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Critique my shot process.

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Wobbley
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Critique my shot process. Empty Critique my shot process.

Post by Mike38 10/21/2018, 7:41 am

I would like some of the Experts and Masters to critique my shot process. I changed things a bit, hoping to improve my slow fire scores. It just may have helped a bit. I tried this today, which is a first time for me.

On the outside of my pistol box I put a label that says the following:

1) Stance
2) Grip
3) Sight
4) Trigger
5) Follow through

I set up with a comfortable stance, paying attention to my natural point of aim, then I mark my foot prints on the floor with masking tape. A repeatable stance. Done.
Before the first shot is fired, I grasp the pistol, very similar to the "Brian Zins Grip" as explained in those short videos we've all seen at one time or another. I then dry fire 3 to 5 times to double check everything.

Load the pistol. Raise pistol above target. While pistol is settling down onto aiming area (6:00 position) I say to myself "Sight" meaning focus on the front sight. I start applying pressure to the trigger. When the sight has reached the aiming area, I say to myself "Trigger" meaning smooth but deliberate press straight back. When the shot breaks I say to myself "Follow Through". When the sight has returned to the aiming area I hold, mentally call the shot, then lower pistol to bench. That is one shot of slow fire. Repeat 9 more times. My slow fire scores instantly jumped ~5 points per target.

For sustained fire, stance is already established. Grasp the pistol as above. Point towards the turned target. When target turns I lower down to aiming area, "Sight, Trigger" bang. Repeat 4 more times. Actually telling myself in my mind "Sight, Trigger"

Critique is welcome.
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Post by Jon Eulette 10/21/2018, 9:38 pm

Mike,
I will say this. You’ve identified the fundamentals. Train each one individually so that they are ingrained into your subconscious. Make a SHOT PLAN that is extremely simple. You can only focus on one thing at a time; you need to choose trigger or sights, not both. 
It’s really simple, so don’t complicate it and over think it.
Jon
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Post by joy2shoot 10/21/2018, 10:04 pm

[I am probably going to use them incorrectly, but I use stance to indicate your posture.  i.e. dualist stance, 45 degree stance, etc.  Position is placing that stance on the face of the earth so that your stance is pointing at the target.]
 
For whatever it is worth, I attended a Zins clinic and the instructor-who-asks-not-to-be-named told us not to 'mark' our position on the ground.  He stated that during a match as the temperatures warm up/cool down and as the muscles relax/tense up, the position we need to be in to get our NPA for that moment could be different.  So if you use the tape, I would suggest that when you take your stance and get into position the next time, just double check NPA and if you need to adjust your position, then adjust.  In that way, your tape is a reference point and not treated as an absolute.  (After that clinic I took a few years ago, I stopped marking my position and never went back to marking it.  I have learned my position will change slightly throughout a match.)
 
Also, use follow through to verify your NPA.  For example, if your sights consistently return to the left of the black, that is usually a sign your NPA is to the left of the black.  i.e. if after your arm naturally returns you have to move the sights to get them in the black, then you may want to change your position slightly with the goal that the arm naturally returns into the black.

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Post by Wobbley 10/21/2018, 10:10 pm

Jon is right you can only concentrate on one thing.  Trigger should become subconscious.  I concentrate on sight and when I see the wobble hit the center aim area, the trigger just comes.
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Post by bdas 10/22/2018, 11:56 pm

I think you're very much on the right track.  Having a sequence of reminders can be very helpful.  Don't be afraid to change it, though.  I used to have to remind myself to do things like breathe correctly and center the dot in the scope.  But as time went on, those became things I do without having to remind myself, so I phased those out, and have different reminder words now (to clear my mind before each slowfire shot, and to really focus hard on the dot).  To me, that's the point of having a shot process... so you can remind yourself to do the things YOU need to do to improve. That's why everyone's shot process is unique to them.

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Post by SteveT 10/23/2018, 1:30 am

You are going down the right path. Probably the most important is DRY FIRING A FEW TIMES! I absolutely don't understand why most shooters feel the need to get a shot off in the first few seconds of slow fire. Occasionally someone will complain we don't get sighting shots in pistol, but dry firing gives you 60-70% of the benefit of sighters without any down side. Good for you!

I have 5 trigger words in my shot process, similar to you, but behind each word are many steps and pieces.

Example, "Stance" starts at the ground and builds up: feet are comfortably apart, turned out slightly (less so in the wind), knees are locked with some tension in my thighs, butt is tucked under, left thumb is in my belt and first 2 fingers are hooked in my right pocket with a little tension in my arm across my body. Stand up straight, slight tension in abs and back, shoulders down and back, neck relaxed. That is a lot of steps, but it is so ingrained that it only take a second or two to complete.

I tend to agree that marking your feet positions isn't right, but I don't see it as a harmful thing. I am pretty sure my feet don't move much over the course of a match. I position my feet by closing my eyes and sort of rocking back and forth and side to side while shifting my feet a little bit. Eventually it just feels right. Then raise my arm up to the firing position (no gun) move my arm side to side or in little figure-8's until it settles into the right position, again it just feels right, then open my eyes and shift my feet to rotate my body so the bullseye is floating above the web between thumb and forefinger. After doing it a few thousand times I don't usually need much adjustment. I just naturally go to the position. Note that this is done before the shot process starts. and can be done before the line is back. The "Stance" step in my shot process is just a check of the position.

It is very good that calling the shot is part of your shot process. I don't think most people do that enough. A good call is a good shot, even if it is wild. If I saw the sights go out into the white that means I was aiming all the way through the shot and I know what happened. The biggest frustration for me as I crawl back up to master level scores is throwing a 7 or a 6 that looked in the black. What do I do now? Is it the gun? is it the ammo? is it me?

I completely agree with Brian Zins (that's going out on a limb Smile) that recovering back to the target and not shooting is counter productive. Don't train yourself to not pull the trigger when the sight picture is right. In slow fire if I recover back to the target and it looks right, I will take another shot, if not, then put the gun down and start again.

Good luck and keep working at it. I remember starting out and not knowing what to write for my shot process. Just start with something and build on it and experiment.
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Post by Mike38 10/25/2018, 1:17 pm

Thank you all for the replies!
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Post by rich.tullo 10/25/2018, 11:24 pm

I spent a lot of time on SF because I would shoot 78's and 95s in timed fire with my 22lr so I had to make changes and all of last year if I practiced timed and rapid 2 times it was a lot. Others here are Masters so take what I say with a grain of salt. What helps me in slow fire is to think of things in slow fire as go or no go. 

Grip is first -Go. Stance and shot alignment -Go-is know and adjusted prior to even thinking about taking a shot in my 3 minute prep. 

Once those are sorted out ie. the gun feels good in my hand, I feel balanced and good sight alignment is presented, I lower the gun to my shooting area.  Now for the work of shooting. 

With a 22lr, I put the thumb safety on as they call the line. I treat the SF line call like sustained fire. I lower the gun and press the trigger if its not good as the target faces, I do it again to confirm all the things I should not be thinking about when I shooting. I should not be thinking about grip or stance as I am shooting, that works for me. If the dot wobbles around my shooting area when I called 10's in practice I am GTG. I turn the safety off and then I am ready and repeat the process with confidence. When that part of the process is right I will shoot an 85 or better and 92 or better if I am mistake free with my trigger pull.

My best results in SF are always process driven. I raise the sight above the bull, take a deep breadth exhale a little and start lowering the gun.  When I get in the white I start pulling the trigger. If things do not settle down, I cancel the shot. 

Think of SF as 10 perfect shots. In practice, I care not about my scores unless I am taking bad shots. If i am taking all good shots and they are all in the 9 ring or 8 ring then I will adjust the zero a little. As long as I am shooting 3 or 4 10's I know every shot that is not in the 10 ring ring is either a mistake or I am not following my shot process and cancelling all the bad shots. 

My worst Sf shots are always the ones that take too long and where I am trying to snatch an X. Those will be 6,7,8 even if I lie to myself and call them a 10. Lastly, if you are not taking 6 or 7 minutes to complete slow fire you are probably not cancelling enough bad shots. Don't rush things take your time and give yourself time to recover, too much lactic acid in your muscles does not help. 

My SF average last year was 93 last year so it is working for me.
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Post by rich.tullo 10/26/2018, 12:17 am

Yeah and try not to look at the scope.
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Post by Wobbley 10/26/2018, 2:50 am

You can look at the scope all day...looking through the scope...
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Post by CR10X 10/26/2018, 12:20 pm

The critique of your shot process will be with the review of your journal; ie. results, feelings, consistency of process, etc.

As for scoping; what's the main difference between a HM or Master scoping a shots and most other shooters?   Most other shooters are looking to see where the shot went.  HM and Masters are simply confirming their call and visualizing the next center shot. (I look at the X last thing when scoping.)

How can you confidently and accurately confirm your call without mentally reviewing the shot and then scoping each shot to assist in improving your process and performance?

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