Tips for getting started?

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Tips for getting started?

Post by Clinton Ashley on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:13 pm

Hello all, I've been lurking on this site and absorbing all I can after learning about this amazing sport. My club does not have any Bullseye matches but I would still like to practice on my own just to acquire the skills. I've been dry firing at home every time I remember to and have purchased a new Ruger Mark IV to start with. My initial plan was to use my old Springfield 1911 but it seems it lacks the kind of accuracy this sport demands even for a beginner.

I've actually only fired at a 25 yard target once so far and although I managed to get all 10 shots on the paper I'm somewhat dismayed at how much work lays before me. Please tell me everyone starts off this bad. So now I'm just concentrating on dry fire practice till I can steady my aim more. Any tips for a newbie other than dry fire alot?

Clinton Ashley

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Join date : 2016-10-25

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Tim:H11 on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:48 pm

Read (if you can find a copy) the Pistol Shooters Treasury by Gil Hebard. Worth its weight in gold. Focus on that front sight! It's critical. What you need to hear is too long to type. All about stance, breathing, trigger control, sight alignment, sight picture, follow through etc.... It's in the book. Trust me. 

Read it cover to cover once. Then a second time. Then go back and look at specific parts pertaining to one subject - such as grip or stance. Use the book to help you find your own shooting method and works for your body structure. 

Wish I could say more but it's all in there. Dry fire every day. But don't let your arm drop as soon as the gun goes click. Hold for a few seconds. Watch what the front sight does when the trigger breaks. You'll have to learn what causes what ever movement you see in the front sight and how to correct it. Change your grip or finger placement on the trigger. Stance maybe. It's a long road. But much of it starts by listening to the greats that figured it out. So many gone now but still live on in that book. BUY IT!

And welcome!


Last edited by Tim:H11 on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : *)

Tim:H11

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by joeb841 on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:52 pm

Welcome Clinton. I am a bit of a newby myself. I shot bullseye for about 10 years back in the 60's and had a lot of fun and got to be pretty good. Now after 40 plus years I am starting over at age 75. I have gotten a lot of good advice here so listen to the guys here. A lot has changed since I shot back then. The only thing I can suggest is if you belong to a club live fire as much as you can. Good luck and have some fun!

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by joeb841 on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:59 pm

Clinton, I just read Tim's post suggesting Gil Hebards book. It was everyones bible back then when he was alive and it still is. I recently scored a copy on Amazon.com so if you can get one do it.

joeb841

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Clinton Ashley on Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:37 pm

joeb841 wrote:Clinton, I just read Tim's post suggesting Gil Hebards book. It was everyones bible back then when he was alive and it still is. I recently scored a copy on Amazon.com so if you can get one do it.

Yes I've already ordered it. Amazon only had one listed so I jumped on it.

Clinton Ashley

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Tim:H11 on Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:07 pm

Another thought came to mind. I started out as a slow fire shooter. I shoot muzzleloading pistols competitively. It's like the black powder version of bullseye. We shoot three guns, at 25 and 50 yards in an aggregate match. Since they are muzzleloaders there is not rapid fire. No sustained fire. There is a time limit phase but not important right now. 

I learned how to fire one good shot. And then had to learn to focus on the right things to duplicate that shot. Time and time again. To the point where you can do it on command. Speed is a bi-product. You learn how to do something correctly, then become good enough at it that it flows. Like timed and rapid fire. Start at 25 yards and fire one shot. try to think where it went. Scope that shot and see if your thoughts match whats on the target. Once you can hold black at 25 yards - say 90 plus - then mix 50 yards into the practice. 

I wouldn't bother with sustained fire practice yet. Just learn the basics. Learn how to put a shot in the black. When you start getting good try two shots back to back. then three. and so on until you get five shot strings down.

Tim:H11

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Lightfoot on Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:10 pm

I just started too. Read and practice. Find a good line of credit too. It takes money buddy!

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Aprilian on Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:24 pm

post up where you are and someone local might know about matches and local practices

Aprilian

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Christopher Miceli on Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:23 am

learn to call your shots. once you break the shot you should be able to say where it is. Like it was in the black or white at 3 o clock. As you get better in skill and calling you will be able to say that as was 9 at 3 o clock.

Christopher Miceli

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by desben on Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:28 am

I also recommend reading Ed Hall's "Pistol Shooting: The Art". http://www.starreloaders.com/edhall/articlesand.html as well as everything you find on http://www.bullseyepistol.com/

Set goals. Right now, you're keeping to paper: good! You next goal could be to stay in the black or within the 7-ring, whatever. But give yourself an objective. For example, post a rapid fire target at 25 yards, and take slow fire shots, one by one, lowering your pistol each time and resting your arm. Concentrate intensely on each shot. When you get one in the black, note what you did right. You were probably focusing on that front sight. Notice how it stayed perfectly stable relative to the rear sight. Repeat until you can get 10 shots in [your objective].

A tip I often give beginners is to dryfire at the range too, after a few live rounds. They are often surprised to discover they start to jerk the shots after a few live rounds. Shoot 5, dryfire 5.

Look at that front sight Smile

desben

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by rich.tullo on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:26 am

http://www.bullseyepistol.com/

Read everything 

Work on 22lr flow fire first 

Do not be afraid if your first scores are really bad many of us have a hard time at first.

That Ruger should be a good place to start but after about 500 rounds you will need to look into getting a trigger job.

If you have good eyesight do not be too eager to switch to a dot because iron sights helps with fundamentals.

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by willnewton on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:57 am

I recommend finding a group to shoot with, even if you have to drive an hour or so.  Bullseye practice can get lonely.

Shooting friendly or serious matches gets you thinking about the next match and all the things you are going to improve next time.  You meet the nicest folks and can get shooting advice about fundamentals, equipment, and reloading advice.

The forums and Facebook groups are great, but real life experiences are where you put your learning and practice into action.  There is nothing that will make your practice more worthwhile.

Also, check out the Winchester/NRA marksmanship program.  You use it to help gauge your own progress.

willnewton

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by BE Mike on Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:32 pm

I started out much like you, with no local club. I started out just shooting a Ruger MK I. Don't let this sport and all the equipment overwhelm you. When I started out, I tried to keep my shots in the scoring rings at 50 yards and in the 8 ring for timed and rapid. It is good to set realistic goals for yourself. Your Ruger is capable of keep them in the 10 ring with decent ammo. Stay focused on what you are doing and forget about comparing yourself to others. Keep focusing on getting a little better during every training session. Don't overdo it. Learning the proper fundamentals by reading the AMU guide, Gil Hebard's "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury" or other well written books help you understand just what you need to do. I would advise you to keep a diary and write in it during each training session. Keep track of each shot fired and lessons you learned. That way you can identify your progress and weak areas and not have to depend on your memory. After you have an understanding of the fundamentals, you can write down a shot plan. I like to write a shot plan starting from the ground up. I start at the position of my feet and work up. A shot plan gives you something to think about when training and at matches. It is a living document, in that it may start out very detailed and later be boiled down to fewer items. Dry firing and holding exercises can be done at home with an EMPTY gun. Some LIGHT weights can help steady your hold and give you endurance. When you feel ready, you should enter a match. Match shooting can really help you improve. You will improve to the extent that you train. You will have peaks and valleys, and may have periods where you seem like you can't fire a 10. Just be realistic and keep looking at the overall picture. I started as a Marksman and went through the classes to Master and Distinguished Pistol Shot. I don't consider myself a natural or even talented in the area of marksmanship...just determined. I'm convinced that if I had a good coach at the outset, I would have improved quicker and maybe advanced farther in the game, but it wasn't to be. On the subject of coaches, don't blindly accept the advice of every well-meaning shooter as to how to shoot an X. Some really are good shooters, but don't know how to coach and some aren't good shooters, with little understanding of the fundamentals and unwittingly pass on bad information. I suggest that you always critique yourself in a positive manner. I really thing that it makes a difference. Lastly, if you can afford it, get a gun box to get your equipment organized. In the end, you are entering a game where you want to do the same thing (shoot an X) over and over again, so being organized helps you to develop a routine and shoot those X's over and over again. Equipment is subjective, but you need guns and ammo capable of holding the ten ring, IMHO. Good sights and a good feeling trigger are also desirable. Don't get caught up in an equipment race. Learning and applying the fundamentals properly will get you to where you want to go (Remember the part about goals?) long before a gun and ammo that will shoot a sub 1" group at 50 yards.

BE Mike

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Clinton Ashley on Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:07 pm

Thanks for all the info. I'm located in Ocean Springs, MS and shoot at Gulf Coast Rifle Pistol Club mostly. Like I said they do not do any bullseye shooting that I'm aware of. But really I am not interested in competing at this point anyway. I think my biggest weakness right now is lack of stamina. It doesn't take long for me to "get the shakes" at which point it seems impossible to concentrate on anything else. I will continue dry firing at home for now and read through the material you all suggested. Thanks again.

Clinton Ashley

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Aprilian on Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:41 pm

I didn't think I was ready either and a good local individual said, "come watch, bring your pistol and shoot the second 900".  It was great advice and I was hooked.   You will learn so much by going to a competition or finding a Bullseye shooter to mentor you.  Best of luck.

Aprilian

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by BE Mike on Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:57 am

Clinton Ashley wrote:Thanks for all the info. I'm located in Ocean Springs, MS and shoot at Gulf Coast Rifle Pistol Club mostly. Like I said they do not do any bullseye shooting that I'm aware of. But really I am not interested in competing at this point anyway. I think my biggest weakness right now is lack of stamina. It doesn't take long for me to "get the shakes" at which point it seems impossible to concentrate on anything else. I will continue dry firing at home for now and read through the material you all suggested. Thanks again.
In bullseye pistol shooting you use little muscles a lot that you rarely use in every day activities. Besides dry firing and holding drills, I found that (especially when I started) I could take an empty milk jug and put a little water in it and hold it out (keeping my trigger finger out) and aim it at a something on the wall. I try to hold the light weight for a minute (work up to it) and then sometime later two minutes. After I can hold the small amount of water for two minutes, I slightly increase the amount of water. I also take a piece of twine or string (about my height, in length). I take my staple gun and attach the string to a piece of broom handle or wooden dow. I tie the other end to the jug, hold my arms out parallel to the floor, palms down and roll up the water in the milk jug and slowly roll it back again to the floor. One other tip that I got from the Army Marksmanship Unit and their sports doctor is to do some stretching of the tendons in the forearms and hands every day. This can help to prevent shooter's elbow.

BE Mike

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Re: Tips for getting started?

Post by Oleg G on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:45 pm

I am also at the beginning of this exciting journey called Bullseye.
On the subject of books, I very highly recommend this:

https://www.amazon.com/Competitive-Shooting-Techniques-Training-Running/dp/0935998535

I read it in the original Russian and was blown away by the level of detail the author goes into, and by the very rational and scientific reasoning. This book is not about Bullseye shooting, it is written by the coach and for the practitioners of the "traditional" Olympics-style shooting. However, the fundamentals are exactly the same.

Oleg G

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Re: Tips for getting started?

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