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Perfecting the Cutoff


I have been having trouble figuring out a low, incoming, quartering target. The type that is on edge and starts dropping and going right or left before it hits the ground about 30 yards out. I have tried shooting it while it is still going straight, but it is too far out and on edge. I have waited for it to be closer and tried cutoff-collapse but it is in transition and inconsistent about where it drops or turns and is tough to figure out the lead. Because it is coming mostly straight at you until it looses speed, it feels like I am aiming when acquiring the target. What technique do you suggest?


Cutoff and collapse is the technique I find the most effective on the presentation you describe, so I think you are on the right track.

You might be missing one or two elements of this move, however. The most common reasons for a miss on this type of target are: a lack of commitment to the breakpoint, too much lateral movement at the breakpoint, starting with the muzzle angle too high causing the shooter to move down to the breakpoint, occluding the target with the barrel as the target loses its line, and allowing the target to beat the muzzle to the breakpoint. If this were an incoming quartering target that was NOT transitioning, you would establish your hold point about 1/3 of the way back from your planned breakpoint, toward the trap, with your muzzle angle on or barely under the target line and your move would be synchronized with the target.

In this case however, the target is transitioning just prior to and through the breakpoint. Generically, a “cutoff and collapse” move is used on transitioning targets and involves the following: start with your hold point closer to the breakpoint than you would normally, orient your muzzle angle slightly downward below the breakpoint, approach the breakpoint at a slightly upward angle as y ou start your move, arrive at the breakpoint before the target, let the target do the work at the end of the “stroke” and commit to the breakpoint as the target “collapses” on the breakpoint.

Additionally, you should start your move early enough to beat the target to the breakpoint. If you feel as though you arrive at the breakpoint too early and wait for the target at the breakpoint, then you have executed the move correctly. Think of it as catching a fly ball in the outfield.

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