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10.17.2023

"The key to hitting is not shooting where the target is but rather where it will be."

Red dot sights on shotguns

Red dot sights on shotguns

From birds to sporting clays to big-game, Aimpoint sights are useful aiming tools for a variety of shotgun applications.

According to conventional wisdom, “A rifle is aimed while a shotgun is pointed.” Perhaps this explains why so many aerial targets are missed. With its line of sights designed for shotguns, Aimpoint changes all that. Red dot-equipped shotguns ensure proper shooting form, provide a reference point to visualize leads, offer feedback on where the shot broke, and, most importantly, increase the ability to hit targets. Here’s how to access the Aimpoint advantage. 

Form over function
Location on rib isn’t critical. Experiment to find what works best for you. Once mounted, keep both eyes open and use the dot as a reference point. For the first 50 to 75 shots, don’t worry about misses. Hits will come. Instead, focus on the target, consistent cheek contact, and using correct shooting form. Your Aimpoint sight will show if you mount the gun high or low, left or right, allowing you to correct this so every mount is uniform. Once form and sight picture are addressed, focus on where you’re aiming.    

Visualize the sight picture
Unlike other disciplines, a shotgunner is presented with unlimited target presentations. No two shots are the same. The key to hitting is not shooting where the target is but rather where it will be. The Aimpoint sight provides invaluable feedback, as the glowing red dot shows exactly where the bore is relative to the target. This makes it a superb training tool for beginners. 

Don’t think of your Aimpoint sight as a “red dot.” Instead, consider it a miniature shotgun instructor mounted to your rib.

Because hitting a driven bird is vastly different than a running rabbit or a broadside roe deer, it’s critical to focus on where the dot was at the time of the shot. When you score a hit, remember the sight picture and replicate it. After a miss, share the feedback with an instructor to help correct it. Communication between student and coach is critical for anything involving shooter input. An Aimpoint red dot sight, however, also helps with issues that are out of a shooter’s control. 

Overcome cross dominance
One in three shooters have eye dominance issues. Adding an Aimpoint sight to a shotgun’s rib is the easiest way to overcome this. Essentially, the red dot negates cross dominance by projecting the bright dot into the shooter’s field of view. Keep both eyes open, focus on the target, and let the brain do the rest. 

Shorten the learning curve
As they say, seeing is believing. In the shotgunning world, an Aimpoint sight is a valuable tool. From achieving the proper mount to gauging lead, a glowing red dot is a huge advantage over a metal bead. But don’t believe adding one to your shotgun will transform your abilities overnight, because it won’t. However, for everything from driven pheasants to doves, trap shooting to turkey hunting, an Aimpoint sight will shorten the learning curve and make you a better shotgunner. 

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