What’s the Best Shotgun Stance?

One of the most important things in shotgun shooting is finding right shotgun stance. Adopting the right shooting stance when firing a shotgun could be the difference between a precise or a wayward shot.

You may have a natural stance that may work for the first shot, but if it’s not stable enough, you will easily get shoved out of position by your shotgun’s recoil, and you’ll miss your target.

So, what is the best way to shoulder a shotgun? The answer to that question lies between two key major shotgun shooting techniques – the tactical/combat stance and the hybrid bladed shooting stance.

The tactical stance is mostly used in combat by the military, while the hybrid stance is common among 3-gunners.

Here’s a detailed discussion to help you know which shotgun stance you should use and in which situation.

The Best Shotgun Stance

1. The Combat Stance

shotgun stance

In the combat stance, you must stand with your feet apart and both shoulders squarely facing the target. The butt pad should rest on the inside of your shoulder and you should seek to always bring it a little bit closer to your sternum. This will allow you to absorb the recoil quickly and move to the next shot.

With your weight on the balls of your feet, lean forward, keeping your stronger side’s elbow— right for right-handed people and left for left-hand people — tucked in to make your profile as small as possible.

Extend your support hand to the fore-end for a firm grip. You should maintain a short stock of 12.5 inches to make it easier for you to wield your gun.

If you have ever been trained on how to shoot a pistol, you will notice that the combat stance is similar to the way you would shoot a handgun.

One of the advantages of the combat stance is that it allows you to quickly lock on a target without having to assume a complicated posture. With this stance, you can drive to the target easily without worrying too much about the position of your legs.

The combat stance has its limitations.

  • First and foremost, it’s more suited to relatively strong individuals who can take a considerable amount of recoil without being shoved backward.
  • Secondly, it trains you to attack targets while moving towards them, which wouldn’t be wise for a typical home defender who is not wearing any protective armor.
  • Lastly, the placement of the buttstock near the center of the chest alters the relationship between the stock and the shooter’s eye. This makes it more suitable for tall people who can easily align their heads with the barrel’s rib for more accurate shots.

2. The Hybrid Bladed Shooting Stance

shotgun stance

Source: army.mil

This stance is common among 3-gun shooters and it’s all about shooting fast and accurately. Proponents of the hybrid bladed shooting stance are very different than the tactical stance in several areas – one of them is the stock size. Unlike the tactical stance which demands a short stock, the hybrid stance requires you to use a full-sized stock.

To get into the hybrid bladed shooting stance, shift your weight forward and bend your knee to assume a natural, quartered posture. You should also have your shoulders slightly bladed to allow you to aim and shoot your shotgun instinctively. Don’t forget to keep a full-sized stock.

The hybrid bladed stance has a couple advantages. Firstly, it feels more natural to a typical shotgun shooter compared to the tactical stance. Secondly, it trains users to perceive, assess, and act fast, which is key in winning a gunfight.

The only disadvantage of the hybrid stance is that you have to be well-trained to use it. It is not a stance that an amateur shooter should attempt without any guidance, especially if they are not used to absorbing their shotgun’s recoil.

Choosing the Most Appropriate Stance for You

If you ask a military shooter, they will certainly tell you that the best position to shoot a shotgun is the combat stance and that the hybrid stance is only suited to competitive shooting, and not combat. On the other hand, a 3-gunner will swear that the combat stance is too slow, and therefore, not good for defending yourself, especially if you’re not wearing protective clothing.

There is really no such thing as the best shooting stance. Every shooter has his/her preferences. As such, you should give both positions a try and settle on what feels not only natural but also comfortable to you. As a general rule, always shoot in a stance that gives you the best control, balance, and an unimpeded swing when you take your shot.

One more tip, don’t forget to get the most appropriate shotgun for you – it is just as important as the stance itself.

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