Speed Load a Shotgun

In the sport of 3-gun the ability to quickly load a shotgun separates the amateurs from the experts.

Among the firearms used in 3-gun, the shotgun is the toughest to master. Not because the targets are more difficult, but because in order to do well with a shotgun, the competitor needs to be able to load it fast. Shooters have come up with techniques over the years that allow them to stuff shotguns with shells quickly. These methods involve grabbing multiple shells at once with either the strong (trigger) hand or the weak (lead) hand.

At this writing, the “load two” technique has quite a following. The shells are placed in rows stacked two deep, with the shells in the top and bottom contacting each other. The rounds are positioned so that the brass is facing up. They are grabbed two at a time, with the thumb placed on the brass of the top shell, though some can grab four shells at once. With the shotgun rolled over so that the loading port is facing up, the shooter loads two shells, grabs two more, and repeats. If grabbing four rounds at once, the shooter loads the first pair, then the second pair, and then grabs more shells.

One key is to hold the shotgun so that the loading port is close to the shell carrier to minimize the amount of motion it takes to get the rounds into the gun. With practice, a shooter can load 10 rounds in 8 seconds or less.