Rifle Accuracy Works From the Ground Up, Literally

Improving your shooting accuracy starts with a firm foundation, as this former sniper instructs. This also includes your ability to improvise.

Your ability to effectively and confidently improvise and shoot with accuracy when making a shot is really predicated upon your foundational practice. That's the expert opinion of Matt Hornback, a former Army sniper and competitive shooter who now works with Howa/Legacy Sports.

Hornback spoke with Randy Newberg while on a Nevada mule deer hunt. His training and instruction are founded on a "from the ground up" approach, where you begin practicing as close to the ground as possible - in a prone position - and move your way up and further away from the ground as your accuracy improves.

It has to do with stability and confidence, as the further from the ground you get, the more your stability and consistency decreases. You overcome these weaknesses with practice, practice, practice.

Once you've got a solid foundation, Matt says that you need to practice your improvisational shots: shooting uphill, downhill, over brush, off of your pack and so forth.

"So many people don't practice improvising in shots," says Hornback. "They'll go to a range with a box of ammo and sit behind a bench, and they'll take some shots and call it good. 'Well, I'm good to go hunting.' When really that's not the case."

Again, he reinforces the need for practicing how you might be shooting in real-life situations.

"If you don't practice it," says Newberg, "it doesn't come instinctively when you're out in the field."

"And when you're going to use it, you're going to be unsure of it," echoes Hornback. "You need to have that level of certainty when you let that round go at an animal."

The bottom line: take a couple or more boxes of ammo with you to the range, and practice from multiple positions, starting from the ground up.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: Shooting Basics: How to Aim with Open Sights