Becoming a great skeet shooter takes hard work and dedication. There is nothing better than learning through personal experience, but here are a few tips provided by the veteran shooters here at MEC Shooting Sports.
It is important that you wear the appropriate hearing and eye protection AT ALL TIMES. Handle all guns as though they are loaded; however, it is important to keep your gun unloaded until you are ready to shoot. In the event you must cross any sort of ditch, fence, stream etc., make sure your gun is unloaded. You also want to keep the muzzle always pointed down until you are ready to shoot, and do not ever point your gun at anything that you do not want to shoot.
In order for your gun to shoot where you are looking, you need to make sure you have a correct gun fit. You can do a test to check your gun fit by setting up a target board at roughly 16 yards. Mount and shoot a few shots by pointing at the target, without aiming. If you find the highest density point is off center, you are going to want to have your gun fitted.
A mistake many hunters make is the assumption that because they are right-handed, they have a dominant right eye, or vice versa with their left. This is not always the case. In order to check for eye dominance, stand tall and point to an object on the other side of the room. Close your left eye, and if you can still see the object at the end of your finger, you are right-eye dominant. If the object has moved, open your left eye and close your right. If the object is still at the end of your finger, you are left-eye dominant.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. This is true for even the best shots. Try to make 10 practice swings/mounts part of your daily routine. Practice in front of a mirror to see that you mount the gun from the same position on your face every time, careful to avoid mounting it to your shoulder. Stand with your feet narrow and focus on creating a smooth swing and follow through.
While it may seem like common sense, training yourself to focus on the target rather than looking down the gun barrel or bead, takes practice. You do not want to aim, as aiming takes longer and you will find yourself shooting behind. Get in the habit of pointing.
You want to make sure you have consistent follow through and the best way to get this is to keep your barrel moving. Keep your dominant eye on the target and follow with the barrel.
Typically, you are going to want to shoot the lower target first. When the gun recoils, it will instinctively bring you to the higher target, unless you feel one is a more difficult shot or will disappear quickly.
If you find yourself going through a missing streak, take a break and adjust. First, see if there is anything you need to change with your posture. Next, you want to look at your lead and increase or decrease as needed.
As we discussed earlier in Tip #4, practice makes perfect. Using low recoil loads for target practice won’t only help you save your shoulder, it will also help you improve your marksmanship. It is a lot easier to focus on the target when you aren’t anxiously anticipating the stock slamming into your shoulder. Low recoil shells also contain less shot, so your shots will have higher velocity as well. Not only are low recoil shells usually cheaper, but they also break apart clays all the same.
Like we talked about in Tip #5, you want to get in the habit of pointing your gun instead of aiming. To do this, you need to make sure that your body is in the right position. Stand with your front leg slightly bent and your back leg straight. You should also bend a little at the waist and slightly lean forward into your gun
Hold the butt of gun tightly up against your shoulder between your arm and collarbone and make sure that the elbow of your shooting arm is parallel with the ground. Place your cheek firmly against the top of the stock so you’re sight plane is level with the rib of the gun and bead at the end of the barrel.