Some folks are naturals when it comes to shooting a weapon accurately. When you watch the movies, it seems all the heroes in the movie can just shoot from the hip and hit the target dead centre, while the villains can’t hit a barn door!
Reality is that for most of us, shooting accurately is a skill. Like any other skill it needs to be developed and practised to achieve success. If you are completely new to shooting, the best course of action would be to go down to your local shooting range and have a professional instructor teach you the basics of firing a weapon effectively.
However all of us, whether novices or experiences shooters, can use some refresher tips to help us shoot a little more accurately. Below I list some tips that should help you to sharpen your shooting skills. Some you have probably heard of before. But sometimes it helps to see them again to remind you of the basics that you should be following when shooting.
The key to effective shooting is having a repeatable process. If you have been in the Army you were probably taught the BRASS acronym, which stands for Breath, Relax, Aim, Squeeze and Shoot.
When you are at the shooting range practising, focus on and complete each step individually. Take your time and do not rush things. After a while this process will be embedded in your mind and you will start doing it automatically. By employing this process, you will focus better and in doing so aim a lot better.
Squeeze – Don’t Pull
Folks who do not have much experience with shooting or have not perhaps had someone teach them proper shooting technique, often tend to pull at the trigger rather than squeezing the trigger.
When you pull the trigger, it will cause a jerking action that will take your weapon off target. However when you smoothly squeeze the trigger, the weapon should stay on target a lot easier.
Dry firing is a technique where you go through your whole process of firing off a shot, except you do it all without any live ammo.
Not only does dry firing save you a lot of money in ammo that is not being wasted, but it also helps you to practise your shooting form. When practicing with live fire, as soon as you pull the trigger, the firearm will start to recoil. This makes it rather difficult to see how much your sight alignment was affected by your trigger pull. During a dry firing practice, there is no recoil. Therefore, it becomes easier for you to detect if there was any movement during trigger pull.
If you can afford it, it might be worth adding a laser sight to your gun when dry firing. The laser will be able to give a better visual indication of how much you are moving off or staying on target.
Be careful to check your weapon’s owner manual whether it is all right to do dry firing with the weapon before you start dry firing with it.
You may have noticed that when you shoot two or more shots in a row, that your barrel dips after the first shot. This is due to anticipation or flinch. This is obviously not a good thing if you want to hit the target consistently with several shots.
An easy drill to try out that eliminates anticipation is the Single Shot Drill. All you do is load 1 round into your weapon and remove the magazine. Fire your shot at the target as you would normally do. Keeping your form after the first shot, squeeze the trigger for a second shot (this time there is no ammo fed into the gun, so no shot goes off). Watch your sight for dipping. Keep practising this drill to work on your follow through when firing several shots.
Embed Muscle Memory
Athletes who depend a lot on technique will tell you how valuable muscle memory is to achieving consistency. The same goes for shooting. You do not want to hit the target 3 out of 5 times. You want to hit it centre 5 out of 5 times!
To achieve consistency in shooting, you need to develop muscle memory. The simplest way to do that is to practise. A lot! When practising, focus on your form and follow your repeatable processes until it is ingrained into you. If you practise enough, you muscle memory will start to kick in and you will automatically use the right form and technique.
Not all of us have the money to just go shooting off a lot of shots though. If you can find some .22 calibre ammo and .22 calibre gun, that would be great as .22 ammo is a lot cheaper than higher calibre ammo. So you can do a lot more practising than you would be able to with other ammo.
What Works For You?
We really hope this article was helpful to some of you out there. If you have some tips that you have tried and found really works, please share them with the rest of us. We would love to hear from you!
his article was contributed by Joe from SmokingBarrelUSA.com. Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community.