Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Shotgun Tip: The Right Way to Take a Crossing Shot

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Gun Nuts
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

March 02, 2012

Shotgun Tip: The Right Way to Take a Crossing Shot

By Phil Bourjaily

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/JuMnAwYzpFnhn2r19YZenpRPWGsPYcdH/3Gduepif0T1UGY8H4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

The video shows the right and wrong way to take crossing shots.  Mounting the gun ahead of the bird and pulling the trigger immediately is the easiest, best way to shoot crossers. When shots are as close as these brant are to the blinds all you have to do is look at the beak and shoot.

Riding the bird, that is, swinging with it to make sure, is the best way to miss a crosser. Once you’re on target, shoot. Your chances don’t get any better if you try to refine your lead, they get worse. Your eyes drift back to the gun to check your lead and the gun slows or stops altogether.

The segment with the shooter missing shows that what happens when you ride a target, and it also shows a very common occurrence: you miss by being too careful, then think “oh no, it’s getting away” move the gun as you should have in the first place and make the shot. I’ve done it  a million times, and you probably have, too.

Comments (27)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Well, that guy at the end of the video almost fired his gun too early! I don't believe he had the gun's fore end securely gripped before firing. If he did, just barely! And that was a big bruising over/under not some minimum recoil gas-operated auto. He should consider himself fortunate that he didn't wind up with a serious bloody nose. Looks to me more like a rushed shot that got lucky.

The advice is bang on though. Especially with steel shot which needs to be screaming at 1500+ fps to be any good at all. Swing through and squeeze the shot off as soon as the bead passes the bill. However, shooting steel in a stiff wind is another matter, as is shooting slower lead loads at passing uplands. My experience anyway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coldweather123 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Wow, that was an exremely informative vid.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I have never been a fan of the pull-up-and-shoot-instantly technique. It results too often in static firing with the shot falling behind the bird. Also, as we see above, it can be a bit dangerous. However, pulling up on the birds too early can be unproductive. The shooter is more prone to be out of position when the birds finally are in range. Also there's the matter of unnecessary movement giving him away.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

When the bird is within range on a crossing shot, pull the gun up behind the bird, swing through, and fire when the barrel's bead is just in front of the bird's bill. Well, in theory that's how it's done. Unfortunately, birds seldom fly straight or at even speeds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Seems a number of shooters have a different approach. I don't like Ontarios bead deal. If you see the bead well...you will more than likely shoot behind because an eye that goes to the barrel results in a barrel that STOPS swinging!!! But Phil...IF your dominant eye is over the barrel as it should be lined up, and your eyes stay focused ON THE BIRD how then does the barrel EVER get out in front of the bird? The only way it can is, for example, that duck that is moving from left to right crossing.....your eye looks off the left side of the barrel putting the barrel in front of the bird! And I do buy your pulling the trigger when the gun hits your shoulder. It prevents the barrel from stopping. Placing your eye over the barrel in the fully mounted position greatly risks the chance of stopping the barrel. The swing becomes part of the mount without the barrel being lined up with the backsight eye...gun gets inserted at, or in front of the target, and BANG! Good video. And there is the "Swing through" method...you showed the "pull away" method, and there is the "sustained lead" method best for long range shooting.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I should have said, putting, or placing your eye over the barrel when fully mounted for any length of time risks stopping the barrel as it is now close to the dominant eye, and shooters want to make sure they are on target, and check by looking at the barrel, a definite no-n0. The other aspect of having the eye over the barrel is the fact the eye will move to the fastest moving object, and a shooter that tends to swing the barrel fast increases the risk of the eye going to the barrel. If you do deploy the swing through method as Ontario does, you should move the barrel slowly, not much faster than the speed of the bird.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Good stuff Phil ! I have been using the move, mount, shoot perspective for several years and have improved my shooting greatly. Especially on crossing shots !
Remember folks you point a shotgun and aim a rifle .......

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I'm a fan of mounting the shotgun and shooting on fast close shots. It has knocked down many birds and clay for me on crossing shots just like what they have in the clip.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have to comment about an O/U being a bruising shotgun. I don't think it's that bad, there is more recoil but it certainly isn't like getting kicked by a mule with a modern style shotgun, with older models that have solid butt plates there is more recoil but today you've got recoil absorbing butt plates either already built in or you can get a slip on plate. I saw a 13 year old kid shooting geese with us with an O/U with no problems. My SxS shot great as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Couldn't agree with you more. This is the way the Brits teach shotgunning and day in and day out will clean our clocks on the sporting course and at the parcours.
I could not tell you how much I lead a target because I never see the bead, I just trust my onboard system of gray matter to do it for me. I do know when I have fired a miss as soon as I pull the trigger though,,,,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

What you fail to say, and it is a major point, is "how they teach"
If your dominant eye is right over the gun barrel, and you are trained to stay focused on the target the gun barrel moving with your eyes on the target...how does the gun barrel EVER get out in front of the target?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I like the Butt, Beak, Bang. The swing is the thing. However don't shoot skeet before a quail hunt, skeets move faster than quail. it will take a couple of shots to adjust.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I like, Butt-Belly-Beak-Boom. Very simple, which is what I need.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

So nobody understands the mechanics of what I am talking about?...not even Phil it appears.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

buckhunter...surprisingly, that is not simple. And you thought about what I said? How can you take a lead, a lead that is necessary on fast flying crossing shots, and you keep your dominant eye over the barrel, and hard focus on the bird with your eyes......barrel going where you eyes are looking...How can the barrel get out ahead of the bird, EVER doing that?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sdditchpig wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Your beed is not a sight, it is a point of reference. If you hard focus on the leading edge of your target, your beed is out of focus, and the gun will never stop. You can track a bird from horizon, to horizon, as long as you don't loose your focus on that leading edge. As far as the vidio goes, I will not critic, someones shooting style, that is sitting in cold weather, with a big hunting coat on. In those conditions it's hard to even get a good gun mount, let alone perfect swing and follow through. I however shoot a bit differently than the guy in the vidio, in that, I don't like to rush. I follow the bird with my eyes, I move the gun with the bird, as I'm mounting. I get a better more controlled mount that way. Have you ever had a pheasant cross in front of a line of hunters, and you can't shoot untill he clears. That bird looks slow and easy, and he is.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Nope, you still do not have it right. The hard focus on the target, the eye hard focusing on the leading edge, and your dominant eye right over the barrel following that hard focus DOES NOT GET THE BARREL OUT AHEAD of the target! And on those shots, and on skeet crossing shots for example, IT HAS TO!! That video is worthless unless the mechanics can be described as to how the barrel gets out ahead of the target. I still wait for the answer.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sayfu: What is your shooting background ? Have you ever taken a shooting lesson from an real shooting coach ? sdditchpig has it pretty much right except you don't even see the bead, the muzzle is fuzzy as your focus is on the target. Note my comment earlier you are pointing a shotgun, not aiming it. That is what allows you to hit moving tagets consistantly because you are taking advantage of that thing called a pattern !!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

You need to take your time, and think about what I said. All of what you said is true...no need to see bead, the fuzzy mussle thing, point, however you want to describe it...BUT, please understand a simple point...IF you focus hard on the target, your eyes never leaving the target, and your barrel is following your eyes and the moving target, (and now is where you need to slow down, and think) How can the barrel EVER get out in front of the target? It can NOT based on that hard and fast rule of shooting a shotgun. And I have taken many a lesson, and provided them as well.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

No one understands anything Knotfu talks about.... See a pattern? LOL!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

HAHAHAHA WAMTN...Don't go braindead on me again!!! You should know the answer to that one, and so should Phil. I'm just tryin to make this a credible sight, and provide some info that shooters could well use. It is a very valuable point to understand. It's Shotgun Shooter 101, and right now no one has passed the test.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sayfu:
This is indeed a very credible site ( not sight ). I hope you can come to Iowa in June ( 15 - 17 ) and show us all your incredible shooting skills at the Iowa State Sporting Clays Shoot. I have passed Shotgun Shooter 101 and look forward to kicking your brass :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

But you can't tell us the mechanics of how Phil says to get the gun barrel out ahead of the crossing duck. HMMMMMM. Do I have to tie one hand behind my back to level the playing field. Hope you get my point that Phils "how to" is worthless unless one can understand the mechanics of how he got the barrel out ahead. And I sure don't see this vidio/discription as credible until it is understood. I was, before I quit, a Master Class shooter. What is your level?

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

As you noted earlier many people had different approaches on this topic. That is one of the mysteries of shooting a shotgun that a good coach can help folks with. It is all about the shooters perception of what they see when looking down the barrel and figuring out what works best for their style.
No hands tied behind your back, if it were legal I would let you load three shells to shoot at two targets ....
I do not shoot class, enter only in the hunter perspective. My goal is to get more folks active shooting using hunting as the motivation ( which is alot harder since we have very few pheasants here in Iowa now ) I have been encouraged to become a class shooter by some master class shooters I know but I have neither the time or income to pursue that goal. I am very happy with the shooting I do and that I have improved alot in the last several years ! As you can tell I am not in awe of someone that claims to be a great shot and will challenge the what & how they do things :)
I see Phil has created another blog on this topic which I hope brings similar conversation from folks !
Have a great day !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Springerman...NOPE, there should be no different approaches to doing what I asked. It would be highly unusual if someone did do it differently than I trust the answer is.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

And Springerman. That was my motivation to start shooting sporting clays..then the sport moved away from the hunting aspect, and now allow you to premount the gun. That's when I backed away frolm serious sporting clays shooting, AND, they made courses easier for the ave. Joe's ego who doesn't shoot all that much. Please remember how Phil titled the crossing shot U-tube...."The proper wahy to make the shot"

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

No one understands anything Knotfu talks about.... See a pattern? LOL!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sayfu:
This is indeed a very credible site ( not sight ). I hope you can come to Iowa in June ( 15 - 17 ) and show us all your incredible shooting skills at the Iowa State Sporting Clays Shoot. I have passed Shotgun Shooter 101 and look forward to kicking your brass :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Well, that guy at the end of the video almost fired his gun too early! I don't believe he had the gun's fore end securely gripped before firing. If he did, just barely! And that was a big bruising over/under not some minimum recoil gas-operated auto. He should consider himself fortunate that he didn't wind up with a serious bloody nose. Looks to me more like a rushed shot that got lucky.

The advice is bang on though. Especially with steel shot which needs to be screaming at 1500+ fps to be any good at all. Swing through and squeeze the shot off as soon as the bead passes the bill. However, shooting steel in a stiff wind is another matter, as is shooting slower lead loads at passing uplands. My experience anyway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sdditchpig wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Your beed is not a sight, it is a point of reference. If you hard focus on the leading edge of your target, your beed is out of focus, and the gun will never stop. You can track a bird from horizon, to horizon, as long as you don't loose your focus on that leading edge. As far as the vidio goes, I will not critic, someones shooting style, that is sitting in cold weather, with a big hunting coat on. In those conditions it's hard to even get a good gun mount, let alone perfect swing and follow through. I however shoot a bit differently than the guy in the vidio, in that, I don't like to rush. I follow the bird with my eyes, I move the gun with the bird, as I'm mounting. I get a better more controlled mount that way. Have you ever had a pheasant cross in front of a line of hunters, and you can't shoot untill he clears. That bird looks slow and easy, and he is.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sayfu: What is your shooting background ? Have you ever taken a shooting lesson from an real shooting coach ? sdditchpig has it pretty much right except you don't even see the bead, the muzzle is fuzzy as your focus is on the target. Note my comment earlier you are pointing a shotgun, not aiming it. That is what allows you to hit moving tagets consistantly because you are taking advantage of that thing called a pattern !!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coldweather123 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Wow, that was an exremely informative vid.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I have never been a fan of the pull-up-and-shoot-instantly technique. It results too often in static firing with the shot falling behind the bird. Also, as we see above, it can be a bit dangerous. However, pulling up on the birds too early can be unproductive. The shooter is more prone to be out of position when the birds finally are in range. Also there's the matter of unnecessary movement giving him away.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

When the bird is within range on a crossing shot, pull the gun up behind the bird, swing through, and fire when the barrel's bead is just in front of the bird's bill. Well, in theory that's how it's done. Unfortunately, birds seldom fly straight or at even speeds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Good stuff Phil ! I have been using the move, mount, shoot perspective for several years and have improved my shooting greatly. Especially on crossing shots !
Remember folks you point a shotgun and aim a rifle .......

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I'm a fan of mounting the shotgun and shooting on fast close shots. It has knocked down many birds and clay for me on crossing shots just like what they have in the clip.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have to comment about an O/U being a bruising shotgun. I don't think it's that bad, there is more recoil but it certainly isn't like getting kicked by a mule with a modern style shotgun, with older models that have solid butt plates there is more recoil but today you've got recoil absorbing butt plates either already built in or you can get a slip on plate. I saw a 13 year old kid shooting geese with us with an O/U with no problems. My SxS shot great as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Couldn't agree with you more. This is the way the Brits teach shotgunning and day in and day out will clean our clocks on the sporting course and at the parcours.
I could not tell you how much I lead a target because I never see the bead, I just trust my onboard system of gray matter to do it for me. I do know when I have fired a miss as soon as I pull the trigger though,,,,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I like the Butt, Beak, Bang. The swing is the thing. However don't shoot skeet before a quail hunt, skeets move faster than quail. it will take a couple of shots to adjust.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I like, Butt-Belly-Beak-Boom. Very simple, which is what I need.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

As you noted earlier many people had different approaches on this topic. That is one of the mysteries of shooting a shotgun that a good coach can help folks with. It is all about the shooters perception of what they see when looking down the barrel and figuring out what works best for their style.
No hands tied behind your back, if it were legal I would let you load three shells to shoot at two targets ....
I do not shoot class, enter only in the hunter perspective. My goal is to get more folks active shooting using hunting as the motivation ( which is alot harder since we have very few pheasants here in Iowa now ) I have been encouraged to become a class shooter by some master class shooters I know but I have neither the time or income to pursue that goal. I am very happy with the shooting I do and that I have improved alot in the last several years ! As you can tell I am not in awe of someone that claims to be a great shot and will challenge the what & how they do things :)
I see Phil has created another blog on this topic which I hope brings similar conversation from folks !
Have a great day !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Springerman...NOPE, there should be no different approaches to doing what I asked. It would be highly unusual if someone did do it differently than I trust the answer is.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

And Springerman. That was my motivation to start shooting sporting clays..then the sport moved away from the hunting aspect, and now allow you to premount the gun. That's when I backed away frolm serious sporting clays shooting, AND, they made courses easier for the ave. Joe's ego who doesn't shoot all that much. Please remember how Phil titled the crossing shot U-tube...."The proper wahy to make the shot"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Seems a number of shooters have a different approach. I don't like Ontarios bead deal. If you see the bead well...you will more than likely shoot behind because an eye that goes to the barrel results in a barrel that STOPS swinging!!! But Phil...IF your dominant eye is over the barrel as it should be lined up, and your eyes stay focused ON THE BIRD how then does the barrel EVER get out in front of the bird? The only way it can is, for example, that duck that is moving from left to right crossing.....your eye looks off the left side of the barrel putting the barrel in front of the bird! And I do buy your pulling the trigger when the gun hits your shoulder. It prevents the barrel from stopping. Placing your eye over the barrel in the fully mounted position greatly risks the chance of stopping the barrel. The swing becomes part of the mount without the barrel being lined up with the backsight eye...gun gets inserted at, or in front of the target, and BANG! Good video. And there is the "Swing through" method...you showed the "pull away" method, and there is the "sustained lead" method best for long range shooting.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I should have said, putting, or placing your eye over the barrel when fully mounted for any length of time risks stopping the barrel as it is now close to the dominant eye, and shooters want to make sure they are on target, and check by looking at the barrel, a definite no-n0. The other aspect of having the eye over the barrel is the fact the eye will move to the fastest moving object, and a shooter that tends to swing the barrel fast increases the risk of the eye going to the barrel. If you do deploy the swing through method as Ontario does, you should move the barrel slowly, not much faster than the speed of the bird.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

What you fail to say, and it is a major point, is "how they teach"
If your dominant eye is right over the gun barrel, and you are trained to stay focused on the target the gun barrel moving with your eyes on the target...how does the gun barrel EVER get out in front of the target?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

So nobody understands the mechanics of what I am talking about?...not even Phil it appears.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

buckhunter...surprisingly, that is not simple. And you thought about what I said? How can you take a lead, a lead that is necessary on fast flying crossing shots, and you keep your dominant eye over the barrel, and hard focus on the bird with your eyes......barrel going where you eyes are looking...How can the barrel get out ahead of the bird, EVER doing that?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

You need to take your time, and think about what I said. All of what you said is true...no need to see bead, the fuzzy mussle thing, point, however you want to describe it...BUT, please understand a simple point...IF you focus hard on the target, your eyes never leaving the target, and your barrel is following your eyes and the moving target, (and now is where you need to slow down, and think) How can the barrel EVER get out in front of the target? It can NOT based on that hard and fast rule of shooting a shotgun. And I have taken many a lesson, and provided them as well.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Nope, you still do not have it right. The hard focus on the target, the eye hard focusing on the leading edge, and your dominant eye right over the barrel following that hard focus DOES NOT GET THE BARREL OUT AHEAD of the target! And on those shots, and on skeet crossing shots for example, IT HAS TO!! That video is worthless unless the mechanics can be described as to how the barrel gets out ahead of the target. I still wait for the answer.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

HAHAHAHA WAMTN...Don't go braindead on me again!!! You should know the answer to that one, and so should Phil. I'm just tryin to make this a credible sight, and provide some info that shooters could well use. It is a very valuable point to understand. It's Shotgun Shooter 101, and right now no one has passed the test.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

But you can't tell us the mechanics of how Phil says to get the gun barrel out ahead of the crossing duck. HMMMMMM. Do I have to tie one hand behind my back to level the playing field. Hope you get my point that Phils "how to" is worthless unless one can understand the mechanics of how he got the barrel out ahead. And I sure don't see this vidio/discription as credible until it is understood. I was, before I quit, a Master Class shooter. What is your level?

-4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs