Rapid Swing style of Shooting a Shotgun
In the rapid swing, the line of swing either travels directly along the line of flight or preferably takes a parallel course just beneath it for sake of an unobstructed view. The working principle of rapid swing is that the gun is invariably aligned behind the bird and the “line of aim” is then swung after it much faster than the bird is moving, until it overtakes and passes the moving mark to the point where the charge is sent to catch the bird.
The strength of this system of gun aiming lies in this: The gun moving in the path of flight of the game takes the elevation automatically. In illustration of this, should the bird be rising the line of swing rises also and will continue to do so after passing the bird, necessarily striking its mark unless the course of the target alters radically. Of course an identical rule would apply were the bird descending, climbing or taking any other angle of elevation so long as the line of swing followed the line of flight and passed it the proper distance.
Rapid swing simplifies lead also, for should the line of swing be traveling three times as fast as the bird flies an estimated lead of one foot would place the charge three feet ahead of the bird, the gain being made during the interim of pressing the trigger and the passage of the shot up the barrel. Moreover it must be borne in mind that now the line of aim is not intersecting that of flight but traveling with it, which permits considerable latitude in trigger pulling, should the gunner be a trifle quick or slow, the charge, still being in line, will probably catch the mark with some portion of the pattern.
Almost every skillful waterfowl hunter uses the rapid swing, and many do so in the uplands as well. Birds with a speed of from sixty to one hundred miles an hour are entirely too fast to be snap shot with any certainty, but can easily be taken with the rapid swing.
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