Can you give me advice on shooting chandelles? Does their direction and/or distance change the shot plan?
If you are having trouble breaking chandelles, remember that this target is showing either all belly or all face, which tricks our brain into believing that it is moving slower than it really is — meaning that more lead is required. It is also in transition throughout its flight, changing speed and line. To increase your percentages with these targets, follow these simple steps:
1) Select and commit to a break point that is just after the apex of the arc.
2) Make sure you are focusing on the focal point of the target through the break point. Focus small!
3) Achieve good flow with the target; a collapse is also a good technique here.
4) Rather than following the arc of the target line, approach the break point at an upward or lateral angle, taking care not to interrupt the connection between your eye and the target as you execute the shot.
Let’s illustrate with a fast-crossing left-to-right chandelle at about 35 yards. You are going to break the chandelle just below and 4 feet to the right of the apex of the arc, so the leading edge of the target will be at about 4 o’clock at the break point. Because the target is descending at the break point, you will move the gun barrel from left to right (from hold point to break point), from the middle of the arc (just below the apex) along a straight line that’s about 8 o’clock to 2 o’clock. This will help you avoid occluding the target and interrupting your visual connection with the target through the break point.
The chandelle launches, you move the gun to the break point while maintaining sharp visual focus on the leading edge of the target at 4 o’clock …Dead bird. See the previous answer for where to find videos regarding this topic (and more).
Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter. You can also see more tips from Currie at www.doncurrie.com.