Since the average real-world police sniper shot is less than 100 yards, and his environment is an almost exclusively urban one, is there any need for law enforcement snipers to practice shooting at long distances?
I say absolutely yes. In the first place, longrange shooting magnifies errors that are not even apparent at 100 yards and therefore cannot otherwise be diagnosed and corrected. Equally, though, the police sniper needs to explore his own and his rifle's full spectrum of capabilities. The bulk of police students have been amazed to shoot beer-can-size groups at 500 yards—their close-range groups dramatically tighten because they practiced firing at long range.
And even though the majority of real-world shots are close-range, a police sniper must prepare for less likely but real long-range threats. It's conceivable he might have to engage a rooftop crazy letting loose on Christmas Eve at a city's busiest shopping mall, or cover a skyjacked commuter plane when he cannot stalk closer to within 400 yards of it. So, although the recommendations suggest 75 percent of police firing at less than 200 yards, the other 25 percent extends all the way to 600 yards.
Due to urban sprawl and a decline in nearby high-powered rifle ranges, some police snipers have acquired heavy-barreled, small-
full and three-quarters full as well as empty. A novice shooter typically takes too much
We've graphed all these breathing cycles, time for about every other practice shot and
They're almost as steady as the empty lung must repeat the cycle. If you couldn't get it all technique, but what is lost in steadiness is together during one breathing cycle, blow it out gained in flexibility. I've found my best shooting and start again; don't just go ahead and shoot results from holding a half-breath and getting anyway! It's the correct repetition during my shot off within about four seconds. practice that will enable you to do it correctly
As quickly as he detects a target, an under stress, experienced sniper begins deep breathing so he's ready to fire when his rifle reaches his Scope Sight Picture shoulder. I've also found while hunting big The second component of the integrated act of game that this deep breathing helps to calm me shooting is a correct scope sight picture, which before taking the shot. must be just as synchronized as any other element.
Only the upper left is a correct scope picture. The others result from incorrect eye relief or bad spotweld
The most critical aspect of a consistent scope picture is perfect eye relief—holding your eye at the exact same distance from the eyepiece, shot after shot. This will minimize any possible parallax, yield the most light, and allow you to see the widest field of view.
The sporweld, which is the place where you hold your cheek against the stock, should become a muscle memory habit so thai your eye is automatically at the correct distance and you can fire as quickly as the rifle reaches your shoulder if necessary. Gary Schraml, the retired officer and master shooter who works on my rifles, even goes so far as to slighdy concave his custom stocks so the shooter's cheek cannot help but achieve a good sporweld.
On page 177 we've illustrated correct and incorrect scope pictures. Notice that the key indicator of any error is the presence of shadow-within the scope's image. If you have a good spotweld, you'll have good e}re relief, and this will result in a correct scope picture.
Whether you close the nonshooting eye is your own preference. Some competitive shooters will take me to task on this, insisting that the only way to fire is with both eyes open, noting that the closed eye's pupil will dilate and thereby disrupt the open eye, etc. That's scientifically correct, but I've known too many superb riflemen who close one eye—especially self-learned natural marksmen—to declare that both eyes open is the "only" acceptable way to fire. I think untrained sniper students should learn the two-eye method and experienced marksmen should try the two-eye method, but no one has a monopoly on this issue.
Leaving both eyes open while waiting out a concealed bad guy, however, is absolutely essential to prevent eye fatigue. Your vision will degrade a bit even if you stare too long through your scope. To keep your vision fresh, move your eyes around and even completely lift your head away from the scope if the situation allows it.
The way you use the crosshairs to aim is important, too. Elsewhere we illustrate how to quarter an obscure target or select a tiny point within a larger target so that your mind and eye can focus with precision. Related to this is consciously focusing on the crosshair at the instant of firing for the most exact aim possible. Also, this final focus will enable you to "call" your shot. With practice, you can learn to synch your trigger pull to the instant you mentally focus that final time on the crosshair.
If you can convince your mind "r/wi it" when the crosshair's in focus that final time, and it's precisely on the intended point of impact, truly incredible accuracy can result. This melding of mind, vision, and trigger, with practice, will enable you to shoot when it "feels" right, a higher mental plane of muscular and cerebral exactitude.
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A pool of fresh water is special. It's special as it’s a bit like our consciousness. If you try hard you may be able to see really little waves or ripples in the water. They’re really slight. The surface of the water is like the surface of your consciousness. The part that you're cognizant of.