6 Easy Ways to Become a Better Rifle Shooter
Going to the gun range or hunting with your rifle can be exciting and fun. However, frustration can quickly set in if you keep missing shots. If you experience such issues and want to know how to become a better rifle shooter, you’ve come to the right place.
Our article will reveal the best rifle shooting tips for improving your aim and overall shooting experience. By the end, you will know how to pick a better rifle for your next shooting outing and what to do to get better results when you squeeze the trigger.
Make Sure Your Rifle is the Best Fit
Of all the rifle shooting tips, the most important is picking a weapon that fits you. If a gun is too heavy, complicated, or powerful, you may have trouble carrying and firing it. Besides messing with your aim, the likelihood of getting hurt or accidentally hurting others rises when you go out with such a weapon.
What to consider when choosing your rifle:
- Your experience level
- What you are going to be using your rifle for
- Your body size and capability
Being able to determine all three of those criteria for yourself will be extremely helpful in knowing what kind of rifle you should be looking for and using.
How to Become a Better Rifle Shooter
Now that you know how to select a rifle, improve your chances of hitting your target with these shooting accuracy tips:
1. Address Where You’re Falling Short
After firing several shots and missing your target, you should be able to identify the issue causing your inaccuracy. Common reasons for missing targets include:
- Being nervous or anxious before a shot
- Breathing heavily
- Poor posture
- Low visibility
If you are nervous, you may rush your shot. Shooting before you or your target is in an optimal position will increase the likelihood of missing your shot. Heavy breathing causes problems by causing your aim to shift. That’s why experts recommend holding your breath or exhaling when squeezing the trigger.
What about accuracy problems caused by bad posture or low visibility? You can resolve these issues and any other problems you may have by identifying the cause and fixing them. For example, you could resolve visibility issues by attaching a scope or laser sight to your rifle.
2. Make a Drop-Chart
Bullets don’t travel in a straight line after you fire. After leaving your rifle barrel, gravity starts pulling the bullet downwards. Experienced shooters aim slightly higher when taking long-range shots. The higher aim will compensate for the loss of altitude as the bullet travels forwards.
A bullet drop-chart will help you calculate the expected loss of altitude when firing at a far-off target. However, note that bullet drop typically varies between ammo and weapons of different calibers. For example, if you fire the same bullet with a lower caliber weapon, a higher caliber weapon will have less of a drop. That’s because the bullet’s velocity will be higher, giving gravity less time to pull the bullet downwards.
Here’s a simple way to create a custom drop-chart for your rifle and ammo:
- Select a distance and zero your rifle at the distance
- Place a vertical paper target 50 or 100 yards past the zero distance
- The target should be at least 15 inches wide and 20 inches long
- Paint a three-inch black dot at the center of the upper part of the paper
- Without adjusting your zeroed rifle, fire three well-aimed shots at the black dot
- With a measuring tape, measure the distance between your intended target (the black dot) and where the bullets hit
- The distance between the black dot and bullet holes is your drop for the number of yards you took your shot
- You can measure the bullet drop for a closer or further target with the same method
Jot down the bullet drop for different distances, and that’s your drop-chart. You can use the data to determine how to adjust your aim to get the best shot at different distances. Alternatively, you can download apps that provide accurate drop-chart information.
3. Practice Shooting in Different Positions
You may prefer shooting from a prone position, but you may not have the liberty to use your favorite position during hunting or combat in the real world. For this reason, you need to practice aiming and shooting from multiple positions. Being able to shoot from various positions ensures that you won’t lose prey because you could not take your favorite shooting position.
Since standing and kneeling positions are the fastest and easiest to get into, prioritize mastering these positions.
4. Practice Shooting at Different Ranges
You may be a great shot in one terrain or setting and a bad shot in another. You can resolve this issue by practicing shooting in different terrains. Alternatively, visit different indoor and outdoor ranges for target practice.
5. Shoot Your Practice Rounds with an Elevated Heart Rate
Sighting game and anticipating taking a shot can trigger excitement or nervousness, leading to an elevated heart rate. Chasing after prey can also raise your heart rate. A racing heart can cause blurred vision, sweaty palms, and unsteady arms. These are all issues that may affect your accuracy.
If you want to prevent an elevated heart rate from disrupting your shot, you need to practice shooting with a fast-beating heart. At the range, perform as much strenuous activity as you can before taking a shot. When you can hear your heart pounding in your ears, take your shooting position, aim, and fire. Repeatedly doing this will help you learn to shoot accurately with an elevated heart rate.
6. Shoot with a Variety of Weapons and Tools
The best shooters can hit a target in almost any scenario. Improve your shooting versatility by practicing shooting with and without silencers, scopes, and other attachments on your weapon.
Also, consider working on aiming while wearing a shooting backpack. Why? A heavy shooting backpack may affect your ability to get into a proper shooting stance. Learn how to get used to the weight so that you can shoot without wasting time taking off the pack.
Build a Pre-Shot Routine
Building a pre-shot routine is one of the most overlooked rifle shooting tips. Besides helping you focus on your task and target, a pre-shot routine can reveal issues that might be compromising your aiming and shooting. Your pre-shot routine should feature at least the following steps:
- Check your rifle’s sights and calibrate if necessary
- Load your weapon and disengage the safety
- Position and balance yourself to get the best aim
- Shoulder the rifle
- Try to steady your breath
- Keep your eye on the target and focus
- Relax the muscles in the arm and shoulder supporting the rifle, but keep the bone steady
- Keep your hip directly under the elbow and rifle
Don’t Settle for an Average Shot.
Why settle for an average shot when you can have a perfect shot with a bit of patience and practice? Follow our rifle shooting tips to improve your rifle shooting accuracy, and you will waste less ammo and get the satisfaction of hitting your target more often. If the sound of your weapon distracts your aim, get a silencer that keeps things quiet so that you can focus on your target.Shop Suppressors