Resting Your Gun on Your Foot

It was once common practice for trap shooters to rest the muzzle of their break action shotgun, though the practice is dying out if not outright prohibited.

Here's an example of a leather barrel rest from Beretta laced into a boot.
Here's an example of a leather barrel rest from Beretta laced into a boot.Amazon

Is it a good safety practice to rest the muzzle of a shotgun on your foot? I’ll wait while you google “shotgun on foot” images. Got it? Still have your lunch?

Okay, so, if a shotgun can punch a neat round hole through a human foot while it’s resting on your toe, why can you buy leather gun rests that loop into your shoelace?

Resting the muzzle of a break-action gun (which is clearly unable to fire when open) has traditionally been an accepted practice among trapshooters. Most shooters who use a toe pad are shooting break-action guns that are open and unable to fire when they’re on your toe. It’s a convenient way to rest your arms between shots.

The Gun Buddy
The Gun Buddy is a foam rest for your muzzle that sits on the ground. The pads have a magnet that allows you to pick them up with the barrel of your gun and transport them from station to station.shootinggunbuddy.com

However, the practice is dying out. Scholastic Clay Target Program trap events forbid resting the muzzle on your foot, and Amateur Trapshooting Association rules state “While not prohibited, the practice of resting the muzzle of a shotgun on a shooter’s toe is ill-advised and is discouraged."

Fortunately, there is a safe alternative that lets you give your arms a break without endangering your toes or breaking the rules. Any number of makers offer a flat foam pad, like the Gun Buddy above, that you can rest your muzzle on between shots.

When it’s time to rotate to the next station, you touch the muzzle of your gun to the magnet in the pad and take it with you, then step on it and lift the muzzle off at the next station.