One of the best things about recreational shooting is that people of almost any background can enjoy it—young or old, there’s something for everyone. Jim Templeman, who was born without arms and uses his feet to operate firearms, is no different, and he finds shooting both fun and challenging: “I find it interesting to figure out the best pistols to shoot with my feet and the best way for me to hold and fire them.”
When asked how he first became interested in shooting, Jim explained, “Since I was born without arms, I naturally developed dexterity with my feet. I've loved shooting as long as I can remember, be it with a dart gun, BB gun, or pellet pistol.”
Jim is no stranger to the D.C. area, having earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D from George Washington University. A highly accomplished professional in the information technology field, he develops user interface at the Naval Research Lab, which involves using virtual simulation and modeling to help U.S. Marines train safely and cost-effectively.
Jim explained that for the Marines involved, the experience is a bit like the movie Avatar, except, “In Avatar they were controlling real bodies in the real world, but the Marines are controlling their avatar bodies in the virtual world.” Naturally, there is a strong link between developing military training techniques and shooting for recreational purposes, and Jim enjoys exploring the connection.
“I actually spend a lot of time studying shooting techniques that are used in the military, so we can decide what techniques we want to use in the simulators.”
Although he “drifted away” from shooting in college, Jim said, “About ten years ago my work interests rekindled my interest in shooting, and it was nice to get back to it.”
Today, Jim enjoys trying out various guns to see which ones work best for foot-shooting, and he noted that “revolvers tend to work especially well, probably the best, because of the grip.”
In order to demonstrate his unique shooting style, Jim traveled to NRA’s newly-renovated range last week and shot a few rounds, making some excellent shots and proving how versatile guns can be. We hope you enjoy these photos of his remarkable skill!