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How to mount your gun

Tony Bracci demonstrates the perfect mount and the easiest methods to help you achieve it.

The mount is a crucial part of your shooting technique and knowing how to mount your gun correctly can quite easily be the difference between hitting or missing a target.

mount your gun

If possible, start with the gun out of the shoulder, just under the armpit.

Where to start

When you begin shooting it is quite normal to start in the shoulder, but as soon as possible you should try to shoot gun down. Begin on targets that give you a lot 
of time, so you don’t have to rush your mount. Then, as your confidence and consistency get better, move onto 
faster targets.

mount your gun

Wrong. Here the gun is held too low and the shooter will rush the shot.

Gun down

Shooting gun down is a more instinctive experience. With the gun out of the shoulder it makes you more adaptable and gets you focused on the target. When shooting gun down we should still have our 
muzzles on the line of the target, moving the gun with the
 target and holding the line and movement as you mount the gun.

mount your gun

Correct. Mounting the gun straight to the cheek ensures consistency.

Mounting to your cheek

To get the mount right there are a few things we can do to aid consistency. Many people get it wrong right at the start by mounting the gun to their shoulder. A good-fitting gun should be mounted to your cheek or zygomatic arch. If the gun is mounted to your shoulder the head has to be pushed down to the stock and this is where inconsistency can occur.

mount your gun

Wrong. The shooter here is trying to fit his cheek to the stock after mounting.

Sometimes the head might not go down or it might roll over to the stock. To achieve a good, consistent mount your ready position needs to be looked at. Your lead foot should be slightly forward and you should feel balanced. Your neck should be extended forward ready to receive the gun to your cheek. The stock should be in-between your upper arm and your body, with the forearm of the hand holding the grip in line with the stock. The lead hand should be slightly forward of centre of the 
fore-end, creating a slight bend in 
the lead arm. Your muzzles should be on your pick-up point.

mount your gun

Wrong. Starting gun in the shoulder.

Starting gun in the shoulder

Sometimes even experienced shooters might start with the gun in the shoulder to give them the edge on a fast target or to take a target quickly. But why take the risk of a mis-mount? Conversely, starting in the shoulder on a long crosser and swinging with the target for too long can encourage bad habits, such as looking at the gun.

Gun fit

Does gun fit matter?

Gun fit does matter a great deal. With poor gun fit the gun is less likely to be pointing at…


Practise mounting your gun on the pick-up point, then keep your body position the same but drop the gun down to your gun-down starting position. Then it’s just a matter of mounting the gun to your cheek. This should be done slowly at first and as your confidence grows, so can your speed.

Top tips on how to mount your gun

• ALWAYS mount to the cheek, not 
the shoulder
• Build up your confidence with 
slow targets before moving to 
faster ones
• Practise mounting with an unloaded gun at home