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relaxing between shots

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James Hensler
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Post by kjanracing 9/17/2019, 1:04 pm

A lot has been written on shot process, but I haven't read much on what shooters do between shots to recover for the next one...taking SF here.  I feel minty fresh for the first 3-5 shots, then things start getting a little dull, for lack of a better word. For me, sometimes I'll just put the gun down, take a few steps back and forth, move my arms and hands, just loosen things up.  Maybe a dry fire shot, then back to it. 
What do you do to keep or get back that minty fresh feeling?
kurt
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Post by CR10X 9/18/2019, 5:56 am

Some people take a lot of time in slow fire, others tend to shoot too quickly.  I've noticed the better shooters are generally on the faster side, but do have periods when they are not shooting one shot after another but stop, dryfire, etc.

For me, I try to take 15 to 20 seconds between shots, sometimes 30 or longer for the muscles to recuperate, take deep breaths, etc. Generally, the more I have to abort a shot because it didn't look / feel right, that seems to be the indicator to take a little longer between shots.  But when its going well, only about 15 seconds and the gun goes up and the shot is off pretty quickly (no long holding for me anymore).  I'm generally done anywhere from 6 to 7.5 minutes on average with a few restarts (aborted shots). 

I generally do not release the grip (completely) or change position unless something really needed to be worked on.  That's takes more time to reset for the next shot. 

CR

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Post by dronning 9/18/2019, 8:04 am

I will relax my grip between shots but rarely release/reposition it. Only if something is out of wack will I release my grip or restart from scratch.  If I loose focus I will put the gun down but I will continue to look at the target (sometimes I will close my eyes) and envision my shot process all the way to shooting and scoping an X.

Occasionally during slow fire if my recovery is perfect I will take a second shot.  This happens almost automatically.  One thing I noticed is this almost always happens when the first shot was a deep 10 or X and my second shot is almost always better than my first.  I've confirmed this by videoing my shots on target.
- Dave
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Post by lablover 9/18/2019, 8:09 am

CR10X wrote:Some people take a lot of time in slow fire, others tend to shoot too quickly.  I've noticed the better shooters are generally on the faster side, but do have periods when they are not shooting one shot after another but stop, dryfire, etc.

For me, I try to take 15 to 20 seconds between shots, sometimes 30 or longer for the muscles to recuperate, take deep breaths, etc. Generally, the more I have to abort a shot because it didn't look / feel right, that seems to be the indicator to take a little longer between shots.  But when its going well, only about 15 seconds and the gun goes up and the shot is off pretty quickly (no long holding for me anymore).  I'm generally done anywhere from 6 to 7.5 minutes on average with a few restarts (aborted shots). 

I generally do not release the grip (completely) or change position unless something really needed to be worked on.  That's takes more time to reset for the next shot. 

CR
I like this advice.  I tend to shoot to fast and find myself aborting a lot....think I just found the reason why

Thank you
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Post by Allgoodhits 10/3/2019, 9:02 pm

I'm a work in progress. I have my shot process down pretty good now. Currently I am working on my between the shots process. I suppose the between the shots process is part of the process, but here goes.

I acquire and firm the grip I want with stance I want then position I want. This puts me bladed to the target line. I am looking at nothing in particular as there is no need to work the eyes unnecessarily at this time. I am looking straight ahead but downward.

I commence a normal relaxing, yet deliberate breathing process. On the sixth breath I turn my head and pick up the target. On seventh breath I raise the gun and shoulder, getting good chin spot weld on shoulder. Gun sights should be right on target because stance and position were determined before all this started.

On the 8th & 9th breath the gun is settling into aiming area and pressure is increasing on trigger. Usually following the 10th breath, I expire about half, hold breath and see if the shot wants to break. If it doesn't, I will take another breath while continuing the pressure.
All the while trying to get the aiming are/hold in an acceptable means. If the shot does not want to break or the hold gets goofy, I abort the shot and go to the first breath sequence. I try to let the shot break and not make it break.

I starting doing above for three reasons. One was to slow me down. I would finish SF in 3 - 4 minutes. This has me finishing in about 7 or 8 minutes, depending on shot aborts. Two if gives me time to get my head in the sequence for each shot. Three it has me doing the same thing between shots as I do on the actual firing.

For Timed and Rapid, I breath as I can, since I do not have total control of line commands. I turn my head to target on ready on the right, pick up visual of target, then on ready on the left the gun is raised, spot weld acquired, then it's about the same breathing as SF, about the 3rd breath is the hold, shortly before target face.

This is not 100% natural for me yet. I gave to think about it, to follow it. I am looking for it to just happen, without too much conscious thought. Not there yet. I do think it is working for me, as it, I hope will build on the consistency. We will see.


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Post by bruce martindale 10/4/2019, 9:05 am

I like to mix dry and live fire during the sf string, if l remember to do it. I catch myself flinching and tend to settle down.

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Post by Ed Hall 10/4/2019, 10:41 am

bruce martindale wrote:I like to mix dry and live fire during the sf string, if l remember to do it. I catch myself flinching and tend to settle down.
Be sure to look for perfection in your dry fire, rather than looking for flinching.  You will tend to find what you seek.

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Post by bruce martindale 10/4/2019, 11:31 am

Remington Roulette!

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Post by dronning 10/4/2019, 12:36 pm

If you need to regrip you should drop the mag eject the live round and dry fire to confirm you are GTG before continuing.  Don't forget to reload that ejected round!
- Dave
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Post by James Hensler 10/4/2019, 7:19 pm

As soon as the time starts I normally sit down for several minutes! My blood pressure rises from walking down and back so I use this time to lower it back down. With the 22 and 32 I shoot fast wind permitting and still have time left over. With the 45 I do the same but shoot a little slower
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Post by Soupy44 10/4/2019, 8:15 pm

Smallbore shooters see what Cecil mentioned: good shooters are on the slightly faster side.  For 60 shots prone, we get an hour.  25-35min is about what the top shooters use on average.  This is due to their superior ability to string together shots with excellent execution of their shot plan.  Simply put, they pick the gun up and put the shot in the center...over and over again.  It's a bit like runner's high.  Elite shooters simply pick the gun up and put the shot in the middle.  On top of that, they easily recognize when they have lost it and need to reset.  For us mere mortals, this is the part we need to pay attention to.

Many college rifle teams train with music playing.  This is to give the mind something to think about between shots as a break.  As you train your mind more, you'll be able to focus harder for longer periods of time.  Just as we cannot hold the gun up indefinitely and have to take breaks for our muscles to recover, the mind needs to recover too.  So you can take some time between shots to think about something/anything else other than shooting for a little bit, say 30-60sec.  

At some point you have to get back to shooting.  Now that your mind has recuperated, get back to executing your shot plan.  Since you have been thinking about other things, take some time to imagine a few perfectly executed shots.  As you grow as a shooter, the clarity of this image for you will grow clearer.  

Dry firing is a great way to train what you should feel during the important parts of the shot, aka until the hammer falls.  Use what you feel and see during this time to build the mental image you'll use to get going again.  

Many others have mentioned dry firing before returning to live fire.  This is another great chance for executing some great shot plans with no repercussions!

After all that rehearsal, pick the gun up and shoot an X!

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Post by mikemyers 10/6/2019, 7:20 am

Allgoodhits wrote:.......On seventh breath I raise the gun and shoulder, getting good chin spot weld on shoulder. Gun sights should be right on target because stance and position were determined before all this started.........
Am I reading this correctly?  Is your chin touching your shoulder as you shoot?
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Post by chopper 10/6/2019, 9:32 am

Mike, what he is explaining is what I'm trying to do also. Blading myself to the target has helped a lot, also with my 10 meter air pistol. I'm working on the chin weld to shoulder, and find it does help with recoil going straight back and less movement in the wrist. It's a slow process for me, but want to make it subconscious for next years outdoor season. A little at a time.
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Post by mikemyers 10/6/2019, 11:53 am

Thanks; the reason I asked, is that's a whole new concept to me.  After I read it (three times) I stuck my arm out in front of me as if I was holding a gun, and observed how steady my hand was.  (Answer, it's good, for me, but I can see it move.). Then I tried to hold my chin against my arm.  It cut down the movement in my hand by at least half.  I won't get to test it until tomorrow morning, but my first impression was positive.  ......but if it really is that good, others would be talking about it, and I'd already have started to do so.  I'm suspicious that for me at least, it will be a trade-off; my hand will get steadier, but something else may get worse.

That you are also trying to do it says a lot.  

I'm guessing that a person's hand still wants to "wobble" just as badly, but the mass of the arm is greater because it includes a person's head.  That reduces the movement of the arm, and therefore the hand.

I hadn't thought about recoil - I was only thinking about "wobble".  I guess there's lots more to this............
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Post by mustachio 10/6/2019, 8:45 pm

At the club I shoot at, I am the only shooter who takes the full 5 minutes for slow fire. I average 94 to 96 most of the time. When I raise my gun and the shot does not want to come, I lower my arm and recoup. Most of the others who shoot fast, don't usually do well. they give you 5 minutes for a reason. 30 to 45 seconds per shot is a good cadence.
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Post by Allgoodhits 10/9/2019, 8:07 pm

mikemyers wrote:Thanks; the reason I asked, is that's a whole new concept to me.  After I read it (three times) I stuck my arm out in front of me as if I was holding a gun, and observed how steady my hand was.  (Answer, it's good, for me, but I can see it move.). Then I tried to hold my chin against my arm.  It cut down the movement in my hand by at least half.  I won't get to test it until tomorrow morning, but my first impression was positive.  ......but if it really is that good, others would be talking about it, and I'd already have started to do so.  I'm suspicious that for me at least, it will be a trade-off; my hand will get steadier, but something else may get worse.

That you are also trying to do it says a lot.  

I'm guessing that a person's hand still wants to "wobble" just as badly, but the mass of the arm is greater because it includes a person's head.  That reduces the movement of the arm, and therefore the hand.

I hadn't thought about recoil - I was only thinking about "wobble".  I guess there's lots more to this............

Sorry, I have been away so unable to respond/comment. Someone else has chimed in, but partially yes on the chin "dropping" to shoulder. The shoulder is actually raised, then the chin just kind of rests on it there.

This may help you discover the initial setup. We are looking for stance, position will follow. I separate them. Stand perpendicular to target line. Some refer to this as bladed to the targets. Your face at the start would be looking straight ahead, which is as if you were looking at the person to your non-gun side. Now shrug your gun hand shoulder upward, almost as if you want you shoulder to touch your ear, but do not move your head, leaving the other shoulder in normal position. At this point you are facing sideways to the target. The gun hand shoulder is shrugged up. Now raise gun, slightly above horizontal or whatever works best for you. Let the arm settle down, but do not drop the shoulder.

Without moving from this temporary position, turn your head toward gun. The chin should be in contact with your shoulder. If not, try raising the shoulder a little more. Do not drop the head if possible. It is important do not hunt for the target at this time. You are merely trying to identify rigid, solid or "locked in" stance. You might even try having your eyes closed during this time.

Once you have found this "stance", then imagine yourself as a statue, rigid! So without changing anything, move hind foot as needed to swing the muzzle/sights to align with your target. Now you have put your "stance into position" to shoot. No it is not normal. Not it is not natural, and in fact until you have worked on this for a couple months, it may even be quite uncomfortable. Even painful as the muscles are not accustomed to this activity. Many, not all, have found this to be the most stable stance, and it is clearly repeatable. Additionally, it puts more of your body "behind the gun" which for many makes recovery for subsequent shots easier.

Good luck with it.
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