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Shoany
7th Mar 2002, 07:00 PM
Hey all,
I've never fired a gun and probably never will, but I'm curious anyway... what's the proper procedure for aiming a pistol? ie grip, stance, eye focus, etc...

AND,

What's the proper procedure for aiming a rifle? (ironsights)

bastardb
7th Mar 2002, 07:03 PM
hold on and dont let it point toward people you like

shadowkil
7th Mar 2002, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by Shoany
Hey all,
I've never fired a gun and probably never will, but I'm curious anyway... what's the proper procedure for aiming a pistol? ie grip, stance, eye focus, etc...

AND,

What's the proper procedure for aiming a rifle? (ironsights)

Oi. If you do a web search you can look at the US Army Field manuals on marksmanship - I'd provide links but I'm feeling a little lazy right now, so I'll just give ya real quick basics:

Safety first:

1. Every firearm is loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything y`ou are not willing to destoy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger (out of the trigger guard is best) until your sights are aligned with the target and you are ready to shoot.
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it (make damned sure you want to potential destroy/kill what you are shooting at, and be wary of over penetration or missing - make sure nothing you care about is directly behind your target).


Pistol basics:

Grip: the grip should be firm, but not a death grip. Make sure your thumbs are clear of the action (especially on the supporting thumb, some novices and old time revolver shooters get 'bitten' by the hammer or slide)

Stance: This varies from person to person, but there are basically two main stances commonly used - the Weaver, and variations thereof (named for Jack Weaver, a pioneer in pistol marksmanship) and the isosceles. In the Weaver stance, your body is at a slight angle from the target (towards your strong side), the firing arm is straight or nearly so, and the support arm will be slightly bent. In the isosceles stance, you stand facing the target and both arms are nearly straight. There are pros and cons to each, in the end, my suggestion is to use whatever works best for you.

Eye Focus: After target aquisition and the decision to fire, for proper sight alignment you must focus on the front sight - the target and the rear sight will become a little blurry, this is normal. Also another thing to keep in mind (and this is part of stance too actually), is that you want to keep your head erect, not cocked to the side. If you can't see the sights without cocking your head, move the gun, not your head. If you cock your head to the side, it distorts your visual picture.

Etc: Breathing - you want to execute the shot during the pause between breaths, otherwise it will be affected by your movement. This doesn't mean hold your breath (especially not for a long time). this means just slightly lengthen the natural respiratory pause - it's a good idea to take a couple of deep breaths first. If you don't execute the shot within about eight seconds or so, take a breath and start over. After that length of time your brain and eyes begin to become starved of oxygen and your sight picture can become distorted or not 'refresh' fast enough. Trigger squeeze - you want it to be smooth motion, don't jerk the trigger. Let the shot surprise you, don't anticipate it or try to compensate for recoil, this will result in you moving the muzzle and not hitting exactly where you are aiming (this may differ when firing a sub gun on full auto, i have no experience in this).

Almost forgot sight picture - basically you want the sights to align so that the top front post is exactly level with the tops of the rear posts with an even amount of light on either side of the front post (or align the dots). Your point of aim is just on top of the front sight.


Rifle basics:

The basic fundamentals of shooting a rifle are very similar to the above, with the following changes (also keep in ming that all of my rifle shooting experience is from highpower competition, manual of arms is basically the same but doctrine on positions and such may differ for combat)

Grip: this depends on the rifle you are using, if it has a pistol grip, it's rather similar to a pistol (big surprise eh? hehe) for the shooting hand - the support hand should be just that, support. don't squeeze the fore stock, just support it. With 'real' rifle ;) your grip can be in about the same place - the way I was taught was to place my thumb at my cheek and work from there - the reason is recoil management and reference. You position your hand so that your index finger can reach the trigger and adjust until your thumb is between the stock and the rifle, then exert forward pressure with the neck so that you get a good spot weld. the butt of the rifle should be up on your collar bone almost - if it is too low, it will slip and your groups will be strung vertically (i found this out first hand last week, bad me for changing my position!).

Position: highpower shooting is largely about building a good position - one of the main keys to accurate long range shooting is building a stable platform for the gun. the prone position is best for this. a sling is also utilized to help provide support. the sling has a loop on the forward part that goes around your support arm, you then tighten it up so that when it is under the fore stock and the rifle is in your shoulder, the sling is tight. what this does is let's the sling support the rifle instead of your arm. you also want to create a good base. in the prone position you want your support elbow to be as close to directly under the rifle as possible. your shooting arm elbow should be on the ground where comfortable based on a good spot weld (aka cheek weld, stock weld). i find that closer in is better than further out, but everybody is different. it's good to have your shooting side knee brought up forward to create sort of a triangle of support. the us military apparently uses a kneeling position for when there is little time or too much obstruction to go prone - i don't know a lot about this position because it is not used in highpower. i imagine that you want to get your support elbow onto your knee with the shooting elbow against the body as in offhand. in highpower, there is a sitting position used - basically you sit crosslegged and bent over with one elbow on each knee - with .30 caliber rifles it's important to get the elbows slightly in front of the knees to help manage recoil. this doesn't matter as much with the ar-15. offhand (aka standing, awfulhand) - this is the worst possible position from which to shoot because it is the least stable. you still want to rely as much on your skeleton and as little on your muscles as possible, so be sure that your elbows are rested against your torso and your legs are spread apart a little for stability. a couple other things to mention - wobble area, and natural point of aim. wobble area is basically the area where your muzzle moves around while you aim - you have to learn to accept it because it's impossible to get rid of it. with practice it can be minimized though. natural point of aim is point where you are aiming while in a good position without using your muscles to adjust. basically you build a good, tight position, align the sights, close your eyes, relax a little, and look again - where you are now pointed is your natural point of aim. don't muscle the rifle down to correct this, instead, adjust your position accordingly so that your natural point of aim is on the target. naturally in combat situations you may not have time to establish a good NPA =b

Sight picture: as with the pistol, keep your head erect. With national match sights (the only kind i've used on a rifle), you have an aperture rear sight and a post protected by two 'ears' for the front sight. basically what you do is look through a tiny hole at the back. the top of the front sight should be centered in the hole. again, focus should be on the front sight, but it's not a bad idea to quickly focus on the rear sight to double check alignment. you should be able to see both protective ears at the edges of the circle. since these sights are adjustable, the sight picture used can be different, and different people go with different methods. what's taught in the 'intro to highpower competition with the service rifle' class i took is the 6 o' clock hold - you want the front sight just under the aiming black. what this translates to is a point of impact aproximately 1.5 to two minutes of angle (very roughly explained as about an inch for each 100 yards) above the top of the front sight. also used is the centre mass hold, which is as above with the pistol - point of impact is at the very top of the front sight post - i believe this is the one taught in the military for combat. the reason for using the 6 o' clock hold is so that you don't lose the front sight post in the aiming black - some people, however, do paint a tiny white dot or stripe on the front sight post to facilitate a centre mass hold. windage and elevation - after finding your personal zero at 200 yards, come up three minutes to go to 300 yards and another twelve minutes for 600 yards (that's six clicks and twenty-four clicks respectively on national match sights). for wind (and don't hold me to this, because i just learned it last week), you can estimate wind speed by looking at a flag (or dropping something light on the ground and pointing at it while standing) and dividing the angle by four. then to make your windage change (this is for .30 cal, but also applies [roughly] to .223 if it is of the same velocity and same ballistic coefficient), multiply the velocity by the number of hundreds of yards, then divide by 10 for match ammo and sights or 15 for battle sights with ball ammo. that's the number of clicks into the wind. if the wind is coming from an oblique instead of 9 or 3 o' clock, then divide that value in half. if the wind direction is parallel with bullet trajectory, you don't need to make a windage adjustment, but in strong winds you may need to make an elevation adjustment.


anyhow, that's the basics off the top of my head. i may clean it up later, but probably not. i'm sure plenty of others will have something to say on this subject, and of course i welecome criticism and help from those more experienced than myself.


and surely i'll be multi-insta-posted by the time i'm done ;)

edit: wow, no insta-posts, amazing ;)
added bolding to subject headers
added brief mention of rifle sight picture

edit 2:corrected windage adjustment clicks

edit 3: damn, i spent so freakin long on that post, it's too late for me to go to the range now =b

Zundfolge
7th Mar 2002, 08:23 PM
Here's a good place to look for US Army field manuals

http://155.217.58.58/rtddltextv.html


shadowkil's post covered it quite well, but the absolute best way to learn is to do.

I'm not sure where you live (but I have reason to suspect it's in Canada), but contact a local gun shop or shooting range and they will usualy be able to tell you where you can go for a nice "Introduction to Shooting" type class ... usualy an NRA safety class. or some place like this --> http://www.lethalweaponstraining.com/


here's a simple image I found to explain "sight picture"
http://www.homestead.com/sdcml/files/sight.jpg

I'll go look for more pics.

shadowkil
7th Mar 2002, 08:30 PM
Yeah, I meant to do a somewhat more brief summary, but it sorta turned into a brain dump ;) I definitely agree with Zundfoldge - if you are interested in the shooting sports (or self defense or hunting), go find a local range, club, shop, friendly neighbourhood gun nut, etc, and learn how, then practice a lot ;) With that, seeing as how it's too late for me to go to the range tonight, I'm going to work on a little dry fire now :D

Snake13
7th Mar 2002, 09:13 PM
cool this might help my air rifle shooting a bit

shadowkil
7th Mar 2002, 10:08 PM
Surely. The same principles are used in air rifle. If you need help with a sling, take a look at some of the army field manuals - i'm sure there's a standard rifle marksmanship manual that covers it, it's also in the sniper manual. you can practice the same principles without the sling, but the sling helps a hell of a lot - i believe i've heard something like a 30% improvement in accuracy? also i forgot to mention earlier that you do not use a sling in offhand, just sitting and prone.

jaunty
8th Mar 2002, 02:51 AM
Originally posted by Zundfolge
Here's a good place to look for US Army field manuals

http://155.217.58.58/rtddltextv.html


shadowkil's post covered it quite well, but the absolute best way to learn is to do.

I'm not sure where you live (but I have reason to suspect it's in Canada), but contact a local gun shop or shooting range and they will usualy be able to tell you where you can go for a nice "Introduction to Shooting" type class ... usualy an NRA safety class. or some place like this --> http://www.lethalweaponstraining.com/


That, or join the army, they'll teach you :p

owlofdoom
8th Mar 2002, 09:40 AM
rotflmao, jaunty