Sunday, February 27, 2005

Range Time and Eye Dominance

So I finally got Sunshine to the range today. It was fun but long. I shot three different guns, switching between them when something started to get tired, for about an hour. Sometimes you really start to realize that you're out of shape. Today was one of those days.

I shot my hipower, my grandfather's 20 gauge, and my m1 carbine (Sunshine). I started out with the shotgun, moved to the carbine, and then ended with the pistol. In retrospect I did it backwards. The shotgun, while "only" 20 gauge, really wore my out a bit. Some of the loads were fairly stout and it gave me a good sore shoulder in short order. Enough so that I didn't shoot all the ammo I brought. But it shot where I pointed it.

Then I switch over to the carbine. Recoil was very mild and shooting it was fun. But I already had a sore shoulder so it still hurt occassionally. M1 carbines are not known for being excessively accurate, but I did ok. I'm not a rifle shooter so Sunshine is very much a training rifle in many ways. My early groups were pretty good. I was satisfied that the gun was shooting straight and ran smoothly. But after a little while of shooting offhand, I was really starting to get tired and my groups were opening up a bit. Still I was able to keep all 15 rounds in the magazine on paper at 25 yards which is decent for a guy who can count the times he has shot a rifle on one hand.

My hipower was last. I put around 75 rounds through it. I was pretty awful. Handguns need to be practiced with regularly and I hadn't shot one in over a month. Plus one of my grips is cracked and loose. Handguns shooting is a game of consistency so a damaged grip can throw everything off. I'll have to try to repair it or replace it. Anyway all my shots were pulling left. I tried everything I could think of to stop it, but nothing was helping. The last magazine I think I may have figured it out. I was actually having eye dominance problems.

Did you know people have dominant eyes just like we have dominant hands? I can't remember if I've mentioned it here or not. Take your dominant hand and point to an object in front of you. Now close of cover one eye and then try the other. If you do it right one eye, your dominant eye, should line up with your hand. Most people have their dominant hand and eye on the same side. I don't. I'm right handed but left eyed which is called cross-eye dominance. It isn't so bad that I have to shoot left handed, but I notice it sometimes especially with handguns. Ok more than sometimes.

The last magazine out of the highpower was using my left eye, the previous used my right. As a result, my last group out of the gun was less than half the size of my first ones. Damn.

For those of you looking to diagnose shooting problems from your targets, here is an article to read.

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