« Loneliness kills | Main | False Name »

I don't know if sharpshooting has anything to do with the eyes

Most of the best shooters I know, across all platforms and shooting sports, wear glasses. Too many of them need coke bottle glasses to even get around even when they're ringing steel at a couple of thousand yards or never missing a pigeon streaking across the sky with the sweep of the barrel of an over-under shotgun. It really can't just be the eyeballs, the optic nerves.

It can't be.

It's gotta be some Yoda shit. I'm a pistol guy. It's my platform. I aim, breathe, press, and fire. I keep my focus on the front sight and the target blurs into the distance and the rear notch, also out of focus, cups the lined-up sight line, most of it out of focus (the front sight isn't anywhere near the bullseye down range) and yet I have gotten to the point where I can shoot through an entire 17+1 and end up with a single ragged hole.

There's really no way that I have ever focused my eyes on the paper target down range and the stock sights I use are just imprecise guides. What really happens—what really must happen—is some form of magic involving an amalgam of years of familiarity and experience, muscle memory, yes, of course, but also something maybe much more basic, much more primal.

Science has proven that when you drive a car or truck, a boat and even a tractor-trailer or commercial jet, the physical body energetically grows and expands to encompass and become aware of what's happening to the greater vehicle as though it was a direct extension of their own body. I've felt it happen. Take a second: so have you.

From your childhood bike to the U-Haul truck you could weave through downtown traffic and back right up to exactly where you need it. I think shooting works the same way. And I'm only including the mortals—the rest of us—not the trick shooters who can break the laws of physics, it almost seems. The trick and sharpshooters are swimming through some sort of otherworldly time-space alternate reality.

I have seen guys in the field make amazing shots, again and again. Against distant targets and moving targets alike. I've seen ground forces tag aircraft and helios with high powered rifles. While some did very well have optics and science and even apps that take the Coriolis effect into consideration, that wasn't most of them. A few very elites were popping distant heads using only irons and just a second of their day, virtually an afterthought.

But, when's all said and done, even after you've installed the best aftermarket trigger or the nicest fluff and buff trigger job, and have meditated and PT'd your resting heart rate to the 40s or 50s and have become mindful and centered, you still need to take the shot and send that 147 grain projectile thousand of meters—or wherever it needs to go—on your own, through those eyeglasses, and the fact that it hits steel every time is a damn miracle that can't rightly be proven with experience, technology, science, optics, and talent.

To me, there's some of The Force about it, still quite a lot of magic.

« Previous | Beginning | Next »