1. Think Safety First: Treat All Shotguns As Loaded
A shotgun is a powerful, and potentially lethal implement. That’s why it’s important to start from a place of treating it with great care. An oft-repeated rule is that you should always treat the shotgun as if it were loaded. It’s also important to use eye protection, and ear defenders. It’s vital to ensure the weapons is set to safety until in the firing position.
Vitally, you should make sure that the gun is never aimed at anyone, including yourself. It’s worth checking that a gun is not loaded or blocked when picking it up, putting it down or passing it to another person.
You should only touch the trigger if you are fully prepared to fire the weapon. Pointing it either up, or down will ensure no one gets hurt if the worst happens.
Source: Shooting UK.
2. Proper Form: Hold and Aim Correctly
The art of firing a shotgun is distinct and different from other projectile weapons. For example, some people say “rifles are aimed, shotguns are pointed”.
The essential grip involves holding the stock with one’s non-shooting hand, which should be placed around the middle. Make a V-shape with your forefinger and thumb, and sit the length of the gun firmly in this position.
Meanwhile, the hand with which you will fire the weapon should firmly hold the grip which is behind the trigger and guard of the shotgun. Your grip should be gentle but solid.
As for cradling the weapon, it should sit, in what has been described as the “pocket” of your shoulder. This will prevent the “kick” of the gun from causing bruising, etc., when fired.
3. Fix Your Cheek To the Stock and Twist
In order to aim correctly, you will need to develop your cheek to stock aim. In other words, developing a level aim of the sight of the shotgun by keeping your cheek firmly and steadily next to the stock.
Once you have developed this through repetition and practice, when aiming at clays or birds, you will need to refine the “twist” of your waist as you follow your quarry.
You should also consider getting an instructor or attending a course to help you learn how to use your weapon accurately and safely. Check our our range of shotguns for sale to buy, and accessories. These include ear defenders and much more.