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We have been trying to fit a shotgun for my wife to shoot. We did some experimenting with her and my youngest daughter (16). Seems they hold the shotgun with thier shoulders back centered over thier hips as opposed to weight on the ball of the front foot. Can't seem to get them comfortable with a more aggressive stance. We got so frustrated with this that we took a picture. It's posted at www.palmettostateland.com...wo-man.htmIs this normal for women? How do men teach women to shoot if they have completely different anatomical capabilities?Help!
 

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It looks to me like the gun is too heavy for her. She is leaning backward in an effort to place more of the gun's weight on her center of gravity. Be leaning forward like the other picture (I assume it is you marshent), she is moving the weight forward and it looks incredibly uncomfortable for her. Start with a very light gun (or a bolt-action stock removed from the rest of the firearm) and show her the proper stance. Have her swing it that way for awhile using proper form. Graduate her to progressively heavier guns until she is comfortable swinging her usual gun.Worth a try... Mike RossLife Member, NAHCMember, National Rifle AssociationMember, Meeker Co. Historical Society
 

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Ok... First things first... you said that is how she holds the gun all the time? Yikes! The first problem is the angle of her shoulders to her hips... no wonder she is holding the gun funny. She needs to turn her shoulders so that they are NOT parallel to her feet for one thing. That will help alot. I think that she is standing this way to try to get herself in a position to hold the gun right. I think you will find that once her shoulders are perpedicular to her feet like they should be when shooting that the gun is too big for her. She will not be able to place her hand in the right position and she will feel like she wants to tip over fowards. I would try having her hold a Youth or Ladies stock gun at your local gun store to see if you can help get her comfy holding a gun that fits in the proper shooting stance. Otherwise she is going to kill her shoulder. That is the only thing I can tell you right now until I have a chance to find out more info from her.... Hope it helps some.:smokin "I can raise kids and still kick your *** in clays"
 

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Thank you both for your comments. We did try my old Mossberg bolt action...even removed the recoil pad & covered the stock to make it shorter. I like the idea of taking the action out of the gun & using just the wood to work on the stance. We will also look at the foot position. I knew something was wrong there, but I'm not terribly experienced myself, and couldn't put my finger on the trouble.Thanks. We will keep working on it.
 

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Marshentt, do you and your wife ever go to a shooting range? If you do, you can watch other shooters to see the proper shootin stance for trap, skeet, and sporting clays. Since I don't shoot small game, I can't really tell you much on the stance for that, but my guess would be that it would be much the same as for trap, etc. Maybe someone else can actually discribe it in post, I tried and discovered that I can't accurately describe it so that you would understand what I mean. That is something I will try to work on in the future. Hope you are able to get the help you need in regards to stance.:smokin "I can raise kids and still kick your *** in clays"
 

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Thanks for the concern Golden:We have taken the advice from the post above and taken the action out of a Mossberg bolt action 16g. Leaving only the wood. That has helped alot. We too are looking at the "stance" thing. Looks like I might be modifying my stance as well.We did a lil' shootin' today...but we used the handguns. We need to work on the shotgun stance & fit a bit more. We'll let you all know what we come up with.Any more advice would probably be a big help..and we will listen!
 

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Now be carefule friend...when you watch somebody, make sure it is someone who has studied the art. Just because a guy (or woman) shoots well doesn't mean they have proper form.Find one of the experienced shooters and watch them, and perhaps even ask them for some pointers, and perhaps some help with gun fit. If you imitate someone with improper form, you will being doing worse than you are without instruction.Select your mentors carefully. Mike RossLife Member, NAHCMember, National Rifle AssociationMember, Meeker Co. Historical Society
 

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Just a couple of observations:

Women are quite capable of learning proper shooting stance. There is absolutely no ingrained physical barrier to a woman shooting properly. Often it is just a matter of you placing her legs, arms, and back in the proper position so she gets an idea of how the proper stance should feel. Don't just tell her.... MOVE her into the right position and have her stand there for a while so her brain gets used to how it should feel. The stance is best described as a "boxer" or "fighting" stance: feet approximately shoulder width apart, front knee bent with front foot pointing toward the traphouse, back knee somewhat "locked" (should not be bent) with back foot at an angle (20-30 degrees difference) to the front, and upper body well forward of lower body. The upper back/spine should be in a straight, but diagonal line with the back leg. Sometimes when trying to get a woman to straighten her spine, I have to pull her butt out by the belt loops of her pants to get her to stop bending back at the waist. Usually when I tell women to pretend they are a boxer, or fighting someone, they get the idea right away, as the position is "aggressive" and forward-moving. The trigger hand elbow should be up near the level of the shoulder, to create a "pocket" that the gun buttstock fits in. This pocket, if the gun is held snugly into it, will reduce felt recoil and prevent the gun from jumping around and bruising the shoulder when it is fired.

This position should be exaggerated until it becomes ingrained, at which point the shooter will find the most natural position for themselves within this basic stance. It does feel weird at first but if it is reinforced over a long period of time it will become comfortable and natural feeling.

If you will look closely at the picture of the lady, she is standing with both knees basically locked, and no one leg is forward of the other. The knee opposite your gun hold (right knee for left handed shooter, left knee for right handed shooter) should be well forward of the other leg (my stance is about a foot, foot and a half difference).

A big reason for missed targets is a shooter picking their head up off the stock to look at the target as they're swinging to it. Often when I begin to miss targets, especially handicap targets, putting an extra bit of bend into my forward knee will be enough to get my head back down in contact with the stock where it belongs.

BTW, the advice given about the gun being too big is right-on. Women are capable of shooting big heavy guns (mine is a Browning Special Trap O/U with a 32" barrel... big big) but most women need to work up to it. Especially in the beginning when the stance already is new and awkward, having a smaller gun that is easier to work into the stance will help. You can even give her a short stick, ski pole, something light like that just to hold while you work on the stance.

A shotgun is NOT held in the same position as a rifle. Two entirely different firearms and shooting techniques.

imho
rajaniblue
 

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She looks like I did my first time out. I shoot with several experienced guys who were baffled too. Then they took my gun away and made me put my arm out like it was the gun and lean forward into it. With no gun, I did the proper stance every time. From there, they gave me back my gun & it felt comfortable to bend that front knee and put my weight forward.
 

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From the photo's neither of you is very comfortable in the postion you are holding.

I would suggest getting help as others have said. It may be a professional coach or not. The advantage of a coach is that they may have several guns of different sizes, weights, configurations. I have several 12s down to .410 guns (and below) for people who have little upper body strength. Starting with a .410 or 28 does not put your wife at a disadvantage. The gun has to be a good enough fit to begin with. This means weight, length, drop, comb height etc. If she cannot move with the gun she is not going to be too successful. I have just moved a woman shooter from a 28 to a 12 during her second lesson, and had her hitting report pairs with it too.

You do not mention if your wife wants to shoot clays or game? That has a bearing on fit and size too.

Stance has to be set up from the toes all the way through the legs to the head. From the picture, and I may be mistaken here, you wife may need a higher stock - she is reaching forward on the gun.

Sorry if we gave you more grief than you wanted, have fun with them both shooting with you.

Roger
 

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First of all you don't have shirts on, naked shooting now thats an idea :lol:

Okay first off she's leaning back (not a good thing) makes me think recoil is getting to her. And second (i haven't read all the above posts but) i change my stance on every post. On post one my feet are pretty much square with the post (that i'm on) with my right foot back some (i'm right handed). On post two my feet are turned a little bit to the right. On post three my feet are parallel to the traphouse. four my right foot is turned a little to the right and on post five both of my feet have a slight turn to the right SLIGHT. And please don't make her stand where her legs are 8 miles apart. Most ppl say i stand like an old man because my feet are pretty close together. And according to Harlan Campbell Jr (ATA All American men's team 2nd) you should lean forward a little bit i don't but some people do and it works for them. Have some old man at your club help her with how her stance should be but then let her move her feet where it feels comfortable, but still close to what the old man says
 
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