My lesson for rapid fire

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My lesson for rapid fire

Post by desben on Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:37 pm

I shot a match yesterday. I was a little nervous as it was my 2nd registered match. Ever. Slowfire was a few points below my training average, adrenaline not helping a steady hold, but pretty decent. Timed fire went great.

Then rapid fire. My nemesis. My first string of 5 was a disaster. I was done in maybe 4 seconds. Bullets everywhere, high/low/left/right, except the black. Yikes. It turns out that slapping the trigger while looking at the front sight is not sufficient. You still need to line up the front sight inside the rear. You need to squeeze the trigger carefully. There's plenty of time. I did all this and landed the next string all in the black. 65 was the target score. The rapid after that was an 89.

My lesson from this match: the fundamentals always apply, even for rapid fire. There's plenty of time. But I knew this...

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Re: My lesson for rapid fire

Post by bogierich on Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:47 pm


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Rapid fire technique

Post by Dipnet on Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:01 pm

I would love for some oldtime masters to jump in. I'm relatively new at this but am beginning to see progress. However, 45 rapid fire is a challenge, primarily in recovering from recoil in (percieved) time to accuratly aim. My shot plan for timed and rapid fire is the same:

Timed Fire & Rapid Fire Shot Plan

1. Position feet, align body to target, find grip
2. While breathing slowly and deeply, quiet the mind
3. Calmly follow line commands
4. Raise gun upon command “…ready on the left”
5. FOCUS FIERCELY on target’s center
6.  Hold dot over X
7. Exhale most of breath with signal to fire.
8. DO NOT RUSH
9.  Hold dot over X, pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly (shot 1)
10.  Hold dot over X, pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly (shot 2)
11. Hold dot over X, pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly (shot 3)
12. Hold dot over X, pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly (shot 4)
13. Hold dot over X, pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly (shot 5)
14. Return to step #1

My goal is to shoot high 90s in all phases of the match. I think the way to do this in rapid fire is to develop a rhythm of shooting where all of the time to shoot is used (last shot breaks just before 10 seconds is up). While I consistently shoot mid to high 90s for timed fire, my scores drop in rapid fire and frustration rises. With frustration, I find myself falling into the old habit of jerking the trigger (after not doing it for most of a 2700 match).

What is challenging me is recovering from recoil with time to aim and shoot the next shot accurately. My loads are relatively light, but I just began loading the Army Shooting Team load for a Pardini GT. I don't have the time to load a ton of practice ammo even though I know one of the solutions is to keep practicing rapid fire. I do play the commands on a portable PA system when practicing. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a skill that can't be learned by dry firing.

I should (sheepishly) mention that switching from my 1911 to a Pardini GT involves a significantly new, different trigger pull (the reason I switched). However, I was having this issue with the 1911. Maybe I just need to keep on keeping on and be patient for the skills to develop. However, where there is a will, there is a dipnet. I'm all ears. Dipnet

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Re: My lesson for rapid fire

Post by dronning on Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:59 pm

I've been instructed (fairly severely, LOL) that my trigger (roll) should be moving before the DOT gets to the X.  In case of a crisp break the pressure should be building.  When I do this I always shoot mid-high 90s. 

- Dave

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Re: My lesson for rapid fire

Post by Ed Hall on Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:49 am

Try these modifications:

Timed Fire & Rapid Fire Shot Plan

1. Position feet, align body to target, find grip
2. While breathing slowly and deeply, quiet the mind
3. Visualize success
4. Calmly follow line commands
5. Raise gun upon command “…ready on the left”
6. FOCUS FIERCELY on target’s edge
7. Hold dot in aiming area
8. Exhale most of breath with "...ready on the firing line"
9. DO NOT RUSH - wait for turn
10. Pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly, Hold dot over X (shot 1)
11. Pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly, Hold dot over X (shot 2)
12. Pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly, Hold dot over X (shot 3)
13. Pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly, Hold dot over X (shot 4)
14. Pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly, Hold dot over X (shot 5)
15. Pull trigger Smoothly & Swiftly, Hold dot over X (follow through)
16. Return to step #1

Bill Blankenship used to say, "You know the gun is going to fire, 'come Hell or high water.'  Make sure the sights are aligned when it does."
Both Jason Meidinger and Steve Reiter have said very much the same; one, with the addition of calling it, "Racing the dot [to center]."

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Re: My lesson for rapid fire

Post by Toz35m on Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:21 pm

One of the HM repeats the same 2 things to me when we are shooting rapid.

1. Keep the trigger moving
2. Do not feel rushed

After hearing this for years the first one sunk in more this year. It may not feel like the trigger is moving but if you are applying pressure on the trigger and the pressure is increasing then the trigger is moving.  The trick is to make sure you get the sights/dot pointed in the correct spot so when the gun goes off you get an X.

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Re: My lesson for rapid fire

Post by Wes Lorenz on Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:14 pm

Dipnet wrote: However, 45 rapid fire is a challenge, primarily in recovering from recoil in (percieved) time to accuratly aim.
What is challenging me is recovering from recoil with time to aim and shoot the next shot accurately. Dipnet
A check: If your recoil spring is too light it allows the slide to bottom out against the frame. This condition causes your wrist to break giving you the feeling of having to search for the bull after every shot. When sprung correctly the pistol returns to the bull after each shot.
Hope this helps.

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Re: My lesson for rapid fire

Post by sixftunda on Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:15 am

Wes is right.  I spent a lot of time this Spring coming up with a load/spring combination for my wadgun.  I went to the range with all my tools, springs, and ammo loaded.  I had 200 rounds loaded in increasing increments by .2 grain every 20 or so rounds.  Then took notes on each rapid fire string I shot with different spring weights.  I found the most comfortable load/spring combo to bring the dot back to the X.
Those sessions paid off big time when the big matches rolled around.  At Perry I only dropped 16 points total on the short line over three days.

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Rapid fire fundamentals

Post by Dipnet on Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:19 pm

Shooters,
Terrific feedback. Each of you said something I needed to hear. I was at the range yesterday exclusively practicing rapid fire and I do lose sight of the bullseye each time I fire. At this time, Pardini only offeres three spring weights (strong, medium, & soft) and I have the soft spring in my gun right now. I am trying various loads to see what combination works best, but am not going about it in as systematically as sixftunda. Will do.

I think good bullseye shooters are closet zen masters, with sage advice like "keep the trigger moving, do not feel rushed," "racing the dot to the center," and "get the trigger rolling before the dot get to the X."

I've adopted Ed Hall's suggested modification to my shot plan and will use it. In fact, I've copied all your advice into a summary of 'rapid fire fundamentals.' I feel like I've been out to lunch with a great group of shooters after a match. Thanks all.

I'm sure there are other suggestions worth passimg on and I'm probably not the only one listening. dipnet

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Rapid fire range work--spring calibration

Post by Dipnet on Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:40 am

Per suggestions by Wes and sixftunda, I loaded ammo in 0.2-grain batches and tested with the medium weight Pardini GT spring and found a range of loads were recoil was distinctly more controllable. Although that endeavor took about 5 hours of reloading and range time combined, it was well worth the effort.

After I finished, I returned to the bench and loaded several 100 rounds for matches knowing that the loads were indeed matched to my pistol. Practicing the timing of getting five aimed shots off appears to be the nest step in trying to master rapid fire. That will just take time and practice, but I feel that I know what I'm doing and have definite goals for the development of my rapid fire skills.

I really appreciate the sage advice of all the shooters. Thanks to everyone for great advice.   Smile
Dipnet

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Re: My lesson for rapid fire

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