Shotgun shooting can be challenging
For most of us, shooting with a shotgun is much more difficult than shooting with a rifle. A rifle is normally mounted with a type of optic to help increase performance.
On a shotgun, there is only the rib with a small bead on the front of the barrel that can be used for aiming. To be able to take a good shot with a shotgun you have to check the distance between the eyes and the rib, and the alignment of the eyes to the rib. Both measurements depend on the length of the stock and the way of bringing the shotgun to the shoulder.
Only when the stock is fitted 100% correctly to the shooter’s body will the gun be in perfect position when mounted to the shoulder. Even with proper fit, a lot of training is required to become a good shotgun shooter.
Make sure that your red dot sight is properly zeroed before shooting.
Shooting together with an instructor is always a good idea.
How to improve your shotgun shooting quickly
If you are an experienced shot, you will consistently mount the gun to the same position against your shoulder. Likewise, if you are a good shot with a customized gun stock you will consistently have your eyes in the same position to the rib of your shotgun. But if you are a hunter with a non-customized shotgun, hunting or shooting less frequently, and maybe having a tight schedule with not much time to spend on the shooting range – then hitting the target is difficult and making progress is challenging.
But there is a way of improving your skills without spending extensive time at the shooting range, nor having to spend a large amount of money to customize your shotgun to fit your body. To increase your hit percentage easily you can mount an Aimpoint® red dot sight on the rib of the barrel of your shotgun. The Aimpoint® Micro S-1™ is a sight specifically designed to be mounted on shotguns.
How it works
Once the Micro S-1™ is mounted and zeroed to the gun, which is an easy process, you only use the red dot to pick up your target, follow it through, and pull off the shot once you are in front of it. Your focus is on the target the whole time with both eyes open – the dot being there only as a point of reference.
The red dot remains visible even if the shotgun is not in a perfect position against your shoulder. The red dot is there to help you quickly establish lead.
Balance of the barrel
A good balance of the barrel is very important to be able to get a smooth swing through the target. The weight of the Micro S-1™ is around 90 g and you can easily change the position of the Micro S-1™ along the barrel. This way you can also use the sight to optimize the balance for a better swing.
Cross-eye dominance problem
A further benefit of having an Aimpoint™ red dot sight mounted on your barrel is that is solves a cross-eye dominance problem instantly – with both eyes wide open, you can see a clear sight picture, instead of two sets of blurry barrels.
What you get
The Aimpoint® Micro S-1™ is designed specifically for use on shotguns. It provides a compact, low-profile optic for shotgun hunters. The Micro S-1™ attaches directly to the shotgun at any point along the ventilated rib, allowing you to choose optimal placement for proper cheek weld and instinctive shooting position.
The large, bright 6 MOA red dot gives the shooter improved target acquisition and increased aiming confidence. - even in bright sky conditions. It’s important to remember that the Micro S-1™ is not some magic wand. All the usual rules of shotgun shooting apply – if you stop the gun, look at the dot instead of the target, or fail to apply lead on a fast flyer, you’re going to miss. What it does provide is lightning-fast target acquisition and a crystal-clear reference point, so you can pick up your target quickly (be it clay or game) and know exactly where your shot is going.
There is no need to focus the sight or zoom in or out – all its functions are immediate. Suddenly it is much more fun to spend time on the shooting range and your confidence is boosted when you are out hunting.
Test study with the Micro S-1
In April 2017 Aimpoint conducted a study where the Aimpoint® Micro S-1, optimized for shotguns, was used by 2 out of 4 groups. In total there were 40 participants. The test hunters had little or no experience with shotgun shooting and there were also some participants who had experienced difficulties when trying to learn it.
During intense days of training they were exposed to different shotgun exercises with the purpose of Aimpoint determining which target groups and situations the Micro S-1 will benefit the most.
One important conclusion was that using the Micro S-1 helped to greatly increase hit percentage.
Additionally, using the ultra-low red dot as guidance means a proper cheek weld every time, something that can be somewhat difficult to learn and at the same time is crucial for making that good shot. The 6 MOA red dot also provides an obvious reference point on moving targets.
Some shooters struggle with being cross eye dominant and the study showed that they improved performance by using the Micro S-1.
In general, the conclusion of the study was that the Aimpoint Micro S-1 is an especially valuable tool:
- If the shooter is cross-eye dominant
- When the shooter has problems making contact with the target
- To get a proper cheek weld on the stock
- Providing a reference point
- For the shooting instructor
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