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Improving slow fire score?

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Wes Lorenz
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Mike38
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Post by Mike38 9/1/2018, 12:31 pm

First topic message reminder :

What can I do to improve my slow fire scores? Dry fire more often, yes, I should do that. But there must be something I'm missing. With a .22, right now my average SF score is probably around 78, and my timed and rapid scores are probably around 92. If I could get my SF scores up to match those on the short line, I would make Expert. I had a high master give me some advise on SF a few months ago. Basically he said treat each individual SF shot as I would the second shot of sustained fire. While bringing the sight down onto the target, start applying pressure on the trigger, and when timed just right, the shot will break when the front sight is at the six o'clock position. Don't over think, don't wait for that perfect sight picture, send the shot. Ok, that helped some, but what else can I do? Thanks.
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Post by bdas 9/4/2018, 2:48 pm

One thought that I haven't seen anyone bring up yet... have you checked the accuracy of your gun/ammo?  The 9-ring on a TF/RF target is fairly close in size to the 7-ring on a SF target.  So, if your gun is putting up ~3" groups at 25yd, you'll probably end up with low 90s in TF/RF and high 70s or low 80s in SF.

Another thought... don't just dry fire for the sake of dry firing.  Actually have a plan and train.  Dry fire is a great time to try grip or stance changes, or see how holding too long affects your trigger pull, or do match simulations, etc.  But have a plan.  When doing match simulation, make sure your dry fire training is realistic.  Breathe like you would in a match.  Raise like you would in match.  Shoot 10 consecutive slow fire shots, just like in a match.  Etc.

Otherwise, the above is all good advice... make sure your grip, stance, breathing, and process all have robot-like consistency, don't hold too long, accept your wobble, don't be afraid to abort for any reason (1% is way too low for a sharpshooter... the reason why you have 10 minutes is to make sure these are the 10 best shots you can make), and really commit to the shot once you've started pulling the trigger.  

When I was first starting out, I was very suspect about that committing-to-the-shot thing, but it doesn't take long once you start doing it, to realize that it really works; so give it a chance.  At one point, I literally would think the word "GOOD" when I thought my wobble was acceptable, and after that point, I was obligated to continue adding pressure to the trigger, without delay, until the shot happened (regardless of what my wobble looked like it was doing after that moment).  I was amazed at how often the actual shot was better than my call when I did this.  It helped my slow fire tremendously.

Dave

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Post by Chris Miceli 9/5/2018, 6:14 am

50 yard and 25 yard ring sizes are the same. you must mean 25 yard slow fire compared to 25 T/R


Last edited by Chris Miceli on 9/5/2018, 8:11 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by mspingeld 9/5/2018, 7:42 am

Yes, rings are the same size.
Improving slow fire score? - Page 2 Target10

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Post by dronning 9/5/2018, 8:21 am

Chris Miceli wrote:50 yard and 25 yard ring sizes are the same. you must mean 25 yard slow fire compared to 25 T/R
or a 50ft  3.070 verses 3.060
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Post by Chris Miceli 9/5/2018, 8:25 am

dronning wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:50 yard and 25 yard ring sizes are the same. you must mean 25 yard slow fire compared to 25 T/R
or a 50ft  3.070 verses 3.060
50ft ha.... who shoots those silly things.

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Post by TonyH 9/5/2018, 9:37 am

This is what has helped me the most in trying to get my score averages up:
https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t8516-area-aiming-by-dave-salyer
Dave offers some very sound advice, IMHO. This "area aiming" process took me from SS to EX very rapidly (worked for me).Smile
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Post by bdas 9/5/2018, 11:27 am

Chris Miceli wrote:50 yard and 25 yard ring sizes are the same. you must mean 25 yard slow fire compared to 25 T/R
It doesn't matter what distance we're talking about.  As Mike's post of the exact ring sizes shows, the 9-ring on a TF/RF target is about the same size as the 7-ring on a SF target at any distance.  And since the targets are roughly scaled for distance, this also applies when shooting SF at 50 yards and TF/RF at 25 yards. (Yes, I know the targets aren't exactly scaled to size, and I know why that is, and I appreciate that whether the scaling is favorable or unfavorable depends on what caliber you are shooting.)  Assuming the cone of inaccuracy of your gun/ammo is approximately linear out to 50 yards (and that is not always the case, especially between 25yds and 50yds with guns other than 22's), it doesn't matter at all which distance we're talking about here.

The point is that, if your gun/ammo can barely keep them in the 9-ring on a TF/RF target, it's also barely keeping them in the 7-ring in slow fire.  And so, even if you're doing a pretty good job with everything else, you'll have TF/RF scores in the low 90's, and SF scores in the high 70's or low 80's, which is what the OP is reporting.  I think he should shoot his gun/ammo from a rest (even a sandbag is fine), to see if it's him, or if it's the gun/ammo.  If it's the gun/ammo, he can buy a significant number of points (plus a huge boost in confidence and vastly improved ability to call shots) with a more accurate gun/ammo combination.

Dave

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Post by mspingeld 9/5/2018, 11:36 am

Regardless of gun quality, the OP should compare group size at the same distance. Shoot 20 rounds slow fire and 40 rounds timed on the same type of target. Score is not important. If the group size is smaller in timed, then he needs help with slow fire. I believe that is what he's asking.

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Post by tray999 9/5/2018, 11:48 am

Tim:H11 wrote:One thing that holds shooters back is the manipulation of the trigger. Slow fire trigger control can be very difficult to get down. We can get to the point where we have a good hold and our wobble area is small enough to where we think "okay, now I'm ready to get this one down there" so we start pressing the trigger. But the movement we add to the trigger shows up in the sights. The sights move and we stop the trigger press until the gun calms down. We react to what we see more so than what we feel in the trigger. So it turns into this song and dance routine of "sights align, press trigger, sights move, stop trigger, sights align, press trigger some more, sights move, stop trigger" and so on until it does finally break and the shot goes where? Not where you wanted it to because of two things usually:

1.) You held entirely too long to get the shot off because you played red light green light with the trigger. Your window of opportunity when you hold the best with the least amount of movement, or have the smallest wobble area, is gone. The arm fatigued and wobble increased. 

2.) As you do this song and dance of press, stop, press, stop there is a tendency to increase pressure in your grip. Increasing pressure in grip will do a couple of things. It's going to lessen your dexterity in your trigger finger, and the trigger won't feel so nice and easy to press anymore. You'll think "the trigger should have broke by now...???" so you'll push down on it and force the shot. Gone. Wasted out in the land of the white rings. You might also be squeezing the grip or increasing pressure in grip as you press the trigger. Your shot will be redirected because your gripping is whats influencing the gun as well as poor trigger control. 

So to tell you what would be better than the above... if any of the above happens to be your issue... I don't know that it is.... But I would suggest:

1.) Make sure to learn to keep grip pressure consistent from start to finish of the shot. Do not lessen, and do not increase. Keep it the same.

2.) In relation to the previous statement, our trigger finger needs to be separate in operation from the rest of the hand. Hard to do but you will in time find a happy mix between grip pressure and trigger control. 

3.) When coming down on to target, start your press of the trigger and keep it moving. Don't stop. Stoping is bad. Keep it smooth, keep it fluid like. If you're not settling into your wobble area, then abort the shot. If you're fighting too hard to keep the sights there and you feel the trigger getting heavier then stop. Put the gun down. Relax. Breath. Start over. 

Don't rush the trigger. You'll learn a speed thats good for you.
For me I like a short roll feeling trigger so I can start the trigger moving slower and before long the trigger just passes through softly and away goes a 200 grain LSWC headed for the black. 

I'm also a target watcher when it comes to red dots. I watch the target and as the dot starts being more of a part of the center of the target, I really lay on the trigger and off she goes. But I don't rush the shot. I don't mash down on the trigger. I just commit to the press and go through with it. Dry firing will help see what mistakes are made in trigger control. Recoil masks issues. 

Learn to trust your hold, and commit to the shot. You CAN achieve what you're after. You have to know it and believe it and trust it whole heartedly and commit to the action. Not all the shots will be good ones all the time. But over time, less and less will be lonely on the paper while the group lays somewhere else.

Tim,

This is the BEST advice I have read or heard about shooting slow fire.   I have been at the range the last two days practicing slow fire with the above advice ringing loud and clear in my head.   I have had multiple practice targets with all shots in the black!!!   I usually have one, two, five shots in the white, but never have I had all rounds in the black.   

I would like to say THANKS for your advice!

Jim
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Post by Mike38 9/5/2018, 8:29 pm

3.) When coming down on to target, start your press of the trigger and keep it moving. Don't stop. Stoping is bad. Keep it smooth, keep it fluid like. If you're not settling into your wobble area, then abort the shot. If you're fighting too hard to keep the sights there and you feel the trigger getting heavier then stop. Put the gun down. Relax. Breath. Start over. 

Ok, so here's what I did today while dry firing. I set up a table in an empty room upstairs. Pistol box and everything, just like I would at a match. I even cleaned my glasses with a disposable wipe just like at a match. Heck, I even put on my ear muffs! Grasp the pistol, settled in, raised up over the "target" lowered onto "target" while applying pressure on the trigger. If the word no, or abort, or anything negative popped into my head, I stopped, lowered the pistol to the bench, took a deep breath and started over. Had to abort 5 or 6 shots before the first snap. Out of the 10 successful snaps, I aborted at least 10 other times. I then took a break, and tried again, this time marking the time on a clock, but not watching the clock until finished. Again, it took about 20 raises of the pistol to get off 10 shots. Great thing about it, I was done in 7 minutes. 10 minutes is plenty of time! Now to repeat this every night, and the big test will be in 3 days as I have a match coming up.
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Post by Tim:H11 9/6/2018, 10:11 am

Mike38 wrote:
3.) When coming down on to target, start your press of the trigger and keep it moving. Don't stop. Stoping is bad. Keep it smooth, keep it fluid like. If you're not settling into your wobble area, then abort the shot. If you're fighting too hard to keep the sights there and you feel the trigger getting heavier then stop. Put the gun down. Relax. Breath. Start over. 

Ok, so here's what I did today while dry firing. I set up a table in an empty room upstairs. Pistol box and everything, just like I would at a match. I even cleaned my glasses with a disposable wipe just like at a match. Heck, I even put on my ear muffs! Grasp the pistol, settled in, raised up over the "target" lowered onto "target" while applying pressure on the trigger. If the word no, or abort, or anything negative popped into my head, I stopped, lowered the pistol to the bench, took a deep breath and started over. Had to abort 5 or 6 shots before the first snap. Out of the 10 successful snaps, I aborted at least 10 other times. I then took a break, and tried again, this time marking the time on a clock, but not watching the clock until finished. Again, it took about 20 raises of the pistol to get off 10 shots. Great thing about it, I was done in 7 minutes. 10 minutes is plenty of time! Now to repeat this every night, and the big test will be in 3 days as I have a match coming up.

You can do it! Stay focused on what you’re doing.
Tim:H11
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Post by mhayford45 9/11/2018, 9:33 pm

There are two types of trigger control. Uninterrupted and wrong... So says Zins and I agree. The second part is follow through which has not been mentioned yet. I call it completing the shot process. The shot process is not done until the bullet hits the target and the dot returns to black. It is better to exaggerate the follow through with SF.

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Post by Tim:H11 9/11/2018, 10:42 pm

mhayford45 wrote:There are two types of trigger control. Uninterrupted and wrong... So says Zins and I agree. The second part is follow through which has not been mentioned yet. I call it completing the shot process. The shot process is not done until the bullet hits the target and the dot returns to black. It is better to exaggerate the follow through with SF.

Not sure if you meant this or not but the dot returning to black isn't follow through. That's recovery. Follow through is the act of keeping the gun and sights aligned while the hammer drops and the weapon fires. Recoil is after the bullet has left the barrel. Bringing the gun back to target is after the bullet has left the barrel and most certainly after the bullet has hit the target.
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Post by Mike38 9/11/2018, 10:45 pm

mhayford45 wrote:There are two types of trigger control. Uninterrupted and wrong... So says Zins and I agree. The second part is follow through which has not been mentioned yet. I call it completing the shot process. The shot process is not done until the bullet hits the target and the dot returns to black. It is better to exaggerate the follow through with SF.


Thank you for the reminder.
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Post by Chris Miceli 9/11/2018, 10:50 pm

mhayford45 wrote:There are two types of trigger control. Uninterrupted and wrong... So says Zins and I agree. The second part is follow through which has not been mentioned yet. I call it completing the shot process. The shot process is not done until the bullet hits the target and the dot returns to black. It is better to exaggerate the follow through with SF.
i find no value it returning back to black in slow fire (unless i'm going for 2-3 shots), just wasting time and energy. Some it seems to be a must though.

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Post by john bickar 9/11/2018, 11:31 pm

Chris Miceli wrote:
mhayford45 wrote:There are two types of trigger control. Uninterrupted and wrong... So says Zins and I agree. The second part is follow through which has not been mentioned yet. I call it completing the shot process. The shot process is not done until the bullet hits the target and the dot returns to black. It is better to exaggerate the follow through with SF.
i find no value it returning back to black in slow fire (unless i'm going for 2-3 shots), just wasting time and energy. Some it seems to be a must though.

So you're saying your process is different when shooting singles vs. doubles or triples?

Do you find any value in a consistent shot process?
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Post by Chris Miceli 9/12/2018, 12:29 am

john bickar wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:
mhayford45 wrote:There are two types of trigger control. Uninterrupted and wrong... So says Zins and I agree. The second part is follow through which has not been mentioned yet. I call it completing the shot process. The shot process is not done until the bullet hits the target and the dot returns to black. It is better to exaggerate the follow through with SF.
i find no value it returning back to black in slow fire (unless i'm going for 2-3 shots), just wasting time and energy. Some it seems to be a must though.

So you're saying your process is different when shooting singles vs. doubles or triples?

Do you find any value in a consistent shot process?
when i'm going to shoot a second shot or third i know i will. I only do them when i have wind gusts. So its just the same shot process but started at the lower to target start point vs lift from bench.

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Post by john bickar 9/12/2018, 1:04 am

Chris Miceli wrote:when i'm going to shoot a second shot or third i know i will. I only do them when i have wind gusts. So its just the same shot process but started at the lower to target start point vs lift from bench.

OK, so what happens when you work at intentionally shooting doubles or triples in calm conditions?
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Post by Chris Miceli 9/12/2018, 6:47 am

john bickar wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:when i'm going to shoot a second shot or third i know i will. I only do them when i have wind gusts. So its just the same shot process but started at the lower to target start point vs lift from bench.

OK, so what happens when you work at intentionally shooting doubles or triples in calm conditions?
I would prefer single shots still. Better stability and less movement

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Post by mhayford45 9/12/2018, 7:43 am

@ Tim, Chris

I agree with you Tim on follow through. I was trying to provide a complete consistent overview of the shot process for the SS person asking for assistance.  Many non masters i watch do not complete a shot. I think it important for SS in SF to return to black setting yourself up for TF/RF.

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Post by Chris Miceli 9/12/2018, 8:16 am

mhayford45 wrote:@ Tim, Chris

I agree with you Tim on follow through. I was trying to provide a complete consistent overview of the shot process for the SS person asking for assistance.  Many non masters i watch do not complete a shot. I think it important for SS in SF to return to black setting yourself up for TF/RF.
some people rush to look in the scope to see where the shot is. You should work towards knowing where the shot is and verifying it with the scope.

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Post by Tim:H11 9/12/2018, 11:15 am

mhayford45 wrote:@ Tim, Chris

I agree with you Tim on follow through. I was trying to provide a complete consistent overview of the shot process for the SS person asking for assistance.  Many non masters i watch do not complete a shot. I think it important for SS in SF to return to black setting yourself up for TF/RF.

I’m not trying to be stuburn I promise but again, that’s not completing the shot. At the peak of recoil that shot is over. Bullet gone, trigger is back, there is nothing more. Recovery is the start of the next shot. Why recover? Because you have to be back on target for a next shot. A different shot. 

Now I understand what you’re getting at, about recovering from a slow fire shot in order to keep the same mental mind set and motions as in sustained fire - but in reality it is different. In slow fire you tell your self “recover but don’t shoot. Don’t begin the trigger press at any point in time.” In sustained fire we keep the trigger moving. Bang, recover and as we recover we start the roll or start the application of pressure to the trigger. And we know ahead of time that we will be doing so because it’s sistained fire - five shot strings. 

For me I shoot a slow fire shot and I don’t recover. Gun recoils to its peak and parks. There is a theory that one and only one shot process should be practiced and perfected. Including how you “finish” the shot or how you respond after the shot is over. Then there’s the idea that slow fire can differ just a little in its “ending” when compared to sustained fire. It doesn’t mean that the shot process is different. It just means that you can take your time with the shots, call them. And spot them. Recovery is unnecessary. We recover in sustained fire but we don’t call the shots or at least there’s not hardly any time for it. We should be shooting and focusing on the one shot, recover, then the next shot, recover then the next shot and so on. 

Neither way is right or wrong. It will be a preference thing. If it helps you to learn to recover faster by recovering all the time even in slow fire then I say absolutely, do it. For others where they’re doing well and they don’t do it, keep on keeping on. What ever works. That’s the key. 

But recovery in my opinion isn’t finishing the shot. It’s the start of the next one.
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Post by mhayford45 9/12/2018, 1:29 pm

An interesting opinion.... I like your thinking on this topic. 

Again, I agree with your assessment of follow through. 

However, the shot process is what I was referring to. We just think it starts at a different point in the overall process. Which is ok. 

I just hope this is helping Mike38 which was my intent.

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Post by CR10X 9/12/2018, 3:50 pm

We recover in sustained fire but we don’t call the shots or at least there’s not hardly any time for it

I do call each and every shot, slow or sustained.  Keeps the brain occupied so the trigger and eye can work together without me interrupting them (usually).  

CR

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Post by kjanracing 9/12/2018, 8:24 pm

How quickly are you moving the trigger once you start the pull? Is it a quick pull, more of a slow movement? How long once the pull is started until the gun fires?
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