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Working-out for Offhand shooting

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by GinSlinger, Jan 4, 2003.

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  1. GinSlinger

    GinSlinger Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Hill Country, Texas
    What would be the recomended regiment be to strengthen up for better off-hand shooting? I seem to get shake even with a sling, and quickly fatigue. I never have been much for the whole gym scene, so I was wondering what you guys use to firm up that offhand stance.

  2. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    well I eat alot and watch alot of tv.
    kidding aside exercise is going to help but practice and you need to get the right positions as proper off hand is not about being in olympic condition but about the position.

    bone structure does not move or tire like muscles.

    here is a exercise that some rifle teams use for off hand.

    set your timer for 1 minute and have someone say mount your rifle. what you do is to get your off hand position and fire the shot and then the timer starts for 1 minute you need to keep the rifle in the fireing position. you do that for 22 times in a row and you get a 1 minute break between shots.
    cruel but a very effective way to learn a good solid position.

    also here is another one that I have used and know that others also use.
    you need to be perfectly honest in you shooting as it can be used when dry fireing at home with out ammo.

    try to do 10 shots in a row on a target or spot and if any of the shots are not right down the middle you stop and take a couple minute break and think about what went wrong on that one shot and then start over, keep going untill you get 10 in a row thats right.

    another one that gets you on the right track is to dry fire with out ammo and do this.

    put the sights or scope on the target or spot and pull the trigger and watch the sights after you pull the trigger as they should not move off the center of the target and if they are you are doing something wrong like jerking the trigger or grabbing wood or other things.
    its a great exercise for trigger control as are all of the others.
    go to the marine or army amu shooting site and look at the off hand positions they fire from and you will get a great ideal on what your position should look like. look at everything in the stance, arm placement, feet position, upper body to lower body placement and so forth.

    went out in yesterday and shot some but the wind keep knocking the target off the stand so quit early but before the wind started up real bad I did the dry fire 10 shot thing and after I felt I did it by dry fireing I then did 10 shots in a wind up to 15 mph at my 200 yard sr target with open sights and keep them all in the black with only 2 nines.
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2002
    Southeastern US
    Jon is right, its all about position, not strength. His advice is solid.
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I've known a couple of olympic shooters who were convinced that running and other aerobic workouts help -- it slows the heartbeat. On the other hand, Lones Wigger, one of the best, always looked like a hippopotamus -- I doubt if he ever ran more than a mile in his life.

    The best position for off-hand shooting (other than a hip rest or other specialized target technique) pulls the weak hand all the way back to the trigger guard, keeping the weak forearm almost vertical and the weak upper arm close to the chest.

    Shooting will strengthen the muscles better than anything -- but you need to do a lot of it. You can experiment with weights on the rifle -- a pound or so on the muzzle while dryfiring will help a bit.
  5. slabsides

    slabsides Member In Memoriam

    Jan 2, 2003
    Shoot more. And one of the better ways to do this is to get yourself an adult air rifle (no Daisys) and practice in the garage, woodshed, barn or back yard. Shoot more, and shoot seriously with a good accurate spring-air rifle and you'll improve your other riflery tremendously.
    Don't smoke or drink caffeinated coffee, either. ;)
  6. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    what type of rifle are you shooting in trying to improve your off hand?

    let me say this and a few of you may already know this as it is a topic that I even had a conversation with a good friend of mine today on the subject of off hand and as my friend said he has been told the same thing as I have stated for the last few months.

    before I say it what you should do is take a good class on the subject and you need to get either books or someone to show you the little secrets that you may not even realize and are really to many to go over here as alot of them are better shown and are not covered in any book or if they are they are not explained enough to understand except for someone who has gotten it.

    you can watch a tape or talk to different folks and read alot of books but it will come after you conquer the practice as it will come to most that practice enough and seek to be the best you can be and never ever say you can not do it or give up at anytime.

    I am overweight (not much but a little), typical 48 going on 49 year old eyes and heart rate plus high colesterol.

    back when I did service rifle highpower in the 80's before I stopped in 1991 and started again a little over a year ago I had the ideal that I could do it but did not understand it all but wondered why some had it and some just never got it and I was one of the one's that just did not understand.

    no as far as coffee or soda's or the such its not great for you anyway but now if I want a cup of coffee or two at breakfast before a match I say so what because if you think thats what is going to decide your day how do you explain the bad days away.
    granted if I am shooting a very important match I do not drink the stuff but its more of a old habit than a real cause for concern because my scores have been the same or better when I do not let things like that influence me.

    I will put it this way for some the light will come on one day and it has for me and all the practice and technic's do not come close to the awareness that you now have the control over your mind to clean the target.

    have you ever thought about after you shot a x or a very solid 10 right up the middle that time and everything just seemed easy.
    most everybody has done that and thats the secret to off hand or the rapids do not accept the shot unless it comes easy and you know its the perfect shot.

    do you think that tubbs, tippie, hollinger, demille and I can go on got where they are because of just practice? it does help but the difference between them and alot of beginners is that the beginner starts with about 50% mental or less and 50% physical.

    the top shooters run about 80% to over 90% mental on every shot and very little physical because their body's after a few years of shooting get into the positions natually and they get in a zone that pretty much all they think about is breaking a x and the mental parts are the knowladge when everything is as perfect as it can be.

    here's a test for you to try to see where you are at and do it someplace safe or do it dry fireing. I have done both.

    set up for your shot take a good feel for you being on the target and before you squeze the shot off STOP right there.
    while you are ready to brake the shot close your eyes and take a few controlled breaths and squeze that trigger while your eyes are still closed. where do you think its going? if you do not know you know. the position or your trigger control is not right.
    when I shot some off hand on friday the place I shot at the targets are a few feet lower that I am used to and what is normal at a regulation match so my npa was off as I was to high so insted of just living with it too high I just adjusted my npa for the hieght and I was fine. which tells me not to just accept a shot because its what I have at that moment but to change it tell it fits what you think should be the perfect shot. as like shooting in the wind! if we have 10 or even 20 shooters on the line and its really blowing I feel I know I am going to win because for one thing I will never ever accept just to pull the trigger to get it over with as most folks just are happy to not miss.

    when and if you get it you will wonder what happened and then you can not wait till the next event to come. right now I would love to shoot and can not wait to shoot my next match and the stage I want to shoot the most is off hand because now I know it can be cleaned and once you get a perfect 100 or 200 in anystage its a addiction because you want more and the one to get it for you is you yourself.

    sorry I am bored and feeling a little down tonight. thanks for the company.

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