View Full Version : Push / Pull Technique

10-05-2014, 01:58 PM
I first learned the push / pull about 14 years ago when shooting shotgun with Rob Haught. It is a very useful technique with heavy recoiling weapons / calibers and not strictly related to shotguns. It is also a very useful technique when we run our inertia driven Benelli shotguns with off shoulder or improvised techniques that does not allow the body to be a sturdy platform for which the Benelli to recoil against with the inertia system. The isometric tension allows the Benelli to correctly cycle in these situations.

The push pull or what we sometimes call the bow and arrow technique indeed translates into other weapons systems including the M16/AR/M4. Many who have taken carbine courses use this technique and don't even know it or fully understand it. Think about when shooting improvised positions, supine as an example, where you push the weapon forward maybe using the primary hand on the grip or the sling lock up as the opposing isometric force for tension on the weapon. The weapon "stays put" quite a bit more when we rapid fire from the prone with no stock weld as opposed to firing the weapon without tension free floating.

The same applies when firing the weapon from a more standard shoulder mounted position, however with the current .223 / 5.56 configurations, the recoil is mitigated to a point, whereas the weapon stays very flat with nominal recoil on its own accord. The problem with the push / pull is that it can get the shooter fatigued quicker. The key is to only apply tension as the weapon is fired, but it can still get taxing over long periods of time. So there are instances where forward iso pressure is not always the answer, weapon, shooting position, or shooting situation dependent. I start getting diminishing returns from a light recoiling weapon using a push / pull technique and might opt for less tension on the weapon and my body, situation dependent, but as a default I use very little on a standard M4.

Knowing when to apply ISO tension is a big help and many don't understand when or how to apply it, especially with a 5.56 M4. As an example, I had a video running Jacks extreme half and half drill with a standard 5.56 M4. On a 3x5 card at 5 yards I ran 10 rounds in 1.7x seconds from low ready. All 10 in the card with a ~2" spread overall. The first 4 rounds started a spiral circle pattern heading towards where recoil was taking the path of least resistance. Mid string, I applied a slight bit of forward tension on the forend of the rifle and the last 6 rounds settled literally clover leafing a single hole dead center . Did I need to apply any push / pull tension to have kept all 10 of those rounds in the 3x5 card? Not at all. Do I need to stack all of my hits on top of each other to pass that drill? No I don't but it definitely shows a difference. Can I run that drill with a 7.62 / .308? Yes I can and do it enough but I will definitely use much more iso tension on the .308 equipped rifle. Will the times be as fast and the groups as small? Definitely not, but I continue to try.

I know Jack and I had a conversation after he viewed the drill and commented on my accuracy, speed and control of the weapon. The point is, I understand what I need to do, to get the hits I need to get. Be it what I need to see of my sights, or how much tension to place on the rifle and under what circumstances or when to do it. This is what all shooters should understand at some point in their shooting. I definitely get quite a bit more aggressive with iso tension in a heavier recoiling weapon but will apply that to a standard M4 when the occasion calls for it. I cannot speak for Jack but I think he might tell us something similar.

10-07-2014, 02:29 PM
The original thread is here: