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Shooting for Rhythm vs Shooting When the Shot is There

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robert84010
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Shooting for Rhythm vs Shooting When the Shot is There Empty Shooting for Rhythm vs Shooting When the Shot is There

Post by Soupy44 11/27/2018, 12:17 pm

I'm struggling to figure out how to develop shooting in a rhythm in rapid fire.  Coming from a slow fire background I feel I have loads of time in timed fire to simply shoot when the shot is there.  Sure, I know I yank some shots here and there (94-6x last night with a 6 and Cool, but I haven't been doing this long so I know I'll be getting better at it.

Rapid fire obviously I don't have time to wait for the shot to be there, so I try for rhythm, but that leads to taking shots I simply know are sub par.  I take the vast majority of my time in rapid.

I'm not really curious as to which is the better mantra for sustained fire.  I'm more curious as to how rhythm shooting is developed, and any thoughts folks have on shooting timed fire when the shot is there.

Thus far, I've come from not thinking 20sec was near enough time to shoot 5 shots.  I now feel it's more than enough time, and as long as I stay focused and disciplined, and can have great strings when I know I'm focused.  I've noticed my hold has improved over time, and have also noticed I have great strings when I shoot in rhythm.

I guess I'm struggling with a chicken and egg problem.  Do I shoot for rhythm and let my hold and release improve over time, or do I take the shot when it's there and let the rhythm develop over time.  

Sorry for the ramblings, had to talk this one out in my head.

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Post by dronning 11/27/2018, 12:51 pm

95% of the time I take my 1st shot before the target is completely faced.

Personally I never tried to shoot with a cadence, but one developed naturally as my recovery became more consistent.  If the shot isn't there I don't take it so the natural cadence is interrupted.  As this developed naturally my shots became pretty (too) quick, I finished up at 6-7 seconds.  If something went wrong I did had time to recover.

I purposely changed my process (new indicators) and have slowed down so now I finish at around 8-9 seconds.  My recovery now is even more deliberate as I enter the black.  Now the shot is there 99% of the time.

Focus on your process let it drive the results.
- Dave
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Post by Jon Eulette 11/27/2018, 1:09 pm

Rapid Fire Basics
1.Squeeze half of trigger weight before target turns. Gradually keep trigger moving and keep it moving. When target faces just keep pressing until it breaks within first second. Controlled shot!
2. During recoil/recovery reset trigger immediately and start squeezing the trigger. Yes even though you are out of the black squeeze the trigger. 
3. Get the dot back in the middle of the target. You have been squeezing the trigger the entire time and it should be close too breaking the shot. Controlled squeeze!
4. Repeat
You can refine your aiming each shot but your focus should be 99% keeping the trigger moving and 1% centering the dot in the bull. If you have good trigger squeeze you can easily keep them all in the black. As you get more comfortable you will start to shoot more 10’s. You’ll find shots breaking almost simultaneously as you get the dot into the center of the target. Also each shot should feel/recoil the same. If not you have a breakdown in your grip or stance that needs to be worked on.
Cadence or rhythm isn’t important, keeping the trigger moving 99% of the time is! And yes all shots can be finessed in 10 seconds.
Jon
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Post by Jack H 11/27/2018, 1:15 pm

Biggest thing to get rhythm is a good solid hold where recovery and alignment just happen.
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Post by CR10X 11/27/2018, 1:32 pm

From your description, you are on the cusp of getting to where you want to be.   Since you said you can now see when you are completing "sub par" shots when trying to use complete rhythm and you now know that 20 seconds is more than enough time for 5 shots, even with a little tighter level of "acceptable" hold.  Eventually, that will be 10 seconds is more than enough time IF you see the sight picture developing and the trigger is already moving. 

So, the next step is just not waiting to take the shot "when its there", but when you see its on the way there (to the best sight picture you've seen for that shot). That is not rhythm, but just seeing and completing each shot at the best possible time within the overall time limitations of each string. Think of it like a mini-movie when you know the ending and can start reaching for the popcorn (trigger) while seeing the action on the screen (dot moving towards the center rather than hanging out somewhere that is not as acceptable).  

Eventually, you can get to point when you can even "catch up" on time by compressing a shot time by expanding the acceptable hold area if needed.  (Better to shoot a smooth skidder 9 than jerk a 5 out there.) 

So keep training rhythm but also start training for seeing the "sub par" and giving the wobble just a little more time to start moving towards the center.  But the mental process is always positive, like the trigger is helping move the dot towards the center. 

Again, sounds like you're getting there!  Hope this helps.

CR

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Post by 285wannab 11/27/2018, 2:42 pm

I used to have a hard time understanding how to keep the trigger moving when I am only pulling 2lbs. and only for 1/16 of an inch.  Not much there to keep moving.  I think it helps to have a two stage trigger.  But, that said there is a big difference on jumping on the trigger for a 1/16 of an inch or having a smooth, automatic trigger pull for a 1/16 of an inch.
If you don't have a perfect stance I don't think your rhythm will be good because you won't be coming back to center.
When I am on the line for T&R when I here Ready on the firing line I count 21, 22, 23 and pull the trigger.

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Post by CR10X 11/28/2018, 5:26 am

"Moving" in this context is more "continuously increasing pressure" than distance. We're taking control here.

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Post by Aprilian 11/28/2018, 8:55 am

CR10X wrote:"Moving" in this context is more "continuously increasing pressure" than distance. We're taking control here.
Cecil,   I really like that description - that we are "controlling" the trigger.

I might start thinking "Control the trigger while observing the aiming" as I (like many) struggle with that part of my brain which wants to prioritize aiming over trigger.
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Post by Soupy44 11/28/2018, 4:01 pm

Thank you to everyone for the input.  I also know I need to work on my first shot in rapid since currently, it's not much faster than when I shoot timed.

Concerning recovery and getting back on the trigger, could a few of you explain your timing on this.  I'm pretty sure I don't reset the trigger until I've come back down on the target during any course of fire.  Using the trigger to drive the pistol back down is something else I have heard about.  Again, slow fire background, my follow-through was not developed in a sustained fire setting.

Thanks again!

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Post by Jon Eulette 11/28/2018, 4:39 pm

I let my arm guide the pistol to the target bull, not my trigger finger. I believe using the trigger finger to aim the pistol is a flawed process that leads to poor trigger squeeze. That’s why we use area aiming. Reset the trigger quickly and get right back on it! Squeeze that baby! Rely on your muscles to get you back on target. When the dot settles back into the bull that trigger should be close to breaking. If you wait until your back in the bull to reset and squeeze your 10 miles behind your power curve for breaking a good shot.
Jon
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Post by Jack H 11/28/2018, 9:04 pm

And you got to do all this with no thinking.  It is flow, not steps.
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Post by TomH_pa 11/29/2018, 7:55 am

I have been doing a dry fire routine where I cycle the slide with the trigger held back and move the gun to an estimated recoil position, reset, then practice squeezing going back to the aiming black also Ed Hall's progressive drill.

What are additional ways to train to keep the trigger moving?

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Post by robert84010 11/29/2018, 8:43 am

TomH,
A couple of years ago a guy mentioned using a double action revolver to help reinforce constant trigger movement. If you have one, see if it helps.

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Post by DA/SA 11/29/2018, 9:14 am

TomH_pa wrote:...also Ed Hall's progressive drill.
 Where do I find something about this drill?

Thanks!
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Post by Wobbley 11/29/2018, 11:05 am

I’m sure Ed will be along shortly, but as I understand it it can take the form 

Shoot two rounds in a two shot drill time for timed or rapid fire (4 seconds or 2 seconds) at a normal target.  When you get two shots in your target area of choice (black or ten or even 8 ring) TWICE in a row, you then shoot 3 shots in a three shot drill time.  Continue this process until you can shoot 5 shots in your target area.  As you progress in the number of shots you shoot more than ONE out of your target area, you demote yourself back to where you were successful and start again.  It works and doesn’t consume too much ammo.  As for starters, I’d suggest trying to keep all the shots in the black as a baseline.  The 8 ring is too big unless you’re very very green.
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Post by Ed Hall 11/29/2018, 11:54 am

DA/SA wrote:
TomH_pa wrote:...also Ed Hall's progressive drill.
 Where do I find something about this drill?

Thanks!
Guess I stopped in at the right moment...

Progressive Drill from previous thread

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Post by DA/SA 11/29/2018, 11:54 am

Thank You!

That looks like it is exactly what I need.

I'm bright green!
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Post by Soupy44 11/30/2018, 7:58 pm

Thanks for the drill. I have similar drills I use teaching tennis. Drills that self adjust for skill are always great.

About recovering between shots. How do you use your grip to bring the pistol back down. For me, I feel I have a good purchase on the grip keeping the trigger held back until I'm back on Target. The times I've tried to reset the trigger before that, I don't feel like I'm in control of the gun. I'm sure some of this is a need for me to practice it. How do you utinize your grip, trigger finger, wrist and arm recovering between shots?

Thanks!

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Post by CR10X 12/1/2018, 6:35 am

Try thinking about it as just getting back to where you were, the center of aiming area, not so much active recovery.  "Recovery" may create a mental image that requires too much active and mental effort.   The grip, stance, arm, etc. (basically everything except the trigger finger) should just be moving back to the starting point, no pauses, changes in pressure or effort, etc.

The active component, at least for me, is the trigger / trigger finger.  As soon as the gun drops into the target, you should be releasing and starting the trigger process as the gun / body is recovering into / towards the center of the black.  In general, on target for trigger is ok, but don't wait for the best sight picture to show up before starting the process.  The time of the trigger operation should be just about the same as when you commit to a slow fire shot.  (That is "short" but "smooth".  Remember "Smooooth is fast"; you just don't realize it.

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Post by bdas 12/3/2018, 3:17 pm

My take on this is slightly different, because I'm still working on getting my 45 rapid fire to be where it should be (a few points lower than my timed fire, not 15-25 points lower).  

First, I found that if you don't have your stance correct, meaning that your natural point of aim is at the target, the gun goes in circles during rapid fire (fire, gun recoils, gun recovers toward your natural point of aim, then you move it back to the target, fire, repeat).  So, if you find that you're making circles in rapid fire, work on your stance.

Second, if you're losing your grip, re-gripping, or any other form of loosening/tightening/adjusting your fingers between shots, you'll spend too much time recovering, and not enough time focusing on aiming and trigger pull.  Since most people who do this do not realize that they do it, the only reliable way to tell is to either have someone watch you shoot, or record video of it.  For example, I had no idea that I was completely removing my trigger finger from the trigger, until I watched video I took of my shooting hand while shooting rapid fire.  Take video, play it back in slow motion, and think critically about what you're seeing.

Third, masters and high masters will tell you that they recover without thinking about it, and I'm sure they do, but that doesn't mean you are recovering properly without thinking about it.  I found that while I could passively recover with the 22 without issues, I was wasting a lot of time passively recovering with the 45.  For me, actively muscling the gun back to the target (sometimes referred to as "driving" the gun back on target) gave me noticeably more time to shoot good shots in rapid fire.

I think CR10X revealed one of the key issues when he said ""Moving" in this context is more "continuously increasing pressure" than distance."  People talk about "keep the trigger moving", but I think it's more about putting pressure on the trigger than actually moving it (especially if you have a crisp trigger).  One thing that I think everyone agrees on is that you need to start putting pressure on the trigger before you're actually really ready to fire.  Partly, this helps to stabilize the gun.  Partly, it reduces/minimizes the amount of movement (of both the trigger and your finger) required to complete the shot once you've accepted your aim/wobble.  Partly, it just saves time, because as soon as your aim/wobble becomes acceptable, everything else is ready to go, and a little more pressure (smoothly applied) on the trigger is all you need.  What you do NOT want to do is recover, then aim, then start putting pressure on the trigger; that's a recipe for jerking the trigger, especially in rapid fire.

I'm sure that, once you get good enough, and the recovery is second nature, and your grip and stance are refined to the point where you recover right back into the center of the target, and you've done it enough with that particular trigger that your timing is exceptionally consistent... then, yes, you can start the trigger pressure during recovery, and continuously increase it, and just have faith that the timing will work out such that the shot breaks just as the point of aim is in the center of the target.  That sounds like a great place to be, and I hope to be there one day.

But, for the rest of us... there is work to be done.  There are a lot of things that go into shooting a good rapid fire string (whether you call them "steps" or not), many of which are mentioned in this thread.  So many things, though, that it's impossible to work on them all at once and still be training productively.  And that's where your shot process/plan comes in.  You need to analyze your performance, and decide on a few things that you want to work on, modify your shot process to work on those things, and follow your plan for a while.  If a change is helping, run with it.  If not, modify your shot process to try something else.  Give each change a real chance at helping, but don't be afraid to abandon it if it's not.  Just because something worked for one really good shooter, doesn't mean it will work for you.

Dave

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