Shooting basics

Alexandro Faria

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Hey ladies and gents,

I'm currently busy trying to teach the gf to shoot properly with hunting rifles and calibers (bigger than the various 22's she's used to) at extended hunting ranges (up to 250m, not really extended) and it turns out I've forgotten how to bloody shoot a rifle.

I'd blame wingshooting and a heavy triggered shotgun as I haven't spent much time with a rifle in my hands lately, but it's honestly just bad form and unacceptable.

To give specifics, I'm battling with snatching at the trigger and getting steady while shooting offhand at a stationary target. I'm sure there's other things, but that's what comes immediately to mind.

With this in mind, what would you consider to be the best tips you got regarding the above that helped you become a better marksmen and how can I retrain myself to do things properly?

What would you consider to be the most vital basics?

I'll be honest, this has been coming for a while and I've noticed issues every time I've shot with a rifle, so my confidence in my shooting abilities isn't particularly high at present.
 

Hogpatrol

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For starters, use a bench, a good rest and rear bag and dry fire with snap caps.
 

BRICKBURN

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And start yourself off with the 22 again


Have someone else load the rifle to see you you are flinching. Sometimes a blank sometimes a live round and see if you are reacting to the trigger pull.
 

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I know that there is a shooting range and perhaps a Sportsmen's Club in Pretoria. go there and join if you aren't already a member. I'll bet you can find an old shooter to both teach and advise you. Another option might be to go to Safari & Outdoors in Pretoria and talk to Pierre Vander Walt.
 

JPbowhunter

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And start yourself off with the 22 again


Have someone else load the rifle to see you you are flinching. Sometimes a blank sometimes a live round and see if you are reacting to the trigger pull.
I was guiding a fella once and he could not group better than 5" at 100m, he assured me he doesn't flinch. I asked to see his rifle and pretended to fiddle around with it worked the bolt (without a round) and put on the safety telling him it was good to try again. That bloke nearly flinched himself off the bench!

Regarding the question, just yesterday I was shooting my 9.3 at the old mans place and my youngest brother was there at the time. He's normally limited to 243 and 270, but has shot a 300wm a few times. Anyway I gave him a shot and it whacked him pretty hard on the cheek. I pointed out that shooting light recoiling calibres enables you to get away with poor form, as soon as you're using something that bites back a bit you really need to make sure the hold and fit is correct because it's far less forgiving.
 

Von Gruff

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The best advice I could give would be to settle in behind the rifle and forget everything else bar the trigger. You dont even have to have it sighted on anything so the kitchen table with a blanket is fine (so you dont scratch momma's table) and try to release the trigger as slowly and purposely as possible. Make yoursef take at east 30 seconds from start of pressure to reease of the trigger with trying to feel the seer shifting and after a few times it starts to become easier to feel the trigger and when it is going to release. It is this deliberate slow concentration that starts the journey back from snapping the trigger to squeezing it off. I have seen it take me a minute to comlete the squeeze simply because I want to gain muscle memory of the squeeze and where it will release. The you can start to add in the other components of the deliberate ofhand shot with hold, feet position, sighting, etc but with each added component start with the trigger and work out from there.
This is a different approach to what I would do if I was trying to get from habitual bench shooting to off hand shooting (which is something I had do myself) or any other change of shooting position or practice.
 

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