Sunday, February 9, 2014

Riot gun part 6: Again with the arshini

In a previous post I mused about the old Russian unit of measurement called the arshin. It is a unit of length that is about equal to taking one step forward. I praised it as sensible. It is a unit anyone understands intuitively.

It is easy and natural to estimate distances this way, and fairly accurate for short distances. Because the shotgun is used at short distances, and we want to figure things out fast, it makes sense if the shotgunner thinks of distance in terms of steps rather than yards or meters.

If your shotgunning technique includes the use of distance guesstimations  to tell you when to think about switching to slugs, or switching to tight patterning shells such as FliteControl or VersaTite, or firing twice to double your pattern density on the target, then it is a touch faster to think in steps to the target. Here is a measurement converter: You can use it to convert your current ranging cues to footsteps, from yards or meters.

This may be an example of taking an inordinate interest in a minor matter, for units of measure are only arbitrary conventions, but try it out and see if you get a slightly quicker resolution to eyeball estimate distance questions if you use footsteps as your unit of measure.

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