Last Shot



Shoot­ing is vis­ual. I truly be­lieve that the key to shoot­ing any firearm well, but es­pe­cially a pis­tol, is by mak­ing a vis­ual con­nec­tion with the gun. I say that as­sum­ing the shooter’s fun­da­men­tals and me­chan­ics are solid. If a shooter can put sights on a tar­get and squeeze the trig­ger with­out mov­ing the sights, then he or she has the re­quired stored data to per­form at a higher level.

We some­times get so fo­cused on me­chan­ics and gear that we for­get to do the one thing that mat­ters most: SEE THE GUN. I could write vol­umes on the sub­ject of see­ing and pro­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion while you’re shoot­ing and how it will al­low you as a shooter to do what you need to do and do it eas­ily.

I’ll start with one sim­ple ex­er­cise that I use at the be­gin­ning of ev­ery class to get folks’ eyes plugged into the gun, their heads wrapped around some of the amaz­ing things we can do as hu­man ma­chines, and how easy it is for us to use those tools as shoot­ers. To start, I’ll say that as I un­der­stand it, we have two vis­ual tools to bring in­for­ma­tion into the su­per­com­puter (our brain) that will al­low it to per­form some amaz­ing tasks for us. Those tools are fo­cus and aware­ness.

Fo­cus is what we use to read. Your eyes see let­ters and your mind trans­lates them into words and there­fore in­for­ma­tion. We as shoot­ers need to see the rear sight, the front sight, and the tar­get that way (not with cam­era-type fo­cus where one thing is sharp and clear and ev­ery­thing else is blurry). Aware­ness is ba­si­cally our pe­riph­eral vi­sion that al­lows us to keep the world as big as it is while we are shoot­ing. To per­form the Vi­sion Quest, you’ll need one tar­get 10 yards away. I use 8.5x11 copy pa­per cen­tered on a USPSA tar­get. Put sights on the tar­get and pay at­ten­tion to the small de­tails of sight align­ment and place­ment. Shoot 5-10 rounds in suc­ces­sion with about 0.5 sec­onds be­tween shots. Don’t shoot this ex­er­cise like a bulls­eye drill. Grip your gun as though you were shoot­ing faster. When the gun fires, the front sight will lift out of the rear notch; in aware­ness you can see the di­rec­tion and dis­tance it goes—straight up through the head of the tar­get or up­ward at an an­gle.

The front sight will go at least to the head of the tar­get and prob­a­bly higher based on your re­coil me­chan­ics. It should re­turn back into the rear notch quickly. When it re­turns, note again the small de­tails in sight align­ment and place­ment. Con­tinue this for about 20-30 reps and you should be com­fort­ably see­ing the de­tails of how the sights look be­fore the gun fires, see­ing where the front sight goes dur­ing re­coil, and how the sights re­cover after re­coil.

What you just watched was your pis­tol cy­cling, which takes around 60 mil­lisec­onds! That’s pretty fast, but your eyes and your mind are faster. Con­tinue the ex­er­cise and start not­ing how the brass comes out of the gun as you’re track­ing your sights. This is vis­ual ex­er­cise for aware­ness—let­ting the world be as big as it is while you’re shoot­ing. Later I’ll share some more ex­er­cises to help your vi­sion drive the per­for­mance we all want and can eas­ily at­tain with good fun­da­men­tals and pro­cess­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.