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Mar 25th, 2012
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Offhand Shooting - Still Important? #7052094
01/25/18 03:43 AM
01/25/18 03:43 AM
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Is offhand shooting skill still important or even relevant?

How many people could reliably hit a paper plate at 100 yards with no support other than a perhaps sling with their deer rifle?

I'm not talking about shooting off of a pack, balanced against a tree, sitting or kneeling, but standing up and shooting without sticks or any other support, except for a sling.

And I'll be the first to say, my offhand skills have gone way beyond rusty. I'm starting to work on offhand again and it is a considerable challenge, at least to me.

Just curious about others' thoughts and views on what appears to be a vanishing or even lost skill for the average hunter.



Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052107
01/25/18 03:49 AM
01/25/18 03:49 AM
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It would be nice to practice that shot occasionally. Unfortunately, you do that at most ranges and you will get a quick exit from the property. Could probably do both elbows on the platform but I agree with you. It's not the same.

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052109
01/25/18 03:50 AM
01/25/18 03:50 AM
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It is absolutely relevant if you are at all interested in the more challenging types of hunting. I still practice that shot because I still depend on it. I can hit a plate at a hundred yards. Just make it a big plate, please. grin


Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: Walkabout] #7052112
01/25/18 03:53 AM
01/25/18 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted By: Walkabout
It would be nice to practice that shot occasionally. Unfortunately, you do that at most ranges and you will get a quick exit from the property. Could probably do both elbows on the platform but I agree with you. It's not the same.


I am blessed to have a thousand yard range a few miles from the house with a reasonable owner who allows such antics.


Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052217
01/25/18 10:53 AM
01/25/18 10:53 AM
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Relevant in the fact that it's the worst possible means at which to take a shot and should be avoided at all costs.


Yes! A Weatherby does kill them deader.
Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052280
01/25/18 01:09 PM
01/25/18 01:09 PM
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I did a lot of walk hunting growing up as a kid, and hunted rabbits and anything else that crossed my path, and I took that ability with me into the deer woods, since most shots were fairly close range.
Walking to and from my stand back then, I was still hunting, and not just walking.
As I got older those skills faded and became less relied on.
It's been many years since I even attempted and off hand shot, but I did take a coyote probably 8 to 10 years ago and got him.

Almost forgot about the hog I shot a few years back that was running full tilt directly towards me, and I dropped him with the last shot, at less than 50' after four shots from my Winchester 94 30-30.....True story! eeks333

Last edited by Jimbo; 01/25/18 01:19 PM. Reason: Old age, can't remember events
Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052286
01/25/18 01:20 PM
01/25/18 01:20 PM
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Wolfe City, TX
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Funny you bring it up, Jeff.

I avoid it if at all possible, but it has happened on two occasions in the last four weeks.

Heard the sounder while driving a dirt road. Put it in park, exited with LR-308 in hand, walked into the cedars, and there they were, they heard or smelled me, and were trotting left to right. I hit one sow in the lungs at 30 yards. It was a low ready, slow walk to raise the rifle and shoot, no time for anything else.

Tuesday this week, it was 25 minutes after sundown, and the sounder crossed the road in front of me, and were headed across a plowed cotton field. I put it in park, exited with the bolt action 7mm-08 A.I. crossed the ditch, made it through the dead Johnson grass, raised the rifle and shot. I heard the thud, cycled shot again, another thud, and did it a third time.

So I've had four off-hand shots very recently, but can't remember any others for the last few recent years.

(I was exactly 101 feet from any public road for all of these hog shots)



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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052293
01/25/18 01:28 PM
01/25/18 01:28 PM
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Yes. I try to avoid taking them, but will if I feel confident.

I do most of my practicing with my custom Ruger 10/22. I have a heavy barrel and Boyd's thumb hole stock on it. It gives it a nice weight to hold steady for free hand shooting. I had the trigger worked as well so it's very efficient hitting what your shooting at. I like to shoot the small target balls and keep them moving.

For me I prefer a rifle with a little weight to it for free hand shooting. The light weight rifles I find are more difficult to hold steady.


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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7052299
01/25/18 01:35 PM
01/25/18 01:35 PM
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Wolfe City, TX
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Marc,

17 pounders ain't no picnic either. grin



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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052305
01/25/18 01:37 PM
01/25/18 01:37 PM
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It's a very important skill to have, yes. Even tho most people shouldn't take the shot an a game animal, like a deer. Dry fire practice is good, then maybe trying your hand at shooting some hogs off handed.

Anyone who considers themselves a hunter, or rifleman, needs to be able to hit a pie plate @ 100 yds off hand.

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052318
01/25/18 01:42 PM
01/25/18 01:42 PM
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Yes

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: FiremanJG] #7052331
01/25/18 01:57 PM
01/25/18 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Marc,

17 pounders ain't no picnic either. grin


I'll admit that's too heavy for me, lol. My AR-10 is as heavy as I want to go. But I like it for free hand as well. Not much recoil and sweet trigger.


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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052341
01/25/18 02:04 PM
01/25/18 02:04 PM
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Houston, TX
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Absolutely. If you do more than hunt once or twice per year from a stand, you'll need this skill at some point.

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: fouzman] #7052344
01/25/18 02:12 PM
01/25/18 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: fouzman
Absolutely. If you do more than hunt once or twice per year from a stand, you'll need this skill at some point.


+1

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052345
01/25/18 02:12 PM
01/25/18 02:12 PM
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Yes, and from different positions. It is still an important skill.

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052366
01/25/18 02:25 PM
01/25/18 02:25 PM
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I grew up shooting birds and squirrels out of trees and chasing rabbits across my grandfathers regrowth pasture. I have never practiced it.

Few years ago when I first bought my 300 I was shooting it in a buddies gravel pit. He wanted to shoot it and stood up and off hand shot a bowling pin at about 120 yards.... Then the challenge was on, I couldn't be outdone with my own rifle. we went and set the pin back up and I shot from the same spot boom and down it went. Don't know if I could do it again or not and I haven't tried. I think if I had to I could body shoot a deer or hog at that distance but if there was any way I could get a rest I would.


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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052372
01/25/18 02:29 PM
01/25/18 02:29 PM
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I have killed three deer in my life offhanded. All when I was a teenager. I make more of an effort to find a good rest these days but I can still bust one offhand if I need to.

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052403
01/25/18 02:59 PM
01/25/18 02:59 PM
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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052413
01/25/18 03:10 PM
01/25/18 03:10 PM
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Ok so I will bite on this one. There hasn't been very much controversy lately so here I go. roflmao
Not picking on MAX but the statement of "Anyone who considers themselves a hunter, or rifleman, needs to be able to hit a pie plate @ 100 yds off hand." A pie plate from what I found has a 9" diameter. I have not and would not take a chance to hit or not hit a deer sized or smaller "game" animal off hand at 100 yards considering a 9" impact killing zone. I am talking about game animals not varmints. And we could argue about the "ethical" shot thing for even non game animals but not going there. I am in my sixties and have never "had" to take that shot and I have been hunting a long time. I could have taken those shots but chose not to, never had to. In the same way, even in a blind, I use a rest even at short yardages not free handed. Why would we "need to or have to" take that shot off handed? Jason can and will correct me probably on this but in the Hunting Challenge we do off had shots at 200 yards at a size I do not remember? Some shooters hit it and some don't, luckily I get some of them. It is good practice to sharpen skills to shoot at different distances, different positions and even that "weird left handed Jason thing" haha. So just because we can, should we? And if you can be consistent at 100 yards off hand fine, more power to ya. I really am glad that you can, I believe it is a gift, but do you consider your self a hunter because you can or can't do this?

Anyway, been a slow morning so lets see where this goes.



Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: GLC] #7052431
01/25/18 03:21 PM
01/25/18 03:21 PM
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Gary, it is a 12" square plate, from 150 yards, three shots.

As you stated, most do not clean it. It is tough for those that have not practiced it. The key to off-hand, in my opinion, is to be quick. Turn the magnification down, raise the rifle, get a sight picture and squeeze. David Petzel said "for that type shooting you have to engage your lizard brain". I take that to mean instinctive shooting, don't over think it.

Traditional bow shooters impress the hell out of me. I have a friend that does it, and he too draws, does not hold, release. I asked "how?" He said "it's like throwing a ball. That was good enough for me.



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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052447
01/25/18 03:29 PM
01/25/18 03:29 PM
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I've killed hundred of animals included hogs and yotes off hand out to 250 and a little further. I don't think I've ever shot a deer standing off hand though, kneeling, sitting and unsupported prone yes.

My standard use to be the pie plate at 200 when we use to do so much hog hunting. Now I barely get to the range a handful of times a year and won't even consider a shot like that.

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052478
01/25/18 03:50 PM
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It is absolutely important. It is essential. Do you guys field dress your own animals, or do you take them to the processor and have them do it? If you are walking down a sendero and a huge buck runs by and suddenly stops, turns and looks at you what do you do? Start breaking out your bipod? Try to unfold your shooting sticks? Smile and wave? Or do you take care of business with an off-hand shot? Really surprised by some of the ridiculous responses on this. Unethical? Really? I grew up shooting birds in the woods with my BB gun and all my shots were offhand. When I went into the Marines, part of the qualification course included offhand shooting. I have killed hogs, deer, and elk in the Rocky Mountains with offhand shots. It is not difficult, but should be practiced like anything else. Come on guys.


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Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: HWY_MAN] #7052482
01/25/18 03:53 PM
01/25/18 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: HWY_MAN
Relevant in the fact that it's the worst possible means at which to take a shot and should be avoided at all costs.


Should be avoided if possible, but sometimes you have to take it. I shot a good axis a few years back at around 80 yards offhand. Drilled it right in the heart. No time to take a knee and nothing to rest on.

Shot a deer around 40 yards with my 30-30 while walking in the woods...got that one too.

It has range limitations ( guys saying they can hit pie plates at 200 yards offhand I question) but yes, within 75-100 yards max range itís certainly doable.

Not everyone shoots game from a truck or blind.


Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: jeffbird] #7052485
01/25/18 03:55 PM
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I do it when I need to at pigs or coyotes or whatever. Not too bad at it, if I do say so myself. Rolled a pig running full speed at 120 yards or so recently.

I do not feel good about it for game animals (say a nice buck). I'll do it if I have no choice. But I try to carry shooting sticks. The new expandable shooting sticks are so mobile they are very easy to carry while walking and stalking, and they take the mystery out of that offhand shot.

Re: Offhand Shooting - Still Important? [Re: FiremanJG] #7052487
01/25/18 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Gary, it is a 12" square plate, from 150 yards, three shots.

As you stated, most do not clean it. It is tough for those that have not practiced it. The key to off-hand, in my opinion, is to be quick. Turn the magnification down, raise the rifle, get a sight picture and squeeze. David Petzel said "for that type shooting you have to engage your lizard brain". I take that to mean instinctive shooting, don't over think it.

Traditional bow shooters impress the hell out of me. I have a friend that does it, and he too draws, does not hold, release. I asked "how?" He said "it's like throwing a ball. That was good enough for me.



The guys Iíve found that are good at offhand shooting are really good wing shooters.

The shoulder, sight & fire method is carried out a lot in the quail and pheasant fields.

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