I don't often do this…
Normally I just advocate for focusing about 90% of your firearms training on “dry-fire” techniques because it's cheaper… easier… and frankly, more effective than traditional range training.
But there ARE some skills you can only get at a live-fire range.
I asked a couple of top instructors for their #1 tip for live-fire training (and threw in one of my own)…
3 “Sharpshooter” Firearm Accuracy Training Tips For The Live-Fire Range…
Jeff Anderson (MCS Editor): “Sandbag Shooting”
The problem with most people trying to shoot more accurately is that there are so many factors that can affect shot placement, that it's hard to know which one is causing you the most difficulty.
Is it your stance? Your arm placement? Gun grip? Sight alignment? Trigger control? Sheesh!
The first thing I tell people to do is begin with “sandbag shooting” with their pistol.
That may seem weird and something that's only useful for rifle marksmanship, but it helps to eliminate several different factors from the start.
Basically set up a couple of sandbags at your shooting station and prop your firearm with your normal “hold” so that you're fully stabilized by the bags.
Once stable, slowly squeeze the trigger through 5 rounds at 7 yards, getting perfect aim for all shots and taking your time.
With the weapon supported, you can determine if your sighting and trigger squeeze are the true culprits and what you need to work on.
Massad Ayoob (Firearms Expert): “1 Hole”
At 15-25 yards, shot groups could be affected by firearm and ammo choice.
This doesn't give you good feedback on whether you're shooting accurately or not.
Instead, set up your target just 4 yards away.
Shoot 1 round anywhere you like on the target.
Your goal then is to put all of your following rounds right into that same hole.
Take your time at first… slowly squeezing off every round… speed will come later.
Jason Hanson (Former CIA): “Trigger Analysis”
Trigger control is THE most important part of becoming a highly accurate shooter.
Once you know how to properly pull the trigger, you’ll be amazed at how quickly both your confidence and your accuracy improve.
When you're taking your time, it's pretty easy to get a tight shot group – but when you add speed, the mistakes start to become clearer.
Aiming at a bulls-eye target at about 7 yards away, shoot 5 rounds at a 1-second interval (no slower).
What you're looking for is which side of the bulls-eye your shots most land on.
For a right-handed shooter, if your rounds are on the right of the bulls-eye, you're likely “pulling” the trigger too much.
More rounds on the left, you're “pushing” the trigger through the trigger path.
(Vice-versa for a left-handed shooter.)
But that's only part of the trigger problem I find and the training we get in the CIA has a lot to do with finger placement through the entire trigger squeeze that few people ever “get”.
It's far more important than you may think and it's why my 30-Day Sharpshooter manual shows step-by-step pictures of exactly what I do when pulling the trigger so you can see close-ups of my finger placement.