|The following article was written by Larry Albach, aka
Bladerunner (SASS Life #1538) - a long-time, successful, meticulous shooter.
Analyze what you are trying to
accomplish in your shooting program, then plan a direct, positive approach
to your desires, such as: physical conditioning, mental preparation, dry
firing, trigger control, sight picture, breathing and relaxing. Before
shooting, imagine the sights in your mind. Close your eyes and try
to keep the sights aligned in your mind's eye. Imagine the shots
going off and the positive way you are reacting to the rhythm of your shot
string. Imagine your perfect recovery and preparation for the next
Conditions such as wind, rain,
heat, dust, and cold can adversely affect your shooting. Whatever
the adversity, it affects every shooter on the line to the same extent,
ignore them! Let everyone else gripe, moan and complain about the
conditions. But you concentrate on the job at hand. Make each
shot your best shot. Be sure you and your equipment are ready for
the job at hand, shooting match-winning scores.
It is extremely useful and important
to match winning scores. Proper breaching relaxes the body, calms
the mind and lowers the pulse rate. All these points are extremely
important. Within three to ten seconds after breathing deeply, the
pulse rate lowers and this is the best time to start the string of fire.
Whenever there is a break on the firing line, use this time to your advantage
by breathing deeply. Never let a slow down in the course of fire
rattle you. Welcome it, use it to your advantage by breathing deeply
and relaxing, letting the tensions drain from your body.
The proper stance is the one
that puts you in the proper alignment with the target so that you are in
a comfortable position and not relying on your muscles for support.
Use the bonds and ligaments of your body to support you - not your muscles!
When you use muscles, they take oxygen, then the heart beats faster, causing
a faster pulse, which gives you a larger arc of movement. Your guns
come up pointing naturally to the center on the target. If not, shift
the position of your feet right or left to bring the line of sight to the
center of the target.
ARC OF MOVEMENT
There is a natural "arc of movement"
when your arm is extended, which is impossible to eliminate it. But
this can be minimized by a lot of diligent practice on your part.
By strengthening your arms, you can decrease this movement to a point that
is barely noticeable. The important thing to realize is this exists
and to work with it and not against it. By proper breathing and trigger
squeeze, you can get off your shots when the arc is at its minimum.
Never make the mistake of snatching an X, or jerking the trigger when the
sights are in perfect alignment, you only succeed in throwing the shots
The grip on the gun should be
a good, firm, solid grasping of the weapon, with equal pressure on both
sides of the weapon. This grip should be the same always, or a change
of impact points will occur. The placement of the trigger finger
should be the same each time, with the trigger centered on the center of
the pad of your trigger finger. The proper grip must become automatic
when drawing by the weapon so that no shifting of the weapon is done while
bringing the weapon into firing position. Don't grip the gun so tightly
that you shake, but tight enough that the recoil is transmitted to the
A very important point in squeezing
the trigger is that you use a steadily mashing pressure. Think the
trigger back in a straight line so that when the shot goes off it is a
surprise. Never anticipate a shot. Let them all break as a
surprise. Remember: align the sights, settle into your normal aiming
area and exert positive, uninterrupted, constantly increasing pressure,
straight to the rear until the hammer falls.
It is very important that enough
shots be fired in practice so that you can establish a rhythm in firing
a string of shots. Recovery after each shot is of primary importance
so that the sights are aligned as fast as possible for each succeeding
shot. Take all the time allowed for each string, as it's to your
advantage. Watch the front sight always during recovery so that it
is in alignment for the next shot.
Follow through is simply the
immediate recovery of the weapon after each shot is fired, so that you
are in the same exact position for each succeeding shot. This means
the sights are in perfect alignment, the eye is focused on the front sight,
the grip on the weapon has not varied, but remains the same. All
conditions should remain the same for each shot.
After the firing of each shot,
you should be able to call the placement of each shot. If not, then
you are not concentrating on your front sight.
VARIOUS CAUSES AND THEIR EFFECTS
Overeating causes the heart to
beat faster, opens up the arc of movement. Eat a small meal before
a match. Coffee is a stimulant and causes the heart to beat faster.
Smoking causes a faster heart beat, one cigarette after breakfast speeds
the heart up for half a day. Alcohol slows the reactions and coordination
is impaired. Colas contain caffeine and speed up the heart beat.
But the most important fundament of shooting is: HAVE
(Thanks Bladerunner. Some of us can use all the help we