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Old April 18, 2008, 06:48 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117
The problem I have is with the stance, grip and trigger usage comments.

Above all, the stance must be balanced and provide support for the shooter. The stance should be simple, easy to acquire and not require any real thinking. As such, I've practiced the "half-step back" with my right (strong side) foot and slightly flexing the knees. Balance and support are key elements. Without balance your accuracy goes to hell in a handbasket. Without support, you'll fatigue faster.

Foot placement can certainly limit the amount of traverse (lateral movement) you can bring to bear on a moving target. I my preferred stance, I can traverse about 120 degrees to the right, but only about 85 degrees to the left without moving my feet.

The talk about thumbs is, well, fine for a pistol, not so good for revolvers. Especially if you're shooting a .357 J-Frame. Dedicated wheelgun shooters can also use a "high thumb" position where the thumb rides over the back of the strong side thumb (and can be used to single cock the gun if desired). However, this habit should be discouraged in any shooter who switches between pistol and revolver to prevent accidental injury by the slide.

With a revolver, the thumb-over-thumb concept will work, though I find my weakside thumb resting on the strong side thumbnail, with both pointing downward, works better, especially with Magnum loads or heavily recoiling guns.

For CCW shooters (as opposed to LEO or "combat" shooters in general) it is also important to practice single-hand shooting or "point" shooting. The civilian will most likely encounter a need for his weapon at just over arm's length distance and may have their weak hand otherwise engaged (fending off the opponent, pulling a child out of harm's way, carrying something, etc.) A good training course will teach extreme close quarters shooting with one hand.

With a wheelgun, those with smaller hands may have to rotate their grip slightly. Or they may lack the leverage needed to run the trigger. Such shooters can be seen using the joint of the index finger to operate the trigger. Usually one giveaway is groups printing to the right of center. The student should work to move the finger so that the joint is not on the trigger.

Certain wheelguns have triggers that "stack" during the cycle (Colts were famous for this). The pressure required to accurately shoot these actions needs to be gauged to the higher pressure without causing a "jerk" either at the first part of the cycle or after passing the peak pressure point (follow-through).

Concentration on the front sight is a good thing. But not to the exclusion of what your target (opponent) is doing. The front sights, at close range, need not be perfectly aligned to score hits. It should be laterally aligned by being between the rear sight blades and the front sight on the target. Slight elevation/depression offsets will allow center of mass hits in the mid-body area. At ranges from 15 yards or more, sight alignment plays an increasingly critical role in making hits.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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