Rapid Fire bad habit

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Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by orpheoet on 1/15/2017, 11:48 am

I got into the questionable habit of coming up on the target instead of settling down into it. I've broken that habit in slow fire but especially in rapid fire I tend to loop around during recoil and come back up on the target instead of just dropping back down into it. Mastering .45 rapid fire looks to be my biggest obstacle to making master, I suspect that is usually the case. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by CR10X on 1/15/2017, 6:13 pm

Why is it a questionable habit? Coming up to where on the target? 
 
Which way provides the better start into the minimum wobble pattern for slow, timed and rapid fire?

Which way lets you see if the shot is progressing well for slow fire?

Which way leads to an uninterrupted, smooth and continuous trigger process that culminates with the time of minimum wobble?

To me, handling .45 rapid fire  is more about what happens while the wobble is in the center than how we get there.  (And you really should ask somebody like Grayson Palmer about this, a really great short line shooter that used to post here. I really have to work my way through rapid fire, every match. )

( For me, the process is generally coming up from the bottom of the target or where ever the number is; barely to the top of the black and then settling into the center or the first shot works for me. After that, its just driving the dot back to the center as smoothly as possible.  Driving the gun, not waiting to see where it winds up and then getting to center.  YMMV, but whatever you do, get comfortable and complete the shot within the smallest wobble area, within the appropriate amount of time.  Timed and rapid fire shots, when done smoothly, almost always wind up better than the call, if the process is smooth and uninterrupted.)

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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by orpheoet on 1/15/2017, 9:06 pm

Maybe I'm overthinking it. But it seems like I'm wasting time looping around instead of bringing the gun DOWN after recoil into the center.
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by CR10X on 1/16/2017, 7:18 am

The main problem with using the internet is that I can only read the words, but can't see what you are talking about when you say "looping around".

When the gun fires, we should see the dot lift up from wherever it was that we saw it at the time gun fired. (Actually, our vision is a little in the past, but lets forget that right now.) The dot will generally track upward to some point (and since we have a good firm grip and a good position behind the gun) it should begin to come back down immediately, with no stopping or hesitation. It should not stop moving at the top, but be a continuous reaction / process.   

At that point, I think a lot of shooters might just be letting the gun "naturally" fall back down into the general firing position. (Is that the looping you are talking about?)   I'm suggesting that the shooter should start driving the gun back to the aiming area on the target, at the beginning of the recoil process.  For me, I generally feel like I'm absorbing the recoil as soon as the gun fires and starting to drive it back to the center area as soon as the recoil starts.  More like "act to re-position" the gun rather than "react to the recoil". 

It does not matter if we over correct or under correct a little as long as we get back to the general center as smoothly as we can.  Not jerking or moving the body, but not just letting things fall into place either.  Usually, this is mostly the arm / shoulder muscles, maybe just a little of the body getting back completely upright. But in any event and no matter how it is done, it should be smoothly and with purpose. 

Driving the gun (not the best term, but the best I have) back to the center (at least for me) tends to reduce the potential for loosing the grip, focuses my attention back on the dot, and is also the start of the next trigger process.  Great timed and rapid fire shooting happens (for me) when the trigger trips the sear as the dot is moving towards the center of the minimum wobble area on the target the the first time it gets there.  

To use the words you used (but maybe in a different way since I don't understand what you see when "looping around"), it does to matter if I "loop around" the center of my aiming area when getting back to the optimum firing area, as long as the shot is executed as smoothly as I can as the the dot gets in the firing area (the first time). But I'm not "looping around" outside of the 9 ring. 

I'm always looks for words to describe this when talking to other shooters and trying to learn from them.  For me, Timed and Rapid fire is completing the trigger press while watching the sights move towards the optimum area. Slow fire is watching the sights moving towards the minimum wobble area so as to determine if I do not want to complete the trigger press.  For me, the only major difference is the ability to abort the shot for slow fire and in TF / RF, the shot is to go off, but there may be an extra millisecond to let the dot get to the optimum area.  In TF / RF the dot or sight alignment is not there to be viewed and admired and having the time to say "hey, that looks damn good", but to simply complete the trigger when that acceptable configuration is seen. 

Hope this helps.  If I'm way off base with this, please let me know and I'll try to help.

Cecil

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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by orpheoet on 1/16/2017, 9:44 am

Cecil,
Thanks for taking the time to try and understand what I'm saying poorly! When I fire in sustained fire the gun goes up, then instead of bringing the gun back down I tend to "drive" it in a semi circle and come back up into the aiming area. This seems like a waste of time but its a hard habit to break. In slow fire I now settle down into the aiming area and my scores are better for it. But I came up for a few years and that got built into my muscle memory I guess. Hopefully identifying the problem is half the battle....
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by CR10X on 1/16/2017, 4:08 pm

OK, I'm trying to get there.

Let's look at it this way (pun intended as you will see).  This might help reduce the "searching" for the center (which is what I'm going to call looping this time!).

During the recoil, do not track the dot with your eye, keep the target in the center of your visual area.  I didn't say focus or not focus on the target, that's the shooters choice, but don't be looking to see where the dot went.  Look where you want the dot / sights to return to as a general guide.  Then when the front sight or dots gets back on the center, put the visual focus where you want it. 

Secondly, I find that the feeling of even more extension of the whole arm / hand gun towards the target helps recovery.  I'm not taking about over stretching, or anything like that, but as part of driving the gun to the center, I'm making sure the arm is not collapsing or trying to bend at the elbow, wrist or moving around the shoulder joint.

Lastly, be sure to have a position as much behind the gun as possible, while still being comfortable.  The more mass behind the direction of recoil, the more that can be absorbed without twisting the body / arm around the center of mass.  Part of the looping may be some body movement getting the system back to equilibrium? 

Hope something from my ramblings will help.  RF has been a real bear for me too.

CR

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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by rreid on 1/16/2017, 9:18 pm

Could be that you're trying to resist the recoil too much. The sights really shouldn't dip below the bull when you recover, if that's what's happening.  Here is something you can try next time you go to the range.  It's a variation on 1 shot and 2 shot drills.  Load one round and remove the magazine so the slide won't lock back. Fire the round, recover, and dry fire a second shot. If you're having trouble getting the sights back to the center, as Cecil said, it's a grip issue and maybe a position issue.
One problem I had when I started, was that I was bending my wrist to align the sights. If you're doing that, the sights will never come back into alignment without finding the exact wrist angle that you had on the previous shot.  No one told me I was doing anything wrong until I went to the Zins-Moody clinic.  That was where I learned you should keep your wrist as straight and natural as possible, and adjust the gun in your grip until the sights align.  Once you've got the sights aligned with your eye, adjust your feet to get the gun lined up with the target. If your elevation is off, you can move your back foot in or out. After you get your grip and position figured out, the recoil recovery will kind of take care of itself. 
Hope this helps.  It's tough to diagnose problems like this over the internet.
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by orpheoet on 1/18/2017, 4:25 pm

This has been excellent information. Thank you.
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by Oleg G on 1/19/2017, 6:29 pm

This is why I love the forum!

Ralph,
Just today I have been reading Zins's article on the grip, staring at the photos and trying to duplicate it. I did not quite get it. Then I am reading your post on the same thing and suddenly, with your help, Brian's words make complete sense!

Thanks a lot - these aha moments are priceless!

Regards,
Oleg.
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by rreid on 1/20/2017, 8:10 pm

Oleg G wrote:This is why I love the forum!

Ralph,
Just today I have been reading Zins's article on the grip, staring at the photos and trying to duplicate it. I did not quite get it. Then I am reading your post on the same thing and suddenly, with your help, Brian's words make complete sense!

Thanks a lot - these aha moments are priceless!

Regards,
Oleg.
If you ever get the opportunity to go to a Zins/Moody clinic, it's well worth it.  We had 20 or 25 people at the one I went to, and Brian and Andy went around and individually helped each student with their grip. They would say, "I can't see what you see and I can't feel what you feel," but they showed us how to know what we needed to see.
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by john bickar on 1/28/2017, 4:33 pm

Visualize the shot, recovery, and next shot process that you want to have. Write it down. Repeat it multiple times, and replay it in your head.

Then go to the range and work on that one thing.


  1. I squeeze the trigger smoothly and aggressively
  2. The shot breaks within my arc of movement
  3. The recoil carries the dot up and to the left
  4. I reset the trigger
  5. I begin squeezing the trigger smoothly at the top of recoil
  6. I drive the dot back down directly to the center of the black
  7. I continue squeezing the trigger smoothly and aggressively
  8. The shot breaks within my arc of movement
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

Post by sixftunda on 1/29/2017, 5:58 am

Visualizing a perfect shot process is very important on the line.  In a match you should be visualizing a perfect shot/string before and after your actual shot/string.
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Re: Rapid Fire bad habit

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