Published On: July 6, 2023
8 Essential Tips for Shooting a Shotgun

Did you know that 54% of gun owners own a shotgun?

Learning to shoot a gun can be intimidating. They can do a lot of damage if not used correctly. Knowing how to use a shotgun safely is vital.

However, it takes time to learn. Shooting a shotgun isn’t as easy as it looks in the movies. Don’t worry, we are here to help.

This guide will give you eight tips that will help you learn how to hit your target every time. Keep reading for the best tips and tricks.

1. Get Familiar With Your Gun

Before you ever take your first shot, you need to spend time familiarizing yourself with your weapon. There are many different parts of your shotgun and you need to know what each part is used for.

This will not only keep you safe, but it will also make it easier to use. If you’re at the range or hunting with a friend, you need to be able to communicate with them in proper terms. Knowing the different parts of your shotgun will also help you when it comes time to clean it, which brings us to our next tip.

2. Keep It Clean

You always want your shotgun to be clean before firing it. A clean machine will fire properly and there will be less risk of something going wrong.

Dirt and grime build-up can cause a misfire or malfunction, resulting in you or someone else getting an injury. Your machine will be more efficient and more accurate if it’s well-maintained. Your shotgun is an investment; if you want to hit your target and keep it functioning properly, you’ll clean it after every use.

3. Keep Your Eye On the Target

No matter what your experience is, when you’re shooting a shotgun, you must keep your eye on the target. Whether you’re aiming at a bird, squirrel, rabbit, or clay, never move your eyes away, even for a brief second.

You’ll likely lose your target and miss the shot. This is a skill that may be harder than you think.

Our brains are not programmed to stay focused on moving objects for long periods of time. The more you practice, the easier it will be to stay focused.

Often times beginners shift their eyes to the end of the barrel. While this may seem natural to you, try to keep your eyes on the target.

4. Keep Your Gun Moving

Once you have the target in sight, you’ll want to keep the gun moving. You’ll follow the target with the gun and fire when you’re ready.

If you move the gun, you’ll likely lose sight of the target. This will make it hard to find it again and hit it. The movement will feel choppy and rushed if you don’t keep the shotgun moving.

5. Be Rhythmic

Shooting a moving object requires you to be rhythmic. If you’re finding it hard to hit your target, try counting. One, two, three, shoot. Do this for every shot.

You’ll find you won’t be as rushed. Counting slows you down and helps prevent you from firing too early or too late.

6. Move Your Feet

Beginners often keep their feet glued to the ground. While you don’t want to be dancing around, you can move your feet and adjust so you can get a better angle. Small steps are key.

7. Take A Lesson

One of the best things you can do when you’re learning gun safety and how to shoot a gun is to take a lesson. There are many courses out there that can be beneficial and help you perfect your skills. No matter what level you’re at, there’s a gun course for you.

It can be frustrating learning on your own. An expert will help you improve your confidence and accuracy. Instead of missing the majority of your shots, you start hitting your target.

Besides learning how to fire accurately, gun courses also teach how to be calm under pressure. Shooting at a range and going out in the wild are two different experiences. Even if you can hit a clay ten out of ten times, you may miss it when you’re trying to hit a live duck.

Shooting a shotgun isn’t just used for hunting. Many people have one to keep their homes and families safe. A gun course will teach you how to shoot under intense pressure. You’ll learn when to fire and when to refrain.

8. Practice

When you’re learning to shoot a shotgun, it’s important that you practice. You can’t expect to hit every target the first, second, or even third time out there. The more you practice, the better you’ll be and the faster you’ll learn.

If you allow weeks or months to go by between practices, it will take you much longer to learn.

Aim at different targets and challenge yourself. Don’t quit after the first few tries. Keep improving your skills and have fun. Don’t allow yourself to get too discouraged.

Shooting a Shotgun

Next time you’re shooting a shotgun, keep these eight tips in mind. Don’t get frustrated with yourself, either. It takes time to learn a new skill, and the same is true when you’re using a shotgun.

Instead of spending hours on your own trying to learn how to shoot, give us a call. We have a team of experts ready to answer any questions you may have and many classes available for you to take as well.