Pointing Shotguns Versus Aiming
Hunters stepping into the world of shotgun hunting usually do not shoot for very long before hearing those words of advice: point that shotgun—don’t aim it.
But how does this work? Why the bead on the end of the gun, and why the ribbing on the barrel?
To start with, set up an appointment with a professional shooting instructor or a gunsmith who is known for “fitting” shotguns. He or she will help make certain that the gun you have fits your body.
Aside from that, take your upland weapon in a large room and double check to make sure it is unloaded. Mount the gun as if you are shooting something on the far wall. The most important point is to look at the object on the wall (bird) that you are pretending to shoot, not the bead or any part of your gun.
Practice mounting your shotgun smoothly and swinging as if shooting a moving target. Each time, you should always have both eyes open, and you really never should see your gun.
Focus, focus, focus on the target. When the comb of your stock touches your cheek and the stock butt touches your shoulder, say, “Bang!” because that is when you should fire the gun in the field.
These suggestions are well-accepted among most shooting instructors, particularly stemming from Gil and Vicki Ash at their Optimal Shotgun Performance Shooting School.
After doing this a few times, try having a friend point a flashlight beam on the wall in a mostly dark room. Pretend the round light beam on the wall is a pheasant. Have your friend move the beam slowly in a line at first, and always make sure you swing while mounting and insert the muzzle in front of where you think the beam is headed before saying, “Bang!”
Doing this a few times a week should help you focus your eyes where they need to be: on the target.