|Correct Sight Picture||Reasonable Sight Picture||Bad Sight Picture|
Probable score of 10
|Probable score 6 or 7. In this sight picture the gun is correctly aligned at side of the target and the score will be 6 or 7.||Probable score - zero. The barrel is pointing way off the target. Most people are surprised this is a bad shot because they think the target is in the centre of the picture but a small deviation between the front and rear sights throws the aim off totally|
Place a chair behind you so that you can stand up form it into the firing position. Sort out all the ammo and pistol such that once you are in an acceptable firing position you do not have to move your feet again.
Relax Before Each Shot
Do some meditation, close your eyes, breath evenly (don't breathe deeply as this is likely to speed up your heart rate)
Stand At The Firing Position
Support your non-firing arm, hook your thumb into your jeans or something to prevent it flopping about and shifting your body position.
Close your eyes and lift your arm up as if you were holding the pistol. Open your eyes - Is your "v" between finger and thumb pointing at the target? If not then adjust your foot position until your arm swings around to aim at the target. Do not adjust your body position to aim at the target - only adjust your foot position. Repeat this until you can always bring your arm up naturally to point at the target. From this point on do not adjust your feet.
Once you are happy with pointing naturally at the target grip the pistol. It should fit snugly into your hand. Do not grip it too tightly - if it wobbles through muscle tension or if your knuckles are white then this is too tight. But do grip it tight enough to support the weapon - the more snugly the pistol fits into your hand the less effort you will use in holding the pistol and the less muscles there are which are under stress. The objective is too minimise the number of working muscles between the floor (your feet) and the pistol (your fingers). Less muscles working = less wobble.
Raise the pistol to the target with your eyes closed. Open your eyes and check it the pistol is naturally pointing at the target. The pistol barrel should form a natural and straight extension of your arm. A skew grip can ruin all the preparation for pointing naturally at the target as more muscles are then being used to drag the pistol back onto the target.
Shaping The Grip
If you have your own / allocated pistol it is worth taking time to shape the pistol grip such that every time you pick the pistol up the barrel points in a straight line as an extension of your forearm. It is vital to avoid a kink in the imaginary line from foresight through the rearsight through the wrist and up to the elbow and if possible right up to the shoulder joint. To shape the grip use some wood putty or something like it. (The ideal is bostik but I don't think this is allowed! Next stop would be to superglue the pistol to your hand!!). Place some wood putty on the pistol grip and then grip the pistol so that the grip keeps the natural straight line from shoulder to foresight. Let the putty squeeze between your fingers (- but not to the extent that any overhangs are visible - this is illegal - Next stop would be designing a solid glove to slip your hand into!!) Let the putty dry and then neaten up the edges to ensure the pistol can still fit into the test box and that there are no overhangs in the putty, or that the putty can from any sort of cradle for a finger, thumb or palm.
Having Checked The Pistol Is Pointing Naturally Go Through Your Load Procedure
Then go through your relaxation procedure - you are aiming for that state of consciousness just before you go to sleep but with a highly alert mind.
You Are Now Lifting The Loaded Pistol up For The Shot
As you lift the pistol up to the target focus on the foresight AND KEEP FOCUSING ON IT.
As you lift the pistol up to the target ensure that the foresight is central and level between the rear sights.
When you have lifted your arm up to the natural position aimed at the target (you should n't need to find the target - your lift should automatically and naturally bring you onto the target) be aware of the target. The target will be a blurred blob because you are still FOCUSING ON THE FORESIGHT.
Keep the rearsight foresight sight picture and don't be tempted to put the foresight on the target and find that all the wobble simply translates into the rearsight moving around. The blurred blob of a target will be moving around as it is impossible to hold the gun in a vice like steady grip. Even if the target blob bobs around as shown in the pictures below you will still get it within the black:
However if your foresight picture is as shown below you might not even get the target:
As the blurred target wobbles around your foresight take up the slack on the trigger until you feel the pressure that causes the trigger mechanism to activate - the "first catch".
At this point you are ready to take the shot - do not worry about getting the perfect sight picture - (the one which ensures a ten every time is impossible - a good wobbling sight picture will get you an average of 8 - which after all is 160 over 20 shots) Worrying about the perfect sight picture will only distract you and it is highly likely to make you to snatch the shot for that instant when the perfect sight picture appears. If you snatch the shot you loose all the benefit of all the preparation, your wrist kinks - usually up and to the left and who knows where the shot will end up!
Once you feel the first catch keep the target wobbling above the sight picture (within the bounds of the good shot diagrams) and concentrate on bringing the trigger finger back so gently that when the shot happens you have not been able to anticipate it.
You can also ensure that you have breathed out once you feel first catch so that your lung position is the same for each shot. This is a refinement and not nearly as important as concentrating on slowly and smoothly bringing the trigger finger back.
Ignore the bang of the shot going off (it is useful to wear ear defenders for this purpose) The bang will only distract you. Continue to squeeze the trigger as if the shot hadn't happened. This is the follow through and your position must not change whilst the pellet is still in the barrel. (The pellets travel slower than you think - a snatched shot goes off target because the pellet is redirected in flight by the barrel).
Once your trigger finger can not come back anymore the shot is finished - try to use this as the signal that the shot has finished rather than the more obvious signals of bang or recoil. Try to ignore all these signals - they are incidental compared to ensuring the pellet remains on target.
Once you have finished the shot prepare for the next.
Try to shoot in groups of five without altering foot position at all. Follow the exact same procedure for each shot. Before zeroing ensure you are shooting accurately and according the marksmanship principles. Zeroing is a continuous process of iteration. If you improve and your group is tighter then rezero. If your group is not tighter then concentrate on tightening the group. Analyse each shot carefully against the marksmanship principles. What went wrong?
A tighter group is more important than whether you hit the black. Analyse what went wrong for each shot however these group diagrams may help although the cure is not the absolute answer - there may be other reasons for the grouping so it is IMPORTANT TO ANALYSE EACH SHOT
|Cause & Cure|
||Snatching The Trigger
Squeeze The Trigger
Maintain Aim After Shot
||Rocking The Feet
Wear flat hard soles which also support the foot
Avoid holding the position for too long before shooting
Always shoot at the same point of drawing a breath - usually recommended to breath out - hold it - then release the shot
Be aware that the foresight needs to be central between the rear sights. This may be caused by focusing the foresight onto target and any wobble is then transmitted through the rear sight. Concentrate on the rearsight/foresight sight picture being absolutely accurate and let the target wobble above it.
The sights have been realigned to compensate the habitual snatching. Cure the snatching first then realign the sights