What Bold Statement has helped you to improve your handgun skills?


Island Beretta
October 10, 2003, 03:13 PM
Please if possible give statement and explanation and author. Please share, maybe it can enrich us as well..

I have 2.

1. See only what you need to see- this is from Brian Enos.

This was good because it put all the debate about point-shooting, partial sight alignment, full sight alignment etc. to rest in my mind. The key here is KNOWING WHAT YOU NEED TO SEE GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT YOUR CAPABILITIES AND THAT OF YOUR WEAPON ARE. For e.g. at 2 yds you only NEED to see the target-point shooting; at 10 yds. maybe a flash picture- part point, part sights etc.

2. Aim Small, Miss small- not sure of the author.

This factors in Murphy's law. This means that you aim at a smaller area to guarantee a better shot. So the concept of COM shooting is good but if you say for e.g. let me shoot through that hole in the centre of the centre of mass and you miss, then you have still hit the COM.

I have rephrased it to say 'Aim A+, Hit A'. This really helps your focus and to determine when to accept the hold.


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Dave R
October 10, 2003, 04:45 PM
Sounds stupid, but "FRONT SIGHT! PRESS!"

i.e. for a defensive shooting, perfect sight alignment is not necessary. Just get the front sight on the target. Then don't yank it away when you pull the trigger.

Not a statement, but an experience that made a big impact on me. My Bro in Law is FBI. First time we went pistol shooting together, I made smaller groups than he did! With his gun! Yay me!

That's cuz most of my shooting had been slow-fire, controlled groups. That's what I did.

Then he showed me how he can draw from concealment and put 4-5 rounds in a palm-sized group at 15 yards in 3 seconds. Sounded like he was shooting almost full-auto. That's what HE practices.

He explained. If you need to use your gun, you need it fast. And multiple hits WILL stop the target from doing whatever the target was doing.

So I was doing the wrong thing real well.

October 10, 2003, 05:35 PM
"Stop screwing around, this is ----ing serious!" my Dad when I was about age 8.

When someone who seldom gets mad, gets mad, you notice. That was the first day I realized shooting was MORE than just recreation.


Dean Speir
October 10, 2003, 05:53 PM

Sounds stupid, but "FRONT SIGHT! PRESS!" 'Tain't stoopid a'tall!

My shooting partner taped that to our ammo can just before a big match 'bout 20 years ago, and we went virtually unbeaten for the next three seasons!

(No one'd clued me in on that 'til then!) :(


October 10, 2003, 06:24 PM
I think I heard this one, or one similar from Brian Enos, as well.
If you can see the target, pick a spot on it, and hit it.
If you can see the bullseye, pick a spot on IT and hit it.
(Basically, don't just aim at the target.)

I don't know if it forces you to focus harder, or to try to visualize the target, or both, but it seems to help me.

October 10, 2003, 07:00 PM
"Sights on target !"....Mr. Adair, premium custom barrel maker of yore.


October 10, 2003, 07:34 PM
In the podunk pistol matches that I shoot, I suppose it's "you can't miss fast enough to win."

Slow down...

Neal Bloom
October 10, 2003, 09:53 PM
"Give me your money!" Sure motivated me to improve my skills.

October 10, 2003, 10:17 PM
When I 1st started, my shooting buddies would just tell me "damn, you suck!" That was enough to motivate me to practice more

October 10, 2003, 11:29 PM
"I love you, Daddy"

-My five-year-old daughter.

October 10, 2003, 11:53 PM
1) "focus on threat"
2) "shoot the darn thing"
3) "front sight press"

Understand I was taught to shot all platforms without any sights,or beads on SGs. Be it the gunney ,whom at 6 taught me the 1911, an uncle ,a special old man ,or my gunsmith/buddy, and various others. The gist was even without sights, to focus on threat/target, let the human eye/hand 'puter do what it can better without me getting in the way, then transiton to sights and beads really showed.

October 11, 2003, 12:44 AM
Don't know who to credit, but mine is:

Speed comes with Accuracy.

October 11, 2003, 02:03 AM
"...take your time in a hurry..." which I think comes from Wild Bill Hickock.

October 11, 2003, 02:32 AM
"If your going to shoot- shoot. Don't talk"

'Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez- also known as the Rat' from "The Good The Bad and The Ugly"

From my personal experience, I've always interpeted this to mean- hey man, this is it, don't screw around, just do what you have to do. It's always worked for me.

October 11, 2003, 06:44 AM
"You'll live. You'll never be pretty, but you'll live." The doctor set my chart down.

"Buy a gun and learn how to use it."

Kentucky Rifle
October 11, 2003, 07:11 AM
My father: "If I ever see or even hear of you doing something stupid, your ****ing pistol is GONE"! Then, he handed me a new Colt.


October 11, 2003, 02:09 PM
Don't fire the gun with your hand. You only fire your gun with the trigger finger.

That's the only part that moves. If you're surprised, that shot will be right where the sights were. And aiming is the easy part. Fire control is the part you need to perfect.

This is from one of my American Shooter recordings. Rob Leatham was giving a different lesson each week. I thought it was very good information.

Every week I notice shooters that empty a handgun and think there's another round in the chamber. When they pull the trigger they thrust the gun forward/downward to try counter the recoil they think is comming. This is a flinching reaction that, once started, only gets worse. I had to ovecome it myself. It took a lot of dryfiring and practice. I would load up the cylinders or magazines with non-firing rounds and pretend the next shot was a dud. I also purchased a quality air-pistol to practice at home.

This flinching reaction is the reason many new shooters think their gun is shooting low and left, when it's not. It's usually the right-handed shooter that's shooting low and left.

October 11, 2003, 02:43 PM
From Quigley Down Under after he shoots Alan Rickman's charactor :what:

"I said I never had much use for a pistol,I never said I didn't know how to use one." :evil:

October 11, 2003, 03:23 PM
"Pay attention to what your finger/hand/arm/body does RIGHT AFTER you pull the trigger." -- My father-in-law

Follow-through improved my accuracy 500%!

October 11, 2003, 03:25 PM
Oh yeah and maybe even more important from my mother-in-law (I have great in-laws!): "Uh, Honey, you REALLY do need glasses." :D

Standing Wolf
October 11, 2003, 09:06 PM
An old bullseye shooter once suggested, "You might give that six o'clock hold another try, son."

Pappy John
October 11, 2003, 09:56 PM
Buy a .22 and LOTS and LOTS of ammo.

October 11, 2003, 10:01 PM
1. Ditto's on the "Front sight-Press".

2. No the shot didn't miss. The bullet went exactly where it was pointed.

October 11, 2003, 10:11 PM
"If the recoil bothers you, just keep shooting it until it doesn't bother you"

October 11, 2003, 10:49 PM

October 11, 2003, 11:24 PM

(Buy Ammo/Use Up/Repeat)

October 12, 2003, 11:35 AM
I've found Clint Smith's quotes (http://www.thunderranchinc.com/articles/quotes.htm) to be an endless source of inspiration - and humor! :D

October 12, 2003, 05:24 PM
"If you REALLY want to speed up, first you must slow down...smoothness = speed!"

Author unknown..but it makes sense in damn near everything...doesnt it?

Shoot well

October 12, 2003, 10:57 PM
"The bullet goes where the front sight is when the hammer falls"

Ronin C.

October 12, 2003, 11:09 PM
Front Sight Press

Remember your followthrough

and the one thing that gets me over recoil anticipation; Just let it happen

Nero Steptoe
October 13, 2003, 12:27 AM
What Bold Statement has helped you to improve your handgun skills?

How about, "Gimme yo money, you honkie Mortarforker!"???????

Island Beretta
October 13, 2003, 09:04 AM
As have been mentioned here the 'Call to follow through' is a bold statement for me. There are many a times when your sight picture is perfect and with a smooth trigger pull, with no sight disturbance, the gun fires and you miss!! Mystified, confused, upset etc. you wonder what has gone wrong :confused: and then you hear that little voice asking 'did you see all that you needed to see? do you remember what your sight picture was when the weapon started to lift in recoil? did you follow through? then the little voice says 'Snap out of it..fix it for the next target and move on!! JUST DO IT!! :barf:

October 13, 2003, 09:27 AM
Never mind the heart. Anywhere in center mass will do.

October 13, 2003, 10:50 AM
Call your shots. From Sergent Major Long, USMC Ret. NRA small bore range. Age 15. If you know where you miss you can fix the causes.

Sean Smith
October 13, 2003, 12:01 PM
Only accurate guns are interesting.

Speed is fine, accuracy is final.

October 13, 2003, 04:02 PM
Although my answer isn't coming in the form of a statement, once I over came flinching, focusing on follow through has helped me to shoot better than anything else.

October 13, 2003, 10:02 PM
El Coronel Cooper: Owning a 45 doesn't make you a pistolero.

Very motivating

October 14, 2003, 05:32 AM
"I just squeeze the gun till a bullet pops out".

Forget the name of the handgun competitor who said this, but when I applied it in the field, I discovered that I never forgot to grip the revolver tight enough. Every time the grip was firm enough, and I was less likely to know when the gun would be going off. Don't squeeze the trigger, squeeze the entire hand. Works good for me....even with rifles.....especially if shooting in a hurry. :D

October 14, 2003, 01:20 PM
"Your jerking the trigger!"

Black Snowman
October 14, 2003, 02:07 PM
"I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Any advice?"

Asking for help has been the single biggest asset I've ever used :)

October 14, 2003, 02:28 PM
"Squeeze the trigger, Harley. Don't yank it. It's not your d*ck."

Don Johnson in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.


Edited to add:

Probably the most important piece of advise/training technique I've learned is to sprint 50 yards one direction, turn, sprint back, pick up the gun and shoot COM. It really simulates high stress situations like competition or worse. Plus, it showed me how out of shape I was and motivated me to fix that.

Abominable No-Man
October 14, 2003, 09:46 PM
"I do not aim with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye.

"I do not shoot with my hand. He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind.

"I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart. "

-The Waste Lands, by Stephen King

Normally I don't think too much of Stephen King as a gun writer. (He has included in his books a.....ahhhh........ .44 Magnum Ruger Autoloader:rolleyes:. Hey, be honest gang, some of his plots are downright silly...... ), but I really like the Dark Tower series of books, and I thought that this quote (however he came up with it....) was really thought provoking.


October 14, 2003, 10:23 PM
A lot of good information here. (Can someone describe what follow through is supposed to be with a pistol?)

Advice from an MDI years ago: "If it's worth shooting, it's worth shooting twice."

Mike Irwin
October 14, 2003, 11:17 PM
Said to me by a friend's Father as I was learning to shoot a handgun (Dad wasn't a handgunner)....

"If you don't stop slapping that trigger I'm going to start slapping you."

October 15, 2003, 01:25 PM
Follow through is to keep doing everything you were doing before the shot goes off, after the shot goes off. By intentially trying to do everything you were doing (trigger pull, where you are looking, grip etc...), you eliminate flinching even further and develop your muscle memory on what you should be doing before the gun goes off instead of what happens after the gun goes off (i.e. fighting recoil).

October 15, 2003, 01:32 PM
Ah, pingwax, IMO that's a very good explanation.

October 15, 2003, 01:52 PM
"Safeties are mechanical devices, they fail, the only real safety is between your ears." - Unknown

i had someothers, I'll remember them later.


October 15, 2003, 03:20 PM
"Slow down and squeeeze." --Dad

"Your front sight is your third eye" (very well dsaid by that guy on Conquest)

"A deliberate shot will always kill you, a hasty one will likely miss. Be deliberate, but be quick about it." (paraphrasing Wild Bill)

"You can't shoot fast enough to miss." --IDPA instructors.

"Did you bring another gun?" --IDPA/CCw instructor.. that was the day I switched from my 45 cal frankencolt to an FEG clone. I shoot it a LOT better.

October 15, 2003, 03:41 PM
-relax, breathe slowly, and allow your finger to squeeze the trigger at its own pace

-great! now do it two thousand more times, and that's a good day

-the only real safety is between your ears

(all are credited to my uncle, but i'm sure the've been said before :) )

October 15, 2003, 05:48 PM
Advice from Grandpa Ward when, with 20 gauge singleshot, I was trying to learn (rather unsuccessfully) how to hit flushed quail or running jackrabbits:

" If you shoot where he IS, you hit where he WAS. "


October 15, 2003, 10:42 PM
Honey, wake up. I think someone is in the house.

October 16, 2003, 01:35 PM

October 16, 2003, 11:23 PM
Two have stuck in my mind.
1. Aim small, miss small. Glad to see others like it as well.
2. The center of every target is the same size.
I think these are almost the same. I don't shoot like I truly understand the concept.

October 17, 2003, 12:48 AM
"I love you, Daddy"

BamBam, that's an awesome motivator isn't it?

October 17, 2003, 10:15 AM
Look through the shot. (Enos).

Oh, and another...

If you can't call your shot(s), then you don't really know where the gun was pointed when you pulled the trigger...(Enos)

C. H. Luke
October 17, 2003, 12:38 PM
"The Three Secrets:

Sight picture, Sight alingment & Trigger control."

Chris Rhines
October 18, 2003, 09:54 AM
An interesting article on bold statements...

- Chris

Island Beretta
October 18, 2003, 11:11 AM
Chris, thanks for the article, I will be sure to give it a thorough read!!:cool:

Hot brass
October 19, 2003, 12:42 AM
Honey and hi dad.

October 21, 2003, 12:18 AM
1. "Get behind the gun", Ken Hackathorn. I took a class from Ken last year. This simple piece of advice gave me a whole new perspective on gripping and supporting my gun while firing. Thinking of myself as a solid object behind the gun really helps.

2. "Keep your eye on the front sight". I've gotten this advice from several instructors. I finally followed it.

3. "Work on accuracy - speed comes naturally" - Hey! That almost rhymes. Again, I've heard this from a number of instructors. I've learned to take my time when practicing.

4. "Be the Gun" - Chevy Chase. No. Wait. That's "Be the Ball" from Caddy Shack. Still applies.

October 21, 2003, 01:05 AM
"Neither bowler nor a slapper be,
Lost motion is thine enemy"

by El Coronel


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