Dear Gun Whisperer,
I went to the range to practice last weekend and couldn’t hit my target for anything! With ammo so expensive, I hate just throwing it away without seeing any value in my practice. What can I do?
May as well be Shooting in the Dark
Dear Shooting in the Dark,
We all have days when we go to the range and feel like we are wearing oven-mitts. First, give yourself a break! Next…take a deep breath and reset, just like re-booting your computer.
Start with the fundamentals, where are your feet, are your knees flexed, is your body in the correct position, how is your grip, are your sights aligned properly…
Feet shoulder width apart, generally in line, knees flexed, bending forward at the waist, shoulders rolled forward, arms at full extension. Strong hand high on the backstrap of the pistol centered between the thumb and trigger finger, trigger finger up on the frame, remaining fingers (usually 3) wrapped around the grip, middle finger snug against the trigger guard. Support hand snugged up against the strong hand, no gaps between the heels of your hands, fingers wrapped over the knuckles of your strong hand, index finger against the trigger guard. Thumbs forward and aligned straight along the frame, strong thumb resting on top of support thumb. Firm hold, kind of like squeezing an orange to make juice. Get a good sight picture, front post directly on top of the target, top edge of front post in line with the top edges of the rear sight, equal light on both sides if the front post. Move your trigger finger down and use just the center of the first pad to touch, then smoothly press the trigger to the rear. Ease the trigger out to the reset, reacquire your sight picture, then either take another shot, or move your finger off the trigger and come back into a high ready position. And, don’t forget to breathe! If you are holding your breath for more than a few seconds your hands will shake.
Starting over from the toes up forces you to focus your attention on your fundamentals, taking your mind off the frustration, and it “reboots” your brain.
The Gun Whisperer
This article is not intended to provide legal advice, nor is the substitute for consultation with a trained or certified gun-smith or trainer in making any particular decision or election not to act. Laws, customs, and weapons choices vary widely within states across the country for reasons ranging from climate, general and specific dangers, and political philosophy.