The Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: Unnatural Point of Aim

Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: Unnatural Point of Aim

If you see something like this when trying to find your natural point of aim, you’re not there yet. Keep trying!

Do you want supernatural shooting results?
Are you tired of listening to friends talk about shooting one ragged hole in their targets?
Want to lose that extra five pounds before 3-Gun match season?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, let’s talk about natural point of aim.

Natural  [ˈna-chə-rəl]

Adjective

1. Occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature
2. Being in accordance with or determined by nature

When it comes to shooting, rifles, handguns, or shotguns, natural point of aim simply means assuming the stance and position where your body naturally wants to point the gun. Perhaps the easiest way to illustrate natural point of aim is to look at unnatural point of aim.

Unnatural point of aim refers to any position where you have to “force” or “muscle” the sights of the gun onto the target. The most extreme example of unnatural point of aim would be standing with your back facing the intended target. If you could manage to get your gun pointed at the target from that position, it might be an example of supernatural point of aim, as in something from the movie Poltergeist. Less dramatic examples would be assuming any shooting position that requires you to move your arms, shoulders, waist, or hands to “force” the gun into alignment with the target.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

The Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: The Cup and Saucer Grip

One of my very favorite things is to take new shooters to the range. My second favorite thing is simply seeing new shooters at the range. My least favorite thing is to see folks launch into their shooting career without any instruction, thereby developing a bunch of bad, and sometimes unsafe, habits. To help them along, I’ve put together some tips that will help improve anyone’s handgun shooting skills. After all, it’s much cooler to look like a pro on the range, even when you’re brand new to the sport.

Cup and saucer handgun grip

Using a cup and saucer handgun grip is just about this effective.

I have scientific proof that the “cup and saucer” handgun grip is bad and bordering on evil. Check this out. If you rearrange the letters in “cup and saucer” you get the following secret phrases:

Arcane Cud Pus

Uncaused Crap

Rude Caca Puns

Freaky isn’t it? Who knew that “cup and saucer” was some type of satanic code?

Now that we can agree that a cup and saucer grip is bad form and just plain spooky, what exactly is it? More importantly, how does one go about exorcising that demon?

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

The Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: Doin’ The Bernie

We’ve started a new project – a weekly column at OutdoorHub.com. The current series describes the Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting. Hope you enjoy!

7 Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting - Doin The Bernie

Here’s our model shooter doin’ the Bernie. Or facing a hurricane–we’re not sure which.

The ’80s movie Weekend at Bernie’s was a pop icon film that exemplified heart-wrenching and soulful acting, panoramic cinematography, and helpful tips on how to party with a dead guy. Why it was shunned from Academy Award consideration remains a mystery, although industry insiders have long suspected a voter fraud scheme by Morgan Freeman and the producers of Driving Miss Daisy.

Weekend at Bernie’s is not only a golden example of the silver screen art form, it demonstrates dozens of important practical life tips. For example, if you ever find yourself dead as a result of forced heroin overdose by Mafia hit men, you can still party for days on end simply by wearing sunglasses.

You can also inspire short-lived fads like popular YouTube dances. In this case, it’s called the “Bernie,” or in some circles, “moving like Bernie.” If you watch someone doin’ the Bernie, you’ll notice the essence of the dance is a severe and painful backwards lean.

Which brings us to this weeks installment of the Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: doin’ the Bernie.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

 

Our Talk With The Miculeks – The First Family of Shooting

We had the opportunity to catch up with Jerry, Kay and Lena Miculek recently to ask them about life as the First Family of Shooting, family rivalries and how often Jerry has to sleep in the couch. As you’ll see, the Miculeks are some wild and crazy folks!

The Miculeks  First Family of Shooting

The Miculek Family sporting their work attire, courtesy of Team Smith & Wesson

My Gun Culture: Here we are with the Miculek Family – Jerry, Kay and Lena. Lot’s of folks know you as the First Family of Shooting. How did that come about?

Kay Clark Miculek: Well, technically… Jerry married INTO the First Family of Shooting. My father, Jim Clark , Sr. was a gunsmith and now Clark Custom Guns is run by my brother. The Clark family had actually been branded as the First Family of Shooting. So anyway, Jerry decided to practice with my brother one day, and we decided to keep him!

MGC: I know I promised you that this interview was more about entertainment than scoop, and that I wouldn’t try to trip you up with any hard questions. But I kinda lied. The other day, the President signed an Executive Order granting the First Family Secret Service Protection for life. Since you’re the First Family of Shooting, I have to ask if all y’all will be the ones providing this security? And will Smith & Wesson supply all the gear?

Jerry Miculek: I’m up for hire you know! I’m “Johnny on the spot” so show me the money and I’m your man!

Kay: We’ll need a whole bunch of those 7 round magazines though…

MGC: We’ll probably be able to get you an exemption on the new 7 round magazine limits.

Kay: Or we can all just use wheelguns!

MGC: Jerry, there’s this rumor on the internet that you can empty a revolver in .57 seconds. I’m thinking, heck, I can even do that. You just open the cylinder and dump the rounds out. I could’ve told you that a long time ago and saved you a lot of trouble!

Jerry: I think I can still beat you though. By the time you get that thing open, I’ll be done! So I got ya beat…

MGC: So Jerry, tell us about the Miculek revolver grip. How did that come to be?

Jerry: It kind of originated when Jim Clark, Sr. and I were traveling and competing in the Masters event. I was shooting a revolver and beating the pistol guys. I was taking Smith & Wesson grips and altering them with Bondo and tape. I screwed little pieces and parts on them and they looked really, really ratty. Jim told me to go see this gentlemen, Guy Hogue, who actually makes grips that look a whole lot better than that trashy one on my gun. So I went to see Mr. Hogue and out of his kind heart, he made me a couple of sets of custom grips. He’s a super nice guy along with the rest of the Hogue family. Anyway, he was kind enough to throw me a bone and make me grips because be thought I was an enthusiast at the time. We started selling them as they seemed to fit the need for a lot of folks.

MGC: I can see how Smith & Wesson might have liked that you switched to professionally made grips. As a marketing guy myself, I can see how they would be a little stressed out having their team shooter run around with a beautiful Smith & Wesson revolver equipped with Bondo and duct tape on the grips…

Jerry: Yeah, it looked a little cheap, but it got the job done.

MGC: The latest info we have is that you and your wife have different gun selections with Smith & Wesson, with her using an M&P and you being more of a revolver guy. Is there friction in the family over this? Does Jerry sleep on the couch a lot?

Kay: No there’s no friction!

MGC: Let me rephrase that, does Jerry sleep on the couch a lot?

Kay: (Laughs) Not at all! That’s what keeps our marriage strong! I can still beat him occasionally as he’s got a six shot revolver and I have a 17 round M&P. So now and then I can rub it in that “I beat you again!” We won’t count the part where he had 3 reloads and I’m just pulling the trigger…

MGC: So Kay, is your M&P competion gun stock, or did you get the Smith & Wesson Pro Shop to jazz it up? I hope you didn’t let Jerry work on it as he probably would have put Bondo and duct tape all over it!

Kay: Well, Jerry might have tweaked the internals a little bit, but I said no to Bondo!

MGC: So Lena, you were born, born on the range. And now you’re cruising all over the country racking up championships. What’s on your schedule in 2013?

Lena Miculek: I have 22 matches scheduled so far. I’m also an instructor with Babes with Bullets so I have 4 or 5 three to four day classes. So my schedule is crazy, but I love it. Most of my matches are 3 Gun so I can get out there and do what I really love. Actually I just competed in the 3 Gun Nation Shootoff and I was able to take the Ladies Division win. So I’m on sort of a 3 Gun high right now.

MGC: Did your mom compete in that?

Lena: Yes!

MGC: So you’ve been kicked out of the house?

Lena: Well we both made it to the finals!

MGC: You’re dodging the question. Did you beat your mom or not? 

Lena: Yes!

MGC: Kay, what drove you to start Babes With Bullets?

Kay: It started off as training for ladies interested in competition, but so many new shooters were interested that now it’s more oriented to that. Smith & Wesson has generously provided guns, so bottom line – these ladies can come to the classes, try out the gear and make an informed decision for when they decide to buy something.

MGC: Jerry, I saw an episode of Sons of Guns, where one of their gunsmiths raced you. He was shooting a full auto rifle against you shooting a semi-auto AR-15. And you dang near beat him!

Jerry: Yeah, but if you go back and look at the footage, his first shot was in the ground, while mine was actually on target. So he was just shooting towards the target zone, while I was actually hitting something! Ummm, they didn’t edit that correctly…

MGC: To get that kind of trigger finger speed, you must have some sort of custom Nautilus Finger Training machine. What’s the secret?

Jerry: I just have a lot of excitement in my life. I’m an excitable guy. When I get excited, things just happen quick!

MGC: Well, since you’re going down that path… With such a well-developed finger you must have other interesting skills…

Jerry: ???

MGC: No, not that! Your mind is in the gutter!

Kay: I’ve tried to teach him to type, but that was a failure…

Lena: You should see him with elevators. When he has to wait, he keeps pushing the button over and over and over really fast. Like it will make a difference…

Jerry: Yeah, I can lock up the elevator.

MGC: What else do our readers need to know?

Jerry: Send checks and donations!

Kay: Yeah, we’re not a non-profit organization! We’re just kidding! We’d love people to check out our new Team Miculek website and of course encourage the ladies to get involved with Babes with Bullets.

We’d like to thank all the Miculeks for a great time. Unlike real First Families, the First Family of Shooting has a great sense of humor!

You can learn more about their happenings at Miculek.com and ladies, be sure to check out Babes With Bullets!

Half-Cocked: The Ironic Racism of Gun Control

The Ironic Racism of Gun Control

Top 10 Shooting Products from NSSF SHOT Show 2013

Doing a Top 10 list for SHOT Show is ridiculous. Kind of like trying to fit all the amazing things that have spilled out of Joe Biden’s mouth into a single leather-bound book. It simply can’t be done.

But as you probably already know, we’re kind of ridiculous around here, so we’re going to highlight our Top 10 shooting gear finds of SHOT Show 2013.

Here goes:

 Trijicon 300 AAC Blackout ACOG
Trijicon 300 AAC Blackout ACOG Optic. This is cool, cool, cool. We’ve a got a 300 Blackout rifle coming in for testing and can’t wait to spend more time with this optic. We shot it at the Media Day event and loved our first experience. The neat thing about this optic is the graduated reticle. It’s got normal elevation hashmarks calibrated for supersonic 300 AAC Blackout loads out to 600 yards. It also has indicators for subsonic rounds. Just zero the optic with supersonic ammo and everything falls into place. You’ll also notice the scope is slimmer than standard ACOG’s.
 Kestrel Meter 4500 Ballistic Bluetooth Nightvision Kestrel Meter with Horus ATRAG Ballistics Software. This is one cool device. You may be familiar with Kestrel’s pocket weather meters that provide instant data on humidity, temperature, wind, etc. This one adds a full ballistic computer to the mix. You can store multiple gun and load configurations with bullet type, ballistic coefficient, weight, and velocity. This information is combined with automatically collected atmospheric data to calculate a perfect long-range shooting solution. A new model is coming out soon with even more advanced ballistic software and load storage capabilities. Technology is cool.
 Black Rain Ordnance AK-47 Black Rain Ordnance AK-47. What’s the big deal about another AK-47? Look closely at the photo. This baby is a MILLED receiver, not a piece of metal stamped out like a Yugo fender. If memory serves, it’s going to be called the Freedom Fighter when it’s available in a couple of months. Oh, and we found out that one of Black Rain’s Pro Shooters, Sandra Orvig, lives virtually across the street from us. You’ll know a couple of other Black Rain Pro Shooters from Top Shot – the always energetic Gabby Franco and really huge guy Greg Littlejohn. This gun shot like a dream. Solid, heavy, and gentle. Fun!
 Tracking Point Laser Targeting System Tracking Point Networked Tracking Scope. Why yes, that is a laser targeting system on my .338 Lapua Magnum! I have no long-range shooting skill. Mainly because there’s no place nearby with a long-range facility. So when that crazy guy from Tracking Point asked me if I wanted to shoot a .338 Lapua Magnum at a steel gong 967 yards away in a freezing, howling wind, I thought he was a little nuts. With the Tracking Point, you simply lase the target with a red dot on the reticle using a button near the trigger. The system already knows your load ballistics and gathers atmospheric conditions for trajectory calculation. Once the target is lased, you can move the rifle around in an moderate-sized zone around the target center. Just press and hold the trigger and try to cover the laser indicator again. When your scope passes over the exact spot, the rifle fires automatically – you don’t have to hold on the target, just pass over it. A secondary benefit is there is no trigger flinch. You don’t know exactly when the gun will fire. And yes, I did hit the steel gong ⅔ of a mile out there on the first try. Through no fault of my own.
 NSSF First Shots Reception SHOT Show 2013 Crazy Fun People. Ok, so this isn’t actually a product, but most of our shooting industry friends are more or less products of insanity. That’s what makes the people so great and all of this so much fun. Here’s a photo from the First Shots reception, run by the NSSF’s always entertaining Tisma Juett. She’s coordinating First Shots events all across the country and getting thousands and thousands of people introduced to the shooting sports. You might recognize some of those wild and crazy huntresses from The Women’s Outdoor News, Stephanie from XS Sights, Kelle – the better half of Hot Caliber Jewelry, Team Archangel – tactical trainers extraordinaire, and @GlamGunGirl.
 Flashbang Eva Holster and others in the Pin Up Collection women's holsters Flashbang Eva Women’s Holster. A number of companies that are more dude-oriented are making hybrid holsters like the Galco King Tuk and CrossBreed. Lisa and Bart Looper have some up with a model just for the female form. The Eva has an exceptionally well made leather backing, gun-specific kydex shell, and best of all, a colorful suede backing. Fun and functional!
 Blackhawk AR Rail Thumb Shelf Blackhawk! Rail Mount Thumb Rest. Sometimes the simplest products are the most valuable. This is a nifty accessory for virtually any rifle with a forward side rail. The thumb shelf helps you achieve a perfectly consistent and firm grip with your support hand every time. Reversing it creates two different thumb shelf heights. A lower position is great for rifles with a vertical fore grip. The upper position is better if you don’t use one. You have to try it to believe the difference it makes.
 US Optics SR8 Rifle Scope U.S. Optics SR8. This is one gorgeous optic. It’s obviously built like a tank. It offers 1-8x zoom with a true 1X so at closer ranges it works like a red dot. It features two different ranging reticle options which are in the first focal plane so ranging is not affected by zoom level. It also offers a red dot in the second focal plane which can be turned on or off. The red dot features variable intensity controls. Or you can get a not-red dot as the optic is orderable with your choice of red, green or blue illumination. Can’t wait to spend some quality time with this one.
 SilencerCo Saker 5.56mm silencer SilencerCo 5.56mm Saker. This dedicated 5.56 / .223 silencer was just downright fun to shoot. Less blast, less noise, accurate, and light. What’s not to love? The neatest part of the Saker design is the MAAD, or Multiple Accessory Attachment Device. This simply means that the attachment mechanism is not proprietary. Which means you can mount this over other vendors flash hiders. The end cap is removable, so if you manage to blow the end off, you can simply replace the end cap and there is far less risk of damage to your suppressor.
 Slidefire 22 Stock Slidefire .22LR Stock System. Here’s a great way to clean out your local Wal-Mart’s supply of bulk .22LR ammunition. Last year, SlideFire introduced bump-fire stocks for AR-15 and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles. This year, they’ve managed to get the system to work on certain .22 rifles. Available soonish is a trigger set for the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. The stock is the basic AR-15 stock. The lighter trigger set is required to make the SlideFire system work with the reduced recoil impulse of .22 ammunition. Soon, SlideFire will introduce a solution for the Ruger 10/22 platform. We shot the M&P 15-22 system at Media Day and it was a hoot! And affordable :-) Get one.

Buyers Guide: The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

We’ve enjoyed reading Massad Ayoob’s articles in various publications like American Handgunner and Combat Handguns for years. It’s clear that he has amassed a wealth of knowledge of all things shooting and self-defense related during his law enforcement, training, and writing career.

Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob

Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Ayoob’s work is the variety of topics that he covers with authority.

  • Equipment
  • Shooting techniques
  • Competition
  • Self defense tactics
  • Legal issues related to owning and using a firearm for self defense
  • Criminal behavior
  • Ammunition selection and performance
  • Accessories
  • And so on…

The sheer variety of information covered in The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery makes it worth the purchase price.

We read this book several years into our never-ending learning experience and found it to be useful at the advanced intermediate stage. The content and style of the book lends itself to a broader audience than gun enthusiasts however. We think it’s a great starting point for someone just thinking about buying a gun for self defense. It covers handgun styles, ammunition basics, realistic defensive strategies, legal issues, and more.

If you had to pick just one book to introduce a potential gun owner to shooting and self defense concepts, this one would be high on the list. Not only is it chock full of relevant information, it’s a fun and easy read – a credit to Ayoob’s communication style.

Pick up a copy for yourself and an extra for a friend who might be thinking about buying a gun. It’s well worth it.

 

Available Here The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob

Buyers Guide: 5.11 Tactical COVRT Z.A.P. 6 (Zone Assault Pack)

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

511 COVRT Zone Assault Pack

511 COVRT Zone Assault Pack

Backpack? Holster? Metro Bag?

How about all the above? The 5.11 Tactical COVRT Z.A.P. 6, or Zone Assault Pack makes a great holster that also serves to lug some gear. The single-strap, over-the-shoulder design allows the pack to be carried on the back, but instantly swiveled to the front. When brought forward, the dedicated holster compartment is perfectly oriented for a quick draw. The whole setup is ambidextrous (the holster pouch is accessible from either side) so it’s both lefty and righty friendly.

We’ve found it to be an excellent way to discreetly pack while riding a bike. And of course you can lug around your other important stuff. This is a truly handy design. Love it.

 

Available Here 5.11 Tactical COVRT Z.A.P. 6 (Zone Assault Pack)

Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph

shooting-chrony-beta-masterBe sure to get the name right on this one. The correct model identification is a Shooting Chrony ‘Beta Master’ and not the other way around.

If you’re into reloading, you absolutely, positively have to get a chronograph. Chronograph is a big word that means fancy electronic thing that figures out how fast your bullets go.

Why you ask? All myths and wives tales aside about being able to determine whether you’re in safe pressure territory or not by looking at brass while doing a rainbow moon dance, you need some verification that the loads you’re mixing are working out per the recipe – and more importantly in the published safe range.

The real reason that you need a chronograph is that you look exceptionally cool at the range. When you start setting up fancy electronic equipment, you tend to draw a crowd of people who are convinced that you are either Rob Leatham or Julie Golob, depending on your gender.

Here’s why we prefer the Beta Master over other models: The brains (translation: expensive part) of the unit sits safely on the shooting bench and not out there where the bullets fly. The brains, consisting of the circuitry, display, and controls, are connected to the sensor unit by a long cord. If you manage to hit the brains on this unit, please consider some additional shooting lessons before trying again! If you chronograph ammunition long enough, you will eventually shoot the dang thing one way or another. With the Shooting Chrony Beta Master, you’re only going to hit the (relatively) inexpensive parts – which are available as replacements from the manufacturer. We managed to shoot the wire support on ours, but that was an easy fix.

While the Beta Master unit records and memorizes shot strings so you can view them at home, it also allows you to connect an optional printer for an immediate record while at the range.

We’ve had great success with this one.

Available Here Shooting Chrony – Beta Master

Mule Deer Foundation Launches Underprivileged Deer Grant Program

In a surprise move today, Ben Cartwright, CEO of The Mule Deer Foundation, announced a new grant program aimed at giving a ‘hoof up’ to disadvantaged mule deer.

“Our hearts are broken” lamented Cartwright. “Year after year, we see the vicious cycle of deer not having the opportunity to realize their full potential. Don’t let a hunk of awesome venison go to waste.”

In today’s announcement, Cartwright outlined plans for The Mule Deer Foundation to initiate a scholarship program for all types of deer, regardless of tail color, that will allow them to attend the feeding ground of their choice. All deer with potentially yummy tenderloins are eligible for the new program. As part of the new initiative, The Mule Deer Foundation will be providing each eligible deer with 2 buckets of corn and a used salt lick.

“Imagine if you were never included in all the reindeer games” queried Cartwright. “How would that feel?”

 

But seriously folks – check out The Mule Deer Foundation and give them a hand. We know that hunters are the major supporters of conservation, but not everyone else does. We’ll be getting the full scoop on the Mule Deer Foundation at  The SHOT Show and will report back.

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