Slow fire at timed fire pace?

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Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by hp246 on 3/28/2018, 4:54 pm

I am a club shooter.  I shoot mostly club matches and a couple of specific outdoor matches each year.  My weakest match is slow fire with my .22 (Walther GSP).  I am shooting in the high 80s and low 90 in timed and rapid, which I tend to shoot at the same pace.  In my slow fire, for some reason I tend to through one shot out of the scoring rings, usually at 4 o'clock. It is not consistent, as the first or last shot in the string.  I am usually able to call my shot, but I am not able to call this one consistently.  I am contemplating shooting my slow fire at the same pace as my timed fire.  Any thoughts on this strategy.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by dronning on 3/28/2018, 5:26 pm

There are some very good shooters that have used that strategy.  
Most likely the issue is your are trying to dress up the shot, which NEVER works because you are always behind the gun with what you see.  When you begin to pass the X ring you snatch the shot which will put you way out and often low.  It's called "stink'n think'n" and when you shoot timed or rapid fire you don't have time to let your thinking get in the way.

When new shooters begin to get their trigger and grip figured out their first clean targets will usually be a rapid target or a timed fired at a rapid pace.
- Dave
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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Wobbley on 3/28/2018, 7:07 pm

Maybe a good technique is to apply a “first sustained shot drill” to your slow.  In sustained fire first shot drill you raise the gun somewhere around “ready on the left”, settle on the target at “ready on the firing line” then squeeze the shot off within 3 seconds of that.  The theory is that you then get the shot off in about 1 second of Target turn.  

For slow fire from the time you think “ready on the firing line” you time a thought on the same interval “sights trigger, sights,trigger! Rest!”  if  the gun hasn’t gone bang by the time you get to rest you abort the shot.  Wobble in the 9 ring is ok...major movement towards the 8 ring or worse indicates a poor hold, grip or stance.  Abort the shot and try again.  If the same issue repeats fix the root cause.
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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Ed Hall on 3/28/2018, 9:13 pm

Some thoughts:

(This first one is my words, but something Brian Zins' described)  (It fits in with the previous post...)

In an effort to achieve consistency, you should develop a routine where all your first shots are identical.  This translates to building a first shot based on the sustained fire target turn, for your slow fire shots.  When this is fully developed, your raise and shot break for sustained fire will match the raise and shot break for your slow fire.  This routine matches when you raise during the five firing commands with how you raise and fire your slow fire shots.

Steve Reiter told the AF Team, that you should never fire more than a pre-determined number of shots during slow fire.  If you decide to fire two, don't fire three, etc.  I often fire two shots with the second printing better than the first, but if things look good and I fire a third, without expecting to do so ahead of time, I'm often disappointed.  Sometimes I decide to fire as long as the settle looks good, but I almost always end up firing one too many when I try this.

Bill Blankenship and Jason Meidinger both told us in similar words that we should start the trigger, expecting full well that the shot will happen and then try for the best sight picture before it does.

I once had a fellow league member complain that his first slow fire shot was "always" a ten, but he couldn't back it up.  I suggested starting over for every shot as though it was the first and he saw some success in this manner.

Remember that if you follow your process and it produces a good shot, you should follow the process again, instead of deciding to "do the same thing as last time."  There is a big difference between the two concepts.

Probably enough for now...

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by hp246 on 3/28/2018, 9:21 pm

Thanks for the responses.  I've been working on shot process and starting the trigger before the dot arrives in the black, with the shot breaking as the dot hits the black.  Seems to have helped with first shot and my timed and rapid fire sequences.  I seem to have trouble repeating this same process 10 times for the slow fire.  My bad I guess, as I just don't seem to have the attention span to repeat 10 times.  When I'm shooting timed and rapid, I seem to have a pretty good cadence that I seem to get into.  Maybe as Ed Hall says try to fire two shots in slow fire.  Just seems like I need to reduce the number of times I go through my shot sequence.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by TexasShooter on 3/28/2018, 10:11 pm

Ed Hall wrote:
...Bill Blankenship and Jason Meidinger both told us in similar words that we should start the trigger, expecting full well that the shot will happen and then try for the best sight picture before it does.

Dadgum that makes a lot of sense. First time I've heard it put that way but it sure clicks in my pea-sized brain better than "keep the trigger moving" or "always be pressing the trigger" or all the other stuff I've heard. Doesn't mean I can do it any better but at least I kind of understand it.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by zanemoseley on 3/28/2018, 10:16 pm

The ideals of high masters are often difficult to execute by lower classified shooters, they sound good on paper but are sometime hard to make happen especially when you get frustrated. I have had issues just as you describe, I've gotten so frustrated in slow fire (usually with the 45 at 50 yards) that I've resorted to shooting relatively as if it were timed fire, perhaps putting the pistol down once per 5 shots, often with better results. I don't believe its a good long term strategy but not a bad idea on a case to case basis, after all most of us are trying to get better while also enjoying yourself, getting frustrated is definitely not fun nor does it help your score.

I feel the culprit is usually that you're trying to make your shots too perfect and/or jerking the trigger due to recoil anticipation. Lots of quality practice is a good cure. Read and aspire to the ideals of high masters but don't live or die by them, they are the end goal, do what you have to do during a match to keep it fun and productive.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 3/29/2018, 9:06 am

I can't say if my experience has any use or value for you, but having recently gone through similar slow fire shooting conniptions and gotten through that issue, here is what I did:  I focused on maintaining a smooth trigger squeeze, and once committed (i.e. sights on target), continued the squeeze. 

Part of that trigger process (or micro-process) is building/developing confidence that when the shot breaks it will be in the black (or at least in the scoring rings).  I 'invested' in air pistol shooting to the point where these random misses showed up - not to the same exaggerated version occurring during league matches, but were seen.  Through trial-and-error (or, maybe it was a methodical approach), it became clear that a smooth squeeze of the trigger was paramount compared to the exact placement of the sights or the sight alignment.  Rational thought and being able to objectively look at one's target makes that statement obvious, but sometimes those trees keep blocking the view of the forest. 

The 'trick' of course is training/getting a smooth squeeze without any muscle twitch/jerk/movement and trusting that the shot will be 'OK' even though the sight picture isn't perfect or the sights perfectly aligned.  That takes practice and building confidence that a smooth trigger squeeze is 'the most important part of shooting'.  Focusing on the trigger squeeze (and letting the grip, stance, sights, breath, etc. just happen) stopped those random slow fire misses - which never showed up in timed or rapid fire.  Of course, YMMV, etc.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Virgil Kane on 3/29/2018, 10:32 am

At least with me I tend to loose concentration and miss big in SF.  The term "aim small miss small" is true.  When I concentrate I can see the white rings and numbers in the black at 50' and at 50 yards, the X in the black at 25 yards. When I recognize these and aim for them I get good scores. When I loose concentration I just aim for the whole black and try to keep the dot centered and get bad scores. I think most newer shooters shoot better TF and RF because they don't have to concentrate as long and they are focused on the middle of the black. With SF most think as long as it's in the black it's good so they aim at the whole black and not a small spot on the black.

Try picking spot smaller than the whole black and see how you do.  I was amazed that in practice when I aimed at the NRA logo in the lower right hand corner on a B-2 or B-3 target at 50' that I could hit it at a consistent  basis with a very small group but when I aimed at the black and not concentrate  I would use all of the black with several outside the black. Try picking a smaller target than the whole black and see if your scores don't improve.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by davekp on 3/30/2018, 6:23 am

Comparing slow fire SCORES to timed or rapid SCORES is a mistake. Your SCORE in slow fire will be lower. The targets or distances are different.
I asked the AMU at the Small Arms Firing School at Perry "What are your goals for your students?" They said 92 SF, 99 Timed, and 98 rapid.
If you can do this you will shoot 2600.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by hp246 on 3/31/2018, 7:51 pm

davekp wrote:Comparing slow fire SCORES to timed or rapid SCORES is a mistake. Your SCORE in slow fire will be lower. The targets or distances are different.
I asked the AMU at the Small Arms Firing School at Perry "What are your goals for your students?" They said 92 SF, 99 Timed, and 98 rapid.
If you can do this you will shoot 2600.
I understand Dave.  But what I'm really comparing is groups. For some reason, I'm throwing flyers outside the scoring rings on slow fire.  My groups shrink an I'm not throwing flyers in  timed and rapid fire.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by john bickar on 3/31/2018, 10:26 pm

davekp wrote:Your SCORE in slow fire will be lower.

If you believe this, it will be true.
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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by davekp on 4/1/2018, 3:31 am

john bickar wrote:
davekp wrote:Your SCORE in slow fire will be lower.

If you believe this, it will be true.
Well............
Apparently the AMU believes it too.
And, looking at my Camp Perry results, Slow Fire scores are always lower, at least for the winners in each caliber.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by CR10X on 4/1/2018, 7:36 am

Of course Slow Fire scores are lower, the rings are the same size and the target is twice as far away.  That makes it almost 4 times harder to get the same score.  Remember the winners are cleaning the short line and maximizing their X count.  

If you want a true test, then shoot the standard B-8 at 25 for TF / RF and then shoot the same pace on the B-16.  I'll bet you might find some interesting results with respect to any "flyer" hits.  Look at the location of those hits with respect to those flyers when shooting slow fire.  It's just easier to see whats outside of a group at 50 yards, sometimes a lot easier.  But I'll bet the issues are still there, although maybe not magnified as much. 

As shooter start out, they might find better scores and groups shooting faster at 50 yards because they don't have a good grasp of what they need to see as part of the shot process, trigger operation, grip control (yes I said control, etc., to generate a 10 at 50 consistently.   

But if you want to improve and shoot great Slow Fire scores, then learning to shoot a 10 at 50 at a slow fire pace is important.  Then you just keep doing that over and over again.  Training for slow fire at TF / RF pace does not allow a shooter the time to assess each shot to determine what produces the best outcome.  Basically, the shooter is probably not recognizing something that is happening at the 25 yard line, but is not recognized due to the more generous scoring area versus the distance.  And the extra time allows the shooter assess the shot process and not complete a shot that does not produce the best possible scores, therefore keeping the potential for getting 10 points.  

If you want good slow fire scores, then learn to clean the 25 yard line.  If you want to clean the 25 yard line, then learn to shoot good slow fire.  They go hand in hand.  

Again, its just 4 times harder to shoot at 10 at 50, so we have to see the process 4 times better to recognize when the sights / dot are headed to the right place.  We feel more comfortable with what a 10 looks like at 25 yards, so we tend to have better trigger and shot process at the short line.  

Since things look different at 50 and it takes more training to recognize what a 10 looks like at 50, we tend to hesitate and anticipate and try to control too much.  And that's why at some point in a shooters progress they seem to shoot better using a faster pace at 50.  

But not moving past that point with training and continued work will (and does) limit the progress of a shooter to even higher scores and classifications.  Recognition of the limitations of the current techniques and process a shooter has and its limits on their current performance is the biggest obstacle to improvement.  Just because something works and makes the score better in the short term does not mean it is the final product.  

Every time our scores are improving, we are learning something.  Every time our scores and performance reaches a plateau or starts falling, its a signal we need to try something new or learn something different (or make sure the dang scope screws are tight). The hard part is figuring out what. 

Anyway, just some thoughts early in the morning.  

CR


Last edited by CR10X on 4/1/2018, 7:41 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Wobbley on 4/1/2018, 7:37 am

I believe what John is alluding to is that if you BELIEVE your score will be lower, it will,ALWAYS be lower. You’ll never improve your long line to where you can clean it.

When you get to the 2640 level or so you will be able to shoot 100s at 50 fairly often. 100-0X always beats 99-9X. So when you shoot 100 at fifty followed by 99 in TF and 98 in RF what you just said will no longer be true while posting a 297 score. But not while BELIEVING that your scores at 50 are ALWAYS lower. Because you will take that errant shot rather than abort and try again.
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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by CR10X on 4/1/2018, 7:50 am

Actually Jon Shue and I talked about something like this last week.   

He said something along the lines of "There are 2 ways to shoot a 295 NMC.   95, 100, 100 or 100, 98, 97.   But you feel better about doing it the first way.   Because when you do it the second way (98 TF & 97 RF) it really sucks that you gave up those easy points and should have cleaned the whole thing."  

On the other hand, I'd generally be happy with either option.

CR

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by javaduke on 4/1/2018, 4:04 pm

Well, folks, I won't say I'm capable of shooting 295 NMC, but yesterday I was practicing at the long line with my 1911 and just for kicks decided to shoot one slow fire target at the timed fire pace. So I shot 5 shots without putting the gun down, just fired a shot, recover, shot again till the gun was empty, then reloaded and shot another 5, all within less than 30 seconds. Then I looked through the scope...96-3X!!! Then I brought the target back to the short line, but was unable to shoot anything more than 90...guess I was trying too hard.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by tomd999 on 4/23/2018, 6:52 pm

Hiya,

I changed to shooting slow at a timed fire pace after I had a shoulder injury and it's following surgery. My shoulder was significantly weaker and much less steady for months after. I couldn't hold my aiming area after 2 or 3 slow fire shots however, I found that if I fired them a little slower than timed fire pace, about 25 seconds or so, my "medium fire" hits were all in the black instead of the first 2 or 3 of the string being 10's and the rest being a mix of 6, 7's and 8's because my arm was waving all over. I also went through the process of making my pistols as light as possible to give me longer time before my arm would start to shake. It's taken about 18 months to get back to mid-90's in slow fire at a reasonably "normal" pace of about 8-1/2 minutes.

I would say try it, there is no minimum time for slow fire, (or any stage for that matter) you may find it works out for you. I would do the other shooters a favor though, make sure they know your planning on shooting at a timed fire pace before you do it, this way everyone is prepared and nobody thinks something is wrong.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by PMcfall on 4/23/2018, 7:07 pm

I have to think like this.  When I try to score, I don't shoot well.  However, when I quit trying to score and just accept my hold and let the shot break, I shoot well.  I think the underlying story is to accept your aiming area, pull the trigger correctly, and let it happen.
Phil
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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Keyholed on 4/27/2018, 6:25 am

Ed Hall wrote:Bill Blankenship and Jason Meidinger both told us in similar words that we should start the trigger, expecting full well that the shot will happen and then try for the best sight picture before it does.

Literally this. I don't really pay attention to the aiming point anymore, and it's been working to the tune of six or seven 10s or near-10s per SF.

It makes sense when you think about it. Doing otherwise means believing one of the following:

(1) You're capable of a consistent, predictable 10-ring hold, or
(2) The dot is a magical instrument that sees the future, because you're expecting it to tell you where you'll be aiming when the trigger breaks, which it hasn't yet.

As for TF/RF, I definitely don't use a sustained SF technique, because my TF/RF just isn't that consistent. Case in point, last week I shot two TF strings in practice. The first string was miserable--only two wild 10s, with a total of four points dropped. The second string was 5-X. I think I need to stop screwing around and do actual drills.

PS--I found it really helpful to forget about scoring targets when analyzing shots. Shots are either good or bad. The trick is getting to the point where bad shots are anything that's not a 10.

---

Side question, I know a lot of guys use the sustained SF technique. However, is that in any way related to preparing for the typically-windy Nationals?

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Jack H on 4/27/2018, 11:59 am

PMcfall wrote:I have to think like this.  When I try to score, I don't shoot well.  However, when I quit trying to score and just accept my hold and let the shot break, I shoot well.  I think the underlying story is to accept your aiming area, pull the trigger correctly, and let it happen.
Phil

Scoring is not my job.  Sight alignment and trigger control is.  Scoring is the result.

What gets complicated is explaining the details of sight alignment and trigger control.

Explaining sight alignment and trigger control in your own mind is stinking thinking.

There is no explaining.  Just doing.
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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Ed Hall on 4/27/2018, 4:38 pm

Jack H wrote:
Scoring is not my job.  Sight alignment and trigger control is.  Scoring is the result.

What gets complicated is explaining the details of sight alignment and trigger control.

Explaining sight alignment and trigger control in your own mind is stinking thinking.

There is no explaining.  Just doing.
There is a time and place for everything.  Being in the "now" is important.

If you examine your understanding of the fundamentals you will discover that even though you understood them before, you understand them differently now and into the future.  I remember many times thinking, "Oh, that's what that means!" about the phrase, "... without disturbing the sights."

To truly excel, you must let go.  When shooting, no shot is good or bad until it's evaluated.  Don't judge.  Simply observe and refine, as necessary.

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by chopper on 4/28/2018, 10:15 pm

Keyholed wrote:
Ed Hall wrote:Bill Blankenship and Jason Meidinger both told us in similar words that we should start the trigger, expecting full well that the shot will happen and then try for the best sight picture before it does.

Literally this. I don't really pay attention to the aiming point anymore, and it's been working to the tune of six or seven 10s or near-10s per SF.

It makes sense when you think about it. Doing otherwise means believing one of the following:

(1) You're capable of a consistent, predictable 10-ring hold, or
(2) The dot is a magical instrument that sees the future, because you're expecting it to tell you where you'll be aiming when the trigger breaks, which it hasn't yet.

As for TF/RF, I definitely don't use a sustained SF technique, because my TF/RF just isn't that consistent. Case in point, last week I shot two TF strings in practice. The first string was miserable--only two wild 10s, with a total of four points dropped. The second string was 5-X. I think I need to stop screwing around and do actual drills.

PS--I found it really helpful to forget about scoring targets when analyzing shots. Shots are either good or bad. The trick is getting to the point where bad shots are anything that's not a 10.

---

Side question, I know a lot of guys use the sustained SF technique. However, is that in any way related to preparing for the typically-windy Nationals?
   When you mentioned, you need to stop screwing around and do actual drills, are you referring to live 1 and 2 shot drills or are you doing a specific dry-fire technique ?
Stan

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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by john bickar on 4/28/2018, 10:29 pm

davekp wrote:
john bickar wrote:
davekp wrote:Your SCORE in slow fire will be lower.

If you believe this, it will be true.
Well............
Apparently the AMU believes it too.
And, looking at my Camp Perry results, Slow Fire scores are always lower, at least for the winners in each caliber.

To be completely honest, when I’m shooting I couldn’t give two shits what the AMU, or anyone else, believes.

I start every target clean, with the belief that I can shoot ten shots within the ten ring. I’m shooting for Xs.
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Re: Slow fire at timed fire pace?

Post by Jon Eulette on 4/29/2018, 8:52 am

I’ve seen a quote from Zins that people say he “said”.....and he didn’t. 
People state that “AMU”......
Commonly I don’t agree with a lot  of what’s said because I’ve been around long enough to know better regarding AMU said.....
AMU is made up of individuals. They all shoot whatever guns they want and shoot them the way they want. It’s an individual sport until team matches. You make the team based on individual effort/scores. MSGT Tom Woods won Perry shooting SF similar to TF. Mostly doubles and triples. He trained for a year like that just for Perry. It paid off. Only guy I know who’s done it that way. I remember him shooting SF at matches in less than 2 minutes. So however you decide to shoot be committed to your plan, but its gotta work! Don’t reinvent the wheel, learn from a Master. And finally if AMU said it, they probably didn’t. Bullseye has been shot the same since Christ was a Corporal. All the rocket science has already been figured out for us.
Jon
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