At the call of "pull" the clay launches skyward, spinning ever along its path toward its eventual destination—the ground. Your job from the shooing stand, of course, is to interrupt that flight, smoking, crumbling, or at least chipping the target before it hits terra firma. With a smooth swing from the pickup point, you intercept the bird with faultless precision and feel, triggering the shot as your gun's buttstock meets your shoulder just a fraction of a second before the bird arrives at your carefully predetermined kill zone, the follow-through equally seamless.
But at the recoil of the shotshell, you notice that the disc sails on, as you shift gears to tackle the second mark that's now sailing through the air. In the back of your mind, you reconfirm in a conscious-crashing flash that on that first bird, everything felt just right. The mount and swing, the proper amount of lead, a smooth stroke that ended in just enough follow-through before you moved to the next challenge a half-second later were all spot on.
What possibly could have gone wrong? Replaying the first-bird scenario after you shatter the second clay, you again draw a blank on the cause of the failure. But you have to make a decision because you're facing two or three more of those first birds of the same pair—right now. More lead? Less? Take it closer to the trap next time? Maybe farther along its line?
Maybe, just maybe everything with your technique was right on target. Perhaps the mistake was in your equipment. More to the point, was your chosen shotshell and choke combo right for the presentation at hand? Are you sure?
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