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 Post subject: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:24 am
Posts: 48
Hey gus, got a question:


When I bought my shotgun I was told by the person behind the counter that I should never lean my face ino the stock of the gun and that I shouldn't use the bead as a sight, but only as a quick reference to see where the tip of the barrel is. I was also told when shooting, I should keep the part of my face lower than my cheek's ledge on the guns stock.

I was told if I use the sight, my gun stops moving. So, how do I aim then?

Also, can anyone post a picture of how to properly seat a shotgun into/onto ones' shoulder?

Thanks! 8)


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 Post subject: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:19 am 
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So the key to shooting a shotgun well is to mount the gun the same way every time.

Practice mounting the gun in a room, unloaded. From Port Arms shoulder the gun making sure that you are looking directly down the rib of the gun. Once you get all lined up then back to Port Arms and do it again. Practice this about 20 times.

Now do it and swing the gun along the line where the ceiling in the room meets the wall, saying bang when you hit a corner, keep swinging the gun through the corner. Do that another 20 times.

If you practice this once a day for a few days you'll groove your mount and move.

Now comes the fun part. Go to the range and only focus your sight on the target. Watch nothing but the target and your muscle memory and brain will do the mount, move and lead calculation.

It's worked for me.

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 Post subject: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:55 am 
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You can also put a small mag ligt in the muzzle of an empty gun to see where the muzzle is pointing. After you've got the mount and swing down to smooth consistancy--then have another person with another flash light give you a point to swing through, break the trigger and follow through.

mount, swing, shout BANG, follow through...then off to the range.

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A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. This gives moderate exercise to the body & it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Let your gun be your constant companion.
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 Post subject: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:43 pm 
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Based on my read of what you have written, the person behind the counter gave you good advice.

1) Head position-- the head should remain upright, not tipped over the comb of the stock. Your cheekbone should be placed solidly on the comb. Whether or not your lower face touches the stock will depend on your facial structure and the shape of the stock, but in general, yes, your lower face should touch the stock.

2) Aiming-- you don't aim a shotgun... you point it. You should be able to do this without ANY beads on the gun. The beads are there simply to show alignment.

3) Proper mount... I don't have pictures, but I'll try to describe finding the shoulder "pocket". I'll assume you are right handed... Lift your right arm so that it is parallel to your shoulder, with your hand out to the side (not in front of you). Bend your elbow at a 45 degree angle.

Use your left hand, and feel your right shoulder, just to the right of your collarbone. You should feel a "gap" there. That's where the butt of the gun should be mounted. If you are putting your head over the top of the gun sideways, you probably have it mounted too far out.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:45 pm
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All the above responses are great except for one point.

"2) Aiming-- you don't aim a shotgun... you point it. You should be able to do this without ANY beads on the gun. The beads are there simply to show alignment."

I've been hearing that for all of my 40-odd years of shooting, and it still makes me chuckle. OF COURSE YOU AIM A SHOTGUN. If you were just "pointing" it, there would be no need to put your face on the stock and look down the barrel. You don't look down your finger when you point. You don't look down your arm when you throw a ball. But you do look down your gun barrel. Think about it, "The beads are there simply to show alignment." That's EXACTLY the same way you sight a rifle. In fact, the best shotgun I ever owned was a Savage .22/20 ga over and under with rifle sights. Used it on everything from squirrels to Canada geese. I wish now I hadn't sold it before joining the Air Force.

Yeah, I know I'll take some hits for saying you aim a shotgun. Fire away, but I've never yet heard a convincing counter-argument.


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 Post subject: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:20 pm 
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Watch this video at the link provided

http://www.shotgunreport.com/Video/Inst/SRVGunFit.html

You may find it usefull

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 Post subject: Re: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:03 pm 
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b christopher b wrote:
All the above responses are great except for one point.

"2) Aiming-- you don't aim a shotgun... you point it. You should be able to do this without ANY beads on the gun. The beads are there simply to show alignment."

I've been hearing that for all of my 40-odd years of shooting, and it still makes me chuckle. OF COURSE YOU AIM A SHOTGUN. If you were just "pointing" it, there would be no need to put your face on the stock and look down the barrel. You don't look down your finger when you point. You don't look down your arm when you throw a ball. But you do look down your gun barrel. Think about it, "The beads are there simply to show alignment." That's EXACTLY the same way you sight a rifle. In fact, the best shotgun I ever owned was a Savage .22/20 ga over and under with rifle sights. Used it on everything from squirrels to Canada geese. I wish now I hadn't sold it before joining the Air Force.

Yeah, I know I'll take some hits for saying you aim a shotgun. Fire away, but I've never yet heard a convincing counter-argument.


You're a noob, so I'll be gentle.

When you play baseball, do you watch your bat or watch the ball?

When shooting you watch the target not your sights... and as such, you never, ever "aim" a shotgun.


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 Post subject: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:23 pm 
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One, I'm not a noob. Unless you only mean new to this board.

two, when batting, you watch the ball. Whether shooting a shotgun or a rifle, you watch the target. If you don't focus on the target, the target is a blur and you can't hit it. it's impossible for your eye to focus on the target and the bead/sight at the same time. Focusing on the target doesn't mean you aren't aiming your shotgun.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Re: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:30 pm 
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b christopher b wrote:
Focusing on the target doesn't mean you aren't aiming your shotgun.


If the target is moving, that's EXACTLY what it means.


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 Post subject: Re: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:31 am 
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b christopher b wrote:
i If you were just "pointing" it, there would be no need to put your face on the stock and look down the barrel.


Precisely!

There is no need to hold the gun up to the face because you can point it quite accurately when shooting from the hip or over your head, like many trick shooters do. Mounting in the shoulder with your face on the stock just means you shoot better.

Surely the definition of aiming (say a rifle) is that you see a stationary target in alignment with the sights. Try that with a shotgun and you'll only ever hit the target by sheer luck.


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 Post subject: re: Am I Holding/Aiming My Shotgun Right?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:27 pm 
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i've only been shotgunning 1.5 years. mostly in the field hunting.

Get this book ..... Orvis wingshooters guidbook I believe its called . its like 10 bucks on amazon. lets put it this way , before the book i hit about 25 percent. After the book , without any more practice , I started to hit easily 75 percent. However the churchill method it teaches is mostly good for shorter range targets , maybe 30 yards. this means it works great for upland hunting in thick brush. However when you get into longer crossing shots and stuff like ducks, pheasants, and sporting clays you need to use more techniques such as sustained lead, swing thru, and pull away. I haven't worked on these yet since i'm too poor to get to the range and go hunting.

You should always be somewhat aware of the guns position with your peripheral vision and its relationship with the target. However you should not be looking at the gun or bead. You should be focused out infront of the target where you want to intercept it. or on very close targets you can even look right at the target and the spread of your pattern will usualy save the day.

to find out more about all the different techniques, when to use them, how to calculate lead, seeing the right sight picture when its time to fire etc.try this book Successful Shotgunning Peter F. Blakely..he really talks alot about looking at the barrels or do you see the barrels. we all see the barrels you just might not notice them. at first you have to think about all this stuff , soon your on auto pilot and your brain calculates lead everything before your know it . this book will also give you cold numbers like a target traveling 40 mph 40 yards away when shot with ammo of X velocity will need a lead of 8 ft for a 90 degree crossing shot etc. that way you can learn to calculate it all very fast by memorizing the proper site picture you need to see when you pull the trigger.

practice the gun mount over and over and over. Don't forget to practice releasing the safety as you bring the gun to your shoulder so you will learn to do it in the field. the orvis book will detail how to mount the gun. Basicaly put the butt about 1.5 inches deep under your armpit. the top of the stock touch your armpit. have the barrel pointed at about 45 degrees up , the muzzle right about your eye level. Then when you see the target push out with your left hand, pointing at the target. as the butt clears your armpit raise it into your shoulder pocket and release safety at same time. safety is off before mount is complete. Don't let the gun rotate around its balance point, this will have the momentum pulling the barrels down as you mount the gun but your target is usualy flying up not down.

your factory stocked gun is probably not going to fit you perfectly. mine sure doesn't. but you have to keep working on this mount before you can have a gun fitted for you.for example I have to tilt my head alot to get my eye over the rib it probably needs some cast.

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