About the Study Guide

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Marksmanship is the ability to hit your target. It is important for two reasons.

  • The first reason is safety. If you can hit your target, you will be confident. When you know you can shoot accurately, you don’t need to spend extra time thinking about how to shoot, but can instead concentrate on where to aim and determine if a shot is safe.
  • The second reason is to make a clean kill. A hunter’s goal should be to place one accurate shot for a quick, clean, humane kill. A good hunter practices marksmanship skills until his or her shots are consistently accurate.

Shooting combines the activities of loading and unloading a firearm, selecting the correct ammunition, and applying shooting skills. It isn’t a difficult activity, but it takes time, practice, coaching, and self-study to become proficient in the use of a rifle and/or a shotgun.

Ask a firearm instructor to help you when you are learning how to shoot. You may also join a shooting club. For shotgun owners, try shooting trap, skeet, or sporting clays. For rifle shooters, try target shooting. These exercises will hone your shooting skills.

The fundamentals of shooting can be learned in the classroom before you head to the range. Some firearm instructors will employ training simulators, such as a rifle that emits a laser beam, to teach the basics of marksmanship. Talk to your firearms instructor to determine what training program he or she recommends for you.

A rifle marksman takes aim