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Does a real straight shooter let it out or hold it in?
My favorite argument to read online right now is whether a shooter should breathe while they’re squeezing their trigger, because it generates more hot air than my crew after a giant-ass pot of my old lady’s famous beanie-wienies. Some peeps think you oughta hold your breath, some say you gotta let just a little out before you squeeze the trigger, and some say you gotta let it all out at once and to Hell with the consequences. Is it a decision that’s gonna make or break your reputation as a real slayer? Probably not—but let’s lift a cheek and risk it anyway.
Option 1: Hold it In and Bear the Pain
A lot of newbies will notice that no matter how steadily they hold their piece, their sight picture will bounce around—that’s called the wobble and everybody’s got one—and part of the reason why is that your whole upper body moves a little bit when you breathe. So the first thing that seems natural is to take a deep breath and hold that bad boy in like you’re meeting the Queen of England or something. The problem with this is that it’s as uncomfortable as being stuck in a traffic jam right when your espresso-and-bran-muffin breakfast turns your belly into a mosh pit. The tension gets unbearable pretty quick, and pretty soon it’s all you can think about. Your heart’s pounding, you’re starting to sweat…and that’s no way to hold it steady.
Option 2: Release a Little Squeaker and See How it Goes
Some folks think your best bet is to take a deep breath, let some of it out, hold the rest in, and then squeeze your trigger. The problem is that nobody can agree on just how much to let out: 10 percent, 30 percent, half? Does the percentage just depend on what you had for lunch and who’s standing next to you? If this method works for you, then I got mad respect for you, because every time I try it I start trying to do the math in my head about how much is out and how much is in while I’m letting out my little “tests,” and then I start wondering just how magnets work anyway, and I’m not really focusing on much else. Like my sight picture, my trigger squeeze, or whether anybody’s looking at me accusingly.
Option 3: Let it Out and Bear the Shame
The last option is my favorite, and it’s not just because I have no shame to bear and I like my own brand. Lots of experts strongly recommend taking a deep breath to oxygenate yourself, letting it all out, then starting your shot sequence at what the eggheads call the “respiratory pause.” (Me, I call it “comfort.”) The idea is that you’re relaxed, and your body is going to settle into the same steady configuration every time naturally without you having to spend much brainpower. Naturally, any option that doesn’t mean I gotta think too much is going to work best for me. But even folks who know how magnets work prefer to use their godlike smarts on something else while they’re shooting. That’s why I say: Let ‘er rip!
Just the tips!