50 Shades of NPOA

Anyone who has participated in an Appleseed (especially if you suffered under my instruction) has been taught the importance of Natural Point of Aim. Achieving NPOA is the ultimate refinement of all the steady hold factors of your position and all the six steps of firing the shot. Using it consistently enables you to relax and to focus your mind on the target by eliminating all the variables – other than wind – that would affect your accuracy.

When teaching I like to relate the true story of a demonstration that Gary Anderson once put on. (Mr. Anderson, a world champion shooter, is now the Director Emeritus of the Civilian Marksmanship Program and a board member of the International Shooting Sports Federation). Shooting from prone at a standard 100 yard target, he settled into position with his sights on the bull. Then an assistant put opaque glasses on him so he couldn’t see a thing. He then fired ten shots – all in the X ring.

A video is worth a thousand words, and a video from Kirsten Joy Weiss is worth ten times that. In the vid below Kirsten shoots a balloon from about 20 yards in the offhand position, BLINDFOLDED. As she explains, shooting blindfolded is doubly hard because we use our eyes to help maintain our balance. It’s a neat trick shot. What makes it work is that she has a rock-solid, consistent shooting position that establishes her natural point of aim from the feet up. Once she puts her NPOA on the target, she can put the rifle on its stand, blindfold herself, re-mount the rifle and still hit the target. This is what all that dry-fire practice is for.

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