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GUNS Magazine October 2011 Digital Edition - Page 16

• C L I N T S M I T h • P h O T O S : h E I d I S M I T h • yOU MIGhT BE A BRAIN SURGEON But . ince I shoot on a daily basis, I see and hear some S strange things. Some people, wishing to do well, get performance anxiety. Some people know it all, and some know nothing. as part of this learning process, I qualify each lecture I give with a couple of things. First, I don’t know everything. Second, while at school their brain and a parachute have something in common—they will both work best if they are open. Actually, I did have a brain surgeon in a class. Besides being a nice guy, he was a little naïve about some aspects of shooting. He felt he could align the sights on the target, yank the trigger and the bullet would be clear of the barrel before his push affected the bullet strike. We bantered this about some, and then I showed him a few things he wasn’t aware of. Correctly, this is a pre-ignition push. So, with our doctor weighing in at 180 pounds and the pistol at a about 2 pounds, who do you think wins the pushing contest? When we push in anticipation of the pistol being fired, we move the sights off the point of aim before the bullet leaves. This is the reason so many right-handed students have hits in the lower left of the target. When the pistol is recoiling and the push is happening at the same time, there is often no sense of pushing the pistol. I know this because I’ve done it. Low-left shots on the target are indicative of a mash or jerk on the trigger in right-handed shooters. Trigger Control The lack of trigger control is actually the biggest reason people don’t shoot well. Trigger control is an acquired skill. Once the brain surgeon was shown what to do (and understood it), life started down the road towards a happy place. Keep in mind repetition is, indeed, the mother of skill. In this quest of the trigger, I often take non-believers and have them If you have the opportunity, practice some awkward positions to see how they affect shot placement. hold the pistol sights on-target while I press their trigger. This often results in over-lapping holes in the target. This proves they are looking at the sights, and it also proves they are leaning on the trigger. Once they see this, they are on the path to better marksmanship. The “surprise break” is a simple theory often mugged by a gang of facts. This puts a steady, rearward pressure on the trigger with the understanding the pistol is about to fire—without going “now!” Moving targets, headshots, surgical placement and application under duress can cause a shooter to lean on the trigger—or apply the “now” element. Watch for the low-left shots in these cases. I think finger placement is a consideration here, with the best being the center of the first digit in or on the middle of the trigger. This is like the ignorant vs. stupid adage. Ignorance is cured by education—stupid is forever. Try it. Our last visual control over the projectile before it leaves the pistol is the sight picture. This also confirms why so many shots fired, even at short range, don’t strike the target. This week, I had a student roll-in, clearing a corner on a tactical exercise, point his pistol and fire a shot at a target only 8' away. He completely missed. Stunned, he responded with the normal “I can’t believe I missed.” Followed by “The target was so close I couldn’t miss.” To which I promptly added, “But in fact you did miss, and wouldn’t it be better to work from the premise? The target 16 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2011

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