Pistol Team Workbook - How to aim at blank paper, using a red dot sight

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Post by mikemyers on 7/15/2019, 7:53 am

In the Pistol Team Workbook, it references shooting at a blank piece of paper.  How does one do this with a red dot sight?

The dot needs to be on, just to know the sight is level and aimed at the paper, not the moon.
The area within the sight is just "white", no indication o whether or not its centered.
The only thing I can think of, is to center the outline of the sight within the edges of the sheet of paper?

With steel sights, this was easy.  I see the paper, I see the front and rear sights, and shoot at the middle.

Then there's the issue of not seeing the previous bullet holes - all I can think of for that, is to use the wrong glasses, so previous holes are not in focus.



If there's no good answer, I'll just use a different gun with steel sights, like I used to do.
That eliminates all those problems.    :-)
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Post by james r chapman on 7/15/2019, 8:10 am

Use irons, what you learn will carry over.
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Post by mikemyers on 7/15/2019, 8:12 am

OK, done.  No problem.  Thanks.  
Simple.
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Post by james r chapman on 7/15/2019, 8:18 am

When you think about it, the whole exercise is forming up your front sight/rear sight relationship without the distraction of the target.
If your relationship is locked it you can be WAY off and still score well!
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Post by dronning on 7/15/2019, 8:28 am

Remember the AMU doesn't get to use an optic until they meet some performance criteria (I think breaking 2600).
- Dave
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Post by mikemyers on 7/15/2019, 11:00 am

Dave, are you suggesting that despite my eye issues, I go through all the AMU steps with steel sights?
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Post by james r chapman on 7/15/2019, 11:03 am

Mike, if you have insurmountable eye issues I'd suggest forgoing the blank wall exercise and just use your dot. put up a a target and either focus on the target center bringing the dot in, or focus on the dot and bring it to the target center. either works, depends on your preference.
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Post by mikemyers on 7/15/2019, 11:13 am

Jim, I don't think "insurmountable" is the right term.  I've got floaters that keep making everything less sharp, and I don't see with enough clarity to really center the front sight in the rear.  Close, but with the dot it's much easier.  I'll try it with the Baer, and see how things go.  The only way I can do this with my 22 is to reinstall my 7" barrel with steel sights.  I guess I can try that too.  If I'm following the guidebook, I'll at least try it the way they say.  The goal is a tight group.  Thanks for all the advice anyway, if things don't work out well, I'll reconsider.
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Post by lablover on 7/15/2019, 11:31 am

Floaters are my problem too!  Like real bad!  Attending Safs at camp perry last week I asked about it to one of the instructors.  Answer was use your left eye. Everyone said the same thing. I tried it during the Firing as well as the match and I got me some leg points!!!  Best I’ve ever seen the sights. With correction of course. My floaters are so bad at times that when using the dot it will totally blur the dot and target. I’m going to start practicing with my left eye now. I’m right handed BTW
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Post by dronning on 7/15/2019, 12:42 pm

mikemyers wrote:Dave, are you suggesting that despite my eye issues, I go through all the AMU steps with steel sights?
Nope just pointing out they were designed for irons, they certainly can be used with optics too.

Blank target exercise:
You don't really aim at the paper, that's kind of the point of the exercise, along with removing the distraction of the bull.  Using your dot you let your subconscious pick the "center", it will align you because it likes symmetry.  It is easier to focus on the "target" during this exercise.  The first time I tried this I was told to use the back side of a repair center.  Slow fire at 25yds, when I flipped the target over it was a 100-4x.

I look at this as a trust your wobble exercise, you will be surprised if you let your subconscious take over how tight your groups can be without the distraction of the bull.
- Dave
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Post by mikemyers on 7/15/2019, 2:20 pm

lablover wrote:Floaters are my problem too!  Like real bad!.......
Something you can try that might help.  Lots of reasons why a person can get "floaters", but basically, it means something floating around inside your eye, in the "vitreous", the fluid that fills your eye.  What I  found I could do, was rapidly move my eye to look up, or the right, actually any direction, then look back at the target.  The floaters will move, and unfortunately, they'll move back again to where they used to be.  BUT, it gives you a short time while the floaters are out of the way, to aim and take your shot.

I just got back from my US eye doctor for a checkup.  I've stopped asking about floaters, as the only treatment I've found is for them to replace the fluid inside your eye.  That will work - no more floaters - but it's risky.  It can lead to a serious problem of retina separation.  I stopped asking years ago.  Since then, they're now talking about using a laser to break up the floaters, that may or may not help.  Done incorrectly, it can lead to retina damage.

To try my first idea, you don't need to move your head - just rapidly move your eye as if you are looking in another direction, then look back.  The floaters will "float" someplace else, but they will slowly return to where they used to be.
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Post by DanQ on 7/15/2019, 4:16 pm

dronning wrote:
mikemyers wrote:Dave, are you suggesting that despite my eye issues, I go through all the AMU steps with steel sights?
Nope just pointing out they were designed for irons, they certainly can be used with optics too.

Blank target exercise:
You don't really aim at the paper, that's kind of the point of the exercise, along with removing the distraction of the bull.  Using your dot you let your subconscious pick the "center", it will align you because it likes symmetry.  It is easier to focus on the "target" during this exercise.  The first time I tried this I was told to use the back side of a repair center.  Slow fire at 25yds, when I flipped the target over it was a 100-4x.

I look at this as a trust your wobble exercise, you will be surprised if you let your subconscious take over how tight your groups can be without the distraction of the bull.
- Dave
This has always been my take on it.  For what it's worth, when I start a new season I start at the beginning of the workbook.  I do the first few exercises with irons until I get to the black training targets, and then start with the dot guns.  I don't deal with seeing the dot move all over, so I alter my training progress and watch the bullseye with optics.  I just have to remind myself that I'm supposed to be doing this at the 50 sometimes.

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Post by mikemyers on 7/15/2019, 9:42 pm

Dave Salyer is the person who got me re-involved in this.  In one of the early Basic Marksmanship Tests, it says to repeat that test until one gets "TWO CONSECUTIVE TARGETS WITH FIRST TEN SHOTS IN THE 10 RING.


Dave later wrote me that it took one of his customers "160 targets at 25 yards before he cleaned two in a row".


Considering that the total numbers of targets I've cleaned in my entire lifetime could be counted on one hand, the chances of my accomplishing this before I die are somewheres between slim and none, and Slim left town.  

There is a thread on this forum, where we can post a photo of a target we've cleaned.  That tells me, doing so for many/most of us is a pretty big thing.  Doing it twice in a row?????????


I wonder how many people in this forum can do this?  There are people in my club who can do it, but they're all shooting two-handed.  

I keep reminding myself that years ago, I never thought I'd be able to do what I'm already doing, so maybe this isn't as difficult as it seems to be to me, but it also seems like the older I get, the more difficult it is to do things......

Regardless, I'm heading to the range tomorrow with lots of 8 1/2 x 11 white paper to use as targets.  It feels like a game, and I still feel like playing.

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Post by dronning on 7/15/2019, 11:30 pm

The more difficult you believe it is, it is.
- Dave
not sure where I heard that but it stuck
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Post by mikemyers on 7/16/2019, 6:54 am

I do understand what you mean; I guess I'm too pragmatic.

This rule is on page 1-7.

I'm still on page 1-5
FIRE AT A STANDARD 25 YARD TARGET, NO TIME LIMIT. SHOOT AS MANY ROUNDS AS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN 10 SHOTS IN THE TEN RING. DO NOT REPAIR UNTIL 10-10’S ARE PRESENT. REPAIR TARGET AND POST A NEW REPAIR CENTER. REPEAT EXERCISE UNTIL DIFFICULTY LEVEL MASTERED.
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Post by thessler on 7/25/2019, 5:53 am

james r chapman wrote:When you think about it, the whole exercise is forming up your front sight/rear sight relationship without the distraction of the target.
If your relationship is locked it you can be WAY off and still score well!
I understand the distraction part. Is forming up front and rear sights with irons different than centering the dot ?
Not trying to be a wise guy , just trying to understand. 
Thanks, Tom

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Post by jmdavis on 7/25/2019, 10:03 am

In one case you are aligning the front and rear sights with the target or blank paper. In the other you are centering a projected dot on the paper. Centering the dot is easier.
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Post by 310yuma on 8/11/2019, 10:09 am

Maybe l am missing something,  l started shooting bullseye again several years ago after a very long layoff (47 years). Now my  eyes are bad and my  ability to hold the gun is greatly reduced.  When l stated shooting l found that the blank paper was the best way to learn proper trigger control,  it has nothing to do with a sight picture.  You need to be able to activate the trigger without having the dot orthe front sight move at all. This is all you have to do to shoot a shot within your wobble area. The key is  consistency, you must have a shot plan and follow it every time. You can hold that perfect sight alignment and sight  picture for hours but if you move the sight alignment with improper trigger control you will not have a shot within your wobble area. With bullseye shooting there are other things that you must master but with out  proper  and consistent trigger control you will not realize your best performance .

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Post by mikemyers on 8/11/2019, 10:36 am

Somebody here posted this YouTube video a year or two ago, and it really hit home.  Aiming and everything else us useless if you can't operate the trigger properly - and most people don't even realize that until the gun doesn't fire for some reason or other, and they see the front of the barrel move when the gun goes (CLICK).

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Post by 310yuma on 8/11/2019, 10:47 am

That's it,
It's all about the trigger, don't read in more than you need
KISS

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Post by Sa-tevp on 8/22/2019, 8:35 pm

I led a new shooter through this exercise yesterday using a S&W M41 with a Clark barrel and an Aimpoint H-1 at 25 yards. He is a new shooter (never shot cartridge firearms or in competition before).

25 yard blank target group was almost 10 ring in size. Went to a USMC B-8 no ring and he had some in the eight ring.

A very good demonstration.
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Post by Wobbley on 8/22/2019, 11:19 pm

mikemyers wrote:Dave Salyer is the person who got me re-involved in this.  In one of the early Basic Marksmanship Tests, it says to repeat that test until one gets "TWO CONSECUTIVE TARGETS WITH FIRST TEN SHOTS IN THE 10 RING.


Dave later wrote me that it took one of his customers "160 targets at 25 yards before he cleaned two in a row".


Considering that the total numbers of targets I've cleaned in my entire lifetime could be counted on one hand, the chances of my accomplishing this before I die are somewheres between slim and none, and Slim left town.  

There is a thread on this forum, where we can post a photo of a target we've cleaned.  That tells me, doing so for many/most of us is a pretty big thing.  Doing it twice in a row?????????


I wonder how many people in this forum can do this?  There are people in my club who can do it, but they're all shooting two-handed.  

I keep reminding myself that years ago, I never thought I'd be able to do what I'm already doing, so maybe this isn't as difficult as it seems to be to me, but it also seems like the older I get, the more difficult it is to do things......

Regardless, I'm heading to the range tomorrow with lots of 8 1/2 x 11 white paper to use as targets.  It feels like a game, and I still feel like playing.

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Tomorrow, relax and shoot.  Rather than going for two targets consecutively with ten tens, try a 15 shot exercise.  When you get 2 consecutive targets with no more than one “8” and 10 out of the 15 in the 10 ring proceed to the next step.  But return frequently when you start the next level of training.  Pretty soon you’ll have all 9s and more than 80% 10s.  Then you’ll do this.  Remember this is slow fire with no time limit.  Be prepared to abort the shot frequently.  It may take 20 tries to get a “clean” break on every shot.  You just gotta do it.

If you shoot a Dot, stick these on your target. https://www.amazon.com/2-5-Inch-Black-Color-Stickers/dp/B00NGZD00I

 Don’t shoot until your dot is at least half inside the black circle.  Aim small miss small.  That habit will carry over to the real target.  As you progress you’ll be able to “see” (although sense might be better) the ten ring.   That way you’ll know what a “ten” looks like.  

Shoot tens, savor the X’s, accept the 9s.  8s are bullshit.
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Post by 310yuma on 8/23/2019, 7:24 am

How about stop thinking about score, start thinking about shooting the smallest group  possible.  Work on  trying  to have the most correct trigger activations possible 
Work on what allows you to have perfect trigger control. 
Every body is different, find all the info you can,  a d then apply  to your shooting  You will not be perfect but you  can work towards that. Be consistent and have confidence that you can do it.  This is an extremely mental sport and requires a positive mental attitude besides the physical activity

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Post by CR10X on 8/23/2019, 1:12 pm

Ok, here is a very, very, very important point to remember.  And its been jumbled up in this thread to the point I couldn't stand it anymore, so my apologies for butting in. 

First, any instantaneous position of the dot on the target or sight picture with open sights is relatively unimportant.  It's just going to move somewhere else.  Quit chasing it and learn to see your wobble and most importantly, keep the gun aligned.  See the following:

The most important issue is the consistent and constant alignment of the gun parallel with the intended line of sight.  Simply, keep the gun parallel (front / rear sight aligned - dot centered in the tube) throughout the shot process.  Trigger, grip, etc., etc.; should impact this alignment as little as possible.  And we need to see what's happening to that alignment to try and understand our control / impact on that alignment and learn how to development consistent alignment throughout the shot process. 

So, remove anything that temps you to look, aim, see, distract you from using whatever you have (front and rear sight alignment or dot in the tube) to work on and INSURE you are constantly keeping the gun PARALLEL with your intended line of sight.  Wobble all you want / have to but work on keeping the gun aligned.  And that means working with a blank target.  

EVERYTHING that determines where the bullet will go is determined by the position of the gun when fired.  95 percent of that is determined by the alignment of the actual gun, regardless of its line of sight (apparent position of the sights / dot ) on the target.  

A gun held perfectly parallel to the intended line of sight (target center) can move over almost 3 inches in any direction and still get a 9.  (I've never seen anybody wobble that much!).  But a couple of hundredths of an inch in angular displacement -  well you'll be doing the scope dance.  If you are twisting, pushing or creating any angular displacement, you need to see it to improve.  That's the one thing that open sights and really seeing the front sight position in the rear notch will tell you.  With the dot sight, it's the position of the dot with respect to tube, which is much harder to see due to the relative size differential. That's why I suggest starting with open sights if at all possible. 

Therefore, blank target drills have nothing to do with seeing the target, but everything to do with seeing the alignment of your gun as you progress though your shot.   

CR

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Post by mikemyers on 8/23/2019, 9:10 pm

CR10X wrote:.......EVERYTHING that determines where the bullet will go is determined by the position of the gun when fired.  95 percent of that is determined by the alignment of the actual gun, regardless of its line of sight (apparent position of the sights / dot ) on the target. .......... With the dot sight, it's the position of the dot with respect to tube, which is much harder to see due to the relative size differential. That's why I suggest starting with open sights if at all possible........
CR, for the past four weeks I've been dry-firing for at least an hour a day, every day.  I think understanding, and following, what you wrote, is more beneficial than all those steps in the handbook.  Anyway, the following is what I found myself thinking as I read your words.....

Specifically, I've noticed that I'm more aware of the things you describe when I'm aiming at a blank wall.  Then I can instantly tell if the blur/dot/wobble is moving away from the center of the sight, and more importantly to me, it is VERY OBVIOUS if the sight moves as I "fire".   I can truthfully tell you that the movement of the blur/wobble/dot as I fire is a tiny fraction of what it used to be - but I'm hoping eventually I will see NO movement due to my working the trigger.


I think you're saying that as long as the gun is pointed straight ahead, even if the dot moves 1/2" one way or another, it will only change the POI by that same 1/4", but if the movement changes the alignment of the gun, the error in POI is going to be far worse.

Any advice on how to improve this, or is it just lots more dry-fire, paying attention to these things.  I see improvement, as in less and less movement, but I think I'm weeks or months away from hopefully seeing no movement.....   I do feel I'll eventually get there.

Thank you!
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