Breath Control

Proper breath control is critical to the aiming process. Breathing causes the body to move. This movement transfers to the rifle making it impossible to maintain proper sight picture. Breath control allows the Marine to fire the rifle at the moment of least movement.

a. Breath Control During Long-range or Precision Fire (Slow Fire). It is critical that Marines interrupt their breathing at a point of natural respiratory pause before firing a long-range shot or a precision shot from any distance. A respiratory cycle lasts 4 to 5 seconds. Inhaling and exhaling require about 2 seconds each. Between each respiratory cycle there is a natural pause of 2 to 3 seconds. The pause can be extended up to 10 seconds. During the pause, breathing muscles are relaxed and the sights settle at their natural point of aim. To minimize movement, Marines must fire the shot during the natural respiratory pause. The basic technique is as follows:

• Breathe naturally until the sight picture begins to settle.

• Take a slightly deeper breath.

• Exhale and stop breathing at the natural respiratory pause.

• Fire the shot during the natural respiratory pause.

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