In a word, we do not want to focus on our breathing. Let’s start off by saying we need to breathe–period. Holding your breath is the last thing you want to do when shooting. When we are hammering a nail, driving our cars, we don’t think about our breathing. Correct? Instead, we continue to breathe normally. The same thing applies when shooting a rifle. What we need to know about breathing while shooting is where to break the shot, which is at the bottom of our natural respiratory pause.
Let me say that again, Break the shot at the bottom of our Natural Respiratory Pause.
For years people were taught to take a deep breath, let it half way out and hold it. This is incorrect, and in many ways counter to achieving accurate fire. Why? Because we have no way of knowing what “half way” is under typical circumstances and we have no concept of how long we are actually holding our breath. The longer we continue with this practice, the longer we will hold our breath and the first thing affected is our eyes. Your vision becomes impaired, your body begins to strain and you’re no longer in a relaxed state.
We all have a natural respiratory pause, even if we are running with 80lbs on our back; there is a bottom of the breathing cycle. That is where we break the shot. If your shot is not lined up right immediately, continue to breath until it is. When you are setting up the shot, you can line things up, do not use your breathing cycle to steer the rifle, but allow the rifle to settle in