Fundamentals of Marksmanship


Steps to firing the shot


  1. Sight Alignment: Centering the Front sight in the Rear sight vertically and horizontally 


  1. Sight Picture: Placing your Sight Picture on the target in a manner that will cause your bullets to impact as you wish.

  2. Breath Control: Minimizes body movement.

  3. Focus on the Front Sight.

  4. Trigger Squeeze: Smooth continuous movement to the rear without disturbing the sights.

  5. Follow Through: Holding through the shot, Holding the trigger to the rear and Calling your shot.

  6. Teach someone to shoot:Using the above 6 steps teach someone to shoot. Watch them with a critical eye. With practice you can, as a coach, see a shooter making errors in all but #4.

    For #1 From the side you can see if the shooter has the front sight higher or lower than the rear sight.

    For #2 You can see if they have the sights square but pointed someplace on the target other than where they should be hitting. It helps to stand just behind the shooter for this. Shift from looking over their right and left shoulders.

    For #3 Watch their chest and back for indications of respiration. If you have electronic hearing protection you can also listen for their breathing. See that they inhale a bit more than usual, then exhale, and hold before starting their shot.

    For #5 See that they place their finger on the trigger so that it is between the first joint and the tip. See that they take up the slack in the trigger before starting a deliberate squeeze.

    For #6 See that they hold the trigger to the rear after the shot breaks. See that they have a deliberate release of the trigger feeling for the sear of the firearm to re-engage if applicable.


The Military (mainly the Marines) use the B.R.A.S.S. Acronym to help with hitting all of these steps.

B reath

R elax

A im

S top Breathing

S queeze the trigger