Expert Tips for Accurate Shooting

By Steve Tarani
Posted in #Skills
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Expert Tips for Accurate Shooting

May 19th, 2024

3 minute read

We all know the secret to shooting is to bring stability to alignment and execute a deliberate trigger press while not disturbing orientation of the muzzle. It’s a very basic concept and true for every shooter regardless of skill level. But it’s not very easy to do – even for Grandmasters, especially at breakneck speeds, on demand and under duress.

One of the key components of that secret formula is alignment. Provided you have a good enough grip, you need to first establish alignment and then keep that alignment all the way through the shot. Sounds simple enough, right? And it is simple; but definitely not easy.

The higher the performance demand, the greater is the chance of error caused by misalignment. So, what three useful tips can we employ to reduce that probability? Prep, focus, and unnecessary input.

The secret to accurate shooting is simple, but not easy. Learn the three tips covered here, and you’ll improve your shooting.

Prep — Physical & Mental

Whether an in-service qualification, training or competition, when the question is asked of you, “Is the shooter ready?” most of us load and/or check to see if our kit is ready to go. Once the gun is in the condition it needs to be for the next string of fire, we may take a deep cleansing breath and then give the nod.

Very few people will take that same deep cleansing breath mentally and clear their mind of any thoughts such as “don’t miss!” or something else that might pop into their brain. It’s equally important to prepare your mind, just as you ready your gear. Whether it’s a defensive or competitive situation, when hundredths of a second count, conscious thought is too slow.

Maintaining control and focus through the entire shooting cycle can mean the difference between a hit and a miss.

Focus — Mental Focus

To make and keep alignment, don’t let up on that mental focus gas pedal. Stay connected to the shooting process both physically and mentally. Departure from the process, either mentally or physically, can cause misalignment.

When you step up to that firing line, reach out to the target with your mind and “touch” it. Connect with it. Align with it. Become part of it. The body cannot go where the mind has not first been. Align your mind and your muzzle with the task at hand. Get behind the gun mentally.

Learn and follow the fundamentals, and you will hit the target every time.

Unnecessary Input — Mental or Physical

The very last thing you’d ever want during the shooting process is unnecessary input – mental or physical. You’ve brought stability to alignment and are in mid-break, when suddenly you introduce additional physical (flinch, jerk, twitch) or mental (thought, doubt, expectation) input. This input can influence muzzle position, moving it out of alignment.

Post-ignition flinch is of course necessary and well timed, but a pre-ignition flinch, or an at-ignition flinch will cost you valuable minutes of angle that could easily translate to a miss.

Be mentally aligned as well as physically aligned. Yes, you must bring stability to alignment, but you the shooter must be brought as equally under control by mentally aligning with both the process and the target.

“Shooter ready?” means exactly that – is the computer turned on, tuned in, and in control? Mental alignment is being in control of what’s going on in your hands as well as what’s going on in between your ear protection.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Steve Tarani

Steve Tarani

Steve is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail. He is also the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and others.

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