Practice with a purpose?

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Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/9/2014, 12:51 pm

I'm new to BE and not much more experienced handling guns in general.  I've been working on my shooting techniques and trying to gain enough confidence to begin shooting with our local BE group.  So far, my .22lr is getting fairly accurate and consistent but my .45ACP efforts just plain suck.  I shoot about 3 days a week for about an hour, splitting my time equally between the two above calibers.  Before heading out to the range I try to have a plan or idea on what I want to accomplish or at least work on - practice with a purpose.  So far this is what I've learned, at least recently.  Any comments would be appreciated.

I've found it relatively easy finding improvement in just about every outing with the .22lr.  Once I was able to get some consistent groups I was able to successfully dial in the rear sight to bring the groups closer to the bullseye.  Very satisfying.  I just tried a red dot for the first time this morning and was able to close the groups even tighter.  Still room for improvement but I see some positive results.  One thing I can't figure out though is if I shoot at rest from a bench (just trying to zero in the sights) the groups are different, usually higher, than when shooting standing up.  The distance is the same.  Why would the small change in elevation move the POI?  Also, I found that my shots become erratic after shooting a while.  Does fatigue come into play that much?

As for the .45ACP I have no idea what's going on.  I tried this morning to shoot with my left foot forward (I'm right handed) and it felt more comfortable than with the right foot forward.  In both cases my feet are about shoulder width apart and at a 45 degree angle.  I seem to get more shots to group together but these groups can be all over the target.  I'm shooting with both hands with the .45ACP for now.  What stance should I be using?

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by DavidR on 7/9/2014, 2:01 pm

If you want to shoot bullseye, IMO forget two handed holds and learn to shoot one handed  then you will find that stance will come into play and body turned left and right foot in front will work for you. Zeros from a gun sitting at a rest will get you on paper but you have to be standing and in your normal firing position to get it right. Everybody has to start somewhere, just jump right in at a BE match and have fun, you will find the shooters there will be more than glad to help or at least go and observe a real match and watch how its all done, go down range with them and see the scoring, target repair and replace and learn the non shooting aspects of the game. Then when your ready you will have a great time.


Last edited by DavidR on 7/11/2014, 4:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by rfmiller on 7/9/2014, 2:13 pm

For most people, a bench position puts your body (and head) in a different relationship to the gun  than when in standing position.  Thus the difference in the point of aim.  Shooting from a bench is good for determining group sizes for load development, but to sight in you need to be in your normal shooting position.  If your arm needs help, try using a tall photo or spotting scope tripod to rest your wrist on while sighting in.  Get it as close to your normal position as possible.  Eventually, you need to sight in based on how you really hold while shooting.

IMO, your stance should be the same for the 22 and the 45.  Go to a match, don't worry about how well you shoot.  Find someone who will help you develop your natural point of aim.  There are tons of people who will help you, BE shooters are, for the most part, very friendly and will be happy to help.  BE shooters tend to be just as excited about someone else shooting well as they are when they shoot well themselves.

What area are you in?

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/9/2014, 6:57 pm

I don't understand.  If you have a straight line connecting the front and rear sights and that leads to a given point on the target how can a different body position possibly make a difference?  You might have me convinced if the bullet's trajectory is not a straight line but an arc or parabola and changing the entry point of the arc will change the exit point. 

The range that I shoot at is in Mohave County, AZ.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by DeweyHales on 7/9/2014, 7:57 pm

Your sight picture cannot be the same with two hands vs one hand.  With two hands, your head is closer to the sight allowing there to be more light on the sides of the front sight. At full extension with one hand, you will see less light on either side of the front. This can shift the point of impact because you would likely line up differently without realizing it. With a short sight radius, even tiny changes make a huge difference. 

The quickest way to advance is to shoot with people better than you. A great way to mire yourself in a rut is to shoot alone. 

Find a training partner or mentor, and get to a match as soon as you are a safe gun handler. Progress will come most quickly this way.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/9/2014, 8:53 pm

The different shooting positions involved the same hands on, the difference is one was sitting and the gun on a rest versus standing up and no rest.  Regardless, it makes no sense to me that any of this would change the POI if all points; POI, front sight, rear sight and eye were all on the same line, that is, assuming the trajectory is in a straight line.

This is a very rural area and there are a very limited number of BE shooters around here.  As it is only a half dozen or so show up for twice monthly events.  So, for the time being I'll have to go this alone.  As mentioned earlier I see some positive improvement in .22lr.  It's just the .45ACP that's giving me fits.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by Guest on 7/9/2014, 9:23 pm

I am not very good, so take what I say with a grain of salt.  I also do much better with my 22.  My problem is I all to often flinch with my 45.  I have gone to lighter loads.  My 25 yard scores are almost what my 22 scores are.  50 yard is entirely a different matter even with 4.2 grains of Titegroup with 200 gr bullet. The problem is me, not the gun.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by subsonic on 7/9/2014, 9:45 pm

http://www.saveourguns.com/Ar_Marks_Un_Pistol_Train_Guide.pdf

Read that an try to do it.

If your .45 shooting is way behind your .22, make or buy some dummy or action proving rounds and mix them in when loading your magazines. You can pour all your ammo and the dummies into a container and mix them up - then load mags by feel while not looking at the ammo. Mix up your mags after loading - do your best or whatever it takes to not know where the dummies are in the mags. Having a friend load the mags is best.

If you drop the hammer on a dummy round and the gun jerks - you are anticipating recoil. You must overcome that.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by Jack H on 7/9/2014, 10:24 pm

By your own shooting you know such changes happen.  It is even more mysterious when they happen and all you did was put the gun down, regrip, and shoot the next string.  Do only what works, and do it with consistency.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/10/2014, 7:49 am

subsonic wrote:http://www.saveourguns.com/Ar_Marks_Un_Pistol_Train_Guide.pdf

Read that an try to do it.

If your .45 shooting is way behind your .22, make or buy some dummy or action proving rounds and mix them in when loading your magazines. You can pour all your ammo and the dummies into a container and mix them up - then load mags by feel while not looking at the ammo. Mix up your mags after loading - do your best or whatever it takes to not know where the dummies are in the mags. Having a friend load the mags is best.

If you drop the hammer on a dummy round and the gun jerks - you are anticipating recoil. You must overcome that.
Thanks for posting the link to the Training Guide.  I think this will be very helpful.  The suggestion on using the dummy round sounds promising too.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by DavidR on 7/10/2014, 9:47 am

beeser wrote:The different shooting positions involved the same hands on, the difference is one was sitting and the gun on a rest versus standing up and no rest.  Regardless, it makes no sense to me that any of this would change the POI if all points; POI, front sight, rear sight and eye were all on the same line, that is, assuming the trajectory is in a straight line.

This is a very rural area and there are a very limited number of BE shooters around here.  As it is only a half dozen or so show up for twice monthly events.  So, for the time being I'll have to go this alone.  As mentioned earlier I see some positive improvement in .22lr.  It's just the .45ACP that's giving me fits.
The trajectory of bullets is different, a 22 shoots mostly flat where a 45 can go from a small arc up to a huge one based on the powder charge and bullet weight, there are things in life that are not easily explained but if you truly believe that a zeroed gun off a bench has to be the same as standing out of your hand you will be doomed to shoot bad scores forever.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by Sa-tevp on 7/10/2014, 10:02 am

I am also a beginner, but there are several training exercises that I found helpful. By training with a 22 and learning how to call my shots, when I went to shoot 45 I had the tools to quickly identify my faults with the 45. To learn to call your shots, you shoot at a target while having a target on the bench next to you. Without scoping the range target, you place a marker (usually a pellet for air pistol or a empty case for 22) on the target on the bench to show where you thought the shot hit on the range target you shot at. (page 23 of http://www.whdmclmarksmen.info/ASSETS/abpth.pdf has this drill) After several shots you compare the range target with the bench target, which should show a similar pattern to what was shot. It won't be an exact copy, but it should be close. If you work at it you be able to identify where the shot should be on the target within about an inch. Working with the two targets keeps you more honest with yourself than shooting and scoping will. Remember that this is a training drill, so it probably won't be easy if you do it correctly.

The reason I found the calling the shot exercise useful with the 45 was if my shot wasn't on call, I would stop, clear my pistol and dry fire to see if the problem was with me. Most times I would find I was anticipating recoil and flinching the pistol nose down, causing the shot to hit low on the target. Sometimes it would take several minutes of dry fire to work out the flinch. I ended up adding a step to my shot process to remind myself to apply pressure straight back on the trigger on the first good sight alignment in my aiming area to get my mind on the trigger/aiming instead of thinking about the recoil.

As for the difference between a bench zero and a practical zero of the sights, about the only way I can see the two being the same is if you are aiming both using an iris on your shooting frames/glasses so your head/eye is in the same position in both situations. A bench zero is still pretty useless since you have to adjust the sights during competition due to lighting and fatigue. http://www.rimfireshooting.com/index.php?/topic/255-sights-by-don-nygord/
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/10/2014, 10:11 am

....if you truly believe that a zeroed gun off a bench has to be the same as standing out of your hand you will be doomed to shoot bad scores forever.

I don't believe it.  In fact, I'm convinced that it's not true based on my own limited experience.  I also believe everyone here that tells me that it's not true.  The only question that remains for me is why and the only reason that makes sense to me has to do with the trajectory of the bullet.  What also makes sense to me is that sighting is nothing more complicated than what is highly emphasized in the beginning  of the Training Guide mentioned above, which states ....

ALIGN THE SIGHTS PROPERLY ON THAT PART OF THE TARGET REQUIRED
FOR YOUR GROUP TO CENTER IN THE TARGET AREA AND CAUSE THE HAMMER TO FALL
WITHOUT DISTURBING THAT ALIGNMENT


Last edited by beeser on 7/10/2014, 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correction)

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by Sa-tevp on 7/10/2014, 10:16 am

I forgot to add that in international shooting events, such as Air Pistol 60 and 50 Meter Mens Pistol (Free Pistol) you are allowed sighters before competition, since your pistol's zero changes from day-to-day and from morning to afternoon. In NRA Conventional Pistol (Bullseye) you have to zero your sights during the Slow Fire stage.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by Al on 7/10/2014, 10:54 am

DavidR wrote:If you want to shoot bullseye, IMO forget two handed holds and learn to shoot one handed  then you will find that stance will come into play and body turned left and  left foot in front will work for you. Zeros from a gun sitting at a rest will get you on paper but you have to be standing and in your normal firing position to get it right.

This!!!

Beezer,

The pistol sighted in from a solid bench will be close in most cases, and RARELY exactly coincide with a one handed standing zero.  Your grip is different, similar but different, the amount of resistance from a one handed standing platform is different from a bench hold. 

You see a similar thing in long range rifle shooting.  A rifle zeroed for 800 yards will normally not hit the same impact point for 2 different shooters unless they have the same exact shooting technique.

As your ability to call your shots at 50 yards increases, you'll most likely see the same thing.  You're going through the same "question everything" I did when I started, so I know where you're coming from.  After all the sights don't move, so it should still impact the same spot.  It doesn't.  I didn't realize it either, but David's right. 

Now, all that being said.  I'm assuming you are shooting pistols that are accurate enough (2-2 1/2" @50 yards) to be able to spot the small changes that a sight adjustment will make.  A 6" gun at 50 yards won't make a lot of difference in bench-vs-standing one hand sighting in, a 2' gun will.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by DeweyHales on 7/10/2014, 11:19 am

If you shoot off of a bench and want to be as close as possible to help with sighting in the gun, build up a rest that allows you to support your dominant arm in as as close to the same position as you would shoot without the rest. 

A ransom rest holding a pistol will shoot to different POIs depending on how tightly the gun is held.  It has nothing to do with trajectory. 

Lots of little things make big differences in shooting tight groups. Something as simple as the head being held upright or tilted forward will cause shifts in the POI even with the same ammo, grip, gun, and sight alignment appearance. Although the alignment appears the same, the eyes work best looking out the center of the eye socket instead of under the eye brow. 

Keep asking questions. It's the best way to learn. If needed, trust but verify.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by DavidR on 7/10/2014, 2:12 pm

beeser wrote:....if you truly believe that a zeroed gun off a bench has to be the same as standing out of your hand you will be doomed to shoot bad scores forever.

I don't believe it.  In fact, I'm convinced that it's not true based on my own limited experience.  I also believe everyone here that tells me that it's not true.  The only question that remains for me is why and the only reason that makes sense to me has to do with the trajectory of the bullet.  What also makes sense to me is that sighting is nothing more complicated than what is highly emphasized in the beginning  of the Training Guide mentioned above, which states ....

ALIGN THE SIGHTS PROPERLY ON THAT PART OF THE TARGET REQUIRED
FOR YOUR GROUP TO CENTER IN THE TARGET AREA AND CAUSE THE HAMMER TO FALL
WITHOUT DISTURBING THAT ALIGNMENT
Wow all these years we all have been trying and you figure it all out in 5 minutes! Congratulations!! Nothing but 10's and X's in your future!
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/10/2014, 2:28 pm

Lighten up DavidR.  I agreed with your conclusion.  I just wanted to know why.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by DavidR on 7/10/2014, 3:06 pm

beeser wrote:Lighten up DavidR.  I agreed with your conclusion.  I just wanted to know why.
Not trying to be too serious but to do well you have to understand Bullseye is a demanding sport, and not a easy one by any means. The phrase you listed sums it all up, but implementing it is a task that has been tried by countless great shooters and none have ever posted a perfect 2700 score in many, many decades of matches. Most everyone here has a true passion for the sport and we do our best to help the new comers to the sport. I wish you well on your journey.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/10/2014, 3:26 pm

Thanks DavidR and I really do appreciate all of the help this forum has provided.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/10/2014, 9:16 pm

Dear beeser,

Could you let us know which city and state you live in?  We will try to find you some sanctioned bullseye leagues or matches to attend--it's a whole lot easier to get the information you are seeking from mentors who shoot near you.

Welcome to bullseye shooting!  It's so much fun and full of really fun and helpful people!

-Rob

P.S. to all the other members who chimed in on this thread--beeser is new to bullseye and we all should do our best to be welcoming.  We need new shooters like beeser to keep our sport thriving.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/10/2014, 9:39 pm

We just moved from San Diego, CA to an area just outside of Kingman, AZ at the foot of the Hualapai Mtns.  I've been shooting at the Mohave Sportsman Club.

http://www.mohavesportsmanclub.com/

I never owned or shot a gun before moving to Arizona, which should explain my often dumb questions and naive comments.  The MSC is part of the Seven Mile Hill Shooting Range located southwest of Kingman.  I'm still amazed with what the facility has to offer and what a great group of people you encounter there.  I haven't shot with the Bullseye group yet but I have attended a couple of their matches, asking questions and generally making a nuisance of myself.  I wanted to acquire the proper equipment and generally make myself a safe participant before joining the group.  Hopefully that will be sooner than later.

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by LenV on 7/11/2014, 1:17 am

There have been a lot of great posts here and I think I read all of them.Some of them IMHO come very close to answering your question about the "why" your shots off the bag and your shots standing don't have the same POI.The trajectory problems and change of grip between the two positions come real close and are part of the answer. The problem (imo) is a thing called recoil dynamics or recoil physics if you prefer. When the bullet starts going forward the pistol starts going backwards and how long it keeps pushing back and how hard is based on a lot of things but in this case the weight of the bullet,velocity,barrel length and weight of the pistol are the biggies.You are not a ransom rest. When you sand bag it and grab it with both hands you exert more control over the recoil and the barrel has less chance to move during recoil as it does when you are holding it one handed. A slower moving bullet of the same weight as a faster one takes longer to get out of the barrel and can change your POI by a greater degree. There is a simple test (if you have a Super Blackhawk) that you can do that will demonstrate this to you. Shoot the pistol at a 25 yd target with one hand shooting 5 rounds of 44 special and 5 rounds of 44 mag.The magnum rounds are faster and shoot flatter then the 44 special and should print higher on the target. They won't. The slower special rounds will print higher.The round butt of the revolver lets the longer recoil time lift the barrel. Didn't mean to write a book but that's why they print different and why you can't just pick up someone else's pistol and expect it to print for you.
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by DavidR on 7/11/2014, 9:49 am

Looks like your little over 3 hour drive from some of the best bullseye matches in the country, phoenix and Pima both have clubs that host matches that some of the top shooters shoot at monthly. Im sure there are others but a trip to a match there would be a wealth of knowledge.
Arizona:
[*]Phoenix Rod and Gun Club in Phoenix, AZ
[*]Pima Pistol Club near Tucson, AZ
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Re: Practice with a purpose?

Post by beeser on 7/11/2014, 4:08 pm

DavidR wrote:... shoot one handed  then you will find that stance will come into play and body turned left and  left foot in front will work for you.
Did you intend to write right foot forward?

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Re: Practice with a purpose?

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