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Walk me through your shot, step by step

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Well, I am here to admit it. I am a terrible shot. I want to hear your step by step breath in, breathe out half way, line up the sight, squeeze the trigger...

Also, do you have any advice or tips on getting better? GI1

Thanks!

V.
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I'm not a competition shooter, just have fun on the range. Anyway my routine:

1) Get comfortable. If there's stress anywhere or if something doesn't "feel right" I'm not positioned correctly

2) Line up the sights for whatever distance, etc.

3) Inhale and hold (I've never subscribed to the exhale half way - I'm more consistent holding on inhale)

4) Squeeze trigger ever-so-slightly with finger tip so that I'm surprised when it actually fires

5) Exhale (kind of a natural reaction after a shot for me)

6) Call the shot

Advice for getting better: get a coach (even if just for a day or two to get good form) and practice, practice, practice. No matter what I'm shooting I don't really "goof off" - every shot counts and I want good form and every shot - even if I'm just having fun. Dry firing at home and plinking with a .22 are also good ways to practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, I have a Marlin M60 22lr and shoot the snot out of it... I have no problems getting a 2" group at 50 yards with Irons. For some reason if I move out to 100 yards or switch over to ar, galil, m14 my groups open up quite a bit. I have a feeling its a flinch from recoil anticipation.

Its a good idea about a coach. I need to see if there are places around DFW that shoot matches and see if I can find some one to take a look at what I am doing wrong...

V.
 

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I spent 3 days with an ex-Marine sniper in Atlanta (he's on here sometimes - cmshoot).

Best money I have ever spent - we worked on the fundamentals and it gave me a good foundation to go from there.

Even professional golfers have coaches...
 

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Sight alignment

Sight picture

Respiratory pause (at full exhale)

Focus your eye on the front sight

Focus your mind on keeping the front sight on the target

Squeeze the trigger

Hold the trigger back

Call the shot

Repeat

pg
USA2
 

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Sight alignment

Sight picture

Respiratory pause (at full exhale)

Focus your eye on the front sight

Focus your mind on keeping the front sight on the target

Squeeze the trigger

Hold the trigger back

Call the shot

Repeat

pg
USA2
All the above like polygunner said, but add natural point of aim after sight picture.

Also use a loop sling for stability.

Attend an Apple seed event if one comes to your area. Find a video on Marine Corps rifle marksmanship training. Practice, practice, practice from prone, sitting, standing and kneeling/sitting.
 

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Another fan of BRASS (altho my version is slightly different):

Breathe (consistency is the key! Hold at a consistent point)
Relax (muscles should not be tensed)
Aim (focus on the front sight!)
Stop (get stable, you're like a statue)
Squeeze (slow and steady! It MUST surprise you when it goes off! If you know when the rifle is going to go off, you will tense (anticipating recoil) and flinch.

I've used brass for so many years that it is all I hear in my head when I shoot. It will do two things for you: It will remind you of the NECESSARY steps in rifle marksmanship and will slow your pace or rate of fire a bit. I've been a firearms instructor in the military for 11 of my 19 years to this point. Brass works for most everyone I've trained, new to shooting or vets. Remember, consistency is the key. The way your hold the rifle, your position, your breathing, EVERYTHING must be consistent.
 

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Don't forget etablishing your natural point of aim! If you don't have a good NPA then you're forcing the gun.

As a competitive shooter, here's my offhand ritual:
  • Establish NPA & fine tune my position.
  • snap a round into the mag with the bolt locked to the rear.
  • shoulder the rifle. The toe of the stock goes into the same spot of my shooting coat & the support hand grasps the front of the mag.
  • release the bolt, chambering a round
  • settle cheek onto the comb of the stock. apply constant & consistent pressure
  • safety off
  • slightly dip the muzzle to make sure you aren't cross-firing
  • couple of deep breaths. let the front sight fall into a 6 o'clock hold on the target
  • use the respritory pause to break the shot and then follow through

The key to shooting well is have a consistent position, sight picture, breathing and trigger control.
 

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Everything everyone else has said!! You havent told us what position you are shooting from. If you're like me, you shoot better from prone & sitting and have more trouble with offhand. BRASS has been covered well previously, Focus on the from sight work on sight picture and allignment, if the front sight is off the width of a business card, impact will be off 6" at 200 yds.....
 

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Don't FOCUS on the front sight - if you really do that you can't see the target!
What needs to happen is being able to see BOTH the front sight AND the target clearly enough so that you have a consistent sight picture from shot to shot.
The important part of the front sight is the top horizontal edge.

Hold the rifle firmly with your trigger hand, and pull it against you shoulder.

Try different trigger finger positions to determine which gives a 'straight back' pull without disrupting the sight picture.
Don't try for an overly 'delicate trigger pull' - and train yourself to NOT have a 'surprise trigger release' - the trigger should only release when you want it to!

Practice dry firing and concentrate on SEEING exactly where the front sight is pointed whent the trigger releases.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 

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Look, so many of you are preaching consistency, which is very important and very true, but there is no consistency in technique in any of these answers. I can tell you, as a former Marine expert shooter and range coach, that the Marine Corps teaches releasing the trigger when you breath out. The reason for this, is that when you breath in, your sight alignment is going to shift vertically, meaning you have to force your alignment. Set up your sight alignment, and ensure that when you release your breath your alignment naturally falls or rises to the target. Also, a slow steady squeeze of the trigger is a must. If you pull your finger back forcefully, you will pull your shots every time. Also extremely important, is like nbkky71 said above: ensure when you are aiming, everything falls into place naturally. If you force the rifle even a slight bit, you will pull your shots.

I'm telling you, the best shooters I saw in the Marine Corps were the ones who never shot before they enlisted and were able to accept these principles. Too many people who did shooting prior to enlisting had bad habits that they brought with them. Putting a round on a target at 500 yards with iron sights is not the same as plinking around in your back yard.

The key is consistency. Controlling your breathing and squeezing the trigger slowly are absolutely important. If you can perfect these techniques, everything else falls into place. There is so much talk of accuracy on rifles, but I'd say at least 75% of hitting a target out to 600 yards is technique, 15% is the rifle, 9% is quality of your ammo, and 1% is luck :)

It is difficult to describe without demonstration, but I'm sure you can find some good videos on YouTube by Marine Marksmen. These basic techniques are not meant for the 1000yard and beyond sniper, but for the rifleman out to 600. I hope this helps.
 

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Sight alignment

Sight picture

Respiratory pause (at full exhale)

Focus your eye on the front sight

Focus your mind on keeping the front sight on the target

Squeeze the trigger

Hold the trigger back

Call the shot

Repeat

pg
USA2
Pretty much what I do but more importantly I have fun USNA
 

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Thanks everyone! I found an appleseed shoot not too far from DFW. I am going to try to make it out there with my m14 and see if I can improve!

V

O.K. This is my first post(blah)

Appleseed WILL show you the proper way to improve your shooting.

Sight picture, how to see your sights and target.

Sight alignment, how to bring THREE focal planes into adjustment.

Respiratory pause, Can you exhale exactly the same "half breath" EVERY time?

Focus your eye on the front sight, the human eye can only focus on one plane at a time.

Focus your mind on keeping the front sight on the target, nothing going on around you matters.

SQUEEEEEEZE the trigger, steady pressure.

Follow through, that projectile is moving ZERO feet per second when that sear breaks. There is a measurable amount of time between the sear breaking and the bullet leaving the barrel.

Take a mental snapshot of where the front sight was when the round went off. Pretty self explanatory.


These are what YOU have to do to yourself to improve your groups.

Equipment is secondary.

I am an IIT with The Appleseed Project. I receive no compensation for encouraging shooters to go to a 'seed.

I have seen seven year old girls to Special Forces operators on the line, and they ALL learn something.




Grumpy out.
 

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I lost all my firearms in the Rio Grande when the barge hit a sandbar and sank.
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Primary paper puncher here.....

Sight alignment

Sight picture

Respiratory pause (at full exhale)

Focus your eye on the front sight

Focus your mind on keeping the front sight on the target

Squeeze the trigger

Hold the trigger back

Call the shot

Repeat

pg
USA2
It's been working for me for years. I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks polygunner for the steps posted out. DI5
 

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The amount of knowledge and experience gained at a properly run Appleseed shoot really cannot be explained unless you experience it yourself. We all need to have folks looking at us as we try to follow the correct method of shooting a rifle, under the stress of this programs marksmanship drill routine with instant feedback to progress forward quickly. IF you go to one, try to get a 'Liberty Training Rifle' together and ring it out before you get there. Bring at a minimum 4 ten round mags, shoot a box of 500 rounds before you go to find the kinks in the LTR. If you really want to shoot well, it is the absolute best deal around. Bring your M1A for the last three AQT's on day two, so you don't waste a ton of ammo on making noise. FRG1

John
 

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Thanks everyone! I found an appleseed shoot not too far from DFW. I am going to try to make it out there with my m14 and see if I can improve!

V
Go to Terrell Gun Club and look up Coach Plumlee and ask him for some help in your shooting. I am sure will be glad to. Roy was our Coach when I shot for the State team.
 

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Yup- That's how we teach respiratory pause in the AF. Of course, all of our Combat Arms stuff is stolen/borrowed from the Army...
 
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