December 8th, 2016

Shooting Skills: Breath Control for Precision Shooters

Glen Zediker respiration breathing competition

Top shooters like 11-time National Champion David Tubb have mastered marksmanship by being continually aware of their physical state while shooting. This article by Glen Zediker talks about respiration and how to modulate your breathing to maximize on-target accuracy and consistency. This article originally appeared in the MidSouth Shot Report Blog.

by Glen Zediker
Elsewhere I’ve talked about what I call the “true fundamentals” of shooting. Put the sight on the target and pull the trigger without moving the sight. And we’ve talked about some of the mechanics, like natural point of aim, sight picture, and the trigger itself, that combine to assist this goal.

Holding still sometimes takes more thought, and effort, than we might realize. Shooting well is a truly multi-faceted task that shooters like 11-time National Champion David Tubb have attended to through miniscule details, like being aware of the physical state continually while performing.

Another crucial and largely unknown element is controlling breathing. Right. That thing we do to stay awake and alive. Breathing can be a calculated technique among competitive shooters, and that is because the state of the body in the framework of making a shot is a defining element in the effectiveness of the shooting platform. That platform, by they way, is you!

I’ll break it down, and then offer a few suggestions on how to incorporate a better understanding of the dynamics of maintaining human oxygen supply.

When we are breathing when doing nothing in particular but living, we’re not taking the deepest breaths we can when we inhale, and we’re not expelling all the air we had when we exhale. We’re also not breathing in and out, in and out, in and out in constant successions. We breathe in to a comfortable level. Hold that a bit. We breathe out to a comfortable level. And then we hold that state for a bit. Then we very naturally breathe in again. These cycles are on a balanced rhythm, and a relatively shallow cycle. It’s a lot different than when we’re doing something strenuous, like running.

So, to fire a gun from our most stable state, make the trigger break in what shooting coaches call “the natural respiratory pause”. That’s the state between exhaling and inhaling. From a “human machine” standpoint, that’s when the body is most calm and stable.

Respiratory Breathing cycles

Breathing Cycles for Best Shooting

Learn to use the natural pattern of your breathing to experience the most effective (steadiest) hold. When we breathe normally we don’t inhale as much air as we can hold and then blow it all out, and we also don’t breathe continually in and out, in and out. Rather, we simply inhale and exhale to levels that are comfortable to us. Take aim and fire the shot when you have reached what some call the “natural respiratory pause,” or the natural resting point prior to inhalation where we are “using” the oxygen we have retained.

It’s a narrow window. That window of opportunity varies widely depending on a lot of factors, but some experience dry-firing will show you where you stand.

Midsouth Blog

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December 8th, 2016

New Vortex Optics Products for 2017

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

Vortex Optics has offered a Sneak Peak at new products for 2017. On the Vortex Blog, new scopes and a new Laser Rangefinding Binocular were revealed. For next year, Vortex will offer four new PST Gen II scopes, an affordable “tactical” Diamondback optic, and the new Fury LRF binocular.

Viper PST Gen II Riflescopes

The versatile Viper PST series can work for many disciplines — Target Shooting, 3-Gun, Hunting, or Precision Long Range. The new second generation PSTs offer many improvements, with four new models for 2017.

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

NEW 2-10×32, 3-15×44, and 5-25×50: Vortex offers a wide magnification range with these three new PSTs. Each offers tall tactical turrets and side-focus parallax adjustment with integrated illumination. To ensure reliable return-to-zero, all new models feature the patented RZR Zero Stop from the Razor HD 5-20×50 riflescope. Reticles include Vortex’s new EBR-4 and EBR-2C with MOA or MRAD stadia to match your turrets. First Focal Plane reticles are available on select models.

NEW 1-6×24: Now even more versatile, the new PST Gen II 1-6×24 picks up right where the venerable 1-4X left off. With a true one-power on its low end and a large eyebox for rapid acquisition, shooters can easily engage close targets. On the high end of its zoom spectrum, the full 6X facilitates accurate mid to long-range engagements. This scope offers side illumination adjustment, plus low-profile capped turrets. Inside, the same VMR-2 reticle from the Razor Gen II 1-6, with its daylight-bright center illuminated dot, is standard and available in MOA or MRAD.

Available Spring 2017


Diamondback Tactical Riflescopes

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

Vortex’s Diamondback series has been known for toughness and high performance for the price. The new Diamondback Tactical offers important features for practical/tactical shooters in an affordable package. This new-for-2017 scope features taller turrets with easy-to-grip knobs. The Diamondback offers generous eye relief and a new, hashmark-style reticle offering reference points for ranging, holdover, and wind calls.

Available Spring 2017


Fury Laser Rangefinding Binocular

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

The new Vortex Fury Laser Rangefinding Binocular combines two functions in a single, compact package. Notably, the Fury LRF offers HD glass and an industry-leading warranty. This product has a 10×42 optic plus claimed 1600-yard ranging capability. The Fury offers a light-weight, compact design with good performance at a fraction of the price of some European-made LRF binoculars. Last but not least, the Fury laser rangefinding binocular is the only of its kind backed 100% by a lifetime warranty, including electronics.

Available Summer 2017

[Editor’s Note: Don’t expect reliable 1600-yard ranging on small objects with any sub-$2400 product on the market. Most humans simply cannot hold steady enough to allow this. And there are issues of ground scatter and beam divergence. You may be able to range a house or water tower, but not something small, such as a deer.]

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December 8th, 2016

Sportsmen Tell Santa What They Want for Christmas

What did you really want for Christmas? A new rifle? Maybe a new reloading press? A poll of sportsmen and firearm owners by Southwick Associates’ HunterSurvey.com/ ShooterSurvey.com asked, “What hunting or target shooting gear are you most hoping to receive this holiday season?” Respondents could select three items from a long list of products. The most-wished-for items were in the Hunting Apparel category, with 22.3 percent of respondents asking Santa for new hunting duds. A new Handgun was second-highest on the list, followed by a Trail Camera at #3, Ammunition at #4, and a Laser Rangefinder at #5. How do your choices stack up against the survey responses?

Note, the totals of all selections exceeds 100% because survey participants could elect three total choices. Also, since this 2012 survey was specifically directed at hunters (rather than just firearm owners), a number of responses relate to bows and archery equipment.

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