5 Essentials to Shotgun Shooting

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Focal Point:

This is the area where the target becomes visually clear to the shooter. It is where the shooter sees the bird or clay clearly and distinctly on the flight path.

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Hold Point:

This is the point where the shooter wants to start the muzzle of the shotgun along the flight path in order to intercept the target. The hold point is generally different for each shooting method, depending on the difference in the speed in which the muzzle is moved by the individual shooter.

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Break Point:

This is the point on the target’s flight path where the shooter is planning to hit the target. A proper break point is the most essential element of putting the shot pattern in the right spot at the right time.

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Target Line:

This is the line or flight path of the target as it travels through the focal point and break point (hopefully) and must be clearly seen in order to make a successful shot. In most instances, it is better for the shooter to maintain a hold point with the muzzle of the shotgun below the line or path of the target to keep the target clearly in sight at all times.

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Mount:

The most important element of consistently breaking any target is by using a smooth, fluid, consistent and natural movement to bring the stock of the shotgun into the proper shooting position. The shoulder, head and hands must all be properly aligned so the shooter sends the shot pattern where the master eye is looking – at the target. The leading hand (left for a right-handed person and right for a left-handed person) on the forearm starts the mount. This is the hand that controls the gun. The trigger hand is just along for the ride and to pull the trigger. When applying a proper mount, both hands will be slightly relaxed.