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Basic Rifle Marksmanship

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Basic Rifle Marksmanship

Post  Paladin on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:01 pm

I posted this on another forum, but hopefully it'll be helpful here. Basic rifle marksmanship. Please feel free to add to these basics...

Rifle marksmanship is all about CONSISTENCY. I teach my students the BRASS method of remembering and applying all of the necessary marksmanship fundamentals. Shooting a rifle, especially at longer ranges, is very unforgiving. Leave any of the fundamentals out, and you will miss. To ensure a shooter remembers and applies all of their fundamentals, I teach BRASS:

B= Breathe. When we talk about breathing, we're talking about a held exhale (or inhale). The shooter needs to find their respiratory pause (the comfortable few seconds in-between inhale and exhale). The key is whichever the shooter prefers (held inhale or exhale), it must be consistent! The way they zero is the way they fire every shot.

R= Relax. The shooter must relax all muscles. Tense muscles lead to anticipated recoil (ie. flinching).

A= Aim. Focus on the front sight. The target should be blurred. With a peep-style aperture, the tip of the front sight should be centered in the aperture. With a notch-style sight, look for equal height, equal light in regards to the front sight in relation to rear sight. This sight alignment is then superimposed onto the target, creating what is known as sight picture. Again, focus on the front sight.

S= Stable position and Slack. Shooter should get as stable as possible in his position and take up the slack in the trigger.

S= Squeeze. Trigger pull should be a slow and steady press to the rear with the middle of the first pad of the trigger finger. It is CRITICAL that the break of the trigger be somewhat surprising. If you KNOW when the trigger is going to break, you will flinch. It's a natural human reaction, much like the Doc hitting you under the knee-cap with the rubber hammer or someone throwing a punch at you. Your muscles will tense in anticipation. So to prevent this natural reaction, it should be a surprise when the trigger breaks. That way, if and when you do flinch, the bullet is already gone out of the barrel and you played as little a part as possible in changing its intended path.

Additionally, consistent stock-weld and follow-through are very important. Any sudden movements made after the shot can and likely will change your point of impact. When the trigger breaks, don't fight the recoil. Let the rifle do it's thing, keep the trigger held to the rear momentarily. Then get back on target and prepare to repeat the steps of BRASS.

I've fired a rifle this way since I was a kid. It is now ingrained in me and is more like a natural chant in my head: breathe-relax-aim-slack-squeeze. Now obviously, in close combat the fundamentals are rushed (particularly trigger pull), and so you must understand that for the gain in speed you will sacrifice accuracy.
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Paladin
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Re: Basic Rifle Marksmanship

Post  RhythmKing on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:21 pm

Thanks.
It's good to have the practical advice of professionals. I'm trying to help family learn to shoot properly and although I know how to do it myself, it's difficult to relay that to others. My wife is next, and also my niece. Both are smart and confident around firearms, so I know it should work out fine. It's just a lot easier to make sure I don't leave anything out, or not be as specific as I can be if I have instructions to follow.
Thanks again.

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