If not, what I was taught is: If you're hitting the low angles, then check for head lifting. Then, because it may seem like you have more time on the higher targets, make sure you're maintaining a good visual lock on the target and not allowing your vision to drift back to the bead. If you're stopping the gun, or experiencing some kind of 'hesitation' in your swing it's almost always because you're looking at the gun/trying to measure lead. Finally, make sure your visual set up is such that you're able to quickly get a visual "hold" on the higher targets. You may need to set your "look point" up higher than you have it now.
Get someone to stand behind you and tell you if you appear to be stopping the gun or hesitating somewhere in the swing. Or, if you're jumping at the higher ones.
Analyze and determine what you're doing RIGHT on the low ones and apply that to the high ones.
Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I have a similar problem, although with all of the high ones, including the straightaways. I'm definitely not lifting my head (someone had suggested that to me before, so I've been very conscious about that).
My POI is about 3" at 16 yards.
As noted , you turn from your ankles to your waist. From the waist up you're locked. On either target you are driving into the target, shoulders square, turning the front shoulder in, and maintaining or increasing the weight on the front foot. Do not lean back to raise the gun along the flight path!!! And do not shift your weight to the back foot to lean into the target. Again, push into the target and raise the forward hand to move the gun up to the target while maintaining your face on the stock. When you complete the target stop and check your finishing position to see that you have executed the shot properly and how it felt when you executed the shot properly to build muscle memory so you can execute the shot properly every time.
An excellent tutorial is to watch the finals at the ISSF tournaments and see how the best execute.
Hmm...my POI is about 3-4 inches above POA at 16 yards.
My hold point when calling for the bird is to put the muzzle the top edge of the bunker directly in front of me, but keep my eyes looking forward parallel with the ground.
I'm pretty sure I'm keeping my head down as I thought that way my problem at first and made an effort to keep my head on the stock. I tend to keep my knees slightly bent and lean forward, pivoting with my knees while keeping my upper body locked to the gun when I move (habits from USPSA shooting). Does that sound about right?
As far as stopping the gun, I have noticed with the extreme left and right targets, by the time I acquire and catch up to the targets, I sort of run out of room to pivot, so I'm pretty much stopped. Is that common? Could that be a factor?
Also, what is meant by "pushing off the gun?"
You might try bringing your vision in to looking 12 to 18 inches above the bunker or somewhere 5 to 10 meters in front of the bunker at ground level. You may be giving the target the opportunity to get out on you before you react. You are too slow to the target if you are running out of room both sides. Have someone put a stopwatch on you from call to first shot. If the time is more than about .8 seconds, you are too slow. One of the aspects of the game, to me, is having the confidence to pull the trigger when you get the first good lock on the target. If you try to make it look better you will slow and shoot behind. Your mantra should be attack, attack, attack.
You are pushing off the gun if you try to get through the target by pushing the gun with your hands rather than rotating and maintaining position on the gun. This can happen on both wide targets and narrow angle targets.
If you are having trouble focusing on the bird quickly, you might rethink your focal point.
Focusing on a distant point will likely help you lock on the bird more quickly. If you are focusing on the front of the bunker, it will take longer for your eyes to catch and focus on a rapidly outgoing target.
Good advice here, the legs are four times stronger than the arms. Use them to push the upper body and gun to the target.
On very high straight-aways I don't think you have much choice but to push the gun with your arms. You bend upward at the waist but that will not be enough.
Generally people missing the high birds are simply behind (underneath) them but I emphasize "generally" because I've seen good shooters miss over the top consistently, or off-line if they are also left or right.
If I could give only one piece of advice it would be to shoot them exactly the same as you shoot any other bunker target (except for the driving upward with the arms part), and if what you are doing is working on the low ones but not the high ones then you aren't shooting the low ones with proper visual technique and timing.
Probably not what you wanted to hear but I believe proper visual technique and timing are critical to overall success. Watch how top shooters shoot them, then try to emulate their timing.
I want my eyes focused where they can most quickly pick up the blur irrespective of where the target goes. I think thst varies a bit between shooters, but not much unless there is some significant vision impairment involved.
My apologies, when I talked about looking 12 to 18 inches above the bunker, I should have clarified that this would be the area where your vision was centered. The focus is a soft focus centered in that area. The visual equivalent can be likened to a camera. The lens is set at f-11 so that a large area is in view but not in hard focus. As the target leaves you pick up the flight path of the target and move to hard focus on the target f-3. Immediately you lock onto the target SHOOT IT!!! It's not likely to get better and if you hesitate you are surely lost.
Again, a rising target is shot by picking up the front hand while pushing into the target, NOT LEANING BACK. Watch the shooters in the ISSF finals and you will not see them lean back but pick up the front hand to move the gun to the target while staying in the gun through the shot.
It is difficult to refocus from near to far. We were designed to pick up and refocus on objects approaching us that may present a danger. Refocusing near to far becomes harder as we age, so the idea of adjusting our focus to a distance where we would break the target is desirable even as we center our vision closer to pick up the target sooner.
As for a straight away, think about it. We work to get ahead of the crossing targets , why not the same for a straight away? The target should be shot as it disappears behind the gun establishing a vertical lead. Unless you shoot an extremely high shooting gun, if you see the target when you pull the trigger, oh well.
These are my opinions and if you have an argument with them please let me know as I am open to other methodology.
I agree with pufftarget! If you can see a fast high rising straight away target when you pull the trigger you just shot under it.
So with the high climbing left and right targets you will have to lead them to the left or right and up higher than the flat targets. The higher rising targets you need to lead up and over them or you will shoot under them.