I had three customers who all suffered with the same problem of straight/driven birds. They couldn’t create enough lead to hit higher birds. Lower birds of 20 to 30 yards were not a problem for them and they were all pretty consistent. But as soon as we attempted to move up on to the higher birds 40 yards and over, they couldn’t create enough lead. They would all get to a certain point in their swing that was just before vertical and bang — miss behind. They had become increasingly frustrated with themselves out on peg that “something wasn’t right” and I could see the problem.
Each one was starting with all of the weight on the back foot. One of them, so much so, that they were leaning backwards before mounting. To rectify the problem we needed to alter their posture to being much more upright with a straight back, then transfer around 60 to 70 per cent of their weight to the front foot. Now with the stance, weight and gun mount rectified the shots were being taking sooner and with the kick in of the hips and as the gun came from 45˚ though to 90˚, they were able to add a little more speed into the barrels and therefore lead on to the bird.
Give this a try if you struggle to lead on higher driven birds and if you want to practise it at home — make sure you have fairly high ceilings and no low-hanging chandeliers in the room.
These are only three of the common faults we come across during the season; each Gun has his or her problem bird, bad habit and faults that could be improved upon. There is no substitute for good practice and experienced guidance to build confidence in yourself and your ability as a Gun.
“Each Gun has their problem bird, bad habits and faults that could be improved upon. There is no substitute for good practice.”
With up to 70 per cent of their weight on the front foot, the Guns were able to add speed to the barrels.
The Guns would all get to a certain point in their swing and bang — they missed behind because they had all their weight on the back foot, so much so that one was leaning backwards.