No matter what platform you are shooting, it pays to know how to shoot it well. Revolvers, lever guns, bolt actions, handguns — they all have their unique features and demands.
When it comes to firearms like the AR-15, your shot's accuracy is the key determiner of your skill. By making sure you've ruled out the typical shooting mistakes, you can get your groupings tighter than ever.
Common Gun Shooting Mistakes
Nine of the most common mistakes made on the range include:
- Flinching: Anticipating noise, recoil or muzzle flash may cause you to flinch when firing. As you tense your body to counter the anticipation, you'll shift your point of aim and throw off your shot. To help diagnose and counter flinching, practice the firing process with an unloaded firearm. You'll be able to practice all of the fundamentals without the distraction of recoil, developing strong shooting habits that will carry over to live fire at the range.
- Not following through: To remedy this common shooting mistake, maintain your shooting position after you've pulled the trigger and the shot has been fired.
- Inconsistent trigger control: Inconsistent trigger control may cause you to hit the bullseye only occasionally. In this case, the solution is always the same — you must apply consistent pressure to the trigger throughout the pull.
- Using the wrong ammo: Poor-quality ammunition is often loaded inconsistently, which isn't good for accuracy. Try a premium loading to see what your firearm is capable of.
- Shooting on an unfavorable day: Nature doesn't stop for a shooter's training. You may find it challenging to create tight groups if you're shooting with an aggressive crosswind. When trying for accuracy, pick a clear, sunny day to hit the range.
- Using an unstable bench or rest: A wobbly bench or rest can cause issues while firing. To avoid this, stabilize what you're shooting from and see if your accuracy improves.
- Inconsistent positioning: Make sure you pick a comfortable shooting position and try to hold the gun the same way every time. Firing from a more calm, unshakable stance will improve your accuracy and the consistency of your groups.
- Improperly mounting your scope: A poorly mounted or loose scope — or one that has been sighted in incorrectly — makes it virtually impossible to get an accurate shot. Always ensure your scope is sighted correctly and mounted securely.
- Adopting a wrong stance: When shooters use an incorrect posture, the resulting bad balance can compound the recoil effects. To fix this error, lean forward into a nose-over-toes stance.
Let Wing Tactical Help You Improve Your Firearm's Accuracy
If you're looking to overcome shooting mistakes with an AR-15 or other type of firearm, you may need to upgrade your components for a more personalized fit. Adding a forward grip or hand stop to an AR-15, for example, can help you fire with considerably more control.