Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Natural Points Of Aim Matter

I was a little sloppy when I shot the Postal target with pistols and I shot a four and a three.  That's not bad, but I was muscling in the sights and I should have used Natural Point Of Aim to at least center up the windage for each nut before I squeezed off.  I wobble enough it might not have mattered, but it matters more when you move out to 25 yards and shoot with a rifle.  I lined up on the top left nut, squeezed off; and missed high and left.  I was shooting with my elbows on the bench and using a hasty sling for steadiness, but when you break that trigger the rifle will drift toward your natural point of aim before the bullet leaves the barrel.  If that spot is somewhere other than your intended target, you will miss.  I adjusted my position for the remaining nine nuts, breathed, paused and shot, and made all of them.

These nuts are just a little bigger than a 1 inch circle, so at 25 yards you just need the ability to shoot into 4 minutes of angle to make a respectable score.  With a pistol at 25 feet you need to be able to hold your shots inside of 12 minutes of angle.  These numbers have been my guide behind putting these targets together.  If you make the required minutes less than those you make the target more about luck than good shooting technique.  You should utilize NPOA for pistols, too.  Adjust your stance so your windage is dead on the center, and then adjust your grip and holding method so your elevation wants to center vertically.  I use a close-in hold with my left forearm on my chest when I am shooting .22 pistols, and it keeps me closer to the center of the target than shooting with my arms extended.  I do the same thing when I shoot a rifle offhand, and also use the sling to tighten up my hold.

I enjoy watching Hickok shoot his gong at 80 yards, and he can hit it with just about any pistol he tries.  Do the math.  It is a 24" gong at 80 yards; that is 30 minutes of angle.  At 25 feet where we have been shooting our e-Postal targets, that is equivalent to a 2.5" circle. You all have been hitting 1" circles at that distance with your pistols, so you could do the same as Hickok with ease after you learn your holdover for the relatively slow pistol bullets.

You can go to the Label section of this blog, bring up the e-Postal matches, download the targets still out there on the Internet, (All of mine are there.) and relive all the good times we had here shooting against each other.  Make up your own rules for shooting them and keep up your shooting skills.


Merle Morrison said...

I had NPOA hammered into me by the Marine instructors in Navy boot camp - never forgot it. They sure enjoyed tormenting us lowly boots.
Some guys got a bitter lesson with M1 thumb, but Dad had already advised me not to do it, so I was extra careful.

As I used to tell my kids (and any other trainees) "IF YOU STRAIN, YOU WOBBLE. IF YOU WOBBLE - YOU MISS" That seemed to work pretty good, and greatly simplified the explanation.


David aka True Blue Sam said...

You have me wondering what Susan's father was trained on in 1941, but he is not here to ask now. I think he was trained on '03 Springfields. He talked about them, and I know that he used the M1 in the Pacific. I just don't know when that entered the picture. He said that he preferred the BAR when they were fighting, and he would pick up the first one he could get his hands on. He hated the Reising. I think everone did. He carried a 1911 when he fought, and kept it hidden when they weren't fighting. He didn't bring it home. A Kabar was his constant companion and he used it regularly on Iwo. Kabars don't choke up in the sand...

Merle Morrison said...

Sounds like he was a Marine. It also sounds like he had some real stories. I hope he was able to share some of his memories, but many couldn't talk about it. If so, the Marines hung onto the 03's longer, as they didn't trust the M1 - that and the Marines generally got the dregs back then. It would be my guess that he trained on the 03. And it was most likely an 03, not an 03-A3 since those came out a bit later IIRC.

My Dad trained on the 03, then his unit was issued spanking new M1's. As soon as he had cleaned out the cosmolene they took it away and gave him a BAR; since he was nicknamed "Bull" I guess that explains it. He never got to fire an M1, until years later when I got my DCM Garand.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

He was in the 21st of the 3rd Division. His service made him a kind and generous man.