In an effort to categorize the skills that make a good shooter I have come up with four areas. They
all start with the letter “S” hence the “four S shooting method.”
Safety should be the primary concern of any shooter, be they a dedicated bench-rest person, skeet
shooter, plinker, action shooter or training for combat. Obedience to Colonel Cooper’s four rules is imperative.
Mastering safe weapons handling now will reduce the risk of injuries or death while training or competing. If you ever have
to use a firearm for its intended purpose it will reduce the risk of friendly fire casualties.
Artillery pieces have a large heavy carriage or baseplate from which to shoot. The purpose
of this is to make the barrel more stable during firing. With small arms you are the baseplate. The position of
your body and the interface of you to the weapon (grip) are major components to how accurate you will be. In practical
vs. target shooting there is the additional need to be flexible in stance. This is in order to be able to move quickly
in and out of the position to move as well as to be able to better utilize cover. In most positions we shoot from the
waste up. There are many arguments as to foot location and over all position. What is critical here is that you
weight is evenly distributed between your feet (if standing) or other ground contact points (other positions.) Do not
worry to much about textbook pictures of shooting positions. Odds are that if you are using a textbook position you
are not using cover and concealment correctly.
III Sight Picture
is how you choose where you want your bullet to go. There are a variety of sights available, peep, v-notch, bead, red
dot, telescopic etc. The point of all of these is to give you a reference of where your bullet should travel when you
squeeze the trigger. You must master your particular sight type. I am a firm believer in starting off with iron
sights. I feel that using iron sights is like stick shift cars. You might think you drive well with an automatic,
but if you can’t drive a stick you will never really understand driving. This doesn't mean I'm not a believer
in modern technology.
This is the final step to the shooting act, the manipulation of the trigger to fire the gun. An effective trigger
squeeze requires a familiarity with your firearm that can only come with extensive dry firing, as triggers vary greatly from
platform to platform. But the universal rule in accurate shooting is that the trigger “break” when the hammer
or striker falls should be a surprise.