Today I’m going to show you five tips that’ll improve your accuracy.
I (and many other shooting experts) use these tips and have had huge success with hitting the bullseye. The best part?
It doesn’t involve buying more gun attachments. Don’t get me wrong — using an optic will enhance your shooting accuracy. For example, when I’m out performing long range target shooting with my AR-10, I need my AR 10 scope to accurately hit the target.
But in reality, much of accuracy has more to do with the shooter than the firearm. That said, if you’re looking to tighten up those groups, this article is for you.
Let’s get started!
Tip #1: Fix Your Positioning
Your shooting position involves a lot of aspects. Here are eight things to keep in mind when getting postured:
Making yourself comfortable is essential. If you shoot while cramped or slouching, you’ll hate it, miss shots, and go home sore and cranky. Believe me, I’ve been there. So keep readjusting until you get yourself in a relaxed, stable, and comfortable position.
Experiment with sitting, standing, and kneeling. Figure out which shooting position is most comfortable for you.
Try shooting prone. Many shooters find shooting prone the most comfortable position and has even been called one of the most accurate shooting positions.
Use a Rest
Rests will significantly improve your accuracy. They stabilize your gun and eliminate the tremble/nerves/sweaty grip you might be experiencing.
Open Your Eyes
Why would you close one eye while shooting? C’mon, you’re shooting — eyes are helpful. (Okay okay, it’s true that I still close one eye when using binoculars, but you didn’t hear it from me.)
Seriously though, figure out which eye is dominant and use that eye. Don’t close the other eye — train both eyes to stay open while shooting. You don’t want to go home with a migraine. (And squinting also doesn’t look cool, sorry.)
Don’t fight your gun. This means, don’t force your gun in an unnatural way. Get into a relaxed posture while holding your gun, and let it slip into the most natural spot.
Get a Grip
Grip your gun well. Hold it securely but not in a death grip. If it feels wrong, readjust.
Tip #2: Check Your Gun
The last thing you want is to goof up a shot because of a minor gun issue. For example, after repeated use, parts can come loose on a rifle.
Whether you’re at the range or hunting whitetail deer, you’ll want to be confident in your gun. So thoroughly inspect your gun to make sure everything is working well. Here are a few things to check:
- Screws tight
- Clean gun
- All parts, rings, etc. attached
- Properly mounted scope
While I’m on the subject of rifle scopes, turn your magnification down. Unless you’re shooting long range, you don’t need to be extremely zoomed in. And if you over-zoom, it will magnify any rifle-shake. That is incredibly distracting and you’ll want to avoid it.
Tip #3: Follow Through
This will sound weird to newbies but hear me out:
Follow through matters!
You may think that once you fire a shot, you could dance salsa with your gun and it wouldn’t matter. But that’s not true — following through improves accuracy. It’s essential to keep your barrel steady and locked on the target as your bullet leaves the barrel.
A good follow through is all about remaining in the same position after you shoot.
Here’s how to follow through:
- After you squeeze the trigger and the bullet leaves the barrel, hold the gun steady.
- Keep it aimed at the target and control any jerking.
- Work on not flinching, and try not to be afraid of recoil.
- After taking a breath, slowly release the trigger.
Tip #4: The Moment of Fire
When it’s time to pull the trigger, get the basics straight:
Make your shots without breathing. Shooting while you breathe is like shooting while standing in a rocking canoe. Take a breath, then hold it and make your shot.
Squeeze, don’t yank. You’ll want to squeeze or press the trigger. Pulling/yanking can jerk your sights off-target. Once you’ve focused your sights and have a good sight picture, begin to squeeze. If you start losing the sight picture, readjust and squeeze again. Repeat until you land your shot.
Shoot calmly. Don’t skip this one. It’s underrated but it’ll significantly improve your shots. Keep a calm, cool head and your accuracy will reflect that.
Tip #5: Perfect Practice
My eighth grade teacher used to drill into our heads:
“Practice makes perfect.”
She stressed that it was only perfect practice that makes perfect. Otherwise, you’re just forming bad habits.
Focus on consistent, accurate shooting, and you will develop good muscle memory. Careless practice will lead to bad muscle memory and you don’t want that.
Head to the Range!
I hope you’ve come to realize that accurate shooting isn’t about an Amazon spree for more gun gimmicks. Of course, firearm accessories like optics will improve accuracy — especially if you’re shooting long-range.
However, it’s honestly about consistency, perfect practice, and implementing some of the basic tips we just covered.
Oh, and one final piece of advice:
Don’t obsess over a bad shot.
That will flood your body with unnecessary stress that’ll effect your shot. So shrug it off and try again. After all, it’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success. Just try to develop a positive, happy attitude, and your shooting will reflect that — I guarantee it.
Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared on large gun publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, ODU Magazine, American Shooting Journal, SOFREP, and more. In his free time, he reviews various optics and guns on his Scopes Field blog.