In this article, you’ll come to know the correct way to shoulder a shotgun as well as other important things related to it. So read along.
Guidelines in Pointing a Shotgun
The sight is commonly a bead located on the gun’s front part. It’s essential to position your head appropriately on the stock; at the same time, the barrel must be in line with your eye.
When using a shotgun, you’ll realize it’s actually rare to “actually aim” a target. The reason behind this is quite simple; targets (like animals) usually don’t stay in the same place at a particular time. Targets are typically agile and tend to transfer from time to time. One second an animal is insight, and the next second the animal disappears.
Shotguns are designed to be pointed; while the sight is always located along the top part of the rib or barrel.
When you finally bring your face to the gun, your cheek must fit snugly with the stock while your eye points on that same side above the gun’s centerline.
The statement above is the normal (standard) way of bringing your gun to your face. If you have a hard time assuming that position in a comfortable manner, you may want to adjust the gun fit.
Guidelines in Shouldering the Shotgun
The most common mistake shooters commit is forgetting to bring the stock all the way up to the cheek. Instead of doing that, the error is when you lower your head (along with your cheek) to the stock. Simply put, it’s not you who need to adjust. Bring the stock to your cheek, and NOT your cheek to the stock.
The stock must be brought to your cheek first before you bring it back to your shoulder. Make this a habit every time you bring the shotgun to your shoulder. This is how you could properly shoulder a shotgun.
Different Ways On How to Correctly Shoulder a Shotgun.
1. Lower your head. Bring the stock to your cheek then to your shoulder.
2. Lower your head. Bring the stock to your shoulder; then bring the stock to your cheek.
3. Bring the stock all the way up to your cheek; then bring the stock back to your shoulder.
4. Bring the stock up to your shoulder and then up to your cheek.
How To Choose The Best Way Of Shouldering A Shotgun
Just like the famous shoe quote, “no shoe fits all,” there is also no best way to shoulder a shotgun that applies to all shooters.
For starters, shouldering your shotgun also depends on your personal preference.
Your preference may include factors like comfort, shooting position, and the current situation. Another vital factor is how you shoot best. For instance, you won’t have to do the low-forward position when you want to target a flock of geese.
However, there are tips that you can incorporate into your shooting sessions regardless of the situation and your preference.
- You can keep the stock planted in your shoulder’s lower section; while you point down the barrel until you are ready to shoot.
- Following from the previous position, you can square up and forwardly lean on your front foot. It will bring you to a natural, lower position.
- While still shouldering the shotgun, bring the gun up while pressing the stock to your cheek.
Tips on Handling A Shotgun
Here are tips on how to properly handle a shotgun
- Put your left leg out when you are shooting right handed. Vice versa, put your right leg out if you are shooting left handed. Do this about 10 inches from your back foot.
- Create balance and stability by bending your front knee a little bit or just enough to make a balance.
- When pulling the gun up to your shoulder, do not lose sight to your target and keep an eye on it the whole time.
- Turn your head a little when you bring the stock to your cheek.
- Close your other eye – the eye opposite to the hand that pulls the trigger.
- Aim at your target depending on its movement. Aim directly when the target is stagnant or not moving. When the target moves quickly, try to predict its next move and try to point there.
- Cancel or minimize recoil by leaning into your gun.
- Pull the trigger until the gun shots.
- If you’re not able to hit the target, try to incorporate all tips mentioned previously and shoot again.
- Always keep an eye on your desired target.
Guidelines in Pulling The Trigger
When using a shotgun, the quick trigger action is highly essential when hunting with it. Unlike rifle shooting when you tend to “squeeze” the trigger, using a shotgun requires you to “slap” the trigger rather than squeezing it.
A follow-up to what’s stated just previously; you don’t have to exert effort in controlling your breath as the trigger only needs a quick pull. Also, the gun and the body are typically in motion, so you don’t have to hold your breath like you would do when you’re using a rifle.
As you pull the trigger, the shotgun will tend to swing. It’s vital to know that you don’t have to interfere with that swing; allow the shotgun’s swing when you pull the trigger. Trying to stop the swing when you shoot opens the possibility of hitting what’s behind the target, and not the target itself.
Guidelines In Your Stance
One of the greatest factors of successfully shooting your target is proper footwork. Keep in mind that you need to be relaxed, balanced with your weight while leaning forward slightly (tip no. 2), and you need to stand erect.
Your heels can be as close as 6 to 9 inches apart, and it is ideal for your heels to be in line with your shoulder.