How You Can Improve Your Target Accuracy Today

It’s a summery Saturday and you might be headed to the range for some target practice. If so, here are two things you can do today to improve your accuracy as well as something you can get to help you tomorrow.

Unless you hold your gun perfectly still while applying pressure to the trigger, the gun will move. Naturally, if the gun moves when you do this, the shot will not go where you aimed.

How do you learn to press the trigger without moving the gun? First, practice.

American Concealed has a new paper target that can help. The Shot Correction Target Poster has a bullseye surrounded by eight zones radiating from the center that describe the outcome of where your bullet landed along with a solution. If your shots consistently land right below the target, this poster can tell you why.

Whatever your issue is, whether it’s a quick trigger pull or a heavy thumb, the placement of your bullet has an explanation and a solution. Order the paper targets in packs of two for $9.95 or three for $14.75. Flat-rate shipping of $2.50 applies. They’re in the American Concealed shop and are ready to ship now.

Until that poster arrives, here are two more things that expert shooters and trainers have said are top training strategies for improving your shot accuracy.

Dry Fire

Dry firing and getting the feel of your gun and how it handles in your hand both dry and loaded is probably the most important and most basic way to practice your firing accuracy. Dry firing allows you to practice without the anticipation of the noise and recoil that comes along with a live round. Practice just pulling the trigger smoothly and easily, while working in tangent with your eyes and ears. You won’t flinch when the gun goes off, so hopefully with enough practice, when the gun does go off with a bang you’ll be better able to handle it.

While the phrase that most people use is “pull” the trigger, you actually want to practice “press the trigger.” Do this as smoothly as possible while holding your gun more steady. Become more deliberate with your pressing and your brain will remember this. 

You’ll notice I say “press” instead of “pull” and that’s deliberate. If you practice a slow and smooth “press” perfectly every time, your brain will acquire an excellent habit. When at the range, you’ll find that the smooth press is automatic.

Follow Through

Don’t release your muscle control as soon as you press the trigger. Keep holding steady until you see the bullet strike. Keep the follow through with the same line of sight as before you fired. Train your eyes and your muscles to keep the same spot as the target.

Alternate Live and Dummy Rounds

We found this advice from Tom Gresham a nationally-known firearms expert and television host. He recommends loading your magazine with a combination of alternating live ammunition and blanks, or empty chambers.

Here’s what he says about it: “When you try to fire the dummy round (thinking it’s a live round), you’ll see the muzzle dip slightly (or more). That’s the flinch, or anticipation if you prefer.  You will work on your concentration to make sure you don’t yank the trigger the next time a dummy round comes up, and as a result, you’ll be pressing the trigger better, have better follow through, and your groups will shrink significantly.”

Choose a Word to Repeat to Yourself

Teresa Ovalle, Founder of Pistol Packing Ladies, is a retired U.S. Marine. Her advice focuses on switching out what your brain focuses on when you’re tensing up in anticipation of the noise and recoil. Here’s what she has to say for shooters who have trouble with anticipation. “I suggest that they choose a rhythmic word to say out loud as they pull the trigger. The word could be something short and repetitive, such as pull, pull, pull, pull until the trigger is pulled firmly to the rear. Other people choose a word like squeeze and say the word until the end of the trigger pull, such as squuuuuueeeze. Either way, the technique has proven itself useful over and again because by saying the word out loud, the shooter focuses on the sound of her voice rather than the impending sound or recoil.”

Want to check out those shot-correcting paper targets from American Concealed that are designed to help you evaluate your off-target shooting? They’re right here, in the American Concealed online store.