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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Tell me I'm crazy!


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As I mention in my "introduction" thread, I am a VERY new 3-gun shooter with a lot (a LOT!) of theories, so please forgive my ignorance when it comes to the stuff that you guys are absolute experts on.

My background is shotgunning, in particular skeet and sporting clays. I started when I was about 8 or 9 years old.

The way I shoot a shotgun is pure prioperception. Here's a wikipedia article on the topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception

When I shoot, I don't see any sights, beads, or ribs. I "feel" where the shotgun is pointed and it happens. I easily outshoot most hunters and other casual shooters. I hold my own with competitive shotgunners. The more I think about a shot, the less likely I am to break a bird. International skeet is almost easier than birds that present all slow-like and give me lots of time to overthink the shot.

Likewise, hand me an unfamiliar shotgun and it's going to take a half-a-case of shells before I can break birds like anything approaching my "old reliable".

I want, oh how I want, for my pistol shooting to be the same.

So my question is, do top pistol shooters actually shoot 'textbook' with pure sight alignment, or do they just know where it's pointed the same way I know where that shotgun is going to hit?

I've been tempted to set up a pistol with no sights besides maybe a shotgunesque 'bead' and put 5 or 10 thousand rounds through it to get the same feel I have with a shotgun. Am I crazy?

I've practiced with a rifle the same way and for targets out to 75-100 yards (both eyes open!) I'm pretty good, better than trying to legitimately "aim". That prioperception thing is pretty powerful. It seems to me like pistol should be super-suited to the same technique, assuming that I groove-in with the same pistol and a lot of rounds.

Maybe what I'm describing is how everyone does it, and I've been watching too many beginner training videos. Or maybe I'm crazy. Either way, I would love to hear from those with way more experience than myself, to learn how it's done. Better I figure it out now than create bad habits(?) that could cause me to plateau down the road. Thanks!

Edited by multigunner
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Vitaly does it here.

There was that one GM who would shoot matches with no sights to practice point shooting. But the big thing for you is that you have been shooting the same shotgun for so many years. If you were to do that same with a single pistol you might be able to do the same thing. Must shooting is simple. Line the sights up and discharge that bullet without disturbing the sights.

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Don't take offense at this but you say you can beat most casual shooters and hold your own in competitions but I'm not sure that matters much .... if you're interested in becoming a serious challenger at the state or national level (?) you are comparing your skills against the wrong group. when you look at the elite in the world of action shooting you'll quickly see that none of them shoot they way you describe... there's probably a hint in there somewhere ...

Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule and everyone in this sport loves to point at Taren Butler becuase of his unique ability to point shoot. However, the guys I pay attention to are ones like Max Michel, Ben Stoeger & Steve Anderson (2 of which I've trained with) and none of them (along with everyone else in the top 20) shoot that way. Also, shooting long guns, particularly shotguns are not like shooting pistols .... Which I assume you already know ... Good luck and report back how it goes ...

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I don't think not being consciously aware of your sights is the same as disregarding them. I think the only way competitors reach the highest levels in this sport or any other is to train their senses to bypass the conscious mind and react to stimuli instinctively. Your eyes saw everything they needed to see to break the clay, but your brain didn't need to project it all into your minds eye in order for you to execute the shot. The skill which sets great shooters apart is their ability to (and the speed at which their brain can) determine the level of sight focus required to make each shot.

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If you are serious about applying wingshooting skills to handguns, here is a simple thing to try.

Get any iron-sighted handgun... drift out the rear sight and remove it (you can always re-install it later)... then paint the front sight any color you want and shoot a match with just the front sight and see were you place.

In USPSA speed counts a lot. In IDPA, speed and accuracy are more balanced. In ICORE (if you want to shoot a revolver) accuracy takes a precedence.

The only real way to determine whether you are "crazy" or not is to take your theory and shoot some matches with it.

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Yes, you're crazy :P

Everyone uses their sights (or an optic) when shooting a handgun. It is pretty impressive how well Taran and that other dude can point shoot, but I don't think you're going to see Taran point shooting an entire stage at a major match. Fooling around at a club match is one thing, but at a major match, I don't think so.

To what degree you're using your sights, where your focus is (front sight focus vs. target focus), etc. is a whole other discussion, but everyone uses their sights. I don't think removing the rear sight would go so well when shooting at a 25 yard partial target.

The closest thing to really shooting with no sights I can think of is those XS sights. You could try those I guess, but again, no top competitive shooter use them...that's what we call a clue...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would agree that you are crazy! However in multi gun 2 shots anywhere neutralize targets therefore accuracy no being rewarded. Much easier to fo that with a scatter gun as opposed to something that just fires a single projectile. If accuracy was rewarded on a points system like USPSA would we be having this conversation? lol If you somehow find enough success shooting like Taran please share the vids!!

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