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What I’ve Learned About Guns (Part III - Practice)

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posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 07:21 AM
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• Practice everything.
• Be consistent.
• Train with everything you’re going to carry … nothing more, nothing less.

You can’t be good at simply one aspect of shooting and fall into the trap of considering yourself prepared … or worse yet … an expert.

You may have perfected the art of putting a bullet dead center of your target … but, can you do that under any conditions? What if you’re already under fire? What if you’ve just been blindsided by an attacker Hell bent on following up his initial assault with a lethal one? What if all you've got left to work with is your weak hand?

• The last resort.

Were you smart enough to carry a hammerless pistol in your pocket? Can you get your hand around the grip of your firearm? Can you get your finger on the trigger? Is your pistol loaded with rounds, which will effectively penetrate your clothing and his clothing, while dumping enough energy into his vital areas to end the threat?

• The draw.

I won’t be able to put enough emphasis on this to satisfy myself. Drawing your weapon should be completed in a second or less. It should end with a trigger pull and a round on target. Period. Getting into the weeds on this subject would involve writing that book I mentioned.

Your feet should be moving as you begin your draw. Don’t stand frikkin’ sti!! The other guy might be way better than you. Decrease your chances of being hit. If you’re in a gunfight, you should be moving towards cover and hopefully putting distance between you and your assailant (and a more effective firearm LOL).

When I change the configuration of my carry (clothing, holster, position, firearm), I will guarantee you I have practiced the actions required to bring my weapon into battery not less than 500 times. In addition, I practice my draw five to ten times at the outset of the day to retain the ‘muscle memory’ necessary for confidence.

• On Revolvers.
• Thumb-cock single action firing -vs- double action is counter-productive to realistic training.

It takes about 10 lbs of pressure to fire a revolver that weighs less than a pound. Cock the hammer and you go from 160 ounces (you MUST control) down to as little as 16. That’s a light touch. It’ll make you a limp wrister. You’ll be sorry for practicing that way. So, stick to DAO and work on that until you’re proficient.

Here’s something I heard, but haven’t had a chance to practice myself. I was told that proper grip pressure may be found by holding your handgun with both hands in a proper grip, but so tightly that you begin to shake. From there, back off the pressure until your hands and arms stop shaking and that’s how tightly you ‘should’ be holding that firearm.

• You don’t want a light trigger action in a defensive situation though it is counter-intuitive in comparison to shooting for score in competition.
• Who would take the time to pull back the hammer of a revolver when an assailant is coming at you Hell-bent on pummeling you to death with a crowbar?
• I don’t care how well your target groups look at the range. I care about how well you can shoot when it matters. Will your brain allow you to?

• Dry firing – Just Do It.

Here’s a webpage I found that talks through the subject very thoroughly: www.luckygunner.com...

I’ve heard so much crap about dry firing, and yet, I do it frequently and have never experienced a problem. I’ve heard this so often I believe ammunition manufacturers got together and created this conspiracy themselves. Rim fire … I’d make an exception for, but only because .22 ammo is so cheap and plentiful.

Personal to Asktheanimals: You asked about practicing with a .22. Any familiarity you can develop with firearms is to your advantage. The .22 is like any other tool you can find in your tool chest. It has a place and it has a value worthy of respect. The most valuable practice time I had with firearms was with my BB guns. Kid you not. They're quiet, cheaper than .22, reusable (if you set up a trap), and fine for indoor use if you don't have little kids who get into all your stuff. Heck, you might even get a belly laugh out of a gunsmith if you ask him to work up a match-grade trigger for you. Oh yeah ... they're great for fishing in streams!!

I kind of skipped over the .22. There wasn't anything around the farm I couldn't kill (that needed killing) with a pellet. When I left the farm, the Army issued me a .38 and an M-16 from time-to-time, I kept progressing upwards from there. Somewhere along the way I remember acquiring a Savage and a Ruger. My little brother 'borrowed' one of 'em and I never saw it again. The other one made its way back to the farm and might still be there for all I know. Mentioning them brings back memories of the taste of Brunswick stew.

• MarlinGrace covered quantity and quality of practice in the last thread. You'll have to go back if you missed it.




posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 07:54 AM
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a reply to: Snarl




• On Revolvers.
• Thumb-cock single action firing -vs- double action is counter-productive to realistic training.

It takes about 10 lbs of pressure to fire a revolver that weighs less than a pound. Cock the hammer and you go from 160 ounces (you MUST control) down to as little as 16. That’s a light touch. It’ll make you a limp wrister. You’ll be sorry for practicing that way. So, stick to DAO and work on that until you’re proficient.


Couldn't agree more on this.

If you're using a revolver for self defense like I do, it is prudent to practice as much as possible in DAO.

I carry a Chiappa Rhino 60. The DA trigger weight is at roughly 10-11 lbs. It takes a lot more of a control touch to place rounds on target with a trigger that heavy. Under severe stress, i.e. combat, that control touch is going to have to be second nature.
edit on pWed, 22 Oct 2014 07:55:03 -0500201422America/Chicago2014-10-22T07:55:03-05:0031vx10 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 08:44 AM
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I learned to shoot with a Daisy Red Ryder like everyone else at age 7. I got to the point where I could nail flies on the dog dish. For real fun try shooting carpenter bees while they're flying around your shed looking for a place to bore tunnels. Our dad set up a practice range in our basement and we popped holes in baseball cards that nowadays fetch a couple hundred bucks in pristine condition.
I had a pellet gun on the farm eventually moving up to shooting a .22 from a minibike chasing after coy dogs that were attacking our cows. If I ran out of bb's or pellets I pulled out the wristrocket or bow for fun. I guess shooting is one of those things that get in your blood early.

I agree shooting offhand is also good practice both with pistol or rifle. Most people have a dominant eye as well as hand and while offhand shooting is difficult at first it becomes less awkward with time. Reason to do so is imagine being a right-handed shooter and you have a rifle but your assailant is around a corner to your right. You would have to step fully from behind the corner just to sight your weapon and that's no good. You can also use this to your advantage in a fire fight by knowing the most shooters are right handed and will peep around an obstacle to shoot consistently from the same side. If facing them in the woods they will peep around the left side of the tree so as to expose the least amount of their body possible.

That reminds of one last thing I've read from Major John Plaster, USMC from his excellent book The Ultimate Sniper : beware your enemy's left. This is because most shooters being right handed can acquire a target to their left side much faster than one on their right. If you can be to their right hand side you have a slight advantage and in life or death situations you take every advantage you can. There is tons of good information in that book and I would recommend it to anyone serious about shooting.

It's been a while since I read it but he gives the trajectory tables for different rounds and I recalled the .300 Win being the flattest shooting. That's why I asked about your preference in long range caliber.
edit on 22-10-2014 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn
I have a Ruger LCP DAO semi auto and it took many rounds to get the feel of the very long trigger travel. Unfamiliarity with such a weapon could cost you precious time which you may not have. Double action only is much more difficult to learn, agreed.



posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

That LCP was very snappy on the recoil. It can be accurate if you train dry fire drills. But the recoil on such a small and light pistol will destroy your wrist.

I still prefer my Rhino and I wear loose clothing specifically because I prefer to carry it.



posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 08:04 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals


I learned to shoot with a Daisy Red Ryder like everyone else at age 7. I got to the point where I could nail flies on the dog dish. For real fun try shooting carpenter bees while they're flying around your shed looking for a place to bore tunnels.


I hope anyone reading these threads takes a look at the practicality of your lead-in. This is 'shooting' at its finest.

If you want your kids to understand how to handle a firearm, start 'em early with something light (Uzis on a real range ... LOL). It's repitition and 'aiming small' that make great shooters ... that, and eventually, a lot of $$$.

There's a storm on the horizon. Being indoors isn't going to be enough when it arrives.



posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 11:09 AM
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originally posted by: Asktheanimals
a reply to: projectvxn
I have a Ruger LCP DAO semi auto and it took many rounds to get the feel of the very long trigger travel. Unfamiliarity with such a weapon could cost you precious time which you may not have. Double action only is much more difficult to learn, agreed.


These are my thoughts ... at the very mention of trigger travel. It took me a long time to draft this in writing. Say something if it doesn't click.

Your trigger and your finger, both rotate around a pivot point, and both travel in a semicircular path. Neither really travels in a straight line. When operating a trigger, your finger hinges at two different joints, with most of the rotation happening at the proximal.

The tip of your finger moves on an arc pretty much on the horizontal. The trigger pivots too, and the tip of the trigger also travels in a semicircular arc.

The arcs of the trigger and your finger are at right angles to each other. Understand this or you’ll fall into the trap of hanging onto the trigger. This is because the trigger is traveling up and away from your finger, while your finger is traveling straight back toward your palm. The result is your finger feels like it’s going to slip off the trigger.

The natural reaction is to curve the tip of your finger inward to hang onto the trigger. This pulls the muzzle downwards and your point of aim sways ... which side depends on a variety of factors (very complicated to address in writing).

In practice, you’ll find yourself pausing before the gun goes off. You pause to perfect/correct your point of aim. If you’re pausing … pay attention, ‘cause you’re actually about to learn something here.

The thing that’s going on with the trigger and finger arcs means that the finger feels like it wants to slide downward … and across … the trigger face … let it. Don’t try to hang onto the trigger by keeping your finger in one place (if you’ve made a real habit of this … it's a hard one to break). Let your finger slide naturally across and down the trigger face as it strokes the trigger. When you master this technique, watch as the muzzle of your gun noticeably stops wiggling all over the place.

It took a real patient guy to teach me this … and I’m not sure I captured the essence of it on paper. I hope I did a good job for you.

ETA: You'll hear me say squeeze and you'll hear me say pull ... but nowhere in the post above. What I really mean (I guess) is "stroke" and it's a word I need to replace others with in my vocabulary.
edit on 24102014 by Snarl because: ETA




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