How to Improve Your Shot at the Gun Range
Whether you’ve just started shooting or have years of experience and are just looking for ways to improve, we have some tips for you. First, let’s start with covering some common bad habits:
- Pushing in anticipation of the recoil. You want your arms to be as steady as possible, but there’s no need to tense up and “push” the gun away from you.
- Twitching or jerking the gun. This is usually an involuntary response to the recoil, but all it will do is result in moving the gun, messing up your aim.
- Bad posture. Drooping your head and/or hunching your shoulders won’t help you see better.
- Tightening your grip as you squeeze the trigger. All it takes is moving one finger. Try to keep the gun still as you press on the trigger.
Next, some things to keep in mind when focusing on your sights, balance, and alignments:
- There should be equal distance between the front sight and both sides of the rear sight.
- The top front and rear of your sight should be aligned with each other as well as with the target before you squeeze the trigger.
Speaking of that trigger, here’s everything you need to know:
- Don’t yank or quickly “pull” the trigger. Squeezing it is much more accurate.
- The best way to press the trigger is to slowly squeeze it as smoothly as possible once the target is aligned with your sight. A common beginner’s mistake is to quickly slam on the trigger as soon as your sights appeared to be aligned, but it’s important to take an extra moment to evaluate more carefully. Pulling the trigger too soon will result in the gun shifting away from the target. The smooth “press” or “squeeze” will become more habitual the more you practice, as well as holding the gun steadily enough that your sight won’t move around so much.
Lastly, a word on muscle memory:
- Muscle memory is truly real and very effective. The more you practice, the better your body will get at knowing what you need to do. You’ll feel yourself getting better and becoming more familiar with the stance you need.
- 22 bullets are a common substitute for handgun bullets that are much more affordable for you to practice with.
- Dry firing is also a common technique to build up confidence. It’s true that using live ammunition is much better and more realistic, but good form and shooting techniques can still be reinforced by firing the empty gun. Dry firing, however, will not result in the trademark recoil that comes with firing a bullet, so the 0.22 bullets might be better for you to practice. However, dry firing can be especially useful for beginners getting a feel for the weapon without any of the sounds or flashes of light that come with live ammunition, so you can focus just on holding the gun as still and steady as possible. It could be helpful to purchase a laser sight as well.
We hope this advice is helpful to you, and we encourage you to share any other tips and advice you might have come by. Good luck, have fun, and stay safe!