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Missing Can Make You a Better Shot

Missing Can Make You a Better Shot

Not long ago a young man asked me how to become a good shot. My answer reflected more of my mood than I should have, “By making a bunch of bad shots.” There is no shortcut to becoming a good shot. It takes ammo—a lot of ammo—sent downrange to develop the neuromuscular skills needed to place a bullet precisely where you want it to go.


Occasional tiny groups or the odd—and rare—perfect shot don’t do much but inflate one’s ego. Somewhere among my collection of lifelong junk is a piece of a target I cut out for posterity. On that target I placed six Remington factory .357 Mag. rounds into a single hole at 25 yards, offhand, from my Smith & Wesson Model 27. It’s prudent to note that I have yet to repeat that feat with that or any other of the very accurate handguns I own.

Misses tell you a lot more. Good shooters are analytical people. They mull over every aspect of their shooting. If they are scrupulously honest, they admit that a problem is more likely to be shooter based (the nut behind the trigger) than ammo based. Sending more bullets downrange to a paper target during the off season, carefully analyzing the bad shots, and making the proper corrections to your shooting platform will translate into fewer misses or bum shots when the target is alive.

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