Need some shooting advice.


April 7, 2013, 09:51 PM
Hey guys.
I will soon be purchasing my first rifle. I have a little but of experience with pellet rifles and such but I'm sure my technique is far from perfect. Without getting into rifle type and caliber I was wondering what I should concentrate on first.

My main reason is I have very limited knowledge of sights and moa and zeroing and all that. I know that stuff isn't relevant until I can actually hit what I'm shooting at.

Should the first thing I do is try to get the scope close and just practice being consistent regardless where the round hits the target? I'd like to develope skills and not just put rounds down range I just don't know how to go about it.

Any advice would be great.

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April 7, 2013, 10:16 PM
I would consider an air rifle. It gives almost anyone the ability to shoot daily. It needs to be accurate though.

Next up is .22LR - I assume you know it is hard to get right now.

You want the ability to dry fire with them too.

If you have trigger control from hand guns that would help. Sight alignment is up there too.

Work on NPA and calling shots. Those two things are fairly critical in your development. NPA = Natural point of aim. Solid position give solid NPA.

I put breathing behind these. Don't hold breath too long. I am not really a fan of holding your breath any way. I like to breath and shoot at a certain point in the cycle - between exhale & inhale.

This one sounds funny - don't take bad shots. Learn to not take a bad shot. If you see a shot not happening don't take it. Back off & fix the problem then make the good shot.

While I am a proponent of iron sights I do feel shooting with a scope helps. I like to switch between both and feel they can compliment each other.

April 7, 2013, 10:36 PM
First rifle purchase - I envy you. There is a new world out there that will bring you many years of enjoyment called rifle shooting. You Tube is your friend. Find videos on trigger control, long range shooting, mil dot, range finding, reloading, etc. Sit back and watch. Then, go out and shoot and shoot some more. There are a lot of guys here that will help and guide you as well. Welcome to the sport. 22 LR is a good way to start. It is cheap and you can hone your skills.

April 7, 2013, 11:14 PM
Ill probably be buyin a 10/22 takedown soon. It's good to be friends with private ffl's. haha. Ill also be buyin a .308 since they seem to be harder to find as time goes on. The shooting techniques I'm more familiar with, I just have a hard time figuring how well I'm shooting if I don't know how to sight in a rifle or use a scope.

Even with my pellet rifle, when I miss a target or am off, I don't know if its my technique or the scope.

Cee Zee
April 7, 2013, 11:40 PM
Buy yourself a well known to be accurate "bolt action" rifle that doesn't cost a lot to shoot. A .22 will be the best by far. Get something better than a 10_22, which is semi-auto anyway and that is something that will prevent you from using this method. There are lots of better choices for learning accuracy. Buy yourself a cheap laser that can be mounted on your rifle. This is key.

I would suggest something like a Savage MkII or a Marlin XT. Both are drilled and tapped to mount scopes which means you can mount your laser. You won't even need ammo at first. You will need just one empty shell casing. Having several is probably a good idea. Once you mount your laser you will want to leave the empty casing in the rifle. Be absolutely certain you don't leave a live round in the gun. Check it each time you start to practice.

You don't need to even zero the laser. That won't be the point. What you will want to do is to hold the rifle in a way that is natural for you to hold it. Try to hold it like you would hold a rifle that has a scope. If you don't know how that works borrow one or just pick one up in a gun shop just to look at it. You don't need to buy it. You just need to have an idea how to hold the rifle.

Be sure to hold the rifle the same way every time. I'm talking keeping everything in the correct position. At first this isn't as important but it will help you down the road if you read a web page or two about how to correctly hold a rifle.

What you want to do is to practice pulling the trigger. Turn the laser on and put the dot on something maybe 15-20 feet away. You can do it inside if you like. Keep that empty case in the chamber because rimfires aren't meant to be fired without a round in the chamber. A spent round will do. It keeps the firing pin from hitting the side of the chamber which will prevent damage to your rifle.

The idea is to learn to pull the trigger so that the dot doesn't move off of your target. This is the main point of all this. You will never be a good shot until you master the trigger pull. It is by far the most important aspect of shooting. If you move the gun around when you pull the trigger you will certainly be missing what you're aiming at. You absolutely must have a solid trigger pull where the rifle doesn't move from where you're aiming as you pull that trigger.

The absence of the bang of a bullet being fired or the flash of the muzzle will make sure you aren't startled into missing too. Anything that makes you move that laser dot off the target when you pull the trigger will make you miss.

Practice pulling the trigger until you can do it in your sleep without messing up. Learn how to control your breathing so that doesn't create problems. Learn to keep from pulling the gun one way or pushing it another way or moving it up or down.

If you learn to keep that dot on your target then you have more than half of the battle won. You will already be a good shot if you can do that. You just have to learn how to aim and learn to not let the bang of the bullet cause you to move the gun. You might even try using the laser while shooting a round so you can see you aren't moving the gun while firing a live round.

These other things are important too but they are easier to master than the trigger pull. Get your stance down and the way you hold the gun down and learn how to aim and you're there. Shooting is really a simple thing to do. It just takes practice but you have to practice doing the right things instead of the wrong things. And keeping that trigger pull under control is the most important part of shooting. I'd say it's at least 80% of shooting accurate.

I think you'll be amazed at how well you shoot if you do this. Nothing else will get you to being good faster. I'm not the best shot on earth but I'm pretty good. I've won a bunch of contests. And these are things I still practice sometimes especially if I haven't been shooting for a while (like after a long winter - where's my laser? :) ).

April 8, 2013, 10:59 PM
Hi KimberUltra:

I'd also recommend a .22. A bolt action like a Savage MkII will generally be more accurate than a semi-auto like a Ruger 10-22. But...

From your post it sounds like you're new to firearms. If you want an opportunity to learn a lot about the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship, including how to sight in your rifle, sight picture, natural point of aim, breath control in a short period of time, consider attending a Project Appleseed event. See the Appleseed web site at: Not sure if there are many in Ct. but there are quite a few events throughout the year here in upstate NY. The Appleseed site includes some good information about setting up a Liberty Training Rifle, which is based on one of several common semi-autos with the 10-22 being the most popular from what I've seen.

Welcome to the club!

April 8, 2013, 11:20 PM
strongly encourage you to find an appleseed or take a class from a place like K&M precision rifle training.

or find a small bore or high power club and join it.

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