Lead on Skeet targets


December 9, 2005, 09:39 PM
Being relatively new in shooting skeet, I welcome advice from some of the guys who not only have been shooting a long time but have impressive scores, rarely missing. Most of it is very helpful -- except for one area. How much to lead the clays from the various positions. They tell me to lead the station 4 bird by about 4 feet. But I like to swing through and as I pass the nose of the bird, I shoot. If I don't stop my swing I usually get a hit. But the "pros" at this tell me to lead by 4 feet. I thought that if I kept swinging as I shot, the shot column would move in the direction of the swing as well as at the bird - although a lot faster in that direction. Any other long time skeet/wing shooters out there care to clear this up?

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December 9, 2005, 10:26 PM
Here is an excellent article that Case on Shotgunworld posted:

Click Here! (http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=49004)

December 9, 2005, 10:32 PM
Perceived Lead will:

-vary as YOU gain experience.
-vary from shooter to shooter.

Applicable no matter if shooting Pass/ Swing thru, or Sustained lead.

I understand this does seem to help you much, I do apologize. My best advice is to :

1)Proper Gun fit
2)Qualified Instructor /Competent shooter that can instruct.
3)Observe/ be observed.

I and other shooters/ instructors will advise "you just smoked that target, stop and ingrain everything you just pictured, everything you did".

Rules: One cannot hit what they cannot see. NEVER allow the bird to get under your muzzle, most misses by newer shooters are shooting over the bird. Second most missed is shooting behind because the bird "beat" you and you never caught it. Third ( believe it or not) is shooting in front of bird. They are improving and shooting too far ahead. Thinking they have to shoot that far ahead as they did before - not realizing they have improved and are aquiring bird quicker.

I can stand and watch a shooter and by watching determine why he missed, and read the 'breaks / chips'.

With persmission, just watch better shooters whom shoot your style ( pass. sustained) just stand back behind, don't crowd and get the rhythm and get a feel for "perceived lead". This is why if in a tourney,and someone is having a bad day - do not watch them shoot, it will mess YOUR game up.

As we know from pad to center stake is 21 yds. I shoot low gun btw, and when I started say from station 4, I didn't break the bird until about halfway past the center stake. I got to where I never missed 4. Then I did, I was gaining skill and was missing in front.

My perceived that used to work, now had to be changed, I was getting on the bird faster, and had to change my perceived lead.

Low gun, gun fits, smooth gun to face,and smooth became fast, I was seeing NO lead, and breaking it BEFORE it reached the center stake.

I was "on it" ,'passing thru it" and "slap!"

All I see is the very most leading sliver of target. I swing extremly fast. Folks able to "read me" says it appears I am only 2"-6" ahead of bird when I slapped trigger. Depends whom is "reading" me shoot...different folks percieve the same view different. This is station 4.

Low 7 there is nothing but dust because I hit about 1/4 the way out of the house.

Low 6, I break about the same way...on doubles I have time to smoke a cigarette waiting for H 6 to come on over. <taps foot, smokes, checks watch, 'any time now, I'm waiting"> :p I'll break the second bird on doubles at 6 between 1/4 to the low house to 1/8 in. Let the bird come to you, nail it.

Just like leading a spray from a garden hose - once you catch what ever it is you are trying to spray ( neighbors pet, kid running in the water, a ball being rolled) your human computer remembers the perceived lead and you "know".

I am dead serious about this gun fit to shooter, and doing 25 repetitions a day and dryfiring. Get slivers of orange tape to replicate the leading edge and practice smooth swing, pulling thru , slapping trigger and FOLLOW THRU.

Garage, spare room, warehouse...just practice 4 rules of Safety and Rules for Dryfire Practice. Actually having that sliver of orange to focus and train your mind and body - really really works.

Human Computer will remember - like Zen you will do this on the Skeet Field.



Dave McCracken
December 10, 2005, 08:36 AM
Steve, your post may be the best compilation of advice on shooting skeet ever.

December 10, 2005, 09:11 AM
Steve is certainly a better skeet shooter than I am, but at a local club level I got where I was pretty good.

For me swing through never worked consistently. Some days when my timing from eye to brain to finger was good I shot good, other days I would dip into the low 20's. Going to sustained lead changed that, for me it takes the timing aspect away and lets me shoot consistently day to day and also (maybe more importantly) lets me shoot consistently with just about any gun I can mount on my shoulder.

I still take some shots on the sporting clays course or out hunting that use the pass through method, but I find sustained lead more consistent and use that method when I can.

Like Steve, I can stand behind a guy and see exactly where he is shooting. I won't tell someone that they need another foot, instead of dimensions that may or may not make sense I will tell them add another third to the lead you see. The lead 'you see' is all that matters. Find someone that can see what you need to know, and listen to them. Delete all shots from your memory that are less than full crushed smoked hammered targets, those aren't the ones you play back in your head over and over and over. Hit a target hard, visualize EXACTLY what you saw as much as you can and your scores will improve as fast as they would if you were actually shooting.

Pretty thin post after the advise above but I hope it helps.

December 10, 2005, 11:11 AM
1' foot at one

2' feet at two

3' feet at three

3' feet at four

3' feet at five

2' feet at six

1' foot at seven

1" at eight

I use the 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1. method. It's a place to start.

December 10, 2005, 12:55 PM
Looks like I am late to the party here.

Take sm's and HSMITH's advice, they are both right. Gun fit is the key as Steve pointed out, and practice. I can shoot both sustained or pass through shooting. Get someone to tell you where you are when you miss the target.

ysr_racer leads are the quick dirty way that is the ideal leads that are the best way to start out in a perfect world, It's what I started out with and what I teach new shooters, but as Steve says, "leads change somewhat with experience." Each person perceives the leads just a little differently as well.

As you put more shells through the gun and gain more experience you'll understand there is no simple answer. Just try to digest as much info as possible and put what works to good use.

December 10, 2005, 02:03 PM
The link given above notes this book "Skeet Shooting with D. Lee Braun and the Remington Pros" which has photos showing exactly the lead necessary. I've never gone wrong when I could coordinate myself sufficiently to actually duplicate the sight picture shown.

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