Shooting is the act of causing a gun to fire at a target.
Shooting also describes sports events where people test their accuracy by firing firearms at artificial, especially designed targets. There are several types of shooting events using different firearms shooting different types of targets (some moving, some static) over different distances.
The shooting sports may be usefully broken down by type of gun. For the pistol, there are various Olympic-style sports (?) and two major organizations for what is known as practical shooting, IPSC and IDPA. For the rifle, there are.... For the shotgun, there are a variety of clay target sports.
Precision marksmanship in shooting competition (unlike in combat) can be achieved by proper execution of the seven step checklist in shooting:
- Close your eyes and raise the gun naturally without thinking, open your eyes to see where your natural arm position points to. Move your feet along with your body to align the arm with the target. That is the best stance compared to pointing straight forward. Your body is less likely to move in this natural position when the trigger is pulled. Feet should be slightly apart. The shooting arm extended with straight elbow. Proper stance for two hand shooting can be achieved in similar way, though the natural stance will definitely be different.
There are four basic shooting positions: prone, sitting, kneeling and standing (offhand). In the real world, standing is most used position while it is also the most difficult position to shoot.
- There should be no gap between the top of the grip and the part of hand between the thumb and the index finger. This prevent slippage when the gun recoils.
- Sight alignment
- The eye, the sight at the tip and the back of the gun must align first. The front and back sights must be aligned both horizontally and vertically.
- Target alignment
- Align the "aligned sights" to the target.
- Accuracy will be at its best when the body is most relaxed. This moment is known as the "natural respiratory pause" and is the point at which two-thirds of the lungs capacity have been exhaled. During normal breathing, this usually lasts from about 2 to 3 seconds, but may be extended up to 8 seconds to allow time to aim and squeeze the trigger before lack of oxygen begins to adversely affect aim.
- Trigger squeeze
- A quick motion of the finger will jerk the gun and change the aim. Instead, squeeze the trigger slowly and steadily. You should not anticipate the exact moment of firing. The anticipation actually makes you nervous and causes unconscious movement in your hand which affects accuracy. The firing should come as a surprise in every shot.
- Follow through
- After the firing, align the sights with the target again. According to shooting coaches, the discipline of realigning the gun to the target after the bullet has left the barrel somehow improves the steadiness of the hand, probably due to unconscious muscle memory that works against the recoil.