Today we’re going to learn how to breathe. Good thing too, because you kind of need to do that to survive. Actually I’m going to discuss how to breathe to achieve your best accuracy while shooting your rifle.
Another factor that’s affected by your breathing is how much oxygen is in your system. Obviously, you want to be at your best when you break the shot. That means that your vision should be at its best, your trigger finger at its most tactile, and your mind in a state of calm concentration. Holding your breath will not facilitate this ideal state of being your’re looking for. In fact, the longer you hold your breath, the worse it will get. Generally the accepted window of time from inhaling to your vision beginning to degrade from reduced oxygen is five to seven seconds.
When the diaphragm contracts, it causes your lungs to expand and take in air. When it relaxes, the natural elasticity of the body causes the lungs to expel the air. No pushing or tension is needed to get that air out. This is your natural respiratory pause. Some air will still be in the lungs, unless you contract your abdomen to push it out. If you listen to someone’s breathing while they sleep (I recommend that you do NOT try this with a stranger- ask me how I know!) you should get a good illustration of what the natural respiratory pause is.
Now you know the proper method of breathing for optimum accuracy. What if you are in more of a hurry and the demand for accuracy is less pressing? Then just do what you need to do that will work to get the job done in the time allotted. This is rifle shooting, not dogma. One method may not apply to all situations. Just use your head.