Rising Outgoing Targets
I have trouble with rising going-away targets with a bit of an angle to them. They look so easy, but I am very inconsistent with this type of target. What’s wrong?
Here’s the thing about rising quartering targets. Our bodies naturally want to move either vertically (between 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock) or horizontally (between 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock). Our bodies don’t move as “obediently” on targets with a complex angle.
Let’s take a target presentation in which the machine is about 10 yards to our right and in line with the front of the shooting stand. The target is an outgoing target with a lot of spring (fast), rising at about a 30-degree angle above the ground and quartering slightly from right to left. The biggest shooter-induced error I see on this presentation is occlusion, also known as spoiling the line or blocking the target. The shooter’s hold point is a bit to the right and slightly underneath the break point and on the line of the target. As the target appears and the shooter moves the gun along the target line with a move that is up and slightly right-to-left, the barrel tends to encroach on the target line and block the shooter’s visual connection with the target.
For this particular target presentation, the shooter should instead establish a hold point directly below and about a third of the way back from the inside (left) edge of the target at the planned break point. Now, instead of moving along the line, the shooter will move directly up to the left edge of the target and execute the shot. In so doing, the shooter maintains his visual connection with the target from his ready position (aka hold point) all the way through the break point and shot execution. The focal point on the target, where the shooter applies acute focus, is the left edge (aka inside edge) as the shot is executed. The approach is the same for a rising outgoing target from the left, except the focal point is the right edge of the target and the shooter moves vertically to the right edge of the target.