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Hypothetical Question - How many hands do you hold a gun with for the best accuracy?

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Psween
Slamfire
Jack H
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How many hands do you hold your gun with, if you want to shoot the best possible target with your ability

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Post by mikemyers 11/4/2020, 10:41 pm

You go to a range, and a group of people there want to see who can shoot the best.
Everyone gets to shoot 5 rounds at their target, then it's scored.
It's open to everyone, and maybe there are lots of Bullseye shooters there.

Any caliber, any gun, whatever you're shooting at the range that day.  It's very informal.
Let's say the target is at 25 yards, supposedly to make it more of a challenge.
The person with the highest score wins a dinner at a nearby restaurant.

So, how many hands do you hold your gun with?  One, Two, or none - you decline.


(What made me think of this, is with my 1911 wad gun, no matter how well I shoot, I still always can do better using two hands.)
(Any time I get better with one hand, I also get better yet with two.)

(It's not exactly a Bullseye question, but since you took up Bullseye, you must have improved greatly shooting with one hand.  From what you learned, did you also get even better with two hands?)
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Post by LenV 11/4/2020, 11:27 pm

Fine motor control. I shoot better with one hand. I can shoot rapid fire better with two but that's not really your question. I also putt better with one hand. My left hand is this uncoordinated thing that twitches and jerks when I don't want it to.
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Post by Wobbley 11/5/2020, 12:14 am

In most cases, I can get 6 out of 10 in the Ten ring offhand at 25 yards.  If I’m testing, I tend to shoot with one hand rested and I rest my head in a “rollover prone” style even if I shoot seated at a table.
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Post by james r chapman 11/5/2020, 4:44 am

What Len said.
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Post by bruce martindale 11/5/2020, 9:07 am

Too many cooks spoil the brew...one hand is better for me. For speed and recoil recovery, it's two.

So I think you need to pay more attention to what's going on in one hand. Shoot a blank target to avoid the temptation to look at something other than sights.

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Post by CR10X 11/5/2020, 9:38 am

From what I've noticed, to get the best accuracy most guns need to be held by someone else.    Shocked Laughing

Old joke:  

Question: How do I get my gun to shoot better.

Answer: Give it to somebody else. 

CR

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Post by Sa-tevp 11/5/2020, 4:36 pm

I had asked my air pistol coach (Navy UDT, pistol and rifle teams) about the benefits of one or two hands about eight years ago when I was getting started. His advice was one hand gave better precision and two hands gave better rapid fire control. My experience matches the advice.
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Post by Jack H 11/5/2020, 4:52 pm

It is hard to beat one hand when everything is working right.  Slowfire or sustained.
That's a good gun, good environment, the physical you, and the mental you.
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Post by Slamfire 11/12/2020, 5:49 pm

Ha, ha, someone asked a Bullseye Forum what was the most accurate way to shoot a handgun, and the majority said "with one hand".


On the Cavalry Forum, the majority replied "on a horse".

I wonder what Astronauts would say.

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Post by mikemyers 11/12/2020, 6:17 pm

While that might be true, asking in the Bullseye forum I just wanted to know the most accurate way to shoot.  Nothing here about the rules.  People shoot with one hand because they have to.

Shooting with a rest would undoubtedly improve scores for most people.
I've been struggling to shoot as well with one hand as I can with two.

For me, the answer to the question, as asked, is not "one hand".

The rules say one hand, so that's what we do to compete.  Shooting on a rest is more accurate.  Shooting on a professional testing support would be more accurate too.  To me, once I raise up my support hand to, well, support the gun, my accuracy improves.

Judging by the scores so far, 1/4 of the people responding may be like me, and using that second hand improves their shooting.  As for the rest, maybe they've gotten so good one handed, that the don't need any additional support.  I guess that's one of my goals, but I'm not there yet.  Closer, but not there.
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Post by Sa-tevp 11/12/2020, 6:54 pm

There are some shooters that have claimed they can shoot better than a Ransom Rest for several series of shots. One handed, on hind legs. I suspect they probably can, considering their NRA classification.
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Post by Psween 11/13/2020, 8:48 am

Maybe it's because I'm so out of practice with one hand, and was never particularly good even at my best, but for me a two hand hold gives roughly half the perceived wobble area, and about half the group size as one hand. The rules say one hand so that's what I do, but physics and body mechanics (I'm an engineer) say two will be better assuming equal levels of training.

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Post by mikemyers 11/13/2020, 10:36 am

Psween wrote:Maybe it's because I'm so out of practice with one hand, and was never particularly good even at my best, but for me a two hand hold gives roughly half the perceived wobble area, and about half the group size as one hand. The rules say one hand so that's what I do, but physics and body mechanics (I'm an engineer) say two will be better assuming equal levels of training.

Patrick
Up to the point where something else becomes my limiting factor, what you wrote is 100% true for me.

Also agreed - the rules say one hand, so that's what I do - but chances are, for any gun I own, two hands will improve my accuracy over one hand.

I expected the poll results to demonstrate that - the way I worded the question, it was obviously not for a Bullseye Competition.
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Post by LenV 11/13/2020, 11:07 am

It's not just about hold. There are some solid physics behind the advantages to shooting one handed vs two. Both iron sights and red dots work best at the greater distance from your eyeball you get by extending your arm. This is easy to test and easy to prove. With a red dot extend your arm fully and aim it at something 50yds or so away. Move your head and the dot will barely move in relation to the target. Move the pistol a lot closer to your eye and try again. The closer you get to your face the more the dot moves in relation to the target. With iron sights the problem is the width of the opening in the rear sight. The closer the pistol is to your face the wider that opening appears. If it appears too big it is much harder to keep the front sight alligned. And to keep the front sight in focus if your getting long in the tooth. Just another .02 for you to mull over Mike.
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Post by CR10X 11/13/2020, 12:07 pm

Well, the hardest pistol shooting sport with the option of one or two hands that I can think of is metallic silhouette pistol standing.

And I've never heard of anyone using only 1 hand.  Even the weird "taco hold" or "reverse taco" uses 2 hands. 

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Post by Schaumannk 11/13/2020, 12:13 pm

mikemyers wrote:While that might be true, asking in the Bullseye forum I just wanted to know the most accurate way to shoot.  Nothing here about the rules.  People shoot with one hand because they have to.

Shooting with a rest would undoubtedly improve scores for most people.
I've been struggling to shoot as well with one hand as I can with two.

For me, the answer to the question, as asked, is not "one hand".

The rules say one hand, so that's what we do to compete.  Shooting on a rest is more accurate.  Shooting on a professional testing support would be more accurate too.  To me, once I raise up my support hand to, well, support the gun, my accuracy improves.

Judging by the scores so far, 1/4 of the people responding may be like me, and using that second hand improves their shooting.  As for the rest, maybe they've gotten so good one handed, that the don't need any additional support.  I guess that's one of my goals, but I'm not there yet.  Closer, but not there.
The most accurate way to shoot a gun is ransom rest followed in close order by bench rest.  Why exclude those options and limit yourself to one handed or two handed?

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Post by Slamfire 11/13/2020, 12:39 pm

mikemyers wrote:While that might be true, asking in the Bullseye forum I just wanted to know the most accurate way to shoot.  Nothing here about the rules.  People shoot with one hand because they have to.

Shooting with a rest would undoubtedly improve scores for most people.
I've been struggling to shoot as well with one hand as I can with two.

For me, the answer to the question, as asked, is not "one hand".

The rules say one hand, so that's what we do to compete.  Shooting on a rest is more accurate.  Shooting on a professional testing support would be more accurate too.  To me, once I raise up my support hand to, well, support the gun, my accuracy improves.

Judging by the scores so far, 1/4 of the people responding may be like me, and using that second hand improves their shooting.  As for the rest, maybe they've gotten so good one handed, that the don't need any additional support.  I guess that's one of my goals, but I'm not there yet.  Closer, but not there.


There are people who can train themselves to be world class shooters, by standing on a ball like a trained seal. That does not mean it is the most stable shooting position.

Last year I went to the circus, a guy walked across a sword in bare feet, edge up. It probably took hundreds of not thousands of hours to learn how to do that.

The more stable the position, the more consistent will be the impacts, all else being equal.  F Class rifle shooters had to go to a half sized target, from the sling shooters, because their shooting position is more stable. They really can't shoot a 300 yard reduced match because they blow out the center of the target and it becomes impossible to put a plug in the hole. And, the guys in the pit can't tell if a bullet went in that hole, after enough shots have been fired. That is one reason smallbore shooters only shoot five rounds per bull at 50 yards, and 10 rounds per bull at 100 yards. They put 20 rounds total per stage, but the good shooters will just blow a hole in the middle. Especially at 50 yards.  In big matches, a backer target is put behind the front target, to make sure all shots were fired. Even then, scorers have to make assumptions that all shots are there, because sometimes it is just a hole.

Shooting two handed well takes practice, but once the technique is learned, it is more stable and therefore the groups will be more consistent.

Of course the guys who spent decades learning out to shoot well with one hand, won't admit it, because of all the hard work they put in learning the one hand technique, they are proud of their skills, and they resent two handed shooting.

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Post by whitez06 11/13/2020, 2:19 pm

I thought this is a bullseye forum

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Post by Rick H. 11/24/2020, 9:53 am

It is a bullseye forum, but there are local bullseye matches where two hands are in fact allowed.  I have been shooting since I was 12 years old and I am 69 now.  Originally my Dad taught me to shoot using one hand and that's how I thought it was done.  Stayed like that thru MP school, but they did show us how to use two hands and I liked it.  When I entered law enforcement we were taught traditional one handed bullseye shooting the first week of range training so we could learn shooting fundamentals.  From that point on in my career everything was two handed.  I suppose had I never have been trained to use two hands one hand would have been sufficient, but in stress laden shooting situations two handed shooting will always be better than one.  Two handed shooting obviously lends to greater control of the handgun in combat scenarios, be it real life or training, or competition.  I have noticed a loss of fine motor skills as I have gotten older and a bit of a "shake" when I shoot one handed.  Also the strength to hold a pistol on target one handed for extended times just isn't there anymore, so my only option is to use two hands unless I like seeing a target that looks strangely like Swiss cheese.  Would I like to be able to hold a pistol with one hand and shoot like I did when I was 20 years old?  Absolutely, but it just ain't gonna happen!  So comparing the use of one hand shooting to two handed shooting is comparing apples to bananas.  There are way too many variables to consider.  If you like shooting with one hand and you get good to great results go for it, but in my case it becomes an exercise in futility and waste of money and time.  Everyone will experience deteriorating shooting skills as we age unfortunately, so don't knock guys that have to shoot two handed.  You may just find yourself in that very situation one day and you either adapt to two hands, or give up shooting.

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Post by mikemyers 11/24/2020, 10:25 am

Thanks for posting that.

I was born in December, 1943, and I've never been all that strong to begin with.  I do "clerical" stuff, not "activity" stuff, meaning I spend a large amount of time with computers and photography.  I appreciate everything you wrote.

My own answer has been to shoot my "bullseye guns" one handed (22 and 45) and to shoot everything else two handed.  I wish I had known about, and gotten involved in - bullseye shooting - in the 1970's.  Didn't happen.  Oh well, too late now to complain.
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Post by whitez06 11/25/2020, 8:25 am

I'm not knocking anyone
This is a bullseye forum, and the only allowable two hand shooting is 22, in shooting a 2700
There are other disciplines that allow 2 handed shooting. But not in bullseye, accept the one mentioned

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Post by javaduke 11/25/2020, 9:33 am

For the best accuracy I hold my gun with all three hands and my fourth hand is pulling the trigger....oh, wait...that's not a hand...never mind, sorry...

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Post by Slamfire 11/28/2020, 3:18 pm

whitez06 wrote:I'm not knocking anyone
This is a bullseye forum, and the only allowable two hand shooting is 22, in shooting a 2700
There are other disciplines that allow 2 handed shooting. But not in bullseye, accept the one mentioned

Nah, you just stepped in to shut down a discussion that you did not like.

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Post by mikemyers 11/28/2020, 7:57 pm

mikemyers wrote:You go to a range, and a group of people there want to see who can shoot the best.
Everyone gets to shoot 5 rounds at their target, then it's scored.
It's open to everyone, and maybe there are lots of Bullseye shooters there.

Any caliber, any gun, whatever you're shooting at the range that day.  It's very informal.
Let's say the target is at 25 yards, supposedly to make it more of a challenge.
The person with the highest score wins a dinner at a nearby restaurant.

So, how many hands do you hold your gun with?  One, Two, or none - you decline.
Actually, this is a discussion posted in the bullseye forum, but I worded the original post deliberately so as to NOT be talking about shooting in a competition.

Actually, this is a discussion posted in the bullseye forum, but I worded the original post deliberately so as to NOT be talking about shooting in a competition.
I'm rather surprised at the results.  For me, however well I can shoot with one hand, I can almost always shoot better with two.
It wasn't intended to be a discussion - the intent was to make it a poll - and then see where it went.

There were no hidden implications, or meanings - only a contest, if you wanted to get your best shots in to win a dinner, what would you do?
If anyone wants to add to a discussion, or shut down a discussion, that's irrelevant.  

If I asked this question at my club, I think the poll would have turned out VERY differently.
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Post by Slamfire 11/28/2020, 9:49 pm

mikemyer wrote:
If I asked this question at my club, I think the poll would have turned out VERY differently.


If you had asked this question on the Gatorade Forum, you would have been informed that hydrating improves your score more than the way you hold your pistol. 

Play hard, pee hard.

So you when you  asked a bunch of one hand shooters a question about holding a pistol in two hands, what you found was denial.

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