Be a Better Hunter: Improving Your Rifle Accuracy

You've put a lot of time and effort into buying the right gun. You've painstakingly researched and selected the perfect scope, stock, action bedding, trigger, bipods, cheek rest, and accessories.

But you're still having trouble with rifle accuracy. 

Turns out the problem might not be with your firearm. Whether you're going deer hunting or just heading to the shooting range several factors can significantly impact shooting accuracy. Read more to find out what they are and how to fix them. 

Rifle Stability

Rifle stability can be affected by weather conditions, gun issues, and the shooter. Make sure you perform your load testing and sighting earlier in the day when conditions are calm and temperatures are mild. This will reduce external factors affecting rifle accuracy, including the mirage effect. 

You can eliminate the possibility of rifle issues, by practicing from a stable rest. If your long-range shooting accuracy is significantly greater than it is from a free-standing position, the fault lies with you, not your gun. 

Postural balance is one of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining rifle stability and hunting accuracy. It can be easily impacted by low stamina or high stress. 

Fortunately, you can improve your rifle accuracy by exercising. Cardio, weightlifting, and even deep breathing exercises are excellent conditioning for rifle stability. They will also help with regulating stress, which can also impact your shot. 

Consistent Trigger Pull

Although you might not realize it, an inappropriate trigger pull can severely throw off your hunting accuracy. A clean, smooth pull will have less external influence on your shot and lead to improved shooting accuracy. In fact, think of it more as pressing the trigger vs pulling it. 

A good technique to assess your trigger pull is to dry fire while balancing a small object like a case, battery, or coin on the top of your barrel. If the object falls when you press the trigger, then you require additional practice. 

Another area related to trigger error is flinching. This can be anything from a small twitch to a large cringe as you anticipate the kickback. Shooting dummy rounds as part of your routine practice is one way of overcoming this habit. 

Follow-Through

It is vital to remain connected to your gun and your target both physically and mentally while shooting. This includes after you have pulled the trigger. Rifle accuracy can be significantly affected by lack of follow-through or bad practices during the follow-through. 

If you struggle with focusing on an impact point, practice shooting smaller targets. Pay attention to the point of impact in relation to your focal point and modify accordingly. 

Another area of follow-through that is often overlooked is your finger posture. Your trigger finger should remain poised and glued in place. Quickly releasing your finger directly after shooting can negatively affect your shooting accuracy. 

Muscle Memory 

Shooting more accurately isn't just in hitting the mark, it's in the entire sequence of events leading up to the shot. Dialing in your shots with good muscle memory is a sure-fire way to increase rifle accuracy. 

Start by practicing with the same resting position and flowing smoothly into your shooting stance. Try to mimic some of the conditions you might experience while hunting. For example, if you carry your rifle in a sling make sure you practice getting into position with the sling as part of your starting posture. 

Your shooting posture must also consider consistent shoulder pressure. The exact amount of pressure will vary from person to person as well as between firearms. Be aware that heavy pressure will be more difficult to repeat with consistency. 

Maintain Your Equipment 

When was the last time you gave your rifle a proper cleaning? Before hitting the shooting range, or setting off on a hunt, make sure that you have given your barrel and receiver a thorough scrub.

Every part of your weapon should be cleaned, well-lubricated, and checked regularly. This rifle shooting tip isn't just a safety practice. Having a clean gun will result in smoother, more accurate shooting. 

Another piece of equipment that can hinder your success is your scope. Over time it can be knocked askew or even come loose. If you've noticed some accuracy issues cropping up, check your scope rings and base. A minor adjustment may just do the trick.

Pick Your Ammo

Not all ammo is created equal and constantly switching between different types will impact rifle accuracy. You can improve your hunting accuracy by finding the best types of ammo for your particular gun.

Familiarize yourself with the impact results of your ammo options. Some might group closer together, while others have a slight tilt to one direction. Decide on one or maybe even a few that suit your personal preferences.

Once you have narrowed down your ammo choices, you should familiarize yourself with their unique drop tables. This is especially important for long-range shooting. 

Practice 

This one may seem a bit obvious. But the fact of the matter is no amount of adjustment and exercise is going to improve your rifle accuracy if you don't practice. 

Going back to the basics isn't just for beginners. It's a great way to catch any areas where you might have gotten lax over the years, such as your stance or trigger finger habits. 

You can even make it a family affair and take your kids hunting with you. Not only will it be a great opportunity to introduce them to the sport, but you'll get a chance to work on shooting more accurately, without a hunting trophy at stake. 

Perfect Your Rifle Accuracy 

Rifle accuracy might start with having the right weapon, but it all comes down to how you use it. Paying attention to your posture, shooting habits, and ammunition will make you a more consistent and accurate shooter. 

If you have any inquiries, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you. 

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