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Four principles for better rifle skills

There are four marksmanship principles you need to hold firmly in mind if you want to improve your rifle skills: Aim, hold, sight and shot.

These can be seen as the fundamentals of accurate shooting — and they must be utilised every time. They are easy to practise at home — dry-firing a centrefire is not going to damage it (though it will damage a rimfire). The more these steps become part of your routine when you get into position to take a shot, whatever the target, the more you’ll find you can achieve consistently accurate results. Discipline yourself to run through these each time you pick up your rifle and you should soon see an improvement in your technique and better results.

Practise at home for the best results

Place your rifle correctly and get into position behind it.

Take a firm hold of the rifle, so that you are controlling it.

Put your cheek to the cheekpiece 
and ensure that you have the correct sight alignment.

Make the rifle ready to fire and squeeze the trigger.

Don’t move your head but work the bolt and, maintaining your point of aim, squeeze the trigger again.

Easy instruction by video

Shooting UK says: The beauty of this video is that Bradley Bourner not only talks you clearly through the various steps to success, but he clearly shows you how to carry them out as well so that you get the best out of yourself and your equipment. For example, at the beginning of the video he illustrates how to settle in behind your rifle and just how important this is. You don’t want to “plonk” yourself down and move the rifle. You put the rifle in place first and then settle your body behind it – and he shows you how to do this. 

Other instructional videos you may find useful to watch on rifle skills are Bore sighting and zeroing – also by Bradley Bourner. You’ll also be looking to carry out rifle maintenance so you might like to view this short video How to clean a rifle which takes you through the important process step by step.