The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 18, 2010, 04:55 AM   #51
HiBC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 3,580
Something a shooting coach might observe and offer:
Dynamic combat shooting plays by other rules,but if you are developing marksmansip skills consider that a reasonably still,stable stance will be helpful.
What mechanism of the human body controls equilibrium?Something about the inner ear,a little ball of bone acting like a level bubble,yes?
Suppose we are wobblier with our head tilted?
I shoot best with my bones stacked balanced over my feet,myfeet pointing my bones in the right direction so my muscles don't have to pull something over.(Natural point of aim,move your feet to point the gun at the target.)
Standing natural,looking at the target,head up and natural,I bring the gun up so my eyes happen to be looking through the sights at the target.If I can just squeeze the trigger while I focus on the perfect sight picture,not the target,but the front sigh,level with the rear sight,and two even light gaps on each side,generally pointed at the target,if I really focus on that as I squeeze,bang,recoil.I want a mental picture of what the sights looked like at recoil.If I have that picture,I did not cringe in anticipation.My eye was open,looking at the sights,and I should know,a little high,left.
Not that it is real important,but,that seventy some year old guy that was shooting high 290's at 25 yds,that is all done one handed.
HiBC is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 03:26 PM   #52
ProxyBoy
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Posts: 34
I definitely understand and don't disagree with the equilibrium issue. Just a habit I will have to work on if I try to switch hands.

I do have the mental picture when the hammer breaks of if I was high or left or whatever... obviously your hands aren't rock solid and I see them move so I know if I was on or off when it happens.

Good description of what to do though... I like it.
ProxyBoy is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 03:43 PM   #53
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
...it doesn't mean they would suggest switching to your weak hand.
I wouldn't suggest switching either.

But for someone brand new to shooting, I would think any professional trainer would at least explore the possibility of having a new shooter start out shooting using the dominant eye hand.

Switching is hard. When you're just starting out you don't have anything to unlearn so it's a completely different story.

The equilibrium issue is a good one. One of the best competitive rifle shooters of our time, David Tubb, has his rifles set up so that he can keep his head perfectly straight up while sighting his rifle. He eliminates even the small amount of head tilt that most people employ when shooting a rifle.

While it's more of an issue when precision is the goal, I would say that even in dynamic shooting one will find that performance is better if the head is in a reasonably natural position.

And in dynamic shooting, shooting with both eyes open is the goal. This is very difficult to do, perhaps impossible, when you are shooting cross-dominant.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 07:03 PM   #54
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
I have one small simple suggestion that I have not seen mentioned yet.
Doule up the hearing protection. Ear plugs under the muffs. I have a female coworker that I was shooting with. She was deadly accurate with the .22 lr. When she stepped up to the 9mm. Her first shot was to the x in the 10 ring of a B27 at 15 yards. every shot after that was worse than the one before. I could see her trembeling when squeezing the trigger for each following shot. We called it a day soon after that.
Next trip she was flinching awfuly. I asked her what was going on. She stated that it was so loud it scared her. I gave her a pair of ear plugs to put in. She went with double hearing protection, and figured it was not so loud then. Her shooting started to improve greatly after that.
Note 3 days later she took her CHL class. She had the top score in the class of 240 of 250.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 10:58 PM   #55
ProxyBoy
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Posts: 34
Good suggestion M&P, but my wife isn't scared of the sound for sure. We use foamies and they do a pretty good job, we were also out in the wide open so it didn't retain any of the sound.
ProxyBoy is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 11:07 PM   #56
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,282
Over the years I've been asked by many people for some advice on various aspects of getting started in firearms. I finally started putting some of the advice in writing and then collected it into one document. It's grown to about 15 pages at this time.

For what it's worth, here are the first couple of pages of general information before it goes into focusing primarily on cleaning procedures and materials. Maybe some of it will be helpful.
Getting Started in Firearms
This document assumes that the reader is familiar with the basic rules of firearm safety. Those should be second nature before the need to clean a handgun ever arises.
  • ALWAYS keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction.
  • ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger unless you intend to shoot.
  • ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded unless you intend to shoot.
These 3 rules will prevent accidental injury or death if they are followed. ANY time a person is accidentally shot at least one of the 3 basic rules has been broken. A fourth rule is also very important in determining what a “safe direction” is: ALWAYS be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Bullets from modern firearms can penetrate a surprising amount of target material and can travel for more than a mile downrange.

What you don’t need
Ego. Forget about proving anything and instead make it your goal to do things right and to be SAFE. Concentrate on what you’re doing, read manuals, read instructions, read cautions, follow the safety rules, double and triple-check everything anytime there’s a chance of property damage or injury. Get some professional training and don’t be too proud or ashamed to ask for help when you need it. You’ll be better and safer for it and so will those around you.

A Firearm Owners Manual
These are usually available free of charge from the manufacturer. I’ve owned many guns but I still read the manual from cover to cover when I buy a new gun. You can save yourself a lot of hassle, time, money and prevent injuries or death by reading the manual. You DO have the time to read it and there IS useful information in it. For one thing, you’ll need to know how to refer to the various parts of your firearm in order to be able to converse easily with other firearms owners and in order to read the instructions below.

A Case
The case should protect the firearm if it is dropped during transport and should also provide a safe place to put the firearm while it is being stored. There is a wide variety of cases (both soft & hard) available. Protect your investment by purchasing one if your firearm didn’t come with one from the manufacturer. Be sure to purchase something of quality and something that is specifically made for firearms since some gun cleaning/preservative products can break down the materials found in general purpose cases or budget cases. That will result in damage to the case and can result in damage to the gun.

A Range Bag
A range bag doesn’t have to be fancy. I used an old backpack as my range bag for years. You need something to hold magazines, ammunition, your firearm case, hearing protection and eye protection, etc. A range bag will protect your equipment and will help insure that you get everything you need to the range and back home again when you’re done.

Hearing Protection
Don’t skimp. Using poor quality or inadequate hearing protection is uncomfortable, can make long shooting sessions much less enjoyable and can result in permanent hearing damage. It is important to understand that shooting firearms without hearing protection will result in permanent hearing damage. Notice I didn’t say it “might” or it “can”. It WILL.

Make sure that the headband is padded and that the foam ear pads (and the foam inside the ear cups) are replaceable. I highly recommend replacing the foam ear pads with gel pads if that is an option. The comfort difference is impressive and they also seal better.

If you’re shooting a lot indoors, shooting rifles indoors or shooting compensated guns, use foam earplugs in ADDITION your muffs. Firearms are VERY loud, and typical hearing protection only knocks the sound down by about 30dB or so. The muffled sound is still very loud, still above the levels that can cause hearing damage with repeated exposure. Doubling up on hearing protection will help save your hearing and when you get older, you won’t have to say: “What?” nearly as much.

I shot a lot of years and a lot of rounds before I finally got some really good hearing protection. You don’t have to make the same mistake.

Eye Protection
The earpieces should be thin and should lie flat against your temples so that they don’t affect the seal of your ear muffs. The lenses MUST be made of polycarbonate.

I’ve had an empty case from an automatic eject straight back and cut a quarter inch semicircle of polycarbonate out of my shooting glasses instead of my eye. I’ve also had a small spring bounce off a hard contact lens and have accidentally gotten solvent sprayed in my eyes while cleaning a gun. Protective glasses are a must for dealing with all aspects of firearms, shooting, cleaning and reloading.

If you wear prescription glasses, talk to your eye doctor. He can very easily make up a set of safety glasses with prescription lenses. These can be very reasonably priced if you don’t get fancy with the frames or lens options.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old December 19, 2010, 12:21 AM   #57
B.N.Real
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2008
Posts: 4,083
You start people who are shooting rookies at five yards to target.

They need to actually see where the rounds are hitting to get a feel for what they need to do.

Yes,that's close as heck but once they can get a decent group then you move that target out to ten yards and so on.

Never start any new shooter at twenty five yards.
B.N.Real is offline  
Old December 19, 2010, 12:59 AM   #58
DougNew
Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2010
Posts: 22
As a teacher, I've come increasingly to value the approach that Real just posted: build on success. If any shooter finds 5 yards too easy, he or she can then back up, and that's more satisfying than correcting misses from 25.

That said, your wife isn't just 'any shooter,' and this rang true with me:
Quote:
have you considered a shooting course or hiring a "trainer" at a range?
I'm a climbing instructor, and my wife and I love climbing together. But I'm convinced that's easier now because when we started, she took a class from someone other than me.
DougNew is offline  
Old December 19, 2010, 03:06 PM   #59
bsik72
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2010
Posts: 14
I thought it was pretty interesting that you infered being an artist to being possibly a good shot. It's not exactly the case. Art develops different kinds of motor skills or dexterity that are more kin to typing or sewing. In general it's possible to be just good with your hands and nothing more. Another reason that art doesn't help in the shooting game, you don't have to compensate or react to feedback from art tools. Somebody who would have better success would be one who plays sports or was a mechanic maybe as some of shooting fundamentals can be applied to playing sports.

Some of the better first time shooters I've taken also were athletic.

I took a fellow soldier out who's a female. She was having essentially the same problems. We were in an indoor range and started the target at about 10 yards and she missed a full magazine so I couldn't even tell what her problem was without having any holes in the target. I then brought the target closer to about 5 yards and found that she was grazing the bottom of the target.

I use this example because she has already been trained in the fundamentals of shooting a rifle so she was under the impression that she SHOULD be good at shooting a pistol and it proved otherwise.

You can know the theory of shooting all day but it doesn't do very good without proper familiarization with the equipment.

You obviously are already set to fine tuning your skills to become better but she just needs to wade in the kiddy pool for a while and really get used to that pistol's recoil. Talking her head off about what she's doing wrong may do her no good and only frustrate her. Just let her shoot a BUNCH more and a few of the problems will solve itself. Not all but a few. Then she may become better receptive to coaching.
bsik72 is offline  
Old December 19, 2010, 08:51 PM   #60
ProxyBoy
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Posts: 34
Good post, I completely agree.

I have just always had problems with "fine" motor skills being a short coming at me getting "great" at anything I have tried to do (play music or whatever). It was meerily an assumption.

I also agree, I don't talk her head off about it. Every now and then I ask her if she has been doing her dry fire practice and most of the time the answer is no. I only say that she should try if she finds her self with a little extra time and I don't say anything more.
ProxyBoy is offline  
Old December 26, 2010, 02:15 PM   #61
Gerry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 382
My wife usually hates it when I give her advice about shooting or any other activity where I'm critical of how she's doing things. Perhaps it's my approach, but a wall of stubbornness is raised even when I give her little suggestions - like to spend more time dry fire practicing.

One day I was trying to explain the pencil triangulation exercise, and she thought it was just stupid. So I drew my dots on the paper tapped to the wall and started firing the pencil at them while she went to do something else. She was obviously watching, because a few days later I noticed a bunch of crumpled up papers in the bedroom trash with dots and little holes and marks below them!
Gerry is offline  
Old December 26, 2010, 03:08 PM   #62
Powderman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2001
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,160
ProxyBoy...

First, welcome to the forum.

Now, sit down, loosen your belt and relax a bit. Don't take this personally--because I'm about to pin your ears back a bit.

1. You stated that you are just learning how to shoot. Good! There's nothing wrong with that. You should, however, reconsider attempting to instruct someone when you have mistakes of your own to work through.

2. You mention that your wife is shooting low--with a major caliber handgun.

The very first firearm a novice should ideally use is a .22 caliber. Yes, they go "pop" through the ear protection. No, they don't recoil too much at all--which makes them the perfect training aid.

3. You posted a situation and asked for advice--and got kind of upset when some of the people on this forum attempted to tell you what was wrong. Did you expect anything less? Some of the people who have posted to this thread are fully certified firearms instructors. They are giving you valuable insight, if you'll take your feelings off your sleeve for a while.

First item...what was the very first thing that you talked to your wife about? It should have been the basic safety rules for ALL firearms. Can your wife recite them verbatim? Can you?

Second item--can you describe the cycle of operation with the firearm you're using to teach? If not, why not? It helps to know what is going on inside the firearm and cartridge.

Third item--have you taught her about sight alignment/sight picture? Do you know it well enough to use it? Can you teach her the elements of breaking a successful shot? I would say, "no".

You can not even observe and spot a flinch yet, as evidenced by your initial post. It is a common problem, and easily remedied--or, easily coached by an experienced instructor.

So, what should you do?

For your benefit, and your wife's benefit....

1. Get some competent instruction--for both of you. This can be either an NRA Basic Course, or training by an experienced shooter. But--GET SOME INSTRUCTION.

2. Ditch the big bore for now. Get a .22 handgun.
3. Next time you go shooting, pull your targets in close, and have her sit down, at a bench, with a sandbag rest.
4. For your benefit, dry firing will help. HOWEVER--do NOT practice dry firing at your home. Practice ONLY at the range, with the firearm pointing at an actual target, with a backstop that will STOP a bullet.

Finally, LOSE the hurt feelings. There are people here who will be blunt with you--me included. We are not posting this to be contrary; many of us have literal decades of shooting experience. Shooting is a fun sport, an excellent pastime, and an excellent method of self defense should the need arise.

It is also a practice that can lead to a horrible tragedy if you make a mistake.

Listen and learn, friend. Good shooting to you!

Yours,
Powderman
NRA Certified Instructor
Police Firearms Instructor
Law Enforcement Armorer
(and former gunsmith and military armorer, working on shooting (my favorite pastime) for 43 years)
__________________
Hiding in plain sight...
Powderman is offline  
Old December 26, 2010, 10:59 PM   #63
ProxyBoy
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Posts: 34
Gerry, what is this pencil triangulation thing... I'm interested.
ProxyBoy is offline  
Old December 26, 2010, 11:09 PM   #64
ProxyBoy
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Posts: 34
Powderman... *sigh* seems you might be guilty of the same thing... not reading what I am actually posting. Take the subject out of the situation. If I said "My wife LOVES breakfast foods and I'm trying to get her to fry the PERFECT egg..." would you guys then suggest maybe we start off with some toast as to "ease her into breakfast... wouldn't want to scare her away from it". This is basically the post that I have "complained" about. Those that have given advice after reading I cherish. Those that post saying "do this so you can make sure your wife continues to enjoy shooting obviously failed to read the fact that my wife LOVED shooting before we ever got together." READ.

1.) Well, first off I NEVER had a desire nor intent to "teach" anyone to shoot... I was asking for YOU guys to teach her what she was doing wrong. I would MAYBE convey what you guys had said but if it wasn't something easy to translate I would just have her read the forum... so far all she has gotten from reading is mainly laughing at how little you guys are actually reading of my post.

2.) Don't disagree and this is on the list of things we would like to get if nothing else for the cheap practice... my wife actually (NO READ THIS), kind of snubs her nose at the idea of a .22... she LIKES shooting the large caliber guns. See why it doesn't make sense to make sure not to "scare her off".

3.) Again... you mistake frustration with people that failed to pay attention to the actual post vs the appreciation for those that did and posted good advice. I got a couple of PM's agreeing that some of these guys aren't even coming close to listening. So I don't feel like I'm completely off based with some of my frustration with *SOME* of the post.

I have received some great info from some of the people that have posted here and I appreciate it very much. I have also read post that should have never been posted because they never actually addressed a single issue at hand and just spit some generic reply that looked like it was posted purely on the subject line and not the content of the post.

Sorry if this hurts YOUR feelings, it is just the way it is.
PB
ProxyBoy is offline  
Old December 26, 2010, 11:29 PM   #65
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,919
ProxyBoy,

Quote:
2.) Don't disagree and this is on the list of things we would like to get if nothing else for the cheap practice... my wife actually (NO READ THIS), kind of snubs her nose at the idea of a .22... she LIKES shooting the large caliber guns. See why it doesn't make sense to make sure not to "scare her off".
You are reading a whole lot more into the advice than you were given, I think.

The reason it makes sense to get a new shooter started with a .22 is NOT because they might get "scared off" with a larger caliber. It has nothing to do with emotions at all, in fact.

Shooting is a sport like many others: it requires time and lots of practice to develop the basic skill sets that help you reach success. More than that, it requires correct practice -- that is, lots of repetitions doing something right in order for your muscles to "naturally" do the right thing without a lot of high-concentration effort.

If instead you repeatedly practice doing the wrong thing, you will never improve.

Beginners who start with larger calibers often have significant problems with a flinch. Again, this is NOT an emotional problem ("she doesn't like the sensation of shooting a larger caliber") even though sometimes the shooter's like or dislike of the sensation can come into play. It simply comes from the mechanics of shooting a gun with more recoil versus one with less recoil.

Put more simply: when you shoot a gun with lower recoil, you are more likely to practice doing the right thing and less likely to practice doing the wrong thing.

Since your wife obviously has a signficant flinch already, she would almost certainly benefit from

1) instruction from someone who knows what they are looking at and knows how to instruct the change, followed (not preceded) by
2) lots of dry fire, and
3) using a lower-recoil firearm such as an all-steel .22 that really soaks up the impulse.

Once the flinch has been beaten into submission, she can readily transfer her new skills over to other firearms and will rapidly progress with them because she'll have experience doing the right things with the trigger and her muscles.

Yes, this is less fun than simply blasting away at the side of a hill or something. But hitting the target is a great deal more fun than missing it.

More here (though past experience suggests there's no point, perhaps it will help others): www.CorneredCat.com/Basics/flinch.aspx

pax

(Edited to add: I agree with Powderman that in this case, any dry firing you do should happen at the range, not in your own home.)
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 27, 2010, 12:47 AM   #66
ProxyBoy
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Posts: 34
ABSOLUTELY Pax... that is why I said I agree.

I have actually stated everything you said, in not so many words, in other post. Basically a .22 will allow you to learn good habits vs bad ones (better to do up front than later).

This kind of touches upon exactly my problem. I stated that I agree in my previous post and I stated that the problem with other people that stated to use a .22 was the ones that instead of reading that the wife like shooting and stating why to use a .22 they only mentioned "scaring her" which is preposterous. I am ALL for constructive criticism that is pointing me in the right direction and is thought out. Like, using a .22 to develop good technique. Not, "start her off with a .22 or she will get scared an never want to shoot again".

Most of these type of post have been deleted making most of what I was/am complaining about irrelevant at this point and makes it look like I am "attacking" those that actually gave good advice. I am definitely not doing that.
ProxyBoy is offline  
Old December 27, 2010, 03:25 AM   #67
Powderman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2001
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,160
Proxy, I think the mention of the eggs might be misdirected. If an egg cracks the wrong way, you get shell in the egg. At worse, a crunchy omelet. (Ewwww!)

If a handgun goes off in the wrong direction, someone might get hurt. Badly.

We (I) can NOT teach your wife--or anyone--through a computer. However, I will pass along something to you. This was passed along to me when I was struggling in Conventional Pistol shooting. As soon as I applied it, my scores improved drastically. I applied the same principle to my shooting in general, and my marksmanship improved exponentially.

I am a great fan of reducing matters to their least common denominator. Do you want, in a single sentence, the heart of shooting in its purest form?

Here it is...

Shooting accurately involves nothing more than centering the front sight in the rear sight notch, holding it in position, and maintaining that same sight picture and alignment while pulling the trigger to the rear. All other facets of shooting lead to, and support, those simple steps.

By the way, that is not mine. I got that from a passage in "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury" by Gil Hebard.
__________________
Hiding in plain sight...
Powderman is offline  
Old December 27, 2010, 08:59 AM   #68
Gerry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 382
ProxyBoy: "pencil triangulation" is just shooting a sharpened pencil from the barrel of your centerfire pistol at a little target dots drawn on a sheet of paper hanging a couple inches away. Some people (including military instructors) find it useful for practicing target acquisition and alignment, trigger pull, and follow through, all in a single drill. The marks the pencil leaves allows for grading and analysis.

Eraser end goes in first of course, and you aim with the pointy end an inch or two from the target. I wrap the steel band part attached to the eraser with some masking tape just to protect my barrel and to make a better fit in the 9mm. For a .45, you'll need two bands of tape several layers thick to center the pencil loosely in the barrel. Don't use plastic tape with a lot of sticky stuff or you'll foul your barrel.

You need to follow all safety precautions, including following the 4 laws and proving your firearm safe each and every time you pick up your pistol after laying it down. Remember that gremlins can magically load your firearm even if you lay it down in plain sight. Your sheet of target paper must be attached to a suitable backstop. Ensure you can see the eraser end of the pencil enter the empty chamber while you have the action locked open. Ammo and mags must be locked away out of sight. I think you know the drill

Here is a U.S. Army training video that explains and demonstrates the pencil technique (starting at the 05:40 mark): USA M9 Pistol Training 1991 (Part 2)

Last edited by Gerry; December 27, 2010 at 09:20 AM.
Gerry is offline  
Old December 27, 2010, 09:19 AM   #69
Gerry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 382
I should also mention for the record that there are a lot of people who don't believe that any gun should ever be dry fired without using a snap cap or some other dummy round that will absorb some of the force of the firing pin. This is of course controversial and has been argued to death even before these forums existed.

For this reason, we only practice the pencil dry fire with the cheap Norinco. But we've probably dry fired it thousands and thousands of times and it still works just fine. But if it's something you feel uncomfortable doing with your firearm, you might instead consider dry firing on snap caps with the coin balanced on the barrel technique. It's one option to help cure a flinch and work on smoother trigger work.
Gerry is offline  
Old December 28, 2010, 09:07 PM   #70
ProxyBoy
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Posts: 34
Interesting... thanks Gerry!
ProxyBoy is offline  
Old December 28, 2010, 10:43 PM   #71
Marlin009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 182
Wow

There is a ton of good advice in this thread, it didn't all fall on deaf ears.

Thanks to those that took the time to make some very informative posts and provide the links.

My daughter (new shooter) has a flinching problem and this will be very helpful in addressing it.
Marlin009 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14061 seconds with 9 queries