Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

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Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Oleg G on 9/15/2016, 12:29 pm

I am fairly new to Bullseye and have been training for the past 3 months. I was focusing on shooting the .22 pistol - mainly because I did not have a .45. Last week I picked up a Sig 1911 and began using it in training as well. On Monday I attended our local weekly league shoot where we shoot a 900 match using only Timed & Rapid fire targets at 25 yards. I used 3 calibers: .22; 9mm and .45 and shot slow, timed and rapid courses with each.

Lesson 1: using 3 different pistols for .22, CF and .45 is not for me - in these, very early stages of my training, learning and maintaining 3 different triggers, grips and felt recoils is too much.
Lesson 2: the fundamentals I learned with the .22 translate well to the larger calibers IN SLOW FIRE: given enough time I can execute the shots as well as with the .22
Lesson 3: in sustained fire strings, my shots fall apart with the larger calibers - both 9mm and and .45.

The target below illustrates the issue: most .22 shots are inside the 8 ring, this is for all courses. Most large caliber shots inside the 8 ring are from slow fire and the first shots of the sustained strings. The 2nd through 5th large caliber shots in the lower left corner of the target are mainly from the 1 string of both timed and rapid fire. As a test, for the second string I moved my point of aim to the right and above the bullseye and the shots "magically" centered.

Thus, I believe that I am consistently jerking the trigger due to the heavier recoil, which reduces the time I have between the shots to prepare to execute the next one. I am able to align the shots (they are somewhat grouped, at least) but not to consistently press the trigger because I am afraid to run out of time.

I want to fix this and the way to do this, in my mind, is to shoot "slow" strings of sustained fire taking as much time as I need to align and execute all 5 shots in the string. Once I can do that, I should start speeding up the cadence and get to consistently executing timed and rapid fire strings.

Does this self-diagnosis seem correct, or have I missed something obvious and important and need to do something different?
Thanks in advance for the help. Oleg.

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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by LenV on 9/15/2016, 1:02 pm

All of the shots (90?) on one target is a little hard to interpret. You have shots high left, high right, low right and a bunch low left. I would say that you need to dry fire more. You seem to be both jerking and pushing during sustained fire. You might also not be focusing on your front sight. It would be better if you had some targets in the future that we could look at that were of individual pistols without SF in the mix. Just my thoughts. Others may have different thoughts.

Len
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by jmdavis on 9/15/2016, 1:08 pm

Use the 45 for both CF and 45. Spend your dryfire time on the 45. Download the USMC workbook and use it. 

Mastering the pistol is a process and if you want to do it you have to be dedicated to the process. 

http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t5966-usmc-pistol-team-workbook
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Oleg G on 9/15/2016, 1:10 pm

Thanks, Len. In the league we staple the repair centers over one big target for each subsequent string, so yes, this target has all 90 shots on a single one. Most holes high left and high right are actually staple holes from where I was pasting the repair centers Smile

I will dry fire more definitely and will post more legible targets after a trip to the range this weekend.
The main question still remains: why the difference in the .22 shot grouping and the .45 shot placements (can't call it a group). Dry fire, with no recoil, would not fix that, right?

Regards, Oleg.
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by mspingeld on 9/15/2016, 1:21 pm

Dry firing at a blank wall will help you perfect your trigger.

Shots left and low could be jerking the trigger, tightening your grip (milking) or a combination.

22 is easier because the recoil and the noise are both soft.

In practice sessions, I agree, shooting sustained fire without a timer can be very beneficial. Focus on making good shots. You'll be surprised to find that firing 5 good shots without a timer won't be taking you much time. Possibly less than 20 seconds.

I've found that, although there is a lot of helpful advice available, ultimately you will have to figure out what's going right and what needs work. Use your practice sessions to improve specific aspects of your shooting, not just to make lots of holes in paper.

Good luck!

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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Wobbley on 9/15/2016, 3:36 pm

When you practice, shoot no more than 30 shots per piece of paper.  Easier to see trends, IMO.  If your range allows it, put up two targets at a time especially if they only cease fire every half hour or more.
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Oleg G on 9/15/2016, 9:16 pm

Thanks for the good advice, guys.

I'll try slowing down sustained fire strings at the next practice this Saturday and will post the targets with 30-shot series to see less clutter but discern the patterns for slow, and sustained fire strings.
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Lightfoot on 9/15/2016, 9:26 pm

I was having similar issues a few months ago.  I decided to not worry about the 10 seconds.  I'd rather shoot 3 shots that are 9-10's than 5 with 5-6's. Once my trigger control improved I'm doing better.  I still see those 7:00 6's now and then but they aren't normal anymore.
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by SMBeyer on 9/15/2016, 9:51 pm

There are a couple of things that I see almost all shooters go through when first starting to shoot the .45, me included.  The 2 things that I would tell myself if I could go back in time that would help me the most are this:

1. It's not gonna hurt you!  Yes it's louder and smokier (is that a word?) and there is definitely more recoil but it's not gonna hurt.  If you are shooting normal bullseye loads and not hot factory 230gr it is actually pretty wimpy and there is no reason to be afraid of it.  I know your gonna say you aren't but you are.  This fear causes all kinds of bad things to happen.

2.  Apply pressure to the trigger early and often!  My first match with the .45 my goal was to simply shoot 800.  I shot 799 in both CF and .45.  I shot some really nice groups at the short line low right in the 6-7 rings (i'm left handed or as I like to say correct handed).  I know this was from jerking the trigger but part of that comes from the feeling of running out of time because you aren't utilizing the valuable time during recoil recovery effectively.  I am now a high master and still work on applying pressure to the trigger during recoil recovery when I train for the short line.  In fact that is what I probably work on the most.  That and getting the first shot off quickly.  Start applying more pressure to the trigger the closer you get to the black and just keep increasing till it breaks regardless of sight picture.  A smooth squeeze anywhere near the black will score much better than a jerked shot when the sight picture is finally perfect.  By the way we don't need perfect, pretty good is just fine.  

There are a bunch of other things that you will figure out along the way but these two would have shortened my journey to high master considerably.

Scott
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 9/15/2016, 11:06 pm

Scott, that's a terrific post.
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by davekp on 9/16/2016, 8:12 am

jmdavis wrote:Use the 45 for both CF and 45. Spend your dryfire time on the 45. Download the USMC workbook and use it. 

Mastering the pistol is a process and if you want to do it you have to be dedicated to the process. 

http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t5966-usmc-pistol-team-workbook
This!

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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Rob Kovach on 9/16/2016, 4:44 pm

Use the bullseye timer app to do 2 shot drills---over and over and over. It really ingrains the shot process for sustained fire.

You HAVE WRITTEN your shot process down on paper with a PEN right?
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by SNaymola on 9/16/2016, 4:54 pm

Sometimes I use this 25m Pistol Timer. Its out in Android/Google Play store. Sort of made for international shooting, but it will record your shot cadence. It has other options plus a custom events. Free.

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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by SMBeyer on 9/16/2016, 5:56 pm

JayhawkNavy02 wrote:Scott, that's a terrific post.
Thank you!
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by joy2shoot on 9/16/2016, 9:10 pm

SMBeyer wrote:
Apply pressure to the trigger early and often! ...

Scott

That is my #2 obstacle I have in improving my performance. (My #1 is letting my concentration drift during execution of the shot process, i.e. shooting.)

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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Ed Hall on 9/16/2016, 10:38 pm

You might find the following thread helpful:

What do you practice at the range?

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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Oleg G on 9/17/2016, 3:51 pm

Folks, thanks a lot for your great suggestions.
Today at the range I shot .22 and .45.
The targets below show 30 shots of .22 and 20 shots of .45 in sustained fire and the same amount of shots in slow fire. I specifically did not turn on the timer to give myself less pressure and focus on recovery and follow-through. Yet the times felt very close to time fire.

Rob, I have written down my shot process - on the computer and printed out, so almost as good as using a pen Smile

Scott, I think that you are right - I don't THINK that I am afraid of the .45, but I must be, otherwise, I would not have been jerking the trigger.

Any additional analysis, or confirmation of the previous conclusions you guys made, would be greatly appreciated!

I will be shooting my first match next Saturday (all short line) in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and I am feeling very nervous and lost. But I will go to the match!










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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Oleg G on 9/17/2016, 4:02 pm

Ed, I just read your post in the "What do you practice at the range?" thread and I LOVE your progressive drill. I will be working on it the next time I get to the range. Thanks!!!
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by mspingeld on 9/17/2016, 4:15 pm

Ed has written quite a bit that can help you progress in this sport. Start here: http://www.starreloaders.com/edhall/12PPC01.html

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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Wobbley on 9/17/2016, 7:24 pm

The RF 45 target indicates a flinch or a jerk. Perhaps both.

The slow fire targets indicate a lack of concentration or perhaps a loss of front sight focus.

Next time on the 45 shoot 30 slow fire shots, take a break, then 30 more. Do this on the RF target at 25. Continue this until you get a nice round group in the black.

When you get that, the do two shot drills. Shooting two well aimed shots without putting the pistol down between shots. Work to get them off in 2 to 3 seconds. When you can do that 5 times, then start practicing sustained fire. But they have to be well aimed shots. They should be in the black.
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Re: Help Needed: Improving Sustained Fire Strings

Post by Oleg G on 9/17/2016, 7:35 pm

Wobbley, I think that your analysis is right on. I do believe that I am jerking the trigger in sustained fire, thus needing more trigger work. And the loss of concentration you see, is definitely present - my focus was not at all good today.

Thanks for the advice, I will adjust my program, as well as incorporate Ed Hall's progressive drills.

Best Regards, Oleg.
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