Monday, March 20, 2006

Bullseye Shooting and "Shooting Gallery"

Bill and I were kinda out of it this weekend. We ended up with a miserable head cold. I started getting ill on Friday and Bill followed on Saturday. Normally we're the picture or rosy-cheeked health, but lately viruses are having their way with us. I blame it on the lingering winter that must kick us one more time before it leaves these granite hills. It ruined our planned day of shooting, it did.

But, nature has a way of granting boons as well as exacting tribute. Bill and I went to our Thursday night bullseye league and maybe because of the incipient work of a maliginant virus, we both shot excellently. I posted my personal best aggregate score. When I saw my score, I could of turned a cartwheel. Bill posted his second-best score. I don't know if catching a cold really helped or not, but I do know that strange things affect one's shooting for good or bad.

I think what happens is that shooting is a body, mind, practice thing. If you try to force your mind over your body, your body doesn't follow the right path and youl end up with a poor shot. Conversely if you don't have the proper concentration, you won't make the shot.

I like to describe precision shooting as zen. That is, that you do something without conscious thought, but in such a way that you become the shot.

I know it sounds like mystical claptrap, but I don't know how to put it into other words. But I'll try to desribe it. It's living in the moment of easing that trigger back perfectly while maintaining perfect sight alignment. You forget the guy next to you, you ignore the aggregate score, you don't think of work, fun, food, the weekend, anything. You become that shot.

I'm far from the only person who's described precision shooting as zen. Here's a series of articles in the Encyclopedia of Bullseye Shooting on zen and shooting. The Encyclopedia has other great articles on the practice of bullseye shooting.

Finally, through referrals I found that Ten Ring is listed on "Shooting Gallery's" webpage of blogs and articles. If you're not familiar with "Shooting Gallery," it's a television show devoted to shooting sports. Bill and I watch it every Friday night on cable on the Outdoor Channel. The show has featured professionals shooting Steel Challenge matchs, interviews with Jeff Cooper, tours of the annual SHOT show, cowboy action shooting, and just about everything else.

Michael Bane hosts "Shooting Gallery" and produces or writes for several other shooting shows. Bill and I met him briefly at the NRA Convention in Houston last year. He's a class act.

Ten Ring is not the only blog listed on "Shooting Gallery's" blog page. Also here are Alphecca, AnarchAngel, Cogito Ergo Geek, and Resistance is Futile. Plenty of gunnie goodness to read.

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