OFF HAND SHOOTING

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Dr5x, Dec 4, 2019.

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  1. Dec 4, 2019 #1

    Dr5x

    Dr5x

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    I NEVER DID MUCH OFFhand shooting. My interest was making rifle's that shot loose groups bench rest into rifle's that shot tight groups bench rest so the rifleman had much more confidence in his gun when shooting off hand at targets or Bambi.
    It seemed to me that the front sight didn't wander much up and down but shifted back and forth zipping passed the point of aim with increasing speed. The rifleman's job here is to anticipate when the front sight happens to be dead on as it goes by a the trigger was pulled.
    To do welling this aiming process would require much practice to learn that rhythm which picks up speed so ideally he should fire as quickly as possible but "quickly" can cause it's own problems.
    I need help on this and hope there is someone out there who can explain how they can successfully handle this problem of moving parts to achieve good results
    Dutch
     
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  2. Dec 4, 2019 #2

    FishDFly

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    The best way to increase a person's scores in off hand shooting is dry firing. You cannot eliminate wobble, your goal is to minimize it and pull the trigger as it passes through the target.

    Dry firing does numerous things:

    1. It builds up your upper body strength.
    2. You build up familiarity with your rifle/pistol by handling it.
    3. You get use to the "wobble" of the sights and learn when to pull the trigger.

    You can dry fire inside your house. Dry fire by aiming at the light switches in your house.

    Dry fire for 5 minutes each day, it will do wonders for your scores.
     
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  3. Dec 4, 2019 #3

    LME

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    Dry firing? I can see someone ruining a nipple on the percussion rifles if it doesn't have two triggers? My rifle has two triggers and I sometime dry fire it to check the feel.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2019
  4. Dec 4, 2019 #4

    FishDFly

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    Go to the hardware store and buy some 1/4 inch vacuum hose and cut it to the length so that the hammer does not hit the nipple or while there buy some faucet washers and slip one over the nipple, problem solved for single triggers.
     
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  5. Dec 4, 2019 #5

    excess650

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    Try raising your rifle with your eyes closed and see where it points in relationship to your target. Shift your feet to get in better alignment. For a right handed shooter, the left foot is forward of the right, body turned at an angle so the rifle is across the chest. With a short barrel, the left elbow can be tight on the ribcage for support. Longer, barrels or muzzle heavy barrels you'll probably need to reach further out the forearm. Focus on your SIGHTS, set trigger or not, with very light pressure on the trigger. The shot should break almost automatically when the sight picture is "right". I don't dryfire, but would use a wooden flint in my rocklock if I did.
     
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  6. Dec 4, 2019 #6

    Many Klatch

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    To shoot well offhand you need to build the muscles that are holding the gun. If you look at the position it's a weird set of muscles that holds the arm out. I have a 15# weight with sights filed across one side. Stand holding the weight like you would the rifle. Hold the "sights" on a spot on the wall for a count of 15 or 30. Repeat as necessary. You will be surprised.

    Our forefathers were splitting wood, Cutting trees, building cabins, throwing hay, hauling feed and plowing day in and day out. The guns of the time were mere sticks to them.

    Start with a 5# or 10# if the 15# is too heavy. BTW, I use a 10# weight the same way to practice holding a pistol.
     
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  7. Dec 4, 2019 #7

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

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    Here is where we disagree! Never do I try to fire while anticipating sight picture intersecting the target! Main reason is trigger jerk which pulls you back off target. I was taught and use the following method for OH target shooting: Bring the rifle up while getting sight picture at the point of aim, stopping on target. I do not go upward past the target and back down for two reasons. 1.Muscles are steadier with a firm load(going up) and then to a lighter load, (slowing and stopping) versus the reverse muscle use. 2. When you come up past, naturally you have come back down and now the target is covered by the barrel. Now, when I settle into my wobble (we all have em) the trigger is being squeezed. This is also a timing issue. We all can go through the sequence of the aforementioned in a certain time zone. Too fast and you will not be ready/steady. Too long on the time and you will get tired and gain wobble.
    Dry firing is one of the best ways to keep in practice.
    Flintlocklar:D
     
  8. Dec 4, 2019 #8

    Bo T

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    I believe the first thing a person needs for offhand shooting is a gun that fits properly.
     
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  9. Dec 4, 2019 #9

    Rifleman1776

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    As I see it, the keys to accurate offhand shooting is to shoot the rifle. That's what I call 'getting to know your rifle'. Ignition and/or anticipation of ignition becomes moot. Actual shooting becomes an unconscious act. For me, when the sights are where I want them the rifle goes off. And, don't forget, good triggers are a must.
     
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  10. Dec 4, 2019 #10

    poker

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    One more thing that helps is to get a deep breath and slowly exhale while bringing your rifle into the target. I do best when I bring my rifle up and squeeze off immediately upon sight alignment. If I go thru a couple wobbles it gets more difficult to time the squeeze. As others have said, get a plastic or rubber washer on the nipple or take your flint out and put wood in its place and do some dryfiring. It can build confidence.
     
  11. Dec 4, 2019 #11

    Bo T

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    Once a person has a properly fitted gun, then they can follow the advice given previously to shoot to the best that they can.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2019 #12

    longcruise

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    It's helpful to incorporate holding drills with the dry firing. To use holding drills, you make a series of circles. Solid red is good because it contrasts with the sights. The series is graduated in size. The size is dependent on the distance they are set at.

    The idea is to take your stance, etc. (Incorporating the many good suggestions above) and take aim at the largest red circle. Now comes the holding part. Hold your sight picture within the red circle as long as you can. Set a time for how long you hold. It doesn't have to be a long time but right around 15 or 20 seconds. If you can do this five times without the sight wandering outside the circle, then move on to a smaller circle. Keep going until you get to a circle that you can't stay inside of for five drills. Then hold on that circle whenever you do your drills until you CAN hold within it for at least for five drills.

    It's a never ending process that continuously improves your holding ability. It's continuous hand/eye/muscle training. When you get better, try holding for longer periods.

    You can incorporate a dry fire at the end of each drill or do dry fire drills separately. I do mine separately because I want to simulate an actual shot which takes place at that perfect moment. The holding drills are all about creating a better perfect moment!
     
  13. Dec 4, 2019 #13

    FishDFly

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    "Once a person has a properly fitted gun, then they can follow the advice given previously to shoot to the best that they can."

    If folks waited on a properly fitted gun, they would never be shooting.
     
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  14. Dec 4, 2019 #14

    RiverRat

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    I applaud all those who post to this topic. Some real good advice is given here.
     
  15. Dec 4, 2019 #15

    Sun City

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    Buy David Tubbs book "All I know about shooting Highpower Rifle"!
     
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  16. Dec 4, 2019 #16

    Erwan

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    Well, I don't have any experiment of hunting and all what I do is target killing, other way in France we have no interesting choice for hunting and the greatest is the wild boar that the people shoot with .308" and other like that, that is not hunting for me.

    So like a target killer I can talk only 'bout this.
    I do something like said Longcruise but a bit different. For may-be the last year I'm in charge to "teach" the young and new people the bases of how to shoot .

    In France the MLAIC is omnipresent over all and sport shooting must be in conformity with the MLAIC rules and mostly standing up an free hands.

    What I do is simple: after determining the moving zone of each shooter I make a painting gray on the target at 55yards, after that an after asking the new shooter if he want's to do like that I tall to him that he must stay sighting only inside his possible moving zone and shoot when he is sure that the bullet will go at the good place. Every five shoots I make a new zone in gray but smaller that the precedent one.
    After each fifteen shoots the guy can see his target that is behind the painting. After four or five sessions in the month generally the guy can shoot correctly in he's target and engage a real training...

    Has anyone managed to understand what I mean? I apologize for not being able to better explain myself in American...
     
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  17. Dec 4, 2019 #17

    longcruise

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    I pretty well understood it. I think it's a great way to approach it. It allows you to discipline your students and keep them on track. Something they may not do if you give instructions and send them home to work on it.
     
  18. Dec 4, 2019 #18

    longcruise

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  19. Dec 4, 2019 #19

    Bo T

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    excess650 gave some good advice about closing your eyes, positioning the gun and opening your eyes. I tried this with a Hawken I have and when I opened my eyes, I was a good 15 degrees below the target! I tried moving my rear foot back, but I'd been in kneeling position before I was on target. Now, the Hawken is fine from a rest, but offhand-a poor choice. If a person gets one that is close, then there are modifications you can make (inexpensively) to get it closer. Closer=less wobble, less fatigue, better accuracy.
     
  20. Dec 5, 2019 #20

    Tom A Hawk

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    I won an off hand, 100 yard turkey shoot at 16 years old and consider myself to be a reasonably competent shooter. However, that's with modern firearms and caplocks. When switching to flintlocks I was surprised to discover I was having trouble hitting the mark when shooting off hand. To deal with the delay and flinch factors associated with flintlock shooting I have adopted a method that calls for focused concentration on holding steady on target and squeezing the trigger and follow through. I mentally repeat "hold, hold hold, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. When I do it right, I will be able to see my sights on target and be able to call the shot when the boom occurs.
     

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