Learning how to shoulder a shotgun is essential for any hunter as it is one of the basic moves to master. Luckily, it is fairly easy to shoulder a shotgun correctly if you learn the right way to do that from the beginning. If you master shouldering a shotgun the right way, you will not just be safer during your hunting times but you will also hit your prey in a more accurate manner. And we put together a complex guide to help you with it. 

Step by step guide to shouldering a shotgun correctly

Before you start shouldering the shotgun you will have to choose a stance that you are comfortable in. Focus on your feet more as their position will give you the stability you need. Keeping your legs at shoulder-width apart from each other is definitely a great start. 

Step 1. Position the shotgun correctly

The position you put the shotgun in is essential for your success. You will have to put it in a stable way so that you can aim straight and not worry about any incidents. Pull the gun comfortably into your shoulder and hold it close to your chest in a way that secures its position. Ideally, there should be no space or gap between your chest and the stock of the shotgun. It is recommended to practice this position with the weapon not loaded so you can master it without having to worry about the unwanted shooting. 

Step 2. place the stock close to the cheek

You will have to put the stock of the shotgun as close to the cheek as possible, while still maintaining comfort and safety levels. This technique will help you reduce the impact as long as you keep the form tightly close to your body. Many shooters do the mistake of placing their head closer to the stock instead of bringing the stock of the shotgun closer to the head, which is the correct way to position your gun. 

Step 3. Aim fast after you position your shotgun 

Once your shotgun is in the right position and you feel like you can rely on it, it is important to proceed to shoot. You can’t maintain the proper position for a long time and it is not even recommended. So, make sure to move fast and aim and shoot towards your target as soon as your shotgun is in the right shoulder position. Once you fire your shotgun, make sure to wait a few seconds before relaxing your position. Doing so will help you stay on the safe side and will ensure you that your shotgun is used the right way. 

Tips on shouldering your shotgun correctly

Even if the steps above are the classic technique when it comes to shouldering a shotgun the right way, that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust them to fit your preferences. Each hunter will grow into their own techniques and develop their very own secrets as well. But it is essential, as a beginner, to stick to the basics before you start feeling able to improvise. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you shoulder your shotgun the right way!

It is important to lower your head to get closer to the shotgun but you will also have to bring your gun close to your cheek. Your gun should be somehow in the middle section of your tilted head and your shoulder area. Keep in mind that the shoulder acts like a support system that offers you stability during shooting and it has no active role as you are firing your arm. 

Make sure the shotgun sits naturally on your shoulder. This should be a great match so you can focus on the aiming and the shooting part rather than the position of the gun. Eventually, you should be able to position your shotgun on your shoulder so naturally that it only takes you a few seconds to do that and you will not even think about it. Your shoulder should not be hurt or in a position that is harming while you hold your shotgun and while you are firing it. 

Practice is the key to this type of position. You want to practice several times shouldering your shotgun while it is not loaded and even practice firing with it. This will help you not only master the position correctly but it will also help you stay safe during those shooting sessions when your weapon is loaded. 

A great technique is to bring your shotgun close to your shoulder enough to reach it and then adjust your cheek to get close to the stock of the weapon as well. You can also bring the gun to your cheek if you are not comfortable tilting your head but the position should remain the same, regardless of how you get to it. 

If you are not holding your shotgun correctly, you could easily injure your cheek when you are firing it. The recoil could also have a bigger effect on your shoulder if such a position is not correct. So, make sure to practice enough until you are sure to be clear of such hazards. 

Final thoughts

Putting your shotgun on your shoulder is not the type of position you will master from the first try but it is definitely one of the most important techniques to invest time in when you practice. Keep in mind that safety remains one of your main concerns and you want to make sure you don’t expose yourself to any risks while holding the gun in this position. When you are shouldering your gun, you want to be able to aim with it correctly as well and reach any type of prey you might be hunting. Chances are that the way you learn how to shoulder your shotgun at first will be the way you will keep doing it, even if you will also be able to improve it over time.