When shooting sporting clay's you will need to learn all of the different shooting methods as well as how and when they work the best. Every shooter must have a base method to use, but you must also be able to use all of the methods. Different people will find that they have a method that is the best for them I like the sustained lead the best. It works very effectively for me as a base method. To understand how to use the different methods, I will refer to the gun pointing straight at the target as the "insert point." For the sustained lead, basically when the target appears, the muzzle is inserted in front of the bird and will stay in front all the way through the shot. When the stock reaches your cheek, you should have your gun in front of the target with the proper lead built-in. To help you be able to see the lead, I like to refer to the lead as being a "window." Small lead, small window; medium window, medium lead; and so on. Do not get caught up in measuring the lead, this will make you slow your swing and shoot behind the target so always keep the window open. You should make your shot when the stock reaches your face and with your muzzle remaining at the same speed as the target, with the window staying the same. After practicing this you will find this to be very effective. The swing-through method is where your muzzle is inserted slightly behind the target. The muzzle is swept through the target, and the gun is fired as you pass the target. This is referred to as "sweeping" the target, like taking a paintbrush and painting a line of shot in front of the target, a very effective way to break targets and I like to use this method in hunting dove and quail. The downside to this method is when a target is flying off-line; you will tend to shoot over the target. So watch the target flight path before shooting this method. The pull-away method is similar to the swing through. The difference is where you insert your gun on the target. You insert straight at the target and then pull away and make your shot. You will find, with practice that this is one of the better shooting methods. I like to use this method when shooting long targets, outside 35 yards. Like the swing through, you will need to watch the targets flight path and do not shoot over it. When the wind moves a target or the target hits a limb or is just flying off line, it is very easy to miss the target with this swing through or the pull away method. The Churchill method is when you do not see any lead. You bring your muzzle up from behind the target, with lots of gun speed and shoot directly at the target. The Churchill method will appear to be very fast, but when done correctly, it should seem very smooth, comfortable and under control. I really like this method for targets inside 20 yards. It is a good way to break a lot of targets.
A beautiful gun, new type of shell and new shooting shirt or wanting to win first place will not break a target. You have to put the shot string on the target. So the shooters job is not to break the target, but to deliver the shot string on the target. Everything you do before you pull the trigger has a direct effect on the outcome of the shot. Thinking of being ahead of your friend, or beating your last score that you shot, will only lead you to missing more targets. Breaking targets consistently requires concentration on the breakpoint, foot position and muzzle hold, focus point and the proper shooting method, but doing this during your set up and when you call "pull" you should have a clear mind. The next time you get out to enjoy a round of sporting clay's, don't be afraid to shoot a lot of shells on any of these shooting methods, as they will all work very well, but they all will take time to perfect