Shooting Tips: How to Call Your Shot

Photo by John Hafner

Good shots are good before the bullet exits the gun; bad shots are bad just as quickly. Predicting where each bullet will strike is known as "calling the shot." Accurate calls improve your shooting.

When you aim, the rifle is never still. To call your shot, remember where the sight was and where it was headed at ignition, and where the rifle jumped.

Keep both eyes open. A blink is natural--a flinch is not. Blinks happen when you fire. Flinching happens before. You'll never call shots accurately if you flinch.

Calling accurately can reveal faulty technique and help rout out gremlins. Calling a shot also helps you identify unseen factors. For example, if you call a hit slightly at 9 o'clock and the bullet lands a hand's-width out at 4, you'll suspect a pick-up in wind. Once you trust your calls, you can "chase" a mediocre shot with a center hit.