Actionable advice on improving your marksmanship is something we can all use now and then. As many of you know I am working towards personal goals of being able to compete in practical shooting sports like IDPA and 3 Gun. The path to excellence in these sports is grounded in mastery of the fundamentals.
The US Army has tried and true methods of training personnel for competency with firearms. They offer four focus areas that cover proficient rifle marksmanship: Steady Postion, Sight Picture, Breath Control and Trigger Press. Let’s break down each focus area with some details:
- When you breathe the rilfe will move. For that reason it’s important to learn and always train using a firing rhythm that incorporates breath control.
- As shown above you should press (not squeeze) the trigger during your natural respiratory pause.
- Once this becomes comfortable you can go faster by pressing the trigger at the top of your respiratory cycle and the bottom of the cycle. Or even holding your breath at will to accomplish this.
- It’s pretty much the same technique here as you use for a pistol. The goal being a consistent press of the trigger backward as straight as possible. Two common methods of finger placement ae depicted above (it doesn’t matter if you’re firing a shotgun, a rifle or a pistol- allure the same technique). The 1st joint method is what works best for me, YMMV.
- Remember that trigger press is the last human input to the firearm before the shot breaks. All the steps above can be mastered and blowing this can cause a miss. That’s why practice is so very important- and remember that dry fire practice can happen whenever it’s convenient without a range trip. Just make sure to pull the blinds before you practice.