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Opening Your Over-and-Under Automatically

Let’s use opening your over-and-under shotgun as an example. You don’t have to consciously tell your hands where to hold the gun and you don’t have to look at your thumb to make sure it hits the top lever and exerts the correct amount of pressure sideways to enable the gun to open.

Both of your hands work in unison with each other to smoothly open the gun without you thinking about it. You catch your empties and toss them in the trash can, and if you’re shooting another pair, your chosen hand reaches into your pocket or pouch and grasps two shells and inserts them into the chambers. You close the gun, do your ritual, call “pull” and shoot the next pair.

During this process, all you thought about was the need to load the gun, and the rest of the process happened below your consciousness or without you thinking about it because of the number of times you have done it. Your only thought was “load the gun” and the brain just fills in the rest of the actions.

Skill is what happens when you are not thinking.