Off Hand Shooting

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Bruce Mattes

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I find it interesting that marksmanship has been de-emphasized to the point that even in the Marine Corps, it is not what it once was.

I would really like to have a light recoiling, flintlock, perhaps .40 caliber, gain twist, half stock, English Sporting Rifle that was properly set up for use with a modern rifleman's sling.

So that I could spend some serious time learning to shoot properly. Something that I was not taught growing up, nor in the Army ('76-'79).
 

45-70

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what makes you think Marine Corps not what it once was
in marksmanship
 

Bruce Mattes

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what makes you think Marine Corps not what it once was
in marksmanship
Some younger Marines that told me they don't put quite as much emphasis on it as they used to.

Back in the day you had to be proficient from a prone, sitting, squatting, kneeling, and offhand position.

With, and without the use of a sling. Preferably with.

Which is not to say that the Marine Corps doesn't have more properly trained rifleman, percentage wise, than the Army does.

After Vietnam the Army pretty much stopped teaching the use of the sling. In 1976 when I took basic, it was barely touched upon.
 

45-70

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they still use slings and Marines are still into Marksmanship. I was in Marines as you call it back in the day 9 years prior to 76
 
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Squint

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As one who believes you should only shoot off hand at things like flying birds, it's fine for those that punch paper. As a NRA small arms instructor and hunter safety instructor in Montana, we spend quite a bit of time trying to teach the kids that when shooting at deer, anything was better than shooting off hand, though a case can be made for shooting at running targets like deer or antelope, though I've killed a good amount when setting on the ground and shooting over my knees. I surly wasn't blessed with the ability to shoot standing targets well while off hand, but then I never spent any time practicing. I did discover in my attempts at this at muzzleloader contests, that the percussion was much easier to do than the Flintlock but I don't shine with either one.
Squint
 

Bruce Mattes

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As one who believes you should only shoot off hand at things like flying birds, it's fine for those that punch paper. As a NRA small arms instructor and hunter safety instructor in Montana, we spend quite a bit of time trying to teach the kids that when shooting at deer, anything was better than shooting off hand, though a case can be made for shooting at running targets like deer or antelope, though I've killed a good amount when setting on the ground and shooting over my knees. I surly wasn't blessed with the ability to shoot standing targets well while off hand, but then I never spent any time practicing. I did discover in my attempts at this at muzzleloader contests, that the percussion was much easier to do than the Flintlock but I don't shine with either one.
Squint
Exactly!!!

Which is why I find it hard to understand why the traditional m-l clubs almost always have their shoots set up for 100% offhand shots.

American LongRifles Forum has an ongoing informal poll regarding the age of its active members. The mean age is 65 point something odd years old.

I am 66, and I KNOW FOR SURE that I cannot hold a 9-10 pound longrifle with a 40" plus long swamped barrel steady enough to shoot wild animals ETHICALLY any longer from a offhand position. A rest of some sort is MANDATORY.

Since I have advancing osteoarthritis in both shoulders, I have chosen to aquire a CVA Optima V2 pistol, which DOC White is restocking in black laminate using his Javelina pattern forearm.

This forearm has a short, stubby pistol grip to aid in holding the pistol steady using 2 hands in a push-pull motion. A single point sling with paraclip attached to a "D" loop, push button sling swivel will be connected to the bottom of the pistol grip/trigger. The sling passes around the shooters body, thus forming a single long support system between the shooter's back muscles, and the weak hand pushing against the stubby pistol grip on the forearm.

There will also be a Spartan Precision Equipment, brass, Classic Gunsmith Adapter embedded behind the stubby pistol grip in the bottom of the forearm.

The adapter has a rare earth magnet in the bottom of its cavity. Which allows for the quick detachment of bipods, tripods, and trekking poles.

A 148 gram/5.22 ounce, Javelin bipod with standard length legs, along with the brass adapter; is already on its way to DOC White. The bipod will be used primarily on the bench for range work.

Sometime next year, when I am confident that my rusty skills are back up to ethical hunting standards; then I plan to purchase the Woodland length version of the Spartan Sentinel tripod.

This is an expensive, but EXTREMELY versatile tool. It weighs in at 1550 grams/54.63 ounces/3.414 pounds. It can be configured in many different ways, just as purchased.

With additional leg purchases, it can be configured as a sitting bipod to mimic cross sticks; or as a quad/penta leg setup for long distance rifle shoting.
 
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Squint

Squint
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Feb 4, 2020
Messages
43
Exactly!!!

Which is why I find it hard to understand why the traditional m-l clubs almost always have their shoots set up for 100% offhand shots.

American LongRifles Forum has an ongoing informal poll regarding the age of its active members. The mean age is 65 point something odd years old.

I am 66, and I KNOW FOR SURE that I cannot hold a 9-10 pound longrifle with a 40" plus long swamped barrel steady enough to shoot wild animals ETHICALLY any longer from a offhand position. A rest of some sort is MANDATORY.

Since I have advancing osteoarthritis in both shoulders, I have chosen to aquire a CVA Optima V2 pistol, which DOC White is restocking in black laminate using his Javelina pattern forearm.

This forearm has a short, stubby pistol grip to aid in holding the pistol steady using 2 hands in a push-pull motion. A single point sling with paraclip attached to a "D" loop, push button sling swivel will be connected to the bottom of the pistol grip/trigger. The sling passes around the shooters body, thus forming a single long support system between the shooter's back muscles, and the weak hand pushing against the stubby pistol grip on the forearm.

There will also be a Spartan Precision Equipment, brass, Classic Gunsmith Adapter embedded behind the stubby pistol grip in the bottom of the forearm.

The adapter has a rare earth magnet in the bottom of its cavity. Which allows for the quick detachment of bipods, tripods, and trekking poles.

A 148 gram/5.22 ounce, Javelin bipod with standard length legs, along with the brass adapter; is already on its way to DOC White. The bipod will be used primarily on the bench for range work.

Sometime next year, when I am confident that my rusty skills are back up to ethical hunting standards; then I plan to purchase the Woodland length version of the Spartan Sentinel tripod.

This is an expensive, but EXTREMELY versatile tool. It weighs in at 1550 grams/54.63 ounces/3.414 pounds. It can be configured in many different ways, just as purchased.

With additional leg purchases, it can be configured as a sitting bipod to mimic cross sticks; or as a quad/penta leg setup for long distance rifle shoting.
Hi Bruce. I'm sure ages got much to do with it, I'm 81 and this winter I purchased the shortest barrel, lightest, percussion 50 caliber rifle that I could find, (it weighs 5 3/4 lbs), and I don't do real good with it either.
Squint
 

Bruce Mattes

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Feb 15, 2020
Messages
644
Hi Bruce. I'm sure ages got much to do with it, I'm 81 and this winter I purchased the shortest barrel, lightest, percussion 50 caliber rifle that I could find, (it weighs 5 3/4 lbs), and I don't do real good with it either.
Squint
Squint,
It's a terrible dichotomy that the two things that make traditional offhand m-I shooting easier, long barrels with a longer sight radius, and more weight out front; are exactly what an ageing shooter does not need for the woods.

The ideal rifle for an ageing hunter like myself, IMO, with shoulder issues is a sub-6 pound, halfstock, percussion, sidelock rifle with a .45 caliber, 1:66" twist, patched ball, 24" long, 13/16" octagon-round barrel.

It would be fitted with Q-D sling swivels, and a modern rifleman's sling.

If fitted with a hooked breech plug, and tang, as well as a single barrel key; then you would have ease of cleaning.

Keep the length of pull around 13", and fit the stock with a GOOD recoil pad.

Drill and tap the barrel for a Weaver/Picatinny scope base; and install the same.

Mount a Lyman 57 receiver sight on the tang. Mount a winged, open-top, globe front sight base with a fine bead/post that is tritium backed for low-light shooting.

When the shooters ageing eyes no longer can see to shoot the iron sights, purchase the scope of your choice, along with a set of rings, and continue shooting/hunting for as long as possible.

And SCREW what other people say about scopes on a sidelock.
 

James Sparhawk

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Sep 23, 2019
Messages
225
I find it interesting that marksmanship has been de-emphasized to the point that even in the Marine Corps, it is not what it once was.

I would really like to have a light recoiling, flintlock, perhaps .40 caliber, gain twist, half stock, English Sporting Rifle that was properly set up for use with a modern rifleman's sling.

So that I could spend some serious time learning to shoot properly. Something that I was not taught growing up, nor in the Army ('76-'79).
I highly recommend considering a Lyman GPR or a Traditions "Kentucky". Both are slow twist production guns that are way more affordable that custom guns, way more.
And I can shoot just as good, better than a lot of guys, who shoot them guns that cost anywhere from $2500 to $6000! Both mine are 50 cal, but I only shoot 60 grains of Goex 3f with little recoil and plenty enough power to target shoot and kill deer out to 75 yards. Research proves that higher powder loads do not add enough velocity to justify and decreases accuracy. I also reccomend using a ball that is only .005's smaller than the lands of the rifling with either a .015 and/or a .018 patch. I never have to clean between shots and can shoot all day with the last shot as accurate as the first.
 

Muley Hunter

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Nov 6, 2010
Messages
2,497
I've shot off hand all my life for all practice and hunting. It all I know what my dad did and taught me.

I don't even sight in a new gun or load on a bench. I figure if i'm shooting small groups off hand the gun must be sighted in. I've found the POI changes from a bench sight in to an offhand sight in. So, I never use a bench anymore to sight in.
 

Ninering62

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Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
560
Hi Bruce. I'm sure ages got much to do with it, I'm 81 and this winter I purchased the shortest barrel, lightest, percussion 50 caliber rifle that I could find, (it weighs 5 3/4 lbs), and I don't do real good with it either.
Squint
Sir the fact that you are 81 & still with us & shooting & hunting is just great. I love reading posts like this & meeting men like yourself. I'm in full support, encouragement & much respect.
 
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