Food for thought on trigger control.

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Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by mspingeld on 10/14/2015, 12:28 pm

If we agree that many shooters with a bit of experience spend the most time in the Expert class and that a typical NMC score in that class is somewhere around: 86 slow, 97 timed and 94 rapid for a total of 277 (right in the middle of the class), I propose an experiment:

Hold your timed fire target over a slow fire target and mark through the holes and score it.

For me, my slow scores would be quite a bit higher than 86. How about you?

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by Al on 10/14/2015, 1:29 pm

Good Thought!
I'll give that a try & see how it works out.  I'm betting higher slow fires also.
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by jmdavis on 10/14/2015, 1:43 pm

Alot of 9's are 7's and 8's on the reduced slowfire target.

My limited experience has not shown an overall improvement in shooting slowfire at a sustained fire rate, for me. But I am new to this game and certainly willing to listen to a variety of opinions on the issue.
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by mspingeld on 10/14/2015, 2:09 pm

@jmdavis

I know the rings are different. I shot a timed 99-6X last night in league. It would have been a 95 on the slow fire target. I'm not so much suggesting that shooting slow fire at the sustained fire rate is the way to go. I am suggesting that, for me, and probably others, that I may be trying to hard to dress up the perfect slow fire sight picture and, at the same time, I may be too hesitant on the trigger.

Next Tuesday is practice night. As an experiment, I'm going to shoot a few strings sustained on the slow fire target. If, as I suspect, the groups are tighter than my typical slow fire groups, well then....I plan to do a lot of thinking.

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by jglenn21 on 10/14/2015, 2:52 pm

interesting.. I tried that very thing last evening. Shooting the slow fire target in a timed fire sequence.. For me it was better.( 10 -15 points better)

I'll be the first to admit that slow fire has always held me back. Even years ago when I finally sneaked into the expert class it was with really mediocre slow fire scores.. I too was shooting 96-97 timed and low-mid  90s rapid fire .

I'm starting back into BE after being out for over 30 years. Even got my wife interested again.. At the is point I think I've fallen back into my old habit of trying to get the perfect sight picture in SF and become unable to fire the shot.

in timed and rapid I've always been able to have a certain cadence to the trigger and sight picture..... I may well at least try a 2-3 shot sequence in Slow fire this month.  At this point it can't hurt LOL


Last edited by jglenn21 on 11/17/2015, 9:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by joem5636 on 10/14/2015, 3:07 pm

Many Police-L shooters will fire 2 or 3 shots "rapidly" for slow fire. I do this for 900s since 30 shots slow fire can be tiring especially if you are shooting 900s in a day. If just shooting a NM, I don't find this an advantage, but I don't find it to be much of a disadvantage, either.

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by mspingeld on 10/14/2015, 3:20 pm

@joem5636

If my numbers are close, i.e. averages mid to high 80s for slow and mid to high 90s timed, and the "target translation" of the timed scores superimposed on the slow fire target are, in fact, higher, then isn't there an advantage? Or, at the very least, some lesson to be learned about the difference in the process and trigger control?

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by Dr.Don on 10/14/2015, 4:30 pm

The range where I shoot training does not have turning targets, so I shoot using the horn signals on my iPhone app.  The app has drills which include 1, 2, and 3 seconds between horns.  I have found it useful/interesting to use the 3 second drill for slow fire training, i.e. 3 seconds to get off each shot.  It really makes you be serious with the trigger.....
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by C.Perkins on 10/14/2015, 5:48 pm

Are we talking indoor or outdoor targets here ?

Indoor targets are different for slow and TF/RF.

Outdoor targets are the same except for the aiming black.

A pistol will shoot better groups at 25yds compared to 50yds.

Or am I misunderstanding this thread ?

Clarence
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by mspingeld on 10/14/2015, 5:57 pm

@Clarence, Yes, I believe you misunderstand. My observation last night was indoors @ 25 yards. The group on my timed fire target (99-6X), if super-imposed on a 25 yard slow fire target, would have been a 95. I don't shoot slow fire that well. The difference must be the acceptance of the less than perfect sight picture and the less hesitant trigger action. Hope I explained that better.

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by Wobbley on 10/14/2015, 6:42 pm

Most of the better shooters take the first solid 10 they see. For me in rifle I took the first X I saw.  You can lose focus and timing not to mention fatigue issues trying to dress up the sight picture.  Stick up a 25 T&R center over a 25 SF target and shoot a SF string taking the first solid 10.  Then refine it to take the X.  Pretty soon you'll be able to distinguish the look of an X from a 10.  Which is nearly the same size as the 10 on the SF target.
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by john bickar on 10/14/2015, 7:17 pm

Shooting some standard pistol will really drive this point home.
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by sixftunda on 10/14/2015, 8:06 pm

You need to pull the trigger at the same speed in slow fire as you do in sustained fire.  Everything else slows down but trigger pull stays the same.
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by mspingeld on 10/16/2015, 4:02 pm

@wobbley: When I try that it leads to jerking the trigger. What works better for me is to pull the trigger smoothly and non-stop when the dot is hovering somewhere close to the middle of the black.

@sixftunda: That's kind of what I'm starting to understand. But, to add to my confusion, I asked a local high master (and multi time NJ state champion) if he pulls the same for slow and sustained. He said no. Question

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by mspingeld on 10/20/2015, 9:10 pm

@joem5636- At practice tonight I tried what you mentioned. Taking 2 or 3 shots before putting the gun down. Not quite rapid pace but, if the gun settled nicely, I took the next shot. Shot a 94 slow fire that way. Again, not saying this is the way to go, but it is a lesson about trigger pull and not trying to hard to dress up the sights (dot).

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by BE Mike on 10/21/2015, 9:42 am

I think adding a sustained fire routine to your training plan, as well as, shooting 2 to 3 shots before putting down the pistol is a good thing. One teaches you to not take too long for the shot process and the other helps you when shooting in wind. The key thing is that it is teaching you to have no hesitation on the trigger. I cannot agree with the "shooting the first 10 you see", thing. I always heard that lining up your sights and your target when pistol shooting, is called "framing" and isn't a good thing. For me, I always leads to poor trigger control and anticipating the shot. I always found that I shot better slow fires by trusting my hold while focusing on the dot (some folks have great success concentrating on the target when shooting a dot). When I started the trigger pressure and continued (disregarding the target), my shots were good. Anything a pistol shooter does to avoid picking off shots (framing) is good. All this proper training leads to confidence in your hold and confidence in your trigger control. You must have a shot plan and have a shooting diary to build on your successes.
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by Wobbley on 10/21/2015, 8:02 pm

I never said to frame or picking off shots.  Nor did I ever intend to imply to jerk the trigger.  But when you have the sights aligned and the hold is reasonably steady on the 10, complete your shot process. Don't wait til you have a perfect hold like you see in the picture books. All you do trying to "dress it up a little" is induce fatigue and taking bad shots.
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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by Keyholed on 10/22/2015, 1:36 am

For a long time, I was stuck down in the low 80s in slow fire, because I was trying really hard to "see" a 10 and shoot it. That gave me a lot of bad habits in the arena of trigger control, so I threw shots all over the place and would commonly have more 8s than 9s and 10s combined. Even though I was "seeing" 10-ring shots.

Then I tried--just tried, not adopted--the "timed fire on slow fire" technique. I had a lot of terrible shots, 7s and 6s, that kept my score the same. But I had a lot more very good shots.

That caused me to realize that I needed to find out how to use that trigger pull, but control it better and get rid of those fliers. I realized that the 10s and good 9s didn't look anything at all like 10s. They just felt like good shots with good trigger control. Frequently, the dot wasn't any closer than the 8-ring until the instant the shot broke. The only visual I got on the quality of the shot was after the hammer fell, just before muzzle flip, if I had my eyes open I'd see where the dot was and be able to call the shot. If my eyes were closed it didn't matter because it was a sign I'd flinched.

Now the only visual I get is on the dot movement. It's more about not taking bad shots than trying to take good shots. If I don't take bad shots, then I can just let the good shots happen. I look for the visual signs a shot's going to be bad--too much movement in the dot, movement that's off-center from the bull, the amount of movement starting to increase, etc--which are the first things I notice about bad shots. While that's happening, I'm trying to detect physical and mental signs--feeling of being in a hurry, feeling the need to shoot a 10, eye strain, sudden loss of visual focus, muscle strain in the arm, trigger pull taking too long, trigger feels heavy, etc.

If I see or feel any of those things, I abort the shot process and start over. I still take crap shots (current bugaboo: feeling I need to take this shot because not taking it would break a rhythm of good shots), but I shoot far more good shots, and my average slow fire is a 90 or above.

When I learned this, I tanked my sustained fire hard because I started to focus on trying to clean targets there. I finally just fixed that by realizing I was trying to shoot 10s instead of trying to take good shoots--in other words, doing what I had just broken myself out of doing in slow fire. The shot process for my sustained is no different, I just really don't have the time to do a complete abort, so practicing there is more about trying to execute good shots consistently. If I want to clean targets, I don't have to shoot 10s. I have to stop shooting 9s, and let the 10s and Xs happen.

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by mspingeld on 10/22/2015, 7:37 am

Good post! Trying to take good shots instead of trying to shoot 10s. I kind of get it. I've been asking myself, what's so right about the 2nd, 3rd shot of a relaxed timed fire string? It's that there's not a huge amount of thought. Recover, settle, smooth trigger without hesitation, X! And I've also seen the dot magically arrive in the middle just as the hammer fell. Part of it seems to be maintaining focus on the dot all the way through the shot.

Personally, I need to get rid of the scope. I'm too focused on score and I have trouble resisting it even when I know the gun is zeroed properly, but I guess that's another post.

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by Keyholed on 10/22/2015, 8:16 am

Thank you.

And heh, Shot #2 and #3 are no big deal. 1, 4, and 5 are tricky. My internal monologue of terrible sustained fire strings:

#1: "This shot has to be a 10. More than the other ones. Also you have to take it really quick, right after the turn/beep....aww, what the hell are you doing, dummy? It's already been a whole half-second! You're gonna rush your 4th and 5th shots! Take the shot! Jerk the trigger now! C'mon Thumb and Wrist, get in on this trigger pull, the dummy needs to hurry up!"

#4: "Gonna run out of time, better rush this one. Also, I think you need to blink. Like, right now. Blink while Thumb and Wrist are busy dropping the muzzle."

#5: "You know, that target's gonna go away like, any second now. But this one definitely has to be a 10. Everybody knows that the scores of the first and last shots of a string are the most important. You cannot clean a target unless your first and last shots are 10s. So shoot a 10. But also, hurry up."

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by rfmiller on 10/22/2015, 1:03 pm

I shot smallbore rifle in college (a long time ago) and learned there that you had to ignore the shot that you just took and not think about the one you will take after this one.  The shot that you are taking right now is the only important one and deserves all your attention.  Easier said than done. My scores prove I did it better in smallbore!  Sometimes I also think I should leave the spotting scope with the caps on.

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Re: Food for thought on trigger control.

Post by BE Mike on 10/22/2015, 1:19 pm

Wobbley wrote:I never said to frame or picking off shots.  Nor did I ever intend to imply to jerk the trigger.  But when you have the sights aligned and the hold is reasonably steady on the 10, complete your shot process. Don't wait til you have a perfect hold like you see in the picture books. All you do trying to "dress it up a little" is induce fatigue and taking bad shots.
I just have a problem with the terminology, "Shoot the first ten you see!". I like "Shoot within your ability to hold!". I think it leads to good trigger control.
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