As I travel around teaching the shooting academy, individual lessons, instructor certifications, and scholastic certifications, I am amazed what shooter's are placing their faith in.  Some think there is magic out there, some have no faith in themselves (already defeated), I need lessons from a top shooter (nothing wrong with), I need a new gun, Which choke is best, What method do I need to use, I hope Dad brought those high brass shells, I wish someone would tell me the lead or how to hit that target, as I don't know.

A lot of time we don't take responsibility for our own actions.  We blame others, there was too much talking while I was shooting, there were carts moving all over the place, something was wrong with my gun, it was raining.

If we miss a target, whose fault is it really? 

Attitude, makes all the difference.

We can't change what others do, all we can change is ourselves, Think about that.

Listen to me: There are no advanced shooting methods, only advanced applications to the basics.

All the chokes work, all the methods work, all the guns work, all the shells work. 

If you want magic in your shooting, you need to establish a good foundation.  If the gun fits, the eyes are right ( dominant eye over the barrel), then there are two most common causes of misses. they are improper set up, and lack of hard focus!

Ok, Ok, I get it, there are always exceptions to the rule.

One is the line of the target another and the other is a two piece move to the target instead of a one piece move to the target. Or better known as shooting with face on the gun.  Lets break that down.

Line of the target is crucial.  

Just as important as muzzle hold or hard focus.
You must always know what the target is doing at the break point ( is is going up, dropping, turning ) then set up accordingly. Mark your line on trees, object in the sky  (see how high it is above a certain tree).

A one piece move vs a two piece move.

All targets are different, all leads are different.  You shoot the individual target, with the speed, method the target requires.  A crosser seems to give some shooter's trouble.  They wait on the target to come to them, then they mount the gun to the face first, then chase the target.  The moment they do this they are behind.  The first move is not to the face, The first move is to the target.  If you keep your eye on the leading edge of the target, the gun will follow the eyes.  Remember it is eyes, body, gun!  Not eyes , hands, gun.

Using the hands only vs. using the whole body.

When you are a shooter that uses all hands, if you hit some targets then miss the same target then that should be a red flag.

A shooter whom uses all hands will jerk off line.  A consistent shooter turns at the waist, and that keeps the hands on line of the target.

Remember it is eyes, body, gun!

Not eyes, hands, gun.

Shooting with the face on the gun (all the time) vs. head off the gun.

Why do we shoot with our face off the gun in sporting clays?

That is what gets the gun away from the eyes, by allowing us to see the target.

In sporting clay's when one is always shooting with the face on the gun, the target will disappear behind the barrel somewhere along the flight path.  Then we lose it , see it, then jerk the hands, most of the time stopping the barrel.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?   There is nothing more effective than a good foundation, and proper practice.

Now that is magic!

Practice is not going out shooting 100 targets. That is throwing lead and having fun. 
Practice is taking a flat of shells to a target and shooting it 10 times is a row before you move. Then change angles, same process until you hit 10 in a row. Back up, do same thing, if you can't hit 10 in a row, you don't move. You have to earn the right to shoot harder targets.  If you have a flaw in your shooting, harder targets is not the answer.  This is practice you will get something out of.  Not throwing lead, that is just having fun. Nothing wrong with that, if fun is all you want!

I have a question for you, What do you want out of your shooting?

You are the only one that can answer that question.

Let me know if I can assist you.


Rick Smith

NSCA  Level III Instructor
Master Class