Friday, April 04, 2008

Thoughts on Pin Shooting

Lou G., Rainy, and Dean at CWSA

Ahab is going to try out pin shooting in a week or so, and he asked me if I had any tips for him. After thinking about it, I decided there was more to cover than I could cover in an email, so I decided to put it together as a post for all to see.

Pin Shooting Thoughts and Observations

The number of rounds in your magazine is usually limited, so accuracy is REALLY important. You can beat a much faster shooter if he has to reload and you don't.

If you shoot your best against a faster shooter and he shoots his best too, you will lose. Don't try to shoot at his speed. Shoot at your speed, put yourself in a position to win, and let him beat himself. Don't beat yourself, make him beat you.

DO NOT WATCH THE OTHER SHOOTER'S PINS! Focus on YOUR pins only! His pins are HIS problem.

Focus, and stay focused, even against slower shooters where you might be tempted to ease up a bit.

Try to hit the pin between just below the emblem and a little bit above the fattest part. If you hit them too low and kick the bottom out they actually fall forward, and then they're miserable to get off the table.

Even if you have a jam or are way behind, KEEP SHOOTING! Your competitor may jam on his next shot.

Count your ammo. Count them out of the box into your hand, count them out of your hand into the magazine, and most importantly, count them as each round is fired. Even as you are watching other shooters, count their shots too, just for practice. You need to know when it's time to reload without wasting time dropping the hammer on an empty chamber.

Get the first pin, even if it means slowing down a little bit and getting a slightly better sight picture. When you miss the first pin everything else falls apart and the run is hard to salvage. Even if you get the next four pins cleanly, you still have to come all the way back for the first one.

Don't change plans in mid run. If you miss a pin continue to the next one and finish the run, then come back and pick up the cripples. Don't break the rhythm of the run.

After you have shot the last pin off the table, take another look to verify every one you thought left the table actually did so. Do this check by holding sight picture and scanning back across the table. Sometimes a pin that you were sure was off the table will still be sitting there. If you don't bring the gun down while you are checking, you are all set to shoot the rogue pin off the table.

Strive for a smooth style and tempo. Smooth feels slower, but it's usually faster. There's a lot of truth in "Slow down to shoot faster!"

Every table already shot, good, bad, or downright ugly, is history. Don't let the last table screw up the next one.

When the match is over, help the range officers clean up, pick up brass, put stuff away, whatever you can do to help them out. They're volunteers, and they can always use an extra hand. Showing up before the match and helping them set everything up isn't a bad idea, and it doesn't hurt to thank the folks putting on the match, either.

Never forget that the reason you are here is to have some fun. Don't take it so seriously that you stop enjoying yourself. I've had the chance to meet and shoot with some of the best shooters in the world, and almost every one of them is having a ball doing what they love to do, shoot!

Lastly, always remember that
slow hits beat fast misses,
every time!



At Friday, April 04, 2008 1:53:00 PM, Blogger Sebastian said...

My club used to do bowling pin shoots, but had to stop when the chemical plant next door complained of finding ricocheted bullets on their property. Unfortunately, this was before I joined, so I've never done a bowling pin shoot.

There's no way with our range setup that those bullets were moving out of there at a dangerous angle, but nonetheless, you definitely don't want a chemical plant going to the press or the township and saying we're shooting into their property. Any advice on how to manage ricochet at such an event? Maybe I could convince them to resurrect it. Is there any governing authority for bowling pin shooting?

At Friday, April 04, 2008 9:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. I've actually got a bowling pin match on my calendar for next weekend (the 12th).

The commercial range I used to shoot at raised their prices into the realm of "you gotta be kidding me" so I'm looking for alternatives.

There's a relatively new shooting club that I'm probably going to join, but I want to get a feel for the members and facilities before I make a decision. This match is my opportunity to do that.

It will be my first bowling pin match so I appreciate the pointers.

They do major, minor, revolver, sub (rimfire with pin tops) and pistol caliber carbine classes. They also score a "5 gun aggregate" for people who enter all the classes. I've got everything but the revolver (I don't think I'd be competitive with my cap and ball revolver) so I won't be in the 5 gun aggregate score, but I'll be able to shoot 4 our of 5 classes.

Should be a lot of fun.

At Thursday, December 15, 2011 4:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am writting about my recent mishap while shooting bowling pins indoor.
5 pins are mounted on door hinges 30 ft. away, u get 10 timed shots.
This night I volunteer at my gun club as an RSO and elected to stay behind the firing line pushing broom to clear brass on the floor.
I stood 10 feet behind the shooter using a 38 super firing downloaded handloads with 138gr. wadcutters.
His first shots go off and a riccochet hits me directly in the lens of my range glasses, 8 of his spent bullets where found by the state police back to the firing line, another bullet hit a person in the stomach.
I have had ewxtensive surgery and my eyesight cannot be corrected optically or surgically, I'M blind.
Tell what are your thoughts please.


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