How to Shoot a Shotgun

A shotgun can be used for hunting, recreational shooting or home protection. Shooting a shotgun is different from shooting a rifle or other type of gun, and you must be familiar with these differences before shooting a shotgun. Here's what you need to know to shoot a shotgun.

Stand correctly when facing the direction of the target. Unlike other guns, you don't stand at right angles with the target. With a shotgun you will stand with your left foot forward if you shoot right-handed; conversely, stand with the right foot forward if shooting left-handed. Spread your feet less than shoulder-width apart.

Place the shotgun against your cheek, and then bring your shoulder up to meet the gun. Resting the gun on your shoulder first is not recommended as you will not have the gun in the same position each time you shoot.

Keep both eyes open when you shoot a shotgun. With a shotgun, you don't aim the gun with the target aligned in the sight of the gun. You simply point the gun at the target.

Squeeze the trigger of the shotgun quickly. With other guns the trigger is gently squeezed; with a shotgun the trigger is slapped, but not hard.


  • Before shooting a shotgun learn which eye is dominant. Your dominant eye is the eye you should use when aiming a gun. To do this, hold a pen an arm's length away. Line the tip of the pen up with an object across the room. Now close one eye, open and then close the other eye. With one eye the point will have stayed lined up with the object; this is your dominant eye. With the other eye the tip would have moved away from the object.

About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.