MARKSMANSHIP BASICS - Natural Point of Aim

FearNoWind

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#1 Do you understand the concept of the Natural Point of Aim? If so please describe it briefly.

The natural point of aim puts the rifle on target without physically pressuring the rifle into position before taking a shot. It involves aligning the firearm with the target and sighting on the target without forcing the rifle into position. It may best be achieved by placing the rifle in position, closing your eyes and becoming relaxed and comfortable with your position on the rifle and then opening your eyes. If you're not on target - repeat the process until you are.
It's easier if your standing because it usually involves little more than moving your feet but in other shooting positions it can be somewhat difficult to master.


#2 Do you employ the concept of the Natural Point of Aim in various field shooting positions.

I make every effort to apply the concept on the range but in hunting situations it is sometimes very difficult to find enough time to apply the concept perfectly.
 

Eselkopf1

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When I was a drill sergeant many privates would forget the whole natural point of aim thing. Or their own drill sergeants would forget to teach it.

Its super simple. Get prone supported. Get a proper sight picture and sight alignment with the target. Then close your eyes and relax take 3 normal, perhaps slightly deep breathes. Open your eyes. Your rifle likely moved off target. Now wiggle around and repeat.

Do it until your sights are nearly center mass all by themselves.

Go through the rest of your fundamentals and take your shot.
 

Litehiker

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PRS competitors KNOW that they need to constantly practice getting into their NPA from many different (and sometimes unusual) positions. It's part of training.

Unless their alotted time is almost up they usually physically adjust position until they get an NPA.

Eric B.
 
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Greyfox

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To me, natural point of aim is just that-where your hand/eye coordination points the muzzle of your weapon. When I pick up a hand gun,which is a last resort or only good for fighting your way to a rifle, I want to be able to take a grip where my trigger finger will point straight down the barrel. If you are up close your "natural point of aim" will take over and the sights become second nature. They will automatically line up on target. With a rifle in an urban environment you will do most of your firing on the move. So good foot placement is out the window, and so is trying to line up your sights. You will point and shoot, with both eyes open....your natural point of aim. The same with a shotgun. Now if you are stationary (standing or prone) it is much the same,except you get into a good stance or a steady prone position. You look at your target with both eyes open and bring the weapon up into position and you should have your intended target in view of your sights, open or scope. That is when you can line up the sights properly and engage, with one or both eyes open. Like I said hand/eye coordination,and the more you practice the better and faster you become.
This is consistent with my understanding of “Natural Point of Aim”. I have made the greatest use of this principle when shotgunning for birds and shooting rabbits with a rimfire. Relying on a combination of hand/eye coordination, a properly fitted firearm/form, and development of ones instincts, results can be uncanny on fast moving targets. IMO, relevant to LR hunting and shooting, point of aim is a priority for rapid target acquisition and rifle/recoil alignment.........paying close attention to rifle ergonomics(set-up), and using a shooting form that optimizes for point of aim from the likely shooting positions to be encountered. With practice, positioning for the shot becomes a subconscious exercise, and focus can be applied to the target and shot.
 

Litehiker

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N.P.A. is obtained when, while in a shooting position, your body naturally holds the rifle sights on the target while relaxed and without muscle tension applied to hold the rifle.

Checking for NPA->
1.Get in shooting position with sights on target.
2. Close your eyes for ten seconds.
3. Open your eyes. If your sights are still on target you have achieved your NPA.
4. If your sights are NOT on target move your body until they are on target. (No muscle tension here)
5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you have your NPA. (And the bubble level says your rifle is level!)

Eric B.
 
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