Notes from Rifle Fundamentals: Breath and Hold Control

It is said that 600 yards separates the men from the boys. Maybe, but for me, offhand shooting is hardest. The illustration at the head of the article linked below shows two tools to make offhand a bit steadier.

1. Hip support for the support elbow. Yes, both male and female usually need to push the forward hip out to get better support. Looks silly – but it works.

2. Note how far back toward the trigger guard is the shooter’s support hand. (In fact, I use the trigger guard for my forward support.) What does this accomplish? The longer the moment arm, the slower the oscillation. This characteristic of oscillations is most commonly observed in grandfather clocks. And, like a clock, put a bigger weight at the end of the moment arm and oscillations will again slow.

One more ancillary comment – the article is about breathing. But while breathing and getting oxygen for your muscles and brain, you can use that time to improve your ability to see.

1. Blinking your eyes will spread basal tears that will keep your cornea clean, clear, nourished and lubricated.

2. Simply closing your eyes, or looking at something green, will help the retina recover from your eyes previous staring at the sights & target. The relatively long term and intense fixed staring at black-and-white sights and target will ‘burn’ these images into the retina, making the ability to discriminate these a bit harder. The remedy – look somewhere restful, or simply close your shooting eye.

By the way – the comments above about moment arm and eye sensitivity recovery apply to all phases of shooting, not just offhand.