The following information comes from Manual of Police Revolver Shooting by R. M. Bair. Manual of Police Revolver Instruction is also available to purchase in print.
Breathing is the fourth Principle to be considered and mastered as the officer progresses with his revolver training. It is very necessary for him to breathe properly at the time of sighting and firing, or he will again face handicaps that will stand in his way of becoming a good revolver marksman.
If he continues normal breathing during the time of sighting, there will be a continual up and down motion of the arm that is supporting the revolver, as the breath is inhaled and exhaled. This motion will make it impossible for him to keep the sights in alignment with the aiming point on the target. When this happens, the novice shooter usually sees the sights in perfect alignment as they pass the aiming point on one of the up and down movements, and the trigger is given a jerk or yank in order to get the shot off. The resulting shot will be wild and very often a complete miss on the target, because of the jerk on the trigger.
If he takes a deep breath and holds it in the diaphragm, the result will be unsteadiness in holding and muzzle wabble. He will be uncomfortable because of muscle strain and again jerk or yank the trigger to get the shot off, so that he may breathe normally again.
The proper method of breathing is to hold the breath during the time of sighting and until the shot is fired. This is accomplished by breathing normally until the sights come into alignment with the target and you start to squeeze the trigger, then the breath is locked in the throat by forcing the tongue up against the roof of the mouth, holding it until the shot is fired. This method should be used for slow, timed and rapid fire. In timed and rapid fire, during the time required to cock the hammer, there will be a chance to inhale and exhale a short breath quickly, but again lock the breath in the throat until the shot is fired.
It will require practice to master proper breathing at the time of firing, until it becomes a mechanical operation with the officer. A tyro shooter has a great tendency to forget all about proper breathing at the time of firing.
Breathing Control Quiz
- Should the breath be held at the time of firing?
- Should you continue breathing normally at the time of firing?
- If you take a deep breath and hold it until the shot is fired, what will be the result?
- If you continue breathing normally while sighting what will be the result?
- When is the breath held?
- How is the breath held?