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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all,

I know this is a forum for benchrest shooters, but this is a question more about breath control and shooting rather than caliber.

The other day I was shooting a custom Ruger 10/22 trying for my best ten-shot groups. One thing I noticed is that at 50 yards taking my time, my gun shot terribly as even my best groups were close to an inch. However I then found that if I took a deep breath and maintained my sight picture, every shot I could get off while holding that breath would be pretty much on top of one another. When I exhaled and resumed shooting the bullets would again group very well, but not in the same place as the original group even though I thought everything else was the same. They would be close but would be off by about 1/2 inch. So if I loaded 10 rounds, held my breath for three, took another breath and shot three, then did it again for a third breath and shot off four I would get three separate, but tight groups.

Can anyone offer any insight as to why this is happening and what I can do to fix it?

Reply with quote  #2 
I assume that you are referring to off hand shooting. My particular technique is to aim high and begin coming down on the target as I am exhaling. When the crosshairs or the sights are aligned on the target I pause and then squeeze. The pause is the important piece but it is only a momentary pause, anymore than that and you'll queer the shot. Practice, practice, pratice, is the key element. I stay sharp with an air rifle in the basement. You have to practice alot and develop your own rhythm and method. This is what works for me, everyone is different.
Reply with quote  #3 
Actually, this was happening using a front and rear rest.

Reply with quote  #4 
To be honest with you I don't really notice my breathing pattern when I'm using a rest. I use an 18 pound front rest with a bag that matches my forend along with a heavy rear bag. Once the rifle is set, I have just enough body contact to get a good sight picture and concentrate on sight alignment and trigger control. The rest and bags lock the rifle in place, allowing it to recoil to the rear. After firing, I push the rifle forward until it contacts the forend stop and make small corrections before I take the next shot. Once I settle in and obtain my sight alignment, a slight caress of the trigger is all it takes.
Reply with quote  #5 
You may be repositioning your head. Does your scope have an adjustable objective? This may be a parallax issue.
Reply with quote  #6 
Breathing has a tremendous affect on a rifleman's accuracy. It's generally more apparent when one is shooting from; prone, sitting, kneeling or standing - but yes - we train to shoot at the same point in our breath cycle. Matter of fact, some of the guys swear they can shoot between heartbeats... Their scores reflect that they're doing something right that I haven't mastered, so perhaps???

Reply with quote  #7 
Breath control is just another variable that needs to be dealt with.
When using bags I'll breath deep, let out a bit and hold it, then when the heart beat has subsided I'll ease back on the trigger, get any of that out of sync and the target will reflect it.
Reply with quote  #8 
Are you adjusting your hold on the rifle when you relax and take a breath? Changing pressure and or position of your hand (or hands if you hold the forend) and cheekweld will move your POI. JimDee
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