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An old mans Musing.... on how to be world class shooter

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posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 09:39 AM
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 something....

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 scope!”

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 am…

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 trajectory…

“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 spelling

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

Explanation: S&F!

The information of getting lost within the scope etc. was very important to me as I have never had to watch my flank! [my family members know well enuff to stay behind the shooter
... But I also prefer iron sights to telescopic sights and so shooting with both eyes open is natural for me.

Personal Disclosure: One trick I was taught by my fathers stepfather [my Pop] was to either breathe all the way and hold it or breathe all the way and hold it... before you even start squeezing the trigger [I prefer to breathe all the way out] and with a bolt action rifle, maintaining trigger pull [as in the case of a semi automatic] is a moot and mute point!

I also recommend not shooting small game [use snares and nets etc] and especially don't shoot stuff in the trees like birds and possom or racoon as you cannot garantee that the round has been grounded even if you hit the target [penetration ok]!

And your drill sargeant was so correct. Practice makes perfect!

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:03 AM
In my mind you speak with "grandpa".

Thanks for being that for other's as well, it's takes hearing it enough, and I never get tired.

Not the same country, but I salute you .


posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

My Dad taught me that stuff at a young age, all great tips. But one of the most maddening things in todays military is all the tacti-Cool crap the Soldiers attach to their IBA. All you have to do is look at almost any photo from Iraq or Afghanistan and you see it all grouped in the front of the vest.

I kept telling them to spread it all over.

At a range prior to deployment I had one guy with so many knives and other crap attached his butt was higher than his head. He went through retraining many times and still did not qualify. I finally volunteered to personally be his safety and observe him. This was one of the older prior service guys who had re-upped after 9-11. He could not get that it was now the aughts rather than the 80's.

After every shot, he repositioned himself or his vest. I told him to stay in the same position, remember his breathing technique. To which he replied, "But Sergeant, I can't get comfortable." I laughed and told him that war is never comfortable. I pulled him off the line and stripped his IBA to the bare minimum required for combat. Boy was he pissed. But I didn’t care, this cat had throwing knives, Nun-Chuks and what have you all attached to him…what a fruitcake. I was amazed I didn’t find a microwave.
He thought he was Chuck Norris Jr.

He was amazed that after everything was removed, he finally qualified.

Edit: I had to thump him quite a few times with the paddle to get him to stay still or for safety violations. That was fun.

edit on 4-8-2011 by TDawgRex because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:39 AM
reply to post by OmegaLogos

Always a pleasure to hear form you...
I will point out one thing...
at long range and looking threw a high magnification rifle scope....
holding your breath with make the cross-hairs dance in a lazy figure 8...
the reason is you tense up when you hold your breath and you need to stay calm and relaxed...
it's easier to just breath normally... watching the rise and fall... once you get that rhythm... you'll know when to make the shot

Of course punching holes in paper targets at 800 meters is one thing... sitting in a blind waiting for the big buck to break cover... now that's something else altogether... That sudden adrenaline rush can make you forget every thing you know...

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by treespeaker

Ya know am a grandpa...
that doesnt make me wiser...
just means I've been around long enough to have tons of these stories...
get enough beer in me and suddenly I become a one man army

or at least that's the way I remember it

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:49 AM
reply to post by TDawgRex

tactiCool has done more to kill the rifleman than any other one thing you can name...

it also gives a false sense of... Rambo-ism... they think their gizmos and gadgets will get them out of trouble... throwing knifes are great toys... but once you throw it... there you stand, unarmed...

PS I used to carry a riding crop to make my guys keep their butts down

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:00 AM
Awesome post, Daddybare.

Great advice and I will take it to the range with me next time!

The one thing I have learned in any technique is simple:
Take your time and practice.
Then practice some more.

When it comes down to it, the practice pays off in a clutch.
Because even a first class marksman knows he got there by overloading practice time.

Good proper technique, learned from experienced people helps too.

I do use the "drop point" technique often for quick shots.
Aquire target.
Aim slightly above area to shoot.
Slowly drop sights into exact area of target from top to bottom.
Upon settling into target area, fire weapon when ready.
Keep gun pointed at target.
Reload/rechamber and Repeat.
Mind you, this process only takes a few seconds.

Just another way to get on target quickly.
And now I am going to practice with both eyes open!

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:11 AM
Nice thread! I really enjoyed how you didn't come in sounding like you were some natural bad-ass that always knew how to shoot, and how you pointed out that the things that felt natural aren't always the best techniques, and that learning how to shoot well is difficult but rewarding.

As you apparently know, many people find it much harder to learn from someone that starts out by explaining how they are a natural at whatever the task is! That leaves the student in the frame of mind of "Well, I'm either a natural or I'm not, so why bother practicing?" Instead, your words were inspiring and made me want to get out there and practice, and to not worry about being perfect right off, because the point is to make some mistakes to learn from and get even better.

I'm going home to visit my Dad in a couple for weeks. Maybe he'll take me out to shoot!

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:23 AM
reply to post by AlphaBetaGammaX

I proud of ya...
some of the best memories I have... are times spent with my dad...
then later as a dad out in the fields with my sons and daughter teaching them to shoot..pretty soon I'll be teaching my granddaughter...

those are not time where your mind is on making that perfect shot... those are times when your just glad to be together... tell your old man I said howdy...

PS: My daughter is one of those naturals you talk about... it just comes too easy for her so she doesn't apply herself... then she gets bored and wanders off to meet the cute boys there at the range... Trust me... you wouldn't want her to teach ya because she's never had to struggle through one of those bad habits we all have... so she doesnt understand how the rest of us had to overcome...
edit on 4-8-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:33 AM
reply to post by havok

Always glad to see your name come up in one of my threads....
you are so very right about pratice...

I love to learn new tricks and tips... some work for me others dont...
we each have to find our sweet spot and build from there... Happy shooting, wish I could go with ya... but I still have one more doctor visit to make this week... Damn I want to go shoot something

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:39 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

daddybare, im sorry to break some bad news to you here, but you've been had, there was no need to have that exam, not unless you are experiencing symptoms which had you concerned, regular check up exams for the prostate are a sham, a scam, a conspiracy

qoute from the link

"I never dreamed that my discovery four decades ago would lead to such a profit-driven public health disaster. The medical community must confront reality and stop the inappropriate use of P.S.A. screening. Doing so would save billions of dollars and rescue millions of men from unnecessary, debilitating treatments.

*** Richard J. Ablin is a research professor of immunobiology and pathology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the president of the Robert Benjamin Ablin Foundation for Cancer Research."

oh and btw, i love your survival threads, i shared your thread on rifling with my father he and i went over it and both agree, really great info in there, as well as this thread....good show!

edit on 8/4/11 by pryingopen3rdeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:55 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

Explanation: I could opf explained that way better .. I was in a rush ..becuase like with those ducks.. OL gets excited by cool threads

Its all one action..breathe out [or in] and as coming to the very end of the breath start to aim and begin to squeeze .. it should be all one fluid motion.. not seperate things!

Im sorry I posted it like that as thats how it [the technique] is broken down in my skull! OL hasn't shot any guns for years and they don't call paintball markers guns for very good reasons [although technically they are] and I was last holding a .22 rifle and shooting was some 15+yrs ago. I learned this as a young teenager on day or weekend trips to my parents rural property from the city and so my time on the range and under the tutorship of my Dad and my Pop was very very limited and so like conan.. I barely have the tongue for this

Personal disclosure: I remember the figure 8'ing skating around.. till I learned to hold my breathe and shoot in 1 fluid fashion!

P.S Shooting Ducks with a rifle ...
.. Seriously wouldn't a shotgun [eve a 4-10] be more suited to that task?

And if that close with a rifle to the game.. might as well either snare/net it .. or club it with a throwing stick.

Throwing Stick [wiki]

a Hunting: Throwing Sticks []

Figure : Egyptian throwing stick, duck hunting
1. reference – The Metropolitan Museum of art : The life of the Ancient Egyptians

Save your long gun ammo for the big game that has a huge flight zone!

Because although OL is sure that DaddyBare could easy make any ammo they need
... Not everyone can or even knows they can do that [needs specialist gear etc + basic skill level]
and ammo out there when shtf .. is going to meen the difference between life and death and OL kids nobody on that!

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:24 PM
Your Doctor is really an Alien
You got probed

Good post my friend..I recieved very little rifle training in the Navy
I went to the range almost daily and fired the 1911 Colt..after a while I got pretty good with it

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:31 PM
reply to post by granpabobby

yesterday I wrote I should have gone back home to New Mexico so I could brag on how I went to Roswell and got probed... it was funny yesterday... today not so much...

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:27 PM

Originally posted by DaddyBare
After yesterdays somewhat invasive and embarrassing doctors exam I am in somewhat of a surly mood today.

Seriously, good post Daddy

Hope everything came out ok yesterday. (including the camera)

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 02:02 PM

Originally posted by mwood

Originally posted by DaddyBare
After yesterdays somewhat invasive and embarrassing doctors exam I am in somewhat of a surly mood today.

Seriously, good post Daddy

Hope everything came out ok yesterday. (including the camera)

yeah yeah...
just be thankful I didnt post pictures....
lots of folks would pay big bucks "never" to see my Bare butt..

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 03:27 PM
I know you are talking about rifle shooting,but before I got some training in archery,I ALWAYS used to aim with one eye shut(too many films).
And I never got consistent accuracy.
My first lesson involved the teacher repeating the phrase"Now again with BOTH eyes open!"

But once I got used to it,I never went back,target grouping improved massively-stereo vision is the way to aim a bow.
If I try to shoot with one eye closed now,I feel almost disabled.

Hope you feel better tomorrow BTW.
Was gonna give you the "thumbs up" pic,but today that seems inappropriate somehow,so have this one instead.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 07:46 PM
Some very good tips and I daresay much needed advice for many riflemen... It does seem to be natural or inherent for most people to want to close one eye when taking a sight picture, whether it be with a pistol or a rifle; but you don't have any depth perception with one eye closed... I have several favorite rifles I love to shoot, 7mag, 300 short mag, and my favorite long range toy, 300 ultramag; for those out there that are "recoil sensitive" there is a solution that leads to vastly improved follow thru and increased accuracy for a modest investment of 20 bucks; Sims makes a slip on recoil pad called a Limbsaver that reduces felt recoil by 70%...

Next time you see the doc explain to him that you really appreciate how you feel, and it damn well had better have been absolutely necessary or you will repay the favor ... with a louisville slugger.

Changes their outlook and methodology every time...


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