How To Keep The Shakes To A Minimum When Aiming?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ATTHECROSS, Apr 16, 2018.

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  1. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    my hand has a natural shake that comes and goes and is amplified by holding something, also under pressure or stress, and with muscle fatigue. it takes focus, and relaxation to over come. death gripping the firearms makes it worse, and contrary to what some instructors have told me, a soft loose grip improved my accuraccy a great deal over having a tight firm grip. even with my shake, I manage to shoot most handguns very well off hand. another trick I use some times is to have the firearms sights gently fall into the target. and squeezing the trigger at the right moment(not jerking it)
    I will have to give some ofnthese other tips and tricks a try. great thread btw.
  2. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

    Mar 6, 2018
    So I am not alone after all! Everything you said confirms my experience.
    captain awesome likes this.
  3. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

    Sep 13, 2010
    Lots of good advice. Emphasis on the basics. Focus on the front sight. Keep the trigger moving. Follow through after the shot. Repeat.
    Understand that the sights will always be moving. As you get better, you will notice that the movement of the sights and the impact of the bullets on the target are generally circular...this is called the arc of movement. For elite shooters the arc is very small; for the rest of us, not so little.
    The you are always moving tenet is particularly observable if you have been shooting irons and then switch to a dot sight. The dot dances always. Practice and focus will keep it in the black and the Arc will grow smaller.
    About practice. Observe. Have others observe. Read about target shooting.
    Three classics are Gil Hebard’s Pistol Shooter’s Treasury, Gary Anderson’s translation of A.A. Yur’Yev’s classic “Competitive Shooting” and Ragnar Skanakar’s “Pistol Shooting”.
    Yep. Trigger control......squeezing the trigger at the right moment. If only. Learning that is one of the reasons that dry firing is recommended. Sit with the gun and dry fire again and again and again and again so that you know exactly when it will break.
    It is one of the things that Brian Zins emphasizes in his Bullseye Clinics.

    Using weights and hand exercisers is the standard advice for increasing strength. My feeling is that using the gun as a weight and dry firing with lots of reps will accomplish the same thing and improve trigger control at the same time.
    Have a 1911 or other semi auto? Try this:
    Put a dot about 1/8th inch in diameter on a piece of paper. Tape it to a wall. Take a sharp new pencil with an eraser and drop it into the barrel eraser end first. Stand close enough to the wall/paper with dot so that the tip of the pencil is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from contact. Aim at the dot and dry fire the gun. The firing pin will strike the pencil and pop it out so that it contacts the paper. Do that 10X and you will see a pattern of pencil marks about 3/4” below the aiming dot. That is your group. Ideally there would be a single point that was hit 10X. That probably not gonna happen. The smaller that cluster is, though, the better
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  4. RPZ

    RPZ Member

    Mar 7, 2017
    Get a good progressively adjustable grip exerciser. Use it moderately to slowly build up grip strength. The increased strength will allow you a better grip with less strain.

    Get some dumbbells. Try some out at a sports chain that you can bring your to eye level with just a little strain. Short sessions until you can bring them up and hold them there for several seconds. Work from there, holding them forward, and extending either side of you bringing them together etc. Same benefit, less strain, steadier control.

    Any other ways to increase upper body strength will help.

    Afterthought, avoid coffee before going out to shoot.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  5. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

    Jan 22, 2012
    NE Kansas
    Lots of good suggestions here. I have a tremor that goes with my disorder. I've become a decent rifle shooter by experiment and practice with equipment that works for me...the right weight, trigger pull, etc. I routinely kill prairie dogs out to 200 yards and some at 300+. Most of the squirrels I shoot are head shots. I spend quite a bit of time at the range, reloading bench, and in the field. I'm pretty good with shotguns too. Then there are pistols ................ For many years I never owned a pistol because I figured I would never be able to master them. But, decided to give it a try. At this point I would say I'm an OK shooter, mostly because I've become comfortable with my "wobble". This was tip from a shooting instructor. He said that everyone has a "wobble" and you have to get comfortable with yours. I think that's what I've done with rifles and it requires practice. I'll never be a really good pistol shooter, but I can load a pistol in the dark and could protect my family if need be. That's good enough for me.
    RPZ and captain awesome like this.


    Jan 4, 2017
    Definitely good info from everyone!
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Hopewell Big Woods.
    No sugar, caffeine or smoking. Control breathing. Weight training.

    Break shot within 3 seconds. Iron sight concentration first, then trigger control (smooth and steady) handguns. When sights settle, trigger squeeze should be almost automatic.

    Rifles-only put pressure on trigger when scope hair is in perfect alighment on target. Not recommended for the average shooter, as it results in jerking the trigger.

    Trigger pull weights- The lighter the trigger pull the better. But not as light as the Remington 40 xb 2 oz trigger.
    Rifles i like 3 lbs .
    Handguns as light as rules allow. Two pounds for all if possible and safe. The 45 acp around 3.5 lbs.
    Free pistol at 9 oz

    May not work for every one. imo.
  8. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    NM-south of I-40
    That's a good description of essential tremors which affect quite a few people. A trip to a neurologist might be in order and there are two medications that will help. I'm the voice of experience speaking. Also a note of warning. It worsens as you age.
    Ex and captain awesome like this.
  9. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

    Sep 13, 2010
    Free pistol at nine ounces? My Pardini is at two. Air pistol is 17.6oz (500 grams)
    Conventional pistol is 2lbs for .22, 2.5lbs for .32, .38, 9mm, 3.5 for .45
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  10. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

    Nov 16, 2015
    Salem, AR
    I don't know about "best", but you want to make sure you are physically up to holding the gun steady. Targeted exercises, like strengthening your grip and strengthening your forearm can help. When I went out for the rifle team in college the first thing the coach did was to tell me to develop the strength in my arms. I spent more time in the weight room doing curls that first year than I did shooting. It helped.

    Also, you need to be able to focus and discipline yourself to use your muscular strength. Martial Art, Yoga, Meditation, Centering Prayer can all help develop your ability to focus on the target.
  11. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

    May 31, 2017
    I don't shoot 1 MOA offhand at 100 yards with a rifle, or blah-de-blah with a pistol, but I know folks on the Internet who do. I also know a guy who slept at
    a Holiday Inn Business Express once.

    I use the sling to steady my aim. If you have the tension adjusted properly, you can hook your left elbow(right, if you are left-handed) inside the sling, and push downwards and outwards with your elbow. As the sling tensions, it will help steady the rifle. I've been practicing shooting offhand for years, and have
    gotten much steadier. There's still a little movement, however.
  12. czhen

    czhen Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Bunch of goods advice been written above, to me quitting coffee helped so much, noticing in few days the improvement.
    Some exercises on wrist, forearm and deltoid musle along with a better trigger technique.
  13. Archie

    Archie Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    Stop smoking. Stop chewing tobacco, all forms. Cut down on caffeinated drinks and food. All those items over stimulate one's senses and activate nervous tremors.
    Get regular exercise. Stronger muscles tend to quiver less. Do pulmonary-cardiac exercise in with this. Good lungs and oxygen supply to brain, eyes and the rest tend to reduce tremors. If one cannot do all this perfectly (I still love chocolate and coffee) do the best one can.

    Trigger press should be quick and smooth, not sudden and violent. A shot (at a target) should be fired within five seconds of taking aim and 'going on final'. (Probably two seconds is better.) Otherwise one's eyes run out of blood and start to blur. Think of ringing a door bell, gently but quickly in until it goes off and then smoothly withdrawn and it goes off again. As mentioned keep watching the sights and try to detect last instant movement; then correct what ever is causing the movement.

    Have an experienced and trusted friend watch while you shoot. Have him (her, it, whatever) watch for jerking, flinching and so forth.

    Probably other things as well, but this will start.
    czhen likes this.
  14. luger fan

    luger fan member

    Mar 8, 2018
    Pick up slack
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