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Legend of the tabby cat

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This is from Reining Cats.

This is the version Paul Harvey would broadcast each

year around Christmas.

As a cat owner, I always looked forward to Paul’s broadcast.

IF you look at the cat in the picture you can see the letter M.

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Legend of the tabby cat

Author Unknown

And so it came to pass that a husband and wife journeyed to a small town called Bethlehem, as the king had decreed that all the people stand to be counted in the small towns and teeming cities from whence they came. The journey was long and hard for both, but especially for the young wife, who was very near to bringing her firstborn son into the world.

When they at last reached the crowded and noisy town, the expectant father searched hurriedly for a place for them to rest and where the child could safely be born. But at every door, he was told there was no available room. Finally, an old inkeeper, though having no space left in his inn, took pity on them and offered them shelter in the small stable used by his animals.

It was there that the child was born, surrounded by beasts of the field. As the night’s cold grew, the baby fretted and cried while his parents pondered how to make him comfortable. His father tried stuffing straw into the open places in the walls, and his mother tried warming him with her meager wrappings. But still, the baby cried on.

All the while, a tiny kitten watched from the corner. “Of course the little baby is cold,” she thought. “It has no fur to keep it warm! I will give it mine, and I will lullaby-purr it to sleep.”

A little jump brought the kitten into the manger where the baby lay. There, she quietly gave her humble gift of warmth and love, gently stretching out her thin, fragile little body over the baby’s, careful to cover all but the infant’s face. The crying was soon replaced by soft purrs and coos, and slowly, the infant smiled.

As Mary, the new mother, witnessed this gift to her child, she touched the little cat’s forehead.

“Thank you, Little Tabby, for your gift of love and warmth. As a sign of my grateful blessing, you and all your descendents will forevermore carry my initial on your forehead.”

And to this day, tabby cats are known by the remarkable “M” on their foreheads, and by their extraordinary gifts of love, so gently given.

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Legend of the tabby cat

Leave a comment

This is from Reining Cats.

This is the version Paul Harvey would broadcast each

year around Christmas.

As a cat owner, I always looked forward to Paul’s broadcast.

If you look at the cat’s head you can see the letter M.

th

Legend of the tabby cat

Author Unknown

And so it came to pass that a husband and wife journeyed to a small town called Bethlehem, as the king had decreed that all the people stand to be counted in the small towns and teeming cities from whence they came. The journey was long and hard for both, but especially for the young wife, who was very near to bringing her firstborn son into the world.

When they at last reached the crowded and noisy town, the expectant father searched hurriedly for a place for them to rest and where the child could safely be born. But at every door, he was told there was no available room. Finally, an old inkeeper, though having no space left in his inn, took pity on them and offered them shelter in the small stable used by his animals.

It was there that the child was born, surrounded by beasts of the field. As the night’s cold grew, the baby fretted and cried while his parents pondered how to make him comfortable. His father tried stuffing straw into the open places in the walls, and his mother tried warming him with her meager wrappings. But still, the baby cried on.

All the while, a tiny kitten watched from the corner. “Of course the little baby is cold,” she thought. “It has no fur to keep it warm! I will give it mine, and I will lullaby-purr it to sleep.”

A little jump brought the kitten into the manger where the baby lay. There, she quietly gave her humble gift of warmth and love, gently stretching out her thin, fragile little body over the baby’s, careful to cover all but the infant’s face. The crying was soon replaced by soft purrs and coos, and slowly, the infant smiled.

As Mary, the new mother, witnessed this gift to her child, she touched the little cat’s forehead.

“Thank you, Little Tabby, for your gift of love and warmth. As a sign of my grateful blessing, you and all your descendents will forevermore carry my initial on your forehead.”

And to this day, tabby cats are known by the remarkable “M” on their foreheads, and by their extraordinary gifts of love, so gently given.

Armed Citizen in TX Stops Shooting Spree and Saves Cop by Making 50+ Yard Shot With a Pistol

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This is from Guns Save Lives.

The title of this post says it best.

 

 

 

This is a pretty amazing story. An armed private citizen assisted a police officer who was pinned down by the gunfire of a madman who had just killed 3 people and could have killed many more. Amazingly the concerned citizen, Vic Stacy, did so by taking a shot of 50+ yards using only a pistol.

The caliber and gun are unknown, but Stacy mentions a “magnum bullet” which could mean a .357 or .44. Stacy landed multiple shots on the shooter and this allowed the police officer to also land shots with his AR-15 while the suspect was distracted.

According to Guns.com,

Stacy raised his gun, fired, and landed one hell of a shot – by his estimate “a good 165 yards” – with a pistol (we do not know the make or caliber at this time). Stacy wasn’t even sure if he could make the shot at that distance: “I hope this magnum bullet’ll hold up, you know, this distance. And sure enough it did and I hit him in the thigh.”

At that point, Conner returned fire against Stacy with his AR-15. He missed his shot, luckily, but that gave dead-eye Stacy another opportunity to pull the trigger. Stacy “hit him again and put three more in him The patrolman got two shots in him with that AR-15. And it seems like he’s all over with, then.”

Conner died on the scene, but if it wasn’t for the aid of Vic Stacy, the body count might have been a lot higher.

According to follow up reports, the distance was corrected to around 50 yards.

 

Legend of the tabby cat

Leave a comment

This is from Reining Cats.

This is the version Paul Harvey would broadcast each

year around Christmas.

As a cat owner, I always looked forward to Paul’s broadcast.

th

legend of the tabby cat

Author Unknown

And so it came to pass that a husband and wife journeyed to a small town called Bethlehem, as the king had decreed that all the people stand to be counted in the small towns and teeming cities from whence they came. The journey was long and hard for both, but especially for the young wife, who was very near to bringing her firstborn son into the world.

When they at last reached the crowded and noisy town, the expectant father searched hurriedly for a place for them to rest and where the child could safely be born. But at every door, he was told there was no available room. Finally, an old inkeeper, though having no space left in his inn, took pity on them and offered them shelter in the small stable used by his animals.

It was there that the child was born, surrounded by beasts of the field. As the night’s cold grew, the baby fretted and cried while his parents pondered how to make him comfortable. His father tried stuffing straw into the open places in the walls, and his mother tried warming him with her meager wrappings. But still, the baby cried on.

All the while, a tiny kitten watched from the corner. “Of course the little baby is cold,” she thought. “It has no fur to keep it warm! I will give it mine, and I will lullaby-purr it to sleep.”

A little jump brought the kitten into the manger where the baby lay. There, she quietly gave her humble gift of warmth and love, gently stretching out her thin, fragile little body over the baby’s, careful to cover all but the infant’s face. The crying was soon replaced by soft purrs and coos, and slowly, the infant smiled.

As Mary, the new mother, witnessed this gift to her child, she touched the little cat’s forehead.

“Thank you, Little Tabby, for your gift of love and warmth. As a sign of my grateful blessing, you and all your descendents will forevermore carry my initial on your forehead.”

And to this day, tabby cats are known by the remarkable “M” on their foreheads, and by their extraordinary gifts of love, so gently given.

 

How to Win the Knock-out Game

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This is from Clash Daily.

I am too crippled up to run away.

I am too old to take an ass whooping.

So I will shoot your dumbass and continue to

shoot you until you’re no longer a threat.

 

There’s a new game in town called the “Knock-out Game” and it’s taking the country by storm! But the great thing about this game is it’s being played by both young and old alike. Kids think it’s fun. Adults, though they’ve yet to embrace the game, are playing regardless, because, well, they really have no choice. You see, the game is played like this. A teenage male strikes an unsuspecting person from behind, or as they walk by, as hard as they can. The goal is to knock them unconscious with one punch. It’s being played with increasing regularity all across our big cities.

I’ve watched all the videos and they sicken me, no, more than that, they anger me. Kids say it’s fun. I say it’s sick and twisted and the end-game of a Godless society. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I don’t care about the “why” or the social causes and ramifications of this disgusting violence. The purpose of this article is to teach you how to defend against roving teen-age punks who are hell-bent on hurting or killing you. Here are some handy tips to help you win the “Knock-out Game.”

1. Always be in a heightened state of awareness. After studying the videos, it’s obvious all the victims were clueless and lost in their own la-la, sheeplike world of innocent oblivion. Step number one to winning the game is to reach back and pull your daydreaming head out of your rectal orifice. Stop being a sheep! The NRA teaches four levels of awareness: Unaware, Aware, Alert, and Alarm. America’s days of walking around unaware are over. Stay in the “Aware” state of mind. You aren’t paranoid, but you’re watching that roving band of teenagers laughing and joking as they herd toward you.

2. Embrace the warrior mindset. Go to www.killology.com and study Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman’s books and articles on sheep, sheepdogs and wolves. Look up, make eye contact with the little beasts and move away. What are you telling them when you make eye contact? “I can see you. I know you’re there. I can pick you out of a police line-up. I am not a sheep. If you mess with me, I will kick your ass!”

But here’s the problem, most of you reading this article are sheep. You stand on the hill and go “Baa!” as you’re being slaughtered. Here’s the skinny. Sheephood is a choice. Sure, some of us are naturally more aggressive than others. We’re jam-packed with testosterone and attitude, and we’d just as soon shoot a bad guy as look at them. If you’re a sheep, start your transition to warrior right now!

3. Get some training. I recommend some basic hand-to-hand tactics you can practice at home. You don’t need a black belt in karate to foil an attacker. Most of us don’t have that much time, and many of the martial arts are more “art form” and less practical for use in the real world. Focus on learning just a few hand-to-hand techniques that you can master in a short amount of time. All you need is just a few seconds of delaying tactics in order to get out your gun and bring it into play.

4. Buy a gun! That’s right. I used the “G” word. Buy a gun. Learn to use it safely. (Safe for you, but dangerous for the bad guy.) Author’s Note: I’m not a lawyer and I’m not giving you legal advice. Take the time to research all local, state and federal firearms laws before gunning down your attacker. But, since I am an NRA Advanced Defensive Pistol Instructor, I will give you some tactical advice. For best results in self defense, I recommend two shots to the chest and one to the head. When facing multiple attackers treat it like a zone defense in basketball. Shoot the greatest threat first. Chances are you won’t have to shoot them all as they’ll be knocking each other down in a futile effort to outrun your bullets.

5. Get some advanced defensive pistol tactical training. It’s not enough to be a good shot. You have to be capable of delivering multiple kill shots while under extreme duress. When teaching advanced pistol classes I always add the element of stress in an effort to raise heart rate and cause an adrenaline dump into the bloodstream. Don’t take sissified gun classes where you stand there and plink at typing paper. Move, shoot and live! Most of my practice these days is point shooting within ten feet. There’s no such thing as a long-distance knock-out punch. If you have to use your firearm you’ll be up close and personal.

6. Get a very good lawyer. If you follow my advice and you have the misfortune of being second-guessed, you’re going to need excellent counsel. Ask George Zimmerman. He’ll tell you. America is a very just land, and you can have as much justice as you can afford. Do what I did. Join one of the many legal defense networks out there. I recommend two: Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. and also Self Defense Shield by the United States Concealed Carry Association. Both will serve you well and are affordable by most. Don’t wait until after a shooting. Be prepared in all aspects.

Okay, by now some of you are shaking your head and calling me a bloodthirsty, insensitive animal. I don’t care. Tell that to English teacher Jim Addlespurger in Pittsburg who was knocked out with one punch when leaving his school. Tell that to the seventy-eight-year-old woman in Brooklyn who was sucker punched when she stepped off her porch. They were no doubt sensitive to the point of kissing the pavement.

If being sensitive means I have to take a punch to the face which may seriously injure me or kill me, then to hell with sensitivity. If you wind up to punch me, I’ll be watching, and I will fight back. The Coryell household is a “no-sheep zone”. We are armed and dangerous and we don’t care about your poor potty training or whatever other sorry, pitiful liberal sob story you have. We are trained. So get the hell off my lawn!
Read more at http://clashdaily.com/2013/11/win-knock-game/#rCpr859wh8sj5UcV.99

 

Reporter: Ammunition in house fire “could have fired off wildly.” Uh, no.

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This is from Bearing Arms.com.

At one time I believed this myth about fires and ammo.

Throw a single cartridge, box, or even  cases of ammunition into a burning building, and you run no risk of of being shot by bullets whizzing out of the engulfed structure. That is a proven fact apparently not only lost on South Florida’s news media (which we frankly expect), but also apparently on  firefighters who recently fought a blaze at the home of a Dania Beach gun collector.

“What we don’t know, is what’s contained in a person’s home and that’s one of the biggest dangers we have,” Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Assistant District Chief Bruce Caruso said.

Vaughn was a gun collector and had pieces dating all the way back to World War I. Along with all of the weapons, he also had quite a bit of ammunition. All of it was in the house when it went up in flames.

“The ammunition was already starting to degrade from the heat,” Caruso said. “It wasn’t only the box that melted. The ammunition itself was near the point where it would’ve gone off.”

Neighbor Gloria Lawson told NBC 6, “I was standing in front of his house before the fire department got here. I had no idea there was such danger, imminent danger.”

Thanks to Vaughn’s neighbor and friend Frank Lopes, firefighters were aware of the potential explosive situation.

“I said the man was a gun collector and there could be ammunition in the house,” Lopes said. “When I told them that, that’s when they cleared the roads and got everybody out of the neighborhood and told me to go back in my house.”

Caruso said that’s when crews started what is called a defense attack. Firefighters stayed back a bit and took cover when they could.

It is sad that firefighting professionals aren’t better educated on the fact proven fact that modern ammunition doesn’t explode, or “fire” when burned, it simply “pops” like popcorn, posing little to no risk to firefighters, or anyone else.

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) created a training film called Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter over a year ago, in which they tortured hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition to show just how stable modern ammunition is, even in large quantities.

Whether it was run over, shot, or burned by the case, modern ammunition is incredibly stable in even the worst conditions.

It looks like far too few professional firefighters have incorporated this this information into their training. Let’s help get that information out there!

 

 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: Inappropriate Racking

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This is part three from OutDoorHub.

 

 

The Needle Point Slide Rack

This Beretta PX4 has a tough slide to rack and the Needle Point technique isn’t going to cut it.

In many jurisdictions, inappropriate racking can get you fined or even imprisoned for up to three days. But word has it you can get off the hook with a warning, provided you’re departing a Sunset Strip nightclub after 2 a.m.

Unfortunately for TMZ producers and folks who disable the default Google Images SafeSearch option, we’re talking about an entirely different kind of inappropriate racking.

This racking discussion focuses on racking the slide on semiautomatic pistols. For anyone not familiar with the terminology, racking the slide refers to vigorously drawing the slide all the way back in order to eject a chambered cartridge or spent casing and/or allow the slide to strip a new one from the magazine and jam it into the chamber. In plain English, racking most often completes the process of manually loading a semiautomatic pistol by moving the first round from the magazine to the chamber.

In the Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting series, we’re going to cover two types of racking offenses. The first is a simple misdemeanor infraction that doesn’t even warrant a ticket, much less a summons. The second can easily be considered a capital felony.

  1. The Needle Point
  2. The Side Slide Swipe

Today, we’ll focus on the less dangerous one: the Needle Point. This technique actually borrows from the cup and saucer grip we addressed in week one. Simply put, it relies on a dainty pinching motion on the back of the slide by the support hand thumb and index finger. It’s a lot like the way Sir Elton John might hold a teacup. The shooter then attempts to pull the slide backward using only the abductor pollicis brevis muscle to control the thumb. Or maybe it’s the opponens pollicis. I always get those two muscle groups mixed up as they all look the same to me. Clearly, as we all know, the lumbrical muscle gets involved to help out the index finger pressure.

The point of all this grey anatomy is that some really delicate, small, and comparatively weak muscles are used to do some seriously heavy work. Think about it. You use the same muscles to thread a needle and that only requires .00732 nano-pounds of pressure. Seriously, that’s a fact because I saw someone post that figure in the comments on a YouTube “Needlepointing for Dummies” video. On the other hand (Ha! Get it?) racking a pistol slide can require more than 20 pounds of force when you consider the resistance of the recoil and main (or firing pin) springs.

The result of this technique is a bunch of frustrated people who find they have difficulty racking the slide on a pistol that they might otherwise like. And far too often, people choose to buy and use an entirely different pistol because they can’t, or at least have difficulty, racking the slide.

Fortunately, and thanks to Bill Nye the Science Guy, some basic knowledge of physics can help. There’s a really easy way to use really big muscles to rack the slide. And nearly every person, with the obvious exception of New York runway models, has muscles more powerful than those pistol springs. I have yet to see this method fail.

Proper way to rack the slide - setup

With the gun held close to your body, jab yourself in the gut with your support hand thumb like this.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Take a firm firing grip with your shooting hand, making sure that you diligently obey Rule 1–keeping your finger off the trigger!
  2. Bring your shooting hand (with the gun attached of course) straight back towards your body. Just move your elbow backwards so the gun grip ends up almost touching you, with the muzzle still pointed straight downrange.
  3. Now take your support hand and flatten it, keeping your fingers straight. Think about how you naturally make a “down boy” or “calm down” motion with your hand. Your palm should be facing the ground.
  4. Extend your support hand thumb straight out, away from your palm and at a 90 degree angle to your fingers. Now rotate your arm so you jab yourself right in the gut with that thumb. Ouch! Your palm should still be facing the ground by the way.
  5. Move your still-flat support hand over the back half of the slide of your gun.
  6. Close your support hand fingers so that your palm is on one side of the slide and fingers on the other. Now you’re grasping that slide with large hand and arm muscles instead of thumb and finger mini-muscles. Squeeze!
  7. Keeping your support arm in the same place, push the bottom half (frame) of the gun forward like you’re going to jab the target with the muzzle.
  8. See what we did there? Rather than pulling the slide backwards, we tricked you into you into pushing the whole gun forward with your big arm and body muscles.
  9. When you have pushed the gun as far forward as the slide will allow it to go, quickly release the slide with your support hand. Let the springs snap the slide closed. Don’t ever try to ease the slide back gently as the gun was designed to work properly when the springs do their job with gusto and wild enthusiasm. If you try to be gentle and allow the slide to close slowly and gently, you’re just asking for a malfunction. And those are embarrassing, to say the least.

How did that work out for you?

So if you, or someone you know, is struggling with racking slides, have them try this method. Even though the Needle Point is only a misdemeanor, you still don’t want it on your record.

This article is the fifth part in a series on the Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting. To learn more about how not to shoot, check out last week’s article on the crossed-thumb grip here.

 

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

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This is from OutDoorHub.

I am posting three more articles about what not to

while shooting.

Un-natural point of aim handgunIf 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.

If you have to expend any effort at all to “force” your gun to the target, you are creating fatigue in your muscles, eyes, and brain. The second you relax one or more of those, your gun will come off target.

It’s one of those “oh, duh” things when you think about it. Shooting from a naturally relaxed and comfortable position will help you shoot more accurately, more consistently, and with better shot-to-shot performance. You’ll also get the sights on target quicker if your body is already somewhat aligned when you look for that front sight.

How to find your natural point of aim

Important notice: We’re talking a lot about going natural, but don’t worry, you can still use deodorant and shave whatever parts of your body you’re accustomed to shaving. There’s no need to go French just to shoot naturally. 

The best place to work on finding your natural point of aim is at the shooting range–mainly because it allows you to see your results as you practice. It’s also safer because you’re already in a place where you can point your gun safely at a target and backstop.

First, ensure your firearm is on safe and unloaded. Next, assume your normal shooting stance with your gun pointed at the intended target. Make sure your sights are lined up at a very specific point on the target.

Now get ready to become one with Dionne Warwick and go all Psychic Hotline.

Close your eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths. Think about all those who have passed before us. Do NOT try to force your gun to stay on target. Don’t cheat. Remember what Miss Ninnymuggins used to say back in fifth grade: you’re only hurting yourself! Just be natural for a sec–with your eyes closed.

Now open them. What do you see? Are your sights still lined up on the target?

If you open your eyes and see a view like the photo in this article, then you haven’t found your natural point of aim. If you open your eyes and see a pterodactyl listening to eight-track tapes, then double check the source of those mushrooms on your last Domino’s order.

If your sights are now lined up to one side or the other of your desired aiming point, that’s an easy fix. Just have the range master move the target a bit to the side. But seriously, you can do a scaled-down version of the Ickey Shuffle to get your sights back on target. If you don’t know what the Ickey Shuffle is, just Google “Best Football End Zone Dances Ever” and you’ll get it. Simply put, shuffle your feet to realign your whole body so your sights line up on target.

If you find your sights pointed a bit high after opening your eyes, try moving your back foot forward just a tad. That can help lower your sights a bit. The opposite works if your aim point is low–move that back foot back just a touch more.

Now that you’ve done a little Gun Range Blossoming Lotus Yoga, start over. Aim at the target. Close your eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths. Listen to the sound of my voice…

When you open them, reevaluate and readjust your body position to get your sights on target again. Just like before. Repeat this exercise until your body position is just right.

Now load your firearm, return to the natural aiming point you’ve discovered, and shoot the target. Wasn’t that fun?

Do this exercise repeatedly to make sure your stance is naturally consistent and aligned with your target. Soon, you won’t have to close your eyes and dance anymore. You’ll find that when you assume a shooting position, your body will find its natural point of aim.

Before anyone gets all cranky and questions the practicality of scooting around blindfolded to find your natural point of aim, the idea is to build a habit when you are practicing at the range. With repetition, you won’t have to think about it–it’ll just happen.

Naturally, that’s the whole idea of natural point of aim!

Safety note: While we like to have a little fun with these articles, guns are serious business. Exercise caution when closing your eyes while aiming a gun. To achieve natural point of aim, you only need to do this for a second, while aiming at the target. Don’t do anything silly or dangerous like waving your gun around with your eyes closed. You can also do this exercise at home during dry fire practice. Of course, ALL dry fire safety rules apply. Put ALL ammunition in a different room. Check your magazine AND chamber (or cylinder if applicable) to make sure your gun is completely unloaded. And always use a safe backstop as an aiming point.

This article is the third part in a series on the Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting. To learn more about how not to shoot, check out last week’s article on “doin’ the Bernie” here.

 

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

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This is from The OutDoorHub.

I have never of Doing The Bernie.

With all of the metal I have in my body it would be

impossible for me to stand that way.

I have heard of limp wristing.

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.

We’ve all seen it, and most of us have done it. Men, women, kids, competitive Steel Challenge Llamas. It doesn’t matter. Doin’ the Bernie is a universal new shooter offense.

What exactly is doin’ the Bernie?

It simply refers to leaning backwards from the waist, so your shoulders are behind your belt line. Your head also leans back, like you’re trying to stop a nose bleed. It looks like you’re trying to shoot into a Category 5 Hurricane headwind.

Why do perfectly respectable people do the Bernie?

Perhaps they’re afraid that the gun will turn around and start chasing them. Or maybe it’s a subconscious move to show other nearby shooters just how relaxed they are shooting this huge, powerful pistol. Sort of gansta in a way.

More likely it’s an instinctive protective reaction to get as far away as possible from the big explosion about to happen in front of their face.

Whatever the reason, doin’ the Bernie really hurts your ability to shoot well.

First of all, you’ve given the gun a huge head start in the battle against recoil. If you’re already about to fall over backwards, it doesn’t take much more of a push to send you off balance. That gun is going to shove you around and make you its bit…never mind that, let’s move on.

Second, the general weakness of this stance increases the odds that your gun will malfunction. If you’re shooting a semiautomatic handgun, that gun requires forward force in order to cycle correctly. If you’re not pushing forward against the gun with enough force, it won’t cycle correctly and is likely to jam. If this happens at the range, you’re only embarrassed. If it happens in a real-life self-defense situation, the consequences are far worse.

Third, it just looks kind of ridiculous. And isn’t that the most important thing?

If you don’t know if you do the Bernie, just munch on some brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts while you shoot. If the crumbs fall on your belly, then you might be doin’ the Bernie.

So how do you shoot without doin’ the Bernie?

7 Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting - Proper Stance

Now here’s a handgun stance. Shoulders are just in front of the belt. Knees flexed. She’s controlling that gun, not the other way around.

Well, that where things get confusing. You see, there are a few commonly taught handgun shooting stances.

The Weaver Stance: Place your support side foot forward of your shooting side foot. Put your shooting side arm straight out. Use your support hand to pull back on the gun, keeping your elbow bent, to create some isometric tension.

The Isosceles Stance: As the Sword of Damocles was made obsolete by guns, the Handgun Stance of Isosceles became cool. Keep both feet parallel to the target, shoulder width apart. Now shove both arms forward to form a triangle. That’s where the “isosceles” part of Isosceles Stance comes from. Clever huh?

So which of these is right for you if you’re going to ban the Bernie from your shooting? It doesn’t make a darn bit of difference, because you can obtain a proper shooting stance with either of those methods–or some other.

You see, when it comes to killing Bernie (yet again) most of the battle is getting your body weight forward. The nuances of arms and feet positions are secondary to that.

Getting proper weight balance is pretty simple.

  1. Place your feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. If you like to put your weak side foot a little forward, great, do that.
  3. If you prefer to keep your feet side by side, great, do that.
  4. Flex your knees a bit. That makes the next step easier and gives you a better shock-absorbing platform. It also facilitates movement. Crazy things those knees!
  5. Here’s the important part. Bend a little forward at the waist. Your collarbone should be in front of your belt buckle. If you’re not wearing a belt, pretend you are.
  6. Roll your shoulders inward and down just a touch. That’ll help control recoil even more.
  7. Assume your Weaver, Isosceles, or Iron Lotus position. It doesn’t matter.
  8. Make sure those shoulders stay in front of your waist.

That’s it!

You’ll be amazed at how little your handgun recoils when you get your weight forward of your belt. You’ll make that gun your bit…never mind. Let’s just say you will be controlling your handgun–not the other way around.

This article is the second part in a series on the Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting. To learn more about how not to shoot, check out last week’s article on the cup and saucer grip here.

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

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This is from The OutDoorHub.

I am guilty of using this method when I first shot a semiautomatic.

I was also limp wristing and got a jam and a lecture.

I was shooting with a former Navy man.

While the lecture was not harsh it stuck with me through the years.

 

Cup and saucer handgun grip

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

We’re starting a new weekly column here at OutdoorHub.com and we’ll be covering a variety of shooting-related topics including how-tos, industry observations, and some occasional commentary about shooting and Second Amendment issues. I thought it might be fun to start with a how-to series on what I consider the Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting.

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.

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?

Cup and saucer golf club grip

Here’s a cup and saucer grip being used for golf. Don’t see this much on the PGA tour do you?

The cup and saucer grip

The cup and saucer grip simply refers to a handgun grip style where your support hand acts more like a tea set saucer than a support. The butt of your handgun simply rests on top of your open support hand palm.

Let’s face it, if you’re having tea with Prince Harry, you’ve got a tea cup on one hand and a saucer in the other. The cup holds the tea, so what purpose does the saucer underneath serve? Obviously it drives up the stock price for Royal Doulton China and adds complexity to the job description of footmen. Other than that, the saucer only serves to catch things that spill. It’s a waste of a perfectly good hand that could be used to eat scones.

It’s exactly the same with shooting. While your dominant shooting hand will be a little stronger, why waste all those nearly-as-strong muscles in the non-dominant hand? If you’re simply resting your dominant hand and gun on top of a wimpy-looking hand-saucer, you’re not getting any benefit from the support hand, are you?

Other sports figured this out a long time ago. Ever see a golfer use a cup and saucer grip? Or a designated hitter in Major League Baseball? Even fishermen figured out the value of using two hands. Apparently we shooters can be a little slow on the uptake.

Performing the exorcism

Well, for starters, we can blame the guy who invented the term “handgun.” After all, if the best way to shoot them is with two hands, so shouldn’t they be called “hands-guns?” If the name were more intuitive, that would certainly help people think about using both hands effectively. Just saying.

Since that’s not likely to happen, let’s focus on some things we can do. Here’s how to achieve a solid and proper handgun grip.

Proper handgun grip

With your primary shooting hand, open your thumb and index finger. Push the web of your hand as high as it will comfortably go on the handgun grip, making sure that the barrel of the gun lines up with the bones in your forearm. Wrap your fingers around the front of the grip, making sure to keep your index finger out of the trigger.

 

 

 

 

Proper handgun grip (1)

 

Do you see some free space on the inside grip panel of your handgun? Good, that’s where the bottom part of your support hand palm is going to go. Smack it on there and don’t worry if there’s not enough room to get your whole palm on the inside grip panel. There won’t be and that’s OK.

 

 

 

 

Proper handgun grip (3)

 

Now wrap your support hand fingers around the front of your dominant hand fingers. Your support hand fingers should be high–to the point of pressing against the bottom of the trigger guard.

You’ll know you’ve got it right if both of your thumbs are somewhere near parallel to each other and touching.

Next time you shoot, notice how much less your muzzle jumps. Your support hand can do wonders to help control recoil when you actually put it to work! Plus, a proper handgun grip looks really cool–you’ll be a hit at the range. And those forward-facing thumbs? They naturally help you aim. Things tend to go where you point.

If you have trouble shaking the cup and saucer grip habit, try these emergency counter measures:

  • Bag the tea and drink coffee.
  • Next time you go fishing with a buddy, use a cup and saucer grip with your fishing rod. The tsunami of taunting and hazing will break your cup and saucer habit almost instantly.
  • Smear a dab of crazy glue on the bottom of your handgun butt. You’ll only make the cup and saucer mistake once! On second thought, using Crazy Glue may not be the wisest idea. Perhaps some lard?

Happy (and safe) shooting folks! See you next week!

Images by Tom McHale

 

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