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What to do when you just can’t get a good break?

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Post by Wobbley 7/12/2020, 4:27 pm

First topic message reminder :

Went out to the range today to continue thru the USMC workbook.  I’m at the stage where I need to get 2 consecutive ten shot strings in the ten ring....

Started with the 22....first shot was a ten....second shot was a ten...then I had two consecutive bad breaks...start over...bad break, bad break....ten ten Bad break.... ended up shooting 50 shots and 40% were bad breaks....

Shot some 45...first shot was a ten..another ten... and then the bad breaks came in bunches...I wasn’t flinching they were just bad shots.  Confirmed no zero shift on my new batch of reloaded ammo and went home.

Frustrating.
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Post by Jon Eulette 7/15/2020, 11:13 pm

Speaking of aborting, I’d rather shoot a non 10 that I worked my butt off for, than the same shot for not aborting. Working on the shot rather than just breaking a bad shot is satisfying!
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Post by Wobbley 7/17/2020, 4:23 pm

What to do when you just can’t get a good break? - Page 2 6746a910
I did a little better today.  Still no joy in Mudville tho...
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Post by mikemyers 7/17/2020, 4:29 pm

Any chance your sight is loose, or the mounting rail screws have loosened, or a mounting ring may be loose, or the sight might not be working correctly?


Last edited by mikemyers on 7/17/2020, 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Wobbley 7/17/2020, 4:41 pm

Nope.  I saw everyone of the 8s. And most of the 9s.  And this was me waving in the wind.
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Post by mikemyers 7/17/2020, 4:50 pm

Does it ever do that in dry fire?


Feel free to laugh at the following, but a few days ago I started to deliberately force my hand to shake.  I can't describe how, but I got it to where the red dot just vibrated in an area the size of the black.  I won't get to try it with live fire until Monday, but once I started doing that, the dot stayed right there, in the black.  I suspect whatever causes me to jerk the gun or whatever no longer happens, because I'm already causing the gun to move around in a semi-controlled pattern.   It sounds pretty dumb I guess, but it worked like a charm.
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Post by bpettet 7/17/2020, 4:54 pm

Hey you're calling the shots.  That's good.  How's your trigger?  

I've got a really crisp 4# that is difficult on the long line...and sometimes the short line!  It just doesn't give the feedback I'm wanting.  I'm getting a good roll trigger from Jon Eulette that will help a lot.  I think your trigger is the most important part of the gun.  As Jon said to me...most HM's would rather have a good trigger on a mediocre gun than a mediocre trigger on a good gun.

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Post by DA/SA 7/17/2020, 5:59 pm

Are you shooting left handed?
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Post by Dcforman 7/17/2020, 6:30 pm

Just something to try, as I was kind of having a problem similar... I'm guessing it could be a follow through issue. Essentially a jerk. Tough to do, but pretend you're dry firing, with live ammo. Think about what you do during dry firing, and focus 100% on following the same process with live ammo.

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Post by Wobbley 7/17/2020, 6:51 pm

DA/SA wrote:Are you shooting left handed?
Right handed.  The gun’s zero may be off a bit, it’s been a while since I’ve confirmed it.
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Post by Wobbley 7/17/2020, 6:52 pm

bpettet wrote:Hey you're calling the shots.  That's good.  How's your trigger?  

I've got a really crisp 4# that is difficult on the long line...and sometimes the short line!  It just doesn't give the feedback I'm wanting.  I'm getting a good roll trigger from Jon Eulette that will help a lot.  I think your trigger is the most important part of the gun.  As Jon said to me...most HM's would rather have a good trigger on a mediocre gun than a mediocre trigger on a good gun.
Standard factory 41 trigger it’s decent.  I have no idea on the weight.
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Post by thessler 7/18/2020, 5:17 am

Wobbley
That shot at 1 o'clock in the seven ring, I don't know if you do that often but I do. I have been shooting some air pistol and put three in that exact spot. I looked it up and they say it's heeling what ever that means.  Also said anticipation.  Not sure how to cure it , just some thoughts. 
Tom

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Post by TonyH 7/18/2020, 6:27 am

thessler wrote:Wobbley
That shot at 1 o'clock in the seven ring, I don't know if you do that often but I do. I have been shooting some air pistol and put three in that exact spot. I looked it up and they say it's heeling what ever that means.  Also said anticipation.  Not sure how to cure it , just some thoughts. 
Tom
Could also be what I call a "wrist twitch"....used to happen around the fourth or fifth shot in a 5-shot string (very rarely now). My grip relaxed and got looser as the string progressed until finally the wrist broke, flinging a shot up and to the right (right handed shooter). Gripping the 22 firmly and maintaining the same firmness through the entire string has cured that problem. I grip a 22 now with almost as much firmness as I do a 45 (ergo grips vs. 1911 flat panels - on a Nelson, no difference)....the wrist twitch shots centered right up and average scores jumped up.
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Post by CR10X 7/18/2020, 6:36 am

Wobbley, if I may I'd like to try and describe a different option address the issues (and the target example above). 

Look at that target.  You had a significant number of shots within the acceptable range for the exercise you were working on.  AND, most importantly, you said you called the outside shots!  So where do we need to look for improvement?  

First, quit reviewing the shots that are not acceptable.  I know that's hard to do because all our lives we have been told to "correct" our mistakes.  But for shooting and a lot of other things (golf shots, archery, tennis, missing blocks in football, free throws in basketball, etc.) we do not need to review the processes that produce the outcomes we don't want.  We simply don't need to remember what we "did wrong", we saw it and we know it happened.  It's in the past, that's a different country and people do things differently there.  So lets get away from "causes of process" for things we don't want to do.

Let's do replace it with something positive and more informative (that provides information we need to improve the acceptable repetitions).  And that is to really see not just the "call" but the wobble process from the time the dot lands in the black, up to and through the shot and the final call.  This is very had to do without practice and attention, because most of us have been trying for years to see the best "picture" to release the shot, but have not been learning how to see what leads up to that picture. 

And this is extremely important because if we wait until we see exactly what we want to react to, the actual condition will have passed by the time we try to take advantage of it. We can see it happen and call the shot, but it seems like we just can't figure out why the shot went off there.  Then we get mixed up trying harder to see the exact thing we think we need to see. And that leads to anticipation, hesitation, jerking, just finishing the shot because we've invested time in it already, etc. etc.  Yea, we can shoot some "good" shots after waiting for the "perfect" sight picture, but in reality we're going to be behind the curve more often than not.  

So every time we shoot a "10" or whatever we like, take the time to review what the dot (or aligned front and rear sights) were doing before and through the triggering of the shot.  Eventually you will see a pattern of wobble settling some consistent way or some approach from the bottom, side or maybe just a "whirlpool" motion towards the center of the aiming area.  This is what we are look for as an indicator to complete the shot process.  We are not waiting for the perfect sight picture (god I hate that term perfect).  We ARE looking for the indicators we are heading in that direction or better said "condition" of the shot process.  (And that's one of the reasons that shooters can sometimes produce outstanding groups when shooting sustained fire and get lost on slow fire.  In sustained they are not waiting for "prefect" but seeing the dot or sight alignment as its approaching the best area, not when it gets there.)

By doing this we release ourselves from deciding if and when the shot goes off, we will train to just let that happen.  The only real management of our shot process is to see the wobble process unfold and simply not shoot that shot if we don't like what we see developing.   

This is process work for slow fire strings, but it will eventually free up the trigger process and actually improve our sustained fire as well. When you see the pattern, you will become more comfortable about just releasing the shot and eventually only be aware of the fact you didn't see it develop an just put the gun down. 

Now this does not sound like it would transfer to sustained fire very well, but it does if we just remember we will have a different level of acceptable wobble area for the short line and we simply complete the trigger process. We don't have to worry about aborting because the inverse square law says our wobble is 4 times better than it looked like at 50 yards.  But seeing the wobble process is the same, we're just training to complete it 5 times in a row.

Hope this makes some sense, or at least provides you with another avenue to consider for addressing your issues.  Now if I could just do what I say......

CR

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Post by Wobbley 7/18/2020, 10:24 am

Thanks Cecil.  It gives me hope yet.  I was actually trying to look for the wobble beginning to settle then releasing the shot.  If I did that, my results were usually a 10 or better.  When my wobble settles, as I see it, it seems to be just about “X-ring” size on the 25 yard line.  Sometimes it isn’t centered, but it still has that size.  That lump at 4 o’clock would be a nice handful of Xs if it was centered....

Ashley
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Post by Wobbley 7/18/2020, 10:29 am

TonyH wrote:
thessler wrote:Wobbley
That shot at 1 o'clock in the seven ring, I don't know if you do that often but I do. I have been shooting some air pistol and put three in that exact spot. I looked it up and they say it's heeling what ever that means.  Also said anticipation.  Not sure how to cure it , just some thoughts. 
Tom
Could also be what I call a "wrist twitch"....used to happen around the fourth or fifth shot in a 5-shot string (very rarely now). My grip relaxed and got looser as the string progressed until finally the wrist broke, flinging a shot up and to the right (right handed shooter). Gripping the 22 firmly and maintaining the same firmness through the entire string has cured that problem. I grip a 22 now with almost as much firmness as I do a 45 (ergo grips vs. 1911 flat panels - on a Nelson, no difference)....the wrist twitch shots centered right up and average scores jumped up.
Tony: it was a wrist twitch. Muzzle dipped then swung right and high.  I’ll work on my grip and may even go back to the factory grips.  Right now the gun has Herrett Automatics on it and I feel sometimes my grip is relaxing because of it.
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Post by sbtzc 7/18/2020, 12:46 pm

Wobbley wrote:
TonyH wrote:
thessler wrote:Wobbley
That shot at 1 o'clock in the seven ring, I don't know if you do that often but I do. I have been shooting some air pistol and put three in that exact spot. I looked it up and they say it's heeling what ever that means.  Also said anticipation.  Not sure how to cure it , just some thoughts. 
Tom
Could also be what I call a "wrist twitch"....used to happen around the fourth or fifth shot in a 5-shot string (very rarely now). My grip relaxed and got looser as the string progressed until finally the wrist broke, flinging a shot up and to the right (right handed shooter). Gripping the 22 firmly and maintaining the same firmness through the entire string has cured that problem. I grip a 22 now with almost as much firmness as I do a 45 (ergo grips vs. 1911 flat panels - on a Nelson, no difference)....the wrist twitch shots centered right up and average scores jumped up.
Tony: it was a wrist twitch. Muzzle dipped then swung right and high.  I’ll work on my grip and may even go back to the factory grips.  Right now the gun has Herrett Automatics on it and I feel sometimes my grip is relaxing because of it.

This involuntary twitch happens to me too. It reminds me of Hermione in Harry Potter - 'swish and flick!'

As I think about this, it is probably a symptom of anticipation. When the shot does not go off when expected, the wrist twitches as if it did fire.

Another possibility; perhaps it's the result of a switch from the subconscious to conscious motor control. "Muzzle dipped,..." The subconscious is saying 'enough holding, stop'. The conscious jumps in and tries to 'save' the shot. ",... then swung right and high." Resulting in over compensation. A jerk if you will.

Like driving and looking at the scenery, then realizing you're drifting in your lane and you jerk the wheel instead of a smooth correction.


Last edited by sbtzc on 7/18/2020, 6:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Another idea)
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Post by fc60 7/18/2020, 7:40 pm

Greetings,

Today, I went shooting rather than testing for a change.

I have a portable turning target mechanism that has a 3 second face the target sequence.

I press the button, the target faces, and I fire two shots.

Repeat the above until you train your subconscious into getting that first shot off quickly and accurately.

Being rusty, there were several shots in the white.

As time progressed the shots appeared in the nine ring.

More practice and the shots will get back into the ten ring like the 'good 'ol days'.

I personally believe it is training the subconscious to react to the situation. Target faces, fire shot, repeat. If you start thinking about your grip, trigger, or anything else, you have lost your focus.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Wobbley 7/18/2020, 9:38 pm

Thanks Dave!
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Post by bpettet 7/19/2020, 2:21 pm

That last post by Cecil was pretty stellar.  That's a lot to download and work on.  Great lesson!

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Post by PhotoEscape 7/21/2020, 9:41 am

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

Today, I went shooting rather than testing for a change.

I have a portable turning target mechanism that has a 3 second face the target sequence.

I press the button, the target faces, and I fire two shots.

Repeat the above until you train your subconscious into getting that first shot off quickly and accurately.

Being rusty, there were several shots in the white.

As time progressed the shots appeared in the nine ring.

More practice and the shots will get back into the ten ring like the 'good 'ol days'.

I personally believe it is training the subconscious to react to the situation. Target faces, fire shot, repeat. If you start thinking about your grip, trigger, or anything else, you have lost your focus.

Cheers,

Dave
I was introduced to this drill last weekend during clinic with Philip Hemphill.  I can attest that this is a great exercise for several reasons, and addresses one specific to myself issue - recovery for the second shot in allotted time frame.  This is where Dave is 100%+ correct about thinking of anything else other then shooting the shot leads to bad shot!

Among other things I learned that for the long line (or slow fire course in general) 4-8 seconds is the time frame for releasing the shot.  If it takes longer, probability of having good shot goes down as your brain signals that you need to inhale the air.  Suggested approach, - stop, bring gun down, take couple of deep breath and restart process of making shot.

AP
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Post by Dipnet 9/12/2020, 3:31 pm

Woble:
Ask the shooter to your right to curse loudly and slam his or her pistol down onto gun bench (ECI in place, slide locked back). 

If your range has positions for target stands less than 25 yards, move your target to 20 or even 15 yards. When you consistently shoot 10s, move stand back to 25 yards. The idea is to regain your confidence and get all that self-criticism out of your mind. Good luck, dipnet
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Post by Jack H 9/12/2020, 5:30 pm

Change your name to Steady
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Post by mikemyers 9/12/2020, 8:33 pm

CR10X wrote:.....And that is to really see not just the "call" but the wobble process from the time the dot lands in the black, up to and through the shot and the final call.  This is very had to do without practice and attention, because most of us have been trying for years to see the best "picture" to release the shot, but have not been learning how to see what leads up to that picture. ...........And this is extremely important because if we wait until we see exactly what we want to react to, the actual condition will have passed by the time we try to take advantage of it.......

I've been reading through all these discussions again.  The sentences above stood out to me.  Cecil, I think you're saying for every shot we take, we need to do this, so we will have a mental image ahead of time for shots that come out best.  I know it makes sense to me, but doing it for many (most?) shooters is going to be a challenge.  It's a lot more of a challenge than just remembering where the gun was pointed at the split second when it fired.

Can I ask you how long it took you to be able to do this?
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Post by CR10X 9/13/2020, 7:43 am

John said how he does it in different words above>

I want to be breaking shots on the way in.

Then people started talking about twitching, etc., without thinking about the other concepts discussed.  There will / should be some indicator that an excursion from the acceptable area is going to occur soon. Be it the amount of time holding, pattern of wobble, feeling of the position, how the sight alignment / came into the aiming area, etc.  Like Zins said, if it does't look right, start over.  And he was not taking about the last millisecond, because we can't abort that fast.  

And we've not even begun the discussion to address that another contributor to not getting a good break (hesitation) is because the shooter is not confident in the sight picture / alignment / process OR is too focused on seeing the perfect sight picture / alignment / process and is therefore starting or stopping the trigger process.  Which is another factor where seeing the process can help reduce hesitation. (If you see the wobble getting smaller / more consistent, and you've seen this before on a good shot, then the tendency to hesitate on the trigger (because we're looking for something better) can be overcome, because we've seen (and remembered) good results.  

Just remember, they are not all going to break perfect.  The goal is to just get better at being consistent so we can get consistently better. 

So, eventually we will get better at seeing the pattern for slow fire shots.  Then we make the transition to the acceptable area / pattern for sustained fire strings, which gives the shooter a lot more wiggle room (pun intended).  Same concept, same keeping the gun parallel, just more wiggle room all around so we will be positive on the trigger and feel the gun going off (continuous positive pressure) on the way in the first time (refer to John's comment again).  

As for how long?  About the same amount time it took me to see what was going on versus just looking at the sights for a still picture.  Which tended to coincide with cleans at 25, then at 50. 

So remember this is a lifelong sport. Sometimes I think there's a reason for that since I'm not there yet. 

CR

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Post by Jack H 9/13/2020, 4:55 pm

"I want to be breaking shots on the way in."


Describe "on the way in".
 I believe there is a world of difference between '5 ring to "in"', and '8 ring to "in"'.  Physical ability has a large role here. 
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