Here’s part two of our Beginner’s Guide to Clay Pigeon Shooting! In this instalment you will learn about shooting stance and technique. If you missed part one of our guide, click here to view it.

Shooting stance

The accuracy and consistency of your shot is greatly affected by how you set yourself up for it. Good shots come from a good shooting stance – a combination of foot positioning and body posture that provides you with a stable shooting platform. There is no single ‘right’shooting stance as it is dependent on your body type, handedness and shooting style, however it is important is that your stance allows you to be relaxed, balanced and controlled throughout the swing. Look at what other people are doing and experiment with a few different styles until you’ve found one you feel comfortable with.

That being said, there is a wrong way to address the target. Poor foot positioning, such as having your feet too far apart, can cause you to miss. Ideally, your feet should be no farther apart than your shoulders, but should still allow enough room to for the gun to swing unimpeded through the break zone. You may want to start with both feet facing down the range, with one foot in front of the other. The foot farthest forward will be your foot on the opposite side to your trigger finger. See how this stance feels and adjust as necessary.

Your knees will also need to be slightly loose to allow the mobility needed to aim – stiff knees will only allow your arms and wrists to move, when the move comes comes from your ankles, knees, and hips. A good tip is to have the majority of your weight leaning forward on your leading foot as this is what will keep you steady and help to maintain balance so you’re prepared for the next release. It will also help your body absorb the recoil of the gun without you feeling as though you are being pushed backwards.



Just like shooting stance, there is no one single technique that works for everyone. There are three principle methods that you might like to start out with:

  • CPSA – mount the gun directly onto the target, point at it, move with it for as long as necessary to establish the line (a second or two), then finally pull away in front of it as you squeeze the trigger.
  • Maintained lead – Keep your eyes focused on the clay throughout the shot and hold the further out along the line of flight than you would with the CPSA or swing through method. The gun never actually points at the target but is always out in front during and after the shot.
  • Swing through – This is where the barrels of the gun start behind the target and are swung through the target, firing when the you perceive the correct lead picture is achieved.

Experiment with each of the above to find the method that suits you best. Also, remember that if you want to hit a moving target you must shoot where it is going rather than where it was. This is called forward allowance and knowing how much is needed will come with skill, experience and practice, so don’t be disheartened if you start off a bit rusty, you’ll soon get a feel for it!

If you have any questions or you would like to book our clay pigeon shooting course, please contact us by calling: 0843 289 6040 or visit our courses page.

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