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Quit Aiming Your Shotgun! | How to Shotgun

how to shoot a shotgun Jul 06, 2023
Quit Aiming Your Shotgun! | How to Shotgun 4

If you're shooting a moving target with a shotgun, aiming will lead to many missed shots. We don't want to aim a shotgun, but rather, we want to point a shotgun. The difference between aiming and pointing is one most important elements to understand for successful shotgun shooting.

Don't Aim Your Shotgun?

  • Many folks will shoot their shotgun the same way they shoot a rifle, with their eyes focused on the bead. This is called aiming, and it will cause a lot of misses. When you are focused on your shotgun barrel or bead, that means you are not focused on your target. If you are not focused on your target which is moving, how are you supposed to expect to hit the target? So if you're not supposed to aim, what are you supposed to do? The answer is to point your shotgun.

Pointing vs Aiming, what's the difference?

  • The main difference between aiming is pointing has to do with where your focus goes. When you aim, you are focusing on your sights and making sure they are on target, but when you point, you are focused on the target and for the most part, ignoring your bead.
  • Pointing is as simple as if you were to see an object in the distance and point to it with your finger. Try it once: when you point at it, you won't be looking at your finger because your hands know how to move to where you are looking. 

Where Your Focus Goes, Your Shotgun Flows

  • Just like many other sports, shotgunning is a hand-eye coordination sport. If you can look at an object in the distance and point at it, you should be able to successfully shoot a shotgun in the same way. Think about many other hand-eye coordination sports. For example, if you are playing baseball and you are up to bat, what do you focus on? The ball! We don't need to look at the bat, our hands will take care of the bat and put in the right place if our eyes are acutely tracking the ball. Shotgunning is the same, with our eyes fixed on our target, our hands will move the gun to where it needs to be. If your head and eyes are in the right place relative to the shotgun, forget that bead. 
  • At a basic level, we have two types of vision: Focal vision, and peripheral vision. Focal vision is for focused sight with high clarity. Peripheral vision is everything else were not focused on, but can still see, just not in clear detail. 
  • 99% of our vision is peripheral. When we aim, our focus is on the sights or bead of the gun, and we are seeing the target with our peripheral vision. It may seem counterintuitive, but we want this the other way around, with our focus on the target and we will have an awareness of the shotgun with our peripheral vision.
  • Just remember, where our focus goes, our shotgun flows.

That's what being target focused is all about ladies and gentlemen! The science backs it up! The hard part is that we now must put these principles into practice and break old habits if we want to shoot better. Good luck, and thanks for tuning in!


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