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I enjoy going out and shooting clay pigeons. I usually do so just outside of town with my little thrower but sometimes I go do trap or sporting clays. The people I go shooting with always talk about how much they lead the target, but I just point my gun right at the target and don't seem to have a problem hitting the targets, do you know why that is? I don't use fast loads. Does that mean that they don't really know what they are talking about or does it mean that I am really leading the target and just don't realize it?
 

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It could be that the folks you are talking to don't know what they are talking about.... or that you really are leading the target without realizing it.... or it may be that you are standing close to your little thrower and most of your shots are going straight away from you. Straight aways take little to no lead, but crossing targets take lots and lots of lead.

So it could be that you, and the folks you are talking to, may both be right.
 

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Everyone sees lead or the lack thereof differently. You may be using a swing through method that is basically Butt, body,beak, bang where you don't see a lead and shoot at the front of the bird as you swing through it. The timing of when your brain tells you to pull the trigger to the time that it actually happens builds in the lead you need to break the bird with the momentum of the swinging gun. I never listen to anyone talking lead or give my opinion on lead because I may not see it the same way they do.
 

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Everyone above is correct. Different targets have different leads and different perceived leads. And perceived lead is often different from one shooter to the other. Many shooters shoot swing-through, which is what you seem to be describing. In this case, as noted above, the gun speed is what actually generates the necessary lead. Be certain, if you are pointing at a moving target and your barrel is moving the same speed the target is, you will miss. Behind.
 

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sound like you guy are using the two different methods i was taught.

1) pull throw - when you get to the front of the bird you shoot and keep moving through - which ends up giving you a lead. for me the faster the target the faster i have to swing through as this is the method i use

2) substained lead - some guys i shoot with use this method, they get ahead of the target to the lead distance they think and then shoot, i don't like this method as one i think it takes longer to shoot and with pairs makes the second shot harder, and the other reason i don't like is that flight changes. ok this can work great on a calm day but add a little wind and you are in trouble. on the skeet or trap field except for wind the birds always fly the same. but in sporting clays even with out wind they fly crazy flights
 

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rj....sounds to me like your doing things right. Focusing your vision on the target and letting your "human targeting solutions computer" (brain) place the shot instictively. Not perceiving the lead may be a good thing. Checking for lead is also called "bead checking", thereto will change your gun speed and follow during the shot process. Get caught up in defining or sizing your leads and start missing targets just based on a the loss of eye contact with the intended point of impact. This is a game of hand to eye coordination. If your uncertain, try hitting the ball while watching the bat.

Your shootin' buddies should be listening to your technique.

Maltzie
 

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Shoot a lot of skeet and trap and pheasants, convince yourself you're a good shot (and you are), then get into 5-stand and sporting clays. Prepare to have your mind bent and learn some humility. Then restart the learning curve. It's all good!
 

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MRPOWER said:
Everyone above is correct. Different targets have different leads and different perceived leads. And perceived lead is often different from one shooter to the other. Many shooters shoot swing-through, which is what you seem to be describing. In this case, as noted above, the gun speed is what actually generates the necessary lead. Be certain, if you are pointing at a moving target and your barrel is moving the same speed the target is, you will miss. Behind.
Well said. In swing-through, as they say, "Speed is lead and lead is speed." What I enjoy now that I've started shooting some 5-stand and clays is learning (and learning very slowly at that) is how to better read a hard-looking target and not to let the first glance deceive you. I'm also learning (again, slowly) some sustained lead techniques. On some true pairs, you start the gun beind the first bird, that second one of the pair is going to be real hump to catch up to.

It's hard to be an old dog; but it beats being a dead dog!

Oh, and find a group of guys you enjoy shooting with. On a rough day score-wise, good company can make all the difference. Value your good humor, your gun safety and your friendships more than your scores. Your scores will creep up and your laughs will soar.

Myself, I'm still grasshopper trying to snatch the pebble from master's hand...but it's fun!
 

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maltzahn said:
rj....sounds to me like your doing things right. Focusing your vision on the target and letting your "human targeting solutions computer" (brain) place the shot instictively. Not perceiving the lead may be a good thing. Checking for lead is also called "bead checking", thereto will change your gun speed and follow during the shot process. Get caught up in defining or sizing your leads and start missing targets just based on a the loss of eye contact with the intended point of impact. This is a game of hand to eye coordination. If your uncertain, try hitting the ball while watching the bat.

Your shootin' buddies should be listening to your technique.

Maltzie
The bolded portion is just so not true. I shoot sustained lead with very defined leads. And I am looking at the target all the time. Never the barrel. Never the bead.
 

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Mike....I shoot sustained also and can relate to what you are implying. Although, for the new shooter that is already focusing on the target properly, or never measured their lead visually. Trying to realize or perceive what their lead is, can represent bead checking, and lost targets.

Just warning a new shooter of what will happen during their quest to understand lead and follow. At least for this shooter to know why they may loose targets while establishing lead and move data for their targeting computer.

It is well established, that with any method of targeting variable path and flight attitude, the shooter must remain in eye contact with the intended point of impact. Lead, distance and speed is learned by seeing and centering targets, allowing for future instinctive response.

Keep it in the center.

Maltzie
 
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