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Old Ranger
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 10:48am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

For quite some time now I've suffered off and on from the dreaded "Low-Left-itus". Times I hit good and others everything goes low left. I'm sure some of it's the damage from the last little stroke. The right hand doesn't have much feeling in it and my grip varies. But I really stink shooting conventional two handed combat style. Muscle memory has amnesia!

But Steve McQueen gave me a shooting lesson last night. But you say "Wade, Steve McQueen's been dead for a while. How did he teach you if he's gone?" Ha! Movies! Yes, the Magnificent Seven. Watching his cat-like moves are cool, but looking closely at his pistol shooting techniques caused me to rethink my own. He would hold/rest his right wrist in his left hand. Obviously not gripping tight, but steading his right with the pistol. Sure, it looks cool, but using slow motion on the DVD I didn't see a bobble, wiggle, or shake from target acquisition to the shot. Granted, it's a movie, but Steve's methods were steady none the less, movie or not.

So this morning, before the heat arrived, me and the pretty engraved .45Colt were on the range. Grasping with both hands in conventional grip, I commenced firing at 15yds. Results; low left...

Same range but used the "McQueen" gripping technique. Five more slow fire but this time all were close and CENTERED! Ok. Cool. But was it a fluke? Normally 25yd pistol shooting is now done from a rest, like in a sitting position due to the stroke induced wobbles. But I began to think ole Steve might still be coaching me. I held my wrist in my left hand again, and opened fire. 1st round hit near center, about 2" low. Four more slowly patterned center, low by 2" in a 3 1/2"~4" group. Hokey Smoke Bullwinkle! Changed targets and did it again. The "McQueen" gripping technique was a success. I stepped over to the 50yd line and made 3 out of 5 hits on the 10"x10" iron plate. Reloaded and concentrated using Steve's methods. Four out of five hits! Out of ammo, but hardly out of feeling like I accomplished something I haven't in quite a while.

I scoff at some movies, and usually always view them as entertainment only. But every now and then ya might just learn something..... Steve McQueen, the King of Cool, I thank you for the shooting lesson.

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noylj
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 1:37pm | IP Logged Quote noylj

The old cup-and-saucer hold or what?
Personally, off-hand holding the shooting wrist or the cup-and-saucer
doesn't work for me, but, like all things, what works for you WORKS FOR
YOU.
And that is why I encourage testing and trying and NOT just believing that
there is only ONE way that is BEST.
I started shooting revolvers and hated them. I wanted someplace to put my
shooting thumb. I could NEVER shoot comfortably with the old "thumb into
the finger like you're making a fist" grip. At that time, ALL the gurus said you
had to "make a fist." I couldn't and be comfortable. Then, I found the 1911.
There was a safety I could put my thumb on and EVERYTHING was so
comfortable. EVERYTHING was right where I wanted it. Even if I closed my
eyes and brought the gun up, it was now pointing almost EXACTLY at the
target. Before that, I had to "break my wrist" down to get the sights aligned.
Then I tried some two handed grips and found that, for me, the best was to
place the left hand around the right-hand fingers on the grip and put the left
thumb up along the frame and apply just the slightest pressure backward.
Later I found some Pachmayr grips for revolvers that lowered the fingers and
more closely duplicated a 1911 grip. Those I liked, but, still, nothing for me
beats the comfort of a 1911.
It isn't that I claim to be the first, just that I did it myself and found what
worked for me.

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REM1875
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 2:28pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

I have found I have to use different grip styles with
different guns and not just revolver vs auto.

What works with a 38 spl or 32-20 Revolver will kill
me shooting a short barrels 50 A.E.(most miserable
revolver I have ever shot) or 460 or 45-70 or even 41
mag or 44 mag.

A comfortable revolver grip can lead to the the
"railroad track" cuts in a shooters with an auto - I
have seen it several times and have lost a small
amount of skin myself...

Sounds like Mr McQueen had more shooting time than
just on the set from a brief research of his
life.....so you may be in good hands there Wade....

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Paul B.
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 5:03pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

One time while doing a range day from the Hunter Ed program i had to
shoot a jug full of sand 20 yards out. The idea was to show that a bullet
would not go clean through while an arrow with broadhead would slice
through like a hot knife through butter. Well, I was supposed to shoot
first but when I got lined up to take the shot, one of the anti-handgun
parents popped off saying "Five bucks says he missed the jug." I
remember the dude because he made some comments at the class. he
did not like handguns in any shape or form.
I decided to shoot from the sit using a modified Weaver type hold and
said, "You're on." I then proceed to pinwheel that "X" on the jug that was
two pieces of black tape. Surprised even myself.
Paul B.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 5:19pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Yeah, I did the push your shooting hand into the open hand in a horizontal manner for years shooting in my police work. For DA revolvers it proved right and I came out on top in three shootings, two of which I used a handgun. But today's stuff is 95% single actions, and I'm no longer a solid human shooting platform. I wobble!

So watching Steve McQueen, my new shooting instructor, his method of gently grasping the wrist with the off hand was a genuine inspiration.Running slow motion, rewinding several times gave me the opportunity to watch it closely. His movement was smooth and solid. Once on target he was a human shooting platform!

This afternoon, I was out again with a.357Mag SAA 4 3/4". Same drill. Two handed old style netted a bunch low and left. Switching to the "McQueen Method" put me centered and tight! Perhaps unorthodox for many folks here, but for me it works. Since I have physically changed as a result of damage, other means were needed. Who knew that watching a film from 1959 would provide the means required with the "McQueen Method".

Being a combat and police veteran, I often see the theatrics and either laugh or shake my head at the stupidity shown in most films in shooting scenes. But not this one. And I've seen this movie 50 times if I've seen it once.

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mikld
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Posted: 05 August 2017 at 10:39am | IP Logged Quote mikld

Yep, I remember the scene where McQueen grabs the strong
wrist with his off hand and makes a long shot. Cool.

I'm not smart enough to post the chart I have but I found this:

(1) SHOTS in Lower Left Quadrant:

This pattern is caused when the shooter jerks the trigger,
causing the front-sight to dip low and to the left before the bullet
leaves the barrel. To correct this type of error, the trigger must
be slowly pressed until the shot fires, being careful while
pressing not to disturb the sight alignment and sight-picture.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 05 August 2017 at 12:09pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Yes sir, I have the chart. Shows low left as jerking and too tight a grip. Left as not enough finger on trigger. Ect. I've tried em all lately with the same results. Everything's low left. Before the stroke, I could shoot my old police style and eat out the X. Was top gun in my dept long ago. But today, I'm only good off a rest. Right hand has lost some feeling and I wobble! I can squeeze in textbook perfection and still shoot low left. I shove my finger way into the trigger and still shoot left, and low left. Only thing that makes me accurate now is a bench, a stump, sitting and shooting off my drawn up knees, or...

Use the McQueen Method. That stops the wobbles in their tracks. Steadies the hand. And allows my right hand to relax and shoot well. It appears that when I grip with two hands in the conventional way, I end up pulling down and left. I simply have too many angles in action at once. The McQueen gripping technique allows the right hand to remain on the mark, neither drifting low or left. Sure, it's not textbook style, but like my old First Sergeant used to say "If it's stupid, and it works, then it ain't stupid!".

At close quarters from the draw, I don't miss. Years of practice puts me on target like a magnet. Same at close range. I use only the front sight like the bead on a shotgun, never seeing the rear sight much at all. But more than that I have to engage the complete sights, and the wobbles and hand numbness created a problem. But good 'ole Steve McQueen gave me a shooting lesson and it works. If it's stupid, but works.... Well, it ain't stupid! And I get to look like him shooting too.

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richhodg66
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Posted: 05 August 2017 at 1:33pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Not much to add except that Steve McQueen was the man!

I love the Magnificent Seven. I remember someone asking while we watched it "How'd they fit that much awesome in one movie?"

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