View Full Version : Information on proper shooting technique?

12-14-2006, 10:46 PM
I originally built both my ARs (and planning a third) because I like doing stuff like this. It is a lot of fun to do for me and relaxing. I am an avid shooter. I try to take my 1894C and XD-45 to the range at least twice a month. Once a week is a goal that I have been meeting so far. I believe I am learning. Not to the level of competing beyond my group of close friends. I do get information from guys at the range. Hopefully they know what they are doing :) I can pretty much shoot pretty good groups at 15 and 25 yards with my XD and lever gun.

I have my ARs waiting to get to angeles. I have shot them to check function and see what they would do at 25 yards. What I want to know is some information on proper shooting technique for long guns. I am having a little trouble with breathing. I just can't seem to get a real steady shot. Trigger control is o.k. It took me a second to get the feel of the trigger. It feels different then my XD or 1894, which is expected with the difference in platform.

Any suggestions, links, or book suggestions would be nice. I know a class would probably be the best bet but I just don't have time for a class right now with an 18 month old baby girl and a new daughter on the way :D

12-15-2006, 7:14 AM

Get the "Sight Alignment, Trigger Control and the Big Lie" and "Leather Sling and Shooting Positions".

Are you having problems with one specific position (sitting, prone, or standing)? Or all?

12-15-2006, 7:38 AM
Breathing technique should be the same for all types of guns. Breathe in, exhale half way, and shoot. That's the most effective way to limit hand shaking/wobble. As for the rest of it, you just need to shoot and shoot often. You'll develope a style that works for you. There are some bad habbits to avoid but if you can put "lead on head", you're doing everything right.

12-15-2006, 8:35 AM
I mainly shoot standing and benched.

12-15-2006, 8:58 AM
I mainly shoot standing and benched.

Standing is just going to require a lot of practice. The Owens book on Sight Alignment will give you a good synopsis for standing. If you're not shooting highpower, then you could employ a 'hasty' sling. It should steady you.

Benched? Are you using front and rear rests? If yes, then I don't see how breathing will affect you very much. If you're shooting off a bench without rests (just using your elbows), then you'll never shoot very well in this position. Without at least a front rest of some sort, you have minimal support, even though you think you do because you're sitting down at a bench.

There's no point shooting off a bench if you aren't using some sort mechanical rest for at least the front (pedestal, bipod, sandbags, etc). If you're just there to plink, then I guess bench shooting in this manner is fine. But don't expect any semblance of consistent accuracy.

As far as breathing, try shooting at half breath hold and full exhale hold. Usually one of those two will give you a good comfortable and steady moment to break the trigger. Breathing should come natural. The real problem in shooting is pulse control.

12-15-2006, 9:16 AM
If you want to learn how to shoot, and can make it to the range 1 or 2 times a month, the best way is to join your local highpower/CMP/service rifle club and shoot their matches.

Shooting in a match sounds intimidating, but it is really more about the learning process than anything else, and there are all levels of shooters at the match, including beginners. The people there are happy to see new shooters and will usually have training available for any level of shooter that shows up. It is a club atmosphere, so people are friendly and willing to give advice/coaching.

You will learn the basics of marksmanship, which include the things that you mentioned you wanted to work on, plus much more. After a few months, you will be amazed at what you can do out to 600 yards with iron sights and a web sling.

I am not familiar with the SoCal area, so hopefully some other member can point you to a good highpower club in your area.

12-15-2006, 9:43 AM
I plan on joining a club but not till I move to SD next year. As far as bench shooting I use a front sand bag or a bipod. I do shoot much better from a bench but I can still feel my breathing causing problems with the shot. I think I just intimidate myself a little because I know the rifle is capable of doing better then I am. It throws my concentration off a bit.

12-15-2006, 2:05 PM
The real problem in shooting is pulse control.
I've been waiting for someone to say that. My recent problem has been that my scope moves a fraction of an inch with my heartbeat :p .

I tried stopping it but I decided against that..

12-15-2006, 3:13 PM
Any suggestions, links, or book suggestions would be nice. I know a class would probably be the best bet but I just don't have time for a class right now with an 18 month old baby girl and a new daughter on the way

Close you're eyes and let rip :p Same goes for the bathroom :D

12-17-2006, 10:37 AM
Any suggestions on a sling? Single point, two point, etc?

12-17-2006, 2:34 PM
Any suggestions on a sling? Single point, two point, etc?

If you are looking at the 'tactical' style slings like the ones sold by Specter gear, then go with what is comfortable for you to carry the rifle and to go from carry to ready position. As far as shooting for accuracy, these types of slings aren't designed for supporting your hold for an accurate shot. Granted, there are ways to wrap the sling around your offarm to create a more steady shot, but for the most part, these style slings are simply meant for carrying the rifle.

So when deciding between a single or 3-point, just pick whichever feels comfortable for you in the various carry positions and allows you to comfortably transfer from the patrol to ready positions, etc.

That said, I have a 3-point sling on my 16" Colt Sporter. It's just there for looks for the most part, since I don't actually use the rifle in 'the field', as it were.

I do have a Specter single point on my Remington 870 with a quick detach. It's also a nice sling for carrying a long gun and allows easy transfer from the rifle to a sidearm.

12-17-2006, 9:28 PM
I should have been more clear. I was looking for a sling to support my shot. All I see is single, 2 and 3 point slings.

12-17-2006, 9:38 PM
The standard sling that goes from the front to rear swivels gives you the most field expedient 'hasty' sling support. When I say 'hasty', I mean somehow wrapping the sling around/across the supporting arm's forearm section creating a support point. The next best would be the 3 point sling since it would allow the same thing. A single point sling doesn't allow this since it attaches to the rear section of the rifle (between the receiver and stock).

Then of course, you could go with a web sling or 1903 NM style leather sling and use the highpower methods of slinging up a rifle (see the Ray-Vin website for instructions for both). Of course, these are not 'field expedient' methods of sling support.

12-17-2006, 10:17 PM
Breathing technique should be the same for all types of guns. Breathe in, exhale half way, and shoot.

I would definitely not suggest that to a beginner. Pulling the trigger, especially on a rifle depends on being consistent. Exhaling half way, unless you can gauge exactly what halfway is consistently will throw your shot off if you're sitting at the bench, prone unsupported, standing, and kneeling. It's easiest for the beginner to take a shot at either a full inhale or exhale, without holding your breath. Holding your breath is bad. You want to inhale and exhale without holding your breath, and shooting at the natural pause.

Learning to shoot half-breath is more of a tactical exercise when you need to practice taking multiple shots in a relatively short duration, and you don't pause your breath for that either.