Foot Position Importance

Dear Technoid,

In case you think your advice is “cast to the winds” I thought I would update you on our recent exchange. I queried you about two topics, one being barrel length and lead and the other on a flinch/lurch problem I have developed. Your answers were appreciated and your advice on foot position was heeded with appreciation.

I believed (beforehand) that I was paying attention to foot position. After our correspondence I purposely pointed the left foot at the perceived target break point and talked to myself about “gipping” (this is what a friend has named the condition).

Either the foot position or new concentration has paid dividends as I am doing it less and scores have improved (81 x 100 last weekend on a semi-hard course). On some targets the foot position improvement was very obvious in the result (broken target) and I thank you for your help.

Keep up the good work!!!


Thanks for the kind words. I always try to include a nugget of truth amid my usual bovine remnants. 81 is a great score. At our Connecticut Traveler’s shoot this past weekend, we had 95 seasoned shooters, ideal shooting conditions and only two scores in the 80s. You would have been a hero.

For my particular shooting style (I am right handed), I find that pointing my left foot at the breaking point has me a bit too “open” for left to right crossers. For those birds, I would point my left foot a bit more to the right of where I intend to break the bird. The goal is have a foot placement that is comfortable for the follow through, not just at the point of firing. I know, it shouldn’t matter, but it really does. Good follow through is probably THE most important component in delivering an accurate shot at a moving target.

I also shoot with both knees very slightly flexed and my weight centrally located (NOT on my front foot) to start. As I move with the bird, I then shift my weight into it. If you start with most of your weight on your front foot you will still shift our weight forward and end up shooting while standing on one leg. Watch the heel on the rear foot of some shooters. It is completely off the ground. It is tough to shoot from one foot or when standing on your toes. With both feet firmly on the ground you can drive into the bird better. If your body cannot pivot with the target you will be forced to arm shoot the birds and that will inevitably cause the gun to come off your face sooner or later.

The main job of the arms is to lock the gun into the face. The main job of the body at the waist and knees is to provide vertical and lateral movement for the gun platform. Once the gun is in place, there really should be no further movement from the middle of the chest up. This is why it is so important to get the initial foot position and subsequent body movement correct.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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1 Response to Foot Position Importance

  1. G. Barraclough says:

    Robert Churchill could not have stated it better. Notwithstanding his “grasping the nettle” analogy,
    in three paragraphs you have distilled the essence of shooting a target or bird in flight.


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