Saturday, May 10, 2008

Point Shooting Revisited, 3

I appreciate all my readers' comments, but the ones on this topic are just too good to leave in the "comments" section. WARSKYL regular dlr writes:

I think folks may be surprised how hard it is to actually hit a paper plate consistently, even at close to very close range. Try it...

That reminds me of a story . . . Hmmm, now I sound a lot like one of my heroes, George "Gabby" Hayes. Most of you youngsters under 50 will have to Google his name to find out who he was. Anyway, back to the story.

It was, let's see, way back in the '70's when I worked dispatch for a security outfit in Tampa, FL. On one particular graveyard shift, an officer I'd never met called and asked if I had a handgun he could borrow. I put my firearms out on loan about as often as I rent out my children. (That's never, in case you're wondering.) Iasked him why he needed a weapon, and he told me.

It seems that a client firm suspected some of its employees of dealing drugs. They wanted someone from our security company to work undercover, and this poor innocent agreed to do it. The client and our company both promised him total anonymity.

Well, as you've probably guessed, he eventually got subpoenaed to testify against the drug dealers. And he was scared. "These guys don't fool around. I need a gun for protection." After he found out that I don't lend my firearms, he asked me, "What kind should I buy?"

He'd never fired any kind of projectile weapon before. I did my best to give him the info to make an informed choice, and that morning after work (way back before 3-day waiting periods) he bought a .357 magnum -- although I would have chosen a 1911 Gov't Model for him. Then I called a friend of mine, and we took this neophyte out for his first shooting lesson.

After some basic safety, trigger squeeze and breath control instruction accompanied by drawing sight pictures in the sand -- Florida doesn't have real dirt -- we got to the shooting part. We used paper plates as targets.

At one point, for variety, I set up 3 paper plates about 10-12 ft. away. I told him they represented three gunmen attacking us. Since I was on the left, I would double-tap the left plate first and he would double-tap the right plate, and then we'd both take out the middle plate.

As we played out the scenario, he fired three shots at each of his targets instead of two. I, as this tyro's first firearms instructor missed both of my targets entirely. (I still cringe with embarrassment at the memory of it.) And there he stood with an empty gun & one hostile picnic platter still alive & mad as all get-out.

He learned two valuable lessons: 1) When your life's at stake, don't depend entirely on the other guy; and 2) Don't waste shots. I learned a couple of lessons, too: 1) Knowledge and experience are only valuable to enhance your skills, not to replace them; 2) Those plates must be really fast, to dodge bullets like that.

That story & dlr's comment remind me of something I want you to understand about the potential of shooting without sights. Whenever I watch the Point Shooting video, I'm impressed with the distances at which the G.I.'s in the film are able to deliver accurate, unaimed fire. I think one of the keys is that they train to always grasp the weapon exactly the same way, every time.

That is the topic in "Point Shooting: Grasping the Weapon". At some point, I'd like to expand on some of dlr's other comments, as well.
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Emil Bandy said...

I don't know how deep you are wanting to go into this subject, and I know that you probably got a lot to write on already... but I just wanted to add one thing....

For all us people who would rather not (if possible) spend several hundred dollars (at least) on ammo for practicing, and would like to at least lessen the expenses, even just by a small amount. Could you also give different ways to increase experience without actually using up as much (expensive) ammo? (i.e. dry firing drills, conversion kits, etc)

dlr said...

About that reloader...

Gravelbelly said...

I used to make squib rounds for my gov/t model. I used .454 lead balls (cast for a .44 cal. cap & ball revolver).

I put them in primed brass that had been fired in my weapon (no press needed to resize the case or seat the ball). I used maybe a gram or so of powder just so the ball wouldn't get stuck in the barrel.

I would push the ball all the way down, so it rested on the powder. Of course there was not enough recoil to work the slide, so it turned my Model 1911 into a single shot weapon. But it made for cheap practice at closer ranges -- especially if I retrieved the lead shot.

This comment does not constitute advice. It is for informational purposes only, and anyone who decides to make their own squib loads assumes all responsibility and liability.

dlr said...

Did y'all see this -