Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Take the advice, say thank you, and then practice more.

When it comes to a rifle and a shotgun, I consider myself able to hold my own as a marksman. I can hit 24" steel plates at 200 yards, offhand, with a Garand, and I do pretty well with sporting clays and real birds. Am I "Top Shot" material? Doubt it. Why? My pistol shooting sucks. Past 7 or 10 yards, it's like I go stupid with a pistol in my hand. Stance, grip, sight alignment and focus (front, not rear!) are all things I work on fervently. A friend of mine is a law enforcement officer, instructor, general gun guru and the best pistol shot I have ever been around. I've seen him take 27 yard pistol shots at things that I wouldn't bother with, or that I'd have to take the "Naval Artillery" approach with, i.e. bracket, then fire for effect.

Whenever I can, I look to him for tips, advice, feedback, criticism and anything else he can offer. That doesn't mean I would only seek his advice for all things pistol. If he had something to say about my rifle shooting, I'd give a hell of a lot of attention to it. There is no shame in not being the best, but there is plenty of stupidity involved in at least not listening to those more skilled than you.*

So when I saw this I was surprised. You have experts, professionals even, highly competent and motivated individuals who are trying to help you get better. The advice is free and the source is not suspect. Shut up, lose the ego, take the advice, practice the technique and get better. Seriously. If a bunch of clued-in people kindly say "Dude, you're doing it wrong", pay attention.

* - I'm not suggesting I'm the sport's gift to shotgunners, either. But I have spent, and continue to spend, lots of time chasing birds and clays with shotguns. It keeps the skill fresh and allows me time to experiment with techniques and possible improvements to my shooting.

No comments:

Post a Comment