Whether you are just getting your first gun and starting out or you have been shooting a gun for many years, these tips can help you become a better marksman. One of the main ways to becoming a better, more accurate marksman is having the initial understanding that there’s always room for improvement and that you will gain nothing from being overly proud about your past experiences. Acting like you know everything there is to know about being a great marksman and not being open to others helpful instruction can prove to be extremely detrimental to your ability to make strides to improve your skills.
Here are some helpful tips that will help you take the necessary steps to improve your marksman skills.
- Control Your Breathing
Being able to control your breathing is something that you will need to get down before taking the next step in being an accurate shooter. This is because something as simple as breathing in (chest expanding) can cause the barrel of the rifle to rise, and exhaling can cause the barrel to dip. Being able to have complete control and awareness of each of your breaths can decrease the movement in your barrel and allow you to be accurate more consistently.
Some suggest that the simplest way to fix breathing issues is to take your shot between breaths. In order to do this, before you are about to pull the trigger, breathe in, breathe out and then in that natural pause between breaths, pull the trigger. You can practice this by focusing on your breathing and noticing the natural pause between each breath. Sometimes when people do this, they wait too long to pull the trigger, and this could cause your muscles to shake if you are waiting too long to start your next breath.
Others suggest taking a deep breath and only letting about half of it out, or take half a breath and hold it. Both of these tips can help you control your breathing, but practice both of them and see which one you like better. Decide on one technique that you will use in order to be consistent.
- Have Control of the Trigger
The first step of controlling the trigger is to take note about what part of your finger that you naturally use to pull the trigger. Being aware of your original habit can help you make a conscious adjustment to pull the trigger in a way that doesn’t affect the lateral accuracy of your shooting. Most people have the tendency to pull the trigger using the joint of their first finger. This causes the bullets to be inaccurate in a lateral fashion because the gun is being moved to the side of the target by the pad of the fingertip. Ideally, you should be using the center of the first pad of your index finger to pull the trigger straight back.
Tip: Hold a pencil vertically and practice pulling back on it in both of the ways described to see how the placement of the trigger on your finger can affect the movement of the gun.
- Don’t Anticipate the Shot
Being able to realize that the act of you anticipating the shot is what is causing your inaccuracies is not simple. Anticipating the shot can cause you to shoot a random pattern of bullets on the target. The act of the gun going off should surprise you because if you are anticipating the shot, it will cause you to flinch. In order to combat this issue, pull the slack out of the trigger before fully pulling the trigger.
- Follow Through
Following through on your shot will help you maintain a good sight picture for when the sight returns to its original position after recoil. Following through means to hold the trigger in the back position after you pull it and then slowly release the pressure off of the trigger to return it to its normal position. If you do not do this, the gun will be more likely to jerk and cause the current shot or the next shot to be inaccurate.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Consistently practicing the good habits that were talked about is the best way to becoming a better marksman. These tips will help you become more consistent and accurate shooter. However, please no practice your marksmanship skills if you do not plan to educate yourself about all of the safety precautions involved.
There are many ways and place to go to practice and perfect your marksman skills. There are public land areas that you can go to, as long as you are in an area that allows shooting. If you choose this option, be sure to respect and be aware of your surroundings and fellow shooters. Another option is to go to an indoor shooting range and practice your skills there. You can also become a member at a range to gain access to other perks and benefits.
Having a membership to a gun range provides you with additional benefits of obtaining range space, and you will always have the opportunity to work on the skills that we talked about. The membership gives you access to discounts on testing firearms, and special access to events. Belonging to a range also gives you access to different technologies that will aid you in perfecting your skills. Join a range or gun club today to become a better marksman!