Group Shooting

“Do not fragment your attention but see what each moment calls for.”

Especially as a beginner, the fundamentals of marksmanship are best mastered on a bench rest.

Shooting from a bench will also teach you the importance of what it feels like to consciously shift attention at 50 yards.

Position the sandbags so that the magazine’s base pad is resting on the bench, and the pistol’s dust cover is nestled in the sandbags.

Align the sights on the center of the target, then remove your hands from the grip. 

Without gripping the pistol, the sights should be perfectly aligned on the center of the target. Another way to think of it… Your grip is not involved in aligning the sights.

That’s me shooting 50 yard groups off a rug draped across the hood of my ’84 Chevy pickup. And check out that cutting-edge, compensated blaster.

Now do the following:

Position your pistol on the bags with the sights perfectly aligned on the center of the target. 

Shift your focus from the target to the sights to the target a few times, until you are certain that the sights are aligned as accurately as possible. 

Shift your focus—bring the top of the front sight into razor sharp focus, forgetting everything else. 

Now shift your attention and feel your finger’s pressure on the trigger. Until the shot fires, be aware only of the feeling of your finger as it steadily increases pressure on the trigger. This is important: once you begin pressing the trigger—never stop increasing pressure. Just pull it straight through.

You’re still focused on the top of the front sight as you press the trigger, but you no longer care about the sight alignment. Once attention is in your finger, the shot should fire within one to three seconds.

I was working with a local shooter. After he had the sights aligned, I leaned in and whispered, “look right at the top of the front sight… now feel your finger touching the trigger… now steadily pull the trigger straight to the rear.” The shot fired and he looked up at me with a huge grin. I said, “that was a beautiful thing, wasn’t it?” He said, “yes, that was a beautiful thing.” (And he was not the type of guy that would say that.) I knew that was the first perfect shot he had ever fired.

Be calm and aware, and you will surprise yourself.

I’ll post a new topic each Friday afternoon, in one of two categories. One will be on shooting, and the other will be on living. Or: how I learned to live from what I learned by competing.

Thanks for coming in.