Target Shooting Tips

Target Shooting Tips Guaranteed To Improve Your Performance

Whether you are a novice at target shooting or experienced with firearms, you can always benefit from learning some new target shooting tips. There are three main disciplines in target shooting, defined by the type of firearm used: shotgun, rifle, and handgun. While there are significant differences between disciplines, there are some target shooting tips that apply no matter which type of firearm you prefer.

Safety is the first and most important aspect to consider when target shooting. Although firearms can be dangerous weapons, the tremendous focus on safety by target shooters has made target shooting one of the safest of all sports. In addition to wearing eye and ear protection, keep in mind the four basic rules of firearm safety advocated by Colonel Jeff Cooper, father of what is known as "the Modern Technique" of handgun shooting:

Treat every gun as though it were loaded, even if you know it is not.

Never point your gun at anything you don't want to shoot.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. This is the "Golden Rule" of firearms safety, and it has been estimated that the violation of this rule is responsible for 60 percent of accidental firearm discharges.

Identify both your target and what is behind it; never shoot until you are certain you have identified both.

Take good care of your firearm; keep it clean and in excellent shape to maintain proper safety and accuracy. In shotgun shooting, having a properly fit gun will improve your accuracy and make shooting easier. Take your firearm to a gun fitter to ensure that it is adjusted correctly. If you are using a rifle, make sure it is properly sighted. These steps will ensure that your shotgun or rifle shoots where you look.

In order to get the most out of every target shooting session, arrive with a goal in mind. Always aim to improve your shot, whether by focusing on your stance, grip, breathing, or general speed and accuracy.

The most basic and essential elements of target shooting are breathing and trigger release. Mastering these two things will help you avoid flinching or otherwise moving your firearm while shooting, and will start you on your way to becoming an expert marksman.

Treat every shot you take as a learning experience. Even a bad shot - or a streak of bad shots - should help improve your shooting in the future. Paying close attention to the accuracy of each shot will help you learn your strengths and weaknesses, and you will be able to make adjustments as necessary.

Focus on the target, not on your firearm. When aiming, keep your eyes on the target and bring the firearm up into your line of sight. You will only be an accurate shot if you focus on where you want the bullet to go.

Practice swinging and mounting or aiming an unloaded gun, focusing on your stance and keeping your body erect. Making this part of your daily practice routine will make the motion natural and fluid, and help improve your shot.

As with any discipline, regular practice will lead to better performance. If you find that practice alone is no longer improving your shooting, consider taking lessons from a certified instructor to help bring your shooting to the next level. An instructor can evaluate your shooting and make recommendations to improve your comfort and accuracy. Even small modifications to your stance or grip can make a huge difference in your performance.

These are just a few target shooting tips to help improve your performance and increase your enjoyment of the sport. If you are among the more than 19 million Americans who practice target shooting, tips such as these will hopefully inspire you to continue to improve your skill.