Having a proper shot process is what takes a competitive shooter from making the occasional accurate shot, to master of all things bullseye (precision) pistol. In his latest video for Shooting Sports USA, 12-time NRA National Pistol Champion Brian Zins shares his tips on developing a successful shot process.
Before you bring your gun up, make sure your grip, stance, trigger finger placement, etc. are all not only correct, but also consistent.
According to Zins, your shot process “is nothing more than it takes for you, the individual shooter, to shoot one well-aimed shot.” For this lesson, we take everything that we learned in the previous videos and apply it to developing our shot process. Easier said than done, right? Luckily, Zins provides us with a road map. He says that you must have the following five bullseye pistol shooting fundamentals mastered first.
Stance: Feet aren’t moving around.
Position: Natural and repeatable with a good zero.
Grip: Firm and consistent.
Aiming: Hard focus on the front sight blade with irons; with a dot, focus on the target.
Trigger control: Pull the trigger without disturbing the sights.
Your shot process should start about the time you are raising the gun from the bench. Zins explains his process in detail.
“Right before my gun comes up is where I initiate my process. My start position is at about 45 degrees. My gun comes up off the bench, eyes go down range, grip, position, grip tension and trigger finger placement is correct, everything is consistently where I need it to be ... Inhale (I use my breath to bring the gun up to eye level), exhale, sights come into alignment with my eyes as they center on the center of the target. As soon as I start seeing the sights come into the black, the pressure starts building on the trigger.”
What can’t be emphasized enough is the fact that consistency is key if you want to have a good shot process. A successful shot process is really an all-encompassing mental checklist that ensures that consistency is paramount when you are on the firing line.
No matter the distance or stage of fire, shot process boils down to mastering a single process—the process of becoming consistent in everything it takes to fire one well-aimed shot.
Finally, don’t let external influences cause your scores to suffer. You really need to have a clear mind if you are at a match. When you are competing, the last thing you need to be thinking about is getting groceries or your last-minute project at work. Zins says the best way to master your shot process is to write everything down that you do, or even better, take video of yourself shooting. That way, you can go back and analyze things. When you can see exactly what you are doing incorrectly, you can become a more consistent bullseye pistol shooter. Additionally, having another shooter watch your entire process can be a big help.
This video is the seventh installment in our bullseye pistol series featuring Brian Zins. Below are links to the previous videos.