Shotgun Instruction and Shooting Clinics


Learning to shoot a shotgun is a sometimes formidable and challenging task, but with proper instruction, it can seem quite simple. The Aspen Outfitting Company shooting program can guarantee success for practically any shooter in a fun, safe, stimulating shooting program.

Aspen Outfitting Company owner and head instructor Jon Hollinger has made shotgunning his life’s work. His career has spanned four decades, and whether it is his prowess as an upland bird and waterfowl guide, a custom gun-fitter, shotgun designer, or instructor, Jon is recognized as one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on shotguns and shooting. No less an authority than Michael McIntosh, author of several classic works on shotgunning, cites Jon Hollinger as a steady source of information for his books and articles.

With the Churchill Method of shotgun instruction, the gunner starts with the gun tucked in under the elbow, standing upright, shoulders square to the target, muzzle pointing where he thinks the target may appear.

A Level II NSCA Sporting Clays Instructor, Jon is known for his classic shotgun instruction technique. His shooting style is elegant and fundamentally sound, and is based upon the timeless, graceful concepts of world-famous English shooting instructor Robert Churchill. The Churchill Method stresses smooth, consistent, natural approach to shooting that seems effortless but is deadly efficient.

Some shooting styles teach shooters to stand in a crouch, hunched over their guns, cranking their heads sideways to somehow find their eyes over the shotgun. It’s not pretty to watch. The Churchill Method teaches the shooter to stand relaxed and upright, facing the target, and to mount the gun to the shoulder and then shrug the shoulder up. The gun is seated just below the shooter’s eye, and the shooter is standing upright with his head at a natural level. It works like magic. The shooter is facing the target, with his shoulders square to the field of fire, and the shooter is able to effortlessly track and find flying targets through a wide field of view.

The gunner pushes the gun forward enough to clear his clothing, so that he can seat the gun in the pocket of his shoulder, with the butt just below the collarbone.

The Aspen Outfitting Company shooting program is not only very educational, it’s a lot of fun. Typical sessions are half-day programs, and shooters of any ability level will be able to improve their shooting. Aspen Outfitting Company is happy to host beginning shooters, bringing them through the steps of understanding the dynamics of a shotgun, a thorough grounding in gun safety, and on to shooting. Beginning shooters start at a patterning plate to determine their eye dominance and other important physical traits of the shooter, and on to sporting clays targets where new shooters learn to mount the gun, acquire a flying target in the air, and break the target when they fire the gun. Most of our novice students find that they can break targets in the air within an hour and a half to two hours’ time after the beginning of their first lesson.

The gunner then SHRUGS his shoulder up so that the gun comes to rest right under his eye, giving him a great sighting plane and bringing the muscle mass of his shoulder behind the gun for more stability from the gun's recoil.

Of course, experienced shooters will benefit from AOC instruction as well. Let us know how you’d like to improve, and we’ll put together a custom lesson plan for you.

Experienced shooters often bring their families to us for a stress-free, successful, safe shooting program. Women and children find shooting to be a very enjoyable recreation, and we have programs tailored especially to their needs with light-recoil loads, shotguns specially sized for youth and ladies, and programs designed for rapid success in breaking targets in the air.

Corporate groups such as McDonald’s, Sun Microsystems, IBM, and many, many more large and small companies have booked shooting excursions through Aspen Outfitting Company. It’s fun recreation and a great team-building exercise. You’ll be surprised at who will surprise you with their natural shooting talent. (Hint: usually it’s not the macho guys who are the best shooters!)

Jon Hollinger is also known as a leading clinician who offers shooting instruction to groups anywhere that airplanes land. For a truly special shooting activity, call for a quote on a clinic custom designed for your shooting needs.