The Sweet Spot
In congruence with last week’s post, we will continue addressing fundamental skills, practices, and endeavors which are the foundation of competent shooting. In the military, the rifle is the weapon with which all troops must be proficient and only some master. Comparatively, on the civilian and law enforcement side of the house, semi-automatic pistols are most prevalent. Regardless, the fundamentals of marksmanshipnever change.
What we’d like to point out today is that many shooters, pistol, rifle, or otherwise, face an issue which is often compensated for and just as frequently left unrectified; they are fighting themselves to bring their sights on target. Find the sweet spot, find your natural point of aim.
This guy above appears to be one of many in the broader community of firearms enthusiasts and professionals who come up with or subscribe to “bright ideas” or “tactical improvements” that they can use to make a name for themselves. YouTube instruction has changed the shooting world it has brought a whole lot of knowledge to many, and brought things like this “turtle necking” above and the “C-clamp” into the mainstream. The results are mixed. For some, the new techniques they’ve learned have improved their shooting, but to what degree something like turtle necking is responsible or applicable in various situations, rather than just getting more trigger time, is debatable. However, arguing the merits of any specific technique is the opposite of the intended goal of this article.
Here’s a good article on your stance and fundamentals which I found this guy’s picture on:
Be it stance, handling, pivoting, reloading, whatever technique is vetted the way you like or works best for you is great; we’d only point out that it should be the best for you as an individual rather than some shooter archetype. Meaning, just because it is cool doesn’t mean it is right for you. Not everyone is a SEAL, not everyone is a body builder, and not everyone has the time or funds to shoot thousands of rounds each week and perfect their tactical turtle skills. So bring it back to the fundamentals and allocate a good proportion of your training time to the important skills and some of it to the fun stuff.
Finally, I will get to the point and speak on something applicable, your natural point of aim. If you turtle, c-clamp, back flip off of trampolines whilst engaging targets that is all fine but you should do it in the most efficient and sustainable way possible in order to entrain the all important muscle memory and good habits. You have to know where your body wants to align the sights and how it can best support your goals.
If your chosen technique relies heavily on your musculature to drive it, you are shooting until muscle fatigue or failure and failure depends on your fitness and the scenario. No one here at SBT is a doctor, nor have we been taught to dual wield on trampolines by the government, so the pinnacle of shooting prowess and physiological knowledge rests beyond where we currently stand. Though we can all agree that we should be training to stay in the fight. That means using technique that you can repeat and do so under duress.
This video has some weird music initially but don’t mind that, watch how he instructs you to find your natural point of aim with a pistol:
Once you understand how you shoot best, the key is to leverage what is around you and your body efficiently such that you rely on your ligaments and skeleton to support the weight of your weapon as much as possible. Obviously you can’t do this any time you take a shot but any technique that consistently has you relying heavily on your muscles which WILL give up on you, is one that you either must be aware of its limitations or eliminate from your repertoire.
It is a mistake to think that spending the time to figure out the sweet spot isn’t worth doing in multiple positions. If you think you’ll need to be prepared to shoot from behind a squad car and that contorts you a bit, figure out how to do it efficiently. Draw, holster, draw, holster and see where your position brings your weapon and then adjust. If you want to shoot crouching, do the same. Once you think you’ve figured out where you’ll be on a draw or when you bring your rifle on target, check your sights, hold it there, and close your eyes. Open them in about 5 seconds or so, and see if your sights are still aligned. If they are not, and it will be obvious, you have not found your natural point of aim. You need to adjust.
Finding this position is critical and a fundamental tenet of marksmanship. Drill it however you are practicing. Do it dry-fire, and run through your drill and see if you are bringing those sights up to where they should be. Do not become the ingrained shooter relying on their optics or proximity to make them look competent. Be a master of your craft and be thus be prepared.
- Posted by SBTactical Team
- On April 10, 2015
- 0 Comments