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Expectation for accuracy while standing; drills

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Derek Zeanah, Jan 4, 2013.

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  1. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    Statesboro, GA
    I'm a good shot from prone, or sitting, even improvised shooting positions using sticks. If I've got support of one kind or another I do well.

    But I feel like a total weakling when I shoulder a rifle and try to shoot a group. A sub-minute of angle group becomes, well, embarrassing (did I really miss the silhouette at 100 yards?!?! :eek: )

    So, what's a good goal to set for a competent rifleman, shooting standing unsupported?

    And more important: if I were to devote 10-20 minutes a day to an exercise, what would you recommend? Or should I just shoulder the rifle and hold the crosshairs on target for 5 to 10 minutes at a time until my muscles respond?

  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Oct 23, 2004
    x ring in high power is 3" at 200 yards. if you can hold the 6" ten ring for 10 shots in 10 minutes you are doing really well. iow, 3 MOA

    more than exercise (you shouldn't be using muscle for support) i'd recommend practicing trigger control.
  3. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    NW Montana
    I feel that the objective sets the the goal. If you're shooting from the 200 yard line in a service rifle match you're trying to put all of the shots inside a 7" (3.34 moa) 10-ring. If you're shooting a deer at 100 yards then maybe 4 to 6 moa would suffice. If you're tying to shoot a squirrel at 100 yards then that's probably not good enough. Obviously, if you can hold 1 moa groups at 100 yards offhand standing then you're one heck of a good shot, probably world class.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  4. targetshooter22

    targetshooter22 Member

    Aug 11, 2012
    Minneapolis, MN
    I was able to hit a 6" pumpkin at 100 yards, and felt really good about it. Personally, I felt some of the videos on youtube were helpful. Particularly, there is a WW2 series from the Army Signal Corp about shooting the M1 well. They cover positions, stance, grip, and trigger control. It's full of 1940's cheese, but the info was good.

    For exercises, I'm not sure. Assuming you are right handed, the right hand and shoulder is most of the strength, but the supporting left arm is stabilizing, and could easily be the problem. So assuming you are holding the rifle correctly, anything that strengthens the lats, deltoids, triceps, and pectorals would probably help at least a little.
  5. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    Look into the rimfire or centerfire silhouette event. It's shot from a free standing position with no sling and limits on the stocks which preclude oddball tournament style rifles.

    I have not done it yet for real but I did make up some printed targets that mimic the sizes and shapes and tried them out at more or less the correct distances...... and yes, it was a highly humbling experience.

    But like with any skill there's things that can be learned and practiced. I was starting to get the hang of it when I got shifted away to other pursuits. But if you like the idea of becoming better at shooting from standing then look into the metallic silhouette events in your area. I'm sure the guys would be highly helpful and get you started off right with some good pointers.

    It's also not far off the job requirement of the standing position Biathlon shooting either. Another challenging event for the shooting aspect.
  6. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Member

    May 15, 2007
    Deep South
    Hi Derek,

    I shoot highpower and silhouette. The silhouette competition is mostly for off hand practice for highpower. You really see what is going on with trigger control through a 25 power scope.

    As suggested above the highpower 10 ring is a good sized target to be able to hold.

    My suggestion is to scale a 10 ring sized bullseye to what ever distance that you are practicing at. The minimum distance will be be dictated by how close you can focus your scope, if you use one.

    A couple of drills that helps me is to practice coming into the bull from all hours of the clock face. This will allow you to find the approach that you prefer but be familiar with all approaches so as not be freaked out if the wind is blowing and you cannot use your normal approach.

    Another is to break your dry fire shot as normal during the above drill but continue to hold the sight in the middle and press the trigger again. This develops muscle memory and elongates your time in the middle.

    Never accept a poor shot and only take shots that are in the middle. If the sight doesn't settle, do not yank the trigger anyway. Put the rifle down and start over.

    The best thing that I've done is set up a pellet trap with silhouette animals to shoot at for practice. With the 25 power scope I can really see exactly where my shots break and with follow through I can watch the pellet arc into the target.
  7. chris in va

    chris in va Member

    Mar 4, 2005
    Louisville KY
    Good eyesight helps too. Peep sights on my Garand can't even help my astigmatism.
  8. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Apr 13, 2007
    This is about what I've thought - that 4 MOA with a sporter rifle and no shooting jacket/glove is very good.
  9. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

    Mar 1, 2009
    Keep in mind that those holding the 10 ring in NRA High Power are usually using a tight shooting jacket and shooting an AR15 with lead under the handguards and in the buttstock weighing 12-18#.

    For field shooting without a weighted rifle while wearing normal clothes, holding the black is a far better goal. At 200yd, that is 13", so 6.5 MOA.
  10. twofifty

    twofifty Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Spending a lot of purposeful practice time behind a 22LR rifle will hone your gross and fine motor skills. The 22 skills transfer quite readily to centerfire rifles, esp. if the rimfire's weight, stock, scope x and trigger # mimic your HP rifle.

    Mix it up by shooting paper, steel, reactives, small jugs, shotgun hulls-alone and with a shooting buddy. There are a lot of game-type 8.5x11 paper targets that you can download from targetz.com.

    Throw in some position shooting as well. From time to time, get behind the bench and review your trigger pull fundamentals. If your circumstances allow, walk briskly out to the targets and back, then start shooting while your heart rate is still up. Physical conditioning is supposed to help accuracy.

    Set goals. For example, my first goal was to reduce offhand impact dispersion by 2" in the first year of training. Once this was achieved, the next goal was to go for a further 1" reduction. Keep track of what you do, and how you progress.

    Eventually, you should be able to fairly consistently keep several offhand big game hunting rifle shots within a 6" to 7" circle.

    p.s. +1 on the metallic silhouette games as a superb adjunct to your training. You can work your way up the various classifications. Some of the best offhand shooters in North America play the silhouette games.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  11. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

    Sep 1, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    A hipower shooter I am not. For hunting and plinking, I shoot the following:

    H&R Topper .30-30 with red dot and cast loads(165 cast bullet at 1500 fps) shooting offhand and a Rem 7600 Police with 16.5 inch barrel and red dot sight shooting basically the same cast bullet load as the .30-30.

    If I am going to get in a boat in the bayous, I take the Topper .30-30. If I am stalking or hunting a stand, the Remington .308.

    I place a piece of 8.5X11 paper on a backer at 100 yards. I have to hit it 10/10 before hunting. It takes about 3 practice sessions before deer season. If I can hit that piece of paper at 100 yards, I can put a bullet in the vitals of a deer.

    Our club has a steel plate in the shape and size of a human sillhouette at 200 yards. I have to hit that 7/10 before deer season. I feel that the 200 yard course is more fun that practical.

    Where I hunt, seldom do I get a 50 yard shot. This 2012 season, I killed two deer at ranges less than 50 feet.
  12. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    North Texas
    I used to shoot a bit of High Power, all reduced course (100 yds), and it helped my field shooting tremendously. After competing in High Power for a couple of years, I was amazed at how quickly and without even thinking I was able to assume field positions in a hurry.

    On the reduced course the "black" is 6" in diameter and before I moved on to different types of competition, and I am by no stretch a top contender, but I could pretty much keep 15 of 20 shots in the black. I didn't use a fancy, stiff shooting jacket and I fired low velocity cast bullet loads out of a modified Swss K-31. The key for me was practice.

    Like someone else said, hang a target at some distance at which you can dry fire then scale off the equivalent of 6" @ 100 yds. (.02" per foot of distance from the target) In my workshop, I taped a plain manilla folder on a locker 17' from where I wanted to stand. I then drew a black circle on the folder a little under 3/8" in diameter (.02" x 17'). From there I'd dry fire, with a rifle with some type of iron sights, over and over and over. One of the important things about this type practice is it builds muscle memory, which probably sounds oxymoronic as you should use very few muscles firing offhand. I also find it much easier to shoot offhand with good aperture sights than with a scope because scopes amplify movements so much.

    Finally, read the free chapters of Sight Alignment, Trigger Control and the Big Lie
    . Super, super good reading and very helpful, at least it was for me.

    Good luck,
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  13. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
  14. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    I think the trick to standing is trigger control. You can't get the sights to stay on target, so you have to master the trigger squeeze so that it breaks as the sights are passing over the center of the target.

    For me a light gun is helpful. With no coat or sling I can shoot about 6-7 MOA with my Mini 14 (of all things) or Gov profile AR. But if I use heavier guns my initial accuracy may go up, but as I put more and more shots on target and my arms tire the groups open up well beyond the 6-7 MOA level.

    When shooting 10 consecutive shots in high power events using a HBAR AR, M1A, or M1, a good day for me is keeping all 10 inside the 7 ring.
  15. 68wj

    68wj Member

    May 2, 2010
    A sling is a great shooting tool. One of the biggest problems I see is holding the rifle too long and trying to get the most stable shot. A good trigger definately helps, but dont be afraid to remove the rifle from your shoulder, breath, reset your position, and settle in on the natural respiratory pause.
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Get some standard NRA 11-bull 50-foot indoor targets. Shoot standing at 50 feet with a .22, putting 5 or 10 shots in each bull. Shoot without taking the rifle from your shoulder.

    "Good" is 50 rounds with nothing outside the 8-ring.
  17. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    Over the hills and far away
    As long as i can hit the crows in my backyard at 75yds standing no rest with my heavybarreled 22 im happy.
  18. jim243

    jim243 Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    I've always been tought that I should not hold on target from a standing position with a scope, but to bring the cross hairs down from top left (I am right handed) across the bullseye and pull just as the cross hairs intersect the bullseye for each shot.

    Start at 25 yrs and get good at it, then go to 50 yards and get good at that, then go for 100 yards and get good at that. Do this often enough and you should be able to hit bullseyes standing on your head. It just takes pratice.

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