Expert marksmen who have been instructing students in the use of firearms constantly reinforce the principles of marksmanship. These principles are pretty basic, really.

  1. Sight picture
  2. Sight alignment
  3. Breathing
  4. Bone support
  5. Trigger control
  6. Steady position

That position can be either standing, sitting, kneeling, prone, or supported. It doesn’t matter so long as it is a position that affords you a degree of steadiness.

But there’s really not a lot to the basics. Yet, every time we go to the range, we may see a variety of results taking place on those paper targets.

We train how we intend to fight. If you, as a concealed carrier, are completely satisfied with sloppy shot grouping, then this article will bore you. If, however, you want to take your responsiveness up a level, we have three quick points of marksmanship that often get overlooked.


It sounds so simple that we sometimes have to remind ourselves that breathing controls more than just the flow of air entering our lungs. It can have drastic effects on our cognitive mood, our awareness, and even our stability. Learning how to breathe properly for marksmanship is important because during stressful events, our breathing tends to get erratic. Knowing how to control our breathing extends into controlling our bodies’ impulses.

When practicing at the range, practice slow, steady breaths and just watch how your sight alignment and sight picture change depending upon where in the breathing cycle you are in. For your own educational purposes, fire an entire magazine without trying to control your breath. If you notice a natural figure-eight pattern emerge in the shot grouping, this may give you a better idea of how your breath changes where the bullet lands.

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