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How to Skip Buckshot: Ricochet Shooting a Shotgun


Skip Shooting a Shotgun
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In today’s article on Skip Shooting a shotgun we are going to talk about a technique taught at a particular state correction academty for dealing with riots.

While most of us will never have to worry about dealing with inmate riots, the ability for one man with a shotgun to be able to hit multiple assailants with one shot may be useful.  Gabe Suarez, also has a article on Skipping Buckshot, and besides TCA, is probably the only guy still teaching this viable technique.

We have covered in other videos the concept that while the column of shot fired from a shotgun does spread, it is not as extreme as Hollywood shows in the movies. Basically the shot spreads an inch every 10 feet or so. The low mass of the individual shot also cause it to loose potential energy very rapidly. Taken together, by the time the shot spreads enough to hit 3 or 4 bad guys, it won’t have enough energy to actually stop them.

How Skip Shooting Works

However, as the video demonstrates, if you shoot your shotgun at a low angle, and hit solid ground a foot or two in front of your target, the rounds will “skip” up and spread. Additionally, if your firing at asphalt, gravel, or other like substance, some ground debris will also be added to the ricocheting shot.

Now, before we get illusions of ninjas and super secret squirrel stuff (S4) take into consideration the basic laws of physics, and realize that action has a reaction. By spreading the shot in such an extreme manner there is an additional loss of velocity. Also, depending on the distance from the target, the angle, and how far you hit the ground in front of the target the maximum height you will get impact on the target will vary. It will be somewhere from the shins to the hips.

Less shot will impact the target, with less velocity, in the bad guy’s legs instead of vital organs. That is a very significant trade off for hitting more than one guy at a time.

While I think this is a good technique to keep in the brain housing group, if I was in a situation where I was in fear for my life by multiple attackers in close proximity I think I would be better off shooting the biggest threat center mass than peppering multiple guys.

Published inSelf Defense, Security, & Shooting


  1. DesertRatJak DesertRatJak

    David, one extra point. A friend was in the USN (nam era). Training stateside for defense against anti-war riots, they were taught shotgun skipping. Hitting the ground does reduce velocity, but in a trade-off, if the surface is hard, ie. concrete, asphalt, etc., the shot is flattened and sharpened. It might be going slower, but instead of BBs, you now have small, round razors. Still not fatal usually, but a lot of surface damage, major cutting and slicing of the legs resulting in lots of blood. This can dramatically reduce the drive of those not hit.

  2. Thanks for the information here. I’m a shotgun man myself, and there are some ideas here I had not thought of.

    I think the old tried and true shotun is a beautiful thing, falling somewhere near the status of a man’s best friend. Shotgunning is an art, and a skill that takes many years to master.

    On the other hand, it is also a most versatile and effective weapon for those with only basic training. It can make a statement too, as only a big load of buckshot can do.

    Three cheers for this sometimes overlooked defensive tool.

    • Thanks, by the way, you have an interesting site, I have researched pigeons before, and would like to know more about raising squab.

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