After yesterdays somewhat invasive and embarrassing doctors exam I am in somewhat of a surly mood today. So as I gingerly rest my butt in my chair
this morning to practice my daily writing ritual I am trying real hard to focus on calm cool soothing thoughts....that and real desire to go shoot
Today as I sit in my study wounding just what to write about it is my Winchester 70 re-chambered to shoot the very formidable 308 Norma Mag. That has
caught my eye.
With that old rifle I have come to love so well... I can constantly place every shot in an 8 inch pie plate at 1000 yards. But I was not always a
regular old William Tell… I had to learn to do that... and some of those lessons had to be beaten into my thick skull!
It wasn't always easy for me and I earned my way onto the Marine Corps shooting team… At one point in my life I was ranked 37th in international
long range shooting and just missed out on making the 1984 Olympics shooting team. Not due to lack of skill but due to being rotated overseas. That
ability took a lot of hard work on my part…
“Private… what are you doing closing one eye… you look like your peeking through a keyhole and Betty Sue Humps-a-lot… You’re a Marine son…
a lean mean killing machine… and that means you shoot with both eyes open!”
That was one the hardest things I ever had to learn. Looking threw that peep sight and later some very impressive military grade rifle scopes. I
don’t know why I did it, it just felt like the right thing to do, close my non-shooting eye… Oh I was a study in pure constriction, bending my
will, my entire body to the task at hand! Every molecule of my body focused on one goal, mount the rifle to my shoulder acquire the target, proper
sight picture line up the black bulls eye, squeeze the trigger.
“My grandmother shoots better than you do son… now do it right this time!”
It was only later, on my first combat mission I really learned how important it is to keep both eyes open.
“Corporal… on your right..!”
Sure enough I had given myself tunnel vision, I never saw that flanking move and without someone there to point out my nearly fatal mistake... I would
not be here to amuse you with my old man war stories.
Knowing you need to do a thing and actually doing it is not so easy. After having your eye in a scope for a while, then opening your off hand eye
gives you a differentiated view that will make your head swim. One of my hero’s the late great Jeff Cooper, used to call this “Getting lost in the
The second hard learned lesion is called “Dwell Time”
“The Proper method to assume the prone shooting position is… with the rifle in your off hand and eyes on the target, drop to both knees… Reach
out and plant your strong arm then move forward to your stomach… press your toes and heels flat into the ground for more stability… mount the
weapon to your shoulder and cheek…”
Now is when things dont always go the way you want them too and that has everything to do with what we call “Dwell Time”
You see your mind works faster than the gun, you expect things to happen much faster than they do. You squeeze the trigger; the “BANG” should be a
surprise each and every time, if you do it right… the mistake most shooters make, including myself is not accounting for dwell time…
Like a golfer follow threw makes or breaks a good shot… same with the shooting sports… and follow through in shooting means you don’t relax your
finger on the trigger until the recoil impulse has passed… that too is a hard lesson to learn… once I hear the sound I instinctively want to
release the trigger or relax my finger…
“BUZZ”... wrong answer and there goes yet another prize buck leaping off into the woods to laugh with his fellow deer at what a crappy hunter I
Proper follow threw… shooting is the simplest thing in the world… the rifle does all the work… your job is to guide the bullet along its
“Jesus Private… my Grandmother shoots better than you… now get your ass back in the dirt and do it right this time!”
I was not born with some remarkable innate talent and I never learned to do a thing by doing it right the first time around… it was my mistakes and
desire to be better that made me try and try and try again and one day someone turned to me and said,
“Sergeant… Here’s the list of names of the recruits you’ll be training!”
Know what the first words out of my mouth were???
“Jesus Private… my Grandmother shoots better than you do… now get your ass back in the dirt and do it right this time!”
Well that's it for my story... if there's a lesson in there somewhere it's not to give up, keep learning, keep trying harder... the only person I
strive to be better than is myself... so now it's your turn to get your ass back in the dirt and do it right this time.... I'd glady you join you
too... but right now my ass still hurts from the doctor visit...:lol
edit on 4-8-2011 by DaddyBare because: fixing my horrible