Marksmanship - Developing a Routine

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by RockyMtnHigh, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. RockyMtnHigh

    RockyMtnHigh Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    I'm a beginner long range shooter, and I'm doing my best to self-teach myself and validate everything on the range and in the field. I've read everything I can get my hands on with respect to marksmanship (what I'm talking about here is the entire process from setting up my rifle to pulling the trigger).

    I find that I'm checking all sorts of important aspects of the shot before pulling the trigger from proper position / alignment to sight picture to cheek weld to breathing, etc., but I never seem to do it the same way or in the same order. This leads me to second guess myself a lot of times. Does anyone have a mnemonic device or some sort of acronym I can memorize so it becomes more rule based?

    I'd like to get to the point where each shot is systematic. Meaning, I'm checking everything the same way and in the same order every time.

    Any help or advice on what works for you is much appreciated.
  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    With practice it becomes all about muscle memory. You and the rifle just kind of mold together like your fingers on your hand when you hold your hands flat out.

    I can't help you with a mnemonic butt start with this.

    1) Steady well supported position.

    2) Buttstock properly shouldered.

    4) Eye/Sight alignment/cheek weld

    5) Trigger timing and control.

    Shooting off of a bench all of the time kind of makes us lazy, and in the field you never know for sure what position you'll be shooting from when that once in a lifetime opportunity appears so you need to practice from different positions as well.

    It's really not that hard. If you consistently mount the rifle in the same manner, and have good discipline on the trigger you can just relax and have fun with it. You will get to where it "just feels right" when it all comes together at which time you'll notice the round is already out of the barrel and lined up for a clean kill before you really even have thought specificall about pulling the trigger.

    There's a lot of good info on this thread that might help you as well.

  3. chucknbach

    chucknbach Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2011
    I can't help with that as I self taught when I was young without the benefit of the written down right way. I realize I got there somehow but I keep trying to remember back when I was a kid making the conscience effort but I can't. I would however attribute it to many thousands of round down range.

    The rules of marksmanship don't change with distance but the further out you go the more apparent flaws in your fundamentals become.

    Have you thought about taking a step back to a .22 and putting globs of lead down range till it becomes reflex? It's cheaper and will let you relax a bit and not over think it.
  4. RMulhern

    RMulhern Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    Remember this:

    The friggin rifle doesn't know whether it's shooting 50 yards or 1800 yards; only you do! It's all a mind game!!



    Taught in the military 50 years ago when shooting the Garand with military trigger!

    All my grandchildren have learned this:

    Sight Alignment
    Trigger Control
    Mental Attitude

    All four are ultra important but if I were to assign one that was MOST IMPORTANT I would choose POSITION!! The rules of MARKSMANSHIP are IRONCLAD and unyielding in their nature and all must work in concert! If not....try golf or bowling!!lightbulb
  5. dragman

    dragman Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2011
    I have found myself as a fairly new shooter that even with all the thinking and check lists the thing that is most important is Trigger time. I don't do much differently than I did when I started but the muscle memory is what makes me a good shooter. I now shoot around 5000 rounds a year from a variety of guns and I find that the muscle memory of how everything feels before, during, and after you squeeze the trigger becomes more in sink and more consistant the more you shoot.
    plus there is always room for two kinds of days:

    1. You can't miss seems like your money no matter what you do

    2. You can't hit just pack your stuff and go home.
  6. texas270

    texas270 Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Here's another one, developed after I forgot each of these more than once:)

    P--paralax setting


    O--one dry fire ( to reaclimate myself to the trigger pull)


    E--ear protection

    S--slow down/manage the heart

    S--Shot called (be sure to keep presence of mind to call the shot)
  7. minute of elk

    minute of elk Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    i recommend a few bricks of 22lr until you commit most of your checklist to muscle memory, but what do i really know?