Another idiot/loose cannon on at the range... not.


.38 Special
September 20, 2008, 12:54 AM
Lots of "Man, you should have seen that fool at the range today!" stories floating around. Thought I'd lighten the mood with a 180.

I'm practicing for Bullseye at our local indoor range today. Kind of inconsistent, but shooting some mid 90s, so not feeling too bad about myself. Guy next to me runs out a blank sheet of paper to about 30 feet away. I hear a little pop and see a hand with an obviously high quality target air pistol. A little hole appears on the target.

A minute or so later I hear another pop and see that the guy has missed his target entirely. Not unusual for this neck of the woods, but it does seem a bit strange that a guy would be missing with a $2000 air pistol.

Another minute, another pop, another clean miss. Until I look closely: you guessed it, the hole is now slightly oblong. Another minute, another pop, and now he's missed the original hole... by about 2 millimeters. And another one, this time bridging the gap. Five .177 pellets, one oblong hole in the target. I've literally never seen anyone shoot that well.

Another target goes out; same results. And another, and another. By now I'm looking at his targets more than mine and am considering taking up golf.

After finishing up my practice match, I check out up front and ask if anyone knows that guy with the air gun. "Oh yeah, that's Bill Demarest ("

So at least I don't feel so bad now -- and I guess it's one heck of a lot better than all the bump-firing goofballs you poor folks all seem to have to put up with.

Oh, and the postscript: until you've seen a truly good shooter first-hand, you really have no idea what good shooting looks like. I mean, I've seen pictures of tight little groups and said to myself "Self, that's good shooting" but until you actually watch a fellow like this pile them all into the same hole on demand, you don't really, viscerally, understand. Or at least I didn't -- and now I know exactly how much work I have to do!

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September 20, 2008, 12:58 AM
wow, all i could ever hit with an airgun (granted it's been like fifteen years, and i'n only 22, was a skinny tree lol.

September 20, 2008, 01:46 AM
Know what you mean... Was watching a fellow at the nationals... He's watching the conditions, squeeze, bang, rifle rocks back, he doesn't even shift - the hand just comes up, works the bolt, shoves another round in, and he's back, without changing his head and shoulder position...

September 20, 2008, 02:02 AM
"...Five .177 pellets, one oblong hole in the target..." Even a $2000 air pistol requires good ammo. Not all air gun ammo is created equally. Mind you, that guy would likely still shoot circles around the rest of us. Concentration, sight picture and trigger control is the same.

.38 Special
September 20, 2008, 02:06 AM
One of the neat things about air guns is that the best pellets in the world are about a penny each. The $2000 investment in the gun starts to look pretty good when you consider how much it's costing to shoot that $500 1911...

I've long thought about getting started with 10 meter air pistol competition. I'm less than an hour away from the air pistol hall that was used in the '84 Olympics, and maybe 15 minutes away from the local air pistol club.

Mr. Demarest, however, still has me considering golf, or maybe tiddly-winks...

Kind of Blued
September 20, 2008, 05:20 AM
You shoulda popped off a few cylinders of .460 next to 'im. ;)

Glad to hear of a pleasant range trip.

September 20, 2008, 07:43 AM
I watched a guy do that at the indoor range I used to work at. He used a 9mm. Put a target backwards on the hanger and ran it down range

He fired a round maybe once every 5-10 seconds. One hole at maybe 10 yards. Most of the guys in there were lucky to keep it on the paper.

Aim small, miss small. I wish I would have kept his target just to remind me of what a really good shooter can achieve.

September 20, 2008, 09:34 AM
I am fortunate to live in a small town and am a member of a local Rod and Gun Club. Membership is ten bucks a year. The last four times out we had the range all to ourselves all afternoon on a Sunday. Most of the time when others are there, they are friendly, courteous, and gun safety conscious. Earlier this summer we shared the range with an long time reloader that shared several helpful tips both for reloading and shooting. That said, we still make sure to avoid it on the weekends come the month of October and go to private land where we have a small range set up. Didn't realize how lucky I was till I joined this board and heard some of the horror stories that others have to endure in order to shoot.

September 20, 2008, 10:01 AM
With the exception of one local gun author, it seems that skill is inversely proportional to how much a person says or attempts to "help".

Good shooters are really helpful, they stay quiet unless asked about a subject. Then they only provide a concise answer. :D

September 20, 2008, 11:44 AM
Those 10 meter air gun shooters are nothing to sneer at. Though I'm not sure how well it translates into real firearms and practical shooting since the trigger pull on the high end air pistols are usually half a pound or less, and often electronic. They are probably similar to the high end match 22LRs made by Hammerli and Walther, which also have similarly light (and sometimes electronic) triggers.

Still, its great for building up marksmanship and a great way to practice indoors in your own home.

September 20, 2008, 01:59 PM
Actually, air pistol translates quite well. It teaches sight alignment and trigger control. And it's no great feat to put up a range in your home for daily practice.

The only drawback is that once you start shooting GOOD guns, you will wonder what to do with the rest of your battery.

September 20, 2008, 02:09 PM
good story good post

September 20, 2008, 02:40 PM
I completely agree with Mike OTDP. While the air pistol I have is just entry level target model it will still shoot circles around most firearms. One thing you learn when shooting airguns, rifle or pistol, is that follow-through is just as important as sight alignment and trigger control; something all good bull's-eye shooters, target/field/3D archers and precision rifle-shooters know. If you can't tell where your sight was pointing when the gun went off you really aren't aiming correctly. This also applies to all speed shooting competition, you just learn to look faster.:)

September 20, 2008, 02:50 PM

September 21, 2008, 12:34 AM
I really like to read a post like this. I've not had the priviledge to see a shooter that could do that . I know they are out there...just few and far between!

I'm 58...been shooting for a long time. I've shot two...only two....three shot "clover leaf" groups. That was before my vision started the downhill slide. Now, I just like getting out there to shoot. Unlimited time and ammo supply would not get me to his level. :D Its still fun to go to the range!

Shooters that reach the upper level of this sport truly amaze me. Cool you got to see him. Maybe your timing will work again and he will be there. Just watching could be a lesson.


September 21, 2008, 02:22 AM
on the old show My Three Sons. I did not know he was still alive!

September 21, 2008, 03:57 AM
By now I'm looking at his targets more than mine and am considering taking up golf.

Stick to shooting, less expensive.

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