Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Surgical Shooting and Offset

Firearms allow you apply precise “hits” on your threat without having to be within arms reach. With a rifle we can obtain surgical type accuracy, with the proper gear and plenty of practice. If you use a rifle it’s in your best interest to be able to apply the weapon to its full potential, which is the ability to place that one round exactly where you want it to go. One of the drills that I’ve been running lately to improve students’ accuracy with the rifle, especially within handgun distances, is what I call the Slot Machine drill.

You start with the target pictured above, three bars, like on a slot machine – one vertical, one horizontal, and a diagonal block. Each block is one inch by four inches. The shooter’s objective is to place the hits in the center section of the bar. With an offset between the sights and barrel, as with the AR, this forces the shooter to become intimately familiar with the difference between your aiming point, where the sights are aligned above the barrel, as opposed to the bullet’s actual point of impact, which at typical handgun distances is going to be about two and one half inches.

Begin by working the drill at close range, say three to four yards. First, fire one round at the vertical block. This may seem easy, but remember you want the round in the center mass of the block. Spot your hit, then adjust and repeat until you’re cutting the center out of it. Next go to the horizontal block. Now offset is very critical. You’ve only got a target that is one inch tall, so you have to be precise on your offset, aiming high to compensate. After you’ve got that working it’s time to move to the diagonal block, which is the trickiest.

Once you get to where you can place hits accurately, the start placing one shot into each block for a three shot drill, and only good hits count. Work it from left to right, right to left, and from center out. Vary the distance from close to far and then to the middle. To really make it interesting shoot it at night using a hand-held light.

The key with this drill, once you’ve mastered the offset, it to focus on the fundamentals. Aim, with the precision required to make the hit, smoothly press the trigger, without disrupting your sight picture, and then follow through, reacquiring the sight picture and reseting the trigger as if you may need to fire again. Next, start scanning your environment to see what’s going on. Then and only then you may look to see the hit, but then you should already have a good idea of that by how the sights looked and the trigger press felt.

We never know what it will take to win the fight. Your fight may only offer you one “shot” to win it. Make sure you’re prepared, regardless of the weapon.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15

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