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Symtac Shotgun Class Overview: Do not Worry the Recoil

Shotguns are based mostly on a lineage that stretches again greater than 500 years. Henry VIII, King of England, was identified to own greater than 40 of what had been then known as “haile shotte peics” (sic) which blasted chunks of lead down a smoothbore barrel. Sarcastically, Henry’s successor Edward VI signed an act in 1548 banning weapons that fired “hayle shot or any extra pellotts than separately,” claiming they had been too highly effective for use for searching. (In fact, Lords of Parliament and different the Aristocracy had been exempt from the regulation. Sounds acquainted, doesn’t it?) Whatever the simplicity and efficiency of the shotgun, fairly a couple of modern-day shooters nonetheless wrestle with mastering it. Some imagine “grin and bear it” is the one strategy to take care of a shotgun’s recoil, and others assume the unfold of the pellets will overcome their whole lack of coaching — each of those are myths.

Above: Rob Haught has spent a long time educating shotgun abilities to many distinguished businesses and items, together with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Crew (HRT).

Coaching with Symtac

To discover ways to take advantage of my pump shotgun, I took a two-day Shotgun Abilities class from Symtac Consulting, run by father-son duo Rob and Matt Haught. I beforehand educated beneath Matt at an area shotgun occasion, which I wrote about in Subject 21 of Concealment journal; Rob has labored in regulation enforcement for greater than 34 years, and travels the nation educating shotgun abilities to army items and federal businesses. The Haughts are a few of the most famed and skilled shotgun instructors within the nation.

Symtac’s curriculum is based on the push-pull method. Fairly than leaning into the recoil and pulling the gun onerous into the shoulder, college students had been instructed to use opposing pressure to the gun, pushing ahead with the help hand and pulling again with the dominant hand, very like drawing a bow. The buttstock rests frivolously on the shoulder, and the push-pull pressure is utilized simply earlier than urgent the set off. Biking the motion on a pump shotgun naturally units up the following push-pull. It’s surprising how a lot this reduces felt recoil — college students shortly went from staggering onto their heels with every shot to effortlessly firing a number of pictures from a rock-solid stance.

Above: Whereas demonstrating the push-pull method, Matt Haught stored his Vang Comp modified Remington 870 secure throughout a number of rapid-fire pictures.

In fact, there’s way more to operating a shotgun than recoil administration. Reloading is one other inherent problem, so we practiced loading from free rounds in a pocket and from sidesaddle carriers. It’s suggested to load the chamber instantly first — holding the shell laterally between the index and pinky fingers, somewhat than pinching with thumb and index — after which high off the magazine. We realized the right way to stage our ammo in a sidesaddle for quicker reloads, inserting two shells brass-up for over-the-receiver chamber hundreds and the remaining brass-down for the magazine tube. After many reps, loading grew to become second nature, and college students had been changing every spent spherical with out hesitation.

Above: Every pupil patterned their shotgun and ammunition at numerous ranges to find out the unfold sample that needs to be anticipated. In a defensive capturing, the affect of each bullet have to be justified in entrance of regulation enforcement officers and/or a jury, and pellets are not any totally different.

On day two, we mentioned “zones of employment” (i.e. engagement distances) for a shotgun, in addition to ammo choice. “Chook shot is for birds, not folks,” Rob defined succinctly. Buckshot shines within the 5-to-15-yard vary, however some hundreds (e.g. Federal FliteControl) are nonetheless efficient far past 25 yards. It’s important to look at the shot sample of varied hundreds in your gun, since every performs otherwise, and an excessive amount of unfold could cause collateral harm. Slugs are situational — have a couple of available, however use them cautiously and be aware of over-penetration. By no means alternate hundreds contained in the magazine tube; consciously select the proper load for the state of affairs.

Many drills had been lined, incorporating turns, motion, a number of targets, and even shotgun-to-pistol transitions, however the “Shoot, Scoot, and Load Boogie” was particularly memorable. Every pupil walked in the direction of a goal, fired on command, after which started strolling backward. The objective was to have the ability to stroll backwards and forwards constantly, hear for instructions, and cargo throughout down time to maintain the gun from ever going empty. This challenged our dexterity and simulated the stress of reloading throughout an actual combat.

Above: On the finish of day two, college students competed towards one another to check our capturing, reloading, and recoil administration abilities beneath stress.

Closing Ideas

After two full days on the vary and greater than 500 shells fired — lots of which had been full-power buckshot and slugs — I used to be pleasantly stunned to seek out my shoulder wasn’t sore or bruised in any respect. The Symtac push-pull methodology works wonders, making my 12-gauge really feel more practical and extra enjoyable. Past that, I realized a ton about loading strategies, ammo choice, and different intricacies of shotguns. Though the underlying smoothbore method is historical, it’s nonetheless extraordinarily efficient within the twenty first century. For extra data on Symtac Consulting shotgun lessons all through the U.S., go to

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