Something to try

May 5, 2008

From the RWVA forums – advice on how to keep my sights on target…


You are alive, and your body is moving all the time. After death your body will be still.

You try to hold the sights on target and they bob and weave in random directions from center as your brain keeps sending messages to different muscles to keep you upright.

The best offhand shooter in world cannot stand still to fire the shot. So here is a strategy to over come this obstacle.

Sweep the target, bring your sights across the target under control, this allows you to estimate the time you will be on target. In order to hit, the rifle must fire coming onto target. Once on target, it is too late, a shot fired then will swing off and miss As your sights are coming on target squeeze the trigger, if the rifle does not fire, hold the trigger pressure when on target and coming off. Still holding steady pressure on the trigger swing the rifle back across the target and when coming on target apply more pressure. Repeat this process until the hammer drops as you come on target. My personal scheme is to sweep across on targets that are wider than tall, and up and down on tall skinny targets.

Another strategy is to make circles around the target with the sights. This method is employed by the finest offhand shots in the world.  One world class target shooter I know can make circles at less than 1 ½ minutes after years of dry fire exercises. Her exercises are, standing dry fire for one hour every night.

If you wait until after you die to be still, it will be too late to shoot.



I use a similar technique for shooting standing. I don’t agree with the trigger control part and I’ve discussed that with Jr. Birdman as well. 

I find my NPOA so that I’m breathing up and down through the center of the target. I take in a deep breath and start letting it out as I settle down onto the target. I shift my focus down range and check to see that I’m on my target and align my sights. I settle so that my front sight post is just above my aiming area, start applying pressure to the trigger, and shift my focus back to the front sight. I focus hard on the front sight and let out just a little breath so that my front sight settles into the aiming area and focus on holding that as the rifle fires. The sight will sit in the aiming area for two to three seconds before it starts to wander. I expect to have fired the shot within that time. I’ve been increasing pressure on the trigger since I started settling into the aming area. 

If the rifle doesn’t fire I don’t hold the trigger pressure. I remove my finger from the trigger and remove the rifle from my shoulder and start over. I go through the settling routine and take up trigger pressure as I focus and settle into the aiming area again. If I’m field firing rather than target firing I keep the rifle in my shoulder but release pressure on the trigger so that the rifle doesn’t fire accidentally and I start with the deep breath and begin the routine over.

Holding the trigger at the break point will induce stress because you are afraid the rifle will fire at the wrong time.  The method described by Clodhopper less the consecutive rejection (a term used by the Army’s AMTU shooters) form of trigger control has been used by many silhouette shooters. Especially the part about settleing into the longest dimention of the target. A less stressful form of trigger control involves starting your trigger pressure as your sight comes onto the target and continue to apply pressure as you settle into the aiming area. The shot should break within the time you are able to hold the aiming area. It should only take a second or two to apply pressure to the trigger. If you practice this technique dry firing you will see that you can hold the aming area for 3 or 4 seconds before the sight  swings out. This gives you plenty of time to fire the shot. The key to Clodhoppers technique is that you are controlling the rifle. You don’t just let it wave around until it happens to cross the target. You apply positive control to the direction the rifle is moving and force it to go where you want it to go when you want it to be there.

This is good information and anyone who has not tried it is missing out on an easy way to shoot small groups in the standing position.

I’m trying these this coming weekend.


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