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Dave McC
July 12, 2000, 11:51 AM
For Ledbetter,and others who may want to learn, here's Mounting 101, the best way I know for beginners.

Shooting a shotgun is like sex. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong.Bad form and Magnumitis
are the two main culprits(minor culprit, bad stock fit) if it does hurt. So, let's posit we're shooting a light load, say a light 1 oz field load is a 7 1/4lb shotgun that fits you fairly well.

Right now, you're standing facing the target with the shotgun loaded, safety on. Your feet are roughly shoulder width apart, and you advance your support(the foot on the same side as the hand that supports,rather than fires, the weapon) side foot about a foot or so.The shotgun is NOT at PORT ARMS, but pointed safely downrange. AS you bring the rear portion of the weapon up to your shoulder, you swing the firing side elbow up and out, so that arm ends up roughly parallel to the ground. This forms the CUP, where the butt of the shotgun goes.As the butt goes into the cup,your cheek automaticaly goes to the comb of the stock,making contact and becoming the rear sight of the weapon.

As the weapon is mounted, lean into it, causing your support side knee to bend further,almost like genuflecting, until you are ALMOST overbalanced. This provides some give to the recoil and speeds recovery. Make sure the butt is fully in the CUP, no butt showing over the top of the shoulder, but not anchored well below the top either. Make sure you're using the the support hand to not only hold the weapon up, but are actually pressuring the butt into the cup with a slight rearward push.

Now, when you're ready, take the safety off and fire. Notice how the kick is tolerable and you move back into firing position nigh perfectly. If you need to cycle the action,like with a pump,this can occur as the recoil cycle is happening, losing no time for repeat shots. After firing, re apply the safety, and reload as needed,keeping the muzzle pointed safely downrange.

As you get better at this, you can progress to heavier loads, but do it by stages. Turkey loads and heavy slugs need great form and control.

And you may worry about looking silly bending that front knee that much, but you won't hurt.

Any questions or comments, sing out,I'm unsure whether I explained this so everyone can understand it...

Ledbetter
July 12, 2000, 12:46 PM
Dave,

Many thanks. I haven't been moving my elbow up and out and the shotgun slips into my shoulder bone after each shot because, I assume, no CUP for it to sit in. Got a bruise about the size of a silver dollar. I will try to stay away from the slugs and the 00 Buck, as you suggest. (This is the same thing I tell my doctor about smoking.)

I picked up a shoulder pad so I can continue shooting my room broom at little clay frisbees. By the way, I picked up some of those Winchester AA target loads that you and Lavan were discussing last week and the recoil is noticably greater than the Federal dove loads I was using. Did a little better with them, though.

I'm shooting my Mossberg 590 now. I had my Dad's old 500 for a while and it had a shorter stock (it was the police gun model). This shorter stock seemed more comfortable to me than the full-length stock. I'm 6' tall.

I just ordered a set of walnut stocks (from Brownell's for $51 on sale). Should I consider having the rear shortened to a more comfortable length, or was it more comfortable because I was using the wrong form? How do you determine the correct length of pull?

Are there any modifications to the mounting technique described for shooting clays? I assume you ensure you are pressuring the butt into the cup with a slight rearward push and then yell "pull."

Finally, I have suggested to my wife that we go shooting on several occaisions. To date, she appears to prefer that we have sex. I will work on this issue further with her by showing her your post.

Ledbetter

Dave McC
July 12, 2000, 01:25 PM
First,I'm leaving your last paragraph alone, and if I ever meet you and Mrs Ledbetter, I shall turn pale, stutter and look wildly around for the egress(G).

Second,I'm 6'2", 250, take a 36" shirt sleeve,and the standard stock fits me well enough. The Brits like to get the stock to within the right 1/32" for a number of parameters, and lots of them outshoot me, so take your pick.

The standard stock is SUPPOSED to fit Joe Average,5'9", 165 lbs, with it's 14 1/4" pull. To my best guess,a stock no longer than 14 1/2" inch should work fine for you, and it's easier to shoot one a little short than long.

Here's a test to see if your stock is more or less fitting. Wear what you'd wear in the field...

MAKE SURE IT'S UNLOADED, then stand facing a wall or something with a point you can focus on closely. Using your best form,and without taking your eyes from the POA, mount your shotgun.Then don't move as you look at the shotgun itself. If it requires little correction to bring the bead onto POA, you're close. Otherwise, maybe some time with a good stock smith might be in order. Probably, tho, you won't be that far off.

And sporting clays requires saying PULL before you mount around here. With practice, mounting the weapon takes little time and the shot follows closely thereafter.

Hope this helps...

Coinneach
July 12, 2000, 02:54 PM
Excellent Scattergun 101, Dave. Any chance I could bribe you to come out to CO to teach a tac shotgun class? ;)

CMOS
July 12, 2000, 03:05 PM
Dave, a local 'smith that has done some work for me, including fitting my shotgun stock, showed me a different method of sizing the stock:

Unload the gun. Position the gun so the stock sits in the right (or left) elbow joint, just on the lowest part of the bicep. Now "lay" the lower part of your arm on the side of the gun's receiver with the trigger finger extended (Do NOT hold the "grip" part of the stock) and see how far behind or forward the last joint of your trigger finger is in relation to the trigger itself. That last joint on your triger finger should be even with the trigger. Adjust the stock length to accommodate.

When I first got my Benelli something just didn't seem right. I had to crane my neck and head down to get a good picture along the barrel, and of course the rifle sights. I have very long arms.

We added a Pachmyre Decellerator pad and a 3/8 custom stock spacer. Combined, this added about 1.5" to the stock length.

The shotgun now "mounts" exactly where it should be and comes up with the rifle sights in perfect alignment. I hear lots of folks complaining that they want a shorter stock for "tactical" reasons but from my experience, there's a price to pay.

Just one of my stories...

CMOS :)

------------------
NRA? Good. Now join the GOA!

The NRA is our shield, the GOA will be our sword.

Dave McC
July 12, 2000, 06:52 PM
E me the bribe amount,Coinneach,maybe we can reach an agreement(G)...

CMOS,I've heard that method for decades, and regard it as crude,but mostly effective.I just went and checked my HD 870, the trigger falls on the knuckle where the finger joins the hand, so it applies to me.Still think a stock a LITTLE short is better than one a LITTLE long,but maybe that's the hunter in me talking.

PJR
July 12, 2000, 07:39 PM
I was once told that the shotgun-in-the-crook of-your-arm method of measuring only proved that you had both an arm and a shotgun.

With the exception of deer and HD guns, shotguns are not aimed they are pointed. Unlike pistol shooting where the front sight is the focus, you should look at what you are trying to hit. As Dave said, the back sight of a shotgun is your eye and the placement of your eye in relationship to the gun is as important as the proper adjustment of the rear sight of a handgun.

Gun length is the most flexible measurement providing the gun mounts smoothly and your face is not so far up the stock that your nose get's banged by your thumb. I have a relative long arm but a shorter neck and don't need stocks as long as someone with a very long neck.

But stock length is only one part of the equation. The other elements of shotgun fitting are the drop (distance down from the bore line), the cast (distance right or left from bore and the pitch (angle of butt to bore. The best way to really get the proper measurements of all the above is to be professionally fitted with a try gun and then shoot at a patterning board. The English method is to stand 16 yards back from the patterning board and mount and shoot. Each inch of pattern movement equals a 1/16" adjustment to the stock. Once you get your measurements, you have your guns stock shaved, lengthened and/or bent to fit. I know this sounds like an pain in the behind to do but it works. An over/under that pounded me in the cheek and shoulder became a much softer gun to shoot once it fit. More importantly, I broke a lot more targets. To paraphrase Johnny Cochrane, "If your gun don't fit, you won't hit."

A less complicated way to determine a better fit is to take an EMPTY shotgun, mount it and have a knowledgeable shooter look down the barrels and see where your eyes are in relationship to the barrels. Yes, I know this breaks a fundamental gun handling rule but this is the way gun fitting is often done to establish whether the drop and cast. Did I say loud enough that the gun MUST BE EMPTY!!!!

I can't add much to Dave's advice on gunmount other than to suggest that you raise the gun with your forward hand not your rear hand. If you raise the rear hand first, the barrels will drop and your forward hand will bring them up giving you a see-saw mount.

The only way to become proficient at shotgunning is practice, practice, practice and if you can't get to the range, practice mounting your gun several times each day until you become comfortable with it.

K80Geoff
July 12, 2000, 09:42 PM
Well...this is about as good a lesson in mounting as I have seen.

Dave's advice to lean into the mount is one of the keys to handling recoil. One instructor had me keep repeating "Nose over the toes", meaning that your nose should be over the toes of the left foot (for righties, reverse if you are lefty). Doing this also unlocks your hips and allows you greater side to side movement.

Mounting the butt of the stock in the pocket (or cup) is essential. Many shooters lean back or stand up straight and cause only a portion of the butt to come in contact with the shoulder. The result is a bruise where the portion of the butt contacts the shoulder. If you mount correctly the entire butt will be flat against your shoulder pocket. The result is that the force of the recoil is distributed over a larger area.

Watch a shooter who stnds erect as if he is shooting a rifle, only the tip of the butt (the toe in shotgun language) will be in contact with his shoulder. He will have a bruise!

Many women and youngsters try to lean backwards to counterbalance the weight of the gun. This will definitely hurt, even with small gauges. Either get them a lighter gun or let them exaggerate the forward placement of the left foot to get them to lean into the gun. This is critical with new shooters, if they learn proper technique from the beginning they will enjoy shooting. I know of several petite women who can shoot all day and not have a problem, because they have learned to mount properly and manage recoil. Occasionally I let them outshoot me :)

Geoff Ross

------------------
One reason to vote in the next Presidential election.

It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!

Dave McC
July 13, 2000, 07:46 AM
Thanks, folks for the compliments. Now...

PJR, you missed toe in/out, as well as drop, cast on/off, and pitch.A little toe out oft eases bruising of the chest area, espercially on barrel chested men and buxom women. A slight rounding of the toe oft helps here also.

A local legend I used to know would warm up by mounting his shotgun under a power or phone line and kinda draw the bbl along the wires.After a few tries he'd move enough to change the angle and do it some more.

Mounting the shotgun daily should aid handling as long as one does it right. Perfect practice makes perfect.

CMOS
July 13, 2000, 09:05 AM
Always enjoy your threads Dave. Please keep 'em coming.

CMOS

------------------
NRA? Good. Now join the GOA!

The NRA is our shield, the GOA will be our sword.

PJR
July 13, 2000, 10:22 AM
Dave McC

You are right. I did not mention those deliberately because it seemed the post was getting complicated enough as it was.

The usual package is:

-Length at midpoint, heel and toe (this covers the pitch measurement too),
-Drop at comb and heel,
-Cast at comb, heel, and toe

(Some gunfitters also fit for grip angle and size and palm swell in pistol gripped guns.)

Cast off has the stock bent to the right (as seen from the rear of the gun) for the right hand shooter and cast on a bend to the left to accomodate the lefty.

Other arcane bits of shotgun fitting include the fact that measurements for an over/under are slightly different than a sxs and the English have a tendency to fit their guns to shoot high because they teach a more head up stance and shoot more driven game.

Dave McC
July 13, 2000, 02:21 PM
Thanks, CMOS, I will be off the BB for a few starting Saturday, we're going to Orlando to get the kids their theme park shot for the year.Catch ya when we get back...

po boy
July 13, 2000, 02:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Proper Mounting Technique 101
Gentlemen support at least half their weight on their elbow's....WHAT WAS THE QUESTION?? :rolleyes:
Originally posted by Dave McC:
For Ledbetter,and others who may want to learn, here's Mounting 101, the best way I know for beginners.

Shooting a shotgun is like sex. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong.Bad form and Magnumitis
are the two main culprits(minor culprit, bad stock fit) if it does hurt. So, let's posit we're shooting a light load, say a light 1 oz field load is a 7 1/4lb shotgun that fits you fairly well.

Right now, you're standing facing the target with the shotgun loaded, safety on. Your feet are roughly shoulder width apart, and you advance your support(the foot on the same side as the hand that supports,rather than fires, the weapon) side foot about a foot or so.The shotgun is NOT at PORT ARMS, but pointed safely downrange. AS you bring the rear portion of the weapon up to your shoulder, you swing the firing side elbow up and out, so that arm ends up roughly parallel to the ground. This forms the CUP, where the butt of the shotgun goes.As the butt goes into the cup,your cheek automaticaly goes to the comb of the stock,making contact and becoming the rear sight of the weapon.

As the weapon is mounted, lean into it, causing your support side knee to bend further,almost like genuflecting, until you are ALMOST overbalanced. This provides some give to the recoil and speeds recovery. Make sure the butt is fully in the CUP, no butt showing over the top of the shoulder, but not anchored well below the top either. Make sure you're using the the support hand to not only hold the weapon up, but are actually pressuring the butt into the cup with a slight rearward push.

Now, when you're ready, take the safety off and fire. Notice how the kick is tolerable and you move back into firing position nigh perfectly. If you need to cycle the action,like with a pump,this can occur as the recoil cycle is happening, losing no time for repeat shots. After firing, re apply the safety, and reload as needed,keeping the muzzle pointed safely downrange.

As you get better at this, you can progress to heavier loads, but do it by stages. Turkey loads and heavy slugs need great form and control.

And you may worry about looking silly bending that front knee that much, but you won't hurt.

Any questions or comments, sing out,I'm unsure whether I explained this so everyone can understand it...[/quote]

Snow Man
July 15, 2000, 10:52 AM
I knew there was a trick to getting the wife interested in more sex! ;)

I do need to check the "fit" of my 870 now after all this good info! Suspect I need to shorten the stock some. Thanks.

------------------
...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Dave McC
August 4, 2000, 09:41 AM
Bringing this back up for the guy whose shotgun is beating him up....

Ledbetter
August 4, 2000, 10:28 PM
Greetings,

I'm glad to see this topic discussed again. I too am getting beat up, but in the shoulder area. The pointy part at the bottom of the stock hits me right in the angle of my armpit. I have to wear a recoil pad now when I shoot trap. When the shotgun fires, the stock slips from the mounted position into my armpit. I have a bruise right at the lower juncture of my arm and chest from this.

I am 6'0", 210#,wear a 33" sleeve and a 17" neck. I am shooting a standard Mossberg 590A1, and I pre-mount it (still learning) before shouting "pull."

Any thoughts? Thanks for your help.

Regards,

Ledbetter

Dave McC
August 5, 2000, 05:57 AM
Ledbetter,a slight rounding off of the toe of the stock will help you.And try this...

There's a craft glue out there for use on fabrics called Gem Tac. It dries clear, and putting a little on the recoil pad should make it tacky feeling enough to keep the stock where it belongs. Just paint it on the pad and let it dry for an hour of so.

Ledbetter
August 5, 2000, 10:57 AM
Dave,

You sure know about a lot of stuff. I will try the tacky stuff first. If I round off the toe, do I just round the recoil pad, or the stock itself? Thanks for helping us newbies.

Regards,

Ledbetter

Dave McC
August 6, 2000, 06:54 AM
Like Erick said,Led.Just the toe of the PAD and just a little. Most toes are pointed a bit, just round that off.

The Gem Tac will not last terribly long, but a $4 bottle is enough for years.Make sure the pad is clean and non oily when you paint it on.

Ledbetter
August 6, 2000, 10:28 AM
Definitely pointy. I'll try it today. Thanks to all.

Ledbetter

Dave McC
August 29, 2000, 02:34 PM
Bringing this back up one more time for Quantam...

Dave McC
November 2, 2000, 08:10 AM
And again for dpoguer....

Spectre
November 4, 2000, 10:29 PM
Letting my elbow drift out just feels weaker. I keep it down, toward my chest.

At 5'6", I find most stocks' lop is too long. On the bright side, combloc stocks are just about perfect!

Dave McC
November 5, 2000, 10:16 AM
If it works for you, Spectre, but....

A shooting position os one of dynamic tension. No muscles involved are relaxed, and the bringing up of the elbow of the shooting arm makes the cup and creates enough flexure that control and repeatability are easier.

As for Combloc stocks, they are shorter to work with half starved subjects wearing thick winter clothing. I recommend shorter stocks myself for colder weather...

Spectre
November 5, 2000, 03:20 PM
I understand your point, and you definitely have more shooting experience than I.

For myself, it appears that a chicken-wing arm is likely to catch obstructions, and I personally am striving for eliminating as much tension as possible.

I am not half starved! In fact, I'm aiming on dropping back down to 142... :)

Dave McC
January 21, 2001, 09:55 AM
And again, since some folks asked...

Dave McC
May 20, 2001, 10:08 AM
Bringing this back up for Nightcrawler...

po boy
May 20, 2001, 12:43 PM
Dave Mc
proper mounting involves supporting at least half your
weight on your elbows!!!

Dave McC
May 22, 2001, 12:34 PM
Heard you the first time, po' boy(G).

po boy
May 23, 2001, 08:06 AM
sorry Mac
I didn't look at page one and the year old date one track sick mind SORRY!!!!

Dave McC
December 3, 2001, 04:06 PM
Back up for CMichael....

CMichael
December 3, 2001, 08:26 PM
Thank you Dave :)

Michael:cool:

Will Beararms
December 4, 2001, 11:28 PM
This may not be in line with conventional wisdom but I have found that as long as I naturally point and shoot on instinct with no attention to form, birds die.

It's when I start looking as stances in books, listening to others or getting on the web to look at the latest method that the birds keep flying.

I think everyone is different. Do what kills birds as long as it safe. If you keep missing, change your technique until you get it right.

I keep both eyes open and just wisk the shotgun up to my shoulder from the ready position and nature takes over after that.
It's like driving a car. If you thought about every movement, you would not get put of the driveway.

Dave McC
December 5, 2001, 04:48 AM
WIll, from your postings I gather you have shot a good amount. Whatever you do works for you. Here we're talking about tyros. Best to start them like this, and groove the form in until it's "instinctive".

And, I too can point and shoot like the Almighty smiting wiht a lightning bolt, but it took a while to get there.

Will Beararms
December 5, 2001, 07:12 AM
Here Here

youngun
December 5, 2001, 09:14 PM
So, then, it seems like a well-fitted shotgun is really key.
I never put much thought into it, but is there perhaps a book/website on how-to?
Or is it worth whatever they charge to have a pro tailor you?

oyunugnu

Dave McC
December 6, 2001, 06:31 AM
Good fit is essential, Youngun. The Brits have this down to a science, using 1/32" increments, and lots of them shoot very, very well. I'm not sure we have to go to those lengths. Here's a rough and goodenough guide.

Different parameters apply for "Serious" and the myriad forms of recreational shotgunning. I'm going for a GP fit here. Do this with a weapon KNOWN TO BE EMPTY, for obvious reasons.

First, forget that stuff about if the butt is in your elbow and your trigger finger reaches the trigger. Like most myths, it's true sometimes.If you're 5'9", 160 lbs with a 33" shirt sleeve, it's probably true.

Mount the shotgun and hold your position. If there's room for two or three fingers between your nose and the base of your strong side thumb, the length is close.If not, adjust it and try a few fast mounts to make sure.

Next, focus on a fixed point, like where the ceiling and two walls meet in the corner of the room. Close your eyes, and mount the shotgun. Open your eyes. If the shotgun is pointed precisely where you were focussed, it fits. If not, make it so.

One of the nice thing about repeaters over doubles and singles is that most can be adjusted very well by shimming between the receiver and stock. People use toothpicks, pieces of old hulls, cut up credit cards, or my favorite because it's infinitely adjustable, folded aluminum foil. If the pattern's low, add a shim at the bottom of the receiver,etc.

Next, focus on the point again and see if you're lokking right down the bbl. On a GP shotgun, you should be "Flat" down the rib, not seeing much if any rib, just the bead(s). If there's two beads, they should be superposed, or stacked in a figure 8. If you do see some rib, it may shoot a bit high for you. I like them this way. Some don't.

Now, set up your patterning board. Use a 4'X4' piece of paper with an aiming point in the center. Using your ammo of choice, take a few shots and see where the major impact area is. If it's centered or a bit high, Huzzah! You're almost done.

Next, put up a new piece of paper and using a fast mount/fire, see if the POI changes. If so, move things around until you're centered.

For "Serious" use,or for use in cold conditions, the stock's better off if it's a bit short, rather than long. Otherwise, you're all set.

Finally, if this is not helpful, seek the help of a good fitter. Some folks just can't do this themselves, tho most can.

HTH....

Jager1
December 6, 2001, 11:21 AM
Ledbetter,

Finally, I have suggested to my wife that we go shooting on several occaisions. To date, she appears to prefer that we have sex.

It's guys like you that give credibility to the old saying:

"Sometimes you just have to leave things alone.";)

ATTICUS
December 6, 2001, 12:23 PM
Well at least he now knows the proper mounting technique. :D

youngun
December 6, 2001, 11:18 PM
Well, as regards:

-Length at midpoint, heel and toe (this covers the pitch measurement too),
-Drop at comb and heel,
-Cast at comb, heel, and toe

And Dave's:
Good fit is essential, Youngun. The Brits have this down to a science, using 1/32" increments, and lots of them shoot very, very well. I'm not sure we have to go to those lengths.

...I guess my Q is how critical is a superfit.
I guess the point is simply to be able to hit what your aiming at, and practice enough to do it consistently.

I like the idea of a tailored stock, but I wonder how much better off I would be. (or my wife, even more importantly.)

y

Dave McC
December 7, 2001, 06:10 AM
My opinion on fit is it's critical for a tyro, very important for everyone else. A recent article on Dan Carlisle mentions him coaching a class of sporting shooters,and using ALL their guns,hitting with ALL of them, despite greatly varying stocks.

But Carlisle raises performance to near magical levels.

A really good shot can do OK with a somewhat off spec stock, but never reach his/her potential. A tyro will have a harder time hitting with a badly fitting stock, become discouraged, get hit harder with recoil, and may not progress and/or quit altogether.

The good news,if the stock is the correct length, drop and equipped with a good pad, all it takes to hit is good form. A fecally cognizant instructor is priceless at this point. So are light loads.

HTH....

Dave McC
December 19, 2001, 01:39 PM
Up for CMichael....

Dave McC
July 15, 2002, 05:52 AM
Back up for KT....

Dave McC
August 30, 2002, 08:04 PM
And up for various New folks....

I gotta clean up my files, a search yielded 98 PAGES of shotgun stuff I've posted on this BB!

Oi vay is mer...

Jorah Lavin
August 31, 2002, 09:51 AM
...suggestion?


Right now, you're standing facing the target with the shotgun loaded, safety on. Your feet are roughly shoulder width apart, and you advance your support(the foot on the same side as the hand that supports,rather than fires, the weapon) side foot about a foot or so.

I had to learn to point myself where the target WILL BE, when getting ready to shoot clays. In other words, I started with a sort of generic point forward position, then I realized that if I know that the clay will be riiiiiiiight there, then I'd best prepare myself with that in mind, rather than try to adjust later.

Naturally, this only works if the clays are being sent time and again in the same arc, which is the case on the automatic machine at my range. The hand-operated machine (spring driven) might send the target any old place.

My thanks to you for the original post. I suspect that I'm not getting my strong-arm elbow up high enough, which is what is causing the butt to be high on my shoulder. My wife told me that the butt is more than half way above my shoulder when I fire.

I'll try "chicken winging" it a bit more.

-Jorah