Not my question entirely but why one handed?

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Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by beeser on Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:17 pm

I just experienced another one of those "why one handed" questions earlier this week at the range but this time with a confused facial expression followed by a comment that shooting pistol two handed is more accurate.  I don't have the experience to respond to questions like this completely but most of you here do.  So, speaking for those that ask me, why is Bullseye shot one handed?  What is the origin of the sport?  Is there an equivalent competition where two handed shooting is allowed?  Can one handed shooting be just as accurate as two handed?  And if one handed shooting can be just as accurate, why do BE rules require one handed shooting only?

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by james r chapman on Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:04 pm

I'll tell ya, imho, 2 hand is NOT as accurate as one hand for pure precision shooting.

I shoot PPC and I feel 2 hand throws twice as many variables into holding that thing dead steady...

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by john bickar on Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:13 pm

So you can hold onto the reins of your horse with the other hand.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by CrankyThunder on Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:24 pm

When your hands are as shaky as mine are, one hand is lots better then two!

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by LenV on Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:26 pm

I agree with James. Not sure about Johns. There is much more control using your dominate hand for fine muscle control. And, before the dots and scopes came along it was advantageous to keep the pistol at a full arms length to get the proper sight picture. The closer the pistol gets to your eyeball the wider the rear sight notch looks and the less in focus it becomes. Yes, you focus on the front sight and it is impossible for the human eye to focus on two objects at a different distance at the same time but the further they are from you the clearer both objects appear.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:38 pm

John Bickar is right about the origins of pistol shooting.  The primary users of HAND guns (not "hands" gun) were military officers on ship or land, or mounted (horseback) fighters.

Those personnel who were not on horseback were typically fighting with the pistol in 1 hand and their sword in the other.  When pistols evolved to multi-shot capacity, those fighters became more effective.  With the additional effectiveness came the mounted troops.  That's when the sword was primarily worn and the pistol was in the hand that wasn't controlling the horse.

If you examine the history of the pistol from its invention to 1975 or so, you really see that it was a 1 handed weapon.  It stopped making sense for it to be 1 handed when it became effective enough that fighters quit carrying swords.  The pistol has always been a close combat tool, and when you ran out of the <8 bullets it was time for hand-to-hand combat--and it's better to fight that way with a hand free.

So when you really break it down, the pistol wasn't effective enough to be reloaded fast enough until around WW1--with the magazine fed auto pistols.  That's when you stop seeing fighters relying on the sword and actually having a free hand.  It is coincidental that WW1 was the end of the effective use of mounted cavalry and the switch to mechanized warfare.  Either way, warriors didn't have to hold reins anymore either.

It took from then until the 70s or later for people to train to shoot pistols with 2 hands.  That is a rather new development in the history of HAND guns.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by LenV on Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:10 pm

In 1972 or 1973 (old memories) while I was shooting for 7th Army I may have fired in the first Combat match at Ft Benning GA. After spending about 3 months making the shooting tour all of the different Army teams make it back to Benning and we shoot the All Army matches. In that whole 3 months we never fired a single 2 handed combat match. At Benning we started practicing 2 handed and on match day we (those selected to fire) shot our NMC and a 30 round 2 handed combat match. It was a long time ago but I remember it as 10 shots standing, 10 kneeling and 10 prone. I have no idea what that match evolved into but I know it surprised me that we shot it. That may have been the beginning of 2 handed matches.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by beeser on Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:35 pm

Extending the proposal mentioned in a General Discussion topic regarding the possible name change from Conventional to Precision why not allow two handed shooting?  Let competition dictate which method is more accurate.  It would seem to me that a more pure form of competition with the later name change would promote whatever method it took for a bullet to find the bullseye, that is with reasonable limitations.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by CR10X on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:00 pm

First during the 60's and 70's, the Modern Technique was beginning to take hold even on certain military circles. It was an interesting time of combat pistol evolution. Might try reading some on Weaver, Cooper, Enos, Leatham, Ayoob, etc.

This is a sport, like olympic so the rules are what they are. If you want use 2 hands, then try Action Pistol, IPSC, Metallic Silhouette, etc. Its not how accurate we can be, if it was we shoot bench rest. Everyone one of us has shot a ten, so it aint the fact that one hand is not accurate enough. This I s a test of the person, not the equipment.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:37 pm

Leatham was a young pup back then, and came to the Modern Technique well after the party was under way.

IIRC, he became a force AFTER the support hand hooking on a hooked front of the trigger guard had been proven to be little help and perhaps inducing a compromise to accuracy.

Now, as far as modern military usage, do we ever have mounted vehicle drivers or others needing to have another had free often enough for 1-hand skills to be a necessary item in the "toolbox?"

I remember years ago, like 1980s, one IPSC rationale for one-handed (AND non-dominant hand) shooting being a regular part of the match menu was the possibility of one of the two hands being injured in the initial attack. I also subscribed to the other rationale of 1-hand being needed because of real-life situations such as facing a threat while carrying a load (or kid).

Then there is manipulating doors and brushing non-combatants out of your line of fire, but that starts getting a bit removed from slow fire and 5-round strings starting with the pistol in hand and pointed at the target area.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by beeser on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:58 pm

CR10X wrote:First during the 60's and 70's, the Modern Technique was beginning to take hold even on certain military circles. It was an interesting time of combat pistol evolution. Might try reading some on Weaver, Cooper, Enos, Leatham, Ayoob, etc.

This is a sport, like olympic so the rules are what they are.  If you want use 2 hands,  then try Action Pistol, IPSC, Metallic Silhouette, etc.  Its not how accurate we can be, if it was we shoot bench rest. Everyone one of us has shot a ten, so it aint the fact that one hand is not accurate enough.  This I s a test of the person, not the equipment.
Having little knowledge or experience of the shooting sports previously I find myself now reading a lot about the subject.  I've read a little from Cooper already and recently Ayoob, both very interesting people.  I just finished reading The Pistol Shooter's Treasury and about to go through it again.  If anyone has any specific books to suggest I would be most interested knowing about them.

I don't know much about the other shooting sports mentioned but it's my understanding that their objective is more practical, that is the accuracy they are trying to achieve is limited to a larger target or close enough to get the job done if you will.  As for Conventional or Precision shooting I thought the ultimate goal that everyone strives for is every shot in the center of the bullseye.  No doubt a test of the person but also the equipment.  One can't be achieved without the other the way I see it.  If not, what am I not understanding?  I realize that there must be limitations and rules but it seems to me that shooting two handed is not like shooting with an artificial brace like a bench rest, leaning on the bench, arm brace etc., it's a different technique using another part of the anatomy, a test of the whole person.  I don't know which technique is capable of shooting more Xs but wouldn't competition be able to flush that out?


Last edited by beeser on Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by CR10X on Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:02 pm

Thanks, that was my point about Leatham and Enos too. The technique continued to evolve even after Cooper. Of course they were also arguing about tactical versus sport as well.

Anyway, for our bullseye targets and time, we already know we can shoot 10's with one hand. Its just a question of who can shoot the most in each contest and conditions. CR

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by CR10X on Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:15 pm

Beeser, I feel the the goal is to do the best within the established rules, not change the rules just to see if more shots will go in the center. For two hands standing try Metallic Shilouette at 200 yards with a .44 mag.

The precision of the equipment required for bullseye is much less a factor than the ability of the person to consistently apply whatever precision is available.
CR

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by beeser on Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:46 pm

CR10X wrote:Beeser, I feel the the goal is to do the best within the established rules,  not change the rules just to see if more shots will go in the center.  For two hands standing try Metallic Shilouette at 200 yards with a .44 mag.

The precision of the equipment required for bullseye is much less a factor than the ability of the person to consistently apply whatever precision is available.
CR
I agree about trying to do the best within the established boundaries and I'm not advocating a rules change, just questioning the origin and reason for them.  To suggest or accept that one handed shooting in Bullseye is part of the tradition is one thing (and that's fine) but to suggest it is the way toward ultimate precision shooting is another without giving other techniques an opportunity to prove otherwise.  Short of that I would have to say continue calling it Conventional Pistol and leave Precision Pistol to a more open competition.  BTW, I'm not interested in the other pistol shooting sports.  I have enough on my plate with just trying emulate the skills of other BE shooters, here and the ones I've met.  So far I haven't come close but progress is being made.

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Zins, vs. Leatham ?

Post by 45 MIKE on Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:13 pm

Zins one handed. Leatham two handed. that would be a match I would pay to see

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by CR10X on Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:38 pm

I know several very good IPSC shooters that can shoot great groups at 50 with 2 hands.  The very best do it as part of their training.  But since time is more valuable than points in that game, they strike a different balance for match shooting.  It would be an interesting contest. 

Beeser,  I think we agree on the concepts, just saying them in different ways.  I'm trying to say is that ultimate precision is, in my opinion, not the goal of conventional or olympic pistol shooting (say free or air pistol for that matter).   If it was, we would probably already be using 2 hands.  I think you are saying why isn't there a sport that does that (like free-style Free Pistol or stand-up bench rest pistol). 

The technique is defined by the rules; for precision shooting, IPSC, or any other "sport".  If we change the technique, then it is not olympic or conventional pistol anymore, and we can call it something else, which I think is what you are saying.   What I'm saying is that if we change the technique or rules and use 2 hands we already have several sports that allow that. 

If we want to add another one for 2 hand precision, we will need some really smaller targets or face the same problem of Action Pistol, determining winner by X's.   I'm not bragging, but it ain't that hard for me (and a whole lot of other shooters) to shoot 100's at 50 with 2 hands.  I do it pretty often with brand new guns that IPSC shooters need help getting sighted in.  It will about 24 hours for Zins to do that 27 times and post a 2700 with 2 hands using the existing target.  

We are already hitting the center some, so the change in the technique would be for more consistency in the application of the available precision.   That was my point.  Like you said, it will probably make more x's, but only for the shooter capable of X's already. So therefore we would be changing the technique for more points, not more precision (unless we make the targets smaller).  Like you said, we have so little time and shooters are not that interested in olympic or conventional as it is, giving them 2 hand and a smaller target probably will not generate much attention.  

I mean, even with the new position change allowed by NRA for bullseye for 2 hands; we've had to expand the parking lot at our range (NOT!). 

Sorry, about the equipment versus the person again.  A good shooter will an average gun will always beat a average shooter with the best gun available.  In general, with 2 hands and the average 38 / 357 mag S&W revolver with decent ammo, a good shooter has a pretty good chance of all 10's and 9's.  The average shooter will not be anywhere close with that same gun.  What I'm trying to say is that by at least an order of 10 to 1, the person is more important than the equipment. I'll even say it another way, I'll give Zins a Glock and the Marksman can have a 1.5 inch Toyota / Masaki / KC Crawford / Les Bear and I'm willing to bet on who wins.  Based on my observations to date.   

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by robert84010 on Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:15 pm

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Last edited by robert84010 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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One Handed

Post by throttleup on Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:14 pm

Beeser,
Our .22 indoor Bullseye league has been meeting and shooting for three years.  Our participation started dropping in the second year.   Many of our shooters shoot IPSC, IDPA and Steel Challenge, all of course with two hands.   So we started letting those who shoot iron sights use a two hand grip.   Participation went up and scores went up 10 to 15 points on the average.   Three months ago we changed again so that the red dot shooters could also use a two hand hold.   Again scores and participation went up.  

Most of our shooters are over 60 and have a variety of creaks, groans and other ailments.   No one is going to Camp Perry.   We just compete for the weekly bragging rights.  I know my scores are much higher and more consistent.   Also, my shoulder doesn't ache anymore.   I use to have to take Ibuprofen before and after every match but no more!

Yes, I know.   We do not shoot REAL Bullseye.   Guess what?  We don't care.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by kwixdraw on Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:04 am

Beezer. If you want a real blast from the past, find a copy of Bill Jordan's book, "No Second Place Winner."   I have a copy autographed by Mr. Jordan and every now and again I give it a look through to see how far we have come. Revolvers were the police combat weapon at the time and Mr. Jordan ( a U.S. Border Patrolman ) would regularly give demonstrations of his hip shooting skill by shooting 6 aspirin off a tabletop with six shots from his Model 19 S&W at seven yards. One handed and double action mind you.

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by kwixdraw on Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:30 am

CR, I think you are onto something about the two handed precision shooting and smaller targets. It's just not a game most shooters want to play. 30 odd years ago when I first hired on to the local PD I met a couple guys who were really into PPC and tried to get me into that game. Being a BE guy and carrying a 1911 on duty we started a pretty lively rivalry as to which was the most accurate, wheel gun or autoloader. This developed into a game that attracted some spectators. We would post target, blank side showing and place a number of target paster squares on them and run them out to 10 yds. We would then call the corner of the square we were going to shoot at and see how close we could get to the corner without touching the tape square. Sort of like lagging pennies I guess. Having outstanding vision back then and getting lots of range time we managed to put on some pretty remarkable demonstrations of precision shooting. After a double dozen officers had seen us do this, there were only a few that asked about the techniques we used, and no one ever asked to try their hand at it. It was a freak show to them. Maybe they tried them on their own later but we never knew it. They simply didn't feel that they needed to be that accurate with their side arms. Most of the officers couldn't tell you how their sights were set beyond it being centered and having the standard Glock, Colt, Berretta sight on the gun.
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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by CR10X on Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:06 am

Throughout the years, I've tried many of the shooting sports, from just plain plinking, just trying to survive shooting, some serious long range shooting, fast draw, IPSC (heck it wasn't even called that then), bullseye, olympic style, trap, skeet, sporting clays, metallic silhouette, etc.   Pretty much everything but benchrest and even then I spent time reading and studying technique and equipment. Now I started pretty young and I've become pretty old so I did have a number of years and opportunities to try out these things.  I've tried to read pretty much everything I can lay my hands on related to shooting and pistol technique. 

I will say that I have learned something from everyone of those sports or activities.  Even today, I sometimes have the opportunity to talk to a very good IPSC shooter (Chris Tilley) and we still go back to the basics.  You have to know what you need to see for that shot (sight alignment and sight picture), and find a way to complete the shot without screwing it up within the need time (technique to accomplish the trigger press without messing up the sights). 

Different parts of those two things have differing attractions to shooters and every shooter has something that really attracts them to that specific sport.  Differing opinions on why or how we should be doing it leads to other variations (USPSA vs IPSC vs IDPA, skeet vs Pigeon vs sporting clays, etc.)

But from my opinion, as long as they are safely shooting and handing guns, we're all really playing the same sport.  And from the public perspective that can make us even stronger, if we don't divide ourselves. 

Thanks for shooting.

CR

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by TexasC on Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:39 pm

"One handed " is because conventional pistol is an evolution of National Match Competition which was initially military based. Pistols were the preferred weapon of the horse mounted soldier and for dismounted engagements the trooper would make his shots with his strong hand and hold his mount with the other. With this information one can see why we do it the way we do it.
If you look at the recent news (Friday Nov. 28, 2014) from Austin TX a mounted police officer engaged an active shooter, with an automatic weapon,  dismounted one handed because he was holding at least 2 mounts. The only death in this series of events was the perpetrator. Although very unusual it demonstrates the why we do it the way we do. Antiquated or not I do not want to compete unless I am capable of doing it the way it was originated, especially for the Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge.
With the monkey on my back, I continue the chase.
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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by TexasC on Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:48 pm

Rather than edit or add to my last I will post a new reply to direct anyone wanting more info to here
http://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/Distinguished_History.pdf
Hap Rocketto's treatise on the Distinguished program inspired me to get my rifleman's badge and after that chase the DPS one handed.
Mike

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by beeser on Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:21 pm

TexasC wrote:Rather than edit or add to my last I will post a new reply to direct anyone wanting more info to here
http://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/Distinguished_History.pdf
Hap Rocketto's treatise on the Distinguished program inspired me to get my rifleman's badge and after that chase the DPS one handed.
Mike
Interesting read but no where did I find any explanation of the origin or requirement for one handed pistol matches.  In fact, Page 18 (toward the bottom) talks about M9 Pistol Matches where "Competitors may either use a two-handed or a one handed firing position".

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

Post by CR10X on Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:34 pm

The requirements are in the rule book. I thought there was the option for alternative position last year.  I can't find the alternative to 5.5 anywhere in the rules or the changes.  Anyone know what happened?

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Re: Not my question entirely but why one handed?

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