How to improve sustained fire with .45?

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How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Oleg G on 5/30/2018, 4:44 pm

I have been training a lot, dry firing at home, mainly focusing on slow fire and one-shot drills. Usually 3-5 times per week with a weekly trip to the range.
The focus of my training has been trigger control.
The results are very encouraging: last weekend I shot my best-ever score, which combined with the results of the previous match entitles me to the Sharpshooter rank. I shot my first-ever Expert-level score with the .22 in this match. I am very happy.

My Slow Fire scores are at the same level with .22 and .45 = mid 80s. Need additional work but my training regiment will get this better, I know it.
The area where I need to improve are sustained fire with .45.
For the past few months, I have been using a .22 conversion and the .45 upper on the same frame, with the same trigger - just a hair over 3.5lb.
My .22 scores now average in the mid to high 90s for Timed and Rapid fire, and the .45 scores average in the mid to high 80s.
With the .45 first shots of every string are an X or a 10 about 95% of the time, from which I conclude that one-shot dry fire drills are paying dividend.

Clearly, my immediate focus needs to be on the .45 sustained fire, as well as continuing dry fire training. The only difference between .22 and .45 with my current setup is the stronger recoil of the .45. I don't have a flinch problem (at least not big enough to need immediate attention) - my shots are not low left - just the groups open up more in sustained fire strings with the .45.

What I need help with: how can I change my dry fire training to benefit my .45 sustained fire? Considering that I can get to the range no more often that once per week, I need suggestions on what to do away from the range.

Thanks in advance for the help, folks!
Oleg.
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by CR10X on 5/30/2018, 6:52 pm

A lot of issues with .45 sustained fire can be traced to the grip pressure and consistency.  We can get by with some things in the grip area when shooting .22 and even .45 SF, but .45 sustained fire requires some definite training on grip pressure and consistency in order to get consistency in recoil recovery and trigger operation.  

Enhance your dryfire training by increasing the grip pressure (but keep it consistently increased) while dryfiring with the .45.  

Keys to .45 sustained fire.  

(1) Complete, firm and consistent grip while

(2) consistently and purposely operating the trigger.

Otherwise known as:

GRIP, TRIGGER, TRIGGER, TRIGGER, TRIGGER, TRIGGER, Check Grip   (To confirm you ended with the same grip pressure, hand and fingers, that you started with.)

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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Oleg G on 5/30/2018, 8:10 pm

Thank you, Cecil. Your note just found its way into my journal. Smile
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by LenV on 5/30/2018, 11:10 pm

To grip the .45. Increase grip pressure until the pistol begins to shake. Decrease until movement stops. Fire 5 shots. Repeat. Repeat x 5000+. Your grip will slowly increase over time until eventually you will know when your gripping it hard enough. Grippers and rubber balls that you squeeze work also but I always felt it was better to do it with the pistol in your hand. YMMV

Len
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Jack H on 5/31/2018, 12:03 am

Do your sights move when you increase your grip.  Hopefully to where the sights should be.
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Tim:H11 on 5/31/2018, 7:54 am

For me I’m the beginning I had a slow recovery after the shot. Mostly because of my habits with muzzleloaders. With a muzzleloader the gun goes bang, it recoils up and away from the target, and “parks”. We ride out the recoil with no effort to recover for a follow up shot because there isn’t a follow up shot. Only a reload followed by starting the shot process over. 

So for me I had a bad habbit of riding out the recoil and slowly coming back to target. It delayed me and caused me to rush shots and mash on the trigger. This of course leads to bad shots, flinching,  etc. 

Like Cecil said, it’s in grip. But I’d like to add that you have to have a fast and direct recovery. And grip will aid to that. So will your stance and/or position. You have to be able to bring the gun and sights back to target quickly and near directly. This will give you a little more time in sustained fire to operate the trigger correctly to make better shots. 

At least it did for me. 

I was watching Greg Markowski of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit Service Pistol Team shoot a couple of months ago. When he fired a shot his gun and hand together were like they were attached to a rubber band. Gun would recoil up and away but not hesitate at the peak before recovering. It was a snap of the gun up and away and then an immediate return. Even in slow fire. 

Working on my body position to have a better return, and rip so as not to lose any position on the gun or control, and focousing on recovering quickly, have me time to make better shots. My timed fire scores are now upper 90’s and 100’s with an occasional low scoring target - typically at the end of a match where I tire. 

It’s in grip, recovery, and as always - trigger control.
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Oleg G on 5/31/2018, 8:19 am

Jason, thanks a lot, your advice fully resonates with me. Faster recovery is exactly what I need with .45 sustained fire, as compared with .22. It is definitely hampering me and is the big difference between my execution in .22 and .45.
I now also understand the importance of a tighter grip and can train that in dry fire.
How do I train for faster recovery without live fire?
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by dronning on 5/31/2018, 9:01 am

FYI, something to keep in mind.
When I watch other people shooting SLOW FIRE the number of them that don't recover back to the target after a shot is alarming.  I see many M/HM take another shot in SF because it's there when they recover back to the target.
- Dave
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/31/2018, 9:29 am

dronning wrote:FYI, something to keep in mind.
When I watch other people shooting SLOW FIRE the number of them that don't recover back to the target after a shot is alarming.  I see many M/HM take another shot in SF because it's there when they recover back to the target.
- Dave
I only recover back to the target if i know i'm shooting a second shot. If not the gun comes down.
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by bruce martindale on 5/31/2018, 6:46 pm

See my post on shoulder effect, using a soft shoulder and elbow added damping in small caliber shooting but made recovery difficult with the 45.

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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Jon Eulette on 5/31/2018, 7:30 pm

Focus on feeling the trigger break on all 5 shots.....just shoot 5 shots no time limit with consistent trigger pressure/squeeze. Then focus on the recoil for shooting 5 shots no time limit......did they all recoil the same. 
You are training yourself to be consistent/repeatable. Once you can shoot 5 good shots start shooting TF pace. Try to get them off in 12-14 seconds. Keep the trigger moving even during recoil. Then shoot RF in 9-9.5 seconds. Don’t rush the first shots! First shot is the hardest and 2-4 the easy ones. Make first shot an X and keep trigger moving. So pre-load half the trigger weight for first shot before targets turn. Makes it easier especially for RF. Do not rush the shot, break it smooth and follow with 4 more smooth shots. The process is simple, so don’t over think it. 
Jon
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Oleg G on 5/31/2018, 7:59 pm

Thanks, Jon. The process is simple, the consistency is hard Smile
I will definitely train with no time limit, following your recipe, to get the good habits ingrained instead of the not so good ones, brought on by the feeling of being rushed by the time pressure.

Oleg.
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Ed Hall on 5/31/2018, 9:00 pm

My suggestions are a little bit different:

As to home sustained dry fire, I previously wrote:

Ed Hall wrote:I do sustained dry fire training with a string tied around the rear sight (or, somewhere on the slide).  I have the other end tied to a magazine and held in my off hand against my chest with some slack.  When the hammer falls, I hesitate a moment for follow through and then tug on the string to cycle the slide.

As to range time, I suggest a drill described here:

Re: What do you practice at the range?

But, I also second what Jon wrote as to firing five shots comfortably to help learn consistency for some of your training.

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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Allgoodhits on 7/11/2018, 10:17 am

Excellent. Thank you Ed, Jon and others.
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by zanemoseley on 7/11/2018, 8:41 pm

Lots of great advice so far. I will add one thing. Flaws in your process are exaggerated in rapid fire and to an extent timed fire. For a lot of new and intermediate shooters this means your flinch is magnified and brought front and center, you have to get the shots off in a rapid pace so don't have lots of time to "massage" the trigger into going off as smooth as you might like. 

For me there has been no magic bullet for eliminating my flinch, it just takes quality time behind the trigger. However you might as well work on the fundamentals above, you can build on your fundamentals while training away from your flinch.

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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by BE Mike on 7/12/2018, 7:31 am

Getting a good first shot off quickly is essential and each trigger press should begin before the sights are perfectly aligned for the following shots. As as been stated, having a good grip and stance so the pistol falls into the aiming area after each shot is essential. For dry fire, you might want to use a revolver and set of commands or other shot timer. Using a turning target for live fire training is helpful. Work on keeping your eye(s) open during the process. Just 2 cents from a has been.
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Re: How to improve sustained fire with .45?

Post by Toz35m on 7/13/2018, 10:36 am

2 things I have learned.

Grip: I was gripping too hard when I would have the gun loaded.  It did not feel like it but I must have had a different amount of grip pressure.  When dry firing everything looked great dot was still.  Then when I would shoot the dot would move all over the place.  my grip was increasing and messing me up.

training: For me I focused on 2 shot drills for many times at the range. Sometimes never firing more the 2 shots at a time.  I would load up 6 rounds and then proceed to shot 3-2 shot drills. I think this teaches you how to recover from the previous shot to the point is all you are working on is just the recovery.  After a few or more like several sessions where you are always shooting 10's then add a round so you are shooting 3 shots. You can then go to 4 shots and then up to 5.  Once you are at 5 then you need to work on not feeling rushed in Rapid fire.
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