Author Topic: Shooting technique  (Read 415 times)

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Offline inletman

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Shooting technique
« on: December 05, 2018, 08:41:05 PM »
when extending gun out to target, do you extend arms completely locking them out....or bend arms slightly making sure wrists are locked?

My friend and former pro shooter wants me to extend arms completely...thought he says I am shooting pretty well using second method.

comments?

Offline George16

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 08:50:14 PM »
Elbows bent slightly with the wrists locked and canted down/forward.

Online Earl Keese

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 08:50:36 PM »
Elbows bent slightly. If you lock them, you'll have a hard time with follow ups and movement. I have a tendency to lock mine after a few years of doing it wrong. Locked elbows introduces a lot of tension to your neck and shoulders. Watch video of top competitive shooters, with rare exception they keep elbows slightly bent.

Offline Jiva

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 08:54:37 PM »
Shooting is about process. A successful process is one that can be duplicated consistently without fail.

Can you extend your arms out the same way every time? If not, you may well experience problems with consistency. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why your friend/mentor is encouraging you to fully extend your arms. It’s repeatable and will give you the same sight picture/alignment every single time.

Just a thought, maybe ask him his rational?
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Offline Radom

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 01:47:59 AM »
when extending gun out to target, do you extend arms completely locking them out....or bend arms slightly making sure wrists are locked?

My friend and former pro shooter wants me to extend arms completely...thought he says I am shooting pretty well using second method.

comments?

Shooting stance is a personal consideration.  I use what is called "modified isosceles."  I am right handed/right eyed dominant so I shoot with my right hand (pistol) extended with my left hand supporting.  I am bending my elbows and locking my wrists, and I have had good results with this stance/grip.  In my mind, the benefit of this approach is that it transitions well to other handguns, such as magnum revolvers.  Extending your arms may be ideal if you only shoot one pistol, but it is not a good approach to shooting different platforms/cartridges. 
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Offline Radom

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 02:17:45 AM »
If you are new to handguns, I will give you an anecdote:

My father started me with .22 LR/.22 Win Mag in a SAA clone.  I proceeded to .38 Special/.357 Mag in a S&W Highway Patrolman.  My father owned a 1911A1.  I had only shot semi-autos a few times before I finally shot a 9mm.  This was the late 1970s-early 1980s.  I believe the first time I shot 9mm was a S&W pistol, or a mil surp pistol.  (K-Mart used to sell mil surp Walthers. Lugers, and Radoms back then.) 

The advantage to elbows down/stout wrists is adjusting to different platforms/cartridges, as I mentioned in the post above. More importantly, I believe it is more realistic to actual shooting.  I have never needed to shoot a handgun in a "real world" self defense situation.  That said, I don't like the idea of training with extending the arms forward.  If you are following the laws of the land, you are looking at a "counter-ambush," meaning someone else needs to do something that justifies your use of deadly force.  You need to learn how to draw, present, and shoot under stress in a short amount of time.  The extreme of "arms forward" doesn't help my accuracy, and it is very bad CCW training, IMHO. 
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Offline Erikw5490

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 08:21:58 PM »
I see both as possibly beneficial. I personally have a slight bend on non firing hand arm and reasonably straight firing arm.

Offline RSR

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2018, 12:34:33 AM »
I see both as possibly beneficial. I personally have a slight bend on non firing hand arm and reasonably straight firing arm.

Ditto.  Straight trigger arm, and slightly bent support elbow.  Labeled modern isosceles/modified isosceles/fighting stance/etc. 

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/5/18/choosing-a-handgun-shooting-stance/

https://www.usacarry.com/modern-modified-isosceles-shooting-stance/

https://www.policeone.com/police-products/firearms/training/articles/7981637-The-3-shooting-stances-Which-ones-right-for-you/

Offline Atomic Punk

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2018, 03:30:44 PM »
If you are new to handguns, I will give you an anecdote:

My father started me with .22 LR/.22 Win Mag in a SAA clone.  I proceeded to .38 Special/.357 Mag in a S&W Highway Patrolman.  My father owned a 1911A1.  I had only shot semi-autos a few times before I finally shot a 9mm.  This was the late 1970s-early 1980s.  I believe the first time I shot 9mm was a S&W pistol, or a mil surp pistol.  (K-Mart used to sell mil surp Walthers. Lugers, and Radoms back then.) 

The advantage to elbows down/stout wrists is adjusting to different platforms/cartridges, as I mentioned in the post above. More importantly, I believe it is more realistic to actual shooting.  I have never needed to shoot a handgun in a "real world" self defense situation.  That said, I don't like the idea of training with extending the arms forward.  If you are following the laws of the land, you are looking at a "counter-ambush," meaning someone else needs to do something that justifies your use of deadly force.  You need to learn how to draw, present, and shoot under stress in a short amount of time.  The extreme of "arms forward" doesn't help my accuracy, and it is very bad CCW training, IMHO.

I was taught to use straight arms out by military instructors. Their rationale was that in a real world situation, adrenaline-spiked, you're fine motor skills go out the window and you will naturally throw them all the way out so train like that. Makes some sense but that may apply less if you are shooting smaller targets and trying to shave fractions of seconds off your times for competition shooting.   

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2018, 10:57:15 PM »
Quote from: Atomic Punk
...I was taught to use straight arms out by military instructors. Their rationale was that in a real world situation, adrenaline-spiked, you're fine motor skills go out the window and you will naturally throw them all the way out so train like that. Makes some sense but that may apply less if you are shooting smaller targets and trying to shave fractions of seconds off your times for competition shooting.

I shot quite a bit of IDPA for a number of years, and worked as a safety officer, spending a lot of time scoring targets.  I watched a LOT of shooters do it right and wrong.

Keeping your arms straight with elbows locked will work much of the time if you're shooting at the range and not moving a lot. 

But it's a bit like using the Weaver stance: if you use the Weaver technique  in a match with a scenario that has a lot of barriers, and movement, switching from your left to your right a lot, you will find yourself locked into a technique that DOESN'T allow a lot of fluid movement. I saw this frequently when new IDPA shooters came to a match having never used anything but the Weaver Stance.  Some of my right-handed friends who were weaned with guns in their hand and swore by the Weaver Stance eventually ended up swearing AT IT, instead.  Try using the weaver while crawling around a low barrier, or from the wrong side of a barricade.  Doing some variation of the Isosceles upper body where your feet and legs don't have to be just right, and being able to bend your arms a bit will let you aim at targets with less delay and you won't find yourself trying to make something work that just doesn't fit. 

And that bit about Gross and Fine motor skills was the received words of the shooting gods when I was in the military about 50 years ago, but nobody really thought it through.  Pulling the trigger, if you want to hit anything, is a fine motor skill, as is using your arms and hands to get the sights aligned properly. 

Using the slide stop (or release) to chamber the first round of a fresh mag was considered a fine motor skill, too, but nobody noticed that CRISPLY RELEASING the rear of the slide (when you were pinching the rear of the slide like you'd grab the pouch of a slingshot) was also a fine motor skill. The US military discovered this in Iraq and Afghanistan when troops kept having their handguns fail to go into battery under combat condition when they loaded a fresh magazine.  Rather than trying to figure out what happened, many of them did a clearance drill and wasted time and a round round when they might need both!

The DoD changed handgun training to use the slide stop/release (instead of the slingshot technique) to chamber the first round of a magazine.  (There are several ways to do it that are quick and reliable -- and that technique doesn't force you to reposition the gun as much as the traditional "slingshot" slide release.)

Getting yourself (or your elbows) locked into a fixed technique may come back to cause more problems than it solves.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 03:50:26 PM by Walt Sherrill »

Offline Criz

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2018, 12:21:35 PM »
Slightly bent.
I have baseball, motorcycle, mountain bike elbow so bending helps the pain but also helps with my grip strength.
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Online Earl Keese

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2018, 12:52:52 PM »
This:
"Getting yourself (or your elbows) locked into a fixed technique may come back to cause more problems than it solves."

I'm working through this right now.

Offline RSR

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2018, 10:36:46 PM »
I shot quite a bit of IDPA for a number of years, and worked as a safety officer, spending a lot of time scoring targets.  I watched a LOT of shooters do it right and wrong.

Keeping your arms straight with elbows locked will work much of the time if you're shooting at the range and not moving a lot. 

But it's a bit like using the Weaver stance: if you use the Weaver technique  in a match with a scenario that has a lot of barriers, and movement, switching from your left to your right a lot, you will find yourself locked into a technique that DOESN'T allow a lot of fluid movement. I saw this frequently when new IDPA shooters came to a match having never used anything but the Weaver Stance.  Some of my right-handed friends who were weaned with guns in their hand and swore by the Weaver Stance eventually ended up swearing AT IT, instead.  Try using the weaver while crawling around a low barrier, or from the wrong side of a barricade.  Doing some variation of the Isosceles upper body where your feet and legs don't have to be just right, and being able to bend your arms a bit will let you aim at targets with less delay and you won't find yourself trying to make something work that just doesn't fit. 

And that bit about Gross and Fine motor skills was the received words of the shooting gods when I was in the military about 50 years ago, but nobody really thought it through.  Pulling the trigger, if you want to hit anything, is a fine motor skill, as is using your arms and hands to get the sights aligned properly. 

Using the slide stop (or release) to chamber the first round of a fresh mag was considered a fine motor skill, too, but nobody noticed that CRISPLY RELEASING the rear of the slide (when you were pinching the rear of the slide like you'd grab the pouch of a slingshot) was also a fine motor skill. The US military discovered this in Iraq and Afghanistan when troops kept having their handguns fail to go into battery under combat condition when they loaded a fresh magazine.  Rather than trying to figure out what happened, many of them did a clearance drill and wasted time and a round round when they might need both!

The DoD changed handgun training to use the slide stop/release (instead of the slingshot technique) to chamber the first round of a magazine.  (There are several ways to do it that are quick and reliable -- and that technique doesn't force you to reposition the gun as much as the traditional "slingshot" slide release.)

Getting yourself (or your elbows) locked into a fixed technique may come back to cause more problems than it solves.

Great post Walt. 

Real world, I find use for Weaver like working a corner or doorway, or shooting from behind trees or similar cover.   I don't agree w/ some's argument that the Weaver is in fact the same as a modern fighting stance (e.g., https://www.swatmag.com/article/weaver-stance-combating-misinformation/ ), but the Weaver I use is more square, less than 45*, than most.  My fighting stance is more like 5* off of strict isosceles.

Strict isosceles -- only if you're on flat ground w/ sure footing, and only if you have a threat and potential threat in only one direction.  Point being, a very narrow set of real world parameters in which this stance is well-suited, plus the stances locking in does reduce response time in other directions -- potentially putting defender in jeopardy as much as a fully bladed weaver.

For football folks -- I put the strict isosceles more in line w/ a defensive lineman stance (weight fully forward and selling out in one direction). 
Modern fighting is more of linebacker/o-line/upright running back stance that's balanced but also quickly able to move in any direction.
Weaver -- and not a perfect analogy -- is more of a wide receiver stance, pushing/going foward

I do get why MIL/LE teaches isosceles though -- it's a simple technique, helps to ensure any off target shots are more likely to be vertically dispersed than laterally, and accordingly does work well for multiple and rapid shots at one target. 

Here's another good read on the fighting stance: https://www.tactical-life.com/lifestyle/tactics/fighting-stance/

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: Shooting technique
« Reply #13 on: Today at 12:43:46 AM »
Re: Technique, stances and all of the other RULES we need to understand and sometimes ignore...

One of the classes that several of our IDPA club members set up, had Larry Brown, a well-established IPSC/USPSA shooter, as instructor.  And he made some of these same points.  Larry has competed internationally and held the Grand Master ranking when I worked with him  -- which was about 10 years ago.  Larry then (don't know about now) was working as an instructor with Special Ops types (Green Berets, Delta, and sometimes SEALS and Marine Recon types, etc.) at Ft Bragg on a fairly regular basis 

He said that most of these guys used the Isosceles stance, but they weren't locked into it -- their objectives, whether using handguns or assault weapons or other hand-carried weapons (like sub-guns) was to be flexible and effective.  Isosceles was the starting technique, but they could bend, twist, squat, run, etc. and do what had to be done.  (That sounds like it might be a combination of ISOSCELES and a variant of the FIGHTING STANCE mentioned above.)

They did a lot of force on force training with simunition that when one of those rounds hit you,  it  but didn't break the skin.  He laughed about one time when he went to the doctor (a woman) about some shoulder problems, and pulled his shirt off, she saw he was covered with  small bruises, and immediately became concerned that he had some sort of  blood or liver problems.  He had to calm her down, and did so by explaining how they came from all of his training exercises.

Larry was (IS) a great instructor who was really good at guiding you in the right direction without attacking your ego.  He wasn't there to show you how great he was, but to help you become a better shooter.  He ran great classes.  I keep thinking I ought to get some additional personal instruction from him one of these days, but somehow I never do it.  (I tell myself I'm getting too old to do a lot of IDPA or USPSA -- I'm 74 -- because crawling or getting up from a kneeling position is becoming more trouble than it's worth.)
« Last Edit: Today at 01:11:02 PM by Walt Sherrill »

 

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