Specialising in the supply of ISSF Target Pistols, Rifles & Accessories.

Specialising in the supply of ISSF Target Pistols, Rifles & Accessories.

Shot Process

Shot process

The shot process starts with the gun on the bench and finishes with the gun on the bench.

Many steps happen in between, they are all part of the overall shot process.

Make no mistake, if any single part of your shot process is less than optimal, the shot will be less than desired.

On the bench: correct grip tension , arm tension, shoulder – deltoid- tension. Stage 1

Controlled lift.  Stage 2.   For precision shots this is a high lift – above the aiming mark , straight through the centre of the target.

Lowering your arm, under control, stage 3.  more slowly than the lift ,stopping above your optimal aiming area, then  stage 4 dropping slowly into your aiming area.

YOUR aiming area is just that, its where YOU feel comfortable , and hopefully, have the best results with the smallest groups.

4 stages of the lift for precision shooting

Trigger control

Taking up the first stage of the trigger should happen at position 2 , with continual trigger pressure increase during stage 4

During stages 2,3,and 4, sighting must be taking place. It is not advisable to wait until the gun is in the aiming area to start focussing on the front sight

Optimal sighting:

Rough aiming  should happen at stage 2 – with less than 100% concentration on the front sight, as intense front sight concentration at this point is likely to slow down 

The lowering of the gun into your optimal aiming area.This avoids eye fatigue

Fine aiming must happen when your gun is in a steady holding pattern in your aiming area.  Increasing focus on the front sight , whilst increasing trigger pressure.

The amount of time spent in the final stage of your hold , with increasing trigger pressure, focussed on the front sight should be around 5 – 6 seconds.

Certainly more than 10 seconds is unacceptable – this indicates some part ( or parts) of your shot process were not optimal. In this situation, the gun should be lowered while taking your finger off the trigger, and the shot aborted.

A perfect shot is made up of a perfect hold , perfect arm tension, a perfect lift, perfect sight alignment , perfect hold and perfect trigger control.

If any of these is less than ideal, the shot will most likely be less than 10.

TRIGGERING Increasing trigger pressure  consistently  in the second stage is critical to a good shot. In simple terms – applying pressure to the trigger, without disturbing the sights – is the most critical and obvious part of firing a good shot, but something many shooters fail to do, resulting in bad shots.

Once you commit to the second stage trigger pressure increasing, it is critical to continue through to the shot breaking – within the time frame of 4-6 seconds, and certainly no more than 8-10 seconds.  More than this indicates you have hesitated on the trigger, and the shot should be aborted.

Follow Through. 

Follow through should include ALL parts of the shot process 

It is necessary to follow through on all aspects – aiming picture, index finger on the trigger,

gripping force, muscle tension, breathing pause, balance, mental state.

Poor or lack of follow through is a common cause of bad shots.

Good follow through allows you to call the shot. If you fire a shot , that seems good – sights were good, hold was good and stable when the shot broke, but the result is not what you expected , its going to be lack of follow through 99% of he time

If this happens in a match, ALWAYS think follow through after the FIRST time it happens – don’t wait until the second or third mistake !

In Summary:


Is a combination of grip pressure , arm tension, shoulder tension, lift , lowering into the aiming area, taking up the trigger, second stage trigger pressure , front sight concentration, hold, follow through.

Slowly settle into the aiming area , fine aiming with more critical front sight concentration . Second stage trigger pressure, steady hold ( not motionless, just steady)

Sights , hold , trigger all simultaneously – shot breaks – follow through , follow through , follow through !

Lower arm under control – reload, repeat !

Bruce Quick OLY