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Daily Defense 1-26: Basics of Marksmanship

Author Jeff Gonzales
3 years ago

To learn how to shoot safely and accurately, you have to go to a shooting range and actually send bullets downrange to a target. And in order for that practice to be productive, you'll need to work on three critical skills: sight management, trigger management, and follow-through. Sight management involves aligning the rear sight with the front sight on the target. Look through the rear sight and focus on the front sight with "equal height, equal light," meaning the top of rear sight is even with the top of the front, and there are equal amounts of light on either side of the front sight. Then superimpose the aligned sights on the target - and that's your sight picture. Now, squeeze the trigger. The trigger is a lever, so place your finger as low on it as possible to give you maximum leverage and better control. For super-precise aimed shots, use the tip of your finger. For self-defense shooting, most shooters use the pad of the finger ahead of the first knuckle OR the knuckle itself, depending on the size of your hand and the size of the gun. Place your finger so you can generate enough force to pull the trigger SMOOTHLY. Lack of power leads to yanking the trigger, which will disrupt your aim. Take up the slack until you start feeling a lot of resistance - at the "sear wall" - then squeeze the last bit to release the hammer or firing pin. All of this is your "trigger management." When the shot fires, the gun will recoil, so follow through by absorbing the recoil and then getting the sights back on the target, in case you need a follow-up shot. As you practice to master these three functions, your accuracy will improve over time!