Tips on Pistol Shooting

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sawbones
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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by sawbones » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:44 pm

Hey Boss

Im a 53 year old erstwhile shikari and two years ago took up serious pistol shooting as there is no scope in rifle any more and frankly no practical purpose any more.

I happened to come across Durgesh who introduced me to this sport and I have been following this post avidly.

I have a question while raising the pistol we are advised to raise it above the target and then lower to the aiming area which i find extremely hard to do due to a lifetime habit of raising the weapon from below and shooting when in aim can this be done in pistol .

Secondly what is the ideal trigger setting as i shoot center and standard also

regards sawbones
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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:29 pm

sawbones wrote:Hey Boss


I have a question while raising the pistol we are advised to raise it above the target and then lower to the aiming area which i find extremely hard to do due to a lifetime habit of raising the weapon from below and shooting when in aim can this be done in pistol .

Secondly what is the ideal trigger setting as i shoot center and standard also

regards sawbones
Welcome Sawbones,
Regarding your query regarding raising the pistol above the target...Frankly you have hit the nail on the head. All the shooters that have turned international under my training, raise the pistol directly into the aiming area. I dont believe in wasting time and straining my muscles to STRETCH my shooting arm way above the target. I will be going into great detail on this aspect when I come to the appropriate lesson. In the mean time, just forget what people around you say, believe me its the smartest thing to do as I shall prove in the fullness of time.
Regarding trigger setting, you will have to elaborate a bit more on this point, since I have not clearly understood your question.
Best Regards

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by jitu sati » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:20 am

hey hvj
no posts from u for long. we are eagerly waiting
jitu

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Sorry Jitu, intensive travelling since last week of december, will get online asap

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:08 pm

Lesson No.4 'Stance'
Weight Distribution: In the previous post, I had mentioned that the ideal feet placing should be such that both feet are parallel to each other. This feet placing, provides good stability. In addition, the following points may please be kept in mind;
1. The shooter must make it a point to distirbute the entire weight of his body EQUALLY on both feet.
2. He must maintain his balance, using both his feet, centered between the TOES and HEEL of both feet.
3. The NOVICE shooter is advised to maintain a relaxed equal distribution of his weight on both feet, centered between toes and heel.
4. DO NOT BEND YOUR KNEES, neither do you LOCK them hard, just stand in a relaxed manner.
(Tibor Gonczol, once told me, that the shooter should be as relaxed and balanced, as a beer drinker who is relieving himself after a few bottles of beer! Now thats a great example!)
Alignment of the Shooter's body
The plane of the shooter, feet, hips and shoulder is often recommended by most top coaches to be IN LINE with the shooting arm and target. Ummm, I am afraid , I do not agree with it for the following reasons;
1. The in line position, creates strain on the neck.
2. In this position, the shooter is more prone to loose balance, that is, sway to the front.
The MOST STABLE position is the 45 degree angle of the body of the shooter with the target and shooting arm. It is also quite comfortable to the neck.
However, If the shooter is comfortable with the body in line position, then please dont change.
Notes : Personally , I started of with the body in line position, found it uncomfortable and changed to a more relaxed stance, by keeping a slight angle, approx. 20 degrees to my shooting arm.
Position of the Head
1. The head must be in an upright position, so that the eyes are parallel to the ground level.
2. Do not tilt your head either backward or forward, since it will invariably disturb your balance. This is because the head weighs 12-15 kgs, since it is at the
extreme end of your body, any tilting either back or front will disturb the balance of the shooter.
3. Finally do not cant your head in the right or left direction.
4. Have a friend or coach to check your head position every two weeks, for the rest of your shooting days, YES, that is how important and how easily a shooter
can be susceptible to tilting his head.

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:21 am

Lesson No.4 Stance
The Position of the non shooting arm.
1. The non shooting arm, may be hooked in the belt by the thumb, or in the pocket.
2. This is to ensure that its stays 'neutral' during the time the shot is being executed.
3. Hence the nsa must be relaxed and anchored so as not to interfere in any way during the shot sequence.

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by xl_target » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:12 am

hvj1,
Before we go any further, I would first like to say that nothing that I say is intended to be a criticism of your methods. I have nothing but admiration for your dedication to the sport and your accomplishments. I am merely looking to further my knowledge.

I notice you are talking about one handed shooting. Is this typical of target (or is it called bullseye shooting) shooting?
In the US, combat shooting is popular and the masters at this tend to favor a two handed hold and standing facing the target. Many of them also favor the thumbs forward hold. Todd Jarrett is a champion shooter and he suggests this type of hold as shown in the video below. Is it uncommon for target shooters to shoot this way?
Could you please comment on the differences.
Thanks.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 867071363#
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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by timmy » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:03 am

xl, I shoot this way also -- one handed -- this is for target shooting. I think most of your work must be combat and/or cowboy shooting, from what I can gather.

I'm pretty much with hvj1 on all of this, except I do always shoot with both eyes open, handgun, rifle, or shotgun. I was taught that this gives a better field of vision many years ago, and trained myself to do this fairly quickly. Since then, it became natural.

However, since my eyes have gotten worse, I have started using a Merit aperture that attaches to my glasses lens with a suction cup. To make this work, I have to shoot with one eye and it has been a trial to get used to this.
Regards,
tim

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:41 pm

I notice you are talking about one handed shooting. Is this typical of target (or is it called bullseye shooting) shooting?
Hi XL
Yes , single handed shooting is the norm for ISSF shooting events, note that the calibers used are not as powerful as the .38,.44,.45,9mm, .357,10mm, for which, controlling the pistol/revolver requires both hands (though there are a few who enjoy shooting single handed). Now in the US and elsewhere, double handed grips (cup & saucer, weaver and its variations ) are very effectively used for combat shooting. Both forms of shooting ISSF and combat throws up their own set of challenges, though the basics are the same. Its what appeals to you and how much you are influenced by your peer group.
For me any type of shooting is challenging and thrilling as I am sure it is the same for you.
Timmy,
Jaspal Rana, also shoots with both eyes open, single eye, both eyes preference differs from shooter to shooter, ultimately, its all in the mind.
Finally the way to nirvana are many, choose the way which suits you best and have the most fun during the journey!
Best Regards & Thanks for the very kind words.

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:45 pm

Lesson No.5 Breathing and Lifting the pistol
Once the pistol is loaded and the shooter has taken his stance, two actions are simultaneously performed, breathing while lifting the pistol. Now there are many ways this is performed, these are as follows;
A
1. The shooter draws in his breath, while lifting his pistol from rest.
2.Stops his breath, when the sights come to rest in the aiming area.
3. Releases his breath, after the shot is fired and follow through is completed.
B
1. The shooter takes his breath,while lifting his pistol well above the target, releases it as he aligns his sights.
2. Releases his breath as the aligned sights sink towards the target.
3. Takes a breath again and holds it, once he is settled very well in the aiming area.
Most shooters vary between the above two methods, while some have their own unique patterns, which suits them. The point to note is that, when you do hold your breath, your lungs should be half full or half empty. Too full and the shooter is bursting to exhale, too less, the shooter is desperate pull in his breath. So half full, is good enough and normally recommended.

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by timmy » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:20 am

Jaspal Rana, also shoots with both eyes open, single eye, both eyes preference differs from shooter to shooter, ultimately, its all in the mind.
I think you are correct!
Regards,
tim

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:08 am

Lesson No.5 Breathing, Lifting the pistol- First Pull/Second Pull
We have already discussed 'breathing', an activity executed simultaneously with lifting the pistol. Another activity performed, while lifting the pistol, is the completion of first pull and second pull.
1. The trigger of an air pistol (most pistols) has two stages in its trigger action.
2. The first pull, or in shooting parlance, taking up the slack, prepares the shooter for the final pressure to be applied on the trigger for releasing the shot.
3.This final pressure stage is called the second pull.
4. In the air pistol ISSF category, the minimum trigger pull is 500 gms. This trigger weight can be distributed between the first and second pull, for
example,the first pull may be 150 gms and the balance 350 gms is attributed to the second pull.
5. The variance from shooter to shooter, regarding distribution of first pull pressure and second pull pressure varies, however, the thumb rule is, that the
second pull pressure must be PERCEPTIBLY more than the first pull.
6. This is because, if the first pull is higher or equal to the second pull pressure, it becomes difficult for the shooter to realize that he has crossed
the threshold between the first and second pull. This might lead to the pistol being fired prematurely.
7. When a shooter has experienced his pistol being fired prematurely, witnessing the disastrous results (on his target), it sows a seed of doubt and fear, which
can harm performance. Because very time the shooter lifts his pistol, he is half distracted by the fear of a premature release, so his concentration on the
essential aspects reduces. Also a mind under any form of tension or fear transmits that fear to the trigger finger, causing it to 'freeze'.
8. So when does a shooter complete first and begin second pull? Again this varies from shooter to shooter, most shooters complete the first pull while raising
the pistol, commencing on second pull as they begin their approach to the aiming area or while settling into their aiming area. Some shooters, complete
their first pull, even before lifting their pistol and place their finger lightly on the second pull, commencing their pressure on second pull once they ae settled
into the aiming area. The choice is yours.

-- Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:52 am --

Lesson No.5 Breathing,Lifting the Pistol, First & Second Pull
The combined process of breathing, lifting the pistol and co-ordinating first pull and second pull is done with one objective in mind. To execute smooth continuous trigger operation within the LIMITED SPAN OF TIME the shooter gets (after stopping his breath), once the sights are settled within the aiming area.
1. Every shooter knows, that there is a limit on his ability to hold the sights aligned and reasonably steady within the aiming area. If he takes too much time to
complete trigger operation, then after a few seconds, the sights waver, the arms strain, causing the sights to increase their arc of movement and it also
causes the shooter to momentarily leave his aiming area.
2. When this happens, (delaying second pull) the novice goes on straining, the more you strain, the signal from the mind to the trigger finger breaks, leading
to further delay. Finally the shooter gets fed up and jerks his trigger. Well the results are well documented in every shooters mind after such an instance.
3. The more experienced and mature shooter, on realizing that his shot is delayed, cancels his shot, relaxes then begins all over again.
4. Now cancelling the shot or jerking the shot, both have a negative effect on the shooter. Cancelling too many shots leads to time pressure on the shooter, I
dont think it necessary to elaborate on the effects of jerking a trigger, since they are quite obvious.
5. Therefore, ideally, the shooter must execute his trigger operation and follow through, within his aiming area and within the time frame of a few seconds
in which he is the MOST COMFORTABLE PHYSICALLY.
6. Hence, your shot must be released within 3 to 5 seconds after settling neatly within the aiming area. That is why, the shooter must co-ordinate, breathing,
completion of first pull and second pull, so that he can execute the shot and follow through within this window of time.
7. In light of the above, the breathing must therefore stop, when the sights are aligned in the aiming area. The first pull should be completed on the way UP to
the target and the second pull must begin even before you enter the aiming area, so that within three to five seconds, the residual second pull
trigger pressure is completed.

-- Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:48 pm --

Notes and Personal Experiences
One of my shooters, suffered from time pressure, her average scores were 368/400. Her problems were as follows;
1. Too much time taken to execute the shot.
2. Too much time taken in repeating a shot due to cancellations, where 40 records shots were to be fired, the total, with cancellations would amount to 60 (20 cancellations)
3. The time pressure, invariably caused jerking of trigger.
This shooter now shoots with a consistent average of 376/400.
1. She has trained herself to shoot within 3 -4 seconds on settling into the aiming area.
2. This is achieved WITHOUT jerking the trigger and by taking a few simple steps, which are as follows;
(a) Goes directly into the aiming area.
(b) Commences her first pull at rest and commences her second pull on the way UP to the target.
(c) Completes her shot and followthrough within 7 seconds off entering and settliing into the aiming area.
3. As a result she completes her match of 40 shots in 45 minutes! Her last two scores were 379/400 in a National Level Match.
4. She REGULARLY practices the figure of 8 exercise - at least 40 times each day.
5. No prizes for guessing who she is.

-- Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:29 pm --

Lesson No.5 Lifting the pistol
Most shooters, lift the pistol on an average, two feet above the target. Once they are assured that they have a good sight picture and the sights are aligned, they then descend into the aiming area. This has the following effect on their bodies;
1. During the entire trajectory upwards, downwards, holding and then back to rest (shot cycle), the body is under physical strain. The hand, wrist, arms, shoulders, back muscles, legs and the eyes.
2. It is obvious that the longer the time taken to complete each shot cycle,to that extent the body is subjected to physical strain.
3. The eye muscles in particular are strained more, when the shooter focuses on the less illuminated area above the target, then the eye struggles to maintain sharp sight picture and alignment as the pistol travels down to the highly illuminated aiming area.
4. Its almost like coming out of the house into the glare of the mid-day sun. So take a second guess what happens to the eye muscles , when you do that more than 60 times in a match?
5. The obvious answer is to reduce the physical strain on the body and eyes by keeping the shot cycle SHORT.
6. Hence my shooters, raise the pistol and pause just above the black, where the illumination is almost the same as the aiming area, then move downwards into the aiming area.
7. Even before commencing the shot cycle, the shooter, stares AT THE AIMING AREA, then lifts the pistol up either directly into the aiming area or 6-8 inches above it. By doing this the eye is used to the illumination intensity and the muscles can maintain this focus much better than the continuously changing illumination of the higher lift.
8. The breathing, first pull, second pull and followthrough are completed within 7 seconds , thus reducing the shot cycle time for each shot, therby reducing the strain on the body. Completes his match well within time and saves himself from time pressure!

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by jitu sati » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:20 pm

hey hvj
u were to give tips on stance to be taken by a cross dominant shooter
jitu

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by hvj1 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:49 pm

Hello Jitu,
To answer your query, what should be the position for a Left Eye Dominant shooter (assuming that he is right handed). Please follow the steps given below;
1. Take your stance with the plane (feet, hips and shoulders) in line with the shooting arm and target.
2. Using your right foot as a pivot, shift your left foot (like a compass) to make an angle.
3. Begin with 20 degrees, check that your neck is not twisted, head is upright and comfortable.
4. If not then move your left feet to trace and angle between 20 degrees but not more than 45 degrees.
5. Check which angle helps you to keep your sights aligned without discomfort to the neck.
Let me know which angle suits you best.
Best Regards

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Re: Tips on Pistol Shooting

Post by jitu sati » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:29 pm

hey hvj
angle which seems to suit me is somewhere close to 30 degrees. thx. have started with that. however need to do more of figure 8 ex as the arm wavers. one day the score is good and the next day it drops. i think this is probably because i am yet to devp a routine to which i stick to while ex the shot. presently with new inputs i am adopting something new each day. but i guess once ur lessons are complete and i am able to get all aspects right the scores should steady
jitu

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