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I can't tell anyone what I perceive as lead and whatever it is, it doesn't seem to change with any change of barrel length. I see the bird on the flush and shoot him.

I know that sounds over simplified, but it is that simple for me and as so, I have no perception of any lead, though there unquestionably is. I think Stan's explanation may be mine as well,except I honestly do not see the gun. At last I do not see the barrels in focus, with no awareness to either length, or width.


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I can tell you, 90% of the time, where I missed when I do. I.e., I can tell you if I was too far ahead, too far behind, etc. It's harder if I shot too high, as that is usually caused by lifting your head off the stock to get a better look, and is hard to diagnose in yourself. But, without an awareness of lead there is no way to do this.

When you shoot sporting clays seriously it becomes very important to be able to diagnose your mistakes that made you miss, and make corrections. If you miss a bird on the first pair, and you cannot remember what your lead looked like, you have no idea if you need more or less lead, or if you were off line above or below. I learned to remember the sight picture when I was an iron sight rifle and pistol competitor, and it has carried over into sporting clays. So important to be able to remember where your muzzle was when the gun went off. If you hit the bird you know to do the exact same thing again. If you missed it, you know that you need to change something. How can you do either if you can't remember what the lead looked like?

I am a serious dove shooter, too, often going to the field all alone. I hate to miss, and analyze my misses critically. It's really the only way to improve very much. Lest anyone get the idea that all this takes the fun out of it for me, let me assure you that is not the case, as anyone who has shot with me will attest.

SRH


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There are at least 4 ways to hit a moving target with a shotgun.

1. 'Swing Through'. ATA Trap is a swing through game. Except at distant handicap, there is no perceived lead. The speed of the gun puts the lead on. A high shooting gun is preferred, it builds in vertical lead. The targets are rising.

2. 'Sustained' Preached by many top notch skeet shooters. One paces the target, and is never actually behind it. Lack of follow through is common and results in poor scores using this technique. Some have good success with it.

3. 'Pull away'. Point at the target, accelerate away, shoot, follow through. Sporting clays, ducks. Useful on incoming targets with some angle on them, and for those looong pokes.

4. 'Spot' or collapsing lead. Pick a spot in front of the target, and swing through that spot. Useful for falling targets. Avoid a 'dead gun'. Swing to and through your chosen spot and don't stop the gun.

Most of us use combinations thereof.

How anyone accomplishes any of the above without knowing the 'sight picture' simply amazes me.

The hardest head I ever shot with was a good friend of mine. He always shot skeet with a snap shot technique. I guess he must have read Churchill or something. His whole family shot that way. I shot with this man for the last 7 years of his life and he never once scored a 25. I offered. I told him if he would just adopt a a sensible technique he could shoot a 100 in just a few weeks. No dice.

As far as lead vs barrel length, I never really thought about it before this thread. Guess I'm in the non believer camp.... for now. Thanks for getting that in my head though Stan. There go my scores.


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Examples of use:

Consider the following 5-stand target presentation.

A left to right rabbit thrown as a true pair with a chandelle from the right that lands about where the rabbit 'window' is. The wabbit is a quickie so it has to be taken first. It has the typical ramp, which may or not cause it to hop.

Option 1. Premount and aggressively swing through the rabbit before it has a chance to change path, then shoot the chandelle at it's peak either sustained or swing through.

Disadvantage, it's risky on the rabbit due to angle and distance. You gotta be really quick. Advantage, it's fun and it looks cool when you pull it off.

Option 2. Move with the rabbit until it either hops or doesn't then mount and shoot with speed of swing through dictated by target path and velocity. This is the higher percentage shot on the rabbit. The chandelle will be falling by now and virtually demands a 'spot' swing from below. Once you've done it a few times there is no percentage loss on this target vs shooting it up high before it develops downward arc.

The key point is that this presentation does not reward 'poke and pray' shooting. You need to think out how to approach something like this and it's most of the appeal of Sporting Clays at least to me.


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Originally Posted By: Shotgunjones
As far as lead vs barrel length, I never really thought about it before this thread. Guess I'm in the non believer camp.... for now. Thanks for getting that in my head though Stan. There go my scores.


grin

SRH


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I'd rather carry a short barreled shotgun. My target scores and numbers on doves go up with longer barrels. The more I think about my shooting the worse I shoot. I'm trying very hard to ignore this whole thread...Geo

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Originally Posted By: Stan
That pic is an excellent analogy that demonstrates what I meant, Drew. Thanks. And that also is the written explanation I was seeking.

Charles, I am a two-eyed shooter and I most definitely see the gun when I shoot at anything moving/flying. I also see lead, every time. I do not think of it in terms of feet, or inches, but my brain has stored up thousands of mental pictures of that gap that exists between the bead, which is in my subconscious vision, and the bird I just killed. It remembers those distances, or gaps, and when it sees the same presentation again it tells the muscles where to put the bead in relation to the bird. To make a couple of points clear, I never look at the muzzle or bead, and the bead is not essential for good shooting, but in absence of a bead there needs to be something at the muzzle for reference, if only a rib.

I do believe the brain learns to use the apparent width of the muzzle as a reference to lead, especially when, for some reason or another, it is harder to determine distance to a bird by triangulation, which is how I understand that the brain determines distance. That is why it is so hard for a one-eyed shooter to dominate sporting clays or FITASC, distances vary so greatly, which in turn so greatly affects lead.

SRH



Good for you! I can't say that you're unique but you certainly are not like anyone else that I know of. I for one certainly envy your ability. I'd be curious to see where you miss as recorded by a shot cam compared to where you think you miss. Mr. Winston did a great study of people calling misses, shooters and observers alike. They were all mostly wrong.


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Never used a shot cam to do so, but when I shoot with Bill McGuire, with whom I get coaching occasionally, he's looking over my shoulder and confirms where I think I miss, most of the time. Sometimes I must pause and replay the previous shot in my mind to do so, but I'm usually right.

When not with him I make the correction I think I need to not miss the same bird again, it usually works. Not always, because just because we know where we missed does not mean we know why. That's why coaching is invaluable ............. correcting the mistake that caused the miss is much more important than just knowing where we missed. When we correct those mistakes we can hopefully put things in place that prevents us from making that same mistake again. That is how we really improve.

SRH


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Good for you! I can't say that you're unique but you certainly are not like anyone else that I know of. I for one certainly envy your ability. I'd be curious to see where you miss as recorded by a shot cam compared to where you think you miss. Mr. Winston did a great study of people calling misses, shooters and observers alike. They were all mostly wrong.


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Now Dr Wonko. If Neil Winston's work on "reading breaks" is that to which you refer, you are well aware that the point was we are "mostly wrong" calling our lead/pattern POI based on how a target has broken, NOT distant crossing shots behind, below, over or ahead.

This is the most recent thread
http://www.trapshooters.com/threads/reading-breaks.212119/

And at the bottom of p. 1 there are links to older threads, but I couldn't find Neil's original.

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