I’ve always heard that you should treat a chandelle like a crossing target, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. How should I be shooting a chandelle?
A chandelle is simply a transitioning target with an arc. Moving across the arc of the target, as you suggest, has two drawbacks. 1) Your timing has to be perfect, and 2) you are occluding the target with the gun as the target rises to its apex.
The proper way to engage any transitioning target is to shorten your gun movement and approach the break point at a line offset from the target line. For the chandelle, we will use the apex of the target’s arc as a reference point from which we will establish our hold point. Identify the apex of the chandelle’s arc and hold below the apex by about one-third of the distance from the apex to the ground.
For a right-to-left chandelle, with the apex being 12 o’clock, we will establish our break point at 10 or 11 o’clock and begin our movement from the hold point to the break point when the target reaches the 2 o’clock position. For a left-to-right chandelle, we will hold in the same place but start our movement to our 1 or 2 o’clock break point when the target reaches 10 o’clock.
Because this is a “cut-off and collapse” move, it is also important that we arrive at the break point just prior to the target’s arrival and commit to the exact kill spot. Your hold point will not vary relative to the apex regardless of whether your chandelle is rising to the apex at a steep angle or a shallow angle. However, if your left-to-right chandelle is a fast, shallow-angle target, you will want your break point closer to 2 o’clock. If your left-to-right chandelle is moving to the apex at a steeper angle, you will want to establish your breakpoint at 1 o’clock instead of 2 o’clock. The ideal break point for this target will always be immediately after the target reaches its apex, and you will be moving from your hold point to your break point at a line that is inside the arc.