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Time usage in Rapid Fire

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rreid
Ed Hall
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 10:20 am

"Rapid Fire" means taking five shots in 10 seconds.
While waiting for the buzzer, it's relatively easy to get ready for that first shot.  
For simplification, suppose you take the shot instantly, and you now have 10 seconds to take the remaining four shots.


  1. Part of that time has to be re-acquiring the red dot in your sight, if you're using optics.
  2. Part of that time has to be aiming the gun.
  3. Part of the time is used to smoothly actuate the trigger, without disturbing the gun.
  4. Then there is the small amount of time that gets used up as the gun fires, moves up to your left (for right hand shooters), and stops.


I imagine someone like CR can do this blindfolded, in his sleep, while thinking about something unrelated to shooting.
For me, it takes an annoyingly length of wasted time just getting the dot back into the middle of the red dot sight.


Assuming you guys think this is a reasonable explanation, my question is how to minimize the time it takes to re-acquire the red dot.
......and if you can already do that, how did you learn to do it?

(.....or plan B is for me to give up on red dots, and use steel sights, where I will see the front sight and the target, and need to put one in front of the other.)

(....and the best thing I can think of is to hold the gun in front of me for a very long time, waving it all over, all around me, and learn how to keep the red dot in the sight.  After doing this for days, weeks, months, whatever, maybe I'll be able to do it without thinking about it.)
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Post by james r chapman 6/18/2020, 10:25 am

Refine your grip so the dot naturally recenters itself
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 10:43 am

Jim, please elaborate.  I am copying what Brian Zins said to do in his training videos.  I believe I am doing everything he wanted me to do.  So how do I "refine" this?

Dave tells me not to fight it, that the gun will naturally go back to the starting point.  ....which to me, is like riding a bicycle.  Once you know how to do it, it's easy, but for someone doing this for the first time, it's rough going, at least for a while.  Bottom line is my dot is nowhere to be found after I take a shot, until I look around and find it.  I'm better than before, and MUCH better than LONG AGO, but it's still too much wasted time.

I just tried it with my Les Baer, with the original steel sights, I can wave the gun all around, and very quickly get the sights lined up on a target.  I'm tempted to just call it quits, and go back to shooting the Baer, but I'm too stubborn to quit.


For this thread, I'm less interested in what you guys "DO", than in how you "LEARNED TO DO IT".
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Post by Jack H 6/18/2020, 11:21 am

Learn how to flex your forearm muscles just below the elbow.  Nothing else.  See how it firms your wrist. 

Also you can adjust your arm angle, foot position, uprightness of body, head position, etc.

Close your eyes and safely hold the gun out in position.  With eyes closed feel the gun in position.  Open eyes and look.  If not sights aligned, try adjusting one thing at a time. 

But keep the forearm comfortably firm.  Lozoya said so.
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 11:28 am

Jack H wrote:Learn how to flex your forearm muscles just below the elbow.  Nothing else.  See how it firms your wrist. 
Also you can adjust your arm angle, foot position, uprightness of body, head position, etc.
Close your eyes and safely hold the gun out in position.  With eyes closed feel the gun in position.  Open eyes and look.  If not sights aligned, try adjusting one thing at a time. 
But keep the forearm comfortably firm.  Lozoya said so.
Several ideas, one of which I will immediately start doing.  Now that you've said it, it seems obvious.  Gee....    Thanks - it can't hurt, and I expect it will be a big help!
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Post by Jon Eulette 6/18/2020, 11:39 am

Most shooters rush the first shot and get off to a bad start because they didn't start with a good shot. RF if you start with a good shot the next 4 shots are easier. So I have half my trigger weight taken up before the target turns. I break the shot ideally from 0.5-1.0 seconds after target faces (10 seconds starts at full face, not while its turning) and immediately get trigger reset and am pulling/squeezing trigger while still in recoil. The dot typically recovers right back to the center of the target for the next 4 shots, and because I'm already squeezing the trigger before the dot is back in the center of the target, when I briefly settle the shot breaks (since I'm squeezing trigger continuously it makes successive shots easier to break) and I repeat the process to complete the string. I really believe 1st shot is the key to shooting 5 good shots. In RF there is enough time to feel every shot break. If your not feeling it your probably squeezing too fast on the trigger. You can learn to finesse each shot.
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 11:46 am

Jon Eulette wrote:........The dot typically recovers right back to the center of the target.......
Jon, just for this thread, can you please elaborate on how you learned how to get this to happen long ago, when you were starting out?

Seems to me that everything else you wrote is just as important, but none of it will happen until I can do this one thing, automatically.


..........and as a test, next time you shoot, if you're right handed, take one shot with your left hand, and I highly doubt it will work just as well.  It's something you learned, somehow - and that's what I'm trying to learn.
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Post by Jon Eulette 6/18/2020, 12:19 pm

Mike, oh ye of little faith, my right and left hand are both Masters! 2600+ both hands. Knowing and executing fundamentals is all it takes. You basically need to learn how to get same arm tension, grip and trigger squeeze consistently. Your RF scores should be close to you TF scores. If not you might need to work on your TF execution to bring up your RF scores.
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Post by SteveT 6/18/2020, 3:21 pm

I wish I could tell you exactly what to do to make the dot return to center after the shot, but you just gotta do it. For me, mentally I am determined to keep the dot on the center of the bull and when it gets off center to get it back there. It really is much more mental than physical.

Arm, wrist and hand strength help. Do holding exercises with 2-3 lbs, not more or you'll use different muscles. Use wrist and hand strengtheners, just be careful not to over do it and cause inflammation carpal-tunnel etc.

Take 1 shot and recover immediately back to target. Stop and look at the pistol. Is the dot centered in the tube (or sights aligned?) If not, what happened? Is you wrist in a different position? Did the gun slip in your grip?

If the gun moved in your hand that new grip might be better. Try it. You might also need to have a stronger grip, modify the grip to resist movement or increase friction by stipling, checkering, grip tape etc.

2 shot drills or 1 shot and dry fire on a dummy round will help.
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 4:07 pm

I think I'm asking the wrong question, as I'm getting great answers, but not for what I'm asking.

I have done what SteveT just suggested, taking one shot.  I tried that, without trying to move my hands back to their normal position, so I know roughly where the gun, sight, and dot is moving to.  When I try doing this for real, the gun returns more or less to where it used to be, but there is no dot, and sometimes no target.  So, I need to waste time hunting for the dot, and once I find it, I can aim.

I'm not very strong, and since my doctor and health coverage company agreed, I am starting Physical Training.  I explained to the therapist what I need for my hands, and for my legs.  He had me do some exercise, to determine my "baseline".  I'm sure that will help in many ways.


Jon, I have lots of faith, especially of you and the others here who are so talented.  I need to work on all the things I've been reading, many of which I'm already doing.  I even hold the gun up and move it around in random movements, training myself to keep the dot centered in my sight regardless of how I move my hand.  No idea if that will help or not, but it can't hurt.  I've also started loading my gun with only three rounds, taking the first shot carefully, then quickly recover, get my "wobble" lined up with the target, continue pressure on the trigger until the gun fires, and do it once more.

With the light loads I'm shooting, the Sharkskin grips, and the rough front strap and back strap, I don't think the gun is moving in my hands - I think I'm gripping it hard enough to prevent that.

I can simplify my problem this way.  If I close my eyes (dry-firing), raise the gun to where I think it needs to be, then open my eyes, the gun is not aimed at the target and the red dot is nowhere to be seen.  That's one more exercise I'm now doing.  

I do get lots of ideas from the things you guys write, and I know I'm improving.  If I can do most of this stuff reasonably well with my High Standard, I think I should be able to do it (eventually) with my 45.       :-)
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Post by DA/SA 6/18/2020, 4:26 pm

mikemyers wrote:I can simplify my problem this way.  If I close my eyes (dry-firing), raise the gun to where I think it needs to be, then open my eyes, the gun is not aimed at the target and the red dot is nowhere to be seen.  That's one more exercise I'm now doing.  
Part of your dry fire practice should include proper stance, grip, breathing, and raising the gun each time and seeing (finding) the dot. If you are sitting in a chair watching TV while dry firing you are missing half of the exercise. 

It has many benefits, as it helps strengthen your shoulder/arm and grip, and with practice and some grip adjustments the dot will appear in the scope each time.
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 4:45 pm

DA/SA, you're right.  I was concentrating on trigger release, especially with the 22.  Then, with the 45, and when I did start doing what you just suggested, I notice this new problem.   I have a a timer set on my phone.  Every 30 seconds or so I stand, take one careful shot, cock the hammer, take a second shot, then sit down until the timer goes off again.  I am improving, but have a long ways left to go.  

As a bonus from all this, my 45 feels like it's on a diet.  It used to feel "heavy". Now it feels like "plastic".  Either the gun is slowly evaporating, or my muscles are improving.  Maybe I'd even flunk the Charles Atlas screen test for future advertisements.....    Soon.
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Post by SteveT 6/18/2020, 5:58 pm

mikemyers wrote:If I close my eyes (dry-firing), raise the gun to where I think it needs to be, then open my eyes, the gun is not aimed at the target and the red dot is nowhere to be seen.

Most likely the gun is returning to the this position after recoil, assuming it is consistent. Change your hand position on the gun, change your wrist position and/or modify the grips of your gun. There are a few threads on modifying grips.

FWIW I don't use an "ideal" grip. It's not a classic grip and and the Zins grip doesn't work with my wrist, it's somewhere in between. I have long slim fingers so I have to wrap around the the gun and pull the trigger with the first joint on the outside of the trigger. The tip of my finger touches the trigger guard and it feels like I am pulling the trigger diagonally from left to right. But it works. Don't be afraid to try things that don't seem right. I also trained myself to hold the wrist in a slightly different position than what I call "natural". It really is a matter of training and repetition.

When you do the exercise above don't worry about the target, get the dot near the center of the tube (or sights aligned) against a blank wall and the rest is easy. Move your feet to fix side to side errors. The targets will be higher or lower on each range and from 50 to 25 yards. The key is aligning the gun to your eye. When shooting, look at the target through recoil and let the gun come back to the line. Un-aligned sights, or a missing dot takes time and is a big distraction. If the dot is there, the final alignment for the next shot is easy.
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 7:35 pm

SteveT wrote:......Most likely the gun is returning to the this position after recoil, assuming it is consistent. Change your hand position on the gun, change your wrist position .........don't worry about the target, get the dot near the center of the tube (or sights aligned) against a blank wall and the rest is easy. Move your feet to fix side to side errors............The key is aligning the gun to your eye. When shooting, look at the target through recoil and let the gun come back to the line. Un-aligned sights, or a missing dot takes time and is a big distraction. If the dot is there, the final alignment for the next shot is easy.
SteveT, maybe I'm going about this all wrong.  After reading your post, I think I will fire the gun tomorrow, and let it recover, then FREEZE.  At that point, maybe I can just move my feet such that the way the gun returns after the shot is naturally in front of the target.  If that works, it fixes half my "issue".  If the dot is not where it should be, maybe I can change my grip such that after firing, the dot is in front of me, and so is the target.  It sounds reasonable to me......
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Post by dronning 6/18/2020, 9:41 pm

Position yourself so you are neutral in the BEGINNING of the shot and if your grip is correct you should come back to the target.
Start with the fundamentals then work from there.  You will notice Zins gets his body (shoulders/hips) centered over his feet then adjusts his back foot to fine tune his position.  If you twist your body to get aligned your recoil recovery will be difficult because you will "unwind" during the shot.  Also note that if your grip is tight one shot then loose the next recoil recovery will not be the same.

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Post by chopper 6/18/2020, 10:09 pm

Mike, I like the Shooters Treasury and Army Marksmanship Manual for the fundementals and still read them once in a while. Practice your grip and trigger pull this helped me a lot. My next improvement came with hold exercising and dry fire, Keith Sanderson has a good video on it. For timing I started with a cadence on RF. I stand in front of a wall with no pistol and count twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty three, twenty-four, twenty-five and time this with the timer set to 10 seconds on my cell phone. I practice that cadence until I'm close to perfect timing. Then I'll practice with my hand out (no gun) and practice  with my trigger finger. Then I like to use my revolver unloaded and dry practice the timing. You must have the second part of the cadence 1,2,3,4,and 5 occur with the trigger. Now you have the 2 syllables of the twenty to recover and aquire while keeping that pressure on the trigger. I can single action the revolver and get them all off now and shoot in the 80s, it requires lots of dry training and learning that trigger. This is one of favorite and funnest dry training sessions because it payed off when I'm shooting my pistols. This is basically a training regiment, the basics and fundementals are everything Jon and the other guys are talking about. I think Jon is the person who said to me why Masters are called Masters is because they have mastered the trigger, so think about the hard work those guys put in to achieve that class. When you think about how far that trigger is pulled before the fall, it's probably a 1/16" or so and you can feel the difference from pistol to pistol. My opinion probably has flaws in it, but I learn a lot from those Masters. 
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Post by mikemyers 6/18/2020, 11:01 pm

I too look through Shooter's Treasury and some other books, but I think I learn at least that much, probably more, by reading this forum.  I watched Brian's video, and while many things he said I already remembered from previous videos, I wasn't aware of how I can control the height of my gun by moving my rear foot forward or backwards.  Stan, I think the things you described will also be useful.  Also what Jon wrote.

While nobody gave me a suggestion of how to minimize or eliminate wasted time trying to "find the dot", perhaps what Brian is saying is that won't be a problem once the gun is returning to the starting position.  Then it hit me - I can completely solve that concern, making it irrelevant, if I use my Baer with steel sights.  The target will always be in my field of view, along with the front sight.  The "cadence" seems like a great idea, I can spend my time concentrating on trigger control, while allowing my subconscious to aim the gun.  With no wasted time, getting the first shot should be simple, and I'll have 9+ seconds to get off four more, no need to rush.

I hope tomorrow is dry - so many things I want to try.


Stan, one question - why do you use your revolver for any of this?  How does that help when you go back to your pistol?  I didn't understand your reasoning.
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Post by Jack H 6/19/2020, 12:14 am

One thing I have in mind on holding the gun to do the task of pointing carefully at the target is to approach it with the same mind set as threading a needle.  I think the physical control and aiming process are very much the same.

Yes, I have always had strange ideas.
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Post by mspingeld 6/19/2020, 6:36 am

No offense intended but shooting iron sights because you're struggling to reacquire the dot is not solving a challenge. It's ignoring it.

In a conversation I had with Brian on Facebook, he said consistent muscle tension is the key to recoil. That applies to all muscle tension from the grip, wrist, forearm, elbow, shoulder.

If you stand and point at a spot on the wall with your eyes closed and firm, consistent muscle tension, and I tap your hand up and left, it's naturally going to bounce back. That's recoil and recovery. It's not forced.

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Post by mikemyers 6/19/2020, 6:57 am

mspingeld wrote:.......consistent muscle tension is the key to recoil. That applies to all muscle tension from the grip, wrist, forearm, elbow, shoulder........If you stand and point at a spot on the wall with your eyes closed and firm, consistent muscle tension, and I tap your hand up and left, it's naturally going to bounce back. That's recoil and recovery. It's not forced........

I agree, but how about someone who is 76, and barely has enough muscles to make it through a match just holding a 1911, let alone shooting it?
I start Physical Therapy this coming week, and I hope to be able to get to where I can do what you and others suggest.

Four years ago, I couldn't pick up my 1911 and hold it out in front of me one handed - my hand would shake and I had to put it down.  Getting better at this.....   Takes time....
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Post by SteveT 6/19/2020, 8:26 am

I can't think of any techniques to help a shooter get back on target when they can't see the dot in the tube. It's a bit like improving the technique of catching water dripping through the roof. The answer is to do whatever you can until you fix the roof. When I have lost the dot, I give the gun a wiggle in increasing size until the dot passes through the window. I can't really explain it more than that, and I don't want to think about it much. I want to think about keeping the dot centered in the scope.

There will be fatigue through the match and the older we get, the harder it is to build strength, but finding the correct grip and training to ingrain the correct wrist angle is possible at any age. It's not strength, just training.

If none of that works, a larger scope gives a bigger window to find the dot. Open sights will also be easier by tipping the gun up so the post appears.

Good luck.
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Post by mikemyers 6/19/2020, 8:49 am

SteveT wrote:I can't think of any techniques to help a shooter get back on target when they can't see the dot in the tube. It's a bit like improving the technique of catching water dripping through the roof. The answer is to do whatever you can until you fix the roof. When I have lost the dot, I give the gun a wiggle in increasing size until the dot passes through the window. I can't really explain it more than that, and I don't want to think about it much. I want to think about keeping the dot centered in the scope.

There will be fatigue through the match and the older we get, the harder it is to build strength, but finding the correct grip and training to ingrain the correct wrist angle is possible at any age. It's not strength, just training.

If none of that works, a larger scope gives a bigger window to find the dot. Open sights will also be easier by tipping the gun up so the post appears.

Good luck.
Well, you "hit the nail on the head".  That precisely describes my situation, and I use an Aimpoint Micro sight because it covers a wider area.  The Aimpoint 9000 is even better, but that make the gun impossible for me to hold up with one hand.

I accept my limitations for now, and am working to improve them.  In the meantime, I hope to try my Baer today, and if it works as expected, I'll be back to shooting, instead of hunting.  I suspect that once I learn to shoot Rapid Fire with the Baer, and am going through the right motions, with reasonable accuracy, in the allotted time, I will then be able to switch back to the Caspian with the Aimpoint sight, if I still wish to.  Of course, all this is merely speculation right now. I'll know more (if the rain holds off) once I get to the range.

Anything is easy, once you know how to do it!
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Post by Aprilian 6/19/2020, 9:46 am

Mike,

I've had a similar issue - the dot wanted to be way off to my left.   I found the following dryfire exercise helped - and I try to also do it before the first live slow fire shots.

1) all the usual safety warnings apply
2) place the gun in your hand - this has to be consistent and repeatable, if not work on just that first
3) set body position
4) raise pistol and if sights are not centered, adjust grip and body to get them centered and go back to #2
5) take first dryfire
6) close eyes and take a second and third dryfires - don't reset the trigger
7) open eyes and if dot/sights are not centered, make adjustments and go back to #5

The consistency in the last step (release of the shot) is much easier when there is consistency in the first steps.


Last edited by Aprilian on 6/19/2020, 11:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Oleg G 6/19/2020, 9:53 am

Mike,

You said:

"I can simplify my problem this way.  If I close my eyes (dry-firing), raise the gun to where I think it needs to be, then open my eyes, the gun is not aimed at the target and the red dot is nowhere to be seen.  That's one more exercise I'm now doing."


Try the following exercise to first refine you stance:
Without a gun in your hand...
Note a point on the blank wall, which will serve as the "target"
Assume you stance and with your eyes closed raise your arm above the target and settle into the target area. Open your eyes. Is your hand pointing to the chosen point of the wall? If not, move your back foot, as Brian shows in the video above, to position your hand correctly - left or right, backward or forward. Once your arm is pointing at the correct spot, lower the arm and raise it again. Does it point to the right spot? If so, great. If not, readjust the foot again.
Repeat until you can raise the arm with your eyes closed and it consistently points to your chosen spot.
Once you are able to do this, add the gun. At this point, you should be able to raise the gun and the tube (not necessarily the dot in the tube), or your rear sight (not necessarily the front sight) will be pointing at the correct spot on the wall.
Now you have developed a consistent stance that allows you to raise the gun into the same spot.

To achieve good sight alignment - dot in the center of the tube, or the front sight aligned with the rear sight - you have to examine your grip and the position of your wrist. 
With your eyes closed, raise the arm with gun. When you have raised the gun, open your eyes and move your wrist slightly and slowly up, down, left and right. Note the position of the wrist when the dot appears in the center of the tube or the front sight appears in the rear sight.
At this point, your wrist is likely not positioned straight as an extension of your forearm, but is at an angle. Take the gun by the barrel/slide with your free hand and reposition the gun's grip in your hand to maintain the dot/sight alignment and to return your wrist to the correct place. Without changing the grip (position of your hand and tension of how hard you're gripping), lower you arm, close your eyes, and raise it again.
Keep repeating this exercise until you can raise your arm with your eyes closed and achieve good sight alignment. This will take a long time, since you have to condition your brain to control your muscles in a certain way without the aid of the eyes.
When you will have mastered this, managing recoil and having the gun return to the same place with correct sight alignment will be easy, even without Herculean strength.

Regards,
Oleg.
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Post by Wobbley 6/19/2020, 11:13 am

Talk with your PT and see if wearing one of these will help.  

https://www.wish.com/c/5cb99819ebd94660275d2bfa?hide_login_modal=true&from_ad=goog_shopping&_display_country_code=US&_force_currency_code=USD&pid=googleadwords_int&c=%7BcampaignId%7D&ad_cid=5cb99819ebd94660275d2bfa&ad_cc=US&ad_curr=USD&ad_price=28.07&campaign_id=6948791183&utm_campaign=6948791183&utm_source=pdp_install&gclid=CjwKCAjwxLH3BRApEiwAqX9arZ0WfWC6WKgktCK11NmkV0wE_MM7Bb1z09FUBkujWcWc6M5ethBqeBoC_5AQAvD_BwE

I’d walk around the neighborhood and then stop and take a stance as if you were shooting except stick my thumb up and “aim” at an object.  Work up in weight and duration until you can “aim” at a target for 30 seconds.  You can even do this in India.
Wobbley
Wobbley

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