Hold focus or trigger focus

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Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by robert84010 on Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

On the same lines as NavyJayHawk02's posting on front sight dip I am always interested in where people focus their attention during a shot. Since a person can only have one conscience thought at a time where do you focus?

I am a hold type shooter, in that I focus on that front sight or dot and focus to slow and minimize the movement and only momentarily break from that to start the trigger. Once started I just let it happen while re-focusing on sight alignment. This is all predicated on working on reducing my hold so that whenever the shot breaks it should be within my hold and I can accept that. My best timed fire target was a 8x clean and rapid fire target was 6x clean (at Perry!) so at one time I feel my hold would good enough to top 2600 but I never did due to loss of focus errors, most especially in slow fire. My hold just seems to increase at 50 yards. I never cleaned the shortline but did have a 900 where only two targets were not clean. Of course my best strings are the easiest I barely remember engaging the trigger, it all just happened, but I did focus on maintaining sight alignment. I've said that keeping thinking to a minimum will usually produce great results! Or scores are inversely proportional to the amount of thinking.

So I am hoping my description is clear enough to start some discussion. Maybe someone has transitioned from one style to another and made a big leap? I shot alongside MSGT Mario Lazoya, USMC big team for bit and he advocated "marrying the fundamentals" but I could never grasp "steering the dot to the middle with the trigger" especially since I was focusing on irons at the time. But his style certainly works, I could never do it in a relaxed enough manner to not jerk the trigger.

Hopefully some of the 2600 shooters can chime in since that is my new goal. I think 2555 is my PB, years ago before my recent focus on rifle.

Regards,
Robert

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by robert84010 on Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:16 pm

Thanks Jon. I have heard about that from Nygord's Notes but never really tried to train three distinct speeds. I will have to try. He said at every match you need to determine how your hold is and then apply the right trigger speed to your hold for the day. makes sense.
I plan on using a double action only revolver to shoot the PPC matches and I have heard guys say that helps ingrain the continuous squeeze which helps with bullseye.
the toolbox analogy is something i've never heard in bullseye context, definitely in service rifle shooting where having multiple sight picture zeroes for the different distances is common because of the varying light conditions. I never made the connection to apply it to bullseye.

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by Aprilian on Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:38 pm

robert84010 wrote:I knew most would emphasize the trigger. it just seems to be my hurdle, sight alignment never seems to take care of itself. I'll try some 22 this afternoon with trigger as the focus. I appreciate the inputs.

I'm too new to offer good advice, but I found that my trigger practice was better on a blank wall (dry fire) or the back of a target (live fire).  If you have nothing to align the sights on, then you can shift primary focus to the trigger.   After a while, try on a regular target and if the trigger focus doesn't hold, go back to the blank wall/target.


Last edited by Aprilian on Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by joy2shoot on Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:24 pm

Like Aprilllian, I am not accomplished enough to offer good advice.  So instead, I will list what I do and let it get ripped apart.
 
I look at it as there are three things in charge; eyes, conscious and subconscious. The job of the eyes is to focus on either the front sight, dot, or if you are Brian Zins, the target.
 
As robert84010 stated, the mind (conscious) can only think of one thing at a time.  Now the mind can rapidly change what it is thinking about (stance > girl/boy friend > grip > girl/boy friend > target > ex girl/boy friend) and that is where concentration comes in.  The ability to control what you are thinking about, which needs to be one of these fundamentals; sight alignment, sight picture or trigger control.
 
That leaves the rest of the fundamentals to be controlled by the subconscious.
 
What I have been working on is focus on the dot, concentrate on getting the dot to the center and let the subconscious control the trigger.
 
I think I am hearing the accomplished tell us to focus on the dot/front sight, concentrate on trigger pull and let the subconscious get the dot to the center.
 
Of course, the third option is I am over analyzing this.

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by Ed Hall on Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:35 pm

When I was shooting my best, (not quite as good as Jon's), the "speed" of the squeeze was actually taken care of shot-to-shot by my subconscious, IF I started it properly.  This manifested most often in the shot happening earlier than expected, but just at the proper moment to hit center on the initial entry, instead of hovering around enough to go elsewhere.  I was training (both dry and live) and competing a lot back then.

Frank Green, AF shooter from "back in the day," used to promote, "starting the trigger consciously, with expectations that it would continue uninterrupted, and then focusing on the sights until the break."

A personal note about dot vs. target:

I find that if my trigger is working well, focusing on the target will tighten the group.  However, if my trigger is even a little off, I have to move my focus to dot-to-tube alignment.  I consider the sighting system a "trigger purity indicator."

I would like to add, that for some of us, we "need" to analyze enough to convince ourselves of a concept.  But, this should be done away from the matches.  When you compete, play the game you brought, instead of trying to figure out the why.

And, of course, take lots of notes...

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by john bickar on Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:56 pm

Ed Hall wrote:And, of course, take lots of notes...

Yup. And take excessive notes whenever you shoot well. You never know which little nugget from your journal will help you get "that feel" back.

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by messenger on Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:30 am

I have been struggling with rapid fire. What I have read in this thread has really helped me. I never concentrated on the trigger, always on the sight picture. During recoil I started my trigger pull so that just as I started to settle in, bang. It literally didn't give me a chance to "think" too much. I started cleaning targets. This thread has been a wealth of knowledge. Thanks guys!

Bill

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by Ed Hall on Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:24 am

john bickar wrote:Yup. And take excessive notes whenever you shoot well. You never know which little nugget from your journal will help you get "that feel" back.
Indeed!  I once spent about 10 minutes writing left handed, about every detail I could imagine about my grip, because for that session every shot moved to the center as it broke, no matter how I pulled the trigger.

But here's a question for those that do take notes:  Do you go back and read them from time to time, or when you need to refresh something?

I've relearned many things over the years, that were already in my notes...

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by joy2shoot on Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:51 am

Ed Hall wrote:But here's a question for those that do take notes:  Do you go back and read them from time to time, or when you need to refresh something?

From time to time, yes.  I also keep a 'summary' page for major ah-hah learnings.

p.s. One of the things I am learning from this thread is that while my thinkings are generally on track, my goal of having one way and only one way to execute my shot process each and every time is flawed.  I need to be able to make adaptations as the need arises.  So thanks robert84010 for resurfacing the thread.

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by BE Mike on Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:54 am

Bill Blankenship said, in "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury", "Speaking of mental conditioning. I believe very strongly that trigger squeeze can become automatic through practice." He further states that it takes a lot of work. I tend to agree with him.

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by robert84010 on Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:44 am

In that same article Blankenship stated he always concentrated on his hold during a string. he was the epitome of a hold focused shooter because he never thought about the trigger, it just happened. I have had moments like that but not recently.

Ed, I hear you about writing stuff down. I am certainly not swimming in pages of notes. Thanks for the inputs guys.

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:06 am

Something that's easy to forget or lose sight of is many top shooters we read about or get advice from were full time supported shooters. You can play the game differently when you shoot that much. Typical civilian has so so hold and mediocre trigger control. Also as we age our good hold gets worse. Trigger control is more crucial to master then. When I was young my hold made up for trigger control. Now that I'm older my trigger control makes up for loss of hold.
Jon

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by BE Mike on Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:36 am

The less we think about when competing, the better. Mental training is most important after one reaches Expert. It takes much more dedication to break into the Master class than working through the lower classes. That's the reason that we see so many more Experts than Masters and High Masters. I agree that as we age we lose the physical stamina, good eyesight and mental toughness. Most folks can shoot very well up into their 50's and even early 60's if they have laid a good foundation in the fundamentals and remain healthy.

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

Post by joy2shoot on Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:43 pm

BE Mike wrote:Most folks can shoot very well up into their 50's and even early 60's if they have laid a good foundation in the fundamentals and remain healthy.
I am doomed.  I started shooting bullseye casually when I was 59/60 and did not get serious about it until I was 61 and I did not touch a gun for 20 years before that and I have cataracts and floaters to boot....

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Re: Hold focus or trigger focus

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