I have trouble on some fast quartering targets. I always feel like I’m missing behind. What’s the best technique to break these targets?
There is more than one way to break just about any target, but when a shooter habitually misses behind on a fast, flat-trajectory, quartering target, it is often a function of insufficient gun speed, incorrect visual pick-up point, or improper hold point.
Without seeing you shoot, I would recommend that you use a “quartering move,” sometimes referred to as a “come to the gun” technique, instead of sustained lead. Establish your hold point about one-third of the way back from your planned break point toward the trap. Hold your eyes fairly close to the gun barrel, about four to six inches off the gun, along the target line and back toward the trap. This will allow you to leverage your peripheral vision to acquire the target.
Research into how athletes use their eyes supports leveraging the peripheral vision when initially acquiring a moving target. Holding your head and eyes on the trap will result in an abrupt, uncontrolled move to the target. Using your peripheral vison to initially acquire a fast-moving quartering target will make it easier to apply acute focus just prior to, and through, the break point.
As you call for the target and the target emerges from the trap, while slowly creeping the gun toward the break point, let the target come to the gun, then aggressively accelerate the gun to the leading edge of the target. For a right-to-left target, focus on, and move to, the left edge of the target. For a left-to-right target, focus on, and move to, the right edge.
A couple of cautionary notes. In identifying your hold point, hold far enough away from the break point to allow room to creep while leaving about one-third of the target’s flight path remaining to accelerate the gun to the break point and target. If you hold too close to the trap, the target may beat your eyes and your gun, producing the panicked move discussed earlier. Let me know how it works!