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Jul 25, 2017
MA, United States
    up top says it all ..where has the free hand style of shooting gone.. that's all we did when we were growing up none of this bench stuff none of these rests bags all kinds of The goodies we have now s and I have a little things that you can do I'm just talkin stand up and shoot you don't see any of that in the competition's nowaday not even one competition that way I'd like to see some videos on free hand shooting anybody know any good videos
    Every time I pick a rifle up off some type of rest I will realize that I cannot do it with much accuracy these days. I shake too darn much. Since I’m usually aiming at a pest animal, I would either miss it or hurt it. Would love o practice or train to get better, but _______ (fill in excuse here) best I can do is bracing off a tree or wall etc. 
    Interesting. I’ve noticed the same thing. For the last 5 or 6 months I’ve been practicing off hand shooting with my .177 Bantam. Started at 22 yards or so with 4” spinners and then 2 1/2” and now can relably hit 1 1/2”. I keep the scope as low as it goes, which is 4x 
    Youre right, when kids with the Sheridan .20 cal pump that’s the only way we shot. Iron sights, no scope, squirrels, rabbits, and birds. 
    Recently bought a used FWB 601 SSP to practice 10M shooting off hand. That gun is as accurate as they come. Off a rest, will put 10 - .177 pellets through the exact same hole at 10M. Looks like a single shot. Of course, I can’t do that standing off hand...
    Benchrest and FT with jackets and hamsters, etc is fun, but I’ve always thought standing off hand was the true shooting skill. I was horrible when I first started 5 or 6 months ago. But now I’m respectable, but lots of room for improvement. 


    Apr 22, 2016
    TX, United States
      99 percent of my shooting is off hand in the wind. I will take advantage of a mesquite tree or fence post to lean on if available since the gusty wind has a tendency to toss me around. I only use a bench when sighting in a new gun scope combination or checking equipment for POI shift (usually me and not the equipment).

      I'm working on 5 meter pistol right now. It's taken exercise (some light strengthening of forearm and wrist muscles with light weights) and about 1,000 shots to reliably hit a 1.5 inch square post it note. I've enjoyed the journey and am happy with improvements I see in my pistol shooting. It takes time and repetition, repetition, repetition. For many of us, that takes the fun out.

      I try to get 20 to 30 shots on the pistol each evening. Takes care of my shooting addiction on a daily basis and just lifting the gun helps to strengthen my hands and arm. My gun is a Crosman 1701P, and for a 10 meter gun, it's heavy. Even though my range is only 5 meters, it's still quite a challenge!
      I have been practicing off hand shooting a lot lately. When I hit the range with buddies we always have friendly competitions and one thing we do is 50-100yd plinking off hand and see how long it takes us to hit steel or paper at those distances.Sometimes we will throw some shatterblast targets on the berms to make it even more fun. At home I have taken scopes off my springers and am practicing iron sites off hand at 15-25 yds. It is really hard but its great discipline for learning the technique. 
      I have often wondered if I used to hit more things with my open sights Crosman 760 pump-action shooting BBs than with my outrageously priced rigs with 1000x scopes.

      Maybe there's some psychological factor - more confidence with the vagueness of open sights and not obsessing over windage and holdovers or unders. Maybe this also speaks to Centerpoint's observation about shooting with low scope mag.

      Anyways, good question.


      Apr 1, 2015
      WA, United States
        Twould be at least a "forced" shot in Field Target.
        Shooting anything rifle the seated FT position is THE most stable a human body can get it, somewhat the opposite of freestyle tho making certain every finger & toe & breath is just right is still just as important.
        A large number of Hunters ( BP ) I know have switched to the seated "FT" position .

        I often shoot off hand and it is hard. However, practice will help you improve, and the thing is to not get discouraged. Are you going to be able to make groups like you do on a bench? Probably not, but that doesn't mean good groups can't be made.

        I think it's helpful to have the right weight of rifle too. Heavy rifles hold steady, until you get fatigued. Light rifles can be whippy.

        Scopes are great, but too high of a magnification amplifies that natural body movements which has a psychological effect. This can cause you to rush a shot! Especially when you are thinking to yourself "man, I'm all over the place." I like to turn my scope down to the lowest power, try it and see if it helps.

        Last things to remember - Trigger control, sight alignment (focus on the sights, not the target), breathing, grip and stance.


        Nov 20, 2016
          I've been an air gunner for two years now, almost all off hand shooting. Recently tried using a monopole shooting stick and that's the only way I've been shooting for the past few weeks. Huge increase in accuracy with the stick. I'm confident taking squirrels at 50 yards now whereas before it was only up to about 30 yards. Here's some video's of my off hand shooting and my new shooting stick.

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          Jul 6, 2017
            I shoot pistols off hand. I shoot powder burner rifles off hand. I don't generally shoot my air rifle off hand because I really suck when I do. Then, my standard of accuracy with the air rifle is much higher than the powder burner. I do however think it is important to practice. When I was a kid, I shot in the country and we sure didn't lay down in the weeds! Now, I have nice benches and civilized places to shoot. Not as much fun at all. I'll get back to the country some day. Hope my eyes are good enough to see the target at all when that time comes!


            Feb 15, 2018
            WA., United States
              I think I can sum some of it up (OLD AGE) from childhood to reaching 58, I always shot off hand standing or my butt on the ground using my knee. When out in the rolling hills with only sage brush hunting deer there weren't really any other options, okay I'll take that back the monopod was invented ( don't recall when ). Hell no- no way I would use one, I was taught free standing , sitting & laying down. This should be the same basics for your kids, not the fancy bag rest & all the other contraptions. People seem to forget the old ways. After that prime 58 age I came down with essential tremmors bad. So now I have to eat those words that I stated earlier because now at 66 I too use the bags & a three legged monopod when shooting, it just kills me to do it. But you have to do what you have to do. Enjoy it while you can but a true shooter in my books is one that can do it off hand with no crutche's.
              I agree with the other old farts. I learned to shoot back in the late sixties with an open sighted 177 Springer. I don't remember having any problems with holding steady, just point and squirt. After a cardiac arrest and drowning ten years ago, I shake like a dog poopting razor blades. Turning your scope down will not make you shake less but it will seem like it which probably helps to stop you over-correcting whilst trying to keep those crosshairs steady. I only shoot the shotgun offhand these days.


              May 19, 2017
                Guys shooter 1721 has a string of videos on Youtube shooting offhand unsupported. Awesome good stuff !!
                I shot 10M for years and it does carry over to Highpower competition...or just plinking. With lower comparative velocities in airguns it forces a person to perform the basics we all learned growing up. Follow through is the mantra for success. Before everyone jumps on me,I'm an old fart too! Out in the Western part of the us,there are seldom shots at less than 2-300 yards with most being farther than that. I agree with others that unsupported offhand shooting is harder the older I get. Shooting sticks are light in weight,and if using them means taking home that big elk or moose or risking a miss or wounding.....That's called cheap insurance.
                It is loads of fun to show up at the range and shoot the airguns or PB's offhand and spank the youngsters though!
                Pellets are cheap so take advantage of them and work on your technique. The targets are instant feedback and don't lie. Cheers!