In between his five hundred or so radio/online appearances/interviews to promote the upcoming release of In Defense of the Second Amendment, Larry took a quick moment to share some thoughts about online advice. The Book of Faces would memory hole it, so I’m preserving it here. -Jack
Alright, here’s a bit of internet gun culture advice for an issue that I see on social media all the time. It’s gun people thinking they’re being helpful, but actually making everyone far stupider.
Somebody posts a picture of a shot up target. This is usually a new person, who is proud of their group. Immediately a helpful gun person will show up and start offering diagnostic advice. You’re flinching. You’re jerking the trigger. There’s ghosts in your blood. You’re breaking your wrist up/down/left/hokey pokey whatever it don’t matter because it’s all bullshit.
That’s because without context you can’t diagnose someone shooting problems just by looking at paper. Period.
All those diagnostic targets you’ve seen online? They’re a lie. It ain’t that neat. For every bullet that went someplace it wasn’t supposed to, it was because the sights weren’t in the right place when the trigger got pulled. Why? Could be a bunch of things. And a good shooter could purposefully violate every single slice of that bullshit diagnostic target pie and still get good hits. Tim Herron, who is a top tier shooter, did a video proving this.
So just because a bullet went low, that isn’t automatically X. It could be five different things, and a good coach is going to watch that shooter as they shoot, and immediately be able to tell them, stop doing Y and try this instead. You can’t do that with your magical internet powers. All you can do is guess, probably be wrong, and give newbs bad advice.
Well, outside of targets that look like they got blasted with bird shot, and then the problem is just everything, and the coach is gonna say “holy shit, okay, let’s start over from the beginning.” Well, most instructors. Bad instructors will go “bAlAnCe oF sPeEd aNd aCuRaCy!” and happily cash that student’s check after they go home still sucking.
This part is super important to remember, most of these target pictures people put on the internet the newb doesn’t even know to say the range or the time. Yet people think they’re helping with the guesswork advice, only in reality if that target was shot at 25 yards they’re doing phenomenal, and if it was shot with .25 splits they’re a fantastic shooter. Only the helpful advice people don’t even know that.
At least the advice people are better than the liars, who see that target and go “U suck. I can shoot groups that’ll fit in a quarter at 25 yards all day free hand with my Springfield XD!” and those of us with a clue are like lol the fuck you can. Show me that on video and I’ll hook you up with the guys who will shower you with corporate sponsorships because this here internet rando is the next Jerry Miculek.
Experienced shooters will put up targets and say this is an Advanced Super Test, or this is a 2 second Bill Drill, or this is the such and such qual, or the FAST, which provides us contextual shorthand for the time/distance involved, and we’ll all go wow, damn dude, you fucking rock. But then inevitably along will come a guy who doesn’t own a shot timer to say “u must be jerking trigger cause that one is low” and then start lecturing us about breath control or some shit which causes my eye to twitch because that “problem” one was a .17 split so get off my back helpful internet rando.
So basically, don’t be know it all dicks. Be helpful and encouraging dicks! 😀 The fact they’re getting out there and putting in the work and they proudly put up their targets, awesome! That’s fantastic. Encourage them to keep at it.
If they want advice, give it, but be aware that unless you’re there looking at their hands you’re just guessing, and be clear. Tell them try this and this or this. It might not be jerking the trigger, or flinching, it might be somebody who is actually pretty good who has a tendency to not grip hard enough who subconsciously tightens up at the last second which inordinately effects the pinky finger which causes a lever effect on the muzzle… and if you tell me you could diagnose that one by looking at just the target, get bent. 😀