What does it take to be a good shooter?
Successful shooters all have great tips to share.
Here are 10 traits that will make you a good shooter, if you adopt them the right way.
1. Gun safety is always number one.
No matter what you shoot, the basic rules of gun safety separate the good shooters from the posers. Study the basic safety rules and live them religiously on the shooting range and at home. Great shooters know firearms safety is no joke.
2. Familiarization with the weapons you use.
A firearm should be an extension of your own body. It is not just an implement but a familiar friend. When you first hold a gun and shoot it, you're not going to be as good as if you had used that gun for years.
3. An understanding of the importance of practice.
Practice makes perfect. That statement is gold when it comes to firearms accuracy.
Find a mentor or a gun club that offers marksmanship training and take advantage of it. Even utilizing an air pistol in your backyard or basement range will help you tremendously. Much physical training is needed to feel ready for the pressure of a competitive match or hunting trip.
3. A steady hand.
Without a steady hand you will throw bullets all over the target. The best shooters take their time, apply proper trigger discipline, and slow down their heart rate.
Remember, smooth equals fast in the shooting sports. Concentrate on a single shot; that's all it takes for a bull's eye.
You will have days at the range in which you may not be shooting to your skill level. All gun enthusiasts have bad days.
Look carefully at where you failed on your range day. Apply needed changes to your next trip, and let the life lessons build right alongside your shooting skills. Accurate precision hits come with lots of practice.
5. A penchant for good firearm care.
A well cleaned and oiled weapon will not fail you. Neglect proper gun cleaning, and that investment will turn to scrap quickly.
6. Familiarity with bullet drop and the effects of wind.
Bullets do not fly straight to a target. The longer the range, the more chance wind and bullet drop will throw off your shot. Long distance rifle shooters are the most effected by this.
Be aware of these considerations, and use them to your advantage through practice and research. Your target will be in serious danger at any distance with proper rifle marksmanship.
7. Understanding of quality.
If you fire junk ammo through junk weapons, you will never live up to your own personal shooting potential. Shoot the best weapons and ammunition you can afford, and you're exhibiting something all great shooters do, too.
8. The willingness to learn.
Always be willing to learn even if you have been shooting for 50 years. There is always something new to learn in the quest to achieve mythic shooting abilities.
9. The ability to recognize those better than you.
Spend time at the gun range making friends with the high level seasoned shooters. Ask questions and observe their shooting styles, tricks and everything else. Soak up their important common traits like a sponge. The lessons you learn will stay with you.
10. Learn by doing.
Never get stuck in your own shooting style. What works for you is great, but you can always improve. Your great shot can always be improved upon by small additions to the marksman equation.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.