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Blank wall dryfire question

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Post by Aprilian Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:38 pm

In the camps of "look at the dot" vs. "look at the target", I have chosen the target.   

When I dryfire against a blank wall, how on earth do I look at the blank wall?!   It seems like that drill is best for teaching you to look at the dot.
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Post by mspingeld Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:41 pm

Consider looking at the relationship of the dot to the tube. Break the shot without disturbing that "sight alignment".

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Post by rreid Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:55 pm

Blank wall dry fire and blank target live fire work well with irons.
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Post by Jack H Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:45 pm

I don't think you should look at the target unless your hold/wobble is about 9 ring or better.
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Post by lablover Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:47 pm

Jack H wrote:I don't think you should look at the target unless your hold/wobble is about 9 ring or better.
That’s interesting.  Can you explain why.  I stare at the target and my hold is all over the map
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Post by Jack H Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:47 pm

Start your research with these list email cuts from Brian Zins a dozen or so years ago:



So with a dot, I was taught to look at the dot as if it were the front sight of irons. As a young Lance Corporal on the Marine Corps Pistol Summer Team in 1990 I was approached by then Gunny Moody who said try this. “Next time you shoot slow fire, turn your dot down and instead of looking at the dot try looking at the target.” Being a young Marine and not one to question a Gunny, I did it. I shot my first 100 slow fire at 50 yards with my .22. Part of the Team training was to share information with the rest of the team. The OIC (Officer in Charge) Capt. Belkes said, “Zins here shot his first 100 slow fire, tell everyone what was different and how you did it”.

Oh boy! He didn’t like the answer when I told him I turned the dot down and looked at the target instead of the dot. As matter of fact his response was, “what the hell gives you the right to look at the target just because we put a $100 sight on your gun?!?!?” My answer was “The Gunny told me to do it sir.”



And another from BZ:

FOR ME, I find that when looking at the target I accept the wobble of the dot more and do not get hung up on the trigger. NOTE: if you have a big wobble area this is harder to achieve. There are days that my dot may not sit as still as I like and on said days I will bring my focus back to the dot. So if you have a decent hold you should be able to do this with a good deal of success. If you a big wobble, the true method of looking at the dot is great. Remember that is how I learned to shoot.



And one more:
One of the first things as kids we were taught is how to throw something, well that and ” Don’t eat that!” When we were taught to throw a ball we were told to keep our eye on where we were throwing the ball. Shooting is merely a method of throwing an object, albeit faster than Nolan Ryan ever could have imagined, at a target.


Change the ball throw to be more exact like a pitcher like Koufax.  To be looking at the strike zone or even the catcher's mitt, and throwing consistent strikes with fastball, curve, change up, your delivery must be perfectly grooved.  In exact form.  Just like having your sights aligned, and perfect stance.
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Post by CR10X Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:06 pm

Yes, you can learn how to "look" at a blank wall. Actually, its is a very good way to train to not focus on the dot, but to see its movements while maintaining the visual focus past the dot. 

Look at the wall and focus on it, see some imperfection or some specific point but get the wall in acute visual focus.  Then bring up the gun and place the dot in line with that spot without letting  your visual focus point change to the dot.  

Takes some training, the mind wants to drive the eye to focus on what is moving.  Our brains are basically wired that way, detecting movement is more important to survival than a perfect visual picture.  (There are some writings on "reptile brain" that discuss this in more detail. It will come up on a search on vision and conscious / unconscious reactions.)   Some people can overcome or adapt better than others and that is probably the reason for the split between focus on the dot or focus on the target different preferences among shooters. 



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Post by Aprilian Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:48 am

Cecil,  That makes good sense and raises a question.

Your description sounds like practicing with the barrel just an inch or so off the wall surface.   I've been trying it at a distance to teach my focus to be on the target plane not the scope plane.  Wouldn't practicing just off the wall's surface teach a different bad habit (focusing vision 1" off the the end of the barrel)?

I have an UD Matchdot 2 with slight negative magnification in case that impacts your suggestion.
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Post by CR10X Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:41 am

Probably the further away from the wall / blank sheet of paper, you can get the better.  Since most dots seem to be generally in focus at the equivalent of something around 25 yards optically.  (I'm sure someone has done an some kind of exhaustive study with lots of graphs by manufacturer, etc. somewhere.) Generally, if the target is in focus, the dot is not and the opposite is of course true. 

Using this dryfire technique, we are simply training not to focus on (clearly) the dot, but to see its movement so we can see the wobble pattern as it develops.  So if the dot looks perfectly clear (or as best as it ever does when you focus on it) then your eye has adjusted to something equivalent to that distance.  And you are not training to focus on something else (like the target). 

Kinda like seeing the very center LED in a stop light, but being aware of all the other LEDs around it that make up the light.   When I was trying the "focus on the target" method, I had better success by focusing on the target and bringing the gun (and dot) up into the line of sight while maintaining visual focus on the target as it transitioned into the scope.  Then centering the target in the scope while being aware of the wobble and position of the dot in the scope.  Took some work to get the dot to naturally center its self in the scope in line with the target.  

I imagined a laser from my eye to the center of the target and the red dot was the indicator of how closely alighned the gun was with that line of sight.   Something like center focused target in scope, make sure wobbly red thing was in center area of scope with target in focus, gun goes bang.  This is really hard to put into words but hope it helps. 

For what its worth, I'm working on "focus on the target" for the second time having started with dot, then trying target, then back to dot and now working on target again.  I seem to learn something every time I change (but I seem to forget some other things.....) 

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Post by frazitl2 Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:26 am

How do you shoot a decent group on the USMC blank target with no point to aim at? Kinda like aiming at a blank wall with no specific point of aim?

Struggling to get past exercise one
.

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Post by Wobbley Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:38 am

You shoot at the center of the sheet of paper.  It is designed to illustrate that it is possible to shoot a group in the center without aiming at anything IF you have good sight alignment and trigger control.
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Post by CR10X Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:08 pm

Good question.

What Wobbley said.   

Saying it a different way.  It teaching the shooter that keeping the sight aligned while operating the trigger to not disturb that alignment is way more important than "aiming at" something (or trying to hold on a specific point).  A lot of shooters never get that just because the front sight is "aimed" at some point on the target does not enable one to hit that point.  Only when the front and rear sights are aligned (which ensures the gun is aligned with the intended area of aim) will they find success. 

So, quit aiming and start learning  how to keep the sights aligned. The blank target removes the temptation to try and find some point and pay more attention to the actual alignment of the sights (front and rear).  A great group will emerge. 

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Post by Aprilian Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:46 pm

Wobbley wrote:You shoot at the center of the sheet of paper.  It is designed to illustrate that it is possible to shoot a group in the center without aiming at anything IF you have good sight alignment and trigger control.
and "It is designed to illustrate that it is possible to shoot a" tight group without the temptation to interrupt/rush your process because the sights are on the X.  That trains you to then resist the urge to snatch a shot when the rings are present.
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Post by IT1 Wes Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:37 pm

While studying at the University of YouTube I heard it explained this way. For millennia people hunting and gathering for food faced danger daily. We developed the habit of concentrating on the target or the source of danger. Then, about 500 years ago, we had to retrain and focus on the front sight. Finally, the red dot has given us the ability once again to focus on the target. That's why I suggest focusing on the target, not the dot.
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Post by frazitl2 Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:54 pm

Thank you!  Makes total sense to the front of my brain.  Now to get the reptile to cooperate...

Shooting an ultradot at 50' presents a little problem in that I can see previous hits and find myself trying to shoot into the group.  Wonder if an 8X10 piece of all black paper would help?  If not, I'll find a way to make this exercise work.

"Do or do not.  There is no try"

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Post by Stork Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:22 pm

Adjust your sight to shoot higher or lower. I did that with irons and it helped to prevent me from focusing on the group.

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Post by frazitl2 Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:44 am

Excellent!

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Post by mikemyers Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:13 am

People wrote things similar to this five or so years ago, and it never made sense to me.  Then, after making sketches of the sight alignment, and so on, it hit me - if the alignment with the target was off by half an inch, the hole in the paper would be half an inch away from the target.  BUT, if the sights were misaligned by even the smallest amount, the hole on the target would be WAY off, far, far more than that half an inch.  My own conclusion was that the sights could be aligned slightly off the target (maybe because of wobble), and the results would still be good.  BUT, if the front and rear sight weren't aligned with each other, the result would be awful.  

I think about this stuff now, and it's obvious.  But back when I first was trying to understand what was going on, it was anything BUT obvious.  


Then Dave Salyer taught me about "area aiming", and everything got easier for me.  It might not have the same potential for precision aiming, but the scores I was getting from my shooting went way up.  That's a different story though.  

One last thing - I can't tell any difference if my eyes are focused on the red dot, or the mountain tops.  That's especially true right now, as thanks to my IOL, my eyes no longer "focus", but my prescription distance glasses that I use with a red dot seem to make both the dot and the target equally sharp.  If one is sharper than the other, I can't notice.
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