Regardless of whether you are shooting a rifle, a bow, or a paintball gun, you aren’t going to hit your target unless you’ve practiced countless times and have solid shooting aim.
But aiming is more difficult than most people realize. There are a lot of factors to consider when aiming, that could affect your shot placement without realizing it. And unless you address those factors, you’re going to miss every time.
Luckily, it’s not that hard to improve aim once you know what factors affect your shot. Learning basic aiming skills is the first step to take when wanting to become a better hunter, a better paintball player, and a better target shooter.
So how can you achieve a solid and accurate aim? Read on below to find out in 10 easy steps.
1. Find Your Shooting Stance
For every different gun or projectile type that you shoot, there’s going to be a recommended stance to take. For example, when you are shooting a handgun, the ideal stance is very different than if you were shooting a rifle or a compound bow.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to standing at the right angle. Therefore, you need to learn how to stand properly with your chosen firearm. When using a handgun, you should stand facing your target. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. And your dominant foot should be back slightly.
When it comes to archery stance while using a compound bow, you want to stand sideways. But your front foot shouldn’t be pointed directly at the target. It should be a few inches back, so that your stance is a little more open, allowing you to hold the bow better.
2. Practice Trigger Pull
Pulling the trigger on a gun causes most inexperienced shooters to move the gun. If the trigger is hard to pull, you may end up pulling the entire gun, messing up your aim, and missing your target.
This is a very common problem for new shooters. To address this, you need to practice pulling your trigger a lot. You need to get used to the triggers on your guns so that you can engage them completely without moving your gun at all.
Many people find that two-step triggers help them shoot better than single-step triggers.
3. Improve Aim With a Better Scope
When it comes to identifying your target, nothing is more important than a quality scope or sight on your gun. It’s very hard to find a target, stay on your target, and get a clean shot off when your rifle scope is cheap and doesn’t work well.
As they say in the hunting community, your glass (or optics) is the most important piece of gear you have, which includes both rifle scopes and binoculars.
If you’re still using the scope that came with your gun, it’s time to upgrade. Hunting scopes make it easy to identify a target from long range and follow that target as it moves.
AR 15 scopes are those you can identify targets with quickly. Rather than long-distance shooting, they are usually intended for home defense or sport shooting instead.
4. Learn How to Zero Your Rifle
You can’t just buy a high-quality scope and expect your target aim to improve. Once you install a new scope, you’re going to need to zero it in. This is the process of aligning the scope with where the gun is actually shooting bullets.
To do this, you’ll head to a shooting range, take a few shots at a target, and adjust your windage and elevation knows on the scope. After making an adjustment, you’ll take a few more shots, and then continue the process until you are hitting the bullseye every time.
5. Learn How to Adjust Your Bow Sight
Modern peep sights on compound bows are incredible tools but are very different from any type of gunsight or scope. These two need to be dialed in to match where your bow is actually putting arrows.
While the guy at the bow shop can adjust the sight for you, it’s better to learn how to do it yourself, so you can make adjustments any time. Most bow sights have three or four pins that you can move around.
You can set each pin for a different distance, depending on how far you plan to shoot. For example, you can set one pin at 10 yards, one at 20 yards, one at 30 yards, and one at 40 yards.
6. Use a Rest
When shooting any type of gun, you’re going to aim better when you rest one or both arms on something stable. If you’re in a shooting range, this could mean the table or the wall of your shooting stall.
If you’re out in the field, it might mean holding onto a tree or branch, or sitting on the ground and using your knees to stabilize your arms.
7. Control Your Breathing
As you breathe in and out, your stance and arm position will change. So breathing will ultimately affect your aim.
It’s important to practice breathing when shooting. You want to be relaxed, but aware of your breathing patterns. Trying shooting at the end of an exhale, when your body stops moving.
8. Dry Firing
Dry firing is the act of pulling the trigger on a gun without a live round in the chamber. This way, you can pull the trigger over and over again, practicing your shots, without wasting any ammo. You can also do this at home, to get familiar with how your trigger operates.
9. Practice Aplenty
Once you start implementing all of the tips above, your main goal is to practice shooting as much as possible. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. As long as you can pinpoint why your shot placement might be off, you can make adjustments and get better daily.
10. Work With a Coach
Still not satisfied with your results? Working with a shooting coach can be a great step towards pinpointing your errors and learning how to correct them. It’s extremely helpful to have someone observing our body as we take a shot since they can see what we can’t.
One or two sessions can go a long way.
Commit to the Process
There are plenty of things you can do to improve your aim and become a better shooter. Whatever sport you are engaged in, learning how to aim, stay calm, and execute a proper shot is possible for anyone.
It just takes commitment, practice, and of course, the right gear.
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