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Old January 2, 2010, 03:21 PM   #1
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improving marksmanship

I normally shot in the natural stance, and what I find is when I lock my arms out and apply isemetric tension my arms start to shake. I think IM applying too much tension. My question is should I relax a little or do something different. I shoot OK , as good is a subjective depending who your shooting with. I've been told by a state firearm instructor that I shoot good but I would never say that around the instructors of TFTT. So IM trying to get to the next levil and improve my marksmanship. I do understand the basics of marksmanship but IM doing something wrong and for my background and experience I should be shooting better. Thanks.
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Old January 2, 2010, 04:00 PM   #2
jhenry
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About the only thing I can say about your stance and technique without laying eyes on it is to stop locking your arms. Draw the gun in a bit, and continue with the tension fore and aft. Grip the thing firmly but no need to white knuckle it. You can find some youtube examples of Weaver and Isocoles (i know I misspelled that bad). Try them out with good safe dry fire at a target on the wall. I am right handed and left eye dominant so the Weaver works best for me. That plus I am a creaure of habit and refuse to modernize in this regard. Give me Weaver or gve me death!
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Old January 2, 2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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Like your grip you want your opposing tension to be firm but not white knuckle tight. Relax a little and do some dry firing. If you are shaking after the 3rd or 4th shot ease up a little bit, you aren't shooting a 454 Casull so relax. (At least I hope you aren't, you didn't really say.)
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Old January 2, 2010, 05:20 PM   #4
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I shoot either a ruger usually P95 or P89 or a Glock 17 or 34. All of which are 9mm. I also have a couple of 45 a Ruger P90 and P97 but don't shoot them often due to the cost of ammo.
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Old January 2, 2010, 09:29 PM   #5
OldShooter
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I learned most of what I know from the AMU(Army Marksmanship Unit manual). Of course that is directed mostly towards bullseye type shooting. Works for me in all calibers, 22lr to 45acp. But mostly it's practice. practice, practice, concentrating on the basics.
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Old January 4, 2010, 08:34 AM   #6
Al Thompson
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I think your best bet would be to find a coach or a good gun school. A good coach/instructor can get figure out what your doing/doing wrong pretty fast. Well worth the money.
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Old January 4, 2010, 09:08 AM   #7
MrBorland
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Quote:
I normally shot in the natural stance, and what I find is when I lock my arms out and apply isemetric tension my arms start to shake. I think IM applying too much tension.
IMO, tension = bad (not to be confused with a firm grip). To shoot accurately, you must relax and be consistent from shot to shot. Tension is the opposite of relaxed. Maintaining tension in your arms is not only unnecessary, maintaining consistent tension from shot to shot is very tough to do, especially when there are numerous other things to do consistently.

As Brian Enos pointed out, imagine you're gripping not a gun, but rather that each hand is gripping an end of a piece of tissue paper. Your grip and stance can be firm, but you don't want to rip the tissue.

Rather than blather on and re-type, here's a bit more to read:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...5&postcount=13

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....78&postcount=3

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....2&postcount=22

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...99&postcount=6

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...7&postcount=19

+1 on the USAMU manual. Also, A Pistol Shooters Treasury is a good read, if you can find a copy.
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Old January 5, 2010, 12:17 AM   #8
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If you are going to experiment with relaxed shooting for target accuracy may I suggest you use your heavy steel framed guns. Lightweight plastic guns tend to malfunction without a stiff backing (this is called limp wristing). As near as I can determine light guns recoil more as a whole and thus I believe the slide does not operate as independent from the frame as it will with a heavy gun.

I don't mess around with a light grip during combat style shooting practice. Pinpoint accuracy is not as high a priority as speed and reliable functioning in such situations. Resisting recoil gives me that and odds are I will be carrying a lightweight gun anyway.
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Old January 5, 2010, 08:30 AM   #9
MrBorland
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Quote:
IMO, tension = bad (not to be confused with a firm grip)
Quote:
If you are going to experiment with relaxed shooting for target accuracy may I suggest you use your heavy steel framed guns. Lightweight plastic guns tend to malfunction without a stiff backing (this is called limp wristing)....

I don't mess around with a light grip during combat style shooting practice.
Just to re-iterate: A relaxed position is not the same as light or limp grip. Back to the tissue paper analogy: You can hold it firm. Your grip can be firm, and if tissue paper could recoil, you'd still control the gun. But you wouldn't tear the paper.

Quote:
I shoot either a ruger usually P95 or P89 or a Glock 17 or 34. All of which are 9mm. I also have a couple of 45 a Ruger P90 and P97 but don't shoot them often due to the cost of ammo.
If you can swing it, I'd heartily recommend a .22 or a .22 conversion for your Glock. Keeps the cost of shooting down a bit.
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Old January 5, 2010, 04:33 PM   #10
r.w. schrack
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The key to good shot placement is breathing and sight alignment. Oh don't forget to squeeze trigger.
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Old January 5, 2010, 06:50 PM   #11
Frank Ettin
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In my view, the first principle of accurate shooting is trigger control: a smooth, press straight back on the trigger with only the trigger finger moving. Maintain your focus on the front sight as you press the trigger, increasing pressure on the trigger until the shot breaks. Don't try to predict exactly when the gun will go off nor try to cause the shot to break at a particular moment. This is what Jeff Cooper called the "surprise break."


Whether you hold the gun with one hand or two, and whether you use the sights or point shooting techniques to direct the muzzle of the gun in line with the particular part of the target you want to hit, whether you're on your knees, leaning around a barricade, squatting, on your belly, or in some other unusual position, if you have trigger control, your muzzle will be in line with the part of the target you want to hit when the bullet leaves the barrel of your gun -- and you will hit. But if you don't have trigger control, you will jerk the gun off target as you fire -- and you will miss.
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