Rifle Fundamentals: Breath and Hold Control

by
posted on January 8, 2018
three_position_part_one-7a.jpg

In the previous installment of our Rifle Fundamentals series, we reviewed the basics of aiming. This article focuses on breath and hold control when shooting.

Breath Control
You may have already discovered that you cannot keep the sights aligned on the target unless you stop breathing. As long as you breathe your body and rifle will continue to move. You must control your breathing to hold the rifle steady.

Normal breathing cycle
Normal breathing cycle.


The best way to control your breath while shooting is to breathe normally while you pick up the rifle, put it in your shoulder and begin to point it at the target. When you are pointing the front sight at the aiming bull, exhale and stop breathing. Do not breathe until after the shot is fired. You should not stop breathing longer than eight to 10 seconds.

Breath control while firing the shot requires practice. The normal breathing cycle must be interrupted while the shot is being fired. Learning how to do this in the supported position we covered previously is a good idea.

Hold Control
You probably also have noticed that you cannot hold the rifle perfectly still while you aim at the target, even with proper breath control. The truth is that no shooter, even an Olympic champion, can hold a rifle completely still, or have a sight picture that is always perfect.

Shooters call the movements they see in their sight picture hold movements or hold. The effort to control these movements is called hold control.

Size of hold movements
Size of hold movements while firing a shot.


The sight picture movement you see is your hold. The size of the hold movement shows how well you are controlling your hold. Your task is to hold the rifle as still as possible.

Hold control is achieved by turning your attention to the inside of your body. Let your body relax. Hold it as still as possible. Think, concentrate on holding your body as still as you can.

Breath and hold control are done together
Notice the period of best hold. This is when the trigger is pulled.


Breath and hold control are done together. Learn to recognize your period of steadiest hold, because that is the time when you should pull the trigger. Additionally, keep yourself focused mentally.

In our next Rifle Fundamentals article we’ll cover trigger control.

Latest

Federal2022sweepstakes 1
Federal2022sweepstakes 1

Federal Ammunition 100th Anniversary Celebration Sweepstakes Winner Receives Hefty Ammo Prize

Federal Ammunition 100-year celebration sweepstakes winner announced. Tom from Arkansas wins a massive 54,000-round ammo prize package.

New: Ruger Custom Shop Precision Rifle In 6.5 Creedmoor

Designed with input from Doug Koenig, the Ruger Precision Rifle from the Ruger Custom Shop chambered in 6.5 mm Creedmoor is a solid option for finding success in long-range competition

New: MTM Case-Gard Double Scoped Rifle Case

This double rifle case can handle guns up to 50½ inches long

New: Steiner T6Xi Tactical Riflescopes

Steiner says its new T6Xi riflescope lineup “combines advanced German engineering with made-in-America precision.”

Winchester Launches Fall Gear Collection, Adds Folds Of Honor Round Up Option

Winchester releases new fall apparel and gear, along with new Folds of Honor ‘Round Up’ option to Gear Store website checkout

Beretta Celebrating 496-Year History As Firearms Manufacturer

Beretta USA website offering a 20-percent discount that expires Friday, October 7, 2022

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.