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Can You Miss the Target with a Shotgun?

For those of us who grew up in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s we saw some amazing gunfights on the silver screen and the cathode ray tube. Machine guns and pistols that never ran out of ammo, copious amounts of orange flame (with the ubiquitous good-guy walking away from the explosion), precision off hand shooting, and point-in-the-general-direction shotgun shooting that blew the perp through the wall into the next room. Ah, the good old days.

As much as I hate to pee in anyone’s Cheerios, machine guns are kind of hard to get a hold of. Carrying 100+ rounds of ammo can be little conspicuous and mag changes require a lot of practice to be considered smooth. No one is going to compress a scene with a telephoto lens to capture you swaggering away in slow-motion from an explosion. Self-defense with a handgun most often occurs at bad breath distances, not across a football stadium. And yes, you do actually have to aim a shotgun to hit a target.

The Answer to the Most Asked Shotgun Question

I know, life’s full of disappointments and that last paragraph is as disappointing as they come. Any gun usage requires some level of proficiency to become effective. Even using the humble shotgun isn’t a guaranteed homerun or even a single if all you are doing is pointing in the general direction of the target. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. A miss of inches might as well be a miss of miles when it comes to hitting a target with any kind of firearm. The answer to the question above is an emphatic YES! You do have to aim a shotgun.

Pointing—pointing a shotgun is the actual term associated with shotguns, due to their usual front bead only sight arrangement. Please allow some license here with regard to the term used to get on target. The end goal of pointing or aiming a shotgun is to precisely hit the target you are engaging. Yes, precisely.

When on the trap field you can tell when a clay bird is hit high, low, left, right, or dead on by the way the bird breaks. Just watch the dust. At 30 or so yards a shotgun will generally have a 20”-32” shot pattern depending on the choke installed in the barrel. Home or self-defense doesn’t occur at 30 yards. It’s rare that it occurs at 30 feet. At very close range it is wise to regard a shotgun’s shot pattern as a 12 or 20 gauge straight line rather than some sort of V shaped force field. The truth is any type of shot (#9-000 Buck) will not spread more than a few inches inside of 20 feet. While that is still way bigger than the relatively small 9mm or even .45 caliber line that a centerfire handgun makes, it does lay to rest the concept of accuracy being an afterthought with a shotgun.

Aiming Devices for the Most Popular Shotguns

For this reason a product like our Axeon ShotLine laser aiming aid becomes not just some novelty device, but rather a crucial addition to your home defense shotgun. Trouble can and does come at all hours of the day, but, and as recent events have illustrated, evil loves to do its thing in the cover of darkness. With a ShotLine installed on the magazine tube of your Mossberg 500, Remington 870, or Winchester SXP series shotgun, the utility of that shotgun greatly increases around the clock. The laser in the ShotLine is powerful enough for daytime use and, naturally, very handy for use in the dark of night.

The ShotLine is easy to install. Simply replace the magazine cap on your shotgun with the supplied adapter cap for the ShotLine load in the batteries to the laser body and attach the laser body to the adapter cap. The ShotLine has a power button which makes getting the laser activated super easy. The mounting location of the ShotLine has to be mentioned. It doesn’t hang off the bottom or side of the shotgun. The ShotLine mounts to the end of the magazine tube in perfect alignment with the barrel. You will certainly need to adjust the beam alignment of the ShotLine with the point of impact of the projectile. But this can be done easily at the range with an Allen key and a piece of cardboard.

The ShotLine doesn’t make your gun longer, it doesn’t make it oddly balanced, and it doesn’t get in your way. If you are one of the millions of shooters who own a Mossberg 500, Remington 870, or Winchester SXP series shotguns, you owe it to yourself to consider adding an aiming aid like this one or if you’d rather get the Axeon ShotLight to add an inline shotgun flashlight.

Mark Davis, avid outdoorsman, family man, and avid outdoorsman is the social media specialist for Axeon Optics.

Leave your comment
7/16/2020 7:37 AM
Any plans for a Browning BPS 12 gauge?
7/16/2020 9:31 AM
Unfortunately, no, the Browning platform is not represented by our adapters.
7/19/2020 2:13 AM San Francisco 49ers Game Philadelphia Eagles Game Buffalo Bills Game Los Angeles Chargers Game Tennessee Titans Game
9/9/2020 1:42 AM
Will this fit my Stevens model 320 12 gauge?
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