I don’t know how many times I overestimated the target distance, but probably most of the time. When I was walking outdoors, I would estimate the distance to the next tree, and pace it off.
My point is that I don’t do a very good job estimating distance, and conversely, the lead necessary to break the target. (I over lead crossers).
Also, what about pattern drop at 50+ yards? Should it be part of my mental calculation?
Estimating distance? What I always do is to estimate the distance to some tree or bush that the target passes over or by. It’s not as hard to estimate distance to a stationary object on the ground. I think of everything in terms of a skeet field measurement house to house. That’s about 40 yards. If the shot is more than the width of a skeet field, then distance is a concern. If it’s a high bird, I estimate the distance to an object on the ground and then add a bit for the hypotenuse of the right angle triangle. A bird 40 yards away and 20 yards up requires that the shot go 45 yards. (A^2+B^2=C^2). I just add 10% of the distance to the ground measuring object. That’s close enough.
At 40 yards #7-1/2s started at 1200 fps drop just under 4″ according to Lyman’s. Around 8″ at 50. At 60 yards it’s just under 11″. I can’t hold that precisely on any bird, so I just ignore holdover at distance. I’d go loony trying to hold 5-1/2″ over a long crosser. Besides, my experience with long crossers is that I tend to ride them a bit and usually end up shooting over the top as the bird is fading.
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)