Breathing & steadiness -- tips for rifle accuracy?

Breathing & steadiness -- tips for rifle accuracy?

This is a discussion on Breathing & steadiness -- tips for rifle accuracy? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Well, sad to say, my breathing control sucks ... big time. The darned crosshairs on the scope keep bouncing all over the place. I can't ...

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Thread: Breathing & steadiness -- tips for rifle accuracy?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Question Breathing & steadiness -- tips for rifle accuracy?

    Well, sad to say, my breathing control sucks ... big time. The darned crosshairs on the scope keep bouncing all over the place. I can't see very well past 50yds, so I do scopes. So far, I am resisting a bench rest, on principle (besides which, a bench rest is fairly useless 10mi into the back country). I'm more of a hand-held and mono/bipod type of guy. Now, 1.5"+ groups @ 100yds aren't bad, particularly when breaking in a new rifle and scope, but it won't impress a deer at 350yds.

    So, got tips? What do you do for improving your breathing control and its impact on ultimate accuracy, with a long rifle?
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  2. #2
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    Mike - I share aspects of your problem - and I am not as steady as I used to be either.

    First off - in the boonies do consider using the crossed sticks as a simple rest - or something similar that's easy to carry.

    The actual breathing ....... timing - it's down to timing IMO. I will breathe deliberately slower and deeper, maybe twice and then exhale to 50% - then holding that breath briefly try and take the shot. The one real tricky thing is pulse ......... if outa breath a bit or just cranked up with some adrenaline, the darned pulse is annoying - but again timing has to be used to find that brief spell when all is at its best.

    Obviously perhaps - no good snatching trigger - if you know the gun then you'll know trigger feel and travel - so practice some dry fires where trigger operation is brisk/slick but still with no snatch - it is not that hard.

    It is also possible IMO to continue to exhale from that 50% in increments, stopping periodically to have a chance at taking the shot.

    350 yards tho is not easy for anyone with no rest at all - I'd go prone with a sling if possible or find a convenient support - and then apply the breathing discipline. Dry fire really can help here ... experiment and I am sure you'll find a combo of actions that improve things.
    Chris - P95
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    Lots of dry fire practice, a steady field rest and low power setting on the scope. the higher the power the more you notice the shake and movement. If you search online you should be able to find breathing, positions and ect to help you. Maybe join a club and ask others to help teach you.
    I learned to shoot with the NRA as a JR competitor , but anyone can sign up to shoot competition. Most folks are more than willing to help.
    Also, 300 yrds is a long way to shoot(yes it can be done , I shot hi power out to 600 yrds ). If you can only hold a 1.5" group at 100 yrds I would suggest limiting your shots to a reasonable (for your skill) distance.
    Other factors include physical factors, wind weather conditioning of your body.
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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Check out the Army Marksmanship Training Guides. I've got the pistol one, and the first chapter of each is about reducing your arc of movement. Send me a PM if you want me to mail it, it's about 2 MB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    The actual breathing ....... timing - it's down to timing IMO. I will breathe deliberately slower and deeper, maybe twice and then exhale to 50% - then holding that breath briefly try and take the shot. The one real tricky thing is pulse ......... if outa breath a bit or just cranked up with some adrenaline, the darned pulse is annoying - but again timing has to be used to find that brief spell when all is at its best.
    Basically what Chris said! One mistake is the inability to ease off on the shot if you've held your breath too long! If you hold too long it WILL up your heart rate and mess up the shot. The ideal time for holding your breath is usually 10 - 20 seconds, if you pass that, start all oner again.

    As for pulse....... You can't eliminate that, just control!

    Also Google the Army AMU (Advanced Marksmanship Unit) manuals, they are in pdf format and can be downloaded. They are a BIG help, and full of tips. I spent close to a year firing at the Command AMU level and we lived by those manuals.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    I had the same problem. I solved it by lots of range time with a scopped 22 rifle, then graduated to the hunting rifles. Practice is the key.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    At the range again, today, I had a few groups under 1" @ 100yds, but most were much worse than that with lots of fliers. Little control. Ach. It has been a long while, since I've done target shooting with a rifel on the range. Used to do it frequently, with cousins and friends, but that was ... uh ... quite awhile back. A heavy-barrel .223 should be sufficiently "puny" to start back into it. A friend's .22LR wasn't much better, for me.

    The issue is: breathing control; anxiety control; smooth squeeze, though with the Savage Accu-Trigger that's a lot simpler to get control over. I'll get there.

    Thanks for the tips.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    This may sound stupid, but Chris already said all the good stuff, so here goes.

    I don't know what kind of physical condition you're in, but excercise, especially cardio, will help you with your breathing and heart rate. The better your physical condition, the slower your resting heart rate, and the quicker you'll recover a low heart rate after activity.

    If you don't excercise, maybe it will help to start. If you do already, disregard.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  9. #9
    Member Array MeanStreaker's Avatar
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    Hopefully, these instructions can help in firing an accurate shot.

    http://www.fredsm14stocks.com/rifle.asp?ITEM=2

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    I should add that having a crisp and not overly stiff and heavy trigger sure helps.

    When your firearm goes BANG exactly when you want it to without a ton of heavy, mushy, creep - that sure does help make for a more accurately placed shot.

    I refuse to own a rifle or a handgun with a terrible trigger.
    I will either get that trigger fixed or I will not have purchased it in the first place.
    I will not "work" with a bad trigger when a good gunsmith can so easily solve a bad trigger problem.

    So if your trigger stinks on any firearm then (do yourself a huge favor) and have it made better - because you'll never shoot any firearm as well as you could if the trigger is not good and it does not break clean.

    Just my opinion on that.
    Can you tell that I despise a slop filled trigger?
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array dimmak's Avatar
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    A distance hunting shot will without exception, be accompanied by rapid pulse and breathing as your adrenaline will be increased....
    the use of support, however rudimentary (i.e. ground, tree, rock,etc) will make all the difference...
    Let us know what you find works for you.....
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    You need to learn to use a sling to steady your aim.

  13. #13
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    Totall concentration.

    Absolute breat control.

    Totall concentration

    Timing.

    Free standing with no support, you will notice that your scope travels in a figure 8 with the center of the 8 on target and the loops of the 8 from left to right...like a sideways 8....if you are in your natural point of aim...as you should be.

    With total concentration and a half empty lung you time your trigger release to correspond with the crosshairs on target.

    Sounds easy enough...but with practice one will see much improvement. With a lot of practice one will do it without concious thought.

    With that being said, any time you can use a rest you should.
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