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 Post subject: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:35 am 
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Seems this is a very illusive subject. Some shooters, instructors, state that you see lead in inches others see it in feet. Some say that if they look hard enough at the clay their subconscious figures out the lead and they just pull the trigger. Some say they use the technique of swing through or pull away and don’t see lead, just pull the trigger as the muzzle passed through the clay or while pulling away. Some see the lead the whole time out of their peripheral vision the whole time with suatained lead.
Is there a progression of techniques that the shooter must go through to allow them to build trust or advance? Or if you see or don’t see perceived lead does that change with time and experience?




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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:40 am 
Tournament Grade

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I can't naturally see lead and try to keep hard focus on the bird... if I try to measure lead my eye(s) will jump to the bead/barrel.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:51 am 
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The few times that I have shot well, no I did not see lead at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:54 am 
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It takes a lot of repetitions. I got to the point of being able to hip shoot any target at 5-stand as long as I could hard focus the bird, with no visual perception of lead, only feel. It took a lot of shooting and a lot of failure. The more experienced I became, the less I was aware of seeing the lead and the more aware I was of feeling it. If I'm hard focused on a target and I miss, I'll almost always be able to tell you where I missed and why. If I'm trying to see lead when I pull the trigger, I might not be as aware of where I was. On many presentations, I'll insert on an approximate lead and then shift focus (virtually) entirely on the bird.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:57 am 
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K80Doc,

This is a very subjective topic. For most of us I think we need to learn what works for each of us. Some people see '6 feet of lead' others see '3 feet of lead'. Neither is wrong. It just depends. You need to figure out what you 'see for lead' on a given target presentation.

For me, there are some shots where I am aware of lead, and other shots where I am not. I am always trying to keep a hard focus on the target, but for some shots I am aware of pointing the barrel in front of the target, and in other instances I feel I am shooting right at the target (even though I know logically I am somehow calculating several feet or more of lead). Some people are blessed with incredible hand to eye coordination and are naturals at shooting, but for most of us I think the only way to figure out lead is to shoot different presentations and figure out the sight pictures/perceived lead that work for each of us. And hopefully quite a bit of this shooting is done while working with an instructor who can see where/how/why you are missing.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 12:48 pm 
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For me it comes down to this: "If you are looking (or thinking about) the lead, you are NOT looking at the target". Unless it is a fast quartering away or a trap target, matching target's speed is more important than "applying" a particular lead, in my opinion. It does require a lot of practice to ingrain various target presentations and the "leads" necessary to break them into one's shooting database, but learning to match target speed and control your barrels to stay on target line will make you more consistent shooter. It is also important to learn other shooting methods besides the conventional swing-through, pull-away, and sustained. Target setters are very creative these days, and being proficient with collapsing (diminishing) lead, catch-move, straight line to brake point, etc. is becoming essential.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 12:53 pm 
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As is obvious from last Sunday, apparently I'm not even seeing the targets.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:51 pm 
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A lot of shooters tell you that if the gun fits you it will shoot where you are looking.

They also tell to look hard at the target.

If you are looking hard at the target, gun fits you, and it takes a 10' lead you will be 10' behind.

I have been working on the Peter Blakeley way of shooting.

Looking hard at the target and at the last second look to the lead and pull the trigger.

It seems like a good way of doing it.

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Last edited by KRIEGHOFFK80 on Wed May 02, 2018 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 2:00 pm 
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The more you practice , the luckier you are.

TMYP , the quicker you learn when to change something when you miss.

TMYP , the quicker you learn what and how to change something when you miss.

Lead will usually take care of itself. Being off line or mis-judging the speed and distance leads to "o"s.

TMYP, the easier it is to learn speed , distance and line.

Or you could just buy a more expensive shell. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 2:58 pm 
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You LOOK at the TARGET while you SEE the lead in your PERIPHERY via the barrel. In fact, because some folks are looking so hard at the target, they often will say they "Look at the target and FEEL the lead..." ;)

PS: IMHO any other system that has you looking anywhere EXCEPT the target at the time you trigger, is almost certainly a recipe for inconsistent performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:20 pm 
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Do I actually see lead? If by "lead" you mean recognition of the fact that the target will be in a different spot when the shot gets there than what the target is now, then the answer is absolutely "YES". I know from experience that if I shoot where the target is now, I'm not likely to break it unless it's a straight incomer or straight outgoing target.

Through years of experience of shooting targets and watching other shooters shoot targets, I've developed a "feel" for how far the target is going to move along its trajectory before the shot charge gets there. This is based on speed of the target, distance to the target, trajectory of the target, etc.

So, with this information in my brain, I know pretty much where I need to shoot in relation to the target in order to break the target. So, what I have to do is make sure I shoot where the target is going to be when the shot charge gets there. Therefore, I'm looking at the target, but I'm also looking where my muzzle is pointed in relation to the target. If you want to call this "seeing lead", then yes, I see lead. If I didn't see lead, how would I know where to shoot to break the target? Also, if I didn't see lead and miss the target with my shot, how would I know how to make a correction for the next shot at that target?

Did you ever watch a good shooter shoot and miss a target, then after the miss he says something like "I was too far in front"? Then on the next shot at that target, he corrects his lead and smokes the target. So how did he know he was too far in front if he didn't see the lead?

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:41 pm 
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yes I see lead.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 7:26 pm 
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I don't fully understand it either, but I think the feel that I'm talking about comes from the relationship between the hands (and maybe the body) and the bird. Have you ever shot a fade away baseline jumpshot and knew immediately upon release that you were ripping the net? Likewise, have you ever shot a jumper and knew immediately you were going to miss and where to position for the rebound? The eyes are on the rim, not the ball. Same thing with throwing a football. You look at your receiver and hit him in the numbers. It's your body awareness in relationship to the receiver that you feel.

I agree with many of the points above, but I believe from my experience that there is something else, proprioception/kinesthesia, that contributes to feel, not just a peripheral visual awareness of the barrel, but the ability to point without visual input of the pointer.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Thanks for the replies. It seems that the word “FEEL” is stated in several post. So is “FEEL” the entire shot process or just the desired picture at the time the trigger is pulled?
And is the “FEEL” Subconscious or Conscious? Is it learned or natural that some have and some don’t ?


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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:04 pm 
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SirSkeetsALot wrote:
I don't fully understand it either, but I think the feel that I'm talking about comes from the relationship between the hands (and maybe the body) and the bird. Have you ever shot a fade away baseline jumpshot and knew immediately upon release that you were ripping the net? Likewise, have you ever shot a jumper and knew immediately you were going to miss and where to position for the rebound? The eyes are on the rim, not the ball. Same thing with throwing a football. You look at your receiver and hit him in the numbers. It's your body awareness in relationship to the receiver that you feel.

I agree with many of the points above, but I believe from my experience that there is something else, proprioception/kinesthesia, that contributes to feel, not just a peripheral visual awareness of the barrel, but the ability to point without visual input of the pointer.


Shooting a basketball or throwing a football have little in common with shooting a shotgun at a moving target. The only similarity is that the ball is thrown to the point where the thrower thinks the target/receiver will be when the ball gets there.

If you don't think that muzzle awareness is necessary to hit a target, then try shooting some time at moving targets when it is totally dark and you can't see your barrels or muzzle.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:08 pm 
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I'll keep that in mind and will try it sometime.

Do you think that hip shooting is more about muzzle awareness or feel?

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:11 pm 
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How often a correction is made upon hitting the back end, or front end of the clay. The next shot you centered it knowing how much lead given on the previous shot. Your brain knows where you were, and gives you the ability to correct....


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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:13 pm 
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K80Doc wrote:
Thanks for the replies. It seems that the word “FEEL” is stated in several post. So is “FEEL” the entire shot process or just the desired picture at the time the trigger is pulled?
And is the “FEEL” Subconscious or Conscious? Is it learned or natural that some have and some don’t ?


"Feel" is what shooters call it when they don't know how else to describe it. It's a judgement thing that is definitely learned. No one is born with the knowledge of how far to lead a 40 yard curling, dropping, crossing target. They develop the "feel" for it by trial and error and visual reinforcement.

After you've shot at thousands of similar targets, you develop a "feel" for how much lead it takes, but you've still got to place the muzzle of the gun in the correct position relative to the moving target at the moment you pull the trigger if you expect to break the target consistently.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:23 pm 
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SirSkeetsALot wrote:
I'll keep that in mind and will try it sometime.

Do you think that hip shooting is more about muzzle awareness or feel?


Hip shooting, like shoulder shooting, is dependent on seeing the direction the muzzle is pointed. It is much easier for most shooters to see this direction when the gun is mounted to the shoulder, but it's possible through extensive repetition to know where the gun is pointed by seeing its position when held at hip level.

Don't get hung up on the word "feel" or take it too literally. Once again, it's mainly a word used to describe judgement that is based on extensive experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you actually see lead?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 9:08 pm 
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I can describe feel in this context: Sensory input from proprioceptors in your muscles and joints that the brain interprets into awareness of body position and movement. In this way, some shooters may feel when they are in front, behind, or off line.

This is the reason I brought hip shooting into the conversation. It's just to illustrate a point. Hip shooting came very quickly to me though I barely practiced it. I basically did it as an experiment. What I found was that if I had any visual awareness of the barrel I would miss. If I hard focused, the gun went where it was supposed to. I thought I must be vaguely aware of the barrel to do this, but then I thought about elevation....well, there's just no way I could be getting reliable fine-tuned muzzle elevation/target line matching from my eyes on the fly. No way. What I'm doing is pointing out the bird utilizing a different sensory input.

When shooting off the shoulder, I think you and Jack are correct about peripheral awareness of the barrel. I shouldn't have said I rely solely on feel. That was incorrect. Proprioceptive input is just part of the equation, and I agree, there must be some peripheral input, as there should, with the gun in your face. I imagine some rely on proprioceptive input to point more than others.

I hope this better explains what I mean by feel.



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