Rifle Fundamentals

The Essential Elements of Marksmanship with a Rifle

DEFINITIONS

FUNDAMENTAL

fun·da·men·tal
/ˌfəndəˈmen(t)əl/

noun: fundamental; plural noun: fundamentals
a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.
“two courses cover the fundamentals of microbiology”
a fundamental note, tone, or frequency.

MARKSMANSHIP

marks·man·ship
/ˈmärksmənˌSHip/

noun: marksmanship
skill in shooting.
“officers trained in advanced marksmanship”

PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT

To list the central or primary rules of skill in shooting.
To provide explanation and discussion of each element in the list. 
Click here for an extensive discussion of ‘Fundamentals Of Marksmanship’ in my notebook.

It seems likely that there are ‘universal’ rules that apply to all forms of marksmanship, and ‘task specific’ rules that apply only to those marksmanship categories where the task is an element of the category. 
Initially I will build this document to cover the categories of UNIVERSAL and PRECISON RIFLE SHOOTING. 
Universal Fundamentals by their nature will always be primary, and will be applied at the appropriate time within the task specific rules. 

UNIVERSAL FUNDAMENTALS OF MARKSMANSHIP

KNOWLEDGE

Possess sufficient knowledge of the rules of safety to be safe with any weapon.
Possess sufficient knowledge of the features of the weapon in use to be safe and effective with that weapon.

SKILLS

Sight Picture
Trigger Control
Stability
Body Contol
Followthrough

Just to be argumentative, and to boil this down the the most fundamental level, one way that I see the “Fundamentals of Marksmanship” is this;

  1. Point the gun at the target accurately.
  • Use magnification to see exactly where to point the gun.
  • Use tools and techniques to account for external ballistics effects.
    • Primarily gravity and wind, including air density: (temperature, humidity, pressure, velocity), mirage and secondarily Aerodynamic Jump, Spin Drift, Coreolis, and Magnus. DOPE (Data On Previous Engagements). Spotting. Coaching. Expert Training.
  1. Keep the gun accurately pointed at the target until it has fired, and then some.
  • Reduce or eliminate all sources of instability by use of mechanical support, isometric tension, natural point of aim, trigger pull weight and creep.
  • Reduce or elininate sources of pre-shot physiological and psychological error; anticipation, expectation, hypoxia, isometric tremmor, focus, concentration, preformance anxiety.
  • Reduce or elininate sources of post-shot physiological and psychological error: expectation, reaction to sensory input (sight, sound, touch).
  1. Don’t do anything to screw up #1.
  • Don’t use excessive magnification.
  • Don’t shoot in a boil (vertical mirage). 
    • Learn to read wind in zones between your position and the target. Understand the combined effects of zone winds. Learn where wind matters the most. Learn to aim your uncertainty zone to maximize target impacts.
    • Discussion: Where The Wind Matters
  • Settle on one rifle and one load to start with. Obtain good DOPE across a wide range of TOD (Time of Day), Elevation, Temperature, Wind, DOF (Direction of Fire) and of course range. Write the DOPE down! Go over DOPE between range sessions to improve your record keeping technique and the data recorded. 
  1. Don’t do anything to screw up #2.

PRECISION RIFLE FUNDAMENTALS OF MARKSMANSHIP

ASSUMPTIONS

  1. The precision rifle is equipped with a telescopic sight of ‘First Focal Plane’ design, having elevation, windage, parallax and reticle focus controls. 
  2. The precision rifle scope may have either a MIL or MOA reticle which has hash marks to indicate angular measurement. 
  3. The precision rifle scope elevation and windage controls use the same MIL or MOA reference as the reticle. 
  4. The following discussion pertains to sport, match and operational marksmanship techniques for precision rifles only. 

FUNDAMENTAL KNOWLEDGE – Long Range Precision Shooting

  • Detailed understanding of sighting systems.
    Discussion: About Sights, Aiming, And Such
    Discussion: Calibration using Tall Target Test
  • Detailed understanding cant.
    Discussion: Sope cant.
    Discussion: Rifle cant. 
  • Detailed understanding of trajectory etc.
    Discussion: Trajectory – Gravity and Weather
    Discussion: Trajectory – Air Density
    Discussion: Angular Measurements
    Discussion: How to Communicate.
    Discussion: Understanding G1 & G7
    Discussion: Understanding MV, ES, SD
  • TBD (To Be Determined)

FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS

Discussion: Build A Position
Discussion: Acquire/Identify The Target
Discussion: Compute And Apply Sight Corrections
Discussion: Compute And Apply Lead/Lag (moving Shooter/Target)
Discussion: Aim At The Target

Discussion: Execute The Shot – Trigger Techniques
Discussion: Breath Control Part II
Discussion: Achieving Straight Line Recoil
Discussion: Follow Through
Discussion: Follow Through Part II

PRONE BIPOD SUPPORTED
PRONE BAG SUPPORTED

Discussion: “What’s different here?”

BENCH FOREND AND BUTT BAG SUPPORTED

Discussion: “What’s different here?”

Using a monopod rear support.

ELEVATED BAG SUPPORTED (Tank Trap, Firing Slot, etc.)

Discussion: “What’s different here?”

FREE RECOIL

There’s a LOT different here!

ACQUIRE THE TARGET

EYE POSITION

Center of scope w/ slight vignette

CHEEK WELD & HEAD POSITION

Consistent light pressure 

Upright as much as possible for positionTactical/Situational Awareness 


This page is under construction as of  10/10/2019. 
This page last updated 20200813 1455


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