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Mounting a Shotgun

by Dale Mullin

The way that you "get into" your gun can change the way it seems to "fit" you. As a rough guide to length of pull, mount the gun as usual and check to see if you can fit two to three fingers between the tip of your nose and the knuckle of your thumb. It's essentially just enough so that you're not hitting yourself in the nose when the shotgun recoils. You can make a guns length of pull "feel" different based on where you place your support hand when you mount the gun. Place your hand farther out on the fore-end and the gun will feel longer. Bring your hand back as far as possible on the fore-end and it will feel shorter when you mount it.

You can check to see if the gun "fits" you reasonably well by mounting it in front of a mirror. If you find yourself looking right down the reflection of the barrel then you're getting behind the gun pretty well. If the reflection appears to be pointed somewhere other than at your shooting eye, then you will need to either adjust the way that you mount the gun, or have the stock adjusted to better fit you.

One common mounting error that I see is moving your face to the gun, rather than moving the gun to your face. If you're cocking your head off to one side it makes it more difficult for you to track moving targets. (You can cock your head and watch birds in flight, then try the same thing with your head erect and you'll see what I mean.) The first point of contact between the buttstock and you should be your face. Then the butt should be in your pocket. In practice the two should come together at almost the same time. The point is to keep your head erect and bring the gun to your face.

Uploaded: 10/30/2014