Mistake #1: Inconsistent Trigger Control
The most important of all the fundamentals, and the one from which most mistakes occur. You have a grouping, but they’re all too far left or too far right – you’re using too much, or not enough finger. You hit the bullseye, but every other shot is spread throughout the target. (This is more of a sight picture thing.) What’s happening? Probably inconsistent trigger control.
How to fix it: Regardless of which trigger mistake you are experiencing, the solution is the same: smooth, even, pressure applied to the trigger throughout the pull stroke. Think of a set of balance scales…one side has a 5 lb. weight, and you are slowly pouring out 6 lbs. of sand onto the other side. Slowly, very slowly, the scales will move until, finally, it tips to the opposite side. Keep this in mind as you squeeze the trigger.
Mistake #2 – Flinching
Flinching is the act of anticipating recoil, noise, and/or flash of firing a gun. When you flinch, your hands dip forward and down as you tense your body in effort to counter the anticipation. Because of recoil, most don’t realize they are even flinching in the first place.
How to fix it: There are simple, but great, tools to help diagnose and counter flinching.
Mistake #3 – Not following through
Follow through is one of the fundamentals of shooting, and not following-through is probably the second most common mistake. Following through after your shot helps even out the shot.
How to fix it:
Many people tend to shoot, then “pop-up” to see if they hit the mark. Do not do this. After you’ve pulled the trigger, and the shot has been fired, you want to maintain your shooting position. Following through will help get a good, consistent group of shots on the target instead of hitting the bullseye once. Once you have a consistent grouping of shots on the target, you can identify how and what to adjust because you know you are able to put shots on the same point of impact. The goal is to have all your shots in the area the size of a quarter than to have one bullseye and the rest spread out over a 10 inch area!
Mistake #4 – Bad Stance = No Balance
It is quite common for shooters to use a stance that does not promote good balance. This is extremely desirable when trying to achieve accuracy and comfort. Without it, your body wears out, and frustration sets in. You can often see someone at the range standing with their arms outstretched and their back in a backward arch leaning out over their heels – this compounds the effects of recoil as there is no appreciable center of gravity and the body rocks back with the shooting of the gun, even to the point a person must stop and reacquire a shooting position.
How to fix it:
Do the exact opposite! Lean forward into the position in a “nose-over-toes” stance. This allows for a very positive center of gravity with gives far better control by actually helping to counter recoil.