CONQUER THE BEAST HOW TO MASTER ACTION SHOTGUN RECOIL
You’re about to discover the definition of remarkable. In his 35-year shooting career, Jerry Miculek has 52 national titles and 45 world titles. And that’s only some of his accomplishments.
While the 62-year-old may be best known for his revolver speed shooting, Miculek is also one of the top multi-gun competitors in the world. On top of all this, you’ve very likely seen him on TV, as he has appeared on numerous television programs, including the Outdoor Channel’s “Shooting USA”; the History Channel’s “Top Shots,” “Sharp Shooters” and “Extreme Marksman”; Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns”; and NBC Sports’ “Hot Shots.”
—Editor Action shotgun competitors are required to engage multiple stationary targets in a very short period of time. This requires a drastically different technique of recoil management than is used in traditional shotgun sports. Let’s cover some of the techniques I have used in my 30-plus years of action shotgun shooting.
STEPS TO SUCCESS
Stance plays a major role in shot-to-shot recovery. As a right-handed shooter, let me describe my stance. I stand with my feet roughly shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and my left foot pointed in the direction of the target. My right foot is behind my left foot at almost a 90-degree angle to the target. I lean slightly forward to the point in which my nose is over the toes of my left foot. In this position, 80 percent of my weight is now on my front leg.
I use my support hand to grasp the forend, while I keep my elbow slightly bent and my arm parallel to the ground. In order to keep my arm parallel to the ground, I keep my hand on the side of the forend, not under it.
I grasp the buttstock with my strong hand and pull the shotgun very firmly back into my shoulder. Although my support hand holds the forend tightly, it is mainly used for aggressively driving the gun from target to target. With my feet positioned correctly, the shotgun will be directly over my leading foot when the gun is pointed at a target. This keeps the shotgun relatively close to my body, where it is easier to control. To maintain this relationship between shotgun and foot when engaging multiple targets, I think of my upper body as the turret on a tank and my knees as the pivot points.
KEY TO SUCCESS
To be successful in the Action Shotgun sports, recoil control is a skill that must be mastered. Shotgun stance and the way the shotgun is held are unique to each individual. The methods I describe are what works best for me, but everyone will need to do some fine-tuning to determine exactly what works for his or her body type.