Trouble with SF:

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Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 4/20/2013, 10:44 pm

I've been shooting 50' rimfire weekly for 4-1/2 months and have improved from my humble beginnings and have been having trouble with my SF scores. I get wild 9-3-4-7 o'clock 4x-5x hits (usually 3-4 in a ten shot string). The thing is that I just recently got set up with a box and a spotting scope and these wild ones are printing on what looked and felt like a good execution. My TF&RF aren't all that bad, in fact, I put more in the black than in SF! I'm right handed, use an Ultra Dot and realize I'm a noob. I do dry fire drills at home but maybe I'm going through the whole process wrong? Thoughts?
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Rob Kovach on 4/20/2013, 11:10 pm

sounds like bad trigger placement, and weak wrist or soft grip. Most noobs have the same issue as you. (shooting in the black for TF & RF more than in SF)
See if you can send in a picture of your grip and trigger finger placement.

Don't give up on mastering slow fire. With a slow fire target, you can put them all in the black and it could still be a 70. With a RF/TF target it would be a 90.
Keep watching that dot as the shot breaks. As you keep practicing, I'll bet you will start seeing the dot moving in the direction of the error right before it breaks.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Jack H on 4/21/2013, 2:18 am

It is pretty hard to have a goal without knowing what the goal is. Do some very careful sandbag and armrest work so you learn to sense the feel and the visual of a good shot process at the gun. Then adjust your goals off the target so much. Don't forget followthru is part of the process.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by sixftunda on 4/21/2013, 7:14 am

When I started my simple goal was to get all shots in the black on SF. You may have to say "I want eight of ten in the black" but make it a realistic goal.

Things to try:
One exercise I did in practice was when I started was when I raised my gun up and the dot went in the black I counted in my head slowly as I settled in and squeezed the trigger. If I reached five before the shot went off, I aborted the process, set the gun down and started over. Learning to abort is something I still struggle with. If I had a bad shot, many times it is because I held the gun up too long. Sometimes I will abort a shot on purpose. Just hold the gun up count to five and lower it to see on my dot moves.

The reason why TF/RF scores are better for me in the beginning is because I was using a different trigger pull in TF/RF than SF. In TF/RF you aren't trying for the perfect pull, you are pulling back deliberately on the trigger without hesitation. I am not saying you should shoot your SF in 20 seconds but when you dry fire a few times before you shoot SF, try pulling the trigger back deliberately like you do in TF/RF.

Make sure your thumb is doing no work! Focus on the three fingers pushing back on the front strap against the palm of your hand. Visualize that the only muscle forces on your weapon are those that push it equally forwards and backwards. Nothing sideways.

I hope this helps. I have trouble explaining things.

Note to Rob: check your math Smile if every shot is in the black on SF your score will never be below 80 Smile
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Rob Kovach on 4/21/2013, 9:11 am

You are right if it's 50 yards, at 50' the 7 ring is in the black. Another reason shooting indoors sucks...I've actually shot really close to a 70 indoors while all the shots were in the black....it was recently too!
LOL I had to double check a target to make sure I wasn't going crazy!!!lol!
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 4/21/2013, 9:29 am

I had a feeling it could be trigger placement and I'm also curious to hear more about dot movement at the shot. I made it a point to focus on what was happening to the dot at the shot and caught it jumping to 9 o'clock a couple times and that's where the shot landed, (jerked trigger?). It seems like in SF that because you have the time, it's easy to obsess over every component of the process whereas in TF-RF its grab and go. My trigger control is not even on the radar as much as staying on target is. What a head game!! ;-)
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Rob Kovach on 4/21/2013, 12:36 pm

That "caught it jumping to 9 o'clock" was the trigger control problem. You have to do more to let the shot happen in slow fire. If the hold and your shot process aren't coming together, just abort and start over. I like a longer trigger pull because at the beginning of the trigger, the dot will move if things are not right...ABORT!! A light-crisp trigger might not give you the warning that things aren't right.
Don't force or snatch a shot when the dot lines up. You have 10 minutes to get it right. 9 o'clock is typically jerking the trigger.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 4/21/2013, 3:10 pm

Thanks Rob, I need to learn to abort and start again. I can assure you my trigger isn't real light although it breaks clean. I DO find myself forcing the shot when the dot is lining up and need to go back to the vertical and horizontal line drills with dry fire I suppose. I'll try to post a pic of my grip but don't know how well that'll go. I'm going to be switching to a Ruger MKll soon and it's a whole different animal than what I'm using now (S&W 22A-1). The grip is stock and I'll probably leave it that way.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Rob Kovach on 4/21/2013, 3:45 pm

the steeper angle of the MK2 is a different muscle group, I have trouble with holding the wrist steady during the trigger break with that steeper angle. If a Ruger was in my future I would look for a 22/45.
For dry fire I don't like any drills other than setting up a correctly sized reduced target to train the finger to squeeze when the dot looks right.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Dave C. on 4/22/2013, 6:31 pm

Shoot your slowfire the same as your first shot of timed.

Dave C.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 4/22/2013, 7:30 pm

Dave C. wrote:Shoot your slowfire the same as your first shot of timed.

Dave C.

Dave,
I laughed out loud (at myself) when I read your reply, I struggle to get that "first" shot and then it's all good. I counted 9 shots on several of my last few t&r targets and although I have no proof, I suspect my first shots missed the paper! Be nice, I'm on a curve here. ;-)
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 4/22/2013, 8:14 pm

I'll add that I'm re-reading Zin's Fundementals on trigger control and now I'm thinking that what I'm reading is something that I can relate too. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always a quick study and this game is proving it. I spent 2-1/2 decades shooting bare bow, purely instinctive, in the target, 3-D and big and small game hunting. One of the hard fast lessons of being proficient with stick and string is that the aiming process begins with visual acquisition of the smallest speck of the actual spot you want your arrow to center punch. Zin's theory of un-interrupted trigger control in my mind is teaching your brain that it is pressing the trigger from the moment the sights or dot acquires the target, (the trigger finger replaces the function of the minds eye in the archery scenerio) and the entire action is deliberate. Am I making any sense here?
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by SMBeyer on 4/22/2013, 11:20 pm

I don't think you are going to shoot good slow fire until you learn to trust yourself and your hold and be willing to apply presure even when the dot is not centered. As a begining shooter you are wanting to be in control of everything including when the shot breaks. You have to be willing to let go of that control and just let the shot happen. Hold and squeeze and let the shot come to you and not force it.
Learning to and be willing to abort the shot will help you tremendously. If you start to think it's time to abort it was time a long time ago. Matches aren't won by shooting good shots they are won by avoiding bad ones.
Scott
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 4/23/2013, 8:46 am

A lot of good info and I need to digest it all and apply the lessons. Only now beginning to see what's really happening, Scott is correct, I am forcing things and that's why I'm hunting for that first shot break on TF&RF, I've got some work to do and I thank you all for the great perspectives!
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Al on 4/23/2013, 10:07 am

Wingshot wrote: I spent 2-1/2 decades shooting bare bow, purely instinctive, in the target, 3-D and big and small game hunting. One of the hard fast lessons of being proficient with stick and string is that the aiming process begins with visual acquisition of the smallest speck of the actual spot you want your arrow to center punch.
Good to see another follower of Ishi (who coincidentally was "discovered" in 1911) taking up this discipline. The same close attention to details you had with the stick & string will serve you well in this discipline. Although I shoot Freestyle for 300 and Vegas rounds (too heavy # for too many years and arthritis has settled into my finger joints) I only hunt instinctive and have for over 38 years.

It's coincidental I was just going over the Archery hunting portion of my Hunter Education class last night and I kept repeating to pick a hair in the vital and then split that hair with your broadhead. In this discipline the hair you're picking, is the 'x' in the center of the ten. However, when shooting the arrow your concentration is on the 'hair', now 95% of your concentration MUST BE ON THE FRONT SIGHT (assuming you're shooting open sights). You will have to retrain your brain to refocus on a different place.

There's a lot of good information already posted. I'm in the same boat on the slow fire struggle. The trigger finger placement is very important. You should also have the same trigger press in every portion of the match. Makes no difference if its slow, timed or rapid.

Lately I've paid a bit more attention to getting my slow fire shots off in a similar trigger press. I'm also starting my count when I lift the pistol from the bench. If I hit 5 before the shot breaks I put it down. I seem to be at my steadiest between count 3 & 4. Keep good notes about your journey and refer to them often, paper is cheap. After a particularly good string take the time to write down your thoughts and make notes about how the pistol felt in your hand, where your trigger finger placement was, how the heel of the pistol was placed in your palm, how far your gripping fingers were wrapped around the front of the grip, time of day, stress level, caffine level. Nothing is too minor to put down.

If possible try a variety of different 22's. I've been all over the map. Started with a MKII Ruger, went through a few different Hi Standard configurations, a marvel 22 conversion and have tried a bunch of others. The Ruger is still my go to 22. It really needs a trigger job to be competitive, but thats about it. If you aren't shooting master scores with one, it isn't the fault of the pistol. Any good ammo will go into the 'x' at 50 yards unless your brain and trigger finger prevent it from doing so. Don't overthink this, it's not complicated. Actually quite simple. Please bear in mind that being simple does not equal being easy.

And enjoy the journey. In this discipline you're only shooting against yourself. You should take no less pride in your shooting then a High Master does. The only difference between you is where you're at in the journey. Relax and enjoy the comradery and good natured ribbing we give each other. You won't find a nicer bunch of folks who would love to help you beat them in the next match.

Al

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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 4/23/2013, 10:43 am

Thanks Al, kind of the positive re enforcement I'm seeking as I was hoping to somehow tie the disciplines together. I'm in the same boat as you with the joint disease (maybe worse) and I can only draw 40# without struggle now. In the past few days I have set up my pistol to dry fire and have been just sitting down with eyes closed, attempting to get intimate with the trigger. I want to be able to detect every nuance of the squeeze and break. It's amazing how little pressure it takes when I'm not trying to force or will the break. This IS a journey and I love a good trip so you guys may be stuck with me for a while!
;-). Jeff
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by CrankyThunder on 7/28/2013, 10:27 am

sixftunda wrote:When I started my simple goal was to get all shots in the black on SF. You may have to say "I want eight of ten in the black" but make it a realistic goal.  

Things to try:
One exercise I did in practice was when I started was when I raised my gun up and the dot went in the black I counted in my head slowly as I settled in and squeezed the trigger.  If I reached five before the shot went off, I aborted the process, set the gun down and started over. Learning to abort is something I still struggle with.  If I had a bad shot, many times it is because I held the gun up too long. Sometimes I will abort a shot on purpose.  Just hold the gun up count to five and lower it to see on my dot moves.

The reason why TF/RF scores are better for me in the beginning is because I was using a different trigger pull in TF/RF than SF. In TF/RF you aren't trying for the perfect pull, you are pulling back deliberately on the trigger without hesitation.  I am not saying you should shoot your SF in 20 seconds but when you dry fire a few times before you shoot SF, try pulling the trigger back deliberately like you do in TF/RF.  

Make sure your thumb is doing no work! Focus on the three fingers pushing back on the front strap against the palm of your hand. Visualize that the only muscle forces on your weapon are those that push it equally forwards and backwards.  Nothing sideways.  

I hope this helps. I have trouble explaining things.

Note to Rob: check your math :)if every shot is in the black on SF your score will never be below 80 Smile

 

I agree with Six:

Sometimes the best shot is the one you didn't take.

As you gain experience, you will find that your groups for slow fire will be much better then timed and rapid, although it is the other way around with most newbies. 

You will probably find that the wobblies will settle down 3 seconds after acquiring the target and beginning your trigger squeeze.  At the seven second point, the wobblies will increase so if you have not shot in slow fire after the seven second mark, its time to abandon the shot and put the gun down. 

You have plenty of time in the 10 minutes to abandon quite a few shots, and as long as you get all ten shots off in ten minutes, there is no penalty.  You need to use all of the ten minutes you are allotted as you need to get the most accurate shots off anyways, don't cheat yourself figuring that you got the gun up, might as well force the shot.

If its any consolation, even the top shooters struggle sometimes to abandon a wobbly hold sometimes. 

Regards,
Cranky
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Chris_D on 7/28/2013, 11:24 am

I suspect you are trying too hard to shoot a ten which results in "grabbing the shot". Most newer shooters think they can consciously control the trigger and make the gun go bang when they want to - and they can. The only problem is, when you do that you will cause your point of aim to change and the resultant shot is a flyer.  

I beat this problem with a lot of practice and a lot of focus on keeping that trigger moving.  I changed my red dot size from its smallest setting to its largest setting which nearly covers the black of a 50' slow fire target.  As long as the red dot is touching the black on the target, I focus on moving that trigger towards the rear.  If my arm fatigues to the point where the red dot can't stay in contact with the black on the target, I abort (or try to) the shot.

The hard part about learning trigger control is that you have to keep the trigger moving, even if the point of aim isn't just perfect.  The natural thought process is to pull the trigger when the sight picture is perfect but that simple does not work.  

This also explains why your sustained targets appear better than your slow fire targets.  In sustained fire, you know you don't have enough time to center the red dot on the black dot so your subconscious takes over the trigger control as the "more important" task is to get all the shots off in the time allowed.  

Making Master class requires this level of mind/trigger control on a 100% consistent basis.  I guess that is why they call it Master class.

You might find the information on this website useful http://www.2700-270x.com/

Chris D.

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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 7/28/2013, 7:55 pm

I
Thanks for the 200-x270 site link Chris D.! I have been on here since Dec. of 2012 as well as the Encyclopedia but had no clue that there were other BE specific sites. 

I have been making inroads with my SF scores thanks to some great advice here. I've been getting more out of my practice sessions and have been working on tuning my shot process, which helps tremendously.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Jack H on 7/28/2013, 9:46 pm

I just had an eye opener today.  I adjusted my sights between strings of 22 practice.  I switched to my reading glasses from the shooting glasses to see the adjuster.  Next string I forgot to change glasses.  Oh well I went ahead and fired the tightest group of the day.  The target and dot were both blurred.  But I shot the string anyway. 

I wonder if there really is a way to blur the target and clear the dot.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/28/2013, 10:29 pm

That is really weird!  I figured that my vision (I see close things clearly and distant things are blurry) would produce what you described, so I took off my glasses and tried it.
Unfortunately, the tube was in focus, but the dot was blurry.  No good.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Wingshot on 7/28/2013, 11:30 pm

I recently had a vision exam and had the Doc work up the script to focus my right eye to the distance of my front blade. The other eye to my normal distance script. I do use progressive bi-focals with my regular eyeglasses however I omitted that for my new shooting specs. I have been using the stick on 1.50 magnifier that are sold to add bifocals to sunglasses, etc. and as an experiment, I stuck just one to the center of the right lense of a pair of standard shooting glasses. This blurred the target and focused the front sight, very well. Beyond 50 ft. you can't see the target well enough to accurately shoot though.
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Re: Trouble with SF:

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/29/2013, 12:33 am

For irons at 50 yards I used a +1.00 in conjunction with an eyepal pinhole aperture stuck to the lenz.  Champions Choice had some flip down clip ons in all sorts of magnifications.

 http://www.champchoice.com/SearchResult.aspx?KeyWords=clip-on
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