Hardball mental block

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Hardball mental block

Post by Jkvandal on Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:43 pm

I've been working a good bit with the .22 as I work through the USMC workbook and dry firing every night and my .22 scores are showing it. I'm up over 90% average with the .22 but my .45 scores have actually regressed, averaged just over 70% today.

I assume this is due to mentally knowing the .45 will kick more but my trigger pull just falls apart and I start jerking everything (majority of groups are low left, I'm a right handed shooter). Occasionally I'll be able to recover the proper fundamentals for a single shot and I can feel it, but the majority it seems like I lose all control of my trigger finger and can't get the trigger to move smoothly to the rear.

I'm sure I'm not the first one to run into this, but I just thought after do much dry firing and with my fundamentals improving that the trigger pull would start to become a subconscious any and would carry over to .45. Perhaps I just set the .45 side and complete the USMC workbook with .22 (as it says to!) before moving on to the .45, and not worry about my .45 scores/fundamentals until I'm working through the workbook with that caliber?

Thanks,
John

P.S. I'm sure a large part of the problem is that I have acknowledged to myself that I have a mental block with the 45, which won't help me get over it. We all can be our own worst enemy at times.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by 285wannab on Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:12 pm

I only shoot 22 so keep that in mind.  If I did shoot 45  I would be telling myself that the bullet is on it's way to the target before all the noise and recoil, so it doesn't matter.  Another thing I would be thinking about is with the 45 it has a much bigger dia. so I would have a better chance of cutting into a small scoring ring which would make me happy.
Maybe your finger is coming off the trigger more because of the recoil and you wouldn't feel that in dryfiring.
Also B. Zinns has a couple of good articles on anticipation, you might want to look at those.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Rob Kovach on Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:55 pm

Do "ball and dummy drills"  That tricks your brain into holding through the shot because you don't want to see the sights jerk when the hammer falls on a dummy round.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Jkvandal on Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:59 pm

285wannabe, thanks, I'll have to look up those Zins articles.

Rob, "ball and dummy" would work in practice but wouldn't I have the same mental block when firing in a match and knowing there aren't any dummy rounds in the mag?

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Rob Kovach on Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:04 pm

Maybe, but you should still improve dramatically.  After you have done a number of magazines of ball and dummy and the gun stays still when the hammer falls on the dummy, you should be close to cured.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by robert84010 on Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:48 pm

you haven't mentioned anything about shooting with wadcutters 200 or 185, that should be what most of your training sessions use. the ball and dummy drill mentioned is also very good for this too. I think the biggest help is shooting a lot of 22, and I mean a lot! But make it training, not blasting.
I know some guys would just work on one step at a time, just load 3 rounds in a mag, when they held all in the black for timed or rapid then they would add one round and  start over.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Jkvandal on Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:56 pm

Robert, I didn't mention those because I can't find any powder! So the times that I've been shooting my .45 it has been with factory hardball. You are probably right, not the best step up from .22.

And I've been shooting a lot of .22, following the Marine Corps pistol workbook from Zins' website. It's been great as it gives you a drill to do and you can't move on to the next lesson until you show a certain amount of competence in the one you are working on. For example, you can't move on to timed fire drills until you can keep 10 straight inside the 10 slow fire at 25 top price top yourself you can shoot tens on demand. It's been a great confidence builder as I complete each lesson. I figure I should just stick with the 22 until I complete all the drills then start over again with the 45, shooting 185s or 200s. That should give me time to get my hands on some bullseye powder.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Rob Kovach on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:01 pm

JKvandal,
Look on the bright side--if you do well with your ball & dummy drills while shooting full factory hardball, when you do start shooting wad loads you are going to be AWESOME!

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Jkvandal on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:04 pm

Haha, good point Rob! I really won't need to shoot hardball in matches until next spring though, so I guess I'll put it away for a while and work my way up a bit more slowly. When I do though, I'll definitely try working in some ball and dummy drills.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by KYShooter on Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:08 am

I can only say that the one thing that helps me get through this "fear" of pulling the trigger is to practice using a target with no bull.  Just a blank sheet of paper.  The practice session is intense on focusing on the sight alignment while, subconsciously, pulling the trigger straight back.


I needed to edit to say that I'm just starting BE pistol and am using this technique.  In HP rifle, I used it to great effect and now closing in on my HM classification.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by davekp on Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:19 am

Do all your dry fire at home with the 45.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Jkvandal on Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:28 pm

I do dry fire with my .45 and use a conversion for shooting .22 so all dry and live fire is with the same trigger.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by robert84010 on Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:46 pm

this might be more work than it's worth but you could push the factory bullet in about .020 and then use a kinetic puller to pop the bullet out and re-top it with a 185. Rifle shooters would call this mexican-match. I think you will work through all this just fine but this might help your confidence sooner rather than later (after you find powder).

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by Jkvandal on Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:04 pm

Robert that sounds like a lot of work! I'll just wait around for powder and in the meantime just worry on what I can control...my shot process! I'll keep working with the 22 until I finish the USMC workbook and by that time I'll have some reloaded .45 to start the workbook with all over again.

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by 3 gun Gus on Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:53 pm

JK:

Try to hold your sight picture until the bullet has passed through the target and hit the back stop.
This will help with jerking.  

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Re: Hardball mental block

Post by robert84010 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:05 pm

John, I hear you and I never had to do but it because M118LR and M852 was out when I started. But it was common on the miliitary teams to pull the 173gr. "M118" bullet in favor of the 168gr SMK since the 173gr. bullets were considered lousy.

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