How good is your offhand shooting?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by tony m, May 15, 2014.

  1. tony m

    tony m Well-Known Member

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    On a a 100 yard competitive (scoring )target a perfect score being 100 ,10 shots in the 8 ring, will give you a score of 80 or over.This is very good , in perfect rifle range conditions.Tell us game shooters, how well can you shoot offhand? This is shooting athletics, in my opinion.What do you say?
     
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    My off hand sucks anymore. I broke my neck and motor skills in my left arm come and go.

    I bought an air rifle to work on it, turned out to have about a 15 lb trigger pull-that didn't help.

    Got a heavy barrel 10/22 for the same thing, It's never worked right it's had a prolonged stay at the smith due to illness etc.

    Off hand is certainly a skill that will add a head or 2 to your wall, but I mostly preach "cheat" at every opportunity, use every device and aid when you can, and any way you can.

    The proliferation of rests, sticks, bipods etc. is a good thing. Letting ego or some one else's view of manly fair chase, make your choices for you not so much.

    Certainly work to improve your limits, but knowing what they are and adjusting is more important to me.
     

  3. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    Offhand standing, or including sitting, kneeling, and prone?? I usually shoot from sitting as I did with this critter... http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f126/fed-beast-124280/ . Standing, that is for short range for the most part though I have seen a couple of 1/4 mile+ kills shot from standing by others. I've seen my pops knock most of his critters from kneeling. Around here prone is somewhat useless at times as you often have rough terrain and grass/brush to shoot over.
     
  4. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    I run big heavy timber chainsaws for a living so it helps, but if that deer is any farther than 150yrds I won't shoot without a rest I figure I owe that to the game im seeking, if I have to shoot offhand at a deer at extended range it probably moving cause I jumped it any other time I would be set up with my bipod or another way of getting steady...
     
  5. tony m

    tony m Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies.Offhand shooting is a skill and I agree, a last choice when shooting at game, just the same, it pays to practice it, and it always amazes me just hope poor the average Joe is at it-and nobody practices prone , sitting, kneeling or offhand.In the 70's I did some competitve positional shooting, the very best then would consistantly keep all their shots in the 9 ring.scores of 90 and over.Sheep hunters seldom use this skill, but whitetail hunters have to, without practice-tough to do well.Hey, it is fun.Eg , I work as a guide in the 70's and 80's and before we went to hunting camp we would zero rifles and I would ask them to take several shots offhand (for my info) y'know most couldn't hit the target at 100 yards.Wadda you think?
     
  6. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    its funny some guys have 12lbs cannons that they can't even hold steady long enough to find the animal in their scope I have seen more people struggle to get a sight picture because they don't practice enough with their rifle. When they finally get a sight picture their arms are tired and can't get steady. I can only imagine after hiking up a hill or mountain....
     
  7. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    My offhand shooting sucks. I do a ton of bird hunting with a shotgun but looking through a scope at a target over 100 yards away and the amount of wobble I see its amazing I ever put a pattern on a bird.

    I try to shoot lots of .22 with a bolt action rifle to simulate big game hunting. Hunting in the open grassland hills or sage flats out west I don't get many opportunities to shoot game up close offhand. I can recall a couple deer that were inside a hundred yards moving through timber. For me a better thing to practice is calming my heart and breathing and getting set up behind the rifle. Over summer I like to do long range wind and drop checking but as the season gets closer I do more hiking with the rifle. I like to pick a target then do 20 or so jumping jacks and push-ups then try to get myself calmed down, set up and send the shot as quickly as possible. In my experience the offhand shots aren't what costs me game it's the 300 yard mover that I'm unable to get setup on and shot before it makes it the 100-200 yards to the junipers. That's not a offhand shot situation in my mind.
     
  8. tony m

    tony m Well-Known Member

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    Upper body strength helps, but have teenage girls do really well (tough on the ego gotta say) Maybe working power saws would help.Nobody I know holds perfectly, myself I like to anticipate a shot by a controlled lowering of the barrel, my forearm directly under the rifle.I was taught to call the shots to, even when dry firing.Kind of a game.Any thoughts , tips?
     
  9. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    My open country (e.g. Wyoming's rolling terrain for Antelope; or deer at very high altitude) rifle weights in at about 17#. That's not an off hand rifle - at least I can't handle it off hand. My wooded country rifle weighs in at about 9# and I can hold it on an 8 inch target at 100 yards. I wouldn't try it at distances longer than that however. "Rock-n-roll" sight images mean motion sickness :D
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I built a Remington .223 off a 700VS. It became a hell or be damned project as the rifle wouldn't shoot a lick. Barrel ended up being their varmint contour cut back to 20" long, and the first thing you notice is a wonderful sense of balance and feel when you first pick it up. This particular rifle shoots extremely well off hand, and literally becomes an extension of your forearm. Kinda has the same balance of a first or second issue M16, but is heavier of course (so maybe being a little more steady in my hands). On the otherhand, I shoot some high recoil lever rifles. With these you best learn to handle recoil, and shoot them off hand. I can shoot sub two inch groups with my .444 and 300 grain bullets at 2000fps. With my .450, it's a different story. Recoil is fierce, and I'm still working my way down, but I can put three shots under two inches off hand. You start to flinch a bit on the fourth and really get nervous on the fifth and sixth rounds<g>!

    So in ending this, I think it's very important to have a rifle stock that's cut and fit to your off hand shooting needs (my big is with some is nothing but sight picture). Balance becomes critical for the second and third shot as well
    gary
     
  11. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    Yes it takes a lot of practice to shoot off hand. What I count as my best game shot ever was off hand. My hunting buddy kept seeing a nice buck crossing a power line cut on some property that we leased in a place that we did not have a tree stand. In this county you have to be at least 8ft off the ground to use a rifle. The area had been clear cut logged and there were no trees except this little about 4 inch around the base tree with some vines growing around it. I took the top section of a ladder stand and leaned it on this little tree and had to stand up on the stand. I set it up to where I could rest off the little tree side when the deer crossed the power line cut where he had been crossing. Yes you guessed it, he did not cross there. I had been shooting my M1 Garand in across the course matches so my off hand was decent. I was using a Rem 700 in 7 Rem mag with Leupold 3-9x50 scope. The deer came out into the power line cut to my hard left when I was set up for him to be on my right. I had to turn almost all the way around to my left to get a shot. The buck was about 60 yards away. While trying to slowly turn toward him the V-notch in the plywood top of the stand that was against the tree made this CREEK sound as I shifted my weight and the buck looked right at me and took off. He ran back into the cut over where piled up laps etc. blocked my view but it had been really dry and I could hear him running in the leaves and he turned and was coming back toward the power line further down the line. There was a dip in the power line cut 300 yards away and I could just see his antlers above the top of the dip as he ran across. When he almost got to the other side he came up out of the dip and stopped broad side and looked back toward me. I guess he was trying to figure out what made that CREEK sound. I got into my best off hand stance and started my counter clock wise circle and when the cross hairs were coming from 8 o'clock toward 6 o'clock I started my trigger squeeze and the rifle went BOOM when the cross hairs were at 6 o'clock in the center of his front shoulder. The bullet sounded POP and when I recovered from the recoil there was no deer in sight. Stepped it off and it was 300 of my long legged paces. Found the 8 point buck just inside the woods with a perfect dead center hole in his front shoulder. I had the rifle zeroed dead on at 300 yards. :D I have killed deer at much further yardage but not off hand.
     
  12. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    My off hand is terrible. I built a lightweight '06 for hunting situations that may require that sort of shooting, but i still suck at it.

    If i walk up on an animal i immediately start looking for a tree.
     
  13. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    I started shooting .22lr silhouette to help with off hand. It's fun, and does help you work on the off hand basics. WOW are those targets little !
     
  14. 112Savage

    112Savage Well-Known Member

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    38-55 beyond half a mile

    this simply amazes me. Open sights, off hand 1000 yds 20"X32" target.

    I only hope to shoot this well off handed.