Written by John C. Harrison and passed to me by http://www.threatfocused.com/forums/index.php forum member RJS [ Wild Rob Hickcock ]

Learning about the remarkable capabilities of the mind

It was October of 1968. I was in the barber chair at the Ambassador Health Club on Sutter Street in San Francisco, thumbing through the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, when I came upon an article that caught my attention. The article was titled "Shooting by Instinct," and it described one Lucky McDaniel, a young 33-year-old instructor from Upson County, Georgia, who could teach somebody to become a crack shot in a little more than an hour. Martin Kane, the author, started out by describing how someone typically approached the art of shooting.

Most skills allow you to attain a certain level of proficiency through conscious control. Target shooting is a good example. You take careful aim. You breathe according to plan. You watch the front sight drift back and forth across the target. You find it impossible to control the wavering sight, but you hope you can discover a rhythm that will permit you to let off the bullet at the correct instant. You try, therefore, to time the wavering of the sight, the beating of your heart, the extraordinary turbulence of your softest breathing. When you think you have all these things in rhythm, you do not pull the trigger. You squeeze it ever so gently, making sure you are holding your breath. You try to time the squeeze so that the bullet will let off between beats of your mounting pulse.

That sounded like the way I used to prepare myself to speak. But Lucky McDaniel had a different approach. He called it "instinct shooting" and it delivered virtually unbelievable results. In the article Kane recounted that…

…he taught me, in little more than an hour, to shoot with such marvelous accuracy that soon I was hitting crawling beetles and tossed pennies with a BB [pellet] gun, with scarcely ever a miss. The first time I ever wore a pistol I was able to draw it and hit a pine cone in the road, at a distance of some 20 feet, six times out of six, shooting from the hip.

For an over-controlled person like myself, this was akin to heresy. How could someone learn to do this? The article went on.

…a student of the Lucky McDaniel method ("The Lucky McDaniel System of Muscular Coordination and Synchronization Between Eyes and Hands") does not trifle with the meticulous. A true McDaniel follower will go so far as to have the sights removed from his weapons because they are a hindrance to him. He will point rifle or pistol as naturally as he could point a finger, pretty much as good shotgunners do: Looking at what he wants to hit and quite disregarding the cant of his weapon or the state of his breathing, he pulls the trigger. He does not squeeze the trigger. He might even slap it, as shotgunners sometimes do. That is all. He hits the target, which may be a flying dime or an Alka-Seltzer tablet tossed into the air by Lucky.

By this time I was turning the pages in total disbelief. For someone who had found it hard to just let go and speak, the idea of shooting impulsively, with such results, was beyond my realm of experience. A bit later in the article, Kane described McDaniel’s teaching method.

Lucky’s method of instruction is a marvel of simplicity. There is, in fact, very little instruction because Lucky does not want to clutter the pupil’s mind with inhibitions.

The pupil is handed a BB gun and told to shoot it at nothing a couple of times. He is asked if he has seen the pellet leave the barrel. When he has satisfied Lucky that he really has seen it, the pupil is permitted to shoot at objects tossed into the air by Lucky, who stands at his right side and a half-step to the rear. Practically the only advice he gets is to cheek the gun [bring the gun to the cheek] slightly and to look at the object without sighting along the barrel.

"Cheek it and shoot it," Lucky tells the pupil as he tosses up the first target, a rather large iron washer, a little bigger than a silver dollar.

The pupil generally misses.

"Where did the BB go?" Lucky asks.

The pupil says he saw the shot pass under the target.

"That’s right," Lucky says, and tosses up the washer again. "Cheek it and shoot it." The pupil misses again, is asked where the BB went and again he says it went under. Lucky agrees that it did. But on the fourth or fifth miss a pupil may say that he saw the BB pass over the target.

No," Lucky says firmly. "It never goes over. You’ll never miss by shooting over it. Now try to shoot over it and you’ll hit it."

The pupil tries to shoot over the washer. He hits it. In that instant he becomes a wing shot. Smaller and smaller washers are tossed into the air and the misses become very infrequent. Eventually the pupil is hitting penny-sized washers and is able to plink them on the top or bottom, as called for by Lucky.

This occurs in an incredibly few minutes, usually under a half hour. During that time the shooter has been kept very busy. Lucky gives him no time to think about what he is doing, no time to theorize, no time to tense up. Targets are tossed in fast succession while Lucky keeps up a patter of suggestion pretty much implying that this is just about the brightest pupil he ever has taught. The pupil is inclined to think so, too.

After establishing expertness with the BB gun, the shooter moves onto the .22 rifle. The routine is much the same except that targets may be anything from small clay pigeons to charcoal briquettes, either of which powders in a very satisfying way when hit by a bullet. There is almost never any difficulty in making the shift to the .22. The shooter now has ingrained ability to resist the temptation to aim. He just looks at the target, pulls the trigger when, somehow, he senses that he is pointing properly. This is a very definite feeling but hard to describe. It is a feeling of empathy with the target. Establishment of this "sense" is the big fundamental of Lucky’s teaching."
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Here's one students account of the training which anyone can see mirrors almost exactly the above comments from 1968.

I learned Rifle Quick Kill in 5 minutes tonight!
Yes....It's true! In 5 minutes Brownie taught me Rifle Quick Kill off his back porch with a Red Ryder BB gun with NO front sight!

I was hitting larger stones about one inch in width at first then in a few minutes started hitting pebbles not much larger than the BB's... and then hitting twigs ... and then pieces of straw thinner than a BB and jumping them across the back yard like I had been doing it for years or something! It was quite amazing how quickly I grasped the technique and how EASY it was! Then I started hitting aerial targets! I was nailing a small peanut can thrown in the air. Then a 2 inch disc. Then a 2 inch disc and a quarter suspended in the air from a target stand about 9 feet high about 10 feet away! Then a nickel! I didn't hit them every time but I hit them more often than I missed and I ended the night hitting two in a row on the thrown can. I think I could have done much better if I wasn't so excited about the whole thing!
I had a few really good strings of 4 to 5 hits in a row on some of the pebbles I was shooting.

Good Stuff! I realize this is just the beginning and it's the fundamental basis for all Rifle Quick Kill! I can now take this one step further the next time I'm out in the desert with my AR15! I can't wait! The fun begins!

Thanks Brownie for teaching me this skill! One more tool in the tool bag!

One more thing I will be practicing and playing with! I'll be getting myself a BB gun SOON!


Having been personally trained by Bobby Lamar "Lucky" McDaniel himself in 1981, this training is available through myself in the Integrated Threat Focused Training Systems Quick Kill rifle courses presently held throughout the country with the students seeing the same results.

My signature line says it all, and it goes back to at least the mid 1950's when McDaniel trained people to use their natural given abilities and the "remarkable capabilities of the mind"

Brownie