on it properly. And if this happens, it’s only natural you will have to rush to catch up and fire a shot.


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