High or Low Gun
I’m a new shooter and I’m confused about if I should be shooting mounted or low-gun. I see different shooters shooting in all different ways. What do you recommend?
The only technique that is wrong is the one that doesn’t work. Conversely, the right technique is the one that yields a consistently positive result. What we are really speaking of here is “draw length” — the distance between the comb of the stock and the cheek when a shooter is in the ready position and calling for a target. There are a number of top shooters who are pre-mounted shooters and have won National Championship titles. I can think of still others that use trade-off between a dismounted and mounted ready position, depending on the target presentation. I can count national and international champions among this group as well.
Whether a shooter pre-mounts, or not, on a specific target is a matter of technique. I tend to see the universe of shooters as being divided into pre-mounted shooters and “dynamic shooters,” rather than pre-mounted and low-gun shooters. Personally, I fall into the “dynamic” category of shooters. I will sometimes shoot pre-mounted (“no draw”) when presented with a fast, trap-like, going-away target. On the other hand, I tend to employ a low-gun ready position (“full draw”) for a high, slow, incoming target. I will also sometimes use a “half-draw” on a quartering target, in which I will hold somewhere between a fully mounted position and a low-gun ready position.
The distance between the comb of the stock and my cheek will be based on two seemingly counterposing factors: visibility and efficiency. If a target is emerging from beneath my gun, for example, or if the target has a long flight time prior to arriving at the break point, I will likely hold a bit off the face for improved visibility. If a very fast trap-like target is emerging from a machine that is 25 yards to my front, I will likely pre-mount to limit my muzzle movement and maximize efficiency. Each shooter needs to find the shooting style and technique that works best for them based on the target presentation.