So you just completed your hunter education course and now you want to become a better shotgun shooter.
I’m going to list down some shotgun shooting drill and exercises to help you do that:
- The Flashlight Drill
- The Three Bullet Drill
- Mounting exercises
Let’s get started.
1. The Flashlight Drill
To do the flashlight drill you need an unloaded shotgun and you need a small flashlight that is able to fit into the barrel. Use a miniature flashlight with a twist-on switch.
You need to do this drill indoors, in a room free of distraction and most importantly to verify that your shotgun is unloaded and safe.
Next, insert the small flashlight into the barrel of your shotgun and tape the flashlight into the muzzle. Then you have to start with the flashlight in the corner where the ceiling and the wall meet an adjust the beam to a spot of light.
After that, slowly mount your shotgun to your shoulder and continuing to move your flashlight across the ceiling or swing it along the ceiling line.
By watching the movement of the beam on the wall, you’ll be able to determine the smoothness of your gun mount.
Once you reach the other side, lower your shotgun and do that action again in the opposite corner, from left to right.
You want to make sure your flashlight stays as smooth as possible as you travel across the ceiling.
Have a friend with another flashlight move the beam of light on the wall. Follow it with the light in your shotgun. These indoor practice sessions will help you when you return to the firing line.
In doing this activity over and over this soon becomes second-nature and instinctive.
2. Three-bullet Drill
One of the exercises is called the three-bullet drill, and you can use three empty shotgun shells, or three cups, or any items.
Place those three items on a ledge, 12 to 16 inches apart. Then take your unloaded shotgun and make sure to double-check that it’s unloaded.
While keeping focus on that center target, slowly mount your shotgun to the target on the right.
After that, lower your shotgun.
Keep focus on that center target and slowly raise your shotgun to point at the target on the left. The whole purpose of this exercise is to not look at your shotgun barrel as it raises up.
You’re still looking at your center target, but this is training your brain to accept that the shotgun is coming into your field of view.
By doing this exercise, you’re improving your muscle memory, you’re improving your shotgun mount, and you’re improving your focus.
3. Mounting Exercise
Whenever you’re going to be hunting or shooting in the field, you must practice that before you actually get to the field.
One way is to use a mirror to make sure that you’re mounting the shotgun correctly with proper eye-barrel alignment.
Another way is to use whatever you found in the field that you can sit on it, a rock for example. It is important that you double-check that your shotgun is unloaded.
Practice standing up, and as you are standing up mount your firearm as if you were to take a shot.
Sit back down, and then you’re going to do it again and again. You should mount your firearm as you are standing and it should be one fluid motion.
And as you stand up, rotate your body as if you were seeing your target in different locations.
Practice this exercise whenever and wherever you are going to be hunting or shooting. So if you’re going to be laying down, you want to practice laying down.
With an improved gun mount and focus the chances of hitting your target are much greater.
There’s always room for improvement. By practicing the flashlight drill, the three bullet drill, and different mounting positions, your shotgunning will be on-point.
There are no shortcuts. With patience, practice, and perseverance, you will increase your shotgun proficiency.