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You and your shotgun are supposed to be one. Your hands form the vital link between flesh and bone, and steel and wood that makes the gun an extension of your body.
Your hands insure that your gun shoots where you look, that it doesn’t beat you up too badly, and that it doesn’t tangle in your clothes as you bring it into action. You’ve got to hand it to them: along with your eyes, hands are your most important shooting asset. Here’s how they (should) hold the gun, and what they do with it once they’ve got a grip.
Getting a Grip
When you’re shopping for a gun, be mindful of its gripping surfaces. Shooters with smaller hands may find that a pistol grip’s curve is too wide to allow them to comfortably reach the trigger or the safety, especially if that safety is a pushbutton at the front of the trigger guard. The growing number of women’s guns on the market are stocked with smaller hands and shorter fingers in mind, and you may find them worth a look if you struggle with grips made for larger hands.
Pay attention to the thickness of the stock’s wrist (the part you wrap your fingers around) and to the bulk of the forend to be sure your front-hand grip is comfortable. For what it’s worth, I personally think bulkier grips feel awkward, but are easy to shoot well with, as they keep me from over-controlling the gun.