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 Post subject: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 10:42 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 99
Since I'm relatively new to shotgunning (but not firearms), I thought I'd ask what's the first thing I should do with it?

Yes I'll clean, inspect and lubricate it but then what? My plan is to get to a range and function fire it but what comes next?

I intend to use it for dove hunting and maybe try my hand at recreational clay shooting.

Thanks.




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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 12:14 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:40 am
Posts: 212
Location: Houston, TX and Fairfield Glade, TN
I am brand new.

I took my first shotgun to a local skeet range during the week. I had exclusive help of a young "puller".

He walked me through the various skeet stations; shots at each station; and nicely pointed out that I was behind, or in front of, my targets. He mentioned my occasional Stopping the swing that cost me hits.

All in all, it was a great way to get accustomed to my new hobby/sport/gun. I did that same program five or six times until I ran into 8 or 9 oldies. They invited me to join in a round and they were equally kind and helpful. One Perazzi shooter invited me to try his 12 gauge (my new gun was only a 20 gauge and I had never shot a 12 up to that time).

It was a great bunch of guys who I miss since the Virus has kept me away for 5 weeks.

Get out and shoot all that you can. There are tons of videos ( I like Gil Ash) on Youtube that will help you get familiar with the sport.


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 12:53 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 99
Sounds like a good time.

So did you pattern check your gun prior to going out with it to the clays range or just jump right in?


Last edited by Redhat on Sun May 03, 2020 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 1:43 pm 
Presentation Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:15 pm
Posts: 909
Location: Kentucky
My advice would be to seek out professional instruction. You indicated that you are familiar with firearms so the instruction that I am talking about is not basic instruction or basic safety instruction. I'm going to assume that you already have a pretty good handle on that sort of thing. The type of instruction that I am talking about is specific to shotguns.

One pretty important difference between shotguns and rifles begins with your gun mount. With a rifle you either will be using two "iron" sights or some sort of optic. With a shotgun you probably have one front bead and that is it. Your shotgun may have two beads, but when shooting you should ignore the mid bead. The two "sights" if you will are the front bead and your eyeball. Your gun mount needs to put your eye in the right place every time you mount the gun or your rear sight will be off and you will miss a lot. Another point is your foot placement and upper body movement. When shooting a rifle many people greatly prefer a stance that places your rear foot veery much behind you in line with the direction the barrel is pointing. Since shotguns are generally intended for flying targets a more common stance has your feet at a 45 degree angle at the place your intend to pull the trigger on that rapidly moving target.

A skilled shotgun instructor can help you with these basic differences and many more things that will help you get off to the right foot.

My advice is that videos are a good reinforcement and follow up to actual instruction from a person, but the person needs to come first to start you on the right path.

Now, having said all of that there are lots of people out there that are deadly with a shotgun that never took a lesson in their lives. I'm not saying that instruction is a mandatory first step, what I am saying is that it will likely shorten your path to proficiency. When you have a proper and consistent shotgun mount everything else falls into place, at least that was my experience.

I am not any sort of expert. I'm very much a regular guy that enjoys shotguns. I don't instruct. I don't shoot competitively, I'm not the best shot you will ever meet by far. What I am however is someone that feels confident every time I pick up a shotgun that if I do what I am supposed to do I will hit what I am shooting at. When I miss it is only my own fault, and I can almost always tell you what I did wrong.

Whatever you do go out and have fun and enjoy the shooting sports!

_________________
Cancer survivor since 2011


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 2:17 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:29 am
Posts: 413
Location: Port St Lucie FL
Good advice from Road Man in my opinion. I am one of those old timers that learned by guess and by gosh. Not complaining about that, in truth I had some very talented and helpful friends that got me to a reasonable degree of proficiency.
After I was able to take lessons from a pro I realize the learning curve could have been smoother. You don't need a world class instructor to start but most any qualified pro at your local club can help you with the basics, that is a good start. Much of what the "helpful fellow shooters" you meet tell you, good intentioned or not may hurt rather than help you.


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:06 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 99
Thanks for the comments.

I too, grew up hunting with a shotgun but like some of you I had no formal training on fundamentals. I mostly hunted dove, squirrel and the occasional rabbit.

For some quick background; I am a retired military small arms instructor, so I have a pretty significant amount of instructor experience on everything from handguns up to machine guns. Some of that may help me here if for no other reason, I know shotgunning is a bit different and has techniques that have to be learned. That said, I do understand the basic concepts of stance, grip, trigger control, follow-through etc., and I agree starting off with proper instruction is best. Not only for safety, but if you learn things the right way first, it save you the headache of "un-learning" bad habits.

My real question is what is the progression new shooters should follow? Here's what seems logical to me:

Learn Firearms Safety
Learn your shotgun - Actually read your manual! Disassembly/inspection/user maintenance/assembly and function check/how to load/unload/reload
Function Fire the Gun
Check POA/POI, stock fit if necessary
Pattern the gun
Get Instruction - Learn to hit clay targets

Any other suggestions?

Thanks again


Last edited by Redhat on Sun May 03, 2020 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:11 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 22565
The FIRST thing you do with a new gun is read the manual.........................THEN you clean, lube, etc., since now you know how and where................

_________________
The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory, Aldo Gucci

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, George Carlin


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:25 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 99
oneounceload wrote:
The FIRST thing you do with a new gun is read the manual.........................THEN you clean, lube, etc., since now you know how and where................



Agree...good catch! I re-worded it...better now?


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:38 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:04 pm
Posts: 14
When I got my new shotgun I hired an instructor for 2 hours at the sporting clays course. That was the first time I had fired it.

Now, I have a set time for 2 hours a week with him for the next 6 weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:14 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 99
tanks wrote:
When I got my new shotgun I hired an instructor for 2 hours at the sporting clays course. That was the first time I had fired it.

Now, I have a set time for 2 hours a week with him for the next 6 weeks.



I did something similar. Though I had already fired the gun, I took a 1 hour class at the skeet range.

What do you feel you learned?


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:45 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:23 pm
Posts: 5606
Location: Brillion, WI-25 mls S of Green Bay
Visiting a good shotgun instructor is a very good idea. There are slightly varied "shooting forms" (gum mount, stance, body posture trigger hand/arm position and head and neck posture) that are recommended.

How well your gun's stock dimensions match your individual size and shape, will determine how well the stock "fits" you. As you can imagine, stock dimensions are related to the shooting for you use and/or are able to use. Both have a significant effect on your shooting improvement with practice and your eventual success, once you have mastered the basics.

There are two other considerations that affect shotgun shooting. One is the pattern's point if impact (POI) and the other is the point of aim. The POI is where the center of the pattern will impact the target.

The point of aim is where the front bead (seen only in your peripheral vision) is in relation to a target. Shooters prefer different POIs depending on the type of targets being shot. For example. trap shooters usually like their gun to put the POI slightly above the point of aim so they do not need to cover targets with the barrel to provide the necessary lead to the quite rapidly climbing targets.

Sporting clays shooters on the other hand often prefer guns that shoot flat, where the POI and the point of aim are the same. This is because sporting clays targets travel is various directions and a gun that shoots high would make breaking some targets more difficult.

A good instructor would go over all this and access how well your gun fits you and if needed, suggest what stock dimensions might need to be changed to make the gun fit you to improve your shooting experiences.

Something that you will need to do is avoid looking at the rib and barrel and always focus on the target or a point in front of the target where you want the pattern to intersect it. This may take some doing given your experience shooting rifles and handguns.

Before you shoot anything, mount your gun and hang your cheekbone on the top surface of the stock, the "comb." Using only snug cheek pressure notice if your eye is looking along the surface of the rib or slightly down onto the surface. If you see much of the rib's surface, the comb is a little too high.

That will mean that your gun will shoot higher than you expect since the position of the eye relative to the rib serves the same purpose as the back sight on a rifle. If you are looking at the target along the surface of the rib, the pattern should evenly encircle a stationary target.

If you are looking down on the surface of the rib, the center of the pattern will be above the target (POI). How much depends on how much rib surface you see when the gun is fired, However, remember, NEVER glance back that the rib during swings to targets. If you do, your swing will slow and you are very likely to shoot behind the target with inadequate lead due to the swing's slowing.

_________________
Rollin

Author of "Stock Fitter's Bible, Second Edition," which explains the interrelationships between shooting form, stock dimensions and a shooter's size and shape http://www.amazon.com/Stock-Fitters-Bible-Second-Edition/dp/1451570384


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:46 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 869
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Redhat,

I agree getting some professional instruction and patterning your new gun, is always a good idea. Especially for a sportsman purchasing his 1st shotgun. Have a professional fit the new gun to your needs, if you can afford to due so. Next take some professional shooting lessons. If you do not have a hunting mentor consider joining RGS, they have mentors that work with new Grouse hunters all the time, I am part of this mentor group myself. Sense you are not new to fire arms I take it you understand how to handle a fire arm and the safety involved. If you have not taken a hunter safety course do so.

Welcome to the upland shooting life!

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

_________________
L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


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 Post subject: Re: Ok So I Have the New Shotgun...What to do First?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:31 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:25 pm
Posts: 2
Perform initial cleaning, inspection and function check. Take the time to disassemble your firearm and give it a usual cleaning after you verify it is unloaded. Pay extra attention to the bore to ensure it is free of extraneous grease or other obstructions. While you have the gun broken down, pay careful attention to the components: does everything appear normal. you should rattle off 100 trouble free rounds before considering your new gun “in working order.” I prefer 1,000 trouble-free rounds before I’ll declare it good to go.




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