I agree that optics lend themselve to accurate shot placement, no doubt. However if you can, practice regularly with irons for a while. You will note
how you really have to focus on getting the basics right to make decent scores. Once you start scoring well with open sights go back to your glass. I
guarantee that your scores will be considerably higher than they were before you did your iron sight practice.
Don't let your tools become a crutch.
Originally posted by operationnimrod
4 basic markmenship principles. As per british military training.
Ah, the principles of marksmanship. Easy to rhyme off, but need practice to use. I'll give a quick talk through each one and how they should be put
into practice. I sounds long winded, but after a while this sequence becomes second nature when firing and happens in the blink of an eye.
1. the position and hold must be firm enough to support the weapon
The weapon should be gripped with your firing hand with a pressure roughly equal to a firm handshake. The supporting hand should be just that -
supporting. It does not need to be gripped, just held in a position to act as a rest for the front hand guard. The concave curve in butt of the rifle
should 'cup' the convex curve of your shoulder. The cheek should rest gently against the cheek piece.
2. The weapon must point naturally at the target without any un-due physical effort
Assume your firing position with the weapon pointing at the target. Ensure that you are not having to exert any pulling or pushing force on the weapon
to get the sights to line up on the target.
In practice, try closing your eyes, assuming your fire position, then opening your eyes. If the sights are not pointing at or very near to the centre
of your target, then you will need to exert excess force on the weapon to move it into position. This causes undue stress and fatigue, and reduces
consistency. Adjust your position so that you are comfortable enough to hold the weapon in place for extended periods if needed. This is your natural
firing position. Practice this regularly and you will soon find yourself assuming a natural pointing position without even trying.
3. The sight allignment (i.e sight picture) must be correct.
There are 4 elements that need to be lined up for a correct sight picture, which can be remembered by the mneumonic EAST;
When using iron sights, the rear appeture and target should be slightly out of focus. The front sight blade should be the only part that is sharply in
focus. The tip of the blade should be in the centre of the rear appeture and touching the centre of the target (in ideal conditions). The blade should
be as near to perfectly vertical as possible.
4. The shot must be released and followed through without any disturbance to the position.
Two parts here - shot release
and follow through
Shot release - take two slow, even breaths while looking down the sights. You will notice that as you inhale the front sight appears to dip and as you
exhale it rises again. It stands to reason that if you fire at different parts of this breathing cycle the weapon will be pointing at different
places, reducing hits.
There is a natural pause at the end of the out-breath: this is the time to fire. Some people advocate holding their breath at various parts of the
breathing cycle. I find that this causes natural stress to build as the body begins to crave oxygen. Each to their own, but I know what I was taught
and I know what works for me.
The trigger should be slowly squeezed, not pulled. The only part of the body that needs to move is the finger. If you jerk it (chuckle) then the whole
weapon will move, even if only by a few mils. This can be enough to cause misses.
Follow through - Once the shot has gone, let the rifle recoil naturally and fall back into place, keeping the trigger held down the whole time. If
your position and hold are firm enough (principle 1) then the felt recoil should be minimal and the sights should fall back on target. Only after the
weapon has come to rest should you release the trigger and continue breathing normally.
[edit on 12-11-2009 by PaddyInf]