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What Is The Correct Way To Shoulder a Shotgun ?

Many new shooters are afraid of shotguns. The legendary kick of a heavy-duty 12 gauge hunting load is enough to scare anybody off. In fact, many hunting shotgun loads recoil harder than rifles used for African dangerous game like elephants and lions.

Wing shooting with these rounds can be extremely taxing if done improperly. However, if you learn the correct way shoulder shotgun you won’t have any problems consistently hitting targets pain-free.

On the contrary, if you are one of the people that throw their gun up and shoes from the shoulder without much thought as to what happens to your arms or your knees while you are shooting, you are going to have many problems downline ranging from missing targets to a buildup of scar tissue in your shoulder and cheek from an improper shooting stance.

The Proper Shooting Stance

The correct way to shoulder a shotgun has a few elements. The most important of which is a firm grasp of the shotgun against your shoulder. Pull your elbow high and shrug your shoulder to create a pocket that completely surrounds the buttstock.

Doing so will keep the gun from having a head start on slamming your shoulder at high speed. Been here for elbow and grip forend of the shotgun firmly without wrapping your hand completely around the barrel. Shotgun barrel gets hot quickly after repeated shots.

Leaned forward at the waist and bend your knees and allow the regal to roll over you like a wave. Don’t make the mistake of leaning backwards anticipating the recoil, you just might end up on your rear end! Shoulder a shotgun is easy once you practice moving the gun up from a low ready position on your hip to your shoulder.

The fluid motion of bending your knees, leaning forward and creating a pocket for the butt stock to fit into is easy to learn but difficult to consistently perform each and every time you’re going to hit a clay worshiper. Practice in the off-season or in between matches so you don’t get rusty with your skills. The correct way to shoulder shotgun allows you to mitigate recoil and compensate for the heavy and bulky designs of many shotguns.

Tips & Tricks to Shoulder a Shotgun Properly

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    Be Aggressive! - Eligible students were learned to shoot a shotgun to imagine being punched in the face. You’re going to want an aggressive stance much like a linebacker on the football field to help deal with the rearward motion of the shot. You have to keep the gun on target in order to hit what you’re aiming at. This means making sure that you have a stiff enough frame to allow the recoil to roll through you while still keeping the gun pointed in the right direction.
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    Absorb the Recoil - Don’t be a wet noodle when the gun goes off, but don’t be brittle. Allow the recoil to come over you as a wave. Visualize the gun going off the energy of the shotgun flowing through you like a wave crashing over the beach. If you absorb the recoil allowed to rollover you, you’ll actually feel less of it because you won’t be fighting the regal impulse of the gun goes off.
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    Use Your Legs! - When you bring your gun up to your shoulder, try and use your front leg to bring elevation for the barrel of your gun. If your knee is bent when the gun comes up, there are no problems. The reason this is far superior to trying to use your arm for elevation Is using your leg provides for a consistent angle of the gun stock and your shoulder and allowing your upper body to absorb an support the recoil of the gun.
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    Don’t give the gun a head start! - Don’t allow the gun to have any space between the but end of the stock and your shoulder. Many people allow the gun to move forward away from their shoulder. They falsely assume they can hold the gun off their shoulder and dissipate the energy off their torso.
    This is virtually impossible ad make for terrible accuracy. Keep the gun flush up against the body and let the recoil Passover you in a wave.
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    Adjust the comb of the stock - The toe end of the shotgun stock needs to be buried in your shoulder pocket when you shoot your gun. If you have a long neck or a slender buttstock, you may be unable to get a solid check weld. The solution is to modify the height of your stock comb.
    Consider a slip-on pad, or even duck taping a folded sock, to the but of your gun to add some height to the stock. Without a good cheek weld, the gun will have space to rock and hit you on the cheek. Fine with light trap loads, downright dangerous with heavy slugs or turkey loads!
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    Grip the Gun - Have a secure two-handed grip. Many people only loosely grip the forend of rifles and attempt to do this with a shotgun. Your front hand needs to pull the gun into your shoulder pocket and secure the gun from canting or rising. The large magazine tubes of modern shotguns can be difficult to control, do your best to hold it firmly in your grasp.
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    Don’t Jerk the Trigger - Some shot gunners make the mistake of thinking they can slap the trigger willy, nilly. That’s far from the truth! You don’t need a controlled squeeze like with a rifle, but you do need to pull at the right moment without disturbing the gun too much. Be mindful of the recoil and the position your wrist is in, but do your best to pull the trigger rearward without canting the gun or dipping the barrel.

The Verdict

Learning the proper stance to shoulder shotgun is a process. You’re not going to get it down the very first trip to the range. Consider starting at home with an unloaded gun, then progressing to call in for clays once you have the shotgun shouldered until you are ready to call for clays or look for birds from a low ready position.

With a little practice, you’ll be ready to shoot your shotgun from a proper shouldered position, pain-free and deadly accurate.

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