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One handed

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by AbitNutz, Dec 31, 2010.

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  1. AbitNutz

    AbitNutz Member

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    I was watching "Wild West Tech". You know, the show with David Caradine as the host. Yeah, How would you like to be remembered the way he died?? But I digress..

    They were talking about the usual, old West shootouts. They said absolutely no one shot with two hands. The tradition of dueling was still carried over. At least through the cap & ball era. Maybe it changed when the 1873 Peace Maker was introduced?

    Does anyone know how much truth there is to this? I have been actively attempting to NOT shoot my ROA with two hands. It is a habit that is extremely difficult to break. I'm a results oriented shooter and going from 2" groups at 25 yards, shooting two handed from the bench, to...uh...larger groups, is very disheartening and I'm not even shooting drunk, like almost all the documented gunfights.
     
  2. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Member

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    Accuracy can be obtained shooting "bullseye" style, that is to say one handed.

    This 12 shot group was shot at 25 yards one handed, the shots that are out of the group were "called" out.
    [​IMG]


    I might add that the conditions were not the best for shooting that day.

    [​IMG]
    This three shot group was also fired at 25 yards one handed. This was fired while starting to get a zero.
    [​IMG]

    Practice, practice, practice. Oh and have fun!
     
  3. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Member

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    That is a nice vehicle you have there, for the job at hand:D
     
  4. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    Learning to shoot with one hand will teach you a tremendous amount about shooting in general.

    Attached is a target I shot one-handed this summer. Original Remington 1858 revolver, 25m.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    Since we are posting targets, here's the wife's 10 shots with her 32 cal
    at 25 yds. Only thing, this was in competion.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Shoot The Moon

    Shoot The Moon Member

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    Interesting subject - I have found that I can shoot my 58 Remington copy much better single handed... but with my Colt 51, groups are better two handed. I'd have said it was the grip shape, but they're really not that different. Confused. (but happy!)
     
  7. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    There's a great deal of truth to it, and it's still very true today. All of the pistol matches at the NMLRA sponsored events are shot single handed. The only two handed pistol shooting I do is with my carry gun; all the shooting I do with either a cap and ball revolver or a single shot muzzleloading pistol is done single handed.
     
  8. junkman_01

    junkman_01 member

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    It isn't BP, but here's a guy that shoots NO handed.....

    Click Here



    What I would like to know is ....how did he get his ear plugs in?
     
  9. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    Oh, I wanted to say RDstrain49 that is good revolver shooting. A revolver
    is the hardest pistol to shoot accuractly.
     
  10. AbitNutz

    AbitNutz Member

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    Ok...so I have developed a theory (excuse) for my lack of talent for one handed shooting.

    Follow me here. Ever see guys who bench press huge weights? They've got short arms so they only have to lift the weight about 6 inches off their chest. I on the other hand am 6'6" and have arms that are longer than most of these guys are tall. I have to push the weight much further....seems like miles. This is my trainer explaining why I can get past 250. Hey whatever, he gets paid the same per hour no matter how bad I am.

    So following this logic. My gun is much further from my eye than someone who has shorter arms. It also has a greater lever arm effect, making it in effect, much heavier.

    Therefore, the sights are smaller and my arms wave about more. So I am naturally going to suck at this...That's my story and I'm sticking to it. However, I'll keep trying get past 250 (providing my tendinitis lets up) and shrinking my one handed group size to less than....what it is now. I would tell you but it's more pitiful than my bench...and those target pictures are not helping.

    Please don't bring up Lou Ferrigno or the fact that my longer arms put the muzzle of the gun a foot closer to the target.
     
  11. Old No7

    Old No7 Member

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    One Handed Shooting...

    Interesting that you mentioned the use of "weights" on this post...

    A few years back, when I finished 2nd in Maine for rimfire pistols at 50 feet (indoors) fired with one hand * (started a few years earlier in the middle of the pack), I credited lots of practice, very good equipment, no caffeine on the day I shot, and also -- working out regularly with weights. That included holding a 5 pound weight with a fake sight on it, as I figured if I could hold that much weight steady for practice, the lighter pistol would be easier to hold steady. It really helped me, I think.

    * Bullseye style

    If you're interested in more tips and info about improving your shooting scores in general, and also your 1-hand performance, check out this excellent website about Bullseye Pistol Shooting.

    Tight groups all!

    Old No7
     
  12. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Member

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    Thanks kwhi43, may have something to do with too many years of practice. My first trip to Camp Perry was 1965. Been at this a very long time.
     
  13. shunka

    shunka Member

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    For many many years, pistols were considered "one handed" guns. One pistol in each hand simultaneously sort of defines that. Police, target shooters, even the FBI taught one handed shooting right up until perhaps WW2.

    Somewhere between "the beginning" and "now" two-handed pistol shooting became so
    ubiquitous as to be considered "the norm".

    It is relatively recently (at least in historic terms) that the "two-handed grip" became so common. Some folks consider the "new epiphany" to have occurred with different two-handed stances that came out of the 1950's shooting games (such as the Isoscolese and Weaver) .

    Historically There have been proponents of un-aimed "instinct shooting" ( usually one-handed) as long as there have been guns.

    Fairbairn taught one handed "hip shooting" with the service revolver, the 1911, and the Thompson SMG as early as the "teens" and early '20's as part of his training for the police in HongKong and Shanghai when dealing with "house clearing Exercises in conflicts with the Triads and drug gangs (yes there really was a "Chinese Hatchet Gang"). He later began promoting the 2-handed hold as well.

    The earliest other written mention that I can find of Two-Handed holds is in Ed McGivern's book "Ed McGivern's Book of Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting" first published around 1938, so we know that the "two handed grip" was at least common by then.

    But even so, the "official instruction" in the military and police (up until say, the 60's) was the "one hand grip, off hand on hip" stance. Of course such nonsense flies in the face of sensibility; after all, what Constable or Officer will bother to take the time or trouble to take such an insane stance under fire....

    regarding practice for one-handed holds?
    Oh my yes.

    LOTS of dumbell practice. All the time. Kept one by my chair, used it on the phone, reading, watching TV, etc

    Dryfire practice. LOTS. You wouldn't have thought you could wear out snap caps.

    and another strange exercise for the wrists: fill a coffee can (remember the metal ones?) with sand (later lead shot as your wrists grow stronger), and suspend it from a rope to a length of 1 inch dowel. Hold the dowel at arms length in front of you with both hands.

    Twist the dowel to raise the weight. Then the other way to lower. Then raise. then lower.

    Repeat until you can't do it any more.

    And did I mention one-hand dry fire practice?

    yhs
    shunka
     
  14. jwr_747

    jwr_747 Member

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    if you read back to the "Golden years" of pistol shooters,Bill Jordan,Elmer Keith,Jeff Cooper,there wasn't much shooting that involved two hands.most shooting was still with revolvers,though Mr.Cooper was the more vocal for pistol. I think most "non professional" shooters had a problem with your free hand up around a lead spitting,gas blowing cylinder...jwr
     
  15. SAA

    SAA Member

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    No. That's a poor excuse. With longer arms your gun is closer to the target!;)
     
  16. Shoot The Moon

    Shoot The Moon Member

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    I have been thinking about this... (not too hard though, it's still the holidays here..) single handed shooting puts the rearsight further from the eye, this makes the rearsight notch look smaller. Does that reduce the potential for aiming errors? Think I'll have to draw a diagram. :scrutiny:
     
  17. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    I like the "Long Arm" excuse, erghh, I mean theory. I do believe it will fit right in with my #!$#@ bi-focals theory too.
     
  18. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    If you ask some Bullseye shooters why they shoot with one hand instead of two and they have a sense of humor they'll tell you: "Because it doesn't have 2 handles."
     
  19. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    AbitNutz,

    Hope you don't have that excuse... uhh logical reasoning...copywrited. It works so well for me and others with a 38" sleeve length, old eyes, and/or lack of skills. You saved me a lot of time coming up with my own excuses. :rolleyes: Appreciate your efforts.

    Now I just need to figure out why I shoot capball revolvers better one handed.

    Jeff
     
  20. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Umm I seem to recall there was something about hickock once taking a kneel and shooting two handed in a gun fight.

    I suspect that pistol shooting was taught one handed because pistols were originally a weapon for mounted men. One CAN NOT use both hands while on a mounted horse, (OK some folks do in the new shooting games and they have very well trained horses and the horses have very well trained riders).

    I also suspect that the dime novels and later western movies and TV have much more to do with the perception that "cowboys" only used one hand holds than studies of history. Again however cowboys as such relied on their horses and so might have spent more time shooting one handed and so been more comfortable that way. Remember that cowboys could not have shot as much as many hobbiest today, there was no way to cart all that ammo for practice on a horse and still have room for a rider adn bedroll! There are a number of discriptions of gun fights, even at close range, where guns were shot dry with out a scratch on either side......maybe if one of them had adopted a two handed hold.......

    -kBob
     
  21. romel

    romel Member

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    I suppose that also would take into account that firing with both hands in a duel offered better white to the adversary that pulling with one hand and showing our body on its side...
     
  22. junkman_01

    junkman_01 member

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    Most gunfights in the 'old west' were done with rifles or shotguns with the victim ambushed in an alley and shot in the back!
     
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    You look at old pictures, everyone is shooting one handed till the Leatherslap matches that Jeff Cooper held in the 50's. Then Jack Weaver started winning. It took almost thirty years, because of the conservatism of the shooting community, but two handed is now recognized as the most stable.

    I believe one handed shooting was due to the horse. You could not shoot two handed and hold the reins and control your horse. Might also have been due to the small sword. You used one hand with the small sword, might as well use one hand with the pistol.

    Or you could hold a sword in one hand, single shot pistol in the other. I really doubt that happened much as pistols were one shot last defense weapons. You threw the thing once it was empty.

    The Army Bullseye style of shooting dated back at least to WW1. I have a Army manual from 1918, Bullseye shooting was the Army combat course of the period. Probably before well before WW1 as the target sizes, distances are well established.

    Period pistols have thin front sight blades and tiny rear notches. This tells me Bullseye and pistols were being developed in tandem. If you have the eyes, a thin blade works just wonderful in a 6 OC hold on a nice black round bull. If you think a black round bull simulates combat conditions, then it makes sense that "Combat" pistols of the era came with these tiny sights.

    You will see this time and again where "combat" arms and "combat" shooting are actually developed around popular shooting "games". The participants/proponents of popular games think what are doing is relevant to combat. That influences the arms of that period. The arms then become optimized around winning the game.

    Anyone who was around the IPSC days remembers Race Guns. Huge, expensive, pistols needed to win IPSC. Totally irrelevant for anything but winning an IPSC match.
     
  24. AbitNutz

    AbitNutz Member

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    Foto Joe: I'm afraid I can't use the bifocal excuse. Not that I don't wear bifocals, I do.

    Everyone now gets to laugh...I had a pair of single vision, amber shooting glasses made. They come into focus exactly on the front sight. I had to search for an Optometrist that would let me bring a gun into the (her) office. Turns out she's a shooter...and cute too.

    Anyway, she measured me from my left eyeball to the front sight of the pistol in my right hand. Did I mention that I also am wrong eye dominant?

    She also suggested that I have the right lens made opaque. It is impossible for me to shoot with both eyes open. I always wondered why. Well, she told me that I suffer from a mild case of strabismus. You all would know it by what I call it...Walleye vision. Walleye vision makes it impossible to keep both eyes open and not have double vision when focused on an object in the affected field of view.

    Fortunately my walleye vision is not cosmetically obvious as I wouldn't want to spoil my manly beauty.

    Now this may seem financially frivolous but I went to Sears where they had a two for one sale. With all the safety crap, frames and lenses, coatings, etc. I don't have $75.00 in them.

    I haven't had much time in my anti-walleye vision shooting glasses but....they do help.
     
  25. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    Found a old target I shot in 1994 in compentition. There are 9 shots here.
    The 10th shot, I just couldn't hold it together. It is in the 7 ring over to the
    left. Didn't have to tell you all that, but I did. I'm human. But I wound up
    with a 97 and that won the match. This was a 45 cal. shooting 20 grs FFF
    Boy let me tell you, that last shot was a bugger to get off. I'm probably lucky
    it was a 7.

    [​IMG]
     
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