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Old January 23, 2014, 12:31 PM   #1
ffs1942
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Barefoot shooting

I've worn various footgear in matches over the years, from combat boots to sneakers. I've never tried actual shooting boots, but I think they're illegal in state game matches and impossible to walk in. Most walkable shoes or boots have squishy soles that encourage rocking.

In 10m airgun practice in the basement I'm always barefoot, so I noticed I have a much more stable contact with the ground. I started shooting 10m matches barefoot, at least in the summer.

After I got my new M1, I shot in my first civilian service rifle match, the instructor at the clinic actually recommended shooting barefoot, though he doesn't. I did this, but was the only one doing it. Nobody minded. I put my shoes on off the line to be polite or in the pits because of splinters.

It seems a good way to shoot. I have a more solid plant on the ground except when kneeling. It also avoids rules conflicts due to unauthorized footgear. I note some SASS shooters (women in dresses and bonnets) do this apparently to avoid the discomfort and expense of period footwear.

Anybody else do this or am I just acting like a hippy?
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Old January 23, 2014, 02:04 PM   #2
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Interesting approach. I might try that.
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Old January 23, 2014, 03:14 PM   #3
ffs1942
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It's...

best offhand or prone. Works well sitting if your feet aren't slipping or if you sit indian style. Can't do it kneeling since I no longer have the flexibility to sit on my foot. Kneeling's a case for a full boot.
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Old January 23, 2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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For shooting standing barefoot is actually very stable. There are a number of advantages to it. I remember one Olympic competitor who practiced barefoot.
It may not be advisable with all of the unpleasant things one could step on at the range. Flat shoes with thin soles like shooting boots are probably the best alternative.
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Old January 23, 2014, 04:23 PM   #5
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I also shoot barefoot a lot in my 10m basement practice.

For actual competition I picked up a set of Walmart brand "Converse" style sneakers, nothing more than a flat rubber sole, not squishy at all. They work very well for good foot to ground contact.

For running I use New Balance Minimus shoes, they have no padding whatsoever.

Never tried the sneakers on the high power line, might be worth a shot if the weather is warm enough to convince me not to wear boots.

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Old January 23, 2014, 05:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
am I just acting like a hippy?
Dunno- do you still bathe?
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Old January 24, 2014, 08:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
I also shoot barefoot a lot in my 10m basement practice.

For actual competition I picked up a set of Walmart brand "Converse" style sneakers, nothing more than a flat rubber sole, not squishy at all. They work very well for good foot to ground contact.
I have to ask, why practice differently that you actually shoot. Constancy is the key.
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Old January 24, 2014, 08:53 AM   #8
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Don P,

Because my goal is to become a better rifleman, not to win competitions. And sometimes it is just easier to shoot in my pajamas... Other times I'll get home from work and shoot a 12 bull target in uniform (wearing boots that are not competition legal).

At last months match I came in dead last. But I'd increased my personal score by 60 points from the start of last year, which is not bad (considering I did 7 months in Afghanistan where I couldn't practice at all, whoever tells you that if you want to shoot you need to join the military has obviously never served in the military).

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Old January 24, 2014, 05:13 PM   #9
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Jimro.
Thank you for your service.
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Old January 24, 2014, 11:50 PM   #10
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4EVERM-14,

You are totally welcome, but honestly it is my privilege.

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Old January 25, 2014, 10:29 AM   #11
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It is still a free country, thanks to people like Jimro. So, I say 'do yer own thang'. As long as it is within range rules.
I have never heard of 'shooting boots'.
Most of my shooting is with traditional muzzle loaders. Are soft soled moccasins legal on the range?
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Old January 25, 2014, 11:52 AM   #12
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Jimro is right

When I was in we got very little range time. In Korea, we confirmed our zeros before all patrols, but that was 3 rds. We had simulators, like FATS and Weaponeer, but these were a poor substitute. The only way you could get more trigger time on Uncle's dime was to get in the shooting matches and form and train a team.

I used airguns to practice for service matches. This worked totally well with the M16 due to its negligible recoil. Still worked with pistols, but no air pistol combined all the effects of a pistol, notably recoil. I even shrank the match targets for subcal practice.

In the Nat Gd, I used pellet guns for hip pocket training. I think a Crosman 357 and a Marksman Biathlon Trainer. There were no good replicas yet. I replaced the Crosman 357 with an Umarex Beretta. Now, Crosman has come up with a pump up M4 replica and a firebreathing nitro piston M16A2 replica. I'd be training troops with these if I weren't retired.

I'm going to service rifle matches with a service grade M1. Not the ideal, but I want to see what I can do with the old soldier.
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Old January 25, 2014, 01:35 PM   #13
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I dress once a day

I go to matches like I go into real life.

I don't wear racing shoes (or go barefoot).
I don't wear shooting glasses.
I don't because in real life I'll be 'competing' as I am at that moment.




Yes I shoot many matches from concealment. Except that's 'cause I'm too lazy to take off my coat
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Old January 26, 2014, 04:24 AM   #14
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Shooting barefoot....I'll try it out in a few months when the cement pad at the range warms up a little

As for other special equipment, I've never heard of shooting boots, but I love my driving moccasins. They feel solid, non-slip, fit like a glove and almost feel like being barefoot. If shooting boots are illegal in the matches you are competing in, you might give them a try.
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Old January 26, 2014, 09:21 AM   #15
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http://shop.monard.com/shoes/
This link shows Shooting Boots for ISSF rifle shooting. They have flat and curiously square soles. While providing some ankle support they are as close to barefoot as you might want to be in unfamiliar range systems. There have been rule changes that seek to clarify what is suitable footwear versus specialized equipment that offers artificial support. Within strict rules they are still legal.
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Old January 26, 2014, 12:41 PM   #16
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Stepping on a small stone or piece of brass the wrong way might be enough for you to miss your shot, I feel like you would be better suited with a pair of moccasins or those relatively new toe shoes. Both would let you achieve the same thing without leaving your bare skin exposed to sharp objects.
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Old January 26, 2014, 11:42 PM   #17
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The ISSF rule require rounded toes now, so some competitors at my last match were laughing about buying new boots to grind the soles round... NRA rules generally follow ISSF rules for air rifle. I'd like to see the NRA adopt an "Adult 3 Position Air Rifle" match format same as the juniors shoot even if it didn't have ISSF approval it would still lower the cost barrier to getting people on the firing line.

One of these days I'll break down and buy a Crosman MAR177 for real off season training. http://www.crosman.com/croswords/?p=2565

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Old March 13, 2014, 03:51 AM   #18
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If you are allowed to go barefoot...

Then can I shoot the match wearing only the Tarzan loincloth, complete with knife? For better air circulation of course.
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Old March 13, 2014, 06:32 AM   #19
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foot wear

Shooting boots have always looked a bit awkward to me. I suppose that they work well enough. Many fine shooters use them.

This made me wonder:
Quote:
I don't wear shooting glasses.
While NRA rule books do not demand eye protection, match directors and range operators frequently do. How do you deal with a match when you show up and they tell you that you must wear eye protection?
Just askin.
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Old March 13, 2014, 12:50 PM   #20
ffs1942
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Thanks Tarzan

I pocket carry my CCW piece, a 2" .38. At a service rifle match I needed that pocket for single feed rounds, so I moved my piece. My scorer thought this "weird" even though he confessed to having a CCW permit too. Not wishing to offend and considering it might be a range safety violation, I unloaded and stowed my .38. Odd when he travels he leaves his pistol at home because he has an AR in the car.

Speaking of ventilation, watch out for hot brass coming in your loincloth in the sitting pos. Happens with my Daisy Dukes.

BTW, I think eye protection is only suggested at any match I've shot.
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Old March 13, 2014, 02:42 PM   #21
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fair question: answer

Quote:
While NRA rule books do not demand eye protection, match directors and range operators frequently do. How do you deal with a match when you show up and they tell you that you must wear eye protection?
Just askin.
Pete
There are many various "shooting glasses", those with apetures, or specialized focusing points.

I just wear my daily progressive trifocals.
Or, on occasion, non-prescription safety glasses (to emulate losing my prescription eyewear).

I NEVER shoot without wearing eye protection. Nor should anyone; eye protection, IMO, is mandatory.
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Old March 13, 2014, 06:32 PM   #22
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I've shot barefoot.

You should checkout Sand Socks. They're as good as being barefoot, except they give you some minor protection from rough ground, sticks, hot brass, etc.
I first discovered them at my local hunting store. I prefer the socks over wearing shoes. They're pretty much neoprene socks, similar to a wetsuit. They're intended for the beach, but I've used them in various environments.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:30 AM   #23
WESHOOT2
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Are those the ones with the separate toesies?

Some of our club members (www.GMPSVT.com) wear them.
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