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The Gazette
Respecting Skeet • Tips and Techniques

Respecting Skeet

     If I had a pound or a dollar for every time someone told me that Skeet was “too easy”, “not challenging enough” or “boring”, I would be able to buy a new car. Why is Skeet regarded in such a derogatory fashion? Is it because the people that offer these opinions tried it and found it too tough?

    Shooting 25 Straight requires perfect technique and concentration 25 times - to shoot One Hundred Straight… perfection 100 times! I don’t care if the targets are simple or hard; to consistently break 25 Straight at Skeet, round after round, is one of the most challenging and difficult disciplines in shotgun shooting.

     For the Beginner and Intermediate shooter, Skeet is the equivalent of the driving range for the golfer. Here the fundamentals of stance, posture, gun mount, moving and swinging to the target can be grooved on Skeet’s great variety of target angles and directions.

     Lead is a mystery to many beginners and some never really understand it or its application. Putting aside distance and target speed, the major impact on the amount of perceived lead is the angle created between the shot string and the target flight line when the shot is taken.
     This phenomenon is readily observed and learned on the Skeet range. For example, if the Low House target is shot from Station 3, the shot string is intercepting the target flight line at an angle of 90 degrees. This requires a perceived lead of 3 to 4 feet. Moving to Station 7 and shooting the Low House target, the shot string and target line angle is nil, so no lead is required. The speed and distance of the angle has not changed, only the angle of interception has changed.
Correct - foot position for the right-handed shot would mean the belt buckle facing into the low house window.

Diagram 2
diagram 3

     At each station, perceived lead changes. With over 14 angles in any one round, Skeet quickly teaches the Beginner about perceived lead and how to apply it. These lessons are then readily applied to Sporting Clays. On any station, a Sporting Clays target can be compared to a similar Skeet target, with the lead increased or decreased according to the angle of the shot string and target flight line.
     For the Intermediate shot striving to improve his scores, it is important to learn to apply the correct technique to match the target presentation. Like the golfer who requires 14 clubs to best play a round of golf, a shooter approaching a round of Sporting Clays requires the ability to apply all of the main shooting techniques (Swing-through, Pull-away, Maintained Lead) to breaking the target. And, like the golfer uses the driving range to learn what each club can do, the Intermediate shot can use the Skeet range to learn the gun holds and insertion points of the various techniques.

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