In a recent article I talked about how practicing your safety plan can help you react instinctively to danger. The same goes when learning to be an accurate shooter. Here are some fundamentals that can help build consistency in your shooting practices.
Aiming. Sounds simple? It is, sort of. Aiming consists of two components: sight alignment and sight picture. Sight alignment is how you unify your front sight with your rear sight. Align the front post within the rear notch of the rear sight with an equal amount of light on each side of the post. Sight picture refers to where you place your sights on your target, or where you want your hit to be placed. If for some reason you feel that you are aligned, yet consistently grouping the majority of your hits off of your bullseye, you may need to adjust your sights. Move your rear sight in the direction you want your shots to go. With all of that said, you have 3 objects you are working with – target, front sight, and rear sight. Your eyes can only focus on one object at a time. So where should your focus be? Front sight.
Hold Control. This could quite possibly be the hardest fundamental to achieve. Simply put, hold control refers to keeping your firearm as still as possible while maintaining sight alignment and sight picture while firing the shot. This is the piece of the puzzle that must fit if you want to accurately hit your target.
Breath Control. There are a lot of schools of thought about breath control. To hold your breath or not? It’s up to you. Here are some options. 1) Inhale, stop breathing, pull trigger. 2) Inhale, completely exhale, stop breathing, pull trigger. 3) Inhale, exhale halfway, pull trigger. 3) Do not stop breathing, pull trigger. Your choice. Whichever technique works best for you is your best strategy.
Trigger Control. No choice in the matter here. Poor trigger control equals poor shooting. Think of the trigger as the plunger of an eye dropper. With your target being your eye, if you quickly and sloppily press the plunger on your dropper, chances are you will not hit your eye, i.e. target. Same goes with your trigger. Slow and steady does it. Get in a hurry, and get bad results.
Follow Through. It’s imperative to control all above fundaments before, during, and after each shot. Your shot does not end when you pull the trigger. Once you take a shot, reset, breathe, realign your sights, come back to sight picture, hold steady, and squeeze the trigger. Follow through should happen after every shot.
Practice makes progress. Continue to work on your fundaments to improve your technique and you will achieve a great deal of shooting success. Happy shooting!