What Is the Correct Way to Shoulder a Shotgun?

On any hunt, if it’s a big game or small, a shotgun is a must for laying that blow to a successful hunt.

Whether or not you choose a slug over a bird shot comes down to personal preference, but what we’re referring to here is what is the correct way to shoulder a shotgun.

This is an art and a skill that takes some time to perfect, so we’ve broken down a few tips to help you with the perfect position.

Let’s dive in.

Applying for a Solid Standing Position

Applying for a solid standing position when shouldering a shotgun is essential to getting accurate and safe shots. To begin, ensure the shotgun is firmly on one shoulder and your body is angled toward the left or right, depending on your dominant hand.

The butt of the gun should be pushed firmly into your shoulder socket, and your face should be pressed flat against the stock, with your eye level with the barrel or rib. To finish, take a deep breath, make sure the shotgun is steady, and squeeze the trigger. 

Using Light Grip and Smooth Movement

Using a light grip and smooth movement when shouldering a shotgun is very important for accuracy and performance. It requires a slow, methodical approach. The shooter should stand comfortably and place the stock of the shotgun recoil pads in the crease of their shoulder.

They should then have a light grip on the fore-end, with the thumb of their dominant hand resting on the magazine cap while holding the grip with the fingers lightly. Next, use the other hand and bracing arm to steady and guide the barrel up and slightly forward. 

Understanding Port Arms

When aiming and preparing to fire, the shooter’s rear hand should be grasping the gun in the center of the buttstock, and the dominant hand should be far enough forward on the barrel in order to maintain control and operate the trigger.

Maintaining this position, the shooter should gradually and simultaneously slip their dominant hand back into the pistol grip while also raising their shoulder up, adhering to the buttstock, and still slightly raising the barrel as it is brought up to the pointing position. 

Acquiring the Correct Positioning

The correct way to shoulder a shotgun is to first ensure that the receiver and the topside of the stock are making good contact with your shoulder and face, respectively. Feet should be approximately shoulder-width apart and angled at approximately 45 degrees.

Additionally, your upper body should be twisted slightly so that your line of sight is directly in line with the rib of the gun. This helps to reinforce your natural point of aim and ensure that the gun is always pointed down range. 

Practicing for Long-Term Success

The correct way to shoulder a shotgun for long-term success begins with ensuring that the gun properly fits the shooter. The shooter should adjust the length of the buttstock to match the shooter’s style and height.

Doing this will ensure that the gun fits properly, allowing the shooter to maintain a consistent aiming position. Additionally, the shooter should practice how they shoulder the shotgun to understand their preferences and how to consistently achieve the same aiming position. 

Find Out What Is the Correct Way to Shoulder a Shotgun

What is the correct way to shoulder a shotgun and maximize your accuracy and safety. Find an experienced shooting instructor that can help you develop the optimum stance and mount. 

Did you find this article helpful? Check out the rest of our blog for more!