Calling the shot and follow-through

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is in response to a comment that came in yesterday from a blog reader named David. He asked me to explain what I meant by the terms, “calling the shot” and “follow-through.” I think we have a number of new shooters who may not know what these two terms mean; and if they don’t, then they certainly aren’t doing them. That makes all the difference in the world when it comes to accuracy. I’ll explain both terms, then I’ll tell you how you can determine that you definitely are neither calling the shot nor following through with a handgun.

Calling the shot
When you align open sights on the target, your focus is supposed to be on the front sight element. The rear sight and the target will both be blurry when you do it right. Novice shooters think this is wrong…how can you hit the target unless you focus on it? But the truth is that this is the only way to be extremely accurate.

When you’re really concentrating on the front sight, you’ll be able to see the alignment of the front and rear sights against the target as the gun fires. This works best when the gun is a lower-powered one — something I want to talk about later.

Let me illustrate the importance of proper sight alignment with the following graphic.

Sight alignment
In the top image, the front and rear sights are properly aligned and also aligned correctly with the target. In the center, we see what happens when the front sight is not aligned with the rear sight. The bottom graphic shows what happens when the sights are properly aligned, but they are not aligned with the target.

Which is worse: Not aligning the sights with each other or not aligning the sights with the target? Obviously it’s not aligning the sights with each other, because that throws the impact of the pellet farther off the target than simply not being lined up with the target.

Here’s the proof
Matt61 — this is for you and your father. If your father is right-handed and shooting his pistol one-handed, I guarantee that he is throwing all his 1911 .45 ACP shots low and to the left. How do I know that? Because it’s what everybody does. He’s not squeezing the trigger so it releases unexpectedly. He is pulling it with a quick jerk of his trigger finger; and if you hold a 1911 pistol and do the same thing, you’ll see the muzzle dip low and to the left. If he’s a lefty, the shots are landing low and to the right for the same reason. It works the same for revolvers.

It’s harder to say what will happen with a rifle because there are so many ways to hold a rifle. Also, some of the 2-hand pistol holds can change where the bullets land a bit, but this still holds true more often than not. A shooter with experience can look at the holes in a target and spot this kind of thing immediately.

Not following through
The cause of throwing a shot this way is because the shooter is not following through. They pull the trigger and immediately take their eyes off the sights. Then they start taking their eyes off the sights an instant before they pull the trigger.

Following through means that you continue to hold your aim after the shot has fired. It takes discipline to do it, but it’s the only way that you will ever be able to tell where the sights were when the shot fired. It’s the only way you will ever be able to call where the shot went.

Calling the shot is nothing more than noting the alignment of the front and rear sight at the instant the shot fired and also noting where the sights were in relation to the target. If you follow through, you should be able to do this most of the time — as long as you don’t blink when the shot fires. And, yes, that does happen to even the best shooters.

Impossible shots become possible
Matt61 mentioned yesterday that I’d made some incredibly long shots with a short-barreled handgun. In fact, what I did was hit a football-sized dirt clod repeatedly at 80 yards with a Colt Detective Special snub-nosed revolver that had a 2-inch barrel. You aren’t supposed to be able to do things like that with a snub-nosed revolver, but let me tell you how I did it.

I was sitting on the edge of a plowed field in Germany in the mid-1970s. The field had not been disked yet, so the dirt clods were still large. I sat resting my back against a tree and held the revolver with both hands between my knees for bracing. I asked a friend to tell me where the bullets went. He could see the puffs of dirt when the .38 Special bullets impacted the ground.

The fixed sights on a Detective Special are large and very close together because of the short barrel, so the sight picture was easy to see. But even the slightest misalignment threw the bullet off-course by several feet at 80 yards. It probably took 2 full cylinders before I got the range on that clod; but once I did, all I had to do was align the sights the same every time and put the clod on top of the front blade. After that, I hit the clod repeatedly.

Colt Detective Special
Colt Detective Special is a typical snub-nosed .38 Special revolver. The rear sight is not obvious in this photo. It’s a  notch in the top rear of the frame ahead of the hammer.

Elmer Keith wrote about the way to make that shot, and I believed him. I did what he said and it turned out to be true.

dirt clod shot
This is the sight picture I used on the dirt-clod shot. I’ve enlarged the dirt clod many times for clarity here. It was actually much smaller than the width of the front sight.

Summary
You have to follow through to be able to call your shots. And now you know what calling your shots means. It means knowing how the sights were aligned and how they related to the target at the instant the gun fired. Don’t try to do this with a large-caliber gun the first time. A pellet gun is the best to start with because the noise and recoil are minimal. A .22 rimfire is another wonderful way to do this.

Once you get enough skill, you can graduate to progressively larger calibers and calling your shots will become almost second nature. I can call mine with a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum pistol now, when I want to. But it still takes concentration, and I don’t think that will ever change.

57 thoughts on “Calling the shot and follow-through

  1. Howdy Mr. BB, as usual your timing is perfect. I usually wait & hope that someone else asks my question & that either you or one of the gang answers it, but I’m havin’ a tough time with this one. Please bear with me as I know what I’m asking, but not sure how to word it so you understand my question. When I’m shootin’ Mr. Nasty I’m using a scope, but the follow through principle remains the same, correct? My question: due to the strong recoil, my sight picture after the shot lands is most often off from my p.o.a. but my p.o.i. is hitting where I was aiming. So even with a nasty recoiling gas ram, using a very light artillery hold, should my sight picture return to p.o.a. after all the dust settles? Asked another way, if my reticle winds up off target, but my shot is close to on target, is something wrong in my shot execution?


    • Beazer,

      You have asked a very difficult question. You can still call the shot by noticing where the crosshairs are when the shot fires, but we all lose sight of the target with guns like yours. The same thing happens with recoiling centerfire rifles and handguns.

      But here is the secret. If you are in a good starting position, the rifle should come to rest again with the sights very close to the initial aim point. If they do, it means that you were not straining to make the shot, and that, in turn, means that the recoil and vibration patterns were optimal.

      Do that every time and your groups will shrink. I think maybe another report is due from this comment, but please give me a little time to consider it?

      B.B.


    • Beazer,

      I think you got it. Follow-through until the gun settles, checking to see what your sight picture looks like afterwards. Follow-through should be considered a companion to natural point of aim (NPA), which we’ve talked about. If the gun ends up aiming at a different spot, then your NPA needs fine tuning.

      Experience has taught me that sometimes we don’t find the optimal rest (whether it be on our hand, or on a bag), even after attempting to find our NPA. Suppose that you believe that you’ve found your NPA. If after taking the shot the rifle jumps to a different spot on the rest (hand), then it’s very likely that friction played a role in influencing what we thought was our NPA. But the recoil proved this to be incorrect. This is a very fine point, but sometimes our NPA needs refinement when shooting off of a rest. But in the end, once you’ve found your most optimal NPA, the gun should settle back, giving your original sight picture.

      THIS should be your motivation for following-through. Follow-through helps you double check your NPA!

      Being a newbie to the springer world, I can imagine that this likely isn’t a 100% hard rule. I’m open to the possibility that a particular gun may have a significant amount of torque that consistently causes a jump to one side. I personally haven’t experienced this yet, BUT, I’ve learned from experience that an improper hold can cause semi-consistent jumps, resulting a situation where you form two fairly tight groups. That was precisely my experience with my first springer.

      Regarding the use of “sight picture” and scope. When using a scope, what you see IS your sight picture, and pretty much your sight alignment. They are almost one thing. When using iron sights we have two things, sight picture and sight alignment, with sight alignment being by far the more dominant detail. The target should be a blur. However, when using a scope, you should see perfect symmetry through the scope, including the little bit of black that you see within the scopes tube.

      Victor


    • If you are hitting the target, I believe you are using good technique and follow through. If you are having to stress your body to hold your position you will naturally release that tension after the trigger is pulled. You only need to maintain that position for a split second after the trigger is pulled. Like others have said, it is ideal if you can hold and fire your gun without any tension in your body.

      David Enoch


  2. Works the same way with a scope and rifle.
    This is exactly how my Dad taught me to shoot. And how I taught my Daughters and Wife and others to shoot also.
    That is what I have done for years while playing pool too.

    It also allows another person to know what you are doing. Great when your training somebody.

    When you keep your eye on the object you shoot at; while also in the case of a scope keep the cross hair of the recticle (after) you shoot on the target it trains you to keep the gun in position as if you were going to make another shot at the same target.

    I do that even when I’m hunting. It almost always guarantees to show you where your shot landed.
    And will make you learn to control your hold.

    Probably even more things than what I’m thinking of now. And yes that’s it too. It helps you to make your hold come more natural for the gun your shooting without having to think about what your doing if you keep following through. Its kind of like the gun being in a comfortable position when you pull the trigger and you keep looking through your scope and you are still on target.

    Yep I like follow through. :)


    • Last sentence.

      …..and you are still on target (after the gun is fired).

      And Beezer
      BB I’m sure will have more input than what I have to say.
      But most of the time when I follow through on my shot the sights will usually be at the POI as you say (when the dust settles).


      • Beazer
        Sorry about mis spelling your name above.

        Getting late. I should already be sleeping.

        And your comment wasn’t posted yet when I made my comment.
        So the comment about the scope wasn’t directed towards you but stated in general.



  3. B.B.

    Thank you again! Its as if you read my mind. I so wanted this to confirm I was doing it right & now I think I have to work on my follow through. Was wondering why the shots were going left suddenly & I know I held the sight picture but forgot about the other cos the sights were zeroed spot on & all screws were tight. Amazing what a small lapse in concentration can do. Also, I took your advice about using lighter pellets for my air pistol. Using Skenco Blue Arrows. They have given a huge boost in velocity & are very accurate.

    Errol


  4. BB,
    I would like to add that calling your shot is easier to learn through dry fire exercises (a problem for those that only have a springer to work with). I’m a big fan of dry firing practice because it allows you to concentrate on all the aspects of the shot process without the distraction of the shot itself. Once you can consistently call your shots you can start to monitor the direction and force of the muzzle “flip” (a term I believe meaning recoil of an air gun) and evaluate your position and grip for weaknesses.
    I hope this adds to the blog, I feel like all I ever do is taking from you all.



      • G’day BB,
        How do you dry fire an air rifle? I was told a springer will damage its piston without a pellet.
        Every other firearm you use a spent shell.
        Cheers Bob


        • Bob

          As long as the rifle is not a springer (CO2, PCP, Single or Multi pump) it is safe to dry fire. You are correct about the piston seal being damaged by a dry fire on a springer. You mustn’t dry fire one of those.



  5. B.B.

    Something that may help..

    We do a lot of things without taking notice…bad things.
    How about setting a camera or video cam up on a tripod to record ourself when taking shots (many cameras have a video mode) ? Can play it back and look for things like blinking and flinching ? Maybe slowly or even quickly changing the grip while pulling the trigger ? You can do these things over and over without taking notice. It might be better than having someone watch because they might not know what they are looking for, and can only watch one place at a time.

    twotalon



    • Cameras were not permitted at my last range — privacy concerns for the other shooters. Allowed at the picnic area top of the hill (where no guns were to be visible) but not down on the firing lines.


    • TT
      I think I will have to try that this weekend with my video recorder.

      We use to do that at the drag strip with our cars all the time. Started doing that with the cars back in the late 70′s. We would mount one in the back seat looking forward out the windshield. And we would have a person standing somewhere by the starting line recording the run.

      Definitely seen some interesting things by doing that with the cars. And I got alot of cool old footage from the early days up to the present.

      I had some health issues about 4 or 5 yrs. ago with two operations with the Diverticulitis.
      I don’t hardly drive the race cars that much anymore cause it hurts the old stomach when the car leaves the line.

      And it will be interesting to watch a video of myself shooting. My oldest Daughter that is into Archery always ask why I make that funny face when I shoot. She says the face I make looks like I’m looking into the bright sun even when I’m in the shade. So I guess I’m squinting or something?

      I said I wanted to watch her shoot the bow and arrow and see if she made a face. She said ok but I don’t make a face. I said how do you know? She said because I’m relaxed when I’m lining up the shot.
      Sure enough her face was as straight as could be. And I could see in her aiming eye that it was all about where she wanted to hit.

      See TT you went and done it again. You made me think.


      • GF1

        Back in the 70s I heard of some of the archery guys forking out money to have themselves video taped so they could watch themselves shoot and see what they had right or wrong.
        Back then video equipment was large and expensive. Hard to get your hands on.

        Now a lot of people can do video with a video cam or a camera with a video mode. The cameras won’t run a very long recording though. Everybody seems to have them. A cheap tripod will help. Steal the one out from under your chrono.
        Might help to do some closeups of certain areas, and use some different angles. Watch close for changes in your hands and face . Try to get someone to help you and tell them how close to zoom in, and where.

        twotalon


        • TT
          I’m definitely going to give it a try this weekend. I hope. If I get a chance.
          They got us working overtime right now at work. Will see.


  6. Howdy ya’ll name’s Toby Keef & “I love this bar”!?! Thanx, got my answer from every one of ya! Controlling where your sights wind up is in the execution of the shot. Figured my grip tighting along with my trigger pull & still trying to overcome the disgusting habit of timing the weeble (it’s like a wobble, only worse) causing slap/jerk, was the problem, just needed confirmation from you guy, THANX! Have found when dry firing, which I do, but obviously need to do more, is if I run my scope to max magnification, it makes my challenges much easier to see. Not sure if it the right thing ta do, gut it works for me. Again thanx! Shoot/ride safe,
    Beaz

    p.s. Gunfun, Rack ‘em, loser buys!




    • Beazer,

      It’s important that you mentioned grip, because some springer’s hate to be gripped too tightly. Some require that you barely touch them. That’s a non-ideal situation because grip helps with trigger control. The worse case situation is when you have a gun with a heavy trigger that is hold sensitive. I don’t think you have anything near this situation, but it’s still a good idea to test different amount of grip pressures.

      The other detail about grip is that you do it consistently. If need be, put some spots of tape to help you consistently place your thumb, for example.

      Regarding scope usage, high magnification is fine when shooting off of a rest, but when shooting from the offhand position, there will be too much movement. Also, too high a magnification will make it harder to acquire your target when shooting offhand. Details, details… :)

      Victor


      • Howdy Victor, 2/3 of the reason I’ve been able to elevate my shooting by 2 whole levels from Really lousy to Pretty lousy & just this last weekend I got my certification as just plain lousy, has been due to you reaching out & sharing your knowledge with me. Thanx, sir! The grip challenge I’m trying to master is keeping my grip pressure consistent through the trigger press. I only use the max mag on the scope while practicing my dry fire (no ammo & gun not cocked) grip & trigger press.


        • Beazer,

          I like that idea of using maximum magnification when dry-firing. That’s a great way to demonstrate how good your trigger control is! I never thought of doing that. Wish you had taught me this during my competition days.

          The other details pertaining to hold are:
          1. Consistent offhand placement. In other words, how far out, or in, you rest (or hold) the rifle.
          2. Consistent shouldering. With firearms, you want the rifle shouldered such that the recoil comes straight back. I’m sure this applies with some air-rifles. Whatever the case, place the butt of the rifle in the same place on your inner shoulder.
          3. Consistent cheek-weld. Rest your cheek exactly the same way each time. Some tape might help with this.
          4. Consistent grip location (not just how hard or soft you hold the grip). Another detail that matters is how high, or low, you grip the gun. Some rifles prefer to be held low on the grip, even if it feels better to hold it higher up into the trigger guard.

          All of these types of things require investigation. Sometimes what works for one person may not work for another. That’s sort of the beauty of shooting – there’s always some little detail that matters, so there’s always a little more opportunity for improvement.

          But never forget that we must all first master the fundamentals, because only then can we build up our ability. And as you know full well, knowing what to do is nothing without actually doing. There’s never an end to what we can learn by practicing.

          Shooting would be boring if everything was easy. It’s truly an individual activity where you’re only competing against yourself. Each gain is yours and yours alone. No one can get behind your gun for you. No one sees exactly what you see, or feels exactly what you feel. It’s all YOUR experience.

          Victor


      • Yes, I found with a scope that too much magnification will reduce the resolution and also jump around so much that it becomes demoralizing. One guy told me that a friend of his used the biggest magnification that he could while standing–something like 33X. The bigger the image the better I suppose was the theory. But his shot sequence was more like divebombing with the passes of the reticle. Not my style.

        Matt61


        • Matt61,

          That guys strategy would certainly add stress and anxiety, leading to sniping to try to catch a bulls-eye. That’s a sure path towards learning all the wrong things, including not learning proper trigger control.

          Back in the 50′s and 60′s, top small-bore shooters were using target scopes with between 10x and 18x magnification, and still shooting great scores with a 3.5 pound trigger. It wasn’t uncommon to find a 10x Unertle scope used for indoor gallery competition. Without the “benefit” of high magnification, it all came down to fundamentals.

          Victor



  7. Would it be possible for you to include either a quote of Elmer Keith’s advice, or a link to where it might be found?



      • I thought I’d advise the blog that I went shopping on line for “Yours Truly, Harvey Donaldson” this past weekend. Prices on Ebay and Amazon ranged from $88 on up! Cheaper than that and you are buying “fair” condition books, such as “no cover”. Not available at Barnes and Noble. Other smaller sellers around and the best appears to be ABE books in Canada. Not that many for sale, either. I am fortunate that I have a copy of Keith’s book, “Sixguns”. Sorry, not for sale!

        Fred DPRoNJ


  8. B.B. -

    As usual, you are “right on target”. Like you, I’ve practiced Elmer Keith’s long range handgun technique for years. Isn’t it interesting that most of his long range shots were accomplished with a 4-inch barrel? Also interesting is that he used to have ladder markings engraved on the shooter side of the front sight for use at different ranges. Although I’ve not done that, I have noticed that I can use the bottom of a red front sight insert as a range marker.

    Now I’ve got the urge to go to the rifle range with my favorite revolver. Guess I have plans for the weekend. Thanks.

    - Jim in KS


  9. I call my shots just a bit differntly but I get the same results. I say where I am going to put the shot then I do put it where I said it will be going. For example I say it is going into the eye of a prarie chuck target 35 yards out. I sit down with my condor, carefully line up the shot, watch my breathing, trigger pull and focus intensely on my sight picture. Then when the time is right the trigger lets go the shot flies and hits the prarie chuck target right in the eye. I have pulled this trick so many times that it’s just an automatic thing to follow through, fire when I am between breaths etc. Keep in mind I have been doing this for 26 years. Do something enough and it is automatic.

    Just put a stage 5TKO muzzle brake on my discovery today to go with all the other power mods on the gun. It’s every bit as good as a Marauder. Silent and chews through phone books like they were soft butter. Only thing it is missing is the rotary magazine but I don’t really want to figure out how to do that one. Instead I’m going to sell it and go on to the next build.


    • John
      One thing my Dad use to say all the time (and I know I heard this phrase before somewhere else also).

      Aim small. Hit big.


      • My dad never really said anything to me as far as advice. But I did have some great drill sergeants in the army. They’d give out advice like “Always be smarter than what you are working with.” and “You are only as good as what you have to work with.” When I call my shots like I do it is because I know I have equipment that is that good that I know when I say I will put the shot in a certain place on a static target it will go there. That is being smarter than what I am working with as well. I am smart enough to know which guns I own to use to do something like that. I have some guns that are touchy and I know that at a distance hitting the target where I want to hit it is a bit iffy. Other guns I know will do the job. I’m busy selling all the more iffy guns and keeping my good ones right now. Needless to say there are quite a few guns I put on the market. I was quite brutal in looking at what had to go.


        • John
          I use to do the same thing with Muscle cars trough out time. Buy one or trade somebody for another car.
          Fix it up drag race it at the track for a while. Then sell or trade it and do it all over again.
          Some I wish I would of kept. And others I was glad to see go.

          I still got all the guns I bought. Have thought about selling some. But just haven’t.


        • I wasn’t really thinking about selling them when I bought them. I am losing my gun storage area and my range since my mom (who owns the property) is moving to North Carolina in the near future. So I have been bringing my guns home by the trunk load. Now I’m simply overwhelmed by guns in every corner of the house so I am kind of selling them out of necessity. Then what I get for them is all going into building a gun I REALLY went. I really want to build an AR15, so I ordered a kevlar reinforced 80% lower which I will finish fairly easy, then get to hanging parts on it and my airgun hobby is paying for this build. Not a bad trade off really. Then next up will be a monster Blackbird. That will be a fun build. 4500 psi pcp bb gun able to rip off 2000 rounds per minute at 900 feet per second. I’m not overly worried about accuracy with a beast like that. That is being built for the pure adrenaline rush of making a pop can disappear as well as most of the backstop.


          • John
            Bummer about loosing your shooting spot. And I guess about your Mom moving too.
            Am I thinking right, the Drodz Blackbird.
            Those guns are cool.I don’t have one but searched up mods for them and you can make a crazy gun if you want to.

            I have a Umarex Steel Storm and its a fun gun for destroying soda cans.

            I was going to get the Blackbird but instead got the Steel Storm. It was cheaper so that’s why I got it.
            I still may get a Blackbird though.


            • I had a steel storm. I got it because it was as close to a Drozd as I could get, but I wasn’t overly thrilled with it so I sold it. now that the Michigan rules have changed I have a chance to get that Drozd Blackbird and turn it into a crazy airgun, and that is exactly what I intend to do. It’s all about the pleasure I get from building and the adrenaline rush of firing what I build. Plus I want to see what it is like to pump bb’s out of a bb gun at 2000 rpm and make a pop can disappear. Once I find out that Blackbird will likely find its way to the American Airgun classifieds. Then I’ll move on to my next abomination.


              • John
                Well if you get a blackbird and you start modding it. Let me know some updates about what you have done.
                Then I can get some info if I do one.


                • It won’t be that hard. I intend to get the sergy board and put that in, wire up the LIpo battery pack, set it up to run HPA instead of CO2 and put in the tactical 24′ barrel and put a high speed motor in the bb hopper. Then all I have to do is turn the gun on, set it to “You want a piece of me?” and pull the trigger. Only reason it will take me a while to do this is the expense involved I have to wedge in a mod here and a mod there until I get it done. If I had the spare cash I could have the entire thing done in a week.


  10. B.B., thanks for all the personal attention! As it turns out my Dad shoots the 1911 with two hands in the Isosceles grip. However, most of his shots are way low. He’s as good as said that he does not follow through and with his obsession with bullseyes, I’m sure that he is jerking the trigger to snipe rather than squeezing. Thanks for the detailed description of follow-through; that will help. I do have a small detail question here that I’ve wondered about. Perhaps it’s trivial and perhaps not. IF you are focusing on the front sight as you are supposed to, that sight is going to move when the gun discharges no matter what. SO in following the front sight aren’t your eyes going off-target, disrupting your follow through? Do you have to instantaneously switch from looking at the sights to the target when the gun goes off? Maybe this is too subtle a process to describe. I try to keep eyes on target when the shot breaks, and it all seems to work out. In diagnosing my Dad, I should add that he doesn’t have anything like the same problems with rifles as with pistols. He shot half inch groups with the Savage on one occasion, so the problem is pistol specific.

    My method for busting dirt clods at a distance is to make sure there are a lot of them. Then I let fly and choose my target… B.B., I don’t think I realized that the revolver for the clod busting was that short. But wasn’t there some more extreme distance, like way over a hundred yards where you were shooting with a pistol? Maybe it was a rock you were aiming at and not a clod.

    Luft Gewehr, thanks. Luft like Luftwaffe or Lufthansa. I should have guessed.

    J-F and Fred, have you seen the horror film, The Reanimator? I heard it described to me. It has to do with a zombie-like figure that can exist with its body parts separated from each other. At one point the headless body takes the head and drops into a kind of empty fishbowl. Then it opens packets of blood and empties them into the container which causes the head to get a big smile on its face….

    Gunfun1, thanks for the online shooting link. I like the graphics so far.

    Wulfraed, thanks for the specifics about Japanese sword-making. My current quest now is to figure out what made the samurai swords different from their European counterparts if they really were that different. The Romans knew about pattern-welding swords to blend soft and hard steels, a practice was used even by the Vikings on the outposts of civilization. Tempering was discovered around the world around the year 1000. So, if the Japanese swords really were superior, the differences must have been in the details. My quest is fueled by my study of Japanese swordsmanship as I make my way through my instructional dvds. The postures and sword movements are virtually identical to European methods that have been discovered in books from that period. Also I will add that whether the samurai were good or bad, they certainly knew a lot about the human body. Their sword techniques feel very good.

    On the subject of my tennis training, does anyone remember why Forrest Gump was so good at ping pong? Was it because he was too dumb to get distracted?

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      When you focus on the front sight and the shot fires, you will see the sight the instant before the recoil takes it from view. That is how you call your shots. No one can follow the front sight of a recoiling gun as it moves through recoil. It’s all done at the instant of firing. It’s simpler than you are describing.

      Yes, I did shoot targets much farther than 80 yards with a revolver. I shot a rock at about 300 yards with a replica Colt 1860 Army revolver. In that case, the front sight is just a brass bead that has to be held on a target much higher than the intended target. That one took longer to connect, because the rock was on a grassy hillside and the bullets didn’t kick up as much dust. But the principal played out just the same. Once you found the right sight picture, all the shots hit the rock, which was the size of a washing machine.

      B.B.


    • Western pattern welded/twist steel swords were still a monolithic chunk of metal.

      One of the simplest styles for samurai sword would be to take a bar of soft steel/iron, chisel a groove along the edge…

      |===<

      Then insert a hard steel

      |===<

      and then forge weld the groove to the insert… And then differentially temper the result by coating the soft steel with clay up to about where the insert reaches…. Heat evenly, then quench.

      Some blades (per my books, which are 16 miles away) could have 5 pieces of different grade metals. One for the edge, one for the body behind the edge, a “cap” on the back side, and a slab on each side of the blade.

      In a way, the infamous thousands of folds may have had less effect — it would really only affect the edge insert; the rest of the blade is softer with fewer if any folds, just well forge welded to the blade.


    • Matt61,
      have you ever looked at laminated Swedish Mora knifes? The center steel is hardened to Rockwell 62 and holds a very sharp edge. I have two a 2 and a 3 inch that I bought for carving. I really like them and they are relatively inexpensive. The sheaths are cheap plastic but since I don’t cary them I don’t care.



  11. BB,
    To me, calling my shots is taking a mental snapshot of where the front sight or cross hairs are when the shot is released. I find that the longer the shooting session, the better I do at taking that mental snapshot. One of the things I love about my 1911 Colt conversion kit is that you can afford to shoot it a bunch. There is nothing like sending shot after shot down range to make you a better shot. Shooting a 22 will also help with that desire to look up and see where your shot hit. Once you realize that you can’t see your hits, your brain will quit telling you to glance up.

    I like a really long trigger blade on my 1911. It keeps me from what I call pushing the gun sideways like you described as “pulling the shot”. I always thought that pulling would be to pull the gun towards the primary hand and pushing was pushing the gun away from the primary hand. But, that’s just my home spun terms.

    I enjoyed your blog,

    David Enoch


  12. B.B.,

    These are great topics because I think that lots of people will go through life never learning about this sort of thing. Lots of us do, but not everyone.

    Victor


  13. Sorry to be late…

    I never fully grasped the follow thru and shot calling thing until I tried a PCP with a good scope.
    It was like the skies opening up to let the sun shine thru on a stormy day! It was like an illumination, I was finally “getting it”!

    Before that day I was trying to follow thru but everything moved so much in so many directions, I didn’t know what I was trying to achieve or what I was looking for but once I was able to see what I was looking for it became easier to do and I think I became a better shot because of it.

    All thanks to this blog and the good advice of BB and Victor.

    J-F


  14. I use automatically just line up targets using the perfect sight picture. After a lot of practice it’s just automatic. With targets I will adjust the sights or change the sight picture to compensate. When hunting, I will sometimes put the POI just on top of the front sight at 10M and then aim off target to quickly adjust for distance, wind and movement.



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