7 Things to consider when choosing a shotgun

7 Things to consider when choosing a shotgun

By Rhett L Fletcher 

What makes a shotgun easier to shoot (while still being able to hit your target…)?

Ever have a shotgun that you felt like you just couldn’t miss with and then you squeeze the trigger on one that looks really cool, but you can’t seem to hit the broad side of a barn? Here are a few factors that make a shotgun easier to shoot:

1) FIT

If a shotgun doesn’t shoot where you look, you’re not likely to hit your target. A comb that’s too high usually means that you’re going to shoot right over the top of your target. A comb that’s too low is generally a lot easier to get used to. You have to keep your head up all the way through the shot.


If a gun is light in the muzzle, it’s easy to carry but very hard to hit anything crossing in front of you. It just doesn’t swing very well. You have to have some weight up front, but not so much that the gun is draggy and slow to swing.


Believe it or not, it’s easier for most people to shoot a heavy gun rather than a light one. Heavier guns swing smoother, point truer and absorb recoil. They may not be as fast as lighter guns, but slow and steady wins the race.


It’s a whole lot easier to shoot well with a gun that doesn’t knock you down every time you squeeze the trigger. Recoil can knock you into some bad habits: lifting your head and dropping the gun off your shoulder. It takes all the fun out of it and your shooting suffers.


The right choke isn’t as important as most people think it is. The correct choke will give you a few more inches of pattern spread at the correct range, but most targets are missed by feet, not inches.


I realize everyone is different. I am very particular about the amount of trigger pull on my rifles and pistols, but I have never noticed the trigger pull on any shotgun I’ve ever shot. That being said, some people require a lighter trigger to keep from feeling like they have to yank on the gun to fire.


You shouldn’t be looking at your shotgun’s bead, you should be looking at your target. That being said, there are a lot of options for shotgun beads these days. Try a few out and see what works for you. I’d be fine with not having a bead at all. But, like I said earlier, everyone is different.

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