A solid gun mount is the platform for good shooting. Here's the way to practise in the comfort of your own home using a mirror.

There is no substitute for regular mounting practice to achieve a smooth, fluent and efficient mount — bringing the comb up under the
gun sight, aligning your shooting eye perfectly time after time. I recommend some exercises that you can do on your own in your home, using an unloaded gun and a large mirror centred at eye level.

As shown in Step 1, start by standing a few yards back, in front of the mirror, then mount your gun firmly into your cheek, with your head absolutely straight. There should be no canting or rolling your head or bringing your cheek down to the comb. Bring the stock up under your shooting eye, point your muzzles at a spot about a couple of feet above the mirror and, with the comb firmly glued to the cheek, slowly lower your barrels to the horizontal as if to shoot your eye’s reflection, as in Step 2.

You should now see your muzzles reflected in the mirror with the pupil of your eye, and the iris too, visible just above the rib. Check whether your eye is straight in line down the rib, not to one side or the other, or too high so that you see your lower eyelid, or so low that it blocks out your shooting eye, causing your muzzles to pull to the left. If it is not spot on, you will be well advised to think about an alteration either in your head position or your stock configuration — or both.

For the next exercise, Steps 3 and 4, from the gun down position close both your eyes and mount your gun somewhere above the mirror, memorising the point on your cheek that gave you perfect alignment. Now it is all down to memory and feel.

As before, slowly bring your barrels down to horizontal. Open your eyes and check your alignment. If you did it right, you should be spot on in the mirror. Repeat the whole cycle again, relying on feel and memory.

A perfect gun mount will allow you to build your technique

If you can get this right consistently, any shooting problems are more than likely down to poor technique, not poor gun mount. Remember, a perfect gun mount is the platform on which to build your technique, style and efficiency: only then will your gun fit be of any real value and benefit.

I must point out that the exercises and advice on this page are based on the dominance of the shooting eye when shooting with both eyes open. However, it is of equal value to the placement and alignment of a Gun shooting with one eye closed.

You can read the full version of this article in Better Shooting, a special Shooting Times supplement on sale now for £5.99 in WHSmith, supermarkets and independent newsagents.