The rifleman’s job is a lot easier if he’s established a solid natural point of aim before shooting. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it is pretty straightforward. When you set up behind the rifle and relax, your crosshairs are going to be pointed somewhere. When you have correct natural point of aim (NPA), the crosshairs will be right on your target where you want your bullet to hit.

Making this happen is a two-step process. First, get your rifle pointed at the target. Second, get your body pointed, or aligned, with the rifle.

The way this works in practice is to get your reticle on target and then close your eyes and take a couple deep breaths while relaxing. If your reticle is still on target when you open your eyes, you’re good to go. If not, you need to adjust your position so that they are.

Once this gross adjustment is made, there is a way to further fine-tune your NPA. Dry fire a couple times paying careful attention to the reticle. If the reticle moves as the trigger breaks it is an indication that your body is not fully relaxed during the trigger manipulation. Double-check your position to make certain you’re not imparting any tension from your body into the rifle. The one exception being the pressure exerted by your bicep as it pulls the rifle stock back into the pocket of your shoulder. Remove any undue pressure from your body, manipulate the trigger correctly, and your NPA will get your bullet on target.