Mastering The Hold And Reducing The Wobble
In my opinion, the pistol is the most difficult firearm to shoot accurately offhand. There are many reasons for this, ranging from sight radius to grip. In this thread, I will focus on improving the shooterís hold and reducing wobble in the front sight.
Before I begin, let me clarify some of the terms that I am going to be using.
1. The Hold: The ability to hold the sight on target and releasing the shot without moving the sights.
2. The Wobble: The movement that the shooter experiences through the front sight in a figure-eight fashion while in the process of The Hold. (The point here is to release the shot without disturbing the established hold on the target.) For the sake of this thread, we are going to assume that the shooter has a good grasp of trigger manipulation, and that the only thing that could disturb his hold is the wobble.
Now letís get to the focal point of this post. What can we do to reduce the wobble of the front sight while we are in the hold? There are several things that one can do to reduce the wobble (notice I said reduce not eliminate). You canít completely eliminate the wobble, but you can reduce and manage it.
The following are some techniques to help you accomplish said management:
1. Relax and Breathe. Some shooters tend to increase their grip pressure right when they are about to release the shot. This increase in grip pressure will dramatically increase the wobble and make it very difficult to manage. Focus on your front sight and take some deep breaths, as this will help you in holding the sights in place while you release the shot, especially if you release the shot at your natural respiratory pause.
2. Go to the gym. When holding a pistol in place, you use a lot of large and small muscle groups to achieve your hold. With that being said, it stands to reason that strength training these muscles will improve your hold. Shooters should strength train three times a week focusing on arms, shoulders and back muscles in order to improve the hold. Add in a thirty-minute cardiovascular workout three times a week and you are in business. Being in a good cardiovascular shape will make your breaths less labored, which in turn will improve your hold.
3. Dry-fire. Injecting a dry-fire training regiment into your overall training program is the best investment you can make. By dry-firing, you are conditioning your mind and body to see and feel the perfect shot. You should dry-fire three times a week, 20 minutes at a time. Work on holding the shot for as long as you can, to the point where you are almost unable to pull the trigger. When you arrive at that point, press the trigger gently. If the sights donít move, you have achieved your goal. Relax and repeat the drill ten times. This drill will help you develop all the necessary muscles that are used to achieve a perfect hold.
4. Follow-through. This is the commitment on the part of the shooter to continually apply the fundamentals throughout the life cycle of the shot. Be committed to the shot and visualize the shot happening several times in your mind before you release it. Implement a visualization program that you can practice several times a week. Visualization is a very powerful tool that is free and the shooter can practice anywhere, anytime. When you visualize, visualize everything being absolutely perfect, so that when itís time to make the shot you have shot it (perfectly) hundreds of times in your mind.
The above-mentioned tips are just a few that can help you as a shooter in improving your hold, and in my opinion, give you the best return on your investment.
For many years, I ended each practice session by shooting slow-fire groups at a 4Ēx4Ē piece of paper at 25 yards. I would take all the time I felt that I needed to shoot the smallest five shot group possible. I would shoot five groups each session, keeping the smallest group for my record. This is a great exercise to ingrain all the above tips. Good luck..