Mastering marksmanship is a lifelong endeavor. Over the course of that journey, it can be easy to lose sight of the basics. I see experienced shooters that get so wrapped up in learning a new skill-set, that they start slacking on the most basic principles of marksmanship. I am equally guilty.
With that in mind, let’s break down what B.R.A.S.S. is all about…
When you are shooting, every time you breathe the sights move. In order to mitigate this, we choose a point in our breathing where we stop in order to make an accurate shot. There are many ways to do this, but here is what works for me: I can’t really measure how full my lungs are, but I do know when I’ve emptied my lungs. So I simply hold my breath at the bottom of my exhale. I don’t completely exhale every bit of air that I can… just the natural end of my exhale. This generally gives me 6-10 seconds to take a shot/s before my body starts automatically reacting to the lack of oxygen.
If you are in a proper shooting position (something we will cover in future posts), then you should be able to relax and let your bone structure do the work. Muscles are not consistent, but our bones are. Utilize this and find a comfortable, stable, consistent, position.
Pretty straight forward. Find your NPOA (Natural Point of Aim. Yet another topic that will be covered in the future), align your sights, and get a good sight picture.
“Slack” refers to the free play that can be found in triggers. Triggers require a certain amount of pressure to engage the sear. As you become more familiar with your firearm, you will know how much pressure that is. In this step, you apply that pressure, taking away any “slack”. Of course, you’re doing this while maintaining a “C” shaped trigger finger, and placing your finger so that the trigger bisects the first pad on your finger. Don’t use the tip, and don’t use the crease. Right in the middle of the first pad.
You guessed it. Now it’s time to finish applying that pressure. Smoothly apply more pressure until the sear breaks and the shot is fired. If it surprises you, you’re definitely doing it correctly. After the shot is fired, keep pressure on the trigger for a second or so… then ease the trigger forward until the sear re-engages. You will hear and feel that happening. Once the sear is re-engaged, keep the constant pressure on it, and you are all set up for a follow up shot. Rinse and repeat.
At first these steps can seem tedious. The reward however, is worth it. You can practice this at the range, or dry-firing at home. Consistency is the key to accuracy… muscle memory is the key to consistency… and repetition is the key to muscle memory.
So the next time you get ready to take a shot, make sure you: