SI Vault
Martin Kane
October 20, 1958
Anyone can shoot like a TV Western hero after a one-hour lesson, and here's how
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October 20, 1958

Shooting By Instinct

Anyone can shoot like a TV Western hero after a one-hour lesson, and here's how

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"Every once in a while some wife gets mad at her husband," Lucky says. "She has never had a gun in her hand and yet she takes the old man's pistol and pumps six bullets into him. Wives never miss when they shoot at their husbands. That's instinct."

Lucky warns his pupils that they may be embarrassed if they try to show off without practice. It seems to be true, too, that Lucky's presence is a large factor in success.

William O. Walton, county solicitor in Lafayette, Alabama, says that after being taught by Lucky he could hit at least five out of 10 pennies in the air in front of friends, and once hit eight of 10 washers.

"I shot a lot better with Lucky standing there," he said. "It's some sort of hypnosis. It's not logical, for I always feel that I can't hit these things, yet I do."

The hypnosis theory comes up quite frequently. Lucky grins and concedes that "the power of suggestion" has a lot to do with it.

But Lucky insists that his pupils can, if they will practice faithfully, retain their skill.

If you would like to try it out, here are some pointers.

1) Wear glasses to protect the eyes against ricochet.

2) Remember to shoot at nothing a few times until you can clearly see the BB leave the gun. It will look like a coppery streak, and eventually that streak will seem to you like an extension of the gun barrel. You will have the feeling that you are reaching out with this coppery streak, quite as though it were a long, thin pole, and touching the target with the end of it.

3) Have a friend toss the targets straight up over your head at first to a height of about 12 or 15 feet. It is important that he toss them to pretty much the same spot each time, and that the flat side of the washer is presented to you as you shoot.

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