Last Shot

CONQUER THE BEAST HOW TO MAS­TER AC­TION SHOTGUN RE­COIL

Firepower - - CONTENTS - BY JERRY MICULEK

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.

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