Choosing A Rifle Scope

choosing-a-rifle-scope

To start let’s not get hung up on magnification. You will find that everyone has some kind of advice on how much magnification you will need for a certain rifle/calibre.

You will hear…. “you won’t need any more than 4 times power on a .22 rim fire rifle”…..well rubbish to that. Everyone has an opinion based on their own situation/experience or what they like and what they do. My preference may not be yours. So use a scope that works for you. I use a PREDATOR 3-9×40 HUNTER on my .22 and I don’t have parallax problems because the riflescope has an adjustable objective lens.

If I wanted to target rabbits at say 300 yards then I would not be using a .22 rimfire. Optics wise I would use a 6-24x50AOE PREDATOR ERADICATOR 6-24x50AOE or go one better and use a PREDATOR ILLUMINATOR 6-20x50AO I like to see my target up close and personal so I can place my shot for a humane kill.

One shot. One clean kill. You should purchase a rifle scope that works for you. Too much magnification. Too little, only you can tell. You will have a good idea of your intended quarry and how you will need to view them.

IN GENERAL TERMS

  • Low Power…close range or moving target
  • Medium Power…hunting big game at a medium range
  • High Power… target shooting, varmint/small game at a distance.

The good news. Todays technology has allowed the hunter the most versatile tool for his craft…. The variable powered rifle scope. While this may not be the choice or preference of every PREDATOR ….set up and used correctly the variable powered scope gives the hunter the versatility not only to have a scope with a wide field of view but to be able to get up close and very personal with the intended target. One shot. One clean kill.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A RIFLE SCOPE

choosing-a-rifle-scope

A word of….
CAUTION !

While you are on your quest for the best optical solution you will come across various rifle scopes offered for sale as new on …..auction websites. While some may be selling such scopes of the genuine variety, a good many of these rifle scopes are sold with well known trade names on them but………They do not come from the original brand supplier.

These people are using someone else’s trade name for their own profit. If you spend some time to check things out and go to the genuine website you will find that some of the rifle scope’s models offered by scamsters cannot be found on the suppliers website. So be careful, not all is as it appears.

On a lighter note….we here at PREDATOR want you to get the best from your chosen sport so we are continually working hard at finding the best hunting equipment that is tested and meets our standards of performance. For your peace of mind we offer you a money back guarantee.

THE BEST OPTICS AVAILABLE EQUAL……Field of view:

When you are hunting getting up close and personal with a charging animal is not ideal. When you have too much magnification you are not likely to be able to quickly lock on to a target….a wide field of view is vital at close range for quick target acquisition. Where high magnification comes in is when you are targeting at a distance.

To place shots, you need to be able to target and clearly see vital areas of the targets body……PREDATOR variable powered rifle scopes offer you the best of both worlds. Wide field of view and close quarter view. With a variable powered scope it is best to begin the hunt with a low power setting giving you a wide field of view then when you spot your intended quarry you can adjust your view and zoom in on the target to place your shot.

One Shot. One clean Kill. Light: To get a good clear crisp view through your rifle scope you need to have as much light as possible entering the scope tube. To allow the maximum amount of light into the tube you will need the largest practical objective lens. Light=clarity.

AO Adjustable objective: Not always necessary but why settle for less than what you deserve and what just makes good common sense. With an adjustable objective lens your variable powered scope will never be out of focus.

Fully Multi Coated Lenses: Coatings are applied to the scope lenses to minimize reflection and to enhance light transmission. For maximum enjoyment from your chosen sport choose a rifle scope from Predator Rifle Scopes

Top 10 Best .308 Rifle Scope

.308 Winchester cartridges came into being in the early 1950s. It took the commercial hunting market by storm and quickly became the most popular ammo.

Since its inception, rifle models and riflescopes were introduced that complimented this cartridge.

In today’s world, .308 Winchester is used by snippers and military personnel. While shooting at long distances, you will need a .308 scope for your .308 rifle.

If you had an eye on a deer which used to run away when you went closer to it then you definitely need a scope in order to hit the animal from far away and with greater precision.

Before revealing our top 10 .308 rifle scopes we would like you to know the factor that you need to consider while purchasing a .308 scope.

Things to look for in a .308 Scope

Best .308 Rifle Scope

The essential things that you should look for in a .308 scope are:

Magnification Power

A .308 is meant to shoot medium and large distances. Buying a scope with lower magnification power will definitely undermine the power of your .308 rifle.

Aim for a scope that can get you to hit targets which are 500 yards away. A good short range scope will not be a good option for your .308 rifle.

Image Clarity

For longer ranges you want your view to be as clear as possible. A distorted image will do you no good and you will end up with missing your target.

A scope that has greater image clarity is a must have with your .308 rifle. Look for a .308 which provides crisp and clear images at longer distances.

Also, remember that your .308 scope should not lose clarity even in low light conditions. To check for clarity, you might want to test the scope beforehand and check for reviews given by other buyers.

Toughness

.308 rifles are associated with high recoil. They are mostly used in harsh environments by serious hunters and military personnel.

Keeping in mind that a .308 has to withstand these unforgiving conditions and massive recoil, you should look for a scope that is durable, shockproof and long-lasting.

For serious hunters, hiding in the woods near bushes and limbs is a must. In such circumstances, your scope should be able to resist scratches. Look for a scratch less coating on your optics!

A solid construction means that your scope will be able to withstand coil and any other shocks. A good shock proof and strongly made .308 scope is your best bet.

Objective Lens

With your .308 scope, you wish to have really bright images. For this purpose, you would want your objective lens to have a large size.

A small objective lens, although light in weight, does not allow enough light to enter your scope and is therefore not very useful in low light conditions.

You need your scope to have ample illumination. This can be achieved by going for a large sized objective lens. A typical large sized lens is between 40mm to 56mm.

Other Considerations

If you are new to the world of .308 scopes then here are some basic facts related to these scopes:

  • Reliable – what makes a scope reliable? For us, reliability is achieved when your scope is able to reset to zero and to hold it as well. Any scope that makes you set your scope to zero every time your shoot is not a reliable one. Reliability also comes with consistency. If you scope is able to perform consistently, then it is a reliable one. You obviously don’t want the performance of your scope to decline with every shot you take with your .308 rifle.
  • Price – For many people, price of the scope plays an important role. You need to set a budget for your scope. It is truly an investment and you don’t want to waste a $1000 on a crappy scope. If there is some amazing quality high priced model that you are unable to purchase at some point in time, then we recommend you to save up and don’t settle for anything that is cheaply made.

Now that you know the things that you should look for in a .308 riflescope, here are the top 10 scopes that you need to know about.

Top 10 Best .308 Scope Reviews

Best .308 Rifle Scope Reviews

  • UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings
  • Burris Eliminator III Reticle Laser Scope, 3X-12X – 44mm
  • Nikon M-308 SF 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ Nikoplex Reticle, Black – 16462
  • FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope W front AO adjustment. Red/Blue/green mil-dot reticle. Comes with extended sunshade and Heavy Duty Ring Mount
  • Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
  • Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ ACSS Reticle PAC5X
  • Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
  • Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16 x 42 Matte Mil Dot Reticle with Rainguard Riflescope
  • Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Riflescope
  • Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope, Matte Black

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

If you own a .308 rifle, then this compact scope from UTG is your best friend. It features a tactical range estimating (TRE) mil-dot reticle with full 36-color EZ Tap IE technology.

Unlike traditional reticles, this reticle gives you 9 aiming points on each cross hair which enhances accuracy to the next level. The EZ Tap illumination enhancing technology allows you to control color of the reticle using 36-color multi-mode operation.

With a magnification power of 3-12X, you can hit targets at a distance. Multi Emerald Coated Lenses including the 30mm objective lens offer great amount of light.

This scope has ergonomic controls and side wheel adjustable turrets that make adjustments as smooth and easy as possible.

True Strength Platform with a Smart Spherical Structure (SSS) provides durability and allows the scope to withstand even extreme recoil. The sturdy construction makes it shockproof.

It is purged with nitrogen and completely sealed in order to make it waterproof and fog proof. This scope comes with TactEdge® Angled Integral Sunshade, lifetime warranty, flip open caps and mounting rings.

Pros – UTG 3-12X44 is a well-built scope with a mil-dot reticle that works like a dream. It is also able to withstand the recoil that .308 rifles experience!

Burris Eliminator III Reticle Laser Scope, 3X-12X – 44mm

Considered as one of the most advanced riflescopes, Eliminator III knocks down targets at very long-ranges. It has Burris’s very own X96 reticle.

With just one button, this reticle displays the correct aiming point and the distance to the target. This process takes place at any magnification level from 3X to 12X.

Although you have to estimate the actual wind speed on the X96 reticle yet a 10mph value for a .308 cartridge is displayed on the reticle.

It has a large sized 44mm objective lens which lets greater light to enter the scope. The Hi-Lume® multicoating on the optics allows for brighter images and reduces glare. There are 5 brightness settings which are controlled by push buttons.

The laser on the scope can reach out to more than 1200 yards. Programming cartridge is not an issue, thanks to the Enhanced Extreme Range Ballistic Programming.

It is a rugged scope that runs on 1 CR123A battery. It is backed up with Burris Forever Warranty.

Pros – Eliminator III works like a charm. It has the speed, accuracy and the strength that is required of any .308 scopes.

Nikon M-308 SF 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ Nikoplex Reticle, Black – 16462

Designed for heavy caliber rifles including a .308 rifle, M-308 is a long-range must have. It comes with a Nikoplex reticle which offers a simple aiming point.

This second focal plane non illuminated reticle can be used in conjunction with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. This technology lets you find exact aiming points on the reticle.

M-308 has a powerful magnification range of 4-16X and an oversized 42mm objective lens, making it perfect for all the long-range shooters out there.

Ultra ClearCoat® Optical System combines with fully multi-coated optics in order to transmit 95% light. You are able to see brighter images from your scope!

This riflescope is very comfortable to use, thanks to the Eye box technology which gives 4 inches of constant eye relief. You also instantly acquire your target using the quick-focus eyepiece.

M-308 has tactical style turrets which allow you to quickly reset to zero as well as do other adjustments.

It is a 100% waterproof, shockproof and fog proof model. Its one-piece design makes this riflescope strong and durable. With this scope you can enjoy Nikon No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy.

Pros – If you own a .308 firearm, then you definitely need this scope. With HD clarity and easy eye relief, M-308 is a superb quality riflescope.

FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope

If you are looking for an inexpensive scope with high power then FSI Sniper Scope is what you need. To start off, it uses a mil-dot illuminated reticle with red, blue and green illumination.

Unlike other Chinese riflescopes, Sniper has a clear glass without a hint of yellow to it. It is very much comparable to scopes that made in Japan or Germany.

It comes with a front Adjustable Objective (AO) adjustment. This means that you can adjust your large 50mm objective lens from the front.

Sniper is a high powered scope with magnification power ranging between 6x to 24x. The windage/elevation adjustments are made using ball and bearing turrets.

The superior multi-coated optics allow for more light to enter the scope.

It has a rugged design with a 6061 T6 Aircraft Grade Body that is shock resistant and is able to withstand coil in .308 firearms.

While mostly manufacturers offer limited time warranty, FSI offers 100% satisfaction guaranty. This means that any issue that comes up with your scope will be resolved by the manufacturer.

When you purchase this scope, you also get an extended sunshade and a heavy duty ring mount.

Pros – Sniper works perfectly with a .308 style weapon. It mounts quite easily and holds steady zero like a charm. Keeping in mind its price, the overall performance of Sniper is extra-ordinary.

Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope

The AccuPoint series scopes from Trijicon are their longest-ranged riflescopes. This is a perfect option for hunters and shooters who are looking to extend their range.

TR23 uses a BAC Triangle Post reticle with red, green or Amber light. There is an illuminated triangle at the center of the reticle without any additional crosshairs.

This second focal plane dual illuminated does not use batteries. It relies on fiber optic technology and a tritium phosphor lamp for illumination. It is great for shooters who use their scope for long hours. It also does not emit any light from the objective lens.

The variable magnification range of 5-20X allows you to hit targets that are located at a long-distance. The oversized 50mm objective lens transmits a large amount of ambient light.

You experience zero distortion and superior clarity with multi-coated superior quality lenses.

The external turrets allow for windage/elevation adjustments and are very user-friendly.

Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Housing with Hard anodized finish makes it suitable for tough conditions. When used in water, it stays waterproof till 10 feet or 3 meters.

This scope comes with a sunshade, lens caps and warranty.

Pros – TR23 is a perfect mate for a .308 firearm. Its reticle is ultra-clear and the illuminated triangle aids in acquiring target in extremely low-light conditions.

Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ ACSS Reticle PAC5X

Specifically designed for a .308 Winchester, this compact prism hunting scope is set to provide fast ranging and a quick hold of moving targets.

It features a second focal plane illuminated ACSS Standard 5.56 / 5.45 / .308 reticle that comes with 5 red and 5 green brightness settings. In order to control these settings, a CR2032 lithium battery is required.

This fixed 5x scope is great for medium range hunting. Its durable design allows it to withstand recoil and harsh weather conditions.

Its capped turrets allow for quick adjustment. It comes with a 1913 Picatinny mount which makes it a versatile riflescope.

It is compatible with ACOG mounts, AR15 standard bases and AK 47 platforms. It has a removable base or a quick detach design.

Primary Arms provides flip caps, mounting accessories and a 3 year warranty on this compact riflescope.

Pros – This is a very well-built scope with crystal clear optics and a comfortable eye relief. It truly complements .308 Winchester rifles with quick mounting and great shock resistance.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle

Diamondback High Performance (HP) riflescope is a dream comes true for professional hunters out there. With a dead-hold BDC reticle, estimating holdover at different ranges is not a concern anymore.

This second focal plane bullet drop compensator reticle has customized dots which assist in removing any guesswork while estimating holdover/windage.

It has a highly versatile magnification power of 4-16X with a Precision-Glide Erector System. This system allows you to have smooth magnification.

The optics includes XR™ Fully Multi-Coated XD™ Lens Elements. The coatings transmit more light while at the same time work as anti-reflective. The XD elements, on the other hand, increase resolution and provide crisp images.

The capped reset turrets and the fast focus eyepiece allow quick and easy focusing.

Aircraft-Grade Aluminum gives Diamondback HP strength whereas the one-piece design offers accuracy. Being a shockproof scope, it is perfect for .308 rifles.

O-ring seals and Argon gas purging prevent moisture and internal fogging. Its hard anodized finish allows you to easily camouflage your position.

When you buy this scope, the package includes a 4-inch sunshade, protective lens cover and a lens cloth. Vortex also provides its VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty with this scope.

Pros – Diamondback HP not only mounts perfectly on a .308 style weapon but it also performs really well. It withstands the recoil and holds zero. Even under low light, the view with this scope is crystal clear.

Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16 x 42 Matte Mil Dot Reticle with Rainguard Riflescope

Elite 6500 series riflescopes are all-rounder scopes with a wide magnification range (2.5-16X), high resolution and a hydrophobic design.

While the scope offers quite a few different types of reticle, this particular one has a mil-dot reticle. This reticle has four evenly spaced dots on both the horizontal and vertical crosshair. The center does not have a dot which allows for a perfect aiming point.

The large 42mm objective lens works great at gathering a large amount of light. The fully multi coated optics increase brightness and the Ultra-Wide Band Coating makes the lens anti-reflective. Additional moisture prevention is done by RainGuard HD.

For windage/elevation adjustments, push/pull style turrets are available. They can be resetted to zero as well.

Elite 6500 is made from 100% quality materials which make it a rugged and shock proof scope. This magnum recoil-proof tested scope will work perfectly with your .308 win mag.

It is also sealed with O-rings and purged with argon for complete water and fog protection.

This scope is equipped with a 3inch sunshade and it carries an Elite Bullet Proof warranty that is provided by Bushnell.

Pros – Elite 6500 has a solid construction with clear glass and a great field of view.

Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Riflescope

Tested by a Prostaff member from Nikon, this riflescope stays on target under any conditions. It features Nikon’s Patented BDC reticle.

This reticle has see-through ballistic circles which assist in long-range shooting. For short ranges, the normal crosshair center aiming point is utilized.

The performance of the reticle is enhanced by Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. With this technology you can discover all the exact aiming points on the reticle.

Prostaff has a magnification power of 3-9x which is great for short to medium ranges. Its 40mm objective lens gives bright vision. The optical system is fully multi-coated and it allows 98% light transmission.

Precise adjustments are made using the Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets. The generous consistent eye relief allows for comfortable shooting.

This scope is sealed with O-rings and purged with nitrogen in order to make it waterproof and fog proof. It has a strong aluminum body which is able to resist shocks when mounted on a .308 rifle.

Prostaff is backed with Nikon No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy as well as Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Pros – This scope is a perfect match for a .308 win. It has great clarity and a superb magnification. It is also an extremely durable scope.

Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope, Matte Black

Developed for medium-range targeting, Leupold VX-2 is your go to riflescope for your .308 rifle. It has an LR Duplex Reticle.

Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System increases brightness and enhances image resolution as well. Its large 40mm objective lens also transmits a great amount of light.

The exterior lens has a DiamondCoat lens coating which prevents abrasion and makes them scratch proof.

Ideal for any situation, VX-2 features a 3-9x magnification power or 3:1 zoom erector system. It has a ballistic aiming system which allows you to set and save multiple power settings according to your cartridge’s ballistics.

It has a one-piece body that is constructed using 6061-T6 aluminum. It is filled with Argon/Krypton gas in order to make it both waterproof and fog proof.

It comes with Leupold Full Lifetime Warranty and other accessories.

Pros – VX-2 is an amazing hunting scope made for .308 weapons. It has a crystal clear glass which gathers a lot of light.

Conclusion

For all the passionate hunters out there looking for a long range scope for their .308 rifle, a .308 scope is a must have.

Such a scope is set to complement your firearm, give your more clarity and enhance your overall performance in the field.

Again, don’t forget to choose a .308 scope that has a magnification power greater than 1X or 2X and a durable construction.

Our above suggestions have been tried and tested by hundreds of .308 rifle owners around the world. These will surely not disappoint you!

Doing Your Homework 101

doing-your-homework-101

In the real world few of us get to the range as often as we want, and alas, fewer of us can duck out the back door and touch off a few rounds at barn pigeons, starlings, etc, while supper’s cooking.

So, our progress is a bit slower than it could be. But, on the days when we cannot shoot, there’s a few things we can do to condition ourselves and help when we do step onto the range or move in past a pointer frozen in position to flush the covey.

doing-your-homework-101

First is simple conditioning. Shotgunning is an athletic event requiring some strength and coordination. Even if some top shotgunners look more like Sumo Wrestlers than Marathon winners, there are movements that require effort and precision. These take practice. One can use bar bells, light ones with lots of reps to build tone rather than bulk, but…

A good way to learn handling your shotgun is to handle your shotgun. After ensuring that it is DEFINITELY UNLOADED, practice mounting for 15 minutes a day. Concentrate on placing the stock so it touches your face in the same place every time. Focus on a spot on the wall or ceiling and while focusing, bring the shotgun into position. Do NOT shift your focus to the rib, barrel or bead. Note the position of the shotgun in your peripheral vision and repeat.

As mentioned in the sections on proper mounting techniques and stance, the whole body is involved.

A good ready position for starting the move is with the shotgun more or less level with the muzzle below the target’s “line”. The butt may have the last inch or so trapped in the armpit so a slight move forward frees it to slide up into position.

Work on smoothness and precision. When you have those, speed will show up uninvited. Think of the moves in Tai Chi. Even Septagenerians can do the moves with amazing speed after repeating them thousands of times slowly.

Shotgunning IS a martial art.

Here’s a quote from Gene Hill…..

“It’s not the accumulation of technique that makes a decent field shot-it’s the elimination of mistakes”.

 

In Hill’s Shotgunner’s Notebook where that quote originates, there’s a passage where Hill goes to visit a trapshooter, one of the all-time greats. He finds the legend punching a tennis ball hung by a string to work on his eye/hand co- ordination. The legend says it’s a regular workout and part of his daily routine.

The legend also has laid out on his garage wall duct tape duplicating the angles of trap shooting, and he spends 30 minutes daily with his shotgun “shooting” all the possible target paths.

If this can help the performance of someone who well knows shooting and runs 100s nearly at will, how much will it help mere mortals such as we?

As we practice the mount, remember that shotgunning is a dynamic act. The target’s moving, the shotguns’s moving and so are we. So we should practice the swing as we drymount. Trace the lines where ceiling and walls meet for starters, add other angles and keep in touch with your body.

That means feeling the point where we run out of swing, when the barrel moves in an arch rather than a line. We can ID this and reposition as needed. it helps us to know our limits even as we broaden them.

I my opinion, 15 minutes a day spent in drymounts will pay off more than shooting a round of trap or skeet daily. This especially applies to new shooters….

Buying A Used Pump Shotgun

Buying A Used Pump Shotgun

A couple things to watch out for, and some gratuitous advice….

First, know your dealer, and hopefully, know your prospective shotgun. Stick with brands that you recognize, not anonymous or unknown. Even name brands can have lemon models; some of the S&W models didn’t do well when dirty.

So, you’ve a dealer you know, maybe even trust, and he tells you this one was owned by a little old lady who only toted it to church on Sunday, and it’s practically new.You’ve BOTH made sure it’s unloaded, so….

Buying A Used Pump Shotgun

First, check overall condition. Start at the recoil pad or butt plate, and look for dings, scars, stains, etc. An over oiled piece stood in a closet will often show stains on the grip area. No biggie, but if it was owned and operated by an idiot, there may be other problems. Check metal for rust, worn finish, and general condition again.

Look all over, then disassemble it. If the dealer has a problem with this, you may want to go elsewhere. Be sure you can put it together again.

Look the bbl over by sighting down it like it was still on the weapon. Check for bends, dents, BULGES, corrosion, pitting, and any indication that it was not original to the piece. Check the muzzle for damage, and look for any sign of being shortened or hacksawed. Then check the bore. If the bore is dirty, a reputable dealer will clean it on request. If not, go elsewhere…

Look the bore over and see if there’s any of the stuff listed above. If there’s tube chokes involved, ask if you can unscrew the tube. Do so, to make sure it’s not rust welded in place.It happens.

If it has a vent rib, look UNDER the rib for signs of rust, dirt, etc.

Take a good look at the mag tube, inside and out. Check the condition of the springs, and look for rust. While it’s apart, look at the bolt face and see if there’s peening around the firing pin hole, and make sure there’s a good hook on the extractor. Take a squint at the ejector, usually mounted inside the receiver, and if you can see the bolt lugs, check for peening there also. Old Model 12s show this fairly often, according to a smith friend.

Now, check the action bars for cracks and wear. if all of the parts come through OK, ask if you can cycle a couple of snap caps, NOT LIVE AMMO or empty cases, to check function.

While you’re at it, check the bbl markings and make sure it chambered for at least 2 3/4″ shells, some older guns are not. Firing off a round longer than what’s it’s chambered for is neither fun nor safe.

Finally, ask the dealer about what kind of warranty applies. Some dealers have a 30-30 guarantee, 30 feet or 30 seconds, whichever comes first. Others want happy, repeat customers and will address any legit concern you have.

Home Defense Preparation For Shotgunners

Home Defense Preparation For Shotgunners

First, know your weapon well enough that you can make it function SAFELY in near total darkness at zero dark 30 with a warm liquid running down your leg, 15 seconds out of a deep sleep, because you may have to. This requires regular use, thought out practice, and a mindset not often found in “Civilized” places. You’re out to win; as Bill Jordan said, there’s “No second place winner” here.

Regular use is the only way to achieve expertise. Lack of expertise will kill you.

And knowing your weapon means knowing how much spread will occur at the longest shot opportunity possible in your house using your “Duty” load. I recommend measuring the longest distance possible in your house, adding a yard, then checking the pattern at that range. Most likely, the load will make one ragged hole. In other words, a defense shotgun NEEDS to be aimed. Choice of that load is covered elsewhere on the internet. Choose that load with an eye to what’s past any target, through walls and doors. All shotgun ammo is very effective at room range.

Home Defense Preparation For Shotgunners

Second, know your house. It’s rare that it’s a good idea to clear your house, usually it’s best to hold a position at a strong point and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

With a shotgun KNOWN TO BE EMPTY, a walkthrough will turn up any possible weak points, strong points and problem areas in your house. Of course, you do have window locks, outside lights, charley bars etc, right? Note what areas and positions may require working from the support side, what may give cover to you or an adversary. Now try it from the other end, imagine you’re the invader and see how and where you can move safely or not. Keep in mind, that while you are practicing self-defense, there is a thin line between that and criminal offense. To get a clearer understanding, seek out someone who has a criminology masters degree.

Third, let’s go shooting…

Any use of a shotgun will aid you gain that expertise. Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays, informal clays with a hand trap, hunting, “Practical” matches, etc, can all help. Shoot safely and often. And have fun!

Here’s a couple drills strictly for home defense practice.Try light loads at first, then “Duty” ammo as you improve. Of course, use eye and ear protection, and be safe.

Have some laths ready, and some clay targets. Drive or stick the laths in the ground, and tape or hang the clays about 4 ft off the deck. Pace off the distance to your longest shot opportunity, and load up. Have someone give a signal and time you.

From whatever condition you keep your shotgun in when stored ready and a ready stance, bust a clay. Return the shotgun to that ready condition and repeat until time runs about 2 seconds. Repeat several times, slowing down if you miss and trying to get the move smoother, not faster.

Keep returning the shotgun to ready condition EVERY time. When this is nicely grooved in, stop for a moment and breathe deeply. Now run in place until you can feel your pulse pounding to simulate an adrenaline inducing situation. Repeat the drill a few times until you’re able to duplicate your times and hits.

Next, try it with two separate clays on different laths. First from a relaxed state, then from the elevated state.

When you feel like this is grooved in, do it from the support side.

Why use clays? Instant gratification, seeing those things bust. This serves as reinforcement and aids learning. The small size helps focus.

Do not move into this next drill until you’re comfortable with doing the first two, This is much harder. Go for smoothness first, speed will come.

Have your shooting partner stand behind you and either somewhat to the right or left. Without warning, have him hand throw a clay like a Frisbee in front of you. Bust it. Have him move back and forth behind you, throwing the clay without your foreknowledge from various angles. Again, start from ready condition.

When you get good at this, have your partner throw one, then a second on report. When you can obliterate one target, acquire another and bust that one also, you’ll be well on your way.