One thing I see people asking about on a regular basis is what kind of accuracy expectations they should have at varied ranges. It’s not an unreasonable question and especially with newer shooters, it happens to be on the forefront of people’s minds as they delve into Precision Rifle Shooting. Basically people want to know what their accuracy expectations should be. Is just hitting the target sufficient? Or should they be looking for more than that? If you can shoot a 1 Minute of Angle group at 100 yards, what kind of accuracy expectations should you have at 500 yards? Or 1000? This is the topic we’re going to be tackling in this article and hopefully that will give people a better idea of how they are performing and whether or not more improvement or instruction is warranted!
Shooting with both eyes open is another one of those topics that newer shooters seem to have issues with. Yes, that’s a photo from a movie, but it illustrates exactly what we’re going to discuss, shooting with both eyes open. Once again I believe the real issue is improper prior habits. Somewhere along the line Grandpa or somebody told you to close your non dominant eye so it is easier to see through the eye behind the optic. The problem is, that practice is not conducive to accurate shooting, especially at distance. By closing one eye you are contracting a muscle and that requires you to split your concentration between keeping the eye closed and making the shot. It creates muscular strain which can be distracting as well.
When discussing the fundamentals follow through really deserves some attention. Like the other fundamentals of marksmanship, follow through is not all that complicated, but easily goofed without some practice and attention paid to what you are doing. The easiest example I have for a lack of proper follow through that everyone has probably seen is what I call “gopher head.” If you have seen somebody take a shot on a rifle with magnified optics pop their head up immediately after the shot, you’ve seen gopher head, and a lack of proper follow through.
What is Precision Rifle Shooting? Excellent question! Precision Rifle Shooting is a fast growing sport that focuses on accurate rifle fire directed at targets of challenging size or distance. Precision Rifle Shooting often speaks of how accurate a rifle is or how large a target is by discussing it in Minutes Of Angle (MOA). MOA refers to Minutes of Angle which is an angular measurement system that relates size to distance. 1 Minute of Angle, or 1 MOA, is considered the standard accuracy minimum that a rifle used for Precision Rifle Shooting should be capable of. What does that mean, though?
One of the fundamentals that most people need just a touch of tuning up on, is trigger control. As far as the concept goes, this is not an overly complicated one. Proper trigger control dictates that the shooter makes contact with the trigger shoe with the pad of their trigger finger, which is cocked at a good 90 degree angle from their hand and forearm so as to exert even pressure directly to the rear against the trigger shoe until the gun fires. As the trigger breaks and the gun fires the shooter should maintain rearward pressure on the trigger and keep it pinned back until the recoil of the rifle has subsided. At that point pressure can be eased off the trigger so that it may reset or the bolt can be run to cock the trigger and chamber a new round.
Breathing gets a lot of attention when people want to learn how to shoot farther than most people think is possible. It is important as a fundamental of marksmanship but it is actually a lot simpler to do properly than some of the other fundamentals. All you really need to do as a new shooter learning how to shoot long range with regard to breathing is adopt a method of breathing that allows for consistency, and break your shot at the same point in the breathing cycle. Sounds easy, right? It is! The problem is the ‘grandpappy’ methods that a lot of people learn growing up.
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