Chris Batha has years of experience as a shooting instructor, both in the UK and US. Formerly a senior instructor and gunfitter for EJ Churchill, he is considered one of the best qualified to speak on shooting techniques. Now based in the US, Chris is running shooting schools there, and can be found in a number of instructional videos and books – both online (YouTube Search) and offline (Amazon).
Breaking Clays is one of his most popular books – providing a comprehensive introduction to the the sport of clay shooting. I picked this up just as I started shooting and have found it an invaluable guide, taking the mystery out of some of the language used and helping me find my way in the sport.
It starts with a history of clay shooting, and a crisp informative chapter on safety. There are a clutch of chapters on equipment – including shotguns, targets, chokes and the accessories you might need to shoot before moving on to technique.
Chris is a believer in the ‘instinctive shot’ and this comes across in chapters about Eye Dominance, Shooting Straight and Gun fit – which he brings all together in a final chapter called ‘The Basics of Straight Shooting’ – these pages alone could earn you important targets out on the clay ground!
There are in-depth chapters on tactics: Sporting Solutions covers all the main targets you are likely to encounter out on the Clay Ground – with specific chapters included for Skeet and Trap.
The book finishes up with a more scientific take on things – touching on Eyes and Vision, The Mental Game, Competition and Fitness – I specifically liked the fact that there were exercises included in these chapters – so it wasn’t just theory – but go-do actions to help improve areas you wanted to focus on.
Overall – I’d rate this book highly. If I had one criticism, it’s that I would really like an accompanying Video/DVD to help explain some of the concepts – the pictures and diagrams are excellent and clear, but watching some of the processes play out may have made this easier to absorb. The book is good quality, with crisp text and pictures.
To buy : Breaking Clays: Target Tactics, Tips and Techniques (Amazon Link)
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