help with closing eyes

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help with closing eyes

Post by Lightfoot on Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:09 am

I just learned about the value of calling shots, and I've had a couple of range sessions now to work on it.  I'm about 50/50 or so and someone suggested that I'm closing my eyes on the missed calls.  I bet I am, I know I do sometimes.  

Often I see the flash and the dot position is captured in my mind like a camera aperture, I think that means I'm not closing my eyes.  I find that in dry fire, its harder to call the shot, since there is no flash to kinda freeze the last position of the dot.  Also the dot is moving a little before and after the hammer falls (sometimes because the hammer falls) so again, it's harder for me to capture the position in dry fire.

What do y'all see when calling shots?  How do I keep my eyes open all the time?  Any input into my dry firing inabilities?

Thanks a bunch!

Steve

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by DavidR on Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:18 pm

Some close one eye ( not recommended) some shoot both eyes open, this use to work for me but not any more, many use a eye occluder , patch, masking tape over the non dominant eye then shoot both eyes open, this works for most and gives a good clear sight picture. The better you view is the easier it is to call where the shot went.

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by Lightfoot on Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:45 pm

I shoot both eyes open.  Except for when I blink.  Trying to tame the instinct to blink when the gun goes bang.

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by r_zerr on Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:01 pm

Calling the shots should include things like.."the shot broke as an (value) at (clock position)," but can and should include other factors like where it was moving from/where it was moving to when the shot broke, how still it was when you broke it (ideal), and anything else that is pertinent to where it should go, like your sight alignment not being perfect, or your grip, or your trigger squeeze.

Ideally this is a feedback process meant to make you more consistent, and you measure that by how well you hits match the calls, and that also develops into the shots all being called in the 10 or x ring, and exactly where.  

It is cool to call shots that you saw move to the middle, just went off, and are in the middle, and be able to say that you saw it, and knew exactly what you did to make it happen. Nirvana is when it happens all the time.

-Ron

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by Aggarandise on Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:56 pm

I was in a long range rifle wind clinic over the weekend and this subject came up.  The instructor recommended wearing double hearing protection.  He felt that blinking after breaking a shot was an involuntary response to the loud noise.

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by orpheoet on Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:20 pm

Aggarandise wrote:I was in a long range rifle wind clinic over the weekend and this subject came up.  The instructor recommended wearing double hearing protection.  He felt that blinking after breaking a shot was an involuntary response to the loud noise.
Thats what I do.

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by CR10X on Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:12 am

Lightfoot wrote:
Often I see the flash and the dot position is captured in my mind like a camera aperture, I think that means I'm not closing my eyes.  I find that in dry fire, its harder to call the shot, since there is no flash to kinda freeze the last position of the dot.  Also the dot is moving a little before and after the hammer falls (sometimes because the hammer falls) so again, it's harder for me to capture the position in dry fire.

What do y'all see when calling shots?  How do I keep my eyes open all the time?  Any input into my dry firing inabilities?

Thanks a bunch!

Steve

Lots of great suggestions, including the the double hearing protection.  And that can interfere, cause blinking, and hurt the ability to see the shot process. But, with the issue you described in dryfire, lets explore a little more.  This might get to be a longer response than expected, be warned and skip over if you need to.

Lets begin with "seeing".  We all know that seeing is not a continual process, but a series of captured images that our brain processes, fills in the gaps and makes us think we are seeing everything as it happens.  Now this happens pretty fast, but it still takes time and, for want of a better term, brainpower, focusing, concentration or what ever you want to call it. And to some extent, some people can "see" faster than others because they are processing more images within the same period of time.  

Another area is language, especially the words like "sight picture", "calling the shot", etc.  That can lead us to thinking we are looking for a specific image which is not exactly the case.  We do want to see the sight picture in order to call the shot, but it is a small series of images rather than a singe snapshot (at least that's what I'm looking to see :-)) I strive to see the entire process and view it like a movie, then review the memory or individual images later when actually calling the shot.  (There is a reason for this as you will see below). 

The last fallacy to deal with is, the sights or dot will not ever be completely steady.  Sometimes it looks like they are "still" but for pistol, they are never exactly still or stopped.  Look at some traces from the electronic trainer to convince yourself.  However, they can appear to be still or stopped for one of 2 reasons.  First, the wobble has become very small, and moving toward the minimum movement. (That is when the shot needs to go off by the way, and the reason really good shooters can shoot groups smaller than their wobble area).  The shot needs to be complete when the sight picture is moving towards the desired point or during the minimum wobble time, not when we think we see the "perfect sight" picture.  Remember, we are always operating is past where our vision is concerned.  

Secondly, and not so good is we (the brain) can get distracted looking for the correct "sight picture" and begin really processing and analyzing what we are seeing.  When that happens, I believe the brain goes into "slow motion" on the vision side because we are spending so much time analyzing that specific frame of vision.  By the time we become aware of the vision flow again, we may have lost several of those micro millisecond vision pictures.  Remember how that deer walked right into your awareness from the right because you were looking at that bush on the left you thought had a deer behind it? Too much focusing impairs the ability to process visual images for movement. 

The comment about seeing the sight move before and after the hammer falls is exactly what we are looking for when dryfiring.  There is not problem there.  As a matter of fact, that is the information you are looking for.  

As for missing some sight pictures, it just might be you are focusing too much on the specific picture, and not enough on seeing the process.  Head over to Brian Enos.com forum and do some reading on his thoughts about seeing and shooting.  Then you will see the difference between calling the shots from a "picture" and "seeing the sights lift". 

Just a couple of things to think about early in the morning.  Hope this helps.  By the way, great job on calling the shots and I'm not saying there is anything wrong, just suggesting that expanding the awareness from a specific time, to observing the entire process, then analyzing the shot may take you to the next level. 

Cecil

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by Virgil Kane on Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:05 am

Closing your eyes is part of flinching. In anticipation of a loud noise some people jerk, squeeze or blink. Flinching has to be consciously worked on separate from trigger control, grip etc. Forcing oneself to keep their eyes open during the shot and not blinking is hard to overcome but must be done or you will never reach your potential or be able to call shots consistently.

This isn't unique only to firearm sports either, I've seen people in archery competition do the same thing and bows are a bit quieter than guns. Blink on release and God knows where the shot (or arrow) is going to land.

I try to watch for the hole in the target after the shot.  I can usually see a tiny piece of paper floating down from the target where the bullet has torn it off. If I see that then I have good follow through, if I try and see the muzzle flash I tend to blink just before the shot goes off and I have zero follow through. 


YMMV


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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by Lightfoot on Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:37 pm

Thanks very much!   All of you are quite kind to share your wisdom and experience.  I've got lots of stuff to practice and try now.

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Re: help with closing eyes

Post by rich.tullo on Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:11 pm

Follow through and knowing when you are really calling your shots. The shot does not end when the trigger breaks there are still those micro-seconds when the bullet is moving down the barrel

Please correct me if I am wrong, but when my shooting is good and I am calling my shots well I see the muzzle flash of my 45 ACP or the brass eject from my 22. 

When I am calling my shots well and my follow through is good I can see the dot move off the Bullseye as the gun recoils.

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