In skeet shooting, and to a lesser degree in trap shooting, the turn you make toward the target is what will allow you to hit the targets with more regularity.
The turn is how we place our bodies in the correct position to take the shot at the proper time and place so as to have room to follow through after the shot is taken.
In skeet, the turn is made using the larger muscles of your body, the ‘glutes’ and leg muscles. A good turn only uses the upper body to hold the shotgun and see the target, and the upper body only turns when the lower body turns.
If you watch less experienced skeet shooters you’ll see the arms moving faster than the torso; the eyes and gun may not be aligned as the shot is taken. They have, usually in desperation, ‘thrown’ the gun at the target in order to catch up with it.
The problem probably started during the set-up, prior to calling for the target. A close examination may show the feet in the wrong position limiting the turn, or maybe the hold and/or look points were incorrect, causing the shooter to make a bad move. Or maybe they moved too slowly or blinked during the move. There are myriad possibilities as to why any individual makes a desperation move.
A turn should not include a lean. If you lean during your turn, you stop or slow down any turn you may have had, usually causing you to shoot behind the target.
This is not to say that you can’t hit some of the targets with an incorrect set-up, and a desperation move or a lean; you can, but not with regularity. I n order to be a proficient shotgun shooter, you must have regular and consistent moves.
If you watch good shooters you will see, among many other things, a ‘good turn’ which allows them to move to the break point, shoot and follow through after the shot is taken.
When you’re practicing, be aware of your turn; make sure you’re turning from the calves up. If you get this move to be part of your shooting you’ll see your scores become more consistent.
Shoot well, shoot often, and stay safe.
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who can help you improve your skills at American skeet and wingshooting. To contact Barry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at (918)803-2393.