Shotguns are easy to shoot - on paper at least. But translating the instructions into practice is the sticking point. Shotgun marksmanship is a sophisticated and complex process that requires coordination. Fluid movements are extremely important. It takes hand-to-eye coordination to point the muzzle at the target. So shooters will need plenty of skill and lots more practice.
How can I learn about successful shotgun shooting? First up, a truism: Practice makes perfect. Many novice shooters shudder at the cost of hiring a private coach to learn how to handle their weapon. But professional instruction is the bedrock of future results. You can’t even learn shotgun technique from a book: you need to get out there and fire it.
A guide to shotgun shooting: training marksmanship at the range
Novices and young hunters should learn how to handle shotguns and hone their technique from day one. But even bona fide trappers will benefit from the occasional trip to the gun club. Especially considering that hunters quite often have trouble with shotguns. Booking a session with a coach might put a dent in your wallet, but it will be worth the expense. After all, the coach will whip you into shape and train smooth cycles. You are certain to catch the eye at the shooting range afterwards. And you can look forward to a sterling performance on your next hunt.
But what does shotgun technique boil down to? Efficient shotgun shooting is easier to learn if you break down the complex movement cycle into its constituent parts. The first thing for beginners to learn is to handle their weapon safely. They’ll soon get the hang of the movements and techniques after a few dry runs with a snap cap.
Once at the range, they’ll have to identify their dominant eye. After all, firing a shotgun is not about staring down the sights. Intuition and awareness are far more important, which is why both eyes remain open. A rule of thumb says that right-handed shooters should have a dominant right eye. It’s the other way round for lefties, of course. The hunting trainer or shooting coach will gladly help if the dominant eye happens to be the “wrong” one.
Tips for perfect shotgun technique
The right stance will play a big role in success or failure. But only a few basic rules are needed to avoid the worst pitfalls: stand with your feet approximately a shoulder width apart and switch your weight to your front foot. Right-handers should put their left foot forward, pointing in the direction they are aiming. It’s the other way round for lefties, of course.
Lean slightly forward and grasp the fore-stock. Always keep your head upright. You assume the correct firing position by pushing the stock firmly against the inside of your shoulder. Here, the entire butt plate should be pressing against the shooter’s body. Another tip for hunting: always make sure that the muzzle is pointing in the direction you are looking. That helps you assume the correct firing position if you spot some game.
Improving shooting technique – a guide to shotgun shooting
The correct lead factor is essential to the shot itself. Novices and young hunters especially tend to undercut. A strict training regime is the only way to get a feel for the shotgun, the ammunition and the right lead factor. But a trip to the shooting range or round the hunting course would help veteran hunters improve their accuracy as well. The swing into firing position is also crucial. Remember: “Swing through” until after discharge. Otherwise the shotgun will have come to a halt before the shot has left the barrel.
What’s more, you can improve your technique and accuracy by putting in the hours on a modern simulator. Video simulation systems like the MARKSMAN ST-2 trainer let you practice all year round at indoor centers. There is an infinite variety of exercise programs with 3-D hunting simulations. You can focus on your personal learning objectives for shotgun shooting.
A guide to shotgun shooting with the Benelli 828U over and under
Although essentially a hunting weapon, the Benelli 828U over and under is also a great performer at the range. It has a beautiful, quite unusual design. But the 828U has thoroughly convincing specs as well. It is a light and easy-to-handle shotgun with a low bascule. But it also packs a hefty punch, is perfectly balanced and extremely rugged. Thanks to the Progressive Comfort System, the manufacturer guarantees an ideal reduction in recoil and muzzle rise.
In terms of shooting, accuracy and handling, the Benelli 828U certainly leaves no wish unfulfilled. Besides hunting, it is an ideal weapon for shotgun beginners, to train hunters and for intense shooting practice. The reason: the over and under is easy to configure and can be adjusted individually for any shooter. And none of this requires the services of a gunsmith. So the Benelli 828U is the perfect weapon for women, young hunters and more petite shooters.
Visit the manufacturer’s website for more information about the premium hunting and sports shotguns by Benelli.
A review of the Benelli 828U Black: accompany us on the hunt with this modern and aggressive over and under.