Breathing is an important factor that impacts the accuracy of your shot. One can practice sight picture, sight alignment, natural point of aim, and optimum handgun shooting positions, but if one does not breathe properly, one may never engage the target as accurately as possible. Also, the further away the target is, the more important breathing comes into play.
- Don’t try to hold your breath while you shoot.
- Don’t shoot on a natural respiratory pause—on the inhale or on the exhale.
- We recommend a “half-breath,” inhale, let some of the air out, then fire. (B.R.A.S.S.)
- Vertical tracking is sometimes noticed in long range handgun shooting when the shooter fires on the inhale, then the exhale causing the muzzle to move up and down.
In order to maintain body movement, your breath must be held while firing a shot. “Before each shot take a breath, let enough air out so you are comfortable; hold the remaining breath while firing the shot. If you hold your breath for more than 8 seconds muscle tremors may start. The breathing process provides the body with oxygen and eliminates waste elements from the blood. Correct breathing while handgun shooting is essential to proper body functions. A complete respiratory cycle last for 4-5 seconds (inhaling and exhaling) and between each cycle, there is a pause of 2-3 seconds.
Proper breath control allows the shooter to remain steady once a good sight picture is attained. The shooter should inhale while bringing the pistol to eye level. When the weapon is at eye level, the shooter should exhale approximately half of a breath. By allowing some air to remain in the lungs, the shooter will not fight to exhale or inhale. The optimum time to fire the round during slow fire is 4 to 7 seconds. During slow fire, if the round has not been fired after ten seconds, the shooter should relax and begin again. This allows the weapon to remain steady until the weapon is fired. The acronym for proper breath control is
- Release halfway and hold