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Telescopic sight with crosshairs

Using correct firing techniques will help you steady the rifle for the most accurate shot. Bear in mind that these are only the basics. Further study will help you understand other factors that can affect your accuracy.

Shooting from a Rest: When shooting in the field, the safest and most accurate shots are taken from a rest—a log, rock, or stump. To prevent the rifle from bouncing due to barrel whip and recoil when fired from a hard surface, put some padding, such as a hat or a coat, under the rifle or use your hand.

Breathing: When you are ready to shoot, take a breath and exhale until you feel comfortable. Relax and stop your breath. Breathing can move the rifle just enough to throw off your shot. Squeeze the trigger within six seconds—holding your breath too long will increase your heart and pulse rate, affect your vision, and cause the rifle to move.

Trigger Squeeze: Apply slow, steady pressure until the gun fires. Jerking the trigger or abruptly clenching the trigger hand can move the gun enough to cause a miss.

Follow Through: Proper follow through prevents you from jerking the gun before the bullet leaves the barrel. Continue holding the shooting position and trigger to the rear for two seconds after the bullet fires, then ride the trigger back forward. Do not try to immediately see if your shot hit the target when firing since this will:

  • Have a tendency to pull your face off the stock or your eyes off the sight as you pull the trigger and before the bullet leaves the barrel and…
  • Cause you to miss your target.