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Proper shotgun mounting and stance?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by The Ruckus, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. The Ruckus

    The Ruckus Well-Known Member

    So this topic is a little embarrassing due to my lifelong pistol and rifle experience. However, I just cannot seem to get the shotgun stance and mount correct. No matter where I place my shotguns on my shoulder shooting is pure agony. Even after five 3" shells I end up bruised up like crazy. My father does not seem to have this problem, do you guys have an idea of what I'm doing wrong? Maybe I'm too vague...I don't know what else to say..so if you could just list some stance do's and don'ts that would be great :)
  2. esheato

    esheato Well-Known Member

    I don't know how you're holding it so it's tough to help...but I do have some general pointers.

    You point, not aim, a shotgun. It's not the same grip and cheekweld as rifle shooting. Hard to describe, I know.

    Lastly, the brutal recoil could be attributed to stock design or poor recoil pad on the gun you're shooting. Try another gun and see if the recoil is better/worse. Also, start with 2 3/4" shells until your get your form down. No point in busting up your shoulder for nothing.

  3. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    You are describing exactly how someone develops a shooter's flinch and permanent fear of the shotgun. 3" magnum loads have a habit of doing that to people. The more you make yourself shoot with 3" shells and injure yourself, the more you will instinctively fear shooting shotguns.

    Stick with 2 3/4" shells, they work fine. Look for reduced-recoil shells like Federal (assuming you are practicing for SD and not hunting). Once you realize how much control, precision/accuracy, speed and painlessness you get from 2 3/4" shells, you won't ever look back.

    If you need to see proper ways to mount and fire a shotgun, do some searches on YouTube. Search for "Benelli shotgun demonstration" or "Beretta shotgun demonstration" they put out some of the better vids.
  4. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    A couple things...

    First, the archives have oddles of stuff on this. The Search feature is your friend.

    Second, 3" shells turn novice shotgunners into non shotgunners. Find the lightest 2 3/4" shells you can. The new 7/8 oz loads are ideal, but they don't turn up at the big box stores.

    Third, it's hard to diagnose form glitches over the Net, but here's a checklist.

    Am I behind the shotgun instead of alongside it?

    Is my strong side elbow raised to create the "Cup" that the butt goes in?

    Am I leaning well into the shot so my nose is over my toes on my leading foot?

    Am I pulling the shotgun firmly into my shoulder?

    Am I gripping the shotgun firmly with both hands?

    Does my shotgun have a good pad?

  5. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Well-Known Member

    You don't mention which shotgun you are shooting. A nice gas semi-auto has pretty soft recoil, especially when the gun fits you. If you have an old single shot like the NEF, it is light weight, a joy to carry, but brutal with 3" shells. I would bet that you shoot some centerfire rifles with hefty recoil and don't have a problem with those. Oh, and shooting a lightweight shotgun with 3" shells FROM a bench rest only makes the pain much worse. I tried it once with a slug -- boy did that ever hurt.:eek:
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    I would also add to check your eye dominance to the above suggestions
  7. AZ_Rebel

    AZ_Rebel Well-Known Member

    Search this topic there have been many!

    I posted this some time ago:

    Shotguns with slugs or High Power shot shells can certainly give you a lesson in recoil and its control. If you are getting a lot of felt recoil and muzzle jump I would suggest you try holding your shotgun in a different manner. Most people are told to hold the shotgun firmly against the shoulder when firing to keep the butt from cracking your shoulder when the gun fires. This is good advice as far as it goes but it bears some detailing.

    Assuming the Shooter is Right handed
    1. When mounting the shotgun raise the Right Elbow so that the upper arm is parallel to the ground. This open up the shoulder and creates a pocket for the butt pad or plate. This will also prevent inadvertently placing the butt on the collarbone - which you will instantly regret!
    2. Hold the butt against the shoulder with some pressure of your right arm but not with all your strength.
    3. Put firm tension in both you arms and push forward on the forearm of the gun with the left arm - as if you are trying to pull it apart - back with the right, forward with the left.
    4. Mount the gun to the face - not the face to the gun... do not dip your head to the stock.
    5. When the gun fires absorb the recoil mainly with your arms... let them work like shock absorbers so that your shoulder (and face) do not get the brunt of the recoil momentum.

    I have taught many lighter built people how to shoot full power 12 Guage loads with no discomfort. My exwife weighed 125 pounds and fired over 500 rounds out of a light Remington 600 .308Win in 6 days in a Gunsite Rifle Class with no bruising and no discomfort using these techniques.

    Work on recoil control... it is not that difficult and adds immeasurable to the enjoyment of shooting your shotgun or rifle.
  8. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Your main problem is you aren't pulling the gun in tight enough into your shoulder. If you're used to shooting low recoiling rifles (AR's, AK's, 30-30's, etc.) you get lazy about how tight against your shoulder you hold your gun.

    Give the shotgun a bit of a run at you and it will smack your shoulder hard. Hold it in tight and all you get is a push.

    There was an article that compared recoil from various firearms and they calculated that a 3" mag 12ga from a light weight shotgun (Ithica Featherweight) had more recoil than a .460 Weatherby. I've seen a 230 lb man knocked back a couple steps when firing the .460.
  9. Rshooter

    Rshooter Well-Known Member

    Pull the shotgun in.

    I am going to assume that you are taking the advice of the others and bring up a different point.

    Are you holding the shotgun tightly to your shoulder? This is one of the most common mistakes of new shooters. You must pull the shotgun into your shoulder. When your weapon is fired physics dictates that there is a force equal to the shotgun round that pushes the shotgun back into you. If you do not have a tight hold the shotgun hammers your shoulder causing bruising. The other thing you can do is lean into your stance.
  10. BruceRDucer

    BruceRDucer Well-Known Member


    I started with 2 3/4" shells, and I don't know why I would want to shoot 3"

    Maybe a few just for certain game, but other wise, believe me, a slug from a 2 3/4" shell packs enough wallop to bend steel. So why 3"?

  11. The Ruckus

    The Ruckus Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help everyone, sorry that I was vague on the info. It is a standard 18" Mossberg 590 5 shot, with the factory stock and pad. I am also right handed, and right eye dominate. I know this because I've been shooting for a long time pistol and rifle, I just never got down to using shotguns because I've never bought my own. I am dead on accurate with the shotgun, it's just painful.

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