Piet Malan of Impact Shooting had quite the performance at the 2023 Rock Chuck Olympics. I took some time during the event to ask him about ways to get on and stay on target.
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About Piet Malan
Piet Malan is a competitive shooter and hunter based in South Africa. He came to the U.S. to participate in the Rock Chuck Olympics and I went to South Africa to hunt with him this year. He shone on the PRS stage, offering his fellow competitors tips, and also gave a demo.
How to Get On & Stay On Target
One: Don’t Overmagnify
When working with different terrain and engaging targets at different distances, it’s important not to over-magnify. Over-magnification makes it even harder to find targets, whether hunting or in a precision rifle competition.
Shooters burn valuable time looking for targets that they could be using for other things or run out of time altogether. Even if Piet is going to be shooting 1,000 yards, he always shoots with 12-15x magnification on a first focal plane scope. This provides a wide field of view and eliminates a lot of the movement you see in the reticle on higher powers. Another benefit to a wider field of view is potentially being able to see your misses better. If you are zoomed in just on the target, you may not see the dirt and dust you need to determine where you actually impacted.
Two: Expensive Gear Doesn’t Make a Great Shooter
Marksmanship comes first, gear comes second. There are certainly limitations to equipment and it needs to be capable of accomplishing certain tasks, but do not try to buy your way into succeeding in a task.
In other words, if a $1,000 rifle and $3,000 can both accomplish your desired goals, the $3,000 rifle will not automatically make you a better shooter. Piet advises shooters to get good equipment and invest time and money in training and practice.
Three: Get the Right Bag
A bag is an incredibly important tool for precision rifle shooting. Some bring a variety to the range, while others rely on just one. Whatever your style, it’s important to learn what works for you and why.
Piet started with a small foam pillow which didn’t offer him any stability. He recommends buying the Armageddon Gear Game Changer bag. Though it is a bit more expensive than other bags, getting something versatile that will work from the start saves you money in the long run.
Four: Slow Down
PRS is a time-based sport, but consider where your value is. When you are first starting out, you learn more by shooting slowly and making hits than by rushing to make the par time and missing everything. Speed and smooth execution comes with time.
Five: Keep your face on the gun!
A proper cheek weld is critical to a good shot. Be sure to maintain this through your follow through.
Do not jump off the stock to see where you hit! With a properly positioned stock (adjustable cheekpiece helps) and optic, there is no reason to leave the stock. Watch through your optic to see where the shot hit. This applies in competitive shooting and hunting.
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