Thanks to Hollywood, shotguns might be some of the least understood firearms available today. There are many dangerous or simply incorrect myths surrounding this type of firearm that need to be dispelled.
In the UK, in order to possess a shotgun certificate (and therefore a shotgun and ammunition) the police need to be satisfied that you can possess a shotgun without danger to the public safety or the peace.
With these stipulations (and others which we won’t be covering), the majority of shotgun owners in the UK are well informed, safe individuals that will know everything about these myths and why they’re false. However, just in case you’re not as informed as you should be, or are looking to get a shotgun certificate in future, here’re a few myths that need to be busted.
1.Shotguns can’t go wrong
One myth or misconception that seems to be ever growing and perpetual is that shotguns rarely malfunction. The notion comes from break-action shotguns that outwardly appear much simpler than their pump-action counter parts. However, this assumption can lead owners to feel that ALL shotguns require less maintenance, which simply isn’t true.
The internal workings of Pump Action and Semi-Automatic Shotguns are just as complicated and prone to neglect as any other firearm. They are prone to short-stroke, sensitive to ammunition and require proper maintenance.
Shotguns are firearms; they require quality maintenance (and maintenance products) to ensure their continued reliable function.
2.You Don’t have to aim a shotgun
People that aren’t too familiar with shotguns may assume that you simply need to point a shotgun ‘near’ the target and you’ll hit it. There’s an assumption that straight out of the barrel the shot spreads out by a few meters and you’ll hit anything in front of you.
However, this simply isn’t the case. In our recent blog, we talk about shotgun chokes and how they affect the spread of a shotgun, read it now for a good idea of how shot spreads over distance.
Whilst shotguns do spread out considerably over distance, you still need to be accurate with your shots. If firing over longer distances, such as at bird or clay, a tighter grouping is preferred to be accurate over distance.
3.Shotguns have a Short range
Leading on from shot spread and distance shooting, a myth perpetuated by film and videogame is that shotguns are harmless after 60+ meters or so. Video games would have you believe that a shotgun blast becomes next to useless at those slightly further ranged.
In our article that explains everything about shotgun chokes, we talk a little about effective range. It’s important to understand that simply because a weapon has an effective range; it doesn’t mean that it’s not lethal past those ranges. The effective range simply outlines the limits of the gun’s effectiveness (for a shotgun, this is when the majority of the shot hit’s the target). However, the shot is still travelling with enough energy to be lethal, just not accurately or predictably.
Firearm ownership is about having the utmost respect for the weapon and ensuring that you are a 100% safe gun owner, at all times. The shooting community is a friendly one (contrary to popular belief), if you’re not certain of something, ask a question. Rather a safe person asking a simple question than a dangerous gun owner afraid to ask.