Friendly and Certified Firearms Training for Women Since 2011

Holding Steady

When shooting a rifle, it can be challenging to hold it steady. Pay close attention to your body and breathing patterns to help you make an accurate shot. Each shooter has a different body type, so use this as a guide to find what is right for you.

Your whole body must be a stable platform to operate the gun. For your arms and shoulders to be steady, you need to support them with your lower body. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart in a fighting stance. Keep your back straight, not bent, and your shoulders high rather than slouched over.

Your neck should be relaxed with your cheek resting naturally against the cheek well. This not only provides another angle of support, it also makes it easier to see through the sights. Your hands should hold firmly without being too tense to cause shakiness. Use about as much force to hold as if you were giving a firm handshake to a friend. The hand supporting the barrel should be held more loosely without allowing the barrel to move freely.

Mount the toe of the buttstock to your shoulder for optimal stability with the heal slightly above your shoulder. As you pull it back into your body, the amount of tension should not be so much or so little that you cannot keep the pressure on your shoulder consistent from shot to shot. Keep your elbows positioned at 45 degrees to your body. When your elbows are too far in or out, they will affect your balance and disengage the back muscles used to to hold your rifle steady.

As you aim watch your crosshairs bounce around your target with your breath. Do not try to alter your breathing, but monitor the pattern. Holding your breath will make you unsteady. Allow the crosshairs to slow and pass through center mass when you exhale. When the pause between exhale and inhale naturally occurs and you passing center mass, press the trigger straight to the rear without disturbing your sight picture. Take up all the slack first, so at the exact moment you want to fire you can break the trigger without moving the rifle. After the trigger breaks, keep your head on the gun and continue to aim through the firing sequence.

Controlling your rifle movement and timing your trigger press for accurate shooting comes over time with practice.

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