Shotgun Shooting: Lesson 1, Safety First

Due to many requests from readers, I am starting posting shotgun shooting lessons.

First of all, you need to understand safety rules. The best rules I know are the ones by Colonel Jeff Cooper.

Four Rules introduced by Colonel Jeff Cooper:

1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.


You need to protect your shotgun during transportation. Most sights are fragile, especially with fiber optic inserts. Also, it is possible to scratch finish of your shotgun.

You can read more in my article: Shotgun Carrying Cases.

Good case enables you to have all necessary equipment: earmuffs, glasses, belt, shell caddies, cleaning kit, timer, knee pads, chokes etc.


Take shotgun out of the case only vertically. This way, you won’t point your firearm into unsafe direction.

Always carry a firearm on a range with muzzle pointing up. Shotgun must be unloaded, load it only before shooting. Always check a firearm is unloaded after each training.

Firearm checking procedure:
1. Unload magazine tube and chamber.
2. Make visual and touch inspection.
3. Hammer down, open action.


Shooting Hearing Protection (Earmuffs, Electronic Earmuffs, Earplugs, Combat Earplugs)

Ear amd eye protection are must have for all shooters. Shooters and spectators must wear earmuffs/glasses on the range. Eye or ear injury is very easy and cheap to prevent, but very difficult and expensive to cure once it has happened. Always wear eye and ear protection.

Attention: Regular eye glasses will not help to protect your eyes when using a shotgun, and even can cause worse injury when fragmented. Always use proper ballistic glasses.

Remember, the noise level of the shotgun shot is more than 150 dB. The threshold of pain is considered to be 140 dB. This means that shooting without hearing protection can cause sudden hearing loss with complications.

Ess Crossbow Suppressor Glasses

Ess Crossbow Suppressor Glasses