Mastering your technique when clay pigeon shooting can be a time-consuming venture. With a large number of variables, ensuring you are on target more often than not can take plenty of practice.
However, by following our top clay pigeon shooting tips, you can set yourself on the way to becoming a skilled shooter of a clay.
Whether you are a novice shooter looking to get your eye in, or shooting for the day on a work’s outing, these suggestions will stand you in good stead.
Determine your dominant eye
Following the flight of a clay is obviously half the battle when clay pigeon shooting. To do so properly, it’s important to first determine your dominant eye.
The simplest way to do so is to point at an object on the other side of the room, then cover one of your eyes. If you no longer appear to be pointing at that object, they eye you have closed is your dominant one.
Generally speaking you want to shoot on the side of your body of your dominant eye. With the gun raised up to your stronger visual guide, you will have greater success rate with the clays.
Adopt the right stance
Once you know your dominant eye, it’s key to get your stance correct. The best way to perfect your stance is to lead with the opposite side to your eye. If you have your gun on the right-hand-side of your body, start with your left foot forward and vice versa.
With the weight on the front of your foot and toe pointing towards the kill-zone (the area you intend to hit the clay), you are half-way there. If you are shooting ‘gun-up’ (shooting with your shotgun lifted into position to start), ensure the butt of your gun is comfortably placed in the groove just next to your shoulder joint.
A correct stance will undoubtedly help you swing your body to follow the flight of the clay when it is released.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how fast the clay is moving when aiming at your target. Simply following it and firing when you’re locked on is likely to result in a miss behind nine times out of ten.
Remember to consider the time it will take your shot to reach the clay after you squeeze the trigger. By tracing what you think will be the flight of the bird, you can pre-plan a collision point whereby you will break the clay.
Learning how to ‘read’ a clay will ultimately become one of the fundamental elements of mastering your technique.
Keep on swinging
Once you’ve picked your spot and squeezed the trigger, the temptation may be to abruptly stop the swing of your gun. This is one of the highest causes of missed shots in clay pigeon shooting.
Having fired off your shot, it’s important to continue the movement of the gun’s muzzle on the same axis on which you were previously moving.
Think of it in the same way as a golf swing. Golfers don’t simply strike their ball and halt their momentum upon impact. By continuing the swing you can bring more control into your shot, and therefore better accuracy.
Practice makes perfect
As with many other hobbies and pastimes, the way to clay pigeon shooting success is to practice as much as possible. If you find yourself constantly missing or just generally lacking consistency, there is probably something you can change.
Firstly, address some of the areas we’ve mentioned above. Is your stance correct? Are you sure you are aiming with your dominant eye? It could be that changing just one of the minor facets of your technique results in all-round greater results.
Like many other things though, if you are hitting the mark more often than not, small tweaks are the way to go. Fine tune your shot and soon you will be taking clays out of the sky with aplomb.
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