Basic Tips for Shooting Sporting Clays By Granger Whitelaw

Sporting clays remain one of the most challenging targets for sport shooters for a number of reasons, and many individuals quickly become frustrated if they do not understand the best strategy to employ. Veterans know that the keys to hitting targets are consistency and economy of movement. When a shooter enters a new vantage point, he or she must identify three important areas: the hold, focal, and break points. The hold point designates the spot along the clay’s trajectory where the shooter should position the gun. The focal point refers to the place where the shooter first sees the clay after it enters the sky. The break point references the position in the sky where the bullet makes contact with the clay. Before calling for the clay, the shooter should have his or her eyes on the focal point and the gun positioned into the hold point. After the shooter yells “pull,” he or she must focus only on the clay, following it along its path. When the clay enters the hold point, the shooter should move the gun along its trajectory until it reaches the break point. Ideally, the clay will shatter in virtually the same location every time due to consistency. The shooter must master the correct rhythm to predictably hit the target.

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Shooting sporting clays requires instinct above all else. When shooters overthink the procedure, they invariably miss. Many shooters, even veterans, tend to second-guess themselves during long pulls and end up looking down the barrel and slowing their gun movement to the point that they completely miss the target. The motions involved in shooting sporting clays should become second nature. Shooters who constantly analyze the steps involved in shooting should switch temporarily to targets that move quickly with relatively short arcs. These targets force shooters to develop intuition and trust their instincts, skills they can transfer to targets with longer trajectories.

About the Author

An experienced entrepreneur, Granger Whitelaw holds four patents and recently launched the Rocket Racing League, which combines air shows with the excitement of live racing. Possessing decades of marketing and corporate development experience, he also works with a number of start-ups, including Social Media 123-4. In his free moments, Granger Whitelaw enjoys spending time with his family, engaging in charity work, and participating in a number of sports, including shooting.


About Granger Whitelaw

Granger Whitelaw founded the Rocket Racing League along with partner, Peter Diamandis in 2005. See more information at and View all posts by Granger Whitelaw

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