This is a compilation of selected paragraphs in a condensed version of the Station-by-Station Analysis that will be available in Todd Bender’s soon to be published book on Skeet Shooting. Also refer to our DVD, “Championship Skeet”.
The following is the property of Todd Bender and toddbenderintl.com, and it is presented for educational and informational purposes only. Any use or reproduction of this article or any content on this website without the written consent of Todd Bender is prohibited.
Station One - High House
As I approach each station my first concern is to acquire a proper foot position. As a right-handed shooter I stand facing the low house. If a line were drawn from one foot to the other, toe to toe, the front of the pad or station would be parallel with the line drawn in front of my feet.
A left-handed shooter would face the high house window on all of the shots from Stations Two through Seven. The exceptions for a left-handed shooter are Stations One and Station Eight low house. These are the two areas on the field where a left-handed shooter cannot possibly face the high house window. Instead, a left-handed shooter will face straight out from the field on Station One. A line drawn from toe to toe would extend through Station Eight to Station Seven, or be parallel with the sides of the pad on this station.
Many shooters try to track the Station One high house target, but gun movement that corresponds to the arc of the target flight is difficult to achieve. By shooting this target with a “dead gun” I have simplified the shot by reducing the required movement. Only if the target were inside or outside of the anticipated path, would I have lateral movement left or right to the target. Obviously, if the target was low and flew below my barrel, the muzzle would have to be dropped to acquire and then shoot the target. However these are situations that more often can be avoided by being aware of past target tendencies.
I will mount my gun and the point where I will break the target. The target break point will be approximately two-thirds of the distance to the center stake, or about fifteen to twenty feet this side of the stake.
Next I focus my eyes just above, and past the barrel. I cannot focus on the High One target clearly until it is at least twenty feet out from the house on its flight path, so looking higher would be no advantage. Also, I tend to lose sight of the barrel if I look higher. Although I do not want to look at the barrel, I need to see it as a reference point to acquire the proper sight picture. If I lose sight of the barrel as I focus on the target, I may have a tendency to look back at the barrel or re-focus onto the barrel to see a barrel-target relationship, but in the end this causes me to lose focus on the target, which spells disaster. Focusing just above the barrel allows me to see the target in clear focus as soon as possible while at the same time maintaining a constant knowledge of where the barrel is.
Because I am shooting this target with no gun movement, I cannot shoot directly at it. If I pull the trigger as I point directly at the target, by the time that the hammer hit the firing pin, and the firing pin hit the primer, which ignites the powder, sending the shot charge down and out of the barrel, the target would disappear below the barrel resulting in a missed shot over the top. I must shoot High One as it comes to my barrel. I will take this shot seeing just a little bit of daylight underneath the target. This “lead” underneath the target allows time for my shot charge to intercept the flight of the target at the desired location with limited gun movement.
Attempting this shot, I will first setup with proper foot and a proper hold point. I will slightly rotate my eyes above the barrel and focus out to where I can first see the target in a good sharp picture. As the target emerges from the house, with no gun movement, I will watch the target approach my barrel and as it closes to just above my barrel, I will pull the trigger. After the shot, I exaggerate keeping my head on the stock for a period of a second or two, to ensure that I do not raise the head during the shot, which in most instances results in a miss over the top of the target.
Station One - Low House
Low One is a long, slow incoming target so the hold point for this shot will be relatively close to the house as compared to other hold points around the field. I could use the “one-third” hold point described earlier, that will be used at the middle stations, but this hold point would start the gun too far ahead of this “shorter lead” target, requiring adjustment of gun speed during the execution of the shot. The hold point for Low One is level with the bottom of the window and approximately ten feet out from the low house window.
Every hold point that is discussed, with the exception of two or three, will begin with the phrase “level with the bottom of the window”. Get the gun down and out of the way so that you can see what you’re shooting at. This plays more of an important role in some of the more difficult shots, than here at Low One, but since we’re striving for consistency, I will conform to the fundamentals even on the less difficult shots.
Eye positioning on this shot is not paramount because of the angle of presentation and the time allowed to acquire the target. What is of importance is that the eyes are not focused on the barrel, rather looking off the gun and toward the low house so as to see the target emerge form the house as soon as possible.
I tend to break Low One single in the same general area that I would break Low one double. Because of the ease of this particular shot I could shoot it almost anywhere on the field. I choose to break Low One in the same place as the double for reasons of simplification. Breaking both the single and double in one spot gives me only one sight picture for both shots and only one area of placement. If I shot the single and double in different areas, those shots would have different looks, so theoretically I have turned two shots into one, I only see Low One, one way, so I have made the game less complicated. I approach and shoot the incoming targets Low Two, High Six, and High Seven the same way for the same reason.
Station One - Doubles
Just because we’re shooting doubles doesnâ€™t mean that the fundamentals used on the singles changes. Because High One is the same speed, distance, angle, and elevation as it was on the single, our approach to the High One double will remain consistent with its singular companion. In fact, there’s no such thing as doubles really, only two singles real close together. So everything we did in our singles shots, will apply to our doubles shot.
When shooting the pair at Station One, I will assume my standard setup, starting with my foot position, facing the low house window. We will use the same hold point as we did for the High One single. We set up for the High One because the outgoing target is always shot first when shooting skeet doubles. Once the hold point is obtained, the eyes are shifted up, slightly above the barrel.
Station Two - High House
The hold points for High Two and Low Six are the two most critical hold positions on the field. This because the first move onto the target, needs to be the right move, because these two targets move away from the shooter at a rapid pace. To find the hold point, I start the gun pointing straight out, that is, pointing the gun on a line that is perpendicular to the baseline, the line that runs from Station One through Station Eight to Station Seven. From this straight out position, I then move the gun three feet to the right, or towards the center stake. This hold point also happens to be a one-third of the distance from the high house to the center stake. This is a distance relationship that I will refer to many in this analysis of hold points for the field. “One-third” of the distance from the house we are shooting to the center stake is a very general, but also very constant part of this game, given our approach. However, because the hold point for High Two is so critical, I find that I can be more precise by finding “straight out”, and then moving three feet to the right. More precise than if I estimated one-third from this position.
More important than the lateral positioning of the gun at High Two, is the height or elevation of the hold point on this target. We have already discussed the value of holding the gun level with the bottom of the window, however this fundamental is of utmost importance on this target. More High Two’s are missed because of hold points being too high than for any other reason. If the gun is held at an elevation equal to that of the target flight path, as the target passes close to or through the barrel, vision is limited, and vision is the key to this shot. Therefore, I am more conscious of the window and its elevation here, than at any other position on the field.
After establishing foot position and a proper hold point, the next concern is where to look for this target. Again, visual acquisition is the key to this target, so eye placement is very important. I have found that I can look just off the left of the barrel toward the high house and pick up this target well using my peripheral vision. I have often joked that I would not want to look back in the window on this shot, because what I would see would scare the hell out of me. This is because I would see something very fast and out of focus. The only thing that I would know is that the target is way ahead of me, before I could ever begin to generate gun movement. So I don’t waste my primary vision or focus looking in an area where I can’t possibly see the target with clear focus. On this particular shot, I will look just off to the side of my barrel. Some may find that there is a necessity to look back further but should never look back further than half the distance between the gun and the house. Again, this would result in the target rushing past the eyes, requiring excessive eye movement to reacquire the target and generate a sight picture. Be aware that even though I am looking in certain direction, off to the left of the barrel, I’m thinking in my peripheral vision. This means that I am very conscious of what is happen in my peripheral vision. By looking off the barrel slightly I can use my peripheral vision to see the streak, or flash as the target appears as it leaves the mouth of the window. As the target gets to my barrel, I’ve had the ability to focus on it and actually move with the target, simultaneously obtaining a sustained lead.
Station Two – Low House
Low Two will be broken in the same general area that High Two was taken, so foot position does not change. Right-handed shooters are still facing the low house window, left-hand shooters, still facing the high house. Because Low Two is very similar to Low One, given that the target flight in relation to the shooter is similar, we will use the same hold point. So remembering from Station One, our hold point is level of the bottom of the window and out about 10 feet from the house. That gives me enough of a head start to see the target, start moving with it and make if fly behind my barrel across the field, while maintaining a sustained lead. Again recalling that I bring Low One single to the same area of the field as I want to break the Low One on the doubles, I do the same here at Low Two. My eye position remains constant with the Low One shot, shifting back towards the house. The one change is the lead we use for Low Two. Although this shot is very similar to Low One, because we have moved on the field, from one to station to the other, we have slightly altered our distance and angle to the target. So the necessary lead here at Low Two has doubled from the one foot used at Low One, to about a foot and a half to two feet. Also note that it is very important on these long incoming shots, the Low Ones and Low Twos, along with their corresponding shots on the other side of the field, High Six and Seven, that good continuous focus on the target is maintained through the whole shot. Given the time that we track with the target across the field, it is very enticing to look at the barrel and measure lead. But given that these incomers are relatively easy shots, meaning we have confidence in our ability to break them, we can also focus our thoughts on reinforcing our abilities, by practicing continuous focus on these targets. This practice should ensure that we execute this most fundamental of fundamentals, focusing on the target, on more difficult shots around the field, where it is most needed.
Station Two – Doubles
Reviewing our discussion on doubles at Station One and knowing that the shots have not changed, the fundamentals and the approach used for High Two won’t change just because we are shooting doubles here. Also, just because weâ€™re shooting doubles, we need not rush the first shot, which will be the outgoing High Two.
We will use the same execution that we did on singles for High Two, placing the shot in the same area, about fifteen feet before the stake to just over the stake. Realize, that even you broke High Two directly over the center stake, that at that point in time, Low Two will just be getting to the center of the field simultaneously, allowing ample time for a good return shot on the second target. Because the shots remain the same, foot position does not change from the singles to the doubles, we are still facing the respective windows of the houses.
The hold point for High Two is consistent with the one used on the single, straight out and three feet past that point, and level with the bottom of the window. The eye position is constant, just to the left of the gun, and because, again, the shots are the same in speed, distance, and angle as the singles, the leads also remain constant.
As we move from Station Two to Station Three, we enter a different part of the skeet field. When I look at the skeet field, I divide it up into two groups of stations. The “end stations” are Stations One, Two, Six, and Seven. These are the stations that are closest to the baseline, the baseline being the line that runs from the Station One to Station Seven. The end stations present us with the faster, outgoing targets, the High Ones, High Twos, Low Sixes and Low Sevens.
These shots are fast moving outgoers requiring little lead, but precise gun movement. The end stations also give us the long incoming shots, the Low Ones and Twos, and their corresponding shots, High Six and Seven. These incoming targets give us a lot of time and also require a relatively short lead. Because many of these shots are similar, they are approached in the same way with the same fundamentals within that group.
We’ve now come to the second group of stations, the three “middle stations”, Stations Three, Four, and Five. This group of stations situates us further away from the targets and gives the shooter a crossing shot presentation, the ninety-degree angle shot. Taking into consideration the distance and angle to the target, this group of stations shows us the largest leads on the field, the three to four foot leads. Because of the longer lead requirements on the middle stations, compounded by the fact that we will shoot these targets somewhat faster than the incoming targets on the end stations, our hold points will change from what we have discussed so far. However, because all of the shots on the middle stations are similar, you’ll find that the foot position and hold points on High and Low Three, High and Low Four, High and Low Five are all the same.
Station Three – High House
As with the first two stations, I will address Station Three with the same foot position. Right-hand shooters face the Low house, left-handers, the High. Every time I step onto a station, the first thing that I do is set my feet and look at the Low house window.
The hold point for the three middle stations is simple to remember. There are three middle stations, and my hold point for all six shots, High and Low Three, Four and Five, will be one-third the distance from the house that I’m shooting to the center stake. The distance from the house to the center stake is twenty-one yards or sixty-three feet. So when I setup for High Three, my gun will be positioned one-third of the way out from the house, or about twenty feet out from the house.
Much like High Two, it is very important here where we look with our eyes. I like to look about halfway back here, or in between my hold point and the house. I feel that if I look all the way back in the window I don’t get quite as good a look at that target, just like as discussed at High Two. This allows me to see the flash or streak of the target out of the window in my peripheral vision, moving my gun at a time that allows me to obtain a sustained lead. This allows me to see the target as fast as I possibly can. This may not work for everybody. If you prefer to look in the window and you see the target well, then by all means that I where you should position your eyes.
I want to break this target using a lead of two and one-half to three feet, and shoot it no later than the center stake, although I prefer to break it ten to fifteen feet before the stake. This should be your break zone, from the center stake, to approximately fifteen feet before that point. Any faster would be rushing the shot, and if proper setup procedures are followed, there is really no reason to shoot High Three past the center of the field.
Station Three – Low House
Even though Low Three is an incoming target, it is still one of the middle station shots and still a long lead target. The lead on Low Three is basically the same lead that we will see over at High and Low Four and even at High Five. On all four of these shots we will use a three to three and on-half foot lead, some even call it four feet. Since the shot will be taken at mid-field my normal foot position remains correct. The “one-third” hold point used on High Three will also suffice, allowing me to wait until I see the target, initiating gun movement as it appears, then obtaining and maintaining a sustained lead throughout the shot.
Station Four – High House
We remain in the same group of stations. As may well have guessed, the foot position of facing the Low house window still applies, and obviously for a left-hand shooter, the position still is facing the high house window.
The hold point here is just the same as it was at Station Three. The hold point for both High and Low Four is one-third of the way out from the respective house and always level with the bottom of the window. My eye position on High Four stays looking halfway back from my hold point to the house. If you have been previously comfortable looking back further at other stations, there’s no reason why it would be different here. As with High Three, my break point should be approximately ten feet before the center stake, yet a shot over the stake is fine. This target will require the same lead as Low Three, or about three to three and one-half feet.
Station Four – Low House
Low Four is the same shot as High Four, it just comes from and goes in the opposite direction. Low Four should be taken in the same area as High four, but on the opposite side of the stake. The hold point is maintained at one-third the distance from the house to the center stake.
I personally don’t often adjust up to the top of the window at Low Four, because that elevation in hold point starts to obstruct my vision. Even though I’m giving up some gun movement by holding lower than necessary, I maintain a clear view of the target. But giving up gun movement and gaining vision, is one hell of a good trade off in my mind.
Taking background into consideration, I don’t rely as much on my peripheral vision on this particular shot, but rather look back closer to the window, even though I don’t look in the window. I look about three or four feet out from the window, and this allows me to visually dig the target out of the background, while at the same time limiting eye movement in relationship to the gun, and maintaining the timing on the shot that I desire.
Also, for a right-handed shooter, this is where, because of the length of the shot and the movement, it is very easy for a right-handed shooter to rock back on his right foot while attempting the High house shot. The opposite applies to the left-handed shooter. This is where they may start to roll and shift weight to the back foot on Low Four. A review of the chapter on using the body for gun movement will reveal why this mistake can be disastrous.
Station Five – High House
Station Five is the last of the three middle stations, so once again, the approach to these two shots will be replicated from the approaches used at Stations Three and Four. Foot position remains facing the right and left-handers respective windows. The hold point here is constant because High Four and High Five are basically the same shot. So the gun will start at level with the bottom of the window and out about one-third of the distance between the High house and the center stake, or twenty feet outside the house. Eye position as it has, remains halfway back, in between the gun and the house, which allows me to pick up the target visually, react to it and make an easy sustained lead shot.
High Five is the exact same shot as Low Three on the opposing side of the field, so my break point or zone will presumably follow suit. High Five should be broken at the middle of the field, over the center stake, or anywhere up to a point that is fifteen feet past that stake. A middle station lead of three to three and one-half feet should be used.
Station Five - Low House
As you may have already guessed Low Five is the same shot as High Three. Even though the lead is a little bit shorter than the other middle station shots, maybe by a foot less, a two and one-half to three-foot lead, the exact same fundamentals apply here, just as they did at Station Three and Four.
Foot position, facing the window, is unchanged from High Five, because Low Five will be broken in the same area as High Five was. Low Five should be broken ten to fifteen feet before the center stake. A shot over the center stake is fine for the single shot, but taking Low Five past this point has no positives.
The normal “one-third” hold point works as well here as anywhere, allowing time for a smooth sustained lead shot. As mentioned in the Low Four discussion, the closer and closer that we get to the Low house, the target comes out at such an angle, that I don’t gain anything by being low with the gun. That positioning just causes more gun movement, yet I donâ€™t see the target any better. So to facilitate gun movement, I do come to the top of the window here, my exception to the bottom of the window hold point rule
Like Low Four because of background problems here, even at clubs with great backdrops, there will usually be trees, hills, or something back behind the low house, that may interfere with my immediate visual acquisition of the target. Because of this I will look in a little more closely here than I have been looking on the High house middle station shots. As with Low Four, I will look about three or four feet off the window, so I can pick up the target out of the background just a little bit better.
Station Six – High House
All of the shots on Station Six are exactly the same as those on Station Two on the opposite side of the field. This means that High Six will be exactly the same as Low Two. This is because of distance and angle to the shots are congruent. Therefore, the leads and the fundamentals employed will be the same.
The same foot position that has been fundamentally correct around the field still applies here at Station Six, for the right and left-handers equally. Remembering back to Low One and Low Two, we know that the hold point for High Six is level with the bottom of the window, and out about ten feet from the house. The eye position is shifted off of the gun toward the house.
Recalling the emphasis on incoming shot placement, I still want to break this target in the same area as High Six doubles will be taken. This relates to a spot on my side of the field, on the Low house side of the center stake, twenty to thirty feet past that stake. Again this placement is not critical, nor specific, however, a consistent placement is desirable. The necessary lead here, like the corresponding incoming target, Low Two, is one and one-half feet to two feet.
Station Six – Low House
The hold point here for the Low house target on Station Six, is very similar to what the hold point that was used at High Two.
First, find straight out, a line that is perpendicular to the baseline, and then move out about three feet past or to the left of that point. As discussed earlier it’s interesting to note that the hold points at the middle stations were a one-third of the way out from the house to the center stake. By coming straight out from Station Six and moving three feet to the left, that also happens to be exactly one-third of the way from the Low house to the center stake
Just as was done at Low Five, the elevation of the hold point will “rise” to the top of the window. The angle in which the target flies, relative to the shooter, eliminates any need for the gun to be held lower than this point. A hold point lower than the top of the window, would in most cases, not increase vision, but only require more gun movement to the target, making and smooth and timely shot more difficult.
Assuming some background interference even at Low Six, I also tend to look back further here than I would at the corresponding High house shot on the opposite side of the field, High Two. When setting up for Low Six I look back about halfway between my hold point and the house. This gives me a little better look at the flash of the target leaving the window. I still am leery of looking back all the way into the window, even though some very accomplished shooters rely on this. In theory, shifting the eyes this far back, causes the eyes to see only something very fast and out of focus, then the eyes must move, acquire the target and barrel, and in a very short period of time attempt a shot. Too much work for me.
Like High Two, lead on this shot is not foremost in my mind, yet a picture of one foot to one and one-half feet will break this target, for shooters matching gun speed with target speed and using a sustained lead. Some shooters will say that they see no lead on High Two or Low Six, but if those statements indeed true, then the “no lead” is a perceived lead as they actually “swing-through” the target with excess gun speed.
More importantly here, is the good, clear focus on the target by the shooter, which will allow for the matching of gun speed with target speed, rendering this a much simpler shot than is perceived by most. Although I am aware of a lead here, more like “daylight” between the barrel and the target, number one on the list is visual acuity. If I see this target well, I will break it. If I am not seeing it well, a change needs to be made in the approach to the target to facilitate and enhance the target’s visibility.
Station Six – Doubles
The pair at Station Six does not differ any from the other pairs shot on the end stations, those being the doubles fired from Stations One, Two, and Seven. Because Low Six doubles is the same shot as Low Six single, my fundamentals wonâ€™t change. The foot position stays the same, as does the hold point. The only difference now is that after I break Low Six, I will pick up High Six over the middle of the field, and bring it back to the break point like a single.
The most important thing to remember when shooting this pair is to turn back with the second shot, High Six, with no change in your body weight distribution. You will turn out with the first shot using the legs, and then reverse the direction of gun and body movement back with the High house. While all this happens, your weight and balance should always be maintained over your front foot, that is your left foot for the right-handers and the right foot for the left-handers. That turn and maintaining of balance, allows the shoulders to stay level and keeps the upper body from rocking back, creating an unstable platform, a very common and insidious problem here at this station. We have all seen shooters walk or in reality “fall” off the station on this particular pair.
What we should do, as with Low Five, and other fast outgoing targets, is relax and take the target out towards the middle of the field. This allows for time to see the target with sharp focus and then make a proper shot. This brings us right back to hand eye coordination, as long as the brain is allowed to get a good visual on the target, the brain will calculate and generate the necessary actions, and make the correct move, resulting in the desired completion of the shot.
Station Seven – High House
Since Station One, the right-handed shooter has always faced the Low house window. Station Seven is one of the exceptions to that rule, because this is a place on the field where the right-handed shooter can’t face the low house window. The right-handed shooter will face straight out, just as the left-handed shooter stood for Station One. Assuming the Low house window had a guard, an extrusion sometimes placed to protect shooters, the right-hander would face this extrusion. Standing in this manner, if a line were drawn across my feet, from toe to toe, that line would run parallel with the baseline, and extend over to Station One. Stand with this foot position, I can close my gun, holding it across my body, as discussed in the foot position chapter, and see that the gun comfortably points at the center stake, right where the Low Seven shot will be taken. I can then also comfortably turn on my side of the field, the side contained between the low house and the center stake, where I will be taking my High Seven shot both on the single and the double. This is also the same foot position the right-hander will use at High Eight, because basically High Eight is the same shot as High Seven, you’re just sixty feet closer to the house.
For the left-handed shooter, you will assume the same position that you have been using since Station Two, facing the high house window. Recall that the hold points that we’ve used for incoming targets on the end stations, Low One, Low Two, and High Six. The long incoming shots with a short lead. High Seven is the same. That hold point will be level with the bottom of the opening and out about ten feet from the house. The eyes shift off the barrel, and focus out toward the house where the target will first appear.
When placing this shot, like the others of its kind, the single target will be brought over to the same approximate area that the double will be taken in. Comparable to Low One, the lead on High Seven is six inches to one foot.
Station Seven – Low House
The foot position utilized for the high house shot on Station Seven works perfectly for the effort on the low house target. So foot position remains unchanged from the high. Most would establish a hold point on this shot, holding the gun exactly on the anticipated target flight path. But I am very weary of this target. My hold point on Low Seven is usually one foot to one and a half feet below where the target has been flying
Although one might not think so, eye position is very important here. The eyes must focus not only over the barrel, looking in the direction of where the target will appear, but also out past the barrel, focusing on the area of the sky where the target will be. Realize that Low Seven and High One are the only two targets on a skeet field, that when the hold point is attained, there is nothing to look at but he barrel. When shooting these two shots in particular it is very easy to just look at the barrel, because there is nothing else out there to look at.
Placement of Low Seven does not come to the forefront of concerns for a skeet shooter, even when attempting the doubles. Nevertheless, this target can be easily broken before the center stake, and should be taken in the general zone where all targets are shot. That being the area bound by the limits of the center stake, and the imaginary limit of fifteen feet before the center stake, on the low house side of the field. This is the one shot on the field that has no lead. This target is shot at directly. It is a true straightaway target.
Station Seven – Doubles
Now that we’ve shot our singles, let’s move to the doubles shot. Like all the other doubles around the station, the doubles shots will be executed with the same fundamentals as the singles. The foot position used during the singles shots works just fine because it allows for movement on the second shot, while maintaining comfort on the first shot, the outgoing target, Low Seven. The hold point on the low house will remain the same as the single, again always looking out for that flat Low Seven. After breaking Low Seven, the eyes look over the gun toward the middle of the field, pick up the high house as it enters the low house side of the field past the center stake, and then bring it across just like a single.
Station Eight – High House
Foot position for a right-handed shooter will be the same as it was at Station Seven, facing out toward the center stake, because the body movement to the target at Station Eight is much the same as the movement for High Seven, utilizing a short left to right turn. The left-handed shooter will continue to face the high house window.
I have often compared the setup points and execution of this shot to “making a triangle”. The hold point for these particular shots, is level with the bottom of the window, out from the house about four feet. Extending a line out from the window to the hold point forms the bottom leg of the triangle. Holding at the lower level of the window is important because it is necessary to have the gun down and out of the way so as to see the target with better visual acuity.
Some shooters have difficulty moving the gun to the target by starting the gun at that low of a position. There is no problem with coming up to the top of the window, however the top of the window should be a limit, as any higher than that and vision will begin to be obstructed. This situation is very undesirable, given the compactness of this shot, both in elapsed time and movement, vision is an important key to this shot.
Continuing on to eye position, these are the only two shots on the field that I look right in the window, again because of the brief time allowed to shot this target. I quickly need the visual information that the target is in the air so I can react to it, and make a timely shot. Now when it comes to lead on these Shots I donâ€™t even think about it here. The whole key to these targets is seeing them clearly so that I can generate a smooth move up to the target.
It is the execution of the shot that completes the “triangle” that I alluded to earlier in this segment. Remember that the hold point formed the first and bottom leg of the triangle. The target flight path forms the hypotenuse of the triangle, and the gun movement up to the target from the hold point forms the third and final leg. Understand that this not a “right triangle”, meaning that the gun does not move directly up in a straight fashion. Rather this is an acute triangle, meaning the gun movement closely mirrors the target flight path. I use the triangle analogy because one can see that the gun is never actually on the target until the point of firing. Therefore the matching of gun speed with target speed is never really achieved.
Do not misconstrue this method as spot shooting. Spot shooting implies that the gun is moved to a “spot” in the sky where the target is anticipated to be. This is not the case here as the gun movement is always toward the target, as dictated by the target movement itself. This target movement is translated to the brain through the eyes, which is the essence of hand-eye coordination.
The lead on this target is basically zero, however some may perceive a small amount by “covering the target up” with the barrel. Realize that this is really just a trick shot, that seems impossible to the beginner, yet with time, evolves into a “no-brainer” for the veteran, experienced skeet shooter.
Station Eight – Low House
Low Eight is the same shot as High Eight, it just comes from a different direction. Foot Position here alternates for the right and left-handed shooters. The right-hander is now back to facing the low house window, because Low Eight is a very similar shot to Low One. This creates a comfortable zone of movement that is compatible with the area in which the target will travel. Some right-handed shooters will face to far infield, facing Stations Six or even Five, but if the body is positioned too far in that direction, body movement with the target is restricted, creating a tendency to stop the gun and probably come out of the gun.
The left-handed shooter not being able to face the high house window for this shot, would stand like the right-handed shooter stood on High Eight, facing straight out toward the center stake. This stance also mirrors the foot position used by the left-hand shooter on Station One.
Because this is a similar, or in fact mirror image shot to High Eight, all of the setup points and fundamentals here at Low Eight remain constant. The hold point is exactly the same as High Eight, level with the bottom of the window and out about four feet. Again, you can come to the top if you want but be careful not to be any higher than that. The eye position attained by still focusing directly in the window, and the completion of the shot done in the same manner as High Eight, done so by “completing the triangle”. The same lead and shot placement as High Eight, is implemented here too, at Low Eight.