Shooting Tips from a US Marine

My brother is a United States Marine and the pride of our lives. Soldiers run in the family. My grandfather was an air traffic controller and Air Force pilot in the Korean war, my uncle was a United States Marine, and now my baby brother is a Marine as well. For this blog post, I asked him if he could give me some shooting tips and this is what he had to say:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s always best to learn the shooting techniques than just wing it. You don’t know everything, so be willing to take in new information. You’ll be able to learn better that way. Sound off, one, two.
  2. Take care of your weapon. Look over your weapon at the start, middle and end of every single day. Make sure the sights are secure, the trigger springs are in place and that your locking blocks break. You’ll prevent a lot of headaches down the road by just cleaning and maintaining your weapon.
  3. Dry fire as much as you live fire. Take it seriously just like you’re taking an actual shot. Your body will get used to the positions you need to assume in order to take the shot. Make sure you switch it up and add live fire in—when your round allowance allows for it. You don’t want to create bad habits.
  4. Be patient. You’re not perfect, so don’t let bad shots get in your head. Move on. Focus on the next shot. Shooting is mostly mental focus. So don’t bitch about how your day at the range was, just get better.
  5. Check yourself. Take notes about how your shooting is. What’s your sling tension? Hand and foot placement? Body alignment? Body support? Duplicate your body position with good shots and you will duplicate good shots.
  6. Be one with the range, young padawan. When you’re practicing on the firing range, get into positions with your eyes closed. Just practice being natural. That way, when you do open your eyes and adjust as needed, it’s that much easier to find your target.
  7. Don’t anticipate your shot every time. Mix it up as if it were dry fire. Don’t spend time dressing up your shot. Just hit the target. This is where you’re most likely to surprise yourself.
  8. Pay mother fucking attention. Time is on your side, so focus on the fundamentals instead of shooting your rounds off in 3 minutes and standing around the rest of the time. The longer you practice, the more engrained shooting becomes to you. This way, you also remember the basics like chambering rounds and taking weapons off safe.

So there you go! If you have any tips, feel free to add them below. I’d appreciate any edits or additions, so long as they’re safe! What has your shooting experience taught you?