5 Tips For Becoming A Better Rifle Marksman

Shooting a gun is a relatively easy task. Hitting a target is a bit harder. Luckily, there is a short list of common mistakes that are easily fixed once they are identified. After reading our list, grab your favorite gun and hit our Los Angeles shooting range and practice until all the bad habits are trained out.

Don’t be Too Proud

Being too proud can be the biggest barrier keeping you from becoming a better marksman. Instructors have noticed that is easiest to properly train someone who has never fired a weapon. They seem to adapt quicker to instruction because they lack any previous notions about marksmanship. They start with a blank slate that new skills can flourish on. If you have previous training you may have some bad habits that are keeping your from accepting new information. Even the best marksmen in the world are always looking for ways to improve.

Focus On Your Breathing

Breathing may seem like something that should come second nature to you but it is one of the most common reasons for a missed shot. When you breath in your chest expands, when you exhale it contracts. This causes the barrel to rise and dip. When you collect your target check to see if your shots are striking in up and down patterns. If so, your breathing is the culprit.

Control your breathing. You’ll find that there is a natural pause after an exhale right before taking another breath. Practice breathing in and breathing out to find the natural pause and take your shot. Be aware that if you wait to long during this pause your muscles will start to shake. In this case, just relax, inhale deeply, exhale, and shoot.

Observe Your Trigger Squeeze

Many people, including maybe you, use the first joint of their index finger to pull a trigger. You can easily spot this mistake. To correct it use the pad on the tip of your trigger finger instead. Practice this with a pencil — hold the pencil in your non-firing hand, using the pad of your finger pull back on the pencil. It should come straight back instead of to the side and back as it would if you are using the joint.

Maintaining A Good Sight Picture

Another common mistake involves sight picture which is the alignment of the front and rear sight. You may have a tendency to change sight picture because you don’t place your weapon against your cheek in the same place every time. Make sure that your cheek-to-stock-weld is always the same and that will ensure a good sight picture.

Anticipating The Shot

Anticipating the shot isn’t easy to identify and will only become evident once your other bad habits have been eliminated. If you’ve eliminated all the other possibilities but are still seeing random pattern of strikes on your target than anticipating the shot is your problem. When you pull the trigger and are anticipating the recoil or noise of the rifle you may cringe or close your eyes. This will cause you to lose control of your muscles and your sight picture. To control this try pulling the tension out of the trigger before you completely pull it.

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