Rem870.com: Are there any drills you would recommend for shotgun owners?
Chris Costa: I would say if a shotgun owner actually carries a variety of 00 buck to slugs, doing slug changeovers are extremely important with the gun fully loaded. I would work on doing one to two slug changeovers and then with the gun starting off, empty the chamber (which is the way I carry my gun most of the time).

If I do carry a shotgun and I have it in my car, or if I have it in my house, the tube’s loaded but the chamber is not. And that’s a great way to ensure safety with your gun – I really don’t want a round in a chamber unless it’s go time. If something bad happens, you can always chamber a round really quickly.

Now, at the moment during which I chamber a round, the dynamic of doing a slug changeover is completely different depending on whether the chamber is empty or whether the chamber has already got a round in there. Also, whether you do it with one or two slugs is also going to make an impact. There’s a lot of hand manipulation going on there, a choreography, so to speak, or a dance with your hands, that you actually have to perform so that you can really build-up an understanding of what needs to happen.

A lot of instructors will tell you that muscles have muscle memory, but the fact is muscles don’t have a memory in the way we tend to think of the term. There is no brain in your muscle. However, you can compare your brain to a hard drive, and if you upload good practices into that hard drive, you should see good results from your muscles. As they say, if you put in good information, you will get out good information – if you put in shit, you get out shit.

In my opinion, the most important thing to practice with a shotgun is the manipulation of it.