Practice calling to yourself the location of each shot, clockwise, as if referring to the time on a watch, regardless of whether you are actually firing or just snapping in. Until you can do this, you will not know where the shot should be. You will be making corrections for elevation or windage, when it is really your aiming that is at fault. This follow-through method is your insurance that you are maintaining the correct aim until the shot is actually under way.

The trigger squeeze is next on your profine sight is where the front sight is below the center of the rear aperture, causing the shots to go low. A full sight is where the front sight is above center, causing the shots to go high. It is easier to center a bull's-eye in an aperture front sight than on a post sight, and for that reason the aperture is superior on the target range. Since it would obscure the view of moving game, it is not suitable for hunting.

The prone position

The prone position with sling is just about as steady a position as you can achieve for long shots.

In aiming, focus your eyes on the front sight and the bull's-eye, disregarding, if possible, the rear sight. This may be difficult at first, but will become second nature with practice, thus leaving you with but two gram. Military rifles have some slack, or play, in the trigger action, to prevent premature discharge. Most commercial guns do not have any real value; if the finger is on the trigger, the rifle is in danger of being fired, slack or no slack.

Immediately upon assuming the firing position, place your finger on the trigger and take up whatever slack there is. Then gradually increase the pressure, so you will be ready to fire the instant the sights become aligned and steadied on the target. Use only the very tip of the forefinger, the most sensitive part, and squeeze the trigger-do not pull it. You should concentrate on the bull's-eye to such an extent that you are unaware of the actual instant you are going to squeeze the shot off. If you are conscious of when you are going to squeeze the trigger, you will have a tendency to pull it.

Snapping practice will develop such coordination of eye and finger that the final squeeze will be given the instant the sights are aligned. Nothing but continual snapping in will do this. Experts, who have been years at the game, go through hours of snapping in before a match, while the novice is impatient to get on with the actual shooting. The whole difference between a poor shot and a champion is that the champion has this willingness to practice, for he realizes the importance of this part of the sport.

Avoid a quick jerk of the trigger due to inability to hold steady. Trick shooting and quick shots in hunting might appear to result from snap judgment to the inexperienced watcher, but this sort of shooting is really instant co-ordination. It is correct aiming and squeezing, greatly speeded up by long practice.

Shooting is an excellent teacher of patience, self-control, and will power. Mastery of these virtues is essential if the trigger is to be squeezed off only when the sights are properly aligned.

Do not breathe while aiming. Breathe naturally until the rifle steadies, then gradually reduce your breathing, holding it altogether the instant you are ready to fire.

Learning To Shoot 126

A fallen tree comes in handy for a rifle rest.

The prone position

Steady your arm against a tree for long shots.

There is less heart palpitation if the breath is held after the air is exhaled. Do not hold the breath too long. If you do not get the correct alignment immediately, lower the rifle and relax a moment, then try again.

All these essentials have been given to you before attempting to lay out a practice schedule, because all must be practiced together. With half-hour practice periods, spend the first few minutes getting into the proper position. Then practice aiming and proper holding.

Once you are sure you are aiming properly, commence immediately to snap in- which means getting the proper position, aligning the sights, holding the breath, squeezing off the shot, and calling it. With daily half-hour periods, it should take you from two to six weeks of this snapping in before you are ready for actual shooting:. Don't be too optimistic. You are ready to begin shooting only when the rifle can be held steady while squeezing the trigger.

To develop the muscles needed for shooting, it is recommended that you practice these exercises when you get up and before you go to bed. The most important exercise consists of lying prone on the floor and pushing the body up on the finger tips or palm the full length of the arm, then lowering to the floor, and repeating until tired. The legs and body should be kept straight throughout the exercise.

Standing on the toes, lower the body by squatting on the heels, return to the first position and repeat until tired. To develop the muscles of the hand and forearm, practice squeezing a hand gripper or a rubber ball.

After snapping in until confident of your ability to make good scores, place a target in some safe location, preferably back of a hillside that will prevent the bullets from ricocheting. Get out your box of ammunition and do some actual shooting, putting into practice what you have learned here. Do your first firing at short ranges, so you will not have to worry about wind-doping. That can come later.

Now for the sitting position. Take up the sling one hole. Sit down and spread your feet about 15 inches apart. The heels should be on the ground, with the knees and legs straight up-not leaning sideways.