Rifle Shooting Form – How to Shoot

Welcome to this How to Shoot Gun Review from Haus of Guns! If you’re unfamiliar with our“Beginner’s Guide” and “How-To” series of post, they go live every Friday morning as an ongoing development to help beginners and rookies new to our sport learn skills they may not otherwise learn from an experienced marksman.

Growing up I played basketball. A lot. I still remember most of those techniques and even skill improving drills that were pounded into me from a young age on. Though I remember the drills that I repeated over and over in order to embed those skills into my muscles and make me a better player, I rarely remember the names of those drills. Some of them had funny names based on what you were doing like the 3 man weave, or the spider, but the one that still sticks into my mind the most is B.E.E.F. BEEF stood for “Balance, EYES, Elbow, Followthrough.” And it was an acrostic we learned to recite in our minds as we practiced our shooting form. Incidentally, that’s what we’re talking about today is shooting form with a rifle, in the sporting sense, not tactical.

Just like practicing my basketball shot too many years ago, I’ve learned to create a mental checklist for myself while I’m shooting anything. BEEF would work find as an inventory for shooting a gun, but it seems more fun to come up with your own mental checklist while your’re shooting for the important areas you maybe struggle to remember. I even have one for shooting my bow (BARF), but that’s for another time and a whole different website.

The point is this, while there are a myriad of different things you need to remember when establishing your own shooting form (feet, shoulders, off hand, breathing, eyes, etc) each shooter is unique in the skill sets they struggle to remember. For me when I’m shooting a rifle offhand and trying to develop the correct form I think of THREE LINES. Forget about the breathing, that’s after I’m set, forget about the eyes, I have to see to aim. If my foundation isn’t perfect, then the others make little difference when it comes to accuracy. We’ll talk about all of these other finer points in subsequent posts, but for now, I want to establish a baseline for discipline and accuracy.

Here’s what I mean by THREE LINES. The three lines I’m talking about all run parallel to one another in the same direction… at the target. The first line is your feet. Think of your toes when you line them up for a golf shot. They should create a line that along with your hips, shoulders and swing determine the path of the ball when it it struck. The form you take for shooting a rifle is similar, but the THREE LINES start with your toes, then more to your shoulders, which won’t be 100% perfect in a straight line thanks to lodging the rifle’s buttstock into your strong shoulder, but it’s close. The final parallel line is the rifle. Shooting a modern rifle like an AR-15 or an AK-47 can be similar if the shooter is hoping to achieve longer distance shooting and accuracy, though in most cases these type rifles are used in a tactical format that requires a stance more similar to that of a handgun. Again, for another post.

THREE LINES:

RIFLE

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SHOULDER

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FEET

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What I want you (the reader/shooter) to remember today is the THREE LINES. Each of these lines runs parallel to the next and are all pointed at the target. So for your mental game, just start at the bottom and work your way to the rifle. The THREE LINESshooting form may feel a little awkward at first if you’re unfamiliar to it or haven’t practiced, but rest assured over time, establishing this foundation will make the fine tuning points of shooting accuracy come that much easier! Oh, AND that much safer. If you’re completely oriented toward your target, and you’re aware of where the target is, the safer you’ll be as a shooter.

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