“I have read a lot about the move-mount-shoot technique, which my instructor advocates and teaches. I sometimes find that when I try to mount and shoot at the same time, I don’t see the target as clearly as when I ride the target a little bit before I pull the trigger. Can you explain?”
The phrase “Move, Mount, Shoot” was first coined by John Bidwell, a champion British shooter in the 1980s and 1990s. There are many aspects of his writings and technique that I wholeheartedly endorse. There are, however, three points of difference I take with “Move, Mount, Shoot.”
First, for today’s targets, I don’t believe that one can be at the top of the leader- board with only one method of achieving lead, in this case “maintained lead.” I believe strongly that a shooter must have a variety of different alternative “strokes” that he or she uses to achieve a break. If you stand behind enough elite shooters, you will see that, consciously or subconsciously, they vary their default technique on certain presentations. In the days when all target presentations imitated birds in flight, a single-method system might have made sense. With today’s more advanced trap technology and target setting, you need more than one “club” in your bag.
Secondly, based on extensive university-level research, executing the shot at the same moment that the cheek makes contact with the comb is contrary to the principle of “quiet eye” and quiet head. Joan Vickers’ research found conclusively that elite athletes intercepting moving targets achieve a momentary interval of head stabilization prior to shot execution. Watch any of the elite shooters as they execute a shot. None of them execute the shot at the same time that the comb reaches the cheek. All of them “work the target” visually before pulling the trigger.
Lastly, instead of exclusively employing a low-gun ready position, most elite shooters will vary their “draw length” or the distance between comb and cheek in the ready position, depending on the character of the target. Without diminishing the importance of committing to your break point, my advice is to move, mount, work it a bit, then shoot.
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.