Feb 15, 2010

The Bench Rest: Monolith of Mediocre

Finally, someone who gets it!

I've decided for about the last 6 months that except for initial sight in, I'm not shooting off of a bench anymore. I want to test how I can shoot, not how the rifle shoots.

Wish we could have you "mind meld" with every gun owner in the country!

Let's start with the gun rag writers who've infected an entire generation of gun owners into doing STUPID things, like using bench rest techniques with field rifles. Hunters should emulate competitive High Power shooters, not competitive Bench Rest folks.

Zeroing off a bench gets you a zero from the bench, so this ignores the possible point of impact errors. The book definition of a "true zero" also includes the position fired from. Non-shooters, like your typical hunter bang-bang-boy types, would likely be shocked to learn that smallbore and high power shooters sometimes adjust their sights when changing position even when shooting the same target, distance, rifle ammo combination.

For me, going from sling-prone to sling cross-legged sitting with a field rifle (Savage Scout with a Ching Sling) moves my PoI to the right about 1 MoA at 200 yards. Shooting an open legged sitting, while less steady, doesn't give me a PoI shift. Of course, the majority of hunters in this country probably don't shoot well enough to notice a 1-2 MoA PoI change at typical hunting distances, or even what that means...


Feb 10, 2010

Shooting Masters and Instructors

Jeff Cooper on Shooting Masters and Instructors

The shooting master must be an extraordinarily good shot, by whatever measure you choose to employ, but that is by no means enough. The master must understand more than just how to be a good shot. He must know why. The master is more than a practitioner. He is fundamentally a dispenser of doctrine, and he must understand fully the basis of his doctrine. The theory of shooting doctrine is not readily available and must be studied with more care than is usually given to it.

Certain elements of shooting skill are inherent, such as eye-to-finger coordination, but even a clumsy man may improve his skill if he knows how to go about it, and the shooting master must be able to explain this clearly.

At one time all masters were self-taught, there being nothing but field experience on which to understand the art. This is no longer true, but still the physiological basis for the study of marksmanship is known to comparatively few people.

Too many instructors feel that simple repetition will teach what is necessary and gauge the worth of any training system by the number of rounds fired. It would seem obvious that error repeated does not make for proficiency. Yet it is amazing how many people who profess to teach marksmanship watch the target rather than the shooter.