FINDING YOUR NATURAL POINT OF AIM will help you train your body to find its shooting position efficiently so you can get your gun on target quickly and consistently.
Far too often I see awkward shooting positions from shooters when they are forcing their head and body into an uncomfortable position in an attempt to align their body to the gun and target instead of adapting natural body positions and filling in the gap with their firearm.
Practice this drill to find your natural point of aim. Find a target in a safe direction. Then with an unloaded and safe firearm, begin to draw and aim at your target using a relaxed position. Before the sights come into view, close your eyes and finish your presentation. Stay perfectly still, then open your eyes and see how close your sight alignment is to the center of the target.
If you are off, correct your point of aim, reholster, and try again. After about a dozen draw strokes you should have successfully conditioned your stance, head, arms, and hands to align themselves with your line of vision toward your target. With just a little fine-tuning after the draw, you will be quick to pull off an accurate shot.
But it’s not just a “once-in-a-lifetime” drill. This must be done frequently to remind your muscles where to align. Every time you switch guns you need to do this drill, because almost every firearm has a different grip and angle.
Natural point of aim is especially vital if you use an electronic optic on handguns where you have such a limited window to see the dot.
You can correct your point of aim also by adjusting your grip and stance. Using a thumbs forward grip and position your hand as high on the frame as you can. Make sure the barrel is in line with your arm bone, and place both thumbs directly down the left side of the frame and toward the target.
We all know exactly where our fingers and thumbs are pointing from lifetime experience. Point your thumbs toward the target directly down the frame. Now, your barrel should be close to your desired point of aim.
If it’s off to the left, try adjusting your feet, Move the right foot farther back or point your toes more to the left. This body adjustment should reach all the way up to your pistol’s point of aim.
The same footwork can be used to adjust your natural elevation, so experiment until you find your sights on target consistently when you open your eyes.
This might seem impractical in a defensive encounter because you could be ambushed in any number of awkward positions You won’t have time to put your feet in the picture perfect position.
However, your arms and hands will still be conditioned to align themselves with your line of sight, so you will be closer to target than if you hadn’t trained.
Sometimes, defensive encounters can result in point shooting. If you’ve practiced an accurate natural point of aim, you will be on target and win the fight.
These same tips can also be applied to shotguns, rifles, and even scope mounting. Before I mount any optic I adjust it to the highest magnification, close my eyes, shoulder the rifle, then open my eyes to make sure the eye relief matches my natural body position.
So as always, train consistently, pray hard, shoot straight.
Email Dustin Ellermann at [email protected]