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Old 04-17-2012, 09:00   #1
TN.Frank
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Learn to shoot, buy a flintlock.

I was watching "Handguns" on TV this a.m. and they were talking about the 7 Steps to Shooting properly. One of them was Follow Through and I thought to myself, heck, I learned all about that when I started shooting flintlocks. One thing that you MUST do when shooting a flintlock is have follow through because it takes a bit of time from the pull of the trigger to when the main powder charge goes off. I think anyone wanting to learn about Follow Through would do well if they learn how to shoot a Flintlock.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:42   #2
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Actually, it isn't that bad an idea, I have flintlock and percussion rifles and they do require a strict attention to basics. Of course in todays word self-discipline is in short supply. This is evident by the moving in of the goalposts for pistol testing and 7 yards becoming some kind of standard. Nobody can shoot at 25 yds any more, which is a pity since if you can shoot tight groups at 25 yds 7 yds is a "Gimmie". But the discipline isn't there it's been replaced by rationalization and swifter gratification.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:03   #3
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Actually, it isn't that bad an idea, I have flintlock and percussion rifles and they do require a strict attention to basics. Of course in todays word self-discipline is in short supply. This is evident by the moving in of the goalposts for pistol testing and 7 yards becoming some kind of standard. Nobody can shoot at 25 yds any more, which is a pity since if you can shoot tight groups at 25 yds 7 yds is a "Gimmie". But the discipline isn't there it's been replaced by rationalization and swifter gratification.
While I love shooting, reading about shooting, going to classes about shooting, thinking about shooting, & talking about shooting, not everyone shares my obsession.

I think the "7 yard standard" exists more for those folks who want a gun for protection, but don't intend to make a hobby out of it. Also as a starting point for basic pistol marksmanship.

As an analogy, I need to learn a basic level of proficiency to drive a car and that is a far lower level than a rally car driver. Can I benefit from more drivers training? Yes. Is it necessary and do I want it. No*.





*For illustration purposes only. I would LOVE to take a real defensive/tactical driving class!
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:23   #4
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While I love shooting, reading about shooting, going to classes about shooting, thinking about shooting, & talking about shooting, not everyone shares my obsession.

I think the "7 yard standard" exists more for those folks who want a gun for protection, but don't intend to make a hobby out of it. Also as a starting point for basic pistol marksmanship.

As an analogy, I need to learn a basic level of proficiency to drive a car and that is a far lower level than a rally car driver. Can I benefit from more drivers training? Yes. Is it necessary and do I want it. No*.





*For illustration purposes only. I would LOVE to take a real defensive/tactical driving class!
I have known to many folks who own half a dozen handguns, may even reload, and shoot at least once a month, if not a week, who say "I never bother with 25 yards" to buy that rationalization as an excuse for everyone. Strange when you meet someone, and I have met them, with a $1,000+ Sig who brags about it's accuracy at 7 yards. for all practical "gunfighting purposes a much cheaper Sigpro model or a Ruger P-95 would do just as well.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:51   #5
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Archery is good for that too
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:03   #6
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I have known to many folks who own half a dozen handguns, may even reload, and shoot at least once a month, if not a week, who say "I never bother with 25 yards" to buy that rationalization as an excuse for everyone. Strange when you meet someone, and I have met them, with a $1,000+ Sig who brags about it's accuracy at 7 yards. for all practical "gunfighting purposes a much cheaper Sigpro model or a Ruger P-95 would do just as well.
Well I don't disagree that if you're going to be a serious shooter, you need to be thinking beyond 21 feet. Spending money on a hobby and not get your worth out of it is just silly.

I'm more talking about folks like my dad who has a LCP and a J-frame and nothing else. He prefers to spend his money on golf (for the life of me, I can't figure out why) and only shoots to maintain sufficient proficiency.
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Old 04-17-2012, 22:06   #7
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I agree with TN.Frank that a flintlock pistol with its delayed ignition is a good learning tool for follow through. Personally, I think that a quality air pistol is doing the same job and have to admit that I consider shooting my Feinwerkbau airpistols well to be the hardest thing.

I have shot several disciplines in ISSF pistol that require 25m precision skills and found when training new shooters that most can stay in the black after about half a year of training. So, being a 70%+ shooter is not all that hard.

Quote:
As an analogy, I need to learn a basic level of proficiency to drive a car and that is a far lower level than a rally car driver. Can I benefit from more drivers training? Yes. Is it necessary and do I want it. No*.
I would consider 70% at 25m a very basic level of marksmanship. To be competitive, only on a local level, 90% is the minimum and only few shooters achieve that. A pro shooter will be well above 95% consistently.
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Old 04-17-2012, 22:23   #8
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This is gonna make me sound like a dumbass, but I have no idea what follow through is with handguns. Archery, I get it. Golf, I get it. Handguns? What is it? If I follow through the way I would in other sports, it would mean letting the gun ride as high as kinetic energy prompted it to, but that would be sacrificing follow up...

I know I sound ignorant, but I just want someone to explain it to me.

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Old 04-17-2012, 22:38   #9
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This is gonna make me sound like a dumbass, but I have no idea what follow through is with handguns. Archery, I get it. Golf, I get it. Handguns? What is it? If I follow through the way I would in other sports, it would mean letting the gun ride as high as kinetic energy prompted it to, but that would be sacrificing follow up...

I know I sound ignorant, but I just want someone to explain it to me.
Do you understand it with rifles?
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Old 04-17-2012, 22:43   #10
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There is a T-shirt that states:

"AK-47: Because the next war for independence won't be fought with muskets"

I understand what you're saying, but I think it's outdated.

I will be teaching my 2-yo and 4-yo to shoot my AKs.....AND SHOOT THEM WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 04-17-2012, 23:24   #11
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Do you understand it with rifles?
What follow through means to me, is letting kinetic energy run itself out without interrupting it. I can follow through with bows and bolt action rifles, because only one shot is needed (for what I use them for- targets) but when shooting a handgun, multiple shots are assumed necessary for effectiveness, so I interrupt the kinetic energy by forcing the sights back on target to follow up.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm not a good shooter. I would like an explanation of what follow through is so I can improve.
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Old 04-18-2012, 00:58   #12
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Simply put, if you want to be a better shooter, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. I think that if you want to learn how to shoot, learn with a .22.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:31   #13
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Seems like no one can explain it... Is this just another one of those terms people throw around to sound like they know what they are talking about? And btw, I'm not a terrible shooter... I do practice a lot... But there is certainly room for improvement. Also, it seems like a flintlock would help with controlling a flinch, but that happens before the shot is fired... So it's not really a follow through issue IMO.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:33   #14
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What follow through means to me, is letting kinetic energy run itself out without interrupting it. I can follow through with bows and bolt action rifles, because only one shot is needed (for what I use them for- targets) but when shooting a handgun, multiple shots are assumed necessary for effectiveness, so I interrupt the kinetic energy by forcing the sights back on target to follow up.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm not a good shooter. I would like an explanation of what follow through is so I can improve.

I understand where you are coming from just do not misunderstand my style of talking/writing as being too critical I just tend to be rather abrupt in my choice of words. It is nothing personal but a lot of tone and inflections are lost in this form of communication and my intentions are sometimes mistaken.

First of all you make to assumptions that are incorrect; assuming that one shot is all that may be needed with a bolt action rifle is an error, and the second is assuming that multiple shots will be needed with a handgun is also an error. Don't we really know what we do when we "Assume"?

"Follow through" is a split second's time where there are no assumptions. It is a complete focus on the front sight and, has flakey and esoteric as it sounds being momentarly empty of thought except for the image of the front sight at the moment the gun fired. It has nothing to do with the recoil, you should be to the point that your "recoil control mechanism" operates on it's own, not as a concious effort on your part, and to me that is a key point.

"Assuming" leads to "anticipating" and that leads to flinches AND more importantly (Pardon the pun) "Jumping the gun". If just ONE muscle in your body starts to react too soon you can pull the shot. Actually, concentrating on "recreating" the perfect sight picture again and not thinking at all about the recoil allows the body to "do it's thing" (if you have trained the mucle memory) and makes shooting sessions less tiring since it lessens the muscle tension. I am talking about milliseconds here, but they are important milliseconds. Visualizing that perfect sight picture and letting the body create it, since your body wants to do what your minds eye sees is a key to a lot of our physical endeavors.

I am sorry if this seems wordy of confusing but it is difficult to explain so bear with me. "Follow through" is a MENTAL process not a physical one in most ways (I am kind of fishing for the right way to put it) As I said, your body WANTS to create exactly what your mind's eye envisions and it is pretty efficient at it. You do not want to "overthink it". Take the fraction of a second it takes to visualize tha bullet striking exactly where you told it to when the trigger broke. Let your body do what it's done, hundreds of times, without your mind slowing it down by trying to give it orders about how to do that, just give it the picture of what you want things to look like when it comes out of recoil as it if were the first shot. In the case of a string of shots it should feel like, say, holding a laser dot on the target throughout the string and the recoil is just the dot wandering off for a millisecond.

To get "Zen" about it "Be the shot" empty your mind.

Sorry if that isn't more helpful, I am used to explaining it face-to-face. The best advice I can give I guess is to dryfire a lot and hold your position for a few seconds after each shot (don't be in a hurry) so that you program your body, AND your mind, to be focused on that sight picture. In live fire the recoil will happen but your body will know what is expected of it. To your body one shot will be as ten shots and ten shots will be as one shot.

I hope all of that isn't as hard to read as it was to write and I hope you understand it and find it helpful

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Old 04-18-2012, 06:54   #15
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Simply put, if you want to be a better shooter, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. I think that if you want to learn how to shoot, learn with a .22.
I disagree. From both the standpoint of a student and longtime teacher, I found that without proper technique the mistakes are just solidified. Few people are actually able to analyse their own mistakes. You can see that when you watch people shooting in action sports, or posting on forums, that have a completely wrong posture. Their balance simply sucks.

Without a solid foundation, it is impossible to build up a solid structure.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:30   #16
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For me "Follow Through" means holding on target for those split seconds AFTER the trigger is pressed. Many people pull the trigger then instantly move the gun either in a flinch anticipating recoil or simply to lower the gun off target to get ready for the next shot. If you have Follow Through you remain steady on target until well after the shot has left the barrel, that way none of your actions can effect the shot.
With a Flintlock or a Bow or even to a lesser extent an air gun the action of pulling the trigger(or releasing the bow string) and having the projectile leave the weapon are not instantaneous. You have to maintain our sight picture on target and "Follow Through" with the shot. I guess in other words it would be not getting in a hurry after you pull the trigger. Give it time for things to take their course.
Something I learned from shooting Flintlocks was to be patient and "wait for it" between trigger pull and the actual gun going off. Archery has also taught me that just because I release the bow string it doesn't mean I can move yet, I have to wait for the arrow to clear the bow before I can move or I'll muff the shot.
Follow Through is very important in accurate shooting.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:58   #17
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Black Powder is tough in general. I went to watch a match with one of the members here (GioaJack). What I didn't know is that he'd signed me up the day before and stuck his gear in his truck ahead of time.

I'd never shot black powder in my life.

When they called my name, I thought "That's funny. I've never met someone with my same name."

Anyway, this rifle was percussion cap, but I learned quickly that you had to follow through. It was also strange to dope the wind at 100 yards.

Well, after being called Pilgrim and Flatlander Wussie, I wound up taking 7th out of 35 guys.

I think everyone should at least give it a try once or twice.



And yes... I think more folks should at least occasionally shoot pistol at 25 yards.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:41   #18
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For me "Follow Through" means holding on target for those split seconds AFTER the trigger is pressed. Many people pull the trigger then instantly move the gun either in a flinch anticipating recoil or simply to lower the gun off target to get ready for the next shot. If you have Follow Through you remain steady on target until well after the shot has left the barrel, that way none of your actions can effect the shot.
With a Flintlock or a Bow or even to a lesser extent an air gun the action of pulling the trigger(or releasing the bow string) and having the projectile leave the weapon are not instantaneous. You have to maintain our sight picture on target and "Follow Through" with the shot. I guess in other words it would be not getting in a hurry after you pull the trigger. Give it time for things to take their course.
Something I learned from shooting Flintlocks was to be patient and "wait for it" between trigger pull and the actual gun going off. Archery has also taught me that just because I release the bow string it doesn't mean I can move yet, I have to wait for the arrow to clear the bow before I can move or I'll muff the shot.
Follow Through is very important in accurate shooting.
I agree with this.

So, take a shot and try to keep aiming on target. Might help if you think the reason to do so is to aim for the next shot. But really, you are trying to stay on target for that moment after your brain has fired, but the arrow or bullet has yet to leave the instrument of deer harvesting
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:49   #19
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My Flintlocks were just as fast as most folks percussion guns because I learned a few "tricks" from hanging out on Black Powder Forums. First "trick", don't fill the pan, only put it about half way full. Second "trick" make sure to prick your vent. I had a vent prick I made out of a large paper clip. After I loaded I'd stick it into the vent to clean out any powder and make a small air hole into the main charge. That allows the pan charge to pass into the main charge without the need to burn through the powder in the vent which makes it a lot faster ignition wise.
I also always swab the bore with a spit patch between shots. I'd set my ramrod up with a jagger on one end and a worm on the other. That makes it easy to run a spit patch down bore between shots. One warning though, if you use a spit patch more then once you'll ingest some of the burned powder residue and get some of the most awful smelling gas you've ever had,LOL.
Black Powder guns are easy if you learn a few tricks and practice your follow through when shootimg them.
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