This computer animation, narrated by instructor Gil Ash of OSP Shooting School, shows a very effective method for shooting crossing targets. Ash taught me to shoot crossers this way and I find it by far the easiest method for me.
The animation stars “Brian” the computer-generated shooter. The yard lines in the background don’t represent real yards but are there only as points of reference. The animation comes from the” OSP Knowledge Vault“, which contains many, many of these useful animations if you sign up and pay for the service. We have been granted access to a few to use here and they are, I think, extremely useful. I have not yet seen anything like them.
As Brian demonstrates here, the basic idea is to start the gun ahead of the target, match its speed, and let your subconscious mind figure the lead. Sometimes I will notice my eyes and hands making little corrections during the shot, sometimes I don’t, but if I can keep my conscious mind out of the way and not think about lead, my eye-hand coordination will put the gun where it needs to be. The only thing I have to think about is looking hard at the front edge of the target.
The only quibble I would have with Gil’s narration is where he talks about consciously “transitioning” the speed of the gun from the mount speed to the speed of the bird. I probably do that, but I’m not aware that I do it consciously. I just try to move the muzzle with the bird as I mount the gun and shoot when the butt meets my shoulder.
Try this method. It’s easier than swinging through a long crossing target, which requires a lot of gun speed. It’s a better method for field shooting than the precise maintained lead used by skeet shooters. Once you’ve practiced it, all it seems like you’re doing is looking at the target, putting the muzzle somewhere in front of it, and pulling the trigger. Then, if you keep your head on the gun and your eye on the target all the way through the shot and after you pull the trigger, the bird falls or the clay shatters. Shooting a shotgun really is that simple.