How to Aim a Rifle: A Guide for Beginners

2 min

Did you know that 30% of all Americans own at least one gun? Hunting is a national pastime and many wait eagerly for the hunting season to begin.

If you are thinking of starting out as a hunter, what do you need to know? Knowing how to aim a rifle safely is a good first goal.

Why not check out our in-depth article to find out how in a few simple steps.

Natural Point of Aim

Your first step after picking up the rifle is to find your natural point of aim. This means that you are holding the rifle in the correct way and are pointing the rifle generally towards the target.

Although you will fine-tune your aim in the following steps, this will allow you to hold the rifle comfortably. It will also help you to adjust to the weight of the gun. You may even need to crouch on one knee to hold the rifle for an extended period of time.

Set your Sight

If you are using a scope, you should ensure that you do not hold it too close to your face. The recoil when the gun is fired could cause it to impact your face. You should ensure that you can clearly see the target in the scope. This will be no problem if you are using a sight from AR 15 sights or another quality provider.

If you do not have a scope, you should hold the rifle so that you can see the “bead” or the small metal tip at the end of the barrel in between the aperture. This is key to sending accurately aiming without a scope.

Where Should You Focus?

Now that you can see the bead in the aperture, you can start to remove your focus from the gun and find your target.

Frequently switching your focus from gun aperture to target and back can be very tiring. However, do not worry. As you improve your targeting skills you will need to switch views less and less.

Sight Picture

By now you should have everything aligned. If you are using a scope, you should be able to see the target in your crosshairs.  If not, you should be able to see that your bead, aperture, and target are lined up. Hunters call this the sight picture.

Squeeze the Trigger, Don’t Pull It

Despite what you hear in the movies it is always better to squeeze the trigger rather than pull it. The reason for this is very logical.

When you pull on the trigger you pull the gun in a single direction. This undoes all the good work that you have done in carefully lining up the bead and aperture.

Squeezing the trigger puts pressure on the trigger without yanking the gun in a particular direction. Think of it as a firm handshake rather than your finger pulling a trigger.

After you pull the trigger, simply put the safety back on your rifle and check how close you were to the target.

How to Aim a Rifle and Much More

If you are starting your career as a hunter or simply looking to spend time with your buddies down at the shooting range, a few simple tips will help you learn how to aim a rifle correctly.

These tips and lots of practice will help you on your journey to hunting moose, bear, or any of the other prize game animals you can think of.

If you are interested in learning more about hunting or other lifestyle topics, then we are here to help. We gather the latest information on these topics and bring it to you via our feed.

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