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By Wayne McLerran
Posted 5/15/15

I can certainly understand the benefits of a consistent hard hold when firing a
firearm but I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here to some extent concerning
the concept of “follow through”.  It’s been my experience that many, possibly
most, shooters do not really understand the notion of follow through when it
comes to firearms.  I certainly did not at one time, assuming it was a technique of
how one reacted with the firearm after the trigger was pulled.  To some (very
small) extent this is true but remember, it‘s a documented well-known fact that
the bullet has exited the barrel of a BPCR approximately 2 ms (that’s 2
milliseconds or 2/1000 of a second) after the primer ignites the powder.  That’s
pretty darn quick, and once that bullet exits the barrel you can’t do anything to
affect the its path downrange.

I’ve had spotters and other shooters watching me mention that I’m not applying
consistent follow through, although I clearly “called he shot”.  When asked to
clarify, the person usually said I started to move or was moving the rifle too
quickly off the sticks after firing.  Certainly consistency is very important
concerning how the firearm is held and in the firing sequence, but it’s impossible
for a human being to mentally make a decision to start and move anything within
2 milliseconds after pulling the trigger.  So my old understanding and their
understanding of follow through was not correct.  Below is a link to a good
article on the subject that may leave some of you with a different viewpoint of
follow through than you had prior to reading the article.  I find I need to read it
every so often to reeducate myself.


The author pretty much sums it up with the comment, “Essentially, follow
through is what holds all the other elements of marksmanship together long
enough for the bullet to make it out of the barrel.”

Wishing you great shooting,