Becoming a better shooter involves many things practice, better trigger control, and mastering the fundamentals.  All of these things are crucial to becoming a great shooter, but one thing that is often overlooked by novice shooters is reading  your misses.  To understand this, you need to know that reading your misses can be pretty simple.

If you consistently shoot low on your target there are two things that could be at work.  One is that your fixed sights are not calibrated to your gun.  You will often see this with someone who has added new fixed sights to an otherwise factory gun.  I had a customer call recently and complain about a Kimber that his local shop had installed fixed sights on for him.  He said that the gun shot to point of aim until the new sights were installed.  Since then it had been shooting several inches low.  Unfortunately his local shop told him that was just the way it was, and he needed to aim higher.  What he needed was a new gunsmith.  The front post was too high.  But that’s not the only cause of low shot placement.

The other culprit that is most likely is that you are wacking the trigger.  I learned this many years ago at my first session with D.R. Middlebrooks of Tactical Shooting Academy.  I was breaking shots by whacking the trigger.  Most of the time we do this because we are anticipating recoil.  To test yourself, add a dummy round randomly to your mags and see if the sights jerk low when you pull the trigger.

For a right handed shooter, if you are placing shots to the left, you are seeing something called trigger torque.  When a trigger is pulled it can naturally go to the left for a right handed shooter.  A solid grip, correctly aligned can often take care of this.  If your shots are low and left you have a combination of both.

The anwer to these problems is to practice dry firing.  Going to the range and sending hundreds of bullets won’t help if you don’t master the trigger pull.  It has been said that everyone whacks the trigger, but the best simply do it less.  Work on a consistent trigger press to make sure you are getting a clean shot.