The 3rd Shotgun World Shoot will be held in France in the year 2018. My friend Norbert Papon from France asked me a lot of questions because interest to shotguns grows in France. They are certainly experienced shooters when it comes to rifles and handguns, but shotguns are something new to them. That is why I decided to write a series of articles about shotguns in IPSC.
First of all, I think that shotgun shooting matches are the most fun and the most spectacular competitions around. Targets on birdshot stages are usually very close, the shots are very powerful and you can see clouds of dust and metal plates traveling long distances through the air. It is fun to shoot such powerful firearms.
New big article about hearing protection. 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.
Safety on a shooting range is very important. But shooting range (gunshot) first aid kit is a must too.
What I recommend to have in your Shooting Range (Gunshot) First Aid Kit:
1. Tactical Tourniquet (SOF or CAT). This tourniquet saves lives. It was tested in Iraq and Afghanistan and used by US Army. It is very simple and effective way to stop bleeding from limbs.
2. Celox Gauze Roll. Celox is effective but it is much easier to use a Celox Gauze. Very simple application, very effective when you need to stop bleeding.
3. I recommend getting 5.11 Tactical Med Kit Medical Pouch. It has pocket for Tactical Tourniquet and also enough space for Celox Gauze Roll. Please note that many people don’t like this pouch and prefer classic medic pouches.
Please note that many guys think that pocket for Tactical Tourniquet is too small on 5.11 Tactical Med Kit Medical Pouch. But it fits ok, you just need to place it properly.
The pouch is compact, tactical tourniquet and Celox gauze roll are very effective when you need to stop bleeding.
I receive a lot of questions about equipment I use for practical shooting. One of the good questions is what shoes to use for practical shooting. I use two models: Lowa Men’s Zephyr GTX and Salomon Speedcross 3. Both models are great, I have used Lowa for most of the competitions but now started using Salomon shoe.
You may be faced at some point with multiple targets, multiple targets that are shooting back at you. Most firing ranges are set up so you only focus on one target at a time unless it is a specialized training facility. You fire, the buzzer goes off and you bench your weapon, it is synchronized to some extent, firefights are not. Therefore, most shooters focus on becoming proficient while shooting at one target in a controlled environment.
Keep in mind that however common, mistakes do lead to accidental discharges. Lack of, or poor training will lead to mistakes being made. Careless behavior leading to an injury when a shooter knows better should be considered negligence and not be considered an accident caused by a mistake. When you know better and still do not follow proper safe handling procedures then you are negligent.
You can literally shoot a shotgun from any position however, some positions are better than others are. In an ideal world, you would have a choice but everyone knows ideal never enters into the equation when it comes to a firefight. Therefore, to be prepared you have to practice and conduct drills in various positions, such as prone (lying on the ground), kneeling, standing, shooting around corners and so forth. Keep in mind in a firefight someone is shooting back, so cover and concealment is an important part of surviving. One position you will need to practice and become proficient at is shooting from cover. Cover is protection from rounds while concealment is out of the shooters’ vision.
Toe to toe shooting is not an option, in any firefight and you always have to make sure you make a small or even an invisible target while being able to return fire. To practice set up your shooting area using 50-gallon barrels as cover. Place the targets at various ranges to simulate the aggressors’ movement. Remember, when in a tactical situation you will only know what to do according to your level of training, so if you only trained one way that is what you will do in a firefight.
Kneel and shoot around the barrel. Once all rounds are downrange, begin loading as you swing around to the other side of the barrel still kneeling. You should have reloaded by the time you have swung around to the other side. You will notice of course that your body is in the wrong position, for firing left or right handed depending on which side of the barrel you started with. You will not be able to sight on the target you initially fired at; this is simulating movement by the intruder. Fire all rounds downrange and then reload as you move to the next barrel and set of targets that are set at a different range and angle to your position.
In your home, you will be shooting around furniture, doorways, over, and around counter tops. You may have to get into the prone position to safely fire from around a corner. Learn to fire left and right handed. The ejection of shells across your dominate eye (left-handed shooter firing a right-handed weapon) may distract you at first. If you practice, you will soon realize if you have to perform, a slug change over, the ejection port is facing you if you shoot left-handed. Remember the safety will be different if you switch hands to fire. Learn to fire offhand because you may have to fire with either hand at some critical point.
Practice until you can be reloaded and ready to fire as you move into a new position and always have eyes on the target. Reload by feel only and if you have practiced with a slip on stock shell holder make sure you always have it attached to the weapon. Some can reload from a belt pouch, but fumbling at the belt can take up time, but whatever works for you should be used.
Facing straight on to the target makes you a target. Intruders and shooters that target groups of people typically fire from a standing position and if you are at a standing position, you are a target. Getting below the field of fire is critical, and you must be able to return fire from that position, whether it is prone, squatting or kneeling. Of course, the recoil will throw you off balance if you are properly positioned. It takes practice and dedication to fire from any position but you have to deal with the reality of the situation and have the training to adapt to it.