Any guides to good shooting out there?

Evenin' all,

Just joined my unit's shooting team and it seems I'm a dab hand... beat the Sgt who heads the team on almost everything!!

Anyone know any .pdf guides/webpages with details on how to shoot properly and efficiently?

The Marksmanship Principles are very good and all, but I'd prefer something a bit more.. science-like..

Weapons being used are L85A2 and Browning L9A1.

Many thanks..

Type of shooting is range outdoors.. up to 300m with a 4x SUSAT.
the basic principles of marksmanship.

1/ body position. < this is the most important, if your body is not pointing towards the target in a naturaly relaxed and comfortable position you have no chance, dont try to force the cross hair/ sights onto the target by arm movment alone, move your entire body orientation slightly, if you are NOT comfortable then your position is WRONG.

2/ breathing. < slow it down and shallow it out to slow the heartbeat and natural body tremble, mouth slightly open on an exhale with no pressure on the lungs. do not hold your breath.

3/ sight picture. < concentrate on the aiming point, fire on the exhale as the sights/crosshairs drop to the target.

4/ trigger control. < you stroke it gentley........ yeh baby.

books can only give you a heads-up on what to do and achieve, if you want to get serious you really need a coach.
There is no science.

4 principles, and perfect practice (so with a coach who knows what he is about).

Unless the rest of the team break your hands with a hammer for being a billy big timer...
Practice practice practice. Oh and drink less coffee/red bull or whatever makes you jittery. Learn to use a sling correctly.
Remember that on old type ranges, a razor sharp cylindrical metal implement, who's origins may not be all too disimilar to a modified pull through weight, can be of great assistance whilst checking scores and errrm pasting up!
Only the quality of ammo and weapon can improve performance once the marksmanship principles have been mastered.

Mastering those principles is the limit of influence for most firers.
By concentrating on the target before shooting, the eye tires.

The next shot, is usually not that good.

Therefore, between shots, one should breathe easy and should look away from the target, look at some grass in the vicinity (natural green is supposed to soothing to the eye); and then take aim, controlling breathing, and fire!
Try one of Jim Owens books on shooting positions/sling techniques.

It's septic (so AR/M14/M1A/1903 & 1907 slings) but all good stuff, particulary using the flat or outside of the elbow (prone) on your supporting hand instead of actually been up on it. Takes some adjusting too, but it really does work, looks a bit odd and you do end up pretty flat, but I use nothing else now.

Jim Owens Books

or Sinclair Intl. have them.

Books on Highpower - Sinclair Intl

That is a very good question. Since most of my target shooting experience pre-dates the A2, I cannot answer it! It would appear that the A2 sling was designed primarily for getting tangled up in. Then again, I am buggered if I know how to apply the marksmanship principles properly when wearing body armour.

Marksmanship works best with well designed equipment!

That is a very good question. Since most of my target shooting experience pre-dates the A2, I cannot answer it! It would appear that the A2 sling was designed primarily for getting tangled up in. Then again, I am buggered if I know how to apply the marksmanship principles properly when wearing body armour.

Marksmanship works best with well designed equipment!
I had this chat with a septic who does the Camp Perry stuff and seems to be a dab hand at shooting wings off flys at 600yards. His thinking was that on the M16 variants any use of a shooting sling would randomly alter the point of aim due to tension placed on the barrel when applying sling pressure to the front sling swivel. His thinking was the only way to effectively use any kind of shooting sling with an M16 variant is to have a floating barrel then attaching the sling to the handguard.

As to shooting properly: I have done some courses with top end trainers and they all bang on about the marksmanship principles and the application of those principles perfectly during practice. With multiple shot pistol strings the most important thing for me is the follow through in preparation for the next shot.
There is no science.

4 principles, and perfect practice (so with a coach who knows what he is about).
So true.

Reread the Pamphlet - especially the parts about holding, aiming, and firing. It's all there for a reason, and it was written by people who knew what they were doing (for the most part).

Weapon Handling. Your handling and IA drills need to be flawless - and you need to understand them. Sh!t drills are for cowboys and posers, not for the skilled at arms.

Weapon Care. Read the part about preparing for firing. Do it. After you've finished firing, clean it properly. Use the barrier cream by the armoury door; it sounds wimpy, but after two years with the MG platoon, my best man ended up with contact dermatitis...

Position - practice, practice, practice. Practice getting into and out of them (rapid adoption of kneeling from standing alert being the obvious one). Don't just rock up onto the firing point and think about it there; don't just lie on the floor aimlessly for a few minutes and believe that you've "trained" at anything.

Whenever you sign out the weapon, spend ten minutes aiming at something safely. A brick in the wall, a pin on the noticeboard, whatever. See if you can hold the aim. See if you can fire off the action while keeping the aim. Note that if you can't stand or kneel or lie still, then WTF is the rifle going to do? You need a stable base for aiming.

Don't go all target rifle. Keep it simple; the positions you should be building for your L85 are the ones you would use in the field; nothing intricate, or weird, or "a bloke said the snipers do it this way" - the bog standard practical stuff works, use it. If you want to rest the mag on the ground (if the body armour lets you, or you're in a fire trench) then great; but you still need a prone unsupported position that lets you aim uphill. You'll also develop two standing positions - a deliberate "balanced" one for when you've got time, after sorting out a forward-leaning "shotgun" style one for rapid shooting. You'll need to learn how to take advantage of a wall in both kneeling and standing. You'll need to practise aiming while wearing a respirator. Did I say practice?

L85 hasn't got a floating barrel.
Its barrel is thin and bendy, and it's in contact with the handguard. If your left hand is exerting force on the handguard, you risk bending the barrel enough that your group can shift an inch or two at 100m (i.e. off-target beyond 300m). Check it out with a collimator; ideally, your reading should be the same from all of your firing positions. One big help for this is to keep the left elbow underneath the rifle as much as possible (well, slightly to the left, there may be a magazine in the way). Did I say practice?

Aim, don't overaim. The muscles holding the lens of your eye are the smallest and weakest in your body. If you hold the aim too long, your eyes will tire; the best aim is often the first one.

Follow Through, and Call the Shot.
You might have the fastest reactions on the planet, but there's still going to be a 0.2 second lag between "you see the perfect aim and decide to fire" and "the rifle goes bang". Unfortunately, you're going to remember where you were pointing at the start. If you practice holding the aim all the way through the shot and afterwards, then the rifle will still be pointing where you want it. If you don't, you'll risk becoming one of the "but my aim was spot on, it must be a sh!t rifle/broken target" brigade who refuse to believe that they could possibly have missed.

When you call the shot, it's not a weaselly excuse for missing - it's a way of learning how to track where the rifle was pointing 0.2 seconds after you decided to fire, (i.e. when it actually fired) and it's a surprisingly accurate method of deciding whether you should or shouldn't have hit the target - and hence whether you need to aim off more for wind / range. Take your first instinct as to where it went, and compare it with where it actually went; the AMS and indoor range are excellent for this.
Put the flat end into the shoulder and don't blow your foot off!

Can't remember where I heard that but's good advice.
With the Browning,relaxed thumbs,seriously. ;-)
To expand a little if I may. When you fire a pistol grasped in your mitt the natural tendency is for the shot to go at around 7:00 o'clock for right handers and 5 o'clock for left handers. I have taken part in this experimental drill several times. Experience and practice is what brings the shot where it needs to be.

The shot mis-placement is caused by an over-grasping of the pistol grip with the ring finger and the little finger. The tension of the grasp of those two fingers causes the slight directional shift to either 7 or 5 o'clock. To overcome the desire to grasp a pistol with all your might to stop it jumping out of your hand practice the following to convince yourself that the ninja deathgrip is not needed: Simply hold the pistol in your hand (with not much more force than you would hold an apple if you were going to take a bite) the using the thumb, index finger for trigger control and the traffic indicator finger around the grip under the trigger guard..........leave the ring and little finger extended but relaxed. Then aim at the 10 ring and squeeze off a shot, the pistol will not jump out of your hand........the shot should have moved from its previous 7 or 5 o'clock position to a more central position.

It comes with practice and experience. Do not over grip the pistol as if it will jump out of your hand........IT WON'T HONEST. Any tension in your grip is transferred to the pistol and will affect the aim. I can't do a Sarf Efrikan accent on the internet, but I remember one instructor saying to a class [Sarf Efrikan] "Hold the ******* thing like you would want a woman to hold your cock just before she sticks it in her mouth - firmly but gently, eh" [/Sarf Efrikan]

Note: If you are doing shooting team you may want to try the sticky hands resin that climbers and gymnasts use. I use the powder to help combat sweaty mitts.
Further to what Effendi says:

Exhibit A, the "basic grip", around which all else revolves:

Pistol held between 2nd & 3rd fingers and palm of hand.
This gives almost all the support you need.When shooting, little finger just rests on grip, likewise thumb. Neither exerts force, nor do the fingertips
of the firing hand directly.

Lateral grip strength comes from the SUPPORTING hand, in which the firing hand nestles comfortably.

Are they still teaching Weaver position in the Army? If so, forget it. Stand very almost square on, and do not lock any joint. Elbows slightly bent
If anyone suggests push-with-right-pull-with-left, ignore them. Likewise standing obliquely. Or locking the arms. Any unnecessary tension either is transmitted to the
pistol, or contributes to worse recoil control. Or both.

Perfect hold & position (on the move even):

I don't recommend the finger round the trigger guard, but I can't really criticize eric. I teach not to, cos in general I think it engenders a tendancy to weak-hand flinch.

Pistol shooting is highly unnatural to begin with - spend as much time getting comfortable with the pistol in your hand as humanly possible. Dry-fire LOTS.

Plus, enjoy!
Further to last: surprisingly, putting the left-hand thumb against the frame helps a lot with rapid aiming and recoil control! Also ensures your left hand is placed far enough around, assuming average or larger build & hand size.
ANd other top tips:

1st pad of finger on trigger
don't let go of the trigger on recoil. Ever.
don't ever "double-tap". Two aimed shots!
Front-to-rear sight alignment is more important than frontsight-to-target.
You've probably already been taught this as it's pretty basic, but if not it's the most useful tip I've ever learned with the rifle.

Point your weapon at the target and then shut your eyes, move the rifle away from your point of aim and back to the target with your eyes shut (without changing position), open your eyes and if you're not on your target exactly, test and adjust your position and repeat the process until you are pointing naturally at your target. And keep your position, don't move a muscle in between shots unless of course you're dropping multiple targets in which case adjust position quickly for each one rather than just trying to move the rifle.

If you're shooting from the kneeling supported position, the best way to use the post (or wall) is to make an L shape with your left hand and rest the rifle on your thumb with your palm against the post or wall, kneeling with your left knee on the floor rather than your right. (Do this even with the new bipod grip, put your thumb up against the underside of the piccatiny rail to support the rifle.)

Remember to squeeze the trigger rather than snatch at it, take up first pressure before holding your breath, when you hold your breath squeeze the trigger until you shoot, keep the trigger held and slowly release it.

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