Pro-Tip: How Not to Fire a 12 Gauge Pistol or Sawed-Off Shotgun


Click here for a short video on how not to fire a 12 gauge pistol/sawed-off shotgun. The video shows the shooting firing with a less than firm grip on the firearm. Shotguns cartridges can develop considerable recoil. Without a firm grip, and only using one hand, the firearm flies out of the shooter’s hand and smacks him in the face.

It could have been worse. Occasionally a shooter with a weak grip will find that the firearm escapes his grasp while the trigger finger stays engaged. The firearm then may fire one or more shots as it flips around. In a small number of cases, it leads to the shooter’s demise.

You can see that this shooter is inexperienced and fearful by the body posture. He leans back away from the gun, attempting to put his body as far from it as possible. This moves his center of gravity back toward the edge of his base of support, making it easy for him to be tipped off balance to the rear.

Experienced shooters lean into the gun, so that recoil moves them onto their base instead of off of it. With a firearm with significant recoil, use two hands to help control it. This is especially worthwhile if you haven’t fired it before, and don’t know how much recoil will be generated.

Once you experience the recoil, you will have an idea of what to expect, and what might be necessary to control it. Be wary of others who have fired guns and then give them to you to “try” if they may have significant recoil.

It is not unknown for pranksters to fire a gun with reduced loads, then to hand it to the unwary with full power loads. This is a very bad practice, but it happens. Some people like to play “practical jokes.” It’s a deadly serious matter when firearms are involved.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Gun Watch


  1. avatar rc says:

    Uhhhh…is it normal practice to just blow off your sawed off shotgun (I’m totes sure this dude has a tax stamp) in the neighborhood while walking down the street? I’m guessing this is from Chiraq.

    1. avatar Texheim says:

      English is not spoken in the video

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Or Chicago. Lots of ebonics though.

    2. avatar M2AP says:

      I guess it is if the houses are abandoned, the remaining residents don’t call the cops, and/or the cops take 24 hours to show up if they do at all. Detroit is another candidate.

      1. avatar Edward R Burton says:

        In my personal experience, that alley is far to quaint and charming of a location to be found anywhere in Detroit.

  2. avatar Arc says:

    A whippet gun is on my buy list when the NFA and GCA are disposed of!

    1. avatar Warren says:

      Because that’s such a sure thing.

  3. avatar mk101008 says:

    Switching from the AK and 9 busting a double cap gangsta style.

    A teachable moment for a soon to be dead black man.

  4. Well I’ve seen this video several times on FB gun groups. All my witty comments have been said…Darwin candidate I see.

  5. avatar LarryinTX says:

    You can’t use both hands on a gun, how would you hold your crotch?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      That there is funny!

    2. avatar John says:

      near impossible to hold it sideways two handed. gotsta be one handered. Break yo self, foo!!!!!

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    12 Guage?

    1. avatar Katy says:

      It’s a new term to the industry, sometimes it’ll be spelled wrong. Cut our fearless editor some slack.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      It should read: “.12 guage”

  7. avatar GS650G says:

    He needs a door to fire through Biden Style.

  8. avatar MLee says:

    I saw James Caan (Mississippi) do it just fine in El Dorado. What a wussy this guy in the video is!

    1. avatar Rick the Bear (now in NH!!) says:

      “James Caan (Mississippi) do it just fine in El Dorado.”

      Hey, at least Allan Badillion Trahern used with hands. 8>)

  9. avatar dlj95118 says:

    I just watched the video 10 times, and chuckled at every view.

    Think I’ll go watch it again!

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Me too. It kept replaying and I kept laughing.

  10. avatar John Thomas says:

    of course, he would be a pens fan, wouldnt he?

  11. avatar Martin says:

    Well, I _have_ fired a 20 gauge pistol, namely a replica howdah pistol. A .44 Mag revolver has next to no recoil compared to that black powder beast. A full load, designed to give one a fighting chance against a charging tiger, actually gave me a bleeding bruise once when my one-handed grip was too weak.

    So I’m kind of disinclined to test a 12 gauge pistol…

  12. avatar Shawn says:

    Range seems to have a very realistic looking urban neighborhood.

  13. avatar Bud Harton says:

    and the video is…….where?

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      First line, second word.
      Click on the word “here”.

  14. avatar ^Sammy says:

    That video is hi-effin-larious. the “Shotty” damn near knocked this tug’s drawers the rest of the way off! OUTSTANDING!

  15. avatar pete says:

    Leaked footage from the next, dramatically underfunded Mad Max sequel?

  16. avatar jsallison says:

    He’s holding it right side up. Where’s a technical advisor when you need one?

  17. avatar Southern Cross says:

    A 12-guage has about the same recoil pulse as a .375 H&H, which is something I would not want to fire one-handed.

  18. avatar Bohucka says:

    That there is some funny shee-it!

  19. avatar frntncntr says:

    He’s obviously not a thug or a gang member. At least not a real one. Real ones know better and get plenty of practice. This dip shit probably never fired a gun in his life. But even those proficient can have their dip shit moments.

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