Tighter Shot Grouping – Range Time

Spending all day teaching at the women’s shooting day I remembered that I need to remind you how to attain smaller shot groups with your rifle.

The occasion at which I helped instruct is one designed for ladies who are new to shooting, or at least new to the event. If a lady is a past attendee, she needs to bring a new enrollee in order to sign up again.

CLICK HERE to listen to this tip and more
in my segment at Armed Lutheran Radio.

At the women’s shooting day they divide into small groups and get to learn to shoot archery, .22 rifle and handgun, muzzleloader, shotgun, and higher caliber rifles. Each year I jump in to teach where I’m needed. This year I landed at the high-caliber rifle range.

When referring to “higher caliber” rifles I’m talking something larger than a .22, meaning .223 and 5.56. Don’t be alarmed if you think those are small because later I’ll tell you about the grand finale at the rifle tent.

Under the shade of the rifle tent the ladies start out with a safety briefing, an explanation of how to properly shoot a rifle, and then we dive into the operations of an AR style rifle. After questions are answered we divide the small group in half.

This year one half came to my shooting bench where I demonstrated a proper seated position, how to hold the rifle, and how to use a peep sight.

For tighter shot groupings use a proper shooting position.

As the ladies approached the bench for their turn behind the trigger we worked on getting them into a comfortable shooting position, which involved lengthening or shortening the adjustable stock for some. Next, they learned how to check if the safety’s on, view the chamber to see if it’s clear, load the ammunition into the magazine, insert it, and then chamber a round.

Since we had a peep sight on the rifle the ladies were shooting at my bench, it really required a good shooting technique to keep the sight steady on target as they pulled the trigger. Proper shooting position is imperative, but we also reminded the ladies of the B-R-A-S-S technique (listed below).

For tighter shot groupings use B-R-A-S-S.

  • B – Breath – Take slow smooth breaths.
  • R – Release – After you’ve taken a nice slow breath, let it out about halfway.
  • A – Aim – As you let that breath out, make sure you aim and your sights are on target.
  • S – Slack – With your sight on target place your finger on the trigger and slowly pull up the slack.
  • S – Shoot – With a slow, steady trigger pull the breaking of the trigger and firing of the shot should be a surprise.

The ladies who came to my bench first really had an advantage because at the other bench they shot a similar AR style rifle, but it had a red dot optic on it.

For tighter shot groupings use a red-dot optic.

With the red dot, they didn’t have to worry about looking through a tiny hole (peep) at a post and aligning it on the center of the target. They only had to align the red dot and practice the B-R-A-S-S technique as they fired their shots.

One thing to consider if you’re going to use an electronic optic, such as the red-dot, is that you’ll need to remember to turn it off and on. If the battery dies, you’re out of luck.

I mentioned a grand finale at the rifle tent and I did mean grand. After the ladies learned safety, shooting positions, and techniques they got to shoot a .50 BMG with a long-range tactical scope attached.


For tighter shot groupings use a scope.

Before teaching the ladies how to shoot the gun that’s about as long as I am tall we explained how it worked and I again demonstrated how to hold the gun and showed them proper shooting position. Behind this big gun, shooting position matters — A LOT. I also showed how to use your off-hand (not the trigger hand) to raise and lower the stock end of the rifle to get the target in your sights.

Once the ladies were properly seated behind the large rifle they learned how to align the crosshairs on the target. They again practiced the B-R-A-S-S technique as they fired a single shot.

If you too utilize and practice the above-mentioned accessories and techniques, you’ll have better shot-groupings on your targets.



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