If you’re just getting started in the world of clay shooting, it can be tough trying to get past the initial struggle. Here, we’re going to go through some of the main technical changes you can make to start improving your aim quickly.
Follow these tips, and you might be surprised just how fast you start getting hits rather than misses.
Get the kill zone right
When your ‘bird’ is launched, there are two positions you need to be aware of: the ‘pick up point’, which is where you first spot the target appear, and the ‘kill point’, which is where you’ll need to aim your shot. You’ll need to make a judgement on where the latter will be according to the trajectory and speed of the bird.
Find Your Dominant Eye
Almost everyone has one eye that’s stronger than the other. However, it doesn’t necessarily correspond with your stronger hand! Find your dominant eye, and if you find yourself closing an eye as you aim – as many people do – make sure it’s the weaker one you shut! (For a brilliant quick test on how to check which eye is dominant, click here
Choose ‘Gun Up’ or ‘Gun Down’
This is actually a matter of personal preference, and both techniques can work.
‘Gun up’ is a matter of pre-mounting the shotgun in your shoulder, with your face hard on the stock. You get into this position before the bird is launched.
‘Gun down’ simply means that you hold the gun out of the shoulder until the bird is actually launched, at which point you raise the gun and take aim.
Remember to Allow for Forward Allowance
When taking a shot with your shotgun, you need to allow time for the shot to actually reach the target. In other words, you’ll have to shoot to where the target is heading, rather than where it is when you pull the trigger.
How can you improve this? It’s simply a matter of practice. Every shot – unless taken from exactly the same position – will require a different amount of forward allowance. The more you shoot, the more you’ll develop a natural feel for how much forward allowance you’ll have to give.
As with any skill or craft, when it comes to clay pigeon shooting in Scotland andelsewhere, practice makes perfect.
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