How can I make my gunmount more consistent?
A reader wanted to know how to make his gunmount more consistent. Shooting instructor Adam Calvert had some expert advice.
Adam Calvert is a freelance shooting instructor with a global reputation, offering highly bespoke and tailored shooting instruction in addition to being a Fabbri ambassador. He offered this advice on gunmount.
Getting your gunmount accurate and above all consistent is probably one of the most important but equally difficult things you can master to improve your shooting. I am a firm believer that you need good, solid foundations and these come from three main elements: gunfit, accurate and consistent gunmounting and footwork.
Before trying to improve your mount it is important to try to get a gun to roughly fit, a process that can be carried out with tape/comb raisers and, if required, a neoprene stock cover. Once the gun is a reasonable fit it’s time for the hard work. Firstly I would recommend viewing various shooters’ techniques, which can be easily sourced online.
Let’s begin with your feet (this is for a right-hander, vice versa for left-handers). Start with your left foot or lead foot, imagine it at 12.00 on a clock face then turn it slightly to 12.30. Your right foot or back foot then needs to be shoulder-width apart and roughly 2.30, taking care NOT to have your heels in line.
Next we need to deal with weight distribution, which should be 60:40 in favour of the lead foot in most cases. This is achieved by bending slightly forward from the hips and pushing your head forward so your nose is over the big toe of your lead foot. Try to resist the temptation simply to lean forward, lifting your back heel off the floor.
This head position is very important as we want to make sure when we mount the gun it always hits the cheek first (NOT the shoulder) and this will only happen if the head is far enough forward. Otherwise you will mount the gun with your head up and often shoot over the top of targets. You particularly need to watch out for this in children and lady shooters as they often try to counter-balance the weight of the gun with their body weight.
Last but not least we need to make sure the gun comes into the shoulder pocket itself. This is the area between the collar bone and the shoulder joint – the easiest thing to do is find this area and put a corresponding chalk mark on your shooting jacket. You then want to make sure that the gun is mounted on this mark.
The best way to actually practise the mount is to get the gun mounted in the correct position (often a few pieces of marker tape on the stock can ensure that the head is in the same position each time) in a gun-up position. Then freeze everything except your arms and lower the gun away from the face to a ready position and then return the gun to your cheek without any head movement, relax and then start again. It takes 2,500-3,000 correct repetitions to start to build muscle memory to allow the gun to be accurately mounted every time.
The best way to monitor your gunmount at home is to video yourself and compare your technique against those you have already viewed online.