Learning to shoot goes hand in hand with survival. Firearms are not only a means of feeding your family, but they provide that last line of defense should the authorities let you down. And trust me. You don't want to be relying on the government in a crisis.
But being a smart survivalist requires more than owning a gun. You need to learn how to shoot. And how to shoot accurately. Being good with your rifle can help you take down that deer for dinner, eliminate the invaders who are sneaking up on your bug out location, or even just give you bragging rights with your friends.
There's nothing better than a tight group of fire on your targets at the range.
But just because you're not there yet, it doesn't always mean it's you. I struggled for years with my rifle skills, they plateaued and I simply wasn't getting any better. I was alright, but there wasn't anything fantastic about my shooting.
Until I took a course with a pro. Over about eight weeks we did 15 classes, and I learnt more during those hours than I think I had in my entire life shooting guns. I was blown away by how the subtlest mistakes were impacting my accuracy. And once corrected, I couldn't believe how much I had improved. These days I've got no excuses.
Fix these simple mistakes and improve your aim with your rifle.
Accurately set your scope
There's more to putting your scope on than bolting it to your gun. Follow the instructions that came with it to fit this onto your rifle. The manufacturers guide is the best steps to follow, and there's plenty of tutorials on YouTube than walk you through it. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, ask an instructor at your shooting range. But pay attention. You may need to do it yourself one day. Once you're done, I'd also recommend fitting a laser sight, as this can help you quickly bring your rifle to bear.
Create a stable base
When you're shooting over long distances, even the smallest movements can throw off your accuracy. It's important to have a stable base for your rifle, so the shake in your hands doesn't ruin your aim. For me, my hands are a mess and I struggle keeping them still. I actually found the best solution for me is to bring my own rifle base. I use a pair of custom-made "sandbags" for want of a better word. They're refillable, so they make a great addition to your bug out kit, as you just need to bring the bags and you can fill them when you need.
Use the same pressure
When I was taught to shoot one of the key lessons from my dad was the importance of holding my rifle tight into my shoulder. Over time, I gradually increased the pressure, so I was hugging it tighter and tighter in an effort to keep the gun from moving. Now even though there's no "right or wrong" way to do this, the trouble would come after a long shooting session when I simply couldn't keep up the high levels of pressure. I was too tight. Instead, you want to find that sweet spot where you're keeping the gun firm into your shoulder, but you're still able to repeat it with the same pressure each shot.
Press the trigger gently
There are far too many people that think "pull the trigger" actually means yank the trigger back like they do in a Hollywood movie. Trouble is, your trigger will have slack. And as your finger moves sharply back, your gun will move. Ever so slightly. But enough to ruin your aim over a long distance. The key to good shooting is a smooth and slow trigger press. You need to practice this most of all, as each gun is a little different. What you're looking to do is slowly start to remove all the slack in the mechanism as you being the trigger press, so you're able to choose the precise moment to fire. That way, you're in complete control.
Maintain your follow through
Once you take a shot you're not yet done. Don't get up. Stay in your shooting position until you see the bullet hit the target. You want to visualize the entire process, from the moment you press the trigger, the arc of the bullet down the range, and the impact on the target. Stay in the moment, as once the bullet hits you'll also be in a better spot to judge what corrections need to be made. I get though that this can get boring, so what I like is to mix up the targets. As a practice session gets going I'll aim for smaller and smaller targets, and if I've got the chance I'll even setup some of my own. The trick is to aim for a certain spot, whether it's just above the shoulder on a deer, or in the center ring of a target so you're fully concentrated, and maintain your follow through.
When it comes to good shooting there is a certain amount of skill involved. Some people are just better than others, as they do many of these lessons instinctively. But what I love most about shooting my rifle is that practice makes perfect. If you want to become a great shooter, what you really need to develop is consistency. You need to be able to eliminate every outside influencer that will affect your aim, and shoot exactly the same, every time.
That's how to improve your aim with a rifle.