Natural Point of Aim

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Post by mikemyers on 5/13/2019, 10:08 am

Every time I get involved in Brian Zins writings, this question comes up, and I've never yet found an answer:

From https://www.bullseyepistol.com/zins.htm

The wording:     "" Yes back in the day they taught “grip alignment.” Well grip alignment as they described it is BS, just like Natural Point of Aim with a pistol is BS. But that’s a different conversation.




People have taught me about Natural Point of Aim for years, and I've been trying to use the concept since then, but it rarely seems to work for me as I expected.  Here Brian is saying it's BS.  So, my question, why is it BS?   Maybe just the way it didn't really work for me, it doesn't really work for others?  I have no idea, but I do know a lot of people believe in it.
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Post by David R on 5/13/2019, 10:24 am

Just two weeks ago I had shot a 30 round course.  Next I shot my wife’s 45.  First shot of slow fire,  I fired the shot long before I was ready.   It was a 10.   Totally accidental.   Trigger is lighter than my regular 45, so I got lucky because my body and hand were pointing at the bull even though I had not focused on the dot yet.  

It works for me.   It’s the same in spoter rifle. 

David


Last edited by David R on 5/14/2019, 6:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by james r chapman on 5/13/2019, 10:43 am

I’ve not understood the negative aspect of NPA either. If it’s the natural alignment of eye>rear sight>front sight>target.
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Post by Jack H on 5/13/2019, 10:53 am

Consider NPA as "Natural Position of Alignment" -  With your eye.

You can move your feet later.
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Post by Oleg G on 5/13/2019, 11:26 am

I recall that Brian said (emphatically) that Natural Point of Aim is BS in the clinic, which I attended. When asked to explain, Brian said that in pistol shooting, the wobble is too much to talk about an NPA. Brian's point is that Natural POINT of Aim (pun intended) is not a good concept for pistol, where we use Area Aiming, while it is very applicable for rifle.
Where people get confused is: we talk finding NPA as part of establishing your stance and position of body/arm in relation to target. Brian teaches us to NOT look for a specific point of aim, as it is futile in pistol shooting, where we employ area aiming.
So, for pistol shooting, according to Brian, we should ban the use of a term Natural Point of Aim. Instead we need to talk separately about a natural position of the body/arm in relation to the target and our aiming area. Avoid using the word POINT when we discuss pistol shooting.

Hopefully, this makes sense.
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Post by Jack H on 5/13/2019, 11:42 am

The target is totally irrelevant when you try to line the pistol sights up with your eye.  Like at a blank wall.
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Post by Slartybartfast on 5/13/2019, 12:24 pm

Oleg G wrote:Avoid using the word POINT when we discuss pistol shooting.

Makes it seem that the issue is needlessly being made unclear and confusing over a militant desire to be pedantic.
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Post by james r chapman on 5/13/2019, 1:11 pm

Jack H wrote:The target is totally irrelevant when you try to line the pistol sights up with your eye.  Like at a blank wall.
I understand blank wall drills but, how is the target not relevant to alignment?
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Post by dronning on 5/13/2019, 1:55 pm

To the OP, that act of settling into a natural stance where your wobble area is centered in the black is a valid concept.  Nitpicking about Point of Aim or Area is noise.  

The fact is if you get into your stance you close your eyes and raise your gun into the shooting position:

  1. If the sights are not aligned you need to adjust your grip.
  2. If your sights are aligned, or dot in the center of your optic, but you are not centered on the target then you need to adjust your stance by moving your rear foot.  

KEEP it SIMPLE!
- Dave
After reading it I realized I needed to change the order,  You need to get your grip adjusted first then adjust your stance to get centered on the target.


Last edited by dronning on 5/13/2019, 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by mikemyers on 5/13/2019, 2:20 pm

Oleg, did Brian maybe mean "Natural Area of Aim"?
I think that is what you are suggesting.
If so, that could be the answer to my question.

Then he would sound more like Dave Salyer.
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Post by Oleg G on 5/13/2019, 2:36 pm

Mike, you can think of it that way.
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Post by Jack H on 5/13/2019, 9:47 pm

james r chapman wrote:
Jack H wrote:The target is totally irrelevant when you try to line the pistol sights up with your eye.  Like at a blank wall.
I understand blank wall drills but, how is the target not relevant to alignment?

I am referring to aligning the pistol sights to your eye, and your line of sight.  Just to your eye so that you and the gun are a unit. 
I ask you, How much adjustment is there in your Zins grip to move the gun to the right if your grip points way left from your line of sight?
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Post by mikemyers on 5/14/2019, 8:11 am

It isn't to say they are right or wrong but everyone who has told me, or wiitten, about natural point of Aim was telling me to correct it with my feet. Having a useful grip before doing this would be essential I think. Otherwise, what's the point.

I'm not trying to second guess anyone, I'm only trying to understand why Brian wrote what he did.
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Post by Wobbley on 5/14/2019, 8:57 am

“Natural Point of AIM” is a bit of an oxymoron. It is none of these. Even with a rifle in the standing position. Your body moves all over. Rifle shooters compensate for the motion in their bodies by moving the rifle to keep the sights aligned and on target.

When you do your dry firing, go develop a grip so that when you bring the gun up in your stance the sights are aligned and aligned with your eye. Now adjust your stance so that the whole system is within the target frame. For most it’s all you need.
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Post by Jack H on 5/14/2019, 11:37 am

Wobbley wrote:“Natural Point of AIM” is a bit of an oxymoron.  It is none of these.  Even with a rifle in the standing position.  Your body moves all over.  Rifle shooters compensate for the motion in their bodies by moving the rifle to keep the sights aligned and on target.

When you do your dry firing, go develop a grip so that when you bring the gun up in your stance the sights are aligned and aligned with your eye.  Now adjust your stance so that the whole system is within the target frame.  For most it’s all you need.  

That is pretty much what I said.  Except I would add more to develop (discover) than just grip.  Arm angle, head position, shoulder height, etc all need be in a natural (comfortable might be a better word) position without any forcing into alignment with your eye.  You are a big gun aboard a ship.  You rotate your turret (feet) to the target.  Let's hope for calm, wobble free seas.
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Post by LenV on 5/14/2019, 12:15 pm

I pretty much do everything the way Jack does. Probably the same teachers. But "natural" point of aim? That would be lined up with my big toe. Very Happy 

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Post by mikemyers on 5/15/2019, 7:48 am

Wobbley wrote:“Natural Point of AIM” is a bit of an oxymoron.  It is none of these.  Even with a rifle in the standing position.  Your body moves all over.  Rifle shooters compensate for the motion in their bodies by moving the rifle to keep the sights aligned and on target.

When you do your dry firing, go develop a grip so that when you bring the gun up in your stance the sights are aligned and aligned with your eye.  Now adjust your stance so that the whole system is within the target frame.  For most it’s all you need.  
For me, I figure I need to start somewhere.  I guess I also need to un-do some bad habits.

From previous suggestions, I need to learn the first step, as highlighted above, before I do anything else.  That needs to be done with my eyes closed.  I might not get much dry-firing in....   I expect to be spending most of my time just doing what you suggested - at least with one of my two main Bullseye guns, the Model 41 and a 45.  I don't see how I'll learn if I'm doing this with more guns, as each feels "different".  Every time I do get the gun raised in front of my eye, I'll move my feet as needed to get the "whole system" (as you put it) aligned with the target.  

To be realistic, I guess I need to stand in a different spot each time, so I base EVERYTHING on what I see with my own eye(s) before closing them to raise the gun.  Otherwise I'll be aligning myself with my room, which can't be of any help.  



Brian suggests using a holster to help develop the right grip.  Not sure what I have in way of holsters, just one that I've never, ever used for my 45.  I certainly don't have one for my Model 41.  The holster for my 45 is probably way too tight - I might create another thread to get suggestions as to how to break it in, so the gun is easy to insert/remove.
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Post by DA/SA on 5/15/2019, 8:30 am

Just pick one gun (.22) ant stick with it. 

Don't keep confusing the issue by trying to use multiple guns and calibers until you have .22 dialed in and shooting good scores.

If .22 isn't working, there is no sense in trying .45 as it won't be any better.

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Post by mikemyers on 5/15/2019, 9:41 am

Fine; when it comes to Bullseye shooting, I'll use one hand, and follow the instructions, shooting only my 22.

When it comes to enjoying shooting at the range, I followed the above advice last time, and missed out on enjoying my other guns, until I started working on the Model 52.  If you ask me which is more important to me, now, between enjoying reloading and shooting, and higher scores, the scores are secondary.  Heck, I'm going to be 76 in a few months, I'm never going to be a threat to anyone in this forum, and I'm not learning Bullseye to be competitive anyway.  The only person I'm competing with is myself.  

So for Bullseye, I'll follow the advice, and stick to my 22 only.  

The rest of the time I want to enjoy all my other guns, semi-auto and revolver, in 38, 45, 9mm, and 44.  None of this means I won't follow the above suggestions when shooting the other guns two-handed.  The reason I do all this is more so because I enjoy it, than being competitive.
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Post by dronning on 5/15/2019, 10:16 am

mikemyers wrote: I'm not learning Bullseye to be competitive anyway.  The only person I'm competing with is myself.  <===the most difficult competition!

It's just fine if you want to shoot for fun and just burn some powder, I do this with many of my guns that are just fun to shoot.

But the second you decide you want to be a better shot with ANY of your guns then there must be a process to follow because if there is no process there is no improvement, just random better or worse scores or broken targets (shotgun).
- Dave
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Post by mikemyers on 5/15/2019, 11:52 am

Dave, I'm hoping I can continue to work on Bullseye shooting, one handed, while also using my other guns for two-handed shooting.  There's not only the ones I listed, but also Black Powder.  The reason I do any of this, is because I enjoy it.  If I'm not enjoying it, what's the point?  I'll enjoy it even more if I can shoot better, and for that I'll concentrate on one-handed with my Model 41.

My impression has been that all the "work" I do trying to follow the recommendations here, leads to doing better at any kind of shooting.  


I assume that a professional car racer, or motorcycle racer, will improve their ability to drive anything else, and I wouldn't expect driving "anything else" to degrade their ability to compete professionally.  I see that as a good analogy, shooting "professionally" with one hand", while also doing fun shooting with two hands.  

At the same time, I've been thinking about this, and you might have a good point that if I work at Bullseye with my 22, I might be hurting my ability with that gun to also start shooting the other guns one-handed.  Grip, stance, and so many other things are different.  



Back to this thread, you guys have convinced me to give up on my previous concept of "natural post of aim", and go with the new (to me) concept of closing my eyes, raising gun and aiming, and if I'm not line up correctly, lower gun, move feet, and try again.  I think you've convinced me to stand for dry-firing, move to the right or left a little, then look at target, grip gun, close eyes, raise and aim gun, open eyes - and either stop (if things are good) or do-over (otherwise).   (If I don't move around every so often, I'm going to be using my living room as a reference for how I position my body in relation to the target, when I guess I should be seeing and concentrating ONLY on the target.)
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