Pistol Shooting
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Pistol Shooting

Pistol Shooting


Pistol Shooting

Firing a Pistol

With the pistol or revolver in the right hand cock the hammer with the thumb, making sure that the trigger finger is free from the trigger and resting against the forward inner surface of the trigger guard. In cocking the piece have the barrel pointing upward. Then extend the arm upward and forward, so that when you assume your firing position the piece will point about twenty degrees above the bull's-eye. With your eyes fixed on the bull'seye at 6 o'clock inhale enough air to fill the lungs comfortably and lower the piece gradually until the line of the sights comes a short distance below the bull's-eye. Now, holding your breath and steadying the piece as well as you possibly can, bring the line of sights into the position shown in Fig. 85. At the same time gradually increase the pressure on the trigger directly backward, so that when the sights are pointing at the bull's-eye the hammer will fall. Be careful not to pull the trigger with a jerk, but ease it off with a gentle squeeze, so as not disturb the aim. Accustom yourself not to close the eye when the hammer falls, but note carefully where the line of the sights actually points at the instant that the hammer falls. You will, no doubt, find it almost impossible to pull the trigger at the moment the sights are just right. The hammer will fall when the line of sights may point a little too high or too low, or to one side or the other of the bull'seye; but patient practice will correct this, and in time you will be able to let off the arm at the right moment.

The pulling of the trigger is a very delicate operation; it is, in fact, the most important detail to master—the secret of pistol and revolver shooting. If the trigger is pulled suddenly, in the usual way, at the instant when the sights appear to be properly aligned, the aim is so seriously disturbed that a wild shot will result. To avoid this, the pressure on the trigger must always be steadily applied, and while the sights are in line with the bull's-eye. It is, of course, impossible to hold the arm absolutely still, and aim steadily at one point while the pressure is being applied to the trigger; but, in aiming, the unsteadiness of the shooter will cause the line of the sights to point above the bull's-eye, then below it, to one side of it, and then to the other, back and forth and around it, as shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 86. Each time that the line of the sights passes over the bull's-eye the smallest possible increment of additional pressure is successively applied to the trigger until the piece is finally discharged at one of the moments that the sights are in correct alignment. Long and regular practice alone will give the necessary training of the senses and muscles to act in sufficient harmony to enable one to pull the trigger in this way at the right moment for a long series of shots. A " fine sympathy " must be established between the hand, the eye, and the brain, rendering them capable of instant cooperation. After obtaining a fair idea of aiming, etc., watch carefully when the hammer falls, and note if it jars the piece and disturbs the aim. If not, you are holding the arm properly. If the aim is disturbed, you must grip the arm tighter or more loosely, or move your hand up or down on the handle, or otherwise change your method of holding the piece until your " hold " is such that you can snap the hammer and the aim remain undisturbed. This aiming and snapping drill is largely practised by expert shots indoors, when they do not havethe opportunity to practise regularly out-ofdoors.

Himmelwright, A.L.A.. Pistol and Revolver Shooting. New York: MacMillan, 1922.

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