Advanced accuracy tips: Part 3
by B.B. Pelletier
Tip 5. "Aim small, miss small"
A memorable movie line from The Patriot. And Joe in MD adds to the mix with his comments:
"1. Concentrate on the sights, not the target. This is something that one learns in shooting iron sights but many scope shooters don't think this will work for them -- it does. This is more mental with a scope than iron sights, but concentrate on the center of the crosshairs and not on the target. The effect is to reduce the movements you make to correct. This works even better for offhand shooting. "
Joe is essentially saying, "Aim small, miss small.
Allow me to elaborate
Many scope users seem to think that if the crosshairs are on the target, that's where the pellet will land. If the gun is sighted in, they are correct, but also far too vague for good accuracy. Here is an analogy. You agree to meet a friend at the mall at 1:00 p.m. You both get there but you go to Sears and he goes to the food court. In the days before cell phones, you could both be at the same place - the mall - and never see each other! Targets are like that.
On the left is the Hollywood version of a target. Anything the crosshairs touch must be hit! On the right is the marksman's version of the same thing. In this example, we actually look INTO the bullseye and see where the EXACT intersection of the crosshairs lies. We then do what's necessary to hold the crosshairs on the smaller target.
Tip 6. Learning the trigger
To "learn" a trigger means to become so familiar with it that you know exactly when it will break. If that seems to fly in the face of NOT knowing when the trigger is going to break - which is often quoted as a tip for accuracy - it is! Grasshopper, when you get to the point of NOT knowing when the trigger is going to break, you must then ADVANCE to knowing EXACTLY when it will break! That is not the contradiction it seems at first.
Wishing off the shot
When you know EXACTLY where the trigger is going to break you are able to control it to a ten-times finer degree than you were before. Perhaps, you've noticed how the crosshairs wander around the target continuously? By knowing exactly when the shot will go off, your subconscious (or less-than-conscious) mind is able to control the trigger. You pull off the shot at the exact instant the crosshairs pass over the desired aimpoint. While this may sound like mumbo-jumbo to some of you, every national-class shooter has learned how to do it. They might not describe it the same way I have, but they all do it this way.
If you learn to combine tips 5 and 6, you will become a much better shot!