A ‘Diagnostic Target’ for the New Age!

I have penned a few articles covering the Basics of Marksmanship, the Importance of Zero and selecting a grip that works for you, regardless of what’s popular at any given moment. I’ve covered the accuracy we should expect from a service pistol and our rightful expectations that such an implement should require no ‘Break In’. I hammer this stuff out because deep in my heart, I genuinely believe that an armed and proficient American populace enhances not only its own security- but the security of the nation as well.

To accomplish that proficiency, there are absolutes:

1. If If you aren’t zeroed, you ain’t hitting anything. 

2. If you aren’t using a proper sight picture, you ain’t hitting anything.

3. A firm, consistent grip and solid shooting stance are necessary.

4. The trigger must be pressed straight back, with steadily increasing pressure. 


Of course all this requires work, commitment and some genuine effort on the shooter’s part. Oddly, this don’t sit well with many contemporary shooters. These poor souls jump on the internet, post tales of their accuracy woes- and they want to hear anything except basic marksmanship principles.

Some of the advice they’re getting makes me scratch my head, too. One good Samaritan replied that poor accuracy (at maybe ten yards) could be cured by taking awhile “to let the gun ‘break-in’ and naturally find its own impact point.” I guess that gun was just wishing the shots around and then one day, as if by magic, it starts cooperating? Silly me.  All these years, I believed you had to confirm zero, align the sights correctly on the target and then press the trigger straight back without disturbing them.

Another favorite bit of ‘expert advice’ is to post a ‘Shooter Error Correction Chart’. These are useful in diagnosing problems with one-hand, precision shooting at 25 and 50 yards; but in my experience they are irrelevant for two-hand shooting at any distance. And of course, we don’t have a clue if subject pistol is zeroed- or the errant shooter is using a proper sight picture, grip or trigger technique. 

But nobody wants to hear that. Today, shooters want a graph, chart or webpage to solve all their marksmanship deficiencies in 5 seconds or less. So in keeping with the times, I offer the following:


Feel free to print it, share it or shoot it. Judging from what I read on the Internet, it certainly can’t hurt.