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Old May 18, 2004, 02:31 PM   #1
MicroBalrog
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Shooting with two guns: from a Russian manual

"Macedonian" Shooting

"Tamanzev went to Moscow and demonstrated his skill in Macedonian shooting to a large group of officers and generals."
V. Bogomolov, "August, 1944"

The method of shooting with two double-action revolvers simultaneously appeared in the end of the 19th century. The self-loading pistol wasn't around, but the need of fast, heavy firiing at a group target always was. Also, the method could also be used against a moving target, when stopping of the target needed to be guaranteed, especially when the shooter is not skilled at leading the target.
When using two handguns simultaneously keep both hands tightly pressed to each other, holding them together with your thumbs, as shown in the photograph (scanner dead, will put it up later - MB). Using this grip method, you can apply clean, exact aimed fire from double action revolvers, even when not cocked initially. You can fire one revolver, then another, or both at once when needed. Officers of the Tzar's counter-intelligence service (and later, the Soviet one) used that method with two Nagants: 14 round are better than 7.
You can fire at close targets, up to 20m "from the hip", after having trained according to the "muscle memory" training system with lit silhoette targets. If confronting a target farther away by aiming at the target with a sight of one of the handguns, orienting the other according to the "muscle memory" of a correct shot. If you can, look at the target between the guns, orienting it according to the "pendulum" of the muscle efforts inherent in a correct shot.
When using two automatic pistols, the "macedonian" shooting method allows fire density at the same level of a submachinegun and even better - the groups are going to be tighter. This method can be used to cause the opponent to go prone and hold him in that position up to 100 m away. When shooting with this method on the move, use the "cross-step" (see later in this book). If shooting this way at a target that runs in the same direction as you do, work in the same way as against an immobile target. If the target and the shooter are moving in different directions, leading by spinning of the torso is far easier in the cros-step than when not moving at all It is impossible to overestimate the value of this method for an operator who cannot carry an assault rifle or submachinegun due to the need for covert work. It was used both by ours' and the Germans' special services. It was used as long as the possibility to get a second handgun was available. During the 50-es, massive confiscations of non-issued weapons from the operating staff began, and operators were not issued a second handgun, and as the old-timers left service, the method of two-handgun shooting was forgotten. It was never again cultivated neither by us nor the West - the appearance of small-size submachineguns rendered it unneeded.

From: Alexei Potapov, "Handgun Shooting Methods: The SMERSh system", FAIR-press, Moscow, 2002
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Old May 18, 2004, 02:54 PM   #2
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Interestingly enough, Ed McGivern describes a technique for shooting two pistols at once in his book "Fast & Fancy Revolver Shooting." In the chapter he talks about teaching the technique to FBI agents. IIRC, this would have been around the 1920's.

The only problem with shooting two pistols at once is that you have to be equally good with each hand. Most shooters don't even get enough practice with their strong arm, let alone have the time to practice with their weak side.
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Old May 18, 2004, 03:46 PM   #3
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Caliban, what do you think of the method described by Potapov? I'd think it partially deals with that problem, but I'm no handgunner.
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Old May 18, 2004, 04:09 PM   #4
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I hope those photographs get posted soon.
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Old May 18, 2004, 04:13 PM   #5
MicroBalrog
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Symphony, my scanner is dead. I could scan it with the one at the unit, but that's unlikely. It depicts a guy in camo, holding a Nagant and what seems to be a Tokarev (locked back), hooking his thumbs together as in the Instruction.
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Old May 18, 2004, 04:46 PM   #6
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I can see how linking the hands with the thumbs makes this reasonably practical. Somewhere here, there is a thread by Mike Irwin, I believe, about shooting two semi-autos "John Woo" style. He didn't hit much that way....

Killed Catherine Zeta-Jones, IIRC...
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Old May 18, 2004, 07:08 PM   #7
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I've tried two-fisted shooting myself some... couldn't hit a damned thing. ;-) I imagine that you'd need LOTS of practice to get halfway decent.
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Old May 18, 2004, 08:46 PM   #8
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Oh man, I'd love to get another Beretta and shoot 'em at a target about 7 yards away! Woohoo!
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Old May 18, 2004, 09:11 PM   #9
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I dunno. Seems like the Russians have always pretty optimistic with their guns- they are the ones that put 1000 yard sights on the AK-47.
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Old May 20, 2004, 08:47 PM   #10
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Micro-

I dunno, it might work. The only concern I'd have with the 'locked thumbs' method he describes would be the pistols clanking together during recoil. Of course, if you're using the brace of Nagant revos that the NKVD issued to you,then I suppose that you really wouldn't care about the finish on the pistols.
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Old May 20, 2004, 10:46 PM   #11
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I've made a fair effort at doing this over the years.

Based on what I've experienced, and seen others do, I think this belongs among the fantasies of those who write manuals, screenplays, and the occasional rare and gifted trick shooter.
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Old May 20, 2004, 11:28 PM   #12
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Tamara: I'd point out that the author is an actual lieutenant-colonel(podpolkovnik) in the MVD (IIRC), and quotes a large amount of similarly experienced individuals.
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Old May 21, 2004, 12:25 AM   #13
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My first post on the reborn TFL. IT is good to be back.

I actually tried some double fisted shooting today at the range. I found I could lay out a good bit of firepower that way but my rate of fire was way down from shooting one handgun in a two-handed grip.

While my accuracy was not to bad for shooting single-handed, I definitely need to work on it more.

Over all having one pistol in each hand and alternating aimed shots between your strong and weak hand seems like a fun way to practice single-handed and weak-handed fire. I am dubious of it's combat potential, but not everything in life has to be about life and death. There should be room for fun as well.

I might make it a regular habit if I ever find myself with an identical backup to my carry gun.
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Old May 21, 2004, 04:02 AM   #14
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MicroBalrog,

Quote:
Tamara: I'd point out that the author is an actual lieutenant-colonel(podpolkovnik) in the MVD (IIRC),
With all due respect, military rank is no protection from making inane statements about firearms. (Witness Col. Hackworth.) Having heard some horror stories about Soviet-era weapons quals, this goes double for some armies. Heck, some Soviet training films I've seen had guys firing from the hip...

Anyhow, don't take my word or Potapov's for it; get a couple of handguns, and try it for yourself.

(Of course, I don't see what the technique could hurt with respect to firing a Nagant double-action. Fighting that DA pull, you'd be lucky to hit a barn from the inside if the door was closed.)
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Old May 21, 2004, 05:57 AM   #15
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I'll second what Tamara says about LtCol's and gun comments, etc. That's a very dangerous rank to be around, based on recent experience. They have more ND's at the clearing barrel than any other pay grade. Don't know why, but it's true where I be. One popped a cap ten feet from me into a concrete wall, showing off for a couple of babes. Not cool. Wasn't at the barrel, either. :barf: Effing REMF.

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Old May 21, 2004, 06:47 AM   #16
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"I'd point out that the author is an actual lieutenant-colonel(podpolkovnik) in the MVD (IIRC) "

Tamara beat me to it. I would have been much more impressed if he had been a private rather than an officer.
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Old May 21, 2004, 02:49 PM   #17
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Russian military dude aside, if it's in McGivern's book maybe it does deserve some thought. I wouldn't necessarily dismiss it as just for gifted trick shooters. Maybe for those that are either naturally (fully) ambidextrous or for those that actually practice with their "off" hand, but not solely for the exhibitionists. I've tried it twice. Once with a pair of Berettas (92F and 92FS, John Woo eat your heart out!) and once with a pair of .45s (Kimber Custom [series I] and a S&W 645). Distance was 7 yards and the target was "steel man," a 2-1/2 foot by 4 foot steel IPSC-shaped target. I did OK with the 9mms, but neither I nor my friend did very well with the .45s. This may be because of recoil or a side effect of using two completely different weapons. As the shooting was done on different days (seperated in time by some months) it's also possible I was just having an off day. I didn't undertake it as a serious scientific enterprise, so it's hard to derive any sort of valuable insight from the experience.

For engaging multiple opponents at extremely close range it *may* have some utility. Probably a tool to be used in the same situations as a rifled 12-gauge loaded with buckshot. (i.e., exceedingly limited it present at all).

Edited to add: Developing the proficiency couldn't hurt though. Being more proficient with your weapon is always a good thing.

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Old May 25, 2004, 10:01 AM   #18
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Celtic style maybe....

Ive been shooting two guns at once for years.
My favorite method has been what I refer to as the Jerry Ahern style. You hunch over and lock your elbows into your hips which sort of stabilizes your forearms.
Instead of moving your hands when your aim shifts rotate your hips so that your upper body is in effect a gun turret.
At close range 15-25 yards- you will be amazed at how good you can do. I like it for wheelgunning, but a buddy of mine likes it for autos. He can shoot old wooden signs to splinters in seconds with a pair of .45 autos that way.
You sort of point shoot in that the guns are in your line of vision. If you are good at calling your shots, you can get up to speed in no time.
If you are using .38s, you can do the russian trick of keeping your hands together as they dont kick much. I would love to know why they call it the Macedonian method.....
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Old May 25, 2004, 04:31 PM   #19
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They probably call it "Macedonian" because the original term for "Roman riding" (i.e. riding two horses at once) was "Macedonian". Two horses...two pistols...

I have a hard time believing that anyone can be more effective with this technique than with a good Weaver or Isoceles and two-handed aimed fire using the sights. Trick-shooting...can't be practical at all.

Military rank means very little. I know too many people who have expert badges for rifle and/or pistol from the military who can't shoot worth a crap. A trainer who I know and trust states that military guys are some of the absolute worst pistol shooters around.
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Old June 1, 2004, 08:56 PM   #20
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It's difficult to do... but look at it another way.. most Soviet recruits had NEVER handled a firearm at the time they were issued one.

Maybe if they didn't have years of someone saying 'you can't do that' they didn't have to "unlearn" anything.

I find the biggest problem shooting with both hands is that sometimes the guns hit each other. (Twin 9mm FEG Hi powers) and it really screws up my aim.
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Old June 2, 2004, 08:28 AM   #21
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>>>I have a hard time believing that anyone can be more effective with this technique than with a good Weaver or Isoceles and two-handed aimed fire using the sights. Trick-shooting...can't be practical at all.<<<

Uh, nobody said it was more effective for static target shooting than the new technique. What was said was that it can be more effective than most people believe. Also notice that the original posting points out that it was used as a means to fire rapid bursts for the same tactical purpose that some people use SMGs today.
As I said, I have a friend who does this and he can shoot two guns as effectively as most proficient marksmen can one, at a far higher rate of speed to boot.
If you think trick shooting cannot be practical, let me remind you people were shooting each other from the hip long before Col. Cooper was born. The new technique of the pistol was originally designed to bring substandard shooters up to par in as little time as possible. Cooper himself admits that before then many marksmen were point shooters. Go back and read the interview he did years ago in American Handgunner.
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