Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

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Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/29/2017, 10:39 am

I've been meaning to start a thread about "how to call the shot", but there are a zillion posts and videos about it all over the internet, and in books too.  Everyone of them explains "how to do it" and "what it means", but none of that is any help for someone like me, who "just doesn't get it".  I just see a blur.


  • I'm pretty sure I don't blink.
  • Flinching is under control.
  • I'm shooting light loads.
  • I think my vision is adequate

  • ...but it's all a blur when the gun fires.



I made one last attempt today to find an answer before posting, and this time, Eureka!  I found what I wanted, and a whole lot more.

This is the page for the blog:
http://re-gun.com/2012/02/
Suggestion - scroll to near the bottom, "How the eye sees", and read the rest from bottom to top.
Lots of slow motion videos too, which I watched on YouTube at 1/4 speed to make them even slower.


For the first time I can understand what I'm supposed to see, and while I can't try any of it until January, I think I know enough now to be able to see what the rest of you do.    I was wrong - I thought I had "slow eyes", but apparently that's not the case at all.  There are suggestions on how to get into seeing things when you can't (like me).  I figure once I learn how to do it, I'll get better and do it naturally - like learning how to ride a bicycle.

The last post has something else I'm curious about - maybe I should ask in the reloading section, but according to the author, the type of powder you use can change how well you see the sights to call your shot.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by Magload on 10/29/2017, 1:23 pm

The type of powder effect the amount of gas you have to make the comp work.  Don
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by CR10X on 10/29/2017, 3:15 pm

but it's all a blur when the gun fires.

Therefore: 

You probably are blinking, and / or
You probably are flinching, and / or  
Your vision (ability to see what you need to see) is probably not adequate.

The loads are immaterial at this point.  

Get a .22 and get start seeing the muzzle flash. 

And the instant the gun fires is only the last millisecond of the entire process you should be seeing.  

Yes you can start now.  Get a pencil and sharpen it to a point.  Hold it upright in the hand so you can see the point about an inch above your hand against a blank wall.  SEE the point moving against the blank wall.  See your heartbeat?  

Add a exercise / hand gripper / finger exerciser to the mix.  See the pencil point moving  as pressure is applied with the forefinger.  

When stopped at a LED traffic light.  Try to see the center LED of the group.  

Really watch a humming bird when moving, not just when its hovering.

Learn to see the seams on the baseball as it leaves the pitcher's hand. 

Watch the original Charles Bronson "Mechanic" movie.  Get a ball of wax and follow the instructions.

None of the above involves actual shooting.  But they contain the essence of shooting well.

"Wax on.  Wax off."
"Eye, always look eye."

CR

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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by zanemoseley on 10/29/2017, 9:17 pm

Mike, if you're not shooting at minimum expert scores I can guarantee you're flinching. If you don't believe me do some ball and dummy training, you'll see it in action.

For me calling the shot has nothing to do with the dot, its and internal "feel" for where my shot went. Sometimes I call it right and sometimes not, a high master can likely call all shots accurately, even borderline 10 shots.

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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by john bickar on 10/29/2017, 9:22 pm

"COME BACK!!!"
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by Wobbley on 10/29/2017, 11:09 pm

john bickar wrote:"COME BACK!!!"
Best call of most of my shots.

lol!

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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/29/2017, 11:15 pm

zanemoseley wrote:Mike, if you're not shooting at minimum expert scores I can guarantee you're flinching. If you don't believe me do some ball and dummy training, you'll see it in action.

For me calling the shot has nothing to do with the dot, its and internal "feel" for where my shot went. Sometimes I call it right and sometimes not, a high master can likely call all shots accurately, even borderline 10 shots.

I certainly used to flinch.  I went to the range with 100 rounds of hardball, and loaded up 8 magazines with a different number of rounds, so I wouldn't know when I was "out".  Mixed up the magazines.  By the time I finished, the rounds no longer bothered me, the gun lost most of its weight, and the flinch was gone.  

My eyes are not that good (but not that bad even though I was born with diplopia), and the only way I can see the front sight clearly is with my progressive lenses, looking through just the right part of them.  I will be getting new polycarbonate shooting glasses in a week or two.  I also have "floaters" which blur my vision.

I brought this gizmo with me - made it from a mobile phone case, a ruler, and a business card for getting the prescription.  The card is at the distance to the front sight.  I'll let the person doing the refraction do whatever they usually do, but with this held out in front of me.  I definitely need this for the 1911.  I already have a pair that works reasonably well with the red dot sight on my 22, and hopefully on my new 1911 that I don't have yet.



I have been trying for 20 years to "call the shot" but have never been able to see what I'm supposed to see.  On the other hand, I never knew what to look for.  Thanks to the link above, I think I know that now.  I will try this with my Matchdot II on my M-41 when I return, brightness turned way up, and watching for the "trail" as to where the dot moved.  Usually my brightness is turned way down - for this, I'll turn it up as far as I can, then gradually lower it.

Minimum expert scores?  I have no idea.  My shooting was not improving until I followed the advice from so many people here, shooting with a 6-o'clock hold.  I never understood the purpose, until I shot at a blank piece of paper, and saw a huge improvement.  This was at 25 yards.  I have no idea if my grouping met implied a minimum expert score.  I know Jon instantly saw the improvement - maybe he could say if I met your requirement.  My grouping from the 1911 was 4", at 25 yards, shooting at the center of the bull. 

I usually do know when a shot was fired badly, so that's a start, I'm trying to watch the sights, but I want to be able to do what you guys do, and know where the hole is going to be before looking at the target!

(This is two handed - with one hand I fill up the center half of an 8 1/2" x 11" paper at 25 yards.  I've only live-fired this way twice now, but I've been dry-firing to improve.  At least the gun stays reasonably still.)

With the red dot sight, I can even see my heartbeat!!
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/30/2017, 4:12 am

Added later...

I spent about 20 minutes playing this video over and over, at full speed and also at 1/4 speed.  The interesting part starts at 1:25 into the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q1XC8k-tZc


As he describes it, the goal is to see the exact spot the sights were at as the bullet fired and the barrel/front sight started to lift.  Until now, I thought we were supposed to see the front sight moving upwards, which I can't - it's a blur in this video too.  Maybe just capturing in the mind what the sights were like in that split second before, is good enough?

Now I'm anxious to get home.  Watching the section with the red dot sight, eventually got me to "feel" what is going on.  


Maybe it's the camera, or maybe it's me, but the third shot fired with iron sights hits way up near the top, almost off the paper.  I figured that should be obvious from watching, but even in slow motion, the front sight doesn't seem to be to be THAT far too high.  I'm sure it must have been, but the camera is only running at 30fps at most, and maybe it didn't capture the image at that split second.

--------------------

One more thing - this guy shows a stable "dot" over the target, pointing at where the hole is going to appear.  Five months ago, my dot was dancing all over the target, anything but stable.  I was doing my best to keep it in an "area", but with the dot acting like a drunken bug, calling the shot would have been impossible for me even if I knew then what I know now.  Maybe this was a contributing factor to why I never could do this properly before.  

How do you guys deal with a dot that isn't stable?
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by SteveT on 10/30/2017, 7:52 am

One of the phrases I use for self-talk is "a good call is a good shot". If I make a good call, it means my attention is on the right thing, target/dot or sights, and it helps keep my focus away from the score number, As I was developing in Bullseye I somewhat regularly did shot call drills. Place a target on the bench and have 5 pieces of brass. After each shot, before looking at the target, look down and place a piece of brass where you called the shot. Then scope the target. As you get better shoot five shots before scoping. I mostly did this with iron sights, but when I did it with a dot indoors, I had to turn off the light on my target to avoid seeing the hole.

When learning to call shots it was like I had a running video and after the shot I would replay the last second or so in my head and see where the sights were just before the gun went crazy. As I got better I found that I mentally take a "snapshot" of the sights just before the gun jumps, which does a kind of freeze frame in my mind and it has become automatic. If there is no snapshot after a shot I know either my focus was in the wrong place or I blinked.

CR10X
Watch the original Charles Bronson "Mechanic" movie.  Get a ball of wax and follow the instructions.
I haven't found wax that was soft enough to squeeze, I guess I am as weak as Jan Michael Vincent at the end of the movie - One of the great movie endings. I use Power Putty, starting with the blue and moving up to the green as I got stronger. I've never done it regularly enough to move beyond green. I also found that one package was too small. About 1.5 packages was the same size as a pistol grip in my hand. It doesn't help me call shots, but when I grip the pistol hard it locks my wrist and makes the trigger feel lighter.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/30/2017, 8:01 am

SteveT wrote:.......Place a target on the bench and have 5 pieces of brass. After each shot, before looking at the target, look down and place a piece of brass where you called the shot. Then scope the target. .....

.......after the shot I would replay the last second or so in my head and see where the sights were just before the gun went crazy......

I will start doing both when I get back to USA.    Thanks!!
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by 285wannab on 10/30/2017, 9:58 am

Not sure if bifocals and progressive glasses are the best choice for shooting glasses.  If it were me I would try a single prescription with a merit or eye pal.

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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/30/2017, 10:15 am

I can say from my own experience, progressive lenses are very much NOT the best choice, but at the time it was all I had to make the 1911 front sight clear.  Yes, I'm getting single prescription lenses.  This is in India, and I will look up "merit" and "eye pal", assuming they're accessories.

As to "bifocal", the "double D" lenses I was told are wonderful, but I can't get them here.  

Lots of ideas here:
http://www.allaboutvision.com/over40/work_bifocals.htm
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by SteveT on 10/30/2017, 11:37 am

Bifocals with distance prescription in the middle and reading prescription in the bifocal are OK for dots, but require raising the head and looking through the bifocal to focus on the front sight. Single focus lenses with the optimum open sights prescription in the center of the lens is better.

Progressive lenses also require raising the head to get a close focus but raising and lower the head a little changes the prescription of the lens. Not the best solution.

Merit, which I don't think are still produced, or eye-pals put a small aperture in front of the eye, which increases depth of focus. This will help bring the front sight in focus if the prescription is not right, but it also brings the target more in focus, which can distract the shooter away from the front sight, and it also reduces the amount of light reaching the eye, which can make it hard to see indoors or in poor lighting  conditions.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 10/30/2017, 11:54 am

Gehman makes an adjustable/clip-on iris that works like the Merit.
A problem I have when I use the aperture is that it screws with my depth perceptions causing slight vertigo.
I do see the sights & target better but it doesn't help if I'm dizzier than usual.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by zanemoseley on 10/30/2017, 4:26 pm



I certainly used to flinch.  

Mike, not trying to be a jerk but if you believe you don't flinch the proof will be in your scores. You should have a higher CF and 45 score than your 22 score, after all the hole is bigger.


Last edited by zanemoseley on 10/30/2017, 5:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by RustyJoints on 10/30/2017, 5:02 pm

I'm not sure if this is he same thing as calling your shots but lately I have been able to see the bullet going down range during timed and rapid fire. Not always but very often, both indoor and out. It's actually kind of distracting. Has anyone else experienced this? I recently switched from ultradots to aimpoints and wonder if it has to do with the zero magnification change of the aimpoint.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by zanemoseley on 10/30/2017, 6:02 pm

RustyJoints wrote:I'm not sure if this is he same thing as calling your shots but lately I have been able to see the bullet going down range during timed and rapid fire. Not always but very often, both indoor and out. It's actually kind of distracting. Has anyone else experienced this? I recently switched from ultradots to aimpoints and wonder if it has to do with the zero magnification change of the aimpoint.
Kind of along these lines when I practice timed & rapid fire at the range I've noticed when I get the hole in the middle of the target large enough I can start seeing the bullet splash into the berm, pretty cool, gives me confidence that I'm starting to overcome my flinch and my scores are reflecting it, shot a personal best 2520 last weekend.

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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by Jon Eulette on 10/30/2017, 6:34 pm

Shooting good longline is no different than great shortline. You have to know what a 10 looks like and feels like. When I'm shooting good my brass ejects into neat little pile (I shoot outdoors in boonies mostly). When I call a shot bad the ejected brass in most cases is not in the pile. I know this might sound silly but I always look for that flyer piece of brass Smile
So basically I can tell from the way the pistol recoils whether the shot was bad or not. I know it was bad by feeling that something wasn't the same as my good shots. Calling shots is where was the dot when pistol fired or where was the dot going when fired. If you don't have an accurate pistol you'll never be able to truly call a shot. So shoot the shot. Think about where you think you hit; 10 @ 3 O clock. Then look through the spotting scope to verify. You can't just go through the motions......be disciplined. By the way most shooters expert & below shoot SF way to fast. Learn to be disciplined and work each shot until its right. SF is work! Nothing wrong with working Wink
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/30/2017, 10:19 pm

zanemoseley wrote:


I certainly used to flinch.  

Mike, not trying to be a jerk but if you believe you don't flinch the proof will be in your scores. You should have a higher CF and 45 score than your 22 score, after all the hole is bigger.

First, in this forum, I've hardly ever thought someone was "being a jerk".  Please say whatever you think, and don't worry about how I'll react to it.  You guys can't be any harder on me than I already am on myself - but that doesn't mean that I always agree with everything here, just "usually".

I can't definitely say that I don't flinch, any more than I can definitely say that I don't blink.  I do know that long ago, both were problems.  The more comfortable I am with the gun, the less of an issue either seems to be.



Maybe the problem I was experiencing with calling the shots was contributed by "wobble".  The "how to" videos I posted were mostly quite steady, and yep, I mostly knew where the hole was going to be.  For me, the first thing is to get steady enough to be able to see these things.  When I first put my Matchdot II on my Model 41, that stupid dot must have been drunk or something!!    It danced all over the place, and all I could do was to try to keep the dance centered on where I was trying to hit.  Then, over time, the dot got more civilized, and started to act like an aiming point.  Nowadays it is better, but not always stable.  The more stable it gets, the more I can shoot as if I was holding the gun in a rest. I can check my heart rate by watching the dot, which I found very strange.  People say to shoot between heartbeats, but I'm not talented enough to even attempt that.

There's still "blinking", which doesn't seem to be an issue with light loads, and "flinching" which is always on my mind, anticipating the shot.  When that bothers me, I concentrate on delaying the shot as much as possible, trying to press on the trigger so, so, gradually the the gun doesn't fire for as long as possible.  When it does, it's a complete surprise.  Makes for interesting practice, but I don't want to rely on it.  The more I follow what's discussed in these forums, the more confident I get, and better the grouping.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/30/2017, 10:24 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:.......When I'm shooting good my brass ejects into neat little pile (I shoot outdoors in boonies mostly).....

Wow, that's interesting.  I used to look for my brass all over the place, behind me, to my right, and anywhere in-between.  Lately it has been concentrated in an area maybe five square feet, 45 degrees behind me to my right, maybe 12 feet away.  A lot of it is very close together, and then it spreads out.  Maybe I'll take a photo next time.

(Makes it easier to collect my brass, but I never put two and two together like you just did!)
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by mikemyers on 10/31/2017, 7:45 am

I was re-reading the link I posted earlier, and found this little gem which I missed last time:

     
If there’s not enough contrast between the brightness of the target, and the darkness of the sights in that exact period of time, the sights can move faster than your eye can keep up, and they appear to be a blur once all that information is decoded by the brain.



I don't know if this is THE reason I've never been able to do this, but it probably contributes, shooting with dark front sight on dark bull.  You guys suggested I shoot 6:o'clock hold, and it worked SO much better for me.  Maybe this concept is why I don't "see".  As I wrote, I'm seeing a "blur" and obviously you're seeing the movement.

For you guys reading this, does this apply to your experience?  

If so, follow-up question - if you shoot the standard target at 25 yards, and the standard target at 50 yards, does the black bull appear equally large, so if you shoot 6:o'clock, you'll hit the X either way?   ....or do you need to make an adjustment to the sights?
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by RustyJoints on 10/31/2017, 9:04 am

For my ball gun I need to come up 4 clicks.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by SteveT on 10/31/2017, 10:44 am

mikemyers wrote:
I don't know if this is THE reason I've never been able to do this, but it probably contributes, shooting with dark front sight on dark bull.

That is why I shoot, and recommend, sub-6. My POA is low enough that my wobble is entirely in the white. I can always see my sights clearly. Shooting 6 o'clock the top of the front sight keeps disappearing.

You will have to adjust you sights. When shooting sub-6 I adjust DOWN at 50 and UP at 25, about 4 clicks. That is not a typo. It is the exact opposite of what we normally do.
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by Chris Miceli on 10/31/2017, 11:16 am

Before selling my wadgun i wanted to shoot it one last time, i didn't have my scope on it. Just pointed it at the target with no scope.. still shot a 99 (25 yard) sights are overrated =]
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Re: Calling the Shot 201 (advanced)

Post by CR10X on 10/31/2017, 2:26 pm

Just pointed it at the target with no scope.. still shot a 99 (25 yard) sights are overrated =]

Well done Grasshopper.  You have learned to hold the gun in the proper orientation (parallel to the intended line of flight or "keeping the sights aligned" even if they are not there) and not let the grip or trigger operation screw it up.  Well done!

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