MARK RUSSELL says: To start with the disadvantages first, the only thing I can think of is that it’s not really suitable for the novice shooter.
That’s not to say that a beginner can’t learn to shoot using this style, it’s just that I reckon the concept is easier to understand and master if:
A – You’ve already grasped how clays are broken by being hit by a stream of shot colliding with the target.
B – You’ve already built up a good mental library of sight pictures.
That said, maintained lead is a fantastic way of busting clays.
In normal shooting (pull away or swing through) the muzzles are either behind or on the bird to start with, then the gun is moved to bring the muzzles ahead of the target.
In maintained lead, however, the muzzles are ALWAYS positioned ahead of the bird. Even when you call for the bird, your stance should ensure the swing starts ahead; it continues (ahead of the target) along the flight line of the bird and, when the gun is finally mounted in the shoulder the trigger is pulled.
As the name suggests, there is a ‘maintained lead’ at all times.
The problem, especially for the novice shooter, arises even before you call for the bird as you need to establish in your mind the amount of lead you’re going to give the target even before you mount the gun, based upon the bird’s speed and trajectory.
When shooting maintained lead style, the muzzles are ALWAYS positioned ahead of the bird.