Sporting Masterclass

Philip Thorrold launches his new series demonstrating how he tackles a quartering away left-to-right target followed by an on report right-to-left

Don’t look back at the trap; it will drop your chances of hitting the target by 20 per cent. First look at the line of the targets, look for the smallest angle of the flight line of the target, drop the muzzle of the barrel just below the flight line and move the gun back about a foot. Make sure your head is down and forward, keeping your head and gun still move your eyes across to the left to catch the target.
Call pull: you will pick up the flying target with your eyes. As soon as you see the target bring the gun up to your cheek, never take your eyes off the target. Don’t worry about the gun, it will be like catching a ball – you never focus on your hand. As the gun touches your cheek you will see the gun in your peripheral vision. This means that all your focus is beyond the barrels on the target, shoot at the front edge of the target. No lead is required because the angle is so small.
After making the first shot keep the gun mounted on your shoulder ready for the second shot. Your eyes go across the gun to the right to catch the right-to-left target. As you see the target wait for it to come to the line of your gun, which is mounted ready to shoot at the approaching target. You again see the gun in your peripheral vision and you will automatically shoot just before the target reaches the line of fire. Once practised, this technique will give a 100 per cent kill rate on quartering targets.
In contrast, if you use the ‘swing through’ technique you look back at the trap to catch up with the target. By the time the gun catches up, the target is quartering away. The gun is moving so fast and the angle is so small that you will have a 20 per cent chance of going too far past the target and missing in front.
The second target will be released on the first shot and the gun will be travelling in the opposite direction to the target. Now you go behind the target and have to stop and change the direction the gun is travelling in and begin the swing to catch the target, which by this time is at its smallest angle.
There is an 80 per cent chance of missing this target by swinging through the gun too far in front using the swing through technique.

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Posted in Coaching, Sporting

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