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  • Writer's pictureHootey Cline

Mastering Rifle Shooting: Tips for Precision and Skill Development


Rifle shooting is a discipline that demands precision, patience, and a commitment to continuous improvement. In Illinois, where hunting with rifles is limited, finding suitable places to practice can be a challenge. However, there are several effective techniques and exercises that can help rifle shooters enhance their skills and become more proficient marksmen. Let's explore some valuable tips for mastering the art of rifle shooting.


1. Embracing Patience and Precision:

Rifle shooting is not a discipline that rewards haste. As Bill Ogelsby aptly stated, "if you are slow in the brain, you will be fast with your hands." Speed is a conceptualized reality, and rushing shots can lead to missed opportunities. By embracing patience and precision, rifle shooters can significantly improve their accuracy and consistency.


2. Smooth Target Acquisition:

Learning to pick up a target quickly and smoothly is a fundamental skill for rifle shooters. One effective exercise involves removing the bolt from the rifle and using a laser pointer to practice mounting and picking up the sight picture. This exercise can help shooters develop a more fluid and efficient target acquisition process.


3. Practicing with Moving Targets:

Shooting at moving targets requires a high level of skill and proficiency. One effective exercise involves placing cardboard in a tire and rolling it down a hill. This exercise simulates the unpredictability of moving targets and provides valuable practice for leading targets. Additionally, placing a target on a pendulum can also help shooters develop the skills needed to effectively engage moving targets.


4. Simplifying the Shooting Process:

Shooting a rifle is no different than throwing a football or a baseball. By simplifying the shooting process and focusing on the fundamentals of marksmanship, shooters can enhance their consistency and accuracy. Over-complicating the shooting process can lead to unnecessary errors and inconsistencies.


In conclusion, mastering the art of rifle shooting requires dedication, patience, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By embracing precision, practicing smooth target acquisition, engaging with moving targets, and simplifying the shooting process, rifle shooters can significantly enhance their skills and become more proficient marksmen. While finding suitable places to practice in Illinois may be challenging, these effective techniques and exercises can help shooters develop the skills needed to excel in the discipline of rifle shooting.

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