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Education / Training Advanced accuracy tips: Part 3

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!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

9 thoughts on “Advanced accuracy tips: Part 3”

  1. My TX-200 shoots very tight groups, but from one day to the next the groups would move half an inch or more. I figured I was holding my head in a different position each day. I have a mil-dot scope with heavy lines at the ends of the dots. What I do now is move my head back until there is just a little bit of each heavy line showing in the scope, then acquire the target, then check the lines again, acquire the target again… and finally shoot. Works great! But I’m hoping you have a better way. If its in upcoming tips I’ll be glad to wait.

  2. bb,
    I was wondering if you had any info on what brand or type of pellets to use on rabbits. Any info you can give is helpful. I also had the same question as MCA and it would be helpful if you include it in your next article.


  3. sav300,

    The first tip for selecting a pellet is how accurate is it? When there are several pellets of equal accuracy (or close enough), go with the hollowpoint, then the wadcutter, then the domed and finally the pointed or ball.

    Accuracy is really the biggest factor, however.

    As for the scope positioning problem, I will post something on it soon.


  4. B.B. Comfort is a key component of accurracy. Are there any general recommendations to modify the grip of 10M pistol grips? For example: adjust trigger distance first, grip thickness second?

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