Vab1: Rifle Firing / Shooting: Basic Techniques & Tips

[This post is a part of the Vab1 Initiative]
Rifle Firing  Techniques, Rifle Shooting Basics, Shooting Techniques & Tips
The Goldern Rule of Rifle Shooting -  BSBT
  • Body Position
  • Sight Picture
  • Breathing
  • Trigger Squeeze

Body Position while Shooting / Firing a Rifle
Rifle Aiming
Sighting a target on your Rifle
Breathing during Rifle Shooting - Single Shot
Breathing during Rifle Shooting / Firing - Multiple Shots
Trigger Squeeze:
  • Tip of the Finger
  • Slow/Steady
  • Be Surprised
  • Release Slowly
More on Aiming & Trigger Pulling
Rifles can have different kinds of sighting systems depending on what you’re using your rifle for. What sighting system a rifle has also depends a lot on the preference of the shooter. Three common sighting systems you’ll see on a rifle are: open sights, aperture sights, and scope sights.
Aiming Fire / Shot through Open Sight Rifle
Aiming a rifle shot / fire with Apture Sight
Aiming a rifle with Scope
  • Aiming through open sights.
Open sights use a notch of some sort as the rear sight. They come standard with most rifles.

  • Aiming a Rifle with Aperture Sights

     Aperture sight (or peep sight) rifles have a similar front sight to open sight rifles. The difference is the rear sight. Instead of an open notch, the rear sight is a small ring mounted close to the shooter’s eye. There are different kinds of aperture sights, the most common being the ghost ring sight. Aperture sights allow you to acquire your aim more quickly and more accurately than when using open sights. One of the problems with open sights is that it forces the eye to focus on three objects at the same time: the rear sight, the front sight, and the target. This is impossible to do, so one of the points of focus will be blurry. Aiming an open sight gun requires the shooter to know which object needs to be blurry and which objects need to be in focus. Focusing on the correct points can take precious time. Aperture sights speed-up getting a correct sight picture by removing one of the objects in the shooter’s line of sight, specifically the rear sight. Looking through the rear ring causes your eye to automatically center on the front sight at the muzzle of the gun, thus providing you with a more accurate aim, acquired more quickly compared to using an open sight. To aim with an aperture sight, simply look through the rear ring sight, attempting to only focus on the front sight and the target. The ring will blur until it is almost invisible (hence the name, ghost ring sight).  The front sight should be centered in the rear ring. The greater the distance to the target, the more perfectly you need to center the front sight in the rear ring. A closer sight requires less sight precision. Aim your front sight right underneath the point you want the bullet to hit. Before firing, shift all your focus to the front sight. 

  • How to Aim a Rifle With a Scope
Scopes provide the most accurate and easy sighting on a rifle. They allow the shooter to magnify their target for better target definition at long ranges. A scope’s most useful attribute is that everything in the shooter’s field of view is in the same optical plane. Translation: there’s no need for your eye to balance focusing on multiple objects like you do with open sights and aperture sights. You can keep both the crosshairs and the target in focus. Just aim your cross hairs at your target and shoot.

Rifle Trigger Pulling

  • Press, don’t pull. Instead of pulling the trigger, press (or like my dad likes to say “squeeze”) the trigger straight to the rear. Apply constant, increasing reward pressure on the trigger until the weapon fires. Ensure that you’re only applying pressure to the front of the trigger and not the sides.
  • Take the slack out of the trigger. Squeeze the trigger to the point you start feeling resistance.
  • Surprise yourself. Keep pressing the trigger straight to the rear until the gun fires. Don’t anticipate when the gun will fire. You sort of want to surprise yourself as to when the gun actually discharges.
Want to try some real shooting yourself ? Checkout the VabLearn Initiative