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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 09:01
shooter4 View Drop Down
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Gentlemen
 
Im looking for some personal improvement in my shooting so I guess I have to first be really honest here and admit that Im having a hard time being accurate on the shooting range with my big rifles - the .308 and the .243 The rifles are in very good working condition.  My friend is much more accurate and is putting me to shame with his nice groups using my rifles and my ammo on 200-300 yards. So the difference here is ME. He is shooting ca 2 inch groups on 200yds and mine are spread say 4-5 inches.  Sometimes left of the center, sometimes right of the center. A bit unpredictable. Maybe its good enough for hunting big game but I really want to do better.
 
In my hope for good advice here´s a bit more about myself. I only began shooting one year ago (my friend has years of experience, maybe that is a part of my shame).  I think its safe to say I can shoot nice tight groups with my .22 cal CZ. I feel total comfort and control with that rifle. My shots end up where I want them to. Shooting my bigger rifles I admit Im not as relaxed. Im not sure I manage to maintain the same body posture between shots: where I place my eye behind the scope, how I breathe, etc.  Also, I started shooting left handed even though Im right handed - the reason is it just felt more natural at first maybe because I feel my left eye is a littlebit better. Now I trying to shift over to the right side mostly because my rifles are made for right handed shooter.
 
I really enjoy this sport and it impresses me to see good shooters and it makes me want to do better myself. I know there are really good experienced shooters on this site. I hope you can spare a moment and write your thoughts here to help me improve.
 
Thank you
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 09:21
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One of the most important things that helps MY accuracy is breathing.  And always shoot with both eyes open.  When you are about ready to shoot, breath deeply and relax (if possible) on the comfortable part of the exhale is when I usually shoot.  Some folks say to hold your breath just a bit while you shoot.  Do whatever is best for you.  But breathing is ULTRA-important.
 
Another thing I've tried is to squeeze the trigger rather than pull it.  It helps to have a GOOD trigger.  All my rifles (except for my 30/30) have excellent triggers.  That in itself is a huge improvement in accuracy for me.
 
Lastly, shoot a LOT of 22LR for practice.  It keeps you sharp, and keeps your trigger finger working.  I put a rifle basix trigger in my CZ 452 so it would be more like a BIG rifle. 
 
With all this said, my dad is a natural shot and will outshoot me anytime.  Practice practice practice.  That's my only hope. 
 
Good luck.
 
J
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 09:33
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Assume you are using good hearing protection and your rifle is equipped with a decent recoil.
 
Read through the following carefully. It is a bit long but covers the basics well.  I know I plagarised this from somewhere and apologise to the writer but don't remenber where I got it.
 
 

*HOW TO HOLD AND SHOOT YOUR RIFLE: Aka Fundamentals of Marksmanship.

*How to Hold, *Aim, *Eye Relief, *Sight Alignment, *Sight Picture, *Breathing, *Trigger Manipulation, *Follow Through, and *Recovery.

Now that your rifle fits you properly and you have learned to properly clean and maintain your rifle, you must learn how to hold the rifle. ACCURACY IS A FUNCTION OF CONSISTENCY, BOTH WITH THE RIFLE AND AMMUNITION, AND THE SHOOTER'S ACTIONS. You must hold the rifle the same way each time. You will practice holding the rifle, your sight picture, your breathing, and trigger manipulation through dry firing. You will practice building a good steady, stable, solid position each time, bone on bone, not held by muscle power. Although you have to exert some muscle control, the position should be a natural relaxed position to avoid muscle fatigue, tension, and shaking that occurs after muscles are overextended for any period of time. You will check your natural point of aim before each shot. NATURAL POINT OF AIM is a position that allows the rifle to point naturally at the target without any muscle tension required to hold it on point of aim. You should keep the same position each time, changing nothing, to maintain consistency, to keep your natural point of aim the same each time. Before beginning this portion, or preceding sections, or any exercises, you should stretch first to loosen up your muscles. Besides the natural relaxing effect of stretching, it helps to prepare you mentally as well. Being physically fit will help you shoot better, and if you are not physically fit, you should make it a point to become fit.

*HOW TO HOLD YOUR RIFLE:
Assume the prone supported firing position.
The front of the rifle will rest either on a bipod attached to the stock or on a sandbag placed under the front of the stock.
Use the nonfiring hand to support the butt of the rifle. Place your hand next to your chest and rest the TIP of the butt of the rifle on top of your hand. Ball your hand into a fist to raise the butt of the rifle or relax your fist to lower the butt of the rifle. A preferred method is to use a sock filled with sand or a small sand bag placed in your non firing hand and squeeze it to raise the rifle butt and release the bag to lower the rifle butt. Using this sock or bag method lessens body contact with the rifle and can eliminate an added human variable.
Place the butt of the rifle firmly in the pocket of the shoulder. The sniper can place a pad in his clothing in the pocket of his shoulder to reduce pulse beat and breathing movement.
With the firing hand, grip the the small or pistol grip of the stock. Using the middle through little fingers, exert a slight rearward pull to keep the butt of the rifle firmly in the pocket of the shoulder. Place the thumb over the top of the pistol grip of the stock. Place the index or trigger finger on the trigger and insure it does not touch the stock and does not disturb the lay of the rifle when the trigger is pulled.
Find a comfortable position for your elbows that provide the greatest support for you and your rifle without creating a strain.
Place your cheek in the same place on the stock each time. This is called the stock weld. Changing your position changes sight alignment and will cause misplaced shots.

*AIMING THE RIFLE:
Begin the aiming process by aligning the rifle with the target when assuming a firing position. THE RIFLE SHOULD POINT NATURALLY AT THE DESIRED AIMING POINT. No muscular tension or movement should be neccessary to hold the rifle on target. To check the Natural Point of Aim (NPA), you assume a comfortable, STABLE, firing position. Place your cheek on the stock at the correct stock weld and breath, and entering the natural respiratory pause, look away from the scope moving only your eye and relax. Let the rifle drift to its natural point of aim, then look back through the scope. If the crosshairs remain on the correct position on the target, the natural point of aim is correct.
If the NPA is not correct, you must change your body position to bring the sights on the target. If muscles are used to bring the rifle to NPA, the muscles will relax when the rifle is fired and the rifle will begin to move to its NPA. Because this movement begins just before the weapon discharges, the rifle is moving at the bullet leaves the muzzle. This causes displaced shots with no apparent cause as recoil disguises the movement. By adjusting the rifle and body as a single unit, rechecking, and readjusting as necessary, you achieve a true natural point of aim. Once this position of established, you will them aim the rifle at the exact point on the target. Aiming involves three areas, eye relief, sight alignment, and sight picture.

*EYE RELIEF:
This is the distance from the firing eye to the scope tube. This distance is fairly constant with a scope. You should take care to avoid injury by the scope tube striking the eyebrow during recoil.
You should place your head as upright as possible behind the scope with your eye directly behind the scope. This head placement allows the muscles around your eye to relax. Incorrect head placement causes you to have to look out the corner of your eye resulting in muscle strain, causing blurred vision and eye strain. Eye strain can be avoided by not staring through the scope for long periods of time and correct stock weld alleviates eye strain as well by maintaining consistent eye relief.

*SIGHT ALIGNMENT:
Sight alignment is the relationship between the crosshairs (reticle) and field of view. You must place your head behind the scope so a full field of view appears in the scope tube with NO DARK SHADOWS OR CRESENTS. Center the reticle in a full field of view with the vertical crosshair straight up to ensure the scope is not canted.

*SIGHT PICTURE:
Sight picture is centering the reticle with a full field of view on the target as seen by you. Place the reticle crosshairs on what portion of the target you wish to hit.

*BREATHING:
You must exercise breathing control during the aiming process. Breathing while trying to aim, with the natural up and down motion of the chest while breathing, causes the rifle to move up and down. Up and down movement occurs while laying down. Breathing movement can be side to side when sitting at a bench rest type table when your body is against the table. You must therefore accomplish sight alignment while breathing and finish aiming while holding your breath. You do this by inhaling, exhaling, and stop at the moment of natural respiratory pause before beginning to inhale again.
A respiratory cycle lasts four to five seconds. Inhalation and exhalation take only about two seconds, thus between each respiratory cycle there is a pause of two to three seconds. This pause can be extended to ten seconds without any special effort or unpleasant sensations. You should fire during this pause when your breathing muscles are relaxed. This avoids strain on the diaphragm.
You should assume your firing position and breath naturally until your hold begins to settle.
The respiratory pause should never feel un-natural. If it is too long, the body suffers from oxygen deprivation and begins to send out signals to resume breathing. These signals produce involuntary movements of the diaphragm which interfere with the shooters concentration and lack of movement need

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 09:53
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Looks like it came out of a military manual to me, I may have seen this before... thanks Dogger, good info here!
 
Texas
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 10:02
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It's in your head, honestly! Most of shooting is getting the crap out of your head that has crept in.  The same as the rest of life.  You have to break the habits you have and then replace them with good habits.
 
Check out a book called Hit or Myth by Louis Awerbuck.  There are some other books and DVD's out there.  The best thing is a couple of days with a coach.  The money you spend on coaching you will make up from bad shooting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 10:07
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I would recommend taking some rifle classes as well.  You can read all kinds of stuff, but it is not the same as having someone who knows what they are doing looking over your shoulder helping you out.  It will make a huge difference.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 15:16
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Practice seams to help. Juggle
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 17:34
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

Practice seams to help. Juggle
Shocked


RRREEEEAAALLLLLYYYY....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 19:33
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             Get Your Popcorn Ready
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 20:30
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Not a good shooter?  You and me both.
 
This is my hit pattern at 20 feet, laying prone, 10x scope........
 
 
...and that was a 100 round drum on single shot.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 21:33
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

Practice seams to help. Juggle
 
Only practicing the Correct things helps. Everything else only makes the problem worse.  That why a coach is important. You do the correct things while practicing rather than only re-enforce bad habits.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 23:09
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So you want to be a better shooter, well then you'd better stop hanging out here cuz you will spend all your time reading this crap rather than practicing your shooting techniques........Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 03:35
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Ahhh practice - I did not think of that. Seriously though a BIG thanks for your input guys. Its precious to have some good advice to read and go over in the mind before my next session. Im looking forward

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 09:43
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PS: Dogger, thats a good guide you posted. Thankx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 09:59
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For Ick and shooter4:


ENLIST!!!!

No one can teach you to shoot like my beloved Marine Corps.  And they PAY YOU to shoot, not much, but some.


Simple problem: simple solution.

Next.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 11:18
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

For Ick and shooter4:


ENLIST!!!!

No one can teach you to shoot like my beloved Marine Corps.  And they PAY YOU to shoot, not much, but some.


Simple problem: simple solution.

Next.
 
I am more of a james bond suit and tie kind of guy myself... you know being so debonaire and good with the ladies.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2009 at 22:53
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have your friend load your gun for you have him give you a empty gun without you knowing which one it will be when you can see if you are finching
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2009 at 12:27
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 Original Poster- you said that you are right handed, but your left eye is the better one.
 That means that you are "cross-dominant".  It is the first thing I look for when coaching a new shooter and it can be a real tough handicap to overcome. In fact, I've never met a true
 cross-dominant shooter who I could call a top-notch marksman.
 Some find it helpful to wear a blindfold of some sort over the dominant eye while shooting from the strong hand side with the weak eye.
 Others can shoot with thier good eye and with the weak hand.
Some even have custom scope mounts built for them which holds the scope way off to the side, which allows shooting from the strong hand side while using the opposite (strong) eye.
 I think that is really the best solution, but it costs a bit of money, and probably a little trial and error, and makes for a somewhat less rugged rig which requires a bit of careful handling to protect the rings and base from damage.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2009 at 13:47
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Originally posted by RONK RONK wrote:

 Original Poster- you said that you are right handed, but your left eye is the better one.
 That means that you are "cross-dominant".  It is the first thing I look for when coaching a new shooter and it can be a real tough handicap to overcome. In fact, I've never met a true
 cross-dominant shooter who I could call a top-notch marksman.
 
Whistling  Wink 
 
Learn to shoot with your good eye.
I naturally gravitated to wards my left hand for shooting when I was a kid.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2009 at 22:06
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Originally posted by RONK RONK wrote:

 Original Poster- you said that you are right handed, but your left eye is the better one.
 That means that you are "cross-dominant".  It is the first thing I look for when coaching a new shooter and it can be a real tough handicap to overcome. In fact, I've never met a true
 cross-dominant shooter who I could call a top-notch marksman.
 
Whistling  Wink 
 
Learn to shoot with your good eye.
I naturally gravitated to wards my left hand for shooting when I was a kid.
 
Well, technically, I've never really MET you, Mark!
 (Although I hope to, someday soon!)
 
I had a nagging feeling that that statement was going to come back and haunt me!   Wizard
 
 
 
 
 BTW, congratulations on being ABLE to switch to shooting from your weak hand side. I don't think I could do it.
 I'd probably just poke my good eye out first so I'd have to use the other one, and wouldn't need to switch hands!
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2009 at 22:10
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i shot a deer two years ago left handed, im just glad i didnt need a second shot. i will say it made me concentrate on the shot more than if i were shooting right handed.
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 In the heydays of British shotgunning, cross-dominant shotgunners often had custom shotguns built for them with so-called 'cripple" stocks, which were bent dramatically to allow for off-side fowling for such shooters. I think they typically cheeked the comb from the strong hand side, which must have been kind of weird. 
 
I doubt those guns fit in the hardcase very well!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2009 at 03:40
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Originally posted by Ick Ick wrote:

Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

For Ick and shooter4:


ENLIST!!!!

No one can teach you to shoot like my beloved Marine Corps.  And they PAY YOU to shoot, not much, but some.


Simple problem: simple solution.

Next.
 
I am more of a james bond suit and tie kind of guy myself... you know being so debonaire and good with the ladies.....
 
I see...Big Grin 
How do you feel about air conditioned, CO-ED dorm living, playing golf, and 3 hot meals a day at a "dining facility"??  Wink
If that, (and on base, no tax, liquor stores) appeal to you, you my friend sound like Air Force material to me.
 
But, just to make sure...please take a little test, just to make sure.
 
What's more appealing??
This....   
 
Or...this!!
 
 
 
Bow
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2009 at 07:23
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Dogger's detailed post was excellent, as are the other suggestions!
 
Some tips that might help:
 
1.  Many beginners take too long and work too hard on the shot.  They also try to think of too many things at once.  If you take too long to make the shot, your vision (and control) will start to go downhill fastl  It won't get better at that point, so back off and start again. 
 
2.  Practice will help you learn how to coordinate your trigger pull with the sight picture.  After that, you should concentrate on trigger pull and followthrough.
 
3.  The trigger pull must be smooth.   It can be fast, slow, or in-between, but it must be smooth.  It is oh-so-easy to add a little push, pull,  or jerk that seems minor to you, but multiplies itself many times out at 100 yards or further.
 
4.  Stay on the sights!  Follow-through seems to be the magic that separates the really fine shooters from the run-of-the-mill ones, in my experience.  Don't quit on the sights or the shot until you see the bullet hole in the target.  This takes a lot of discipline.   You need to forget the strain of holding the rifle, the noise, and the recoil, and concentrate on making that bullet put a hole in the center of the target.  Shoot as if the bullet were on a wire attached to your rifle.  If you move the rifle before the bullet hits the target, you will pull the shot off center.
 
Hope these and the other comments help.
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Originally posted by Longhunter Longhunter wrote:

 
1.  Many beginners take too long and work too hard on the shot.  They also try to think of too many things at once.  If you take too long to make the shot, your vision (and control) will start to go downhill fastl  It won't get better at that point, so back off and start again. 
 
 AMEN to that!
 Most good shooters are also fairly fast shooters. They know what they need to do and they do it. 
 No need to dawdle most of the time.
The exceptions of course, are hunting or military situations which require patience for whatever reasons.
 
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