Gunslingin’ #5

If you haven’t been keeping up, I have done articles on Stability, aiming, and data. Those articles lead back to the first one and the shot process. For this one, I am going to focus on that and the “why” to use it in your own shooting and getting it into your training. This will be a two-part article

Shot Process Part 1

For years, roughly about 42, Army leaders talked about the fundamentals. They tossed out these bumper sticker slogans and asked at promotion interviews about the four fundamentals. Occasionally, a good leader would tie it all together for a Soldier and make some progress but generally they just spewed Steady Position, Breathing, Sight Picture, and Trigger Squeeze in no order. During training, they would fix people by saying “Apply your fundamentals” followed by a terrible diagnosis based on things they didn’t understand with the vertical grouping as breathing problems and horizontal as the trigger. Nowhere in this did they work on a process to shoot.

Shooting well is as easy as properly pointing the weapon and then fire the weapon without moving it. Even that sentence lays out a process. A this then that thing. Most everything we do as humans have a process. Something must be done followed by another thing followed by another. This is how we accomplish complex tasks. Why then do we avoid applying it to shooting? Because that’s the way we have always done it that’s why. Not because of right or wrong just the standard.

Now, if you spend a few minutes researching some sports psychology about sports that involve throwing or hitting a ball, you will find a couple of things at pro levels. First, there is a process. Take a Pro Baseball player at bat. He just doesn’t walk up randomly and start swinging. He sets his feet into position a specific way in a specific place. He will check his swing for the proper grip on the bat, and several other things that are part of his process to hit well. Look at a pitcher. Every pitch gets the same process for two reasons. One, to ensure consistency of the pitch and the second so he does not telegraph his intent to the batter.

Shooting is about consistency. Doing the same thing repeatedly. Think about it. For a simple zero we are trying to get the bullets to land in the exact same spot, so we can adjust them to the desired point of impact. If you do something different the weapon will translate that into an impact shift. It may be insignificant, or it could be huge. At 100 yards, having 4 rounds touching and a “flyer” a ¼ of an inch away destroys a group. Having a shot process helps develop this consistency and ensures you have done all the steps for a good shot.

Part two will be coming soon.

Ash Hess


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