Becoming an accurate shooter is a lifelong process. Accuracy is something that should be honed and maintained over time.
But if you’re just beginning, you can follow these five tips to become an accurate shooter a little more quickly and avoid making mistakes that hamstring your progress.
Practice Tips to Be an Accurate Shooter
1. Breathe Steadily
Breathing? What does that really matter when it comes to shooting accurately?
Actually, how well you can steady your breathing can seriously impact whether your shots are grouped tightly or whether you miss your hunting target.
As we breathe in and out, our chests expand and contract, affecting the elevation of our arms and shoulders, the sway of our weapons, and so on.
Learning how to breathe smoothly and minimize the effects that it has on your stance and barrel position is key if you want to hit your targets consistently and take accurate shots in a tense situation, like a self-defense scenario.
2. Master Good Stance and Grip
Similarly, any accurate shooter must first master correct shooting stance and grip discipline, even more than they need to become more accurate with their hand-eye coordination.
A proper stance will have you leaning somewhat forward whenever you take a shot, which offsets recoil and allows you to take an accurate follow-up shot more quickly.
Good grip discipline provides similar benefits and will help you limit barrel sway and recover from recoil rapidly.
More importantly, grip discipline will help you avoid accidentally pulling the trigger or dropping your weapon if your palms become sweaty.
3. Pull Your Trigger Correctly
Another good thing to keep in mind is trigger discipline.
This involves both keeping your trigger finger away from the trigger until the moment before you take a shot and pulling your trigger correctly.
Many beginners pull their triggers too hard or too rough and end up jerking their weapons up or down depending on their stance.
This diminishes their accuracy and can impact their shot grouping.
Even if certain heavier triggers require you to put a significant amount of weight on the trigger to let off a shot, you can and should practice pulling your triggers smoothly and cleanly.
This minimizes how much the act of pulling the trigger affects your barrel’s position and how quickly you can take a follow-up shot at the same target.
4. Choose a Weapon That Works for You
Many beginner shooters and up choosing popular weapons that they’ve seen on TV or that their friends use to excellent effect. But in reality, you’ll be most accurate if you choose a weapon that’s perfect for your hands and needs.
For instance, if you have smaller than average hands and not a lot of grip strength, a heavier, magnum-loaded pistol probably won’t be a good fit.
But a small Glock 19 can serve you well and even act as a concealed carrying weapon.
Basically, choose your gun carefully so that your firearm perfectly suits your hands and arms.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
This last tip seems obvious, but too many shooters expect to be accurate off the cuff without putting in the requisite time.
There’s a saying that you only become an expert at something after 10,000 hours of practice.
While you may not need quite that long to become an accurate shooter, the general idea holds: spend lots of time at the practice range with an instructor or someone who can critique your stance and grip discipline, and you’ll become more accurate over time.
No one becomes a marksman overnight.
How do you practice to improve your accuracy? Share your technique with us in the comments section!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 21, 2020, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.