February 2007 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
Teal shots are not overly difficult, and, like every other shot, they require planning. The shooting method you choose on a teal should be determined by the breakpoint you choose.
Plan first, then execute decisively: going up, at the top or going down.
- Teal going up can be devilish. First they accelerate-then they decelerate-then stop- with this ever-changing rate of climb dependent upon spring tension. This lack of constancy in target speed makes the shot problematical, precision becomes the prey of rhythm and timing of the trigger pull. Any parachute swings on a rising teal will put the miss low and behind. Conversely, a late pull away or pull through will result in a miss over the top.
- Teal at the top are less problematical, becoming more predictable as it approaches its peak or apex. However, gun precision is a requisite here. Muzzle drift, intentional or otherwise, will cost you the target. Fast muzzles at the top will be hard pressed to deliver the precision needed here.
- Teal coming down are the least problematical because, for the most part, all teal fall at the same relative speed. This consistent falling speed can be used to our advantage. A falling teal has a breakpoint sweet spot, varying from shooter to shooter. Know your sweet spot and commit to it-before-and during the shot. Should the target fall below that sweet spot, accelerating, the likelihood of a miss rises incrementally.
Teal are presentations we see all the time, making them worthy of dedicated practice, especially the rising teal for reasons given above. Lastly, biodegradable teal targets, orange side facing you, are notorious for deflecting shot. 7 1/2's are recommended here.
Try as we might to score X's, those O's do add up on the score sheet.
We constantly battle misses with equipment, strategies, equipment, practice, tournaments, physical and mental preparation. And still, at times, it seems the misses are winning. We just can't get our scores up to where we believe they should be. Here's one way you can - quickly.
This won't dazzle you with any state-of-the-art technological advancements...............
While certainly not easy by any means, sporting clays is not a complex sport. But we can make it harder than it really is. If you were to ask me to give you one tip that could drastically improve your performance in the box, starting tomorrow, it would be this.
"Blazing barrels" is a term I heard used by Russ Vowell, a well known and highly respected Level III instructor. The term refers to excessive gun speed, hence this appropriate name for a swing that's out of control...............