Hold it Properly

It’s a familiar sight seen in dozens of  Hollywood gangster films: the gangster aiming down the side of his pistol before pumping a volley of bullets into his victim.

But with most people knowing that the aiming sights are found on the top of a gun barrel, it’s also a counter-intuitive way  to accurately fire a weapon.

So why is it that gangsters are always shown  using their guns in this way? According to Jon Davis, a former marksmanship  instructor with the U.S. Marine Corp, there is a good reason, at least in theory.

Which is best? researchers have analysed the reason gangsters often hold their gun sideways - and say it can actually help aimWhich is best? researchers have analysed the reason  gangsters often hold their gun sideways – and say it can actually help aim

As a specialist in pistol marksmanship and a veteran of the war in Iraq, Mr Davis has fired these kinds of weapons thousands of times.

He explains that when aiming a handgun in the conventional, barrel-up manner, the rear sites must line up with the front sight in the horizontal and vertical planes to make sure the bullet travels a straight line.

This important technique, known as ‘building the castle’ since the gunman has to line up the three ‘turrets’ into an even position, ensures that the barrel of the gun is aligned perfectly along the trajectory he wants the bullet to travel.

The problem with ‘building the castle’ each time you want to fire your gun is that it takes time. Time you might not have in a combat situation – or alternatively when you want to quickly execute your victim and make a fast getaway.

'Building the castle': This graphic shows the conventional way to line a target up using the sites on the top of a handgun‘Building the castle’: This graphic shows the  conventional way to line a target up using the sites on the top of a handgun

Instead, gangsters – albeit unkowingly – use another method to get what’s called a ‘flash sight picture’ by quickly aiming down the side of the gun barrel without perfectly lining it up with the target.

The ‘flash sight picture’ is a way to quickly get an aim that’s good enough for combat but without worrying too much about  being totally precise with your aim.

Marines do it too, Mr Davis says, but they hold their guns the right way up.

'Flash sighting' - gangster style: Mr Davis explains that this method is a much faster way of aiming a weapon, but it is much less effective for aiming accurately‘Flash sighting’ – gangster style: Mr Davis explains  that this method is a much faster way of aiming a weapon, but it is much less  effective for aiming accurately

In answer to a question on quora.com Mr Davis explains: ‘The problem with tilt style shooting is that it is almost impossible to acquire a reliable sight alignment. The alignment in tilt style is achieved by making the weapon flat and aiming down the side.

‘In theory this works, but in practice you  can’t accurately measure movement left or right and you have absolutely no way  of knowing if the weapon is tilted down below your field of vision from the back  of the weapon.

‘This means that you never actually take the same shot twice since you are never actually aiming the same way.’

This, Mr Davis adds, shows that there is in fact a rational method behind why gangsters aim their weapon side on. However,  it’s not a particularly good method – and they probably don’t realize that there’s method to it at all.

The research sheds new light on why holding a gun sideways can help aim under pressureThe research sheds new light on why holding a gun  sideways can help aim under pressureAttribution: Damien Gayle
Advertisements

About thecommonconstitutionalist

Brent is not a scholar. He’s not an author or speaker (yet). He hasn’t published a book nor does he write articles for magazines (yet). He has no advanced literary degree or pedigree (never will). He is just an American who writes and shares what interests him. He cares about the salvation of this country and a return to its Constitutional roots. He believes in God, country and family.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Fun Stuff, Science & Technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s