Several weeks back I drove up to Freeport, Maine to take a Shotgun Basics class for women. It was a sunny day, and after many days of rain, it was a nice ride. Though I got lost and was a tad late, I got there in time to receive detailed instructions.
The first thing I had to learn was that I was left eye dominant. Hence, I am supposed to cradle the gun on my left shoulder. ( I realize now that I hold my Civil War musket in the wrong arm) I also found out that most women are cross dominant (opposite of their handedness), whereas most men are right hand/right eye dominant. (Evolution-wise, in my opinion it probably has something to do with holding infants)
Also I learned that you lean forward into the shot, & rest your cheek on the gun handle. You are supposed to keep both eyes open! This can be a bit intimidating, & awkward.
Throughout the afternoon, we shot numerous bullets from a 20 gauge shotgun, at clay discs. I'm not really sure what 20 gauge means, but I do know the gun had enough kick for me. The first time I took a shot, I stood back in shock. My hands were quivering, & I felt like my body had sustained an impact. "Wow!" I felt a sense of power, but the shooting also hurt my shoulder. (I was sore for a week)
I turned out to be a pretty good shot. I especially did well when the target came from the right side.
It was an adventure, and something I had never done before. But I don't think I'll take up the hobby seriously, or go hunting anytime soon.. I do want to shoot a pistol, though.