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The swing-through lead method

In order to hit a moving target, a hunter needs to learn several firing methods. For each one, the hunter sees a target, shoots ahead of it and follows through; the shotgun remains in constant motion.

Let's start with the swing-through method. When using this method you must consider the following factors, mostly taking into account time and the laws of motion:

  • From clay pigeons to live game, your target has a particular speed.
  • Finding the moving target in your field of vision and then setting up for the shot will take time.
  • Once you're in proper stance and you've slapped the trigger, there is then a delay in your shot’s firing. This is because of the sequence happening inside your firearm: the firing pin strikes the cartridge, the powder charge ignites and the shot starts to travel down the barrel.
  • When the shot leaves the barrel, it then takes time for it to travel to the target. The farther away a target is from the hunter, the longer it takes for the shot to hit it.
  • The speed of the setup and follow through also impact the result shot.

Step 1.
The hunter sees target and starts to swing.

Step 2.
The hunter swings through the target, pulls the trigger, and continues the swing, spreading shot in front of target.

Step 3.
Target and shot come together as the hunter follows through.

The sustained lead method

This shotgun shooting technique requires that you maintain a steady and sustained lead in front of the moving target or bird. You must continue to swing the shotgun after the shot to maintain the sustained lead. 

The sustained lead distance will vary depending on the following factors:

  • Speed of the target
  • Distance of the target
  • Wind speed and direction 

If the speed of the moving target is faster, you will need to increase the sustained lead distance to allow the shot time to travel to the target. While maintaining the sustained lead, pull the trigger and continue to follow through with the swinging motion. 

As you continue to swing through, the shot travels down the barrel and intercepts the target. Start out by swinging the shotgun in the same direction as the moving target, but keeping a steady, sustained lead in front of the target. 

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