For Sale The only two books that explain lead.

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For Sale


Well-known member
May 24, 2013
Dallas, Texas
Now available Worldwide for electronic down load. Reading Targets and the Unit Lead system for Sporting Clays. Sales are on the increase across the board but especially in Canada and Australia. I speculate that must be the result of word of mouth referrals.
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Quote:- "You can't learn to read targets from a book and besides, the game has changed a lot over the years."

Errr, no, a 50 yard crosser needs the same lead today as it did 50 years ago. You need to shoot the same distance under a dropper as you did 50 years ago. And besides, if the books don't work, why are so many shooters downloading them?
Excellent monthly sales. Come on guys, you know this methodology works, how about putting some honest reviews on here?
Chippy, at least that's an honest answer! But "a picture's worth a thousand words, right?" And "Reading Targets" shows actual lead pictures/bird barrel relationships taken with an eye cam. The e mails I get suggest that the books are a big I'm understandably baffled.
Here's a few sight pictures for skeet so you can see what I mean. Happy to send a few for SC?


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@bordergun As the owner of a few of your books, I'm happy to provide a full review Peter.


Although I’d done some ‘small bore’ rifle shooting as a youngster, my journey into the world of clay shooting only began a year ago. My son (14 at the time) was expressing an interest in rifle target shooting but in the UK, due a a mixture of strict firearms licensing and typical club rules, it takes a real commitment to enter that sport. Since I wasn’t sure if his interest was genuine, or how he’d react around guns, I decided a ‘have a go’ clay pigeon session would be a good starting point. We were both immediately hooked, in truth me probably more so than him!

It took around 6 months for our SGC grants (long story) so our shooting for that time was limited due to cost to a couple of 1 hour lessons per month. Although my son quickly progressed, initially I couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo (I now know there were many reasons for this … chiefly my natural instinct was to try to maintain lead with my line of sight down the rib, this in turn led to a tendency to focus on the bead and consequentially apparent eye dominance issues). Our limited practice time, combined with my desire to improve, led me to viewing many videos and reading many books on the subject. Ironically I initially bought one of Peter’s books due to the controversy often seen in discussions on this site.

The books

Successful Shotgunning
At the time, Peter’s books were only available in hard copy and hence relatively expensive to buy in the UK. My first purchase was “Successful Shotgunning”, a 320 page book aimed at novices covering all the fundamental aspects of the sport. The book is well written with an interesting mix of history, personal backstory and information, and although its age is somewhat apparent in the nature and quality of the illustrations, the information presented is as relevant now as it was at the time of publication (2003 I believe).

My only criticism of “Successful Shotgunning” would be that, although the history and backstory adds interest to the read, it also adds to the word count and means that important nuggets of information can be lost in the noise. An example here is where the shooter should actually be looking, barrel vs. bird, and although this is touched upon it’s more an aside in a section discussing lead. To me, this is a fundamental concept that should be clearly called out. Credit to Peter for including it - it amazes me that many authors don’t, possibly in an attempt to avoid what can be a contentious topic - but I think Chris Batha is one of the few that firmly grasp this particular nettle in “Breaking Clays”.

Reading Targets
My next purchase was “Reading Targets”, again in hardcopy. At 57 pages of largish text I initially felt a little short changed but that was because I was missing the point of the book - it’s intended more as a ‘pocket reference’ guide showing sight pictures for various target presentations. This time, reference to sighting the target and using peripheral vision for barrel awareness is called out up front but the very nature of the pictures (using a camera looking down the rib) gives the impression that this is how the target should be sighted. I’m not sure what could be done to address this but possibly some consideration to cropping and recentering, or some other way of adjusting the images, would be of help.

You're Behind it!
Having felt that “Reading Targets” was the epilogue rather than the main story, I bought “You're Behind it!”, but this time in the more affordable ebook format. Now we get to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the Unit Lead system.

Essentially, Peter advocates - for beginners at least - envisioning lead gaps in absolute terms at the muzzle rather than at the target. This requires using maintained lead as the method of obtaining the required lead but has the benefit of allowing information and adjustments to be presented in an objective, measured way rather than ‘a bit more/less lead’. The logic here is to allow beginners to rapidly build an inventory of sight pictures which can then be adjusted once barrel speed dependent methods are introduced and in a way I guess it represents the antithesis of the Churchill style. Peter recommends to initially learn the method on skeet before moving onto sporting but does also cover some specific target presentations later in the book where target reading is a little more complex than simple units of lead.

There is a fair degree of space dedicated to explaining why certain leads are required, often at length, and I felt this distracts a little from the core concept.

The Unit Lead System - did it work (for me)?

The logic is sound and I’m sure that the system does work. If I’d had the information at the beginning of my journey then it would have provided a useful map but unfortunately by the time I’d read it, after struggling with maintained lead, I’d already moved on to using different lead methods to find what works best, for me. I do think there is a danger of promoting barrel fixation and the overall concept could have been presented more concisely, ideally with “You're Behind it!” and “Reading Targets” consolidated into a single book.

So, is it the ‘killer app’ equivalent of coaching methods? Maybe, I don’t know, but certainly anything that shortens the learning curve must be a good thing.

Is it applicable to all sporting targets? I would say ‘no’, the potential variations is presentation are too numerous to be captured prescriptively in a book of sight pictures but, equally, anything that provides a starting point together with an indication of how to analyse a target and adjust must be a good thing.

Is the concept well described? Hmm, sorry Peter, I’d say not as well as it could be and possibly this leads to misunderstandings and is the source of much of the heated debate on this site.

Am I happy with my purchase? Yes. When a topic interests me then I’m more than happy to read any amount of information on it, analysing what’s said, comparing and contrasting different points of view, and ultimately taking away points that I believe or can show to be valid whilst discarding others. It’s how we learn and better our knowledge.

Certainly my copy of “Reading Targets” will stay with me as a reference point for when I’m struggling but my quest right now is to develop more of an instinctive, Gil Ash style 'feel' for lead.

A note to Peter (and others) on the ebook format.
Unfortunately rendering of the page layout when diagrams are involved is poor and in some cases diagrams are missing. For this reason I’d recommend hard copy for ‘You're Behind it!’ and ebook for ‘Reading Targets’ (to allow easy reference when in the field) but, as above, this does mean that some pictures will be missing.
Dave. Thanks for the honest review, I appreciate it! I also agree that some of the diagrams in the e book were less than clear compared to the hard copy. The two books could have been consolidated and that may be a possibility for a project in the future. I am always here to answer questions if necessary:- Thanks for taking the the time to write this.
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Dave. Thanks for the honest review, I appreciate it! I also agree that some of the diagrams in the e book were less than clear compared to the hard copy. The two books could have been consolidated and that may be a possibility for a project in the future. I am always here to answer questions if necessary:- Thanks for taking the the time to write this.
No problem at all Peter and if I've misrepresented any aspects then feel free to correct me, it was some time ago that I read the books and I had to flick back through them to remind myself of the content (which is not a bad thing). It does feel (to me) that there are all the building blocks of a pretty definitive book on the subject, it's just a question of assembling them in the right order to make it great (and, of course, the effort involved in doing that!). If you ever need anyone to proof read and provide a layman/novice perspective then I'm happy to help.
Hi Dave,

The only thing I would like to add if I may is the fact that these days we hear a lot about "instinctive" shooting. I believe instinct is something we are born with and nobody has the natural ability to intercept a 50 yard crosser, he needs to learn to do it....even the great man himself, Mr. Digweed, needed to learn how to do that until it then became intuitive. Then it absolutely does as you say become a "feel," in fact the first DVD I made with Sunrise Productions 25 years ago was actually called "Read the line, Feel the Lead."

Some coaches will tell you to "focus on the leading edge of the target and the magic of your subconscious will tell you where to shoot" I don't believe most shooters can do that and I believe the books show a logical way to do intercept that long crosser very quickly.

Thanks again for the review and if you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dave. When you say, quote:- "Is the concept well described, not as well as it could be." I'm afraid I don't completely understand. Rather than try to explain on here, if possible, could you please e mail me here at your conveinience:- Once again I really appreciate your input.


Okay, here’s my 10pence worth, with this caveat. I’m a beginner. My background is that I had a clay shooting experience as a birthday gift. Liked it, bought about another 6 lessons/trips. Then got my SGC, bought a gun, which I’ve now used about 3 times. So I fully admit that I’m really inexperienced and I’m not well read enough to compare these to any others. But this is my experience.

I bought ‘You’re behind it’ and ‘reading targets’ as printed books (I don’t like ebooks). I found the basic concept fairly simple to understand. Quite rightly it took a couple of times to read through to get to grips with it. If anyone is interested, the basic unit of lead in the U.K. is 5p.

So having read through them and starting to understand them, I had a trip out with another beginner friend. I’m pleased to say that I saw a massive improvement. My companion said I was on fire!!! While I fully appreciate that one swallow does not a summer make, I honestly believe I was shooting better because I was understanding what I was trying to do. A few examples are:

The first trap we chose had a rabbit. Never seen or shot these before. I hit about 6 out of 8, just by applying ‘half the speed half the lead’ and also where to aim vertically. My companion missed them all, until I explained what I was doing, then he hit them.

On another trap the clay described a perfect parabolic curve. I hit them, he missed. I described the ‘box lead’ and he started hitting them.

On another I had a full crosser, R to L at the furthest I’ve seen. I applied about 5 units which felt ridiculous, and nobody was more surprised than me when I was hitting them.

So, I appreciate that it may have been a coincidence, that it was just my lucky day, shooting over 75%. But it didn’t feel that way. I’ll know more the next few times I go. I feel that I’m understanding it more than I did after the previous lessons and I’ve got something to work on.

The books benefit by several read throughs, and I personally feel they need an index. It’s a bit frustrating to know something is in there that you’ve read but can’t remember where, so you’ve to scan the book to find it. But that’s a minor inconvenience.

I know that many experienced shooters will tell me that I don’t know enough yet to know what I don’t know, and there’s some truth in that. But in my opinion, it’s really helped me, with a logical system that’s easy to understand and apply. If you’re a beginner like me and want a system that is logical and ‘scientific’ and isn’t based on “you’ll just know when it’s right” then I would recommend these. What people don’t tell beginners, and what I hadn’t thought about, is that when you’ve got your own gun and start shooting on your own, you’ve no longer got the instructor looking over your shoulder. I know that’s really obvious, but it suddenly hits you that you a) don’t really know what you’re supposed to be doing and b) where you’re going wrong. I feel these books gave me that info, so I wasn’t shooting blind and had a system to work to. Which for me works.

I’m not good enough to know if experienced shooters would benefit, but as it’s a system that can be applied, I don’t see why not.

I hope that’s useful to some and I hope I’m not being too presumptuous posting my thoughts here.
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Now available Worldwide for electronic down load. Reading Targets and the Unit Lead system for Sporting Clays. Sales are on the increase across the board but especially in Canada and Australia. I speculate that must be the result of word of mouth referrals.
Hi Peter,

I stumbled on this thread a couple of weeks ago and bought the book Reading Targets.

I have target shot all my life, but I'm relatively new to shotguns and clay shooting and I have to say I found the book very useful. I regularly attend clubs and talk to a lot of people and you get conflicting messages on lead and I've found a lot of people say "don't think lead, move through and shoot" or similar. However, being new, I haven't developed that instinct yet and in some cases I didn;t know how to attempt certain clays or where I should be pointing the barrel.

I found the book extremely useful in getting my barrel into the right area and understand where it should be for different types of targets and the pictures and terminology really helped. I now consistently use "inches at the muzzle" as my reference which makes much more sense than "xft of lead" which was so subjective to me.

The pictures I thought were excellent too, giving you the barrel view to, again, get you into the correct area to have any chance at all of hitting the clays.

I have been doing okay with sporting clays but I was really struggling with English skeet and struggling to score more than 8-10. Stations 1 and 7 were fine, but 2 to 6 were just pot luck. I read the skeet section of the book twice and then shot too rounds scoring 16 and 18 back to back.

So for me, the book worked a treat. I understand the mechanics of shooting better which helps me hit targets, boosts confidence and keeps me practicing. Probably more important, when I miss I usually understand why and can therefore correct.

The way I viewed the pictures and the concept of lead was its like driving lessons..... When you've been driving years you know when to change gears... The sound, the vibrations, the feel - you just know to change gears. However, when you start, you need explicit instruction and description. This is what the book, the pictures and the descriptions gave me. The technical aspect of where to place the barrel for different types of clays.
We get to the top in the shotgun sports by reading the variables of the targets correctly to intercept them, that's what motivates us to trigger the shot. Are there any other books out there that give shooters a logical way to interpret the variables of any target on a sporting clay course? I don't think so. Learn to read any target on a SC course in hours, not years.