What Is the Correct Way to Shoulder a Shotgun?

What Is the Correct Way to Shoulder a Shotgun?


How you shoulder your shotgun greatly influences how accurately you aim, manage recoil, and switch between targets. If you're new to shotguns and want to learn how to shoulder one, continue reading.


Why Is It Important to Shoulder Your Shotgun Correctly?


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Shotguns tend to be stronger than most weapons. They shoot at a speed equal to or more than the speed of sound. This shot charge or slug can produce a considerable recoil. The recoil causes you to pull back which can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Proper shotgun shouldering can increase your ability to absorb the recoil.


How to Shoulder a Shotgun


If you wish to shoulder a shotgun the proper way, follow the steps below:


1) Raise the Shotgun's Stock to Your Cheek


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The first step in correctly shouldering a shotgun is to start with your cheek. A proper cheek weld will enable you to align the top of your shotgun with your dominant or strong eye. To ensure precise alignment, place your cheekbone firmly beneath the comb or gun's stock. You'll need to elevate your shoulders a little bit to avoid craning your neck downward and putting strain on it.


2) Place the Butt of the Gun in Your Shoulder Pocket


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When you bring the gun to your face, the butt should fit easily into your shoulder pocket. Once the stock has slid into the pocket, you can shift your shoulder forward. Your shoulder pocket is located directly beneath your collarbone, where your shoulder meets your clavicle. If you place your gun anyplace else outside this pocket, you run the danger of getting a bruised collarbone or bicep.

A comb-raising kit can be useful if you're having trouble getting a good cheek weld and fitting your shotgun into your shooting pocket. A comb raiser is a neoprene sleeve that fits around the stock of your shotgun. It not only helps in proper shotgun shouldering but also improves accuracy when shooting moving targets.


3) Maintain the Correct Shooting Position


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To acquire a decent aim and prevent soreness after shooting, it's crucial to hold your neck and head in a comfortable position. Instead of craning your neck downward or to the side to look into the sight, it should be in a relaxed position. Additionally, ensure that your knees are slightly bent and that your legs are spaced shoulder-width apart.


4) Aim and Shoot


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After placing the shotgun against your cheek, then the shoulder, and maintaining the proper shooting position, it is time to aim at a stationary or moving target and fire. When shooting with a shotgun, having rapid trigger action is crucial. Before quickly squeezing the trigger to discharge, make sure that you have a solid hold of the shotgun.

Because the trigger is pushed quickly and the body and the weapon are frequently in motion, breath control is not necessary. But to retain perfect sight alignment and a good sight picture, you must keep both of your eyes open. The kick of the shotgun can be difficult to get used to, but with practice, you will become accustomed to it.


Tips & Tricks for Safe Shotgun Shooting


Now that you are familiar with how to shoulder a shotgun, take a look at these tips to help you shoot safely:


1) Assume That the Shotgun Is Loaded at All Times


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When shooting a shotgun, never point it at yourself or anybody you're with while you're not in the firing position. Keep the barrel pointed up or straight down at the ground, and always assume the gun is loaded.


2) Clean the Shotgun After Each Practice Session


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To keep your shotgun in good condition, you must perform this step after each round of shooting. After shooting, a shotgun can accumulate powder and grease which can cause it to malfunction. A shotgun that isn't clean is dangerous. Therefore you must clean it.


3) Find a Location Where You Can Shoot the Shotgun Safely


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As mentioned before, shotguns are powerful weapons. If you're a beginner, think about practicing with single-shot shotguns, working with an expert, and doing it in secure locations like gun clubs and shooting ranges. Once you are confident, you can practice your skill in the woods.




The appropriate way to shoulder a shotgun is to first have a decent cheek weld and shooting position. Once you get used to this, the shotgun should be easy for you to handle.

Before heading to the range, make sure that you have the right shooting targets. With the correct targets, you'll be in a better position to develop your skills. To shop for shooting targets that will help you become a shotgun pro in no time, check out EasyShot shooting targets.

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