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How to Shoot a Rifle Offhand

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How to Shoot a Rifle Offhand

Shooting from your hind legs like a man (or a woman, or whatever makes your heart happy) is by far the most difficult of all the positions.

Beliefs that my generation held as sacred are now null and void. If Capt. John Paul Jones were asked to surrender today, he would not answer “I have not yet begun to fight” but “Let’s work this out. Violence is never the answer, and all these dead bodies in the ocean are an environmental hazard.”

Also, we can’t seem to shoot offhand anymore. We no longer walk; we sit. And thanks to the current long-range craze, the idea of sneaking to get a closer shot at something is as alien as going afield without four electronic devices that you consult every two and a half minutes.

Stand and Deliver
Shooting from your hind legs like a man (or a woman, or whatever makes your heart happy) is by far the most difficult of all the positions. It requires exponentially more practice than any other simply to be competent, never mind good. And it is still absolutely necessary to master, unless you enjoy papering the walls of your home with unpunched licenses.

Offhand, Easily, Sort Of
The secret to shooting offhand is to accept that no one can hold a rifle steady while perched on his hind legs. No one. So don’t try to eliminate muzzle movement; instead, control it. Develop the finesse to make the end of the barrel move in a circle and to make that circle smaller and smaller as you aim. Then, the instant the crosshairs are on any part of the bull’s-eye, pull the trigger. Crude as this approach may seem, a great many of your shots will land in the center of the bull anyway.

The other thing you must do is shoot fast—because bucks won’t stand around waiting for you. An aimed offhand shot should take you no more than five seconds, and three is better. The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll screw up.

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