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November 30, 2010
Gun Nuts Video Tip: Secret to Consistent Shotgun Mounting
By Phil Bourjaily
In this video, Phil Bourjaily shows you a simple shotgun mounting practice drill that helps keep your eye and muzzle on target.
Awesome advice for the swing-through shots. The flashlight really helps show were the muzzle truly is. Good video.
It was either here or on OutDoorLife that had a video series about shooting sporting clays and this tip was mentioned. Its a great and cheap way to practice.
Try this same drill from a position of "port arms" to simulate a hunting environment. However you carry your shotgun while in the field, this exercise should surprise you and help your reaction time in acquiring the target. For another variable, try it with your feet in different positions. It helped me.
I'm a big follower of the Ash's, and watch a number of their tip U-tubes. That one is a good one, and I practice it often, but without the flashlight, just pick the gun up off the rack that think I know where the muzzle is pointing, and do those two exercises...but the light is better. My deal is to get the stock as short as possible with still having the needed distance between your stock holding hand, and your nose so you don't get smacked. The English approach is to have a stock as long a length as you can with your eye as far back on the stock for sighting, but not my approach for quick mounting, and pointing.
Whatcha think? What do you think about stock fit regarding length. I'm 6'0 tall, and shoot a 13" pull on my shotguns. That old notion of fitting the butt in the crotch of your arm, and then your trigger finger to the trigger for length is of no value right?
Sayfu, I think somebody should have taught you how to mount a shotgun properly years ago so you would not have to shoot a pediatric stock in you adulthood. No offense intended, but a stock that short is gonna kick the livin' bejezus out you and cannot be comfortable to shoot. Stock fitting is a litte more complex than sticking it on the backside of your elbow and seeing how it matches up with your trigger finger. 6'0, sleeves 34", I'd say you can shoot a big boy gun, might need a little coaching, oops, there comes the Petzal out in me, sorry.
By the way, the mag lite in the barrel is great. It makes the shooter focus on the target and not the barrel.
Sayfu -- Gil Ash fitted my target gun for me. I am also 6' tall and I wear a 34-inch sleeve. The stock is almost 15 inches long, as is the stock on the Beretta I've been hunting with lately. Both guns fit me very well and are easy for me to shoot.
That said, I always thought I shot my son's youth model 1100 with a 13-inch stock pretty well -- much better than I shoot it with the full size 14-inch stock I bought for it as he grew. I don't know why that would be the case, but it is.
I need to try this i need all the help i can get! I shoot very well with all my rifles muzzleloaders never have aprobelm hiting what I ame at in the field with any of thos, but i just suck with my shotgun I Have trouble hiting crane's and thats like shooting a lawnchear out of the sky so yep, thanks going to try this I have a crane hunt coming this week end too. Will try this I think a lot of times i mount my shotgun wrong too because at first in ahurry in the fiels i tend to mount it in the pocket of my sholder as this is whear i shoot my rifles but doing this i get the whole bridge of my shotgun and then the beed at the end but when i practic mounting it at home i tend to put it right on the ball of my sholder with the toe seting alittle higher and my cheek bone on the combe of the stock when i mount my shot gun like this i get the fine beed onley and i think if i can get in a habet shooting this way ill have more hits.
RESl956 Not at all. I shoot a Benelli 20 ga. Montefeltro that is 5 lbs. 4 oz. and shoot 3" 1 1/4 oz loads in it,... bang, bang, bang, and very little felt recoil. Those shells are comparable to the 12 ga. standard 1 1/4 oz pheasant load. It is a matter of consistently mounting the gun properly, and I can do it time, and again shooting what I feel is the best stock length for me. It is one thing to say to push the gun away clearing your clothing, and bringing it up to your check properly, and then doing it holding the gun in different positions walking with the gun, and doing it properly on a flush. Way too many times my gun was not mounted properly using a standard length stock with a lop of 14 1/4" or longer. What can happen is your rear sight, your eye, is farther up on the stock when mounting a shorter stock, and you then should shoot high as opposed to your eye farther back on the stock, and now lower as the stock slants down from receiver to butt...but I do not shoot high. And importantly for me, I can mount the gun without thinking about the gun, just focusing on the target. Otherwise because of the problem in mounting the standard length of pull, I now focus on that darn gun, and less on the target. Anyway, I wish Phil would respond.
mulyjim, A word of wisdom...forget about the shoulder when mounting a shotgun..think of bringing the stock to your cheek...check then the shoulder comes naturally against the butt. Raise your head on a flush, and bring the gun to your shoulder, and the gun is often far too low, and your rear sight, your eye, way to high, or the stock gets mounted to far out on your shoulder. The other key is to not mount the gun, and then chase the target. Swing as you mount the gun, not rushing to mount, and when the gun is now mounted against your check the muzzle will be near the target, and where you want it.
Sayfu, Thanks for the advice I need all I can get. every body I have hunted with has blamed it on my shot gun winchester 1300 quickpump 12 gauge everyone bashes this gun for somereason I got the gun 1 becuase it was cheeper then alot I looked at but had the same feel to me and I liked the wood stock and blued look and the 28" barrel at the time (kinda wish it was shorter now) but the gun is prety nice loking as far as apump is conserned every one tells me thats a good looking shot gun till I tell theem it is a winchester 1300 then they start the bashing but I still dont think it is the gun I know it is me because certen times when I know i swing it right and mount and shoot down gos a bird and I know it si just me geting all my ducks in a row. thank you very mutch i will try practicing this and maybe ill try the mag light thing too.
Gotta look for my Minimag NOW!!!!
Moishe...Just remember this...before you go hunting take the maglite out!
Mulyjim...I wouldn't be concerned about the 28" barrel. The move is to longer barrels, 30", and even 32". Depends on what you are hunting, but for pass shooting ducks, and wild birds that swing out to the side, maybe in the wind, the longer barrel swings more smoothly, and helps to create follow through. It isn't the sight plane because you should not be sighting down the barrel, instead focusing on the target...it is the swing...same in my flyfishing for steelhead..."the swing's the thing"
Phil...belaboring the point!..Could it be that a target gun is pre-mounted, and there is no problem with you fitting the mount properly?..as apposed to the blur of wings, and you have your gun barrel resting on your shoulder pointing out behind? I've missed birds, and then when I get home I find I have a bruise on my bisep!! But not after I have had my stocks all shortened.
Sayfu, My Fly fishing is an evean sadder subject, But thanks for the info. I am pretty new to bird hunting, If you dont count my teen years busting doves with dads old win.1887 all september every year. Dos were da days
I shoot gun down most of the time at sporting clays and always at skeet. Taking a short hold on the forearm, back by the receiver helps, as does thinking that your first move is to push the muzzle at the bird.
That is another of the Ash's tip, and a good one. "If you are wearing heavier clothing hunting, and want to be able to better clear your clothing using the same lop with less clothing, move your hand farther back on the foregrip."..great tip. Thanks for responding...and I did buy the youth model with the 12 3/4" lop..the Benelli Montefeltro, and then lengthened it by a 1/4" with a fatter recoil pad.
Excellent points all, I agree with Phil's philosophy of the left hand further back on the receiver will make for better, more consistent gun mounts and more birds in the bag at the end of the day. Sayfu's shortening of the stock probably brought the drop at comb to where it should have been to put point of impact where it should be. Most Benelli's in my hands tend to pattern low anyway and need another 1/4 to 3/8's on the comb to get them right, but I have always shot a pretty striaght stock. My field gun (ducks and doves) is an early 11/87 Special Purpose with an old 1100 straight trap stock and has accounted for lots of feathers. Point is, if that 13" lop is comfortable and shoots where your looking, man shoot it. I know at a bit over 5 pounds it has to be a pleasure to carry all day.
I agree wholeheartedly with what two of your commenters have said .... first, this technique forces you to focus on the target rather than the barrel, which is good. And secondly, it's far better to bring the gun up to your cheek, rather than your shoulder. I find this results in much more consistency in gun mounting.
I have heard some talk about patterning your shotgun, How do you do this do you just go set up your target stand at the range and at about 40 yards or so you point and shoot the target to see whear your gun is hiting on the paper? Dos this show you if your shot is fly hi low or to one side or the other? Just curious have never done this.
mulejym...NO answers I am guessing because few pattern their guns..I don't. I asked at the gun club, and left with the notion you have to shoot a whole lot of shells to be told much by shooting at a stationary paper. They kinda left me with the impression it is a waste of time. Phil might comment on that one, but someone else awhile back on a thread said the same thing.
I can tell you this, for breaking targets at different distances there is a growing consensus, at least at my club, that the lt. mod. choke performs very well in a lot of guns. But it is in between the IC choke dimensions and modified..the constriction that many shoot better with IMO. Full choke just puts you at a somewhat disadvantage in most situations.
Sayfu, Thank you for let me know. I was going to try it but was kinda wondering my self what it was going to tell me other then i can hit papper seting still with a shotgun. buy that sounds kinda crazy whos going to not hit papper with a shotgun? thanks for seteling this argument I have been haveing with myself. have been practicing what you toled me about concentrating on the target more insted of sighting down the barrel. I have been seeing this in my head as well and it just seams to mkes more sinc to concentrate on the target rather then aming down the barrel.
Isn't Light Modified a great choke, that perfect niche for 35-40 yard birds with still enough pattern density to whack 'em dead, but not too tight to put you at a disadvantage on a 15-20 yard shot. Really works good on Christmas time (3rd Split) doves with live bird loads (3 1/4x1 1/4). Killed a bunch of ducks in the timber with it too, works great with steel.
My wife just came home from work she stoped buy sportsmens wearhouse at lunch today and got me a new mag light! Yes!!
RES1956 lt. mod is sure popular with the Sporting Clays guys that shoot a lot of different shots. My deal is the advancement in shotshell design, and the wad cup. Here is an example. Yesterday I bought a box of Prairie Storm lead shells...3" 1 1/4 oz loads for my 20 ga. that have a muzzle vel. of 1,300 fps...faster than any I own. I've been shooting the same load in Remingtons at 1185 fps. The FEDS are a combo of silver plated, and copper plated shot, but they hype a new, wad cup design called "FliteMaster", or something like that. They show a picture on the box of a pheasant/30" circle, paper target with a 75% pattern from this load at 40 yds. using an Improved Cyl. choke!!! If that is true, then why do we want to go so tight?
Sayfu, Thats a good question. I guess it falls in tothat whole Biger is better catigory. To the new shotguner it may seam more logical for a tighter patern to travel farther in a mass and get there maybe alittle quicker I dont know? I am just a student and I have learned a lot from you guys allredy.
What has happened, muleyjim, is most shotgunners, even veterans who have lots of experience shooting shotguns, still abide by the choke constrictions of yesteryear when shells had a felt wad disc, no cup. Far different today with modern shell designs, and the tight restrictions only handicap you.
That should have been CON-strictions. And sporting clays guys often use a shell that will open up right away, shot not confined in the cup, for shooting those "run along the ground" rabbit targets at say, 15 yds.
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