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Another Safety Drill…”Of Mice & Men & Guns”

Hey Everyone…

I just had to put something up for this week that may seem a little crazy…but very effective in its application.

Perry Bronson…my very good friend and teacher of hunting techniques, and I went out to sight in my .30-06 last week.  After arriving at his “secret” shooting spot, we unloaded some targets and set them at 100 and 200 yards.  Perry uses the realestate yard signs and the politician signs with the stake in the middle…and using the big sticker targets…you want to put them off center so you don’t destroy your support stakes of course.  I had not thought of that, but that is a great idea…see, even I am learning all the time.

Now I am not saying you should go steal the “vote for so-en-so” signs in peoples’ front yards,,,but they do work very nicely.

As we were getting the scopes set and sighted in…we would walk up to each target and check our shot placement.  As we were walking to the targets, we would see little mice scampering around from hole to hole.  As we observed, there were thousands of little holes, everywhere we looked…it was pretty insane.  The field mice have quite a tunnel labrynth going on there..quite amazing.

So, the next time we got our carry pistols and decided to see if we could hit any of the mice that were darting around us as we walked.  Now, that may sound pretty bad, shooting those innocent mice in the field…but the hawks gotta eat as well…and there were plenty around there who could have used a free meal…so we were happy to ablige them.

As we missed continually, I came away with a lesson learned.  As I have read quite a few books concerning “sight picture” and using the “front sight” while shooting and such, I realized that this was actually an amazing drill to hone the skills of using your gun sights and effectively aligning them up with the sight picture, or target.

For close range, one book mentioned that you don’t need to have the sights perfectly aligned with the target, but that you just need to get the sights in the picture enough to see them as a slight blur.  Almost as a peripheral detection as you look at the target.  The mice were extremely fast and quick.  Most of the time we were not sure where they were, but only got lucky a couple of times.

So as I thought about the drill, the fact that I actually experienced the effect of getting your firearm sights up to the point where your eyes can register them enough to get a combat accurate shot, was pretty surreal.  Luckily it was only a mouse…but what a fantastic drill to experience.  I just wish I had a location where I could figure out an equal drill and practice it everyday.

So, in the case of self defense or personal defense, understanding the difference between range accurate and combat accurate is essential.  I did actually hit the target out there, at about 5 feet away…but it took me 4 to 6 shots to hit it.  The fact is that the other shots, the ones that missed the target, were very close and would, in fact, have been good shots against an attacker at close range.  The other thing that didn’t hit me until later one…what that I was shooting one-handed…and I actually hit something.  That is adrenaline for you!

So, whether you are out plinking mice in the wild, or at the range having fun, remember to find a way to relate your exercises to real life scenarios and then practice them more often.

Stay safe and check your six often..

From one sheepdog to another.

Damon Thueson

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