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Grip 101 and limp wrists

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Post by mikemyers 8/29/2020, 7:36 pm

After watching the "Masters Virtual Panel Discussion" for an hour and a half last night, I finally accepted that these guys have no special ability to hold their shooting hand and gun motionless.  But as was pointed out, if the gun does move, it needs to remain parallel to the original shooting orientation.  This has been churning around in my brain since then (much longer, really).  I was trying out different ways to grip my gun at the range this morning, and for one magazine of 5 rounds everything went great.  I changed magazines without moving anything, and the next five rounds also were good.   I tried to note where all my fingers were, and how I was holding the gun, and everything else, and I noticed my right thumb was wrapped around the gun more than usual, so the end of my thumb lined up with the leading edge of the grips.  Noting all this was so I could repeat it.


I went out on my balcony this evening, just holding my hand up as if there was a gun in it, and it became obvious that there was nothing preventing my hand from twisting to the right or left at the wrist  My right wrist was like a wad of grease, and I couldn't find any motor control, muscles, whatever, to tense it up or even stiffen it slightly.  

Frustrated, on a whim, I pretended to hold the gun in my left hand, which has no idea what it's supposed to do.  Amazing, my wrist was quite a bit stiffer.  The best way to describe this, was I held out my arm/wrist in front of me, and had pivoted my wrist towards my left, so the gun was aiming somewhat to my left.  When it was like that, I found I actually COULD firm up my wrist a little - just aiming my hand that way already firmed it up.  Interesting.

So, I came indoors and held the gun in my right hand, and deliberately pivoted my wrist to my right, so the gun was now aimed a little to my right.  Even more amazingly, I found I had some kind of muscle or tendon or whatever it is, that sort of "stiffened" my wrist in that orientation - something I have never, ever, been able to do.  See photos below.

Feeling excited about this, I left my hand and wrist exactly like that, and moved the gun within my hand, pivoting it so the gun was pointing straight ahead while my wrist was "bent".  

I looked where my thumb had moved to, and it was pretty much right where my thumb was earlier today, when I actually shot a decent group.



I don't know if I've explained this well or not.  What I'm aware of, is that the way I've been shooting, there is nothing to keep my gun pointed "ahead".  I don't have any way to stiffen my wrist to keep things in place.  BUT, orienting my hand this new way, I actually DO have a way to tense up my hand/wrist so the gun is held at a specific angle - and apparently, if I hold tightly enough, it stays there.  I got ten good rounds this morning, shooting this way, but at the time, I wasn't smart enough to recognize why.  


The video session didn't directly tell me what I've just written, but it DID give me the mental tools to come up with this test and explanation.  When I picked up the gun to dry-fire a few minutes ago, while the gun wasn't fully "locked" in position, it was being held there snugly, and it was easy to keep it there, especially compared to before, when it wasn't possible.

(Don't laugh at me too hard if the above sounds totally bonkers.  I may not have the medical terms to explain properly, and if Crazy Thunder was standing next to me months or years ago, he'd probably just have moved the gun in my hands and said to "do this from now on".  Maybe.  I'll find out Monday if I'm on to something.  Or, maybe you're all gonna groan, and tell me how many years I've wasted with a bad grip.....)

Before ---  gun can is free to rotate to either the right or left:
Grip 101 and limp wrists Img_3117


After  ---  the gun now feels like it's held in place, no longer free to rotate to either side.
Grip 101 and limp wrists Img_3118
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Post by Jack H 8/30/2020, 12:28 am

The muscles that firm the wrist are at the elbow end of your forearm.  Do what I said some time ago.  Work on gripping with your thumb and finger tips away from the grip.  Press the base of the thumb straight forward with equal force as the fingers press straight back.  Your HS slant grip might be best for this as it is smaller. See how much better your wrist stiffens compared to the choke the chicken or tomato crushing squeeze
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Post by mikemyers 8/30/2020, 3:43 am

Jack, Dave wrote me ".... the wrist is not a lockable joint. Grip is a personal thing varying from individual to individual. The absolute if there is one is that it must firmly consistent. More than one good shooter raises their thumb high to stiffen their hold."  Between what you wrote, and what Dave wrote, I think I've been missing something.

As to my thumb, because of various things I've read, I've been mostly ignoring my thumb.  As one of the things I read put it, the thumb will only apply side pressure to the gun, and I've been trying to use only front/back pressure to grip the gun.

I wrote earlier that I couldn't find any way to stiffen up my hold when my hand was in the position of the first photo.  What Dave wrote actually worked - aiming my thumb upwards stiffened my grip.  When I'm awake, that is one more thing to look into.  I didn't understand this until just now.

You wrote "press the base of the thumb straight forward with equal force as the fingers press straight back".  I hadn't thought of it that way, but that does describe how I'm trying to grip the gun - I'll try this when I wake up on both this gun, and my HS with slant grip.   I've learned not to press with my thumb and fingertips (as you noted) because they apply sideways forces to the gun.

I'm pretty sure that depending on the angle of my wrist, this directly has the control of how the gun does, or does not, remain parallel, (as CR put it this is critical).  The only way my gun can "flop" around and still remain parallel to how I'm trying to shoot, is if my wrist can be stiffer.  What I described earlier, having the wrist bent more, does stiffen up my wrist/grip.  Doing what Dave suggested, raising my thumb to stiffen the grip (never heard of this before) stiffens up my wrist.  

My plan now is to grip my gun as in photo #2, following both your advice and Dave's advice to stiffen up my wrist.  Maybe I can capture a short video of my doing what you guys are suggesting, so you can confirm that I understand correctly.  For now, it's 4am, time to go back to sleep.  Thank you!
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Post by Jack H 8/30/2020, 6:03 am

Here is another way to train this thumb thing. 

Line the sights up with your eye and line yourself up with the target.  Now reach for the target with the tip of your thump.  Your thumb reaches forward.  Not sideways at all. 

I learned a lot of this stuff from my mentor and coach in the 70s.  Coach said he had learned a lot from Joe Benner.  Although I can't say this thumb thing is a Benner thing.
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Post by mikemyers 8/30/2020, 7:06 am

Sounds interesting.  I'll make one small change at first - I'll aim the gun the way I have been doing, and then see how much the gun moves, and which way, to line up the thumb.

Dave's reply really surprised me, but it matches what I found last night - I can "stiffen up" everything else regarding my hold, but not my wrist.  That's before Dave wrote that I could stiffen the wrist with my thumb.  

I guess I'll also go "back to the books" and see if I missed reading something that was already there.

It's the "Master's Video" that led to this - I never really accepted that their hand were just as un-steady as any normal person, but they found a way to shoot consistently anyway.  Their answer was to allow the gun to wobble, but keep it parallel to what they want.  By definition, if the wrist is flopping around, that's the place that should make the gun the most un-parallel.

Thanks again.  One more thing to experiment with.....   :-)
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Post by CR10X 9/1/2020, 5:16 pm

You've got 4 fingers, an opposable thumb, a palm, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder joint to grasp and point the gun towards the target. I would suggest shooters use as much of their original equipment as possible to grasp the gun and drive it towards the center of their aiming area and keep the sights aligned, which means the gun is parallel with that intended path. Wobble is inevitable, angular displacement is not, IF you work at it.

You may not be able to lock a wrist joint, but you can keep it in a consistent position IF you don't let it and the other fingers try to help operate the trigger!

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Post by TomH_pa 9/2/2020, 8:12 pm

CR10X wrote:You've got 4 fingers, an opposable thumb,  a palm, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder joint to grasp and point the gun towards the target.  I would suggest shooters use as much of their original equipment as possible to grasp the gun and drive it towards the center of their aiming area and keep the sights aligned,  which means the gun is parallel with that intended path. Wobble is inevitable,  angular displacement is not, IF you work at it.

You may not be able to lock a wrist joint, but you can keep it in a consistent position IF you don't  let it and the other fingers try to help operate the trigger!

CR

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This is so simple, it's brilliant!

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Post by Jack H 9/2/2020, 9:51 pm

TomH_pa wrote:
CR10X wrote:You've got 4 fingers, an opposable thumb,  a palm, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder joint to grasp and point the gun towards the target.  I would suggest shooters use as much of their original equipment as possible to grasp the gun and drive it towards the center of their aiming area and keep the sights aligned,  which means the gun is parallel with that intended path. Wobble is inevitable,  angular displacement is not, IF you work at it.

You may not be able to lock a wrist joint, but you can keep it in a consistent position IF you don't  let it and the other fingers try to help operate the trigger!

CR

CR

This is so simple, it's brilliant!


Is that "drive" two dimensions, left-right and up-down?  Or is there a third dimension, mentally or physical, of downrange truly "towards" the target?
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Post by james r chapman 9/3/2020, 4:56 am

Twilight Zone?
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Post by CR10X 9/3/2020, 6:37 am

Is that "drive" two dimensions, left-right and up-down?  Or is there a third dimension, mentally or physical, of downrange truly "towards" the target?

Great question and I was wondering if someone would ask.  Here's my take on this; your feelings, actions, though process, etc., may vary.  This is trying describe a process and feeling from my standpoint.  It may not make sense to others that approach shooting from other stand points or mental pictures or whatever.  

The short answer is yes, the "drive" is both physical and mental / visual.  The physical standpoint for me is to feel I'm not just "holding" the gun in the area of aim and seeing the wobble, but also keeping the whole gun/hand/wrist/forearm/elbow/upper arm unit in a fixed position while helping reduce the wobble from the shoulder forward, not just the individual parts of the arm / hand / gun unit. And helping drive or center that system in my area of aim on the target from the shoulder forward. Its not a particular direction of drive, its more like watching / helping water swirl down the center of the drain. 

I'm not really moving the unit a lot, its more like keeping the extraneous movement to a minimum and helping it center.  But I'm helping do something, not just letting everything hang there wobbling on its own or using fingers, wrist or some individual part to help center (that path leads to disturbing the parallel position of the gun relative to the line of sight). I feel like an active participant in getting the gun centered, not from the guns point of view but from the whole system point of view.


I've seen a lot of people moving wrists, hands, forearms (when bent) trying to keep the front sight / dot in their aiming area.  They use the point on the gun (front sight / dot) to try and keep it in the area and forget that you can keep the front sight / dot in the aiming area but still be moving the rest of the gun around that point. 

Basically I think some shooters are using just the top of the front sight or dot without realizing the reference needs to be with the rear sight / tube as well to give you two points of reference (front / rear or dot / tube) to see what you are doing to move the gun from being parallel with your intended line of flight.  Just because the front sight is in the preferred area doesn't mean it will be a good shot unless its also centered in the rear notch!  And the problem with dots in this case is that we have trouble separating the changes we make in the orientation of the gun with the overall wobble since the distance from the dot to the field of view in the tube is very large and the wobble is in the dot movement as well. The important part is the front/rear sight relationship or the consistent position of the dot in the tube to reference that I'm are keeping the gun parallel.  (As for the dot, it doesn't have to be in the center, but it needs to stay in the same place inside the tube as the trigger is operated.)  

The feeling for me is to use the whole unit to "drive" (not just hold) the gun to the center of the aiming area and to help keep the gun aligned.  This seems to reduce the effects of the individual pieces (fingers, hand muscles, wrist, forearm, etc.) on the position of the gun.  Yes, the whole unit wobbles, but I feel like I'm reducing the effects of the individual parts when I try to keep them in the same position as a unit and trying to "drive" the whole unit to the center. The only thing that needs to really move is the trigger finger.  (Some people I've talked to do the same thing but with the feeling of "pulling" everything "back into the shoulder joint" to achieve the same thing (a more stable gun platform). This "active holding" for me also seems to reduce the effects of shooting in the wind.  Even getting moved around, I still have the feeling that I'm helping get the gun (still in alignment) back to my preferred area of aim and that seems to help reduce hesitation on the trigger.  As long as I'm driving towards the center and the trigger is progressing, everything will be OK.  When it doesn't feel like its going towards the center is my "abort" indicator.

The mental standpoint is just as important to me.  To feel the "drive to the center" also helps with my timing and and as noted above when to not shoot.  Also, keeping everything as a unit reduces my distraction with trying to use / fix / move any individual parts which detracts from the mental and visual focus on the front sight / dot / and wobble.  When it's a good shot, it also seems that when the the front sight gets "clearer" or the dot seems to get a little "larger" I'm really seeing what I need to focus on to get a good shot and the trigger process should be completed at that time.

This is kinda long winded, but the point is that the more we keep the body / gun platform together as a unit, the more we can concentrate on seeing the wobble area (hopefully reducing in size) at the same time the trigger process is complete. 

Anyway, this is very hard to put into words. Hope someone can make some sense out of it or at least it helps them find something that helps.

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Post by mikemyers 9/3/2020, 8:41 am

CR10X wrote:.......I'm not really moving the unit a lot, its more like keeping the extraneous movement to a minimum and helping it center.  But I'm helping do something, not just letting everything hang there wobbling on its own or using fingers, wrist or some individual part to help center (that path leads to disturbing the parallel position of the gun relative to the line of sight). I feel like an active participant in getting the gun centered, not from the guns point of view but from the whole system point of view........I've seen a lot of people moving wrists, hands, forearms (when bent) trying to keep the front sight / dot in their aiming area.  They use the point on the gun (front sight / dot) to try and keep it in the area and forget that you can keep the front sight / dot in the aiming area but still be moving the rest of the gun around that point.......
I had a question about your previous post, but I couldn't think of a way to ask - it was too confusing.

What you just wrote answered what I was puzzled about, and also identified something I now KNOW that I've been doing incorrectly.  Greatly simplified, if I use just one part of my body (wrist, whatever) to move the dot back to where I want it, I'm disturbing the need to keep the gun parallel to the best aiming path.  Instead, I need to move my entire support for the gun, which won't disturb the "parallel" aspect of aiming that you describe.  .....it's like someone just turned on a light, allowing me to see something I was oblivious to before.

I need to learn how to do this properly - but I now realize that until now, I've been doing it "incorrectly".  By just "adjusting" the dot to where I want it, I've created a worse problem.  Ouch!

This is still rather blurry in my mind - I now realize one thing I've been doing wrong.  
Now I need to find a way to fix this.

Thank you.
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Post by mikemyers 9/3/2020, 9:44 am

One more thing to add - lots of places tell people what NOT to do, but as far as I can remember, not one of them gave the reason for this, which you clearly did.  Understanding is half the battle. 

I was planning on going to the range today to check out my Nelson.  That's postponed until tomorrow.  I need to spend a good part of today dry-firing, modifying things based on what I've just now understood from CR.
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Post by mikemyers 9/3/2020, 10:50 am

I've been thinking of nothing but this for the past couple of hours, and here's how I sorted it out in my brain:

  • Just so you all know how my mind works, or doesn’t, I picked up a gun with a red dot, and aimed it as best I could at a target the way I've been doing.  Presumably, that’s where the bullet would hit.  I then deliberately twisted my wrist slightly to the side, so I know for a fact that the bullet will also hit off to the side.  BUT….  By moving my head slightly, without changing the gun’s position, I found a place where the sights appeared to be lined up perfectly.  Were I to fire like that, the bullet would NOT hit the bullseye regardless of what I saw in my sights.  

  • That led me to my “conclusion”, that if my gun is sighted in, and if I set all the things Cecil noted correctly, and put my eye directly behind the sight, the bullet will hit the X.  If the dot is off to one side or another, the only adjusting that I should make is with my feet.

  • (Perhaps this is a good reason for me to stick with steel sights.)


It's hard to break old habits, but Cecil, you helped me put this together in a way that hit home.  Which means for all these years, I've been doing things incorrectly.  That list of body parts you noted includes many that I never gave a second thought to, until now.

Again, thank you.
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Post by mikemyers 9/4/2020, 3:23 pm

It's been an interesting week.  Having watched the "Masters Video", and then struggled to properly understand what Cecil was saying, I came away from this thinking there all those individual body parts, any one of which could wreck my attempts at getting a good shot.  I even had a reason - each of them could prevent the gun's aim from remaining parallel to the ideal aim - so I never attempted to fiddle with any of them.  Then last night, I spent much of the evening dry-firing - the aiming was done before the gun was raised, and if it was not good, my hand went down, and after re-positioning my body, I tried again.

I was still puzzled about what Cecil wrote.  I sent Dave Salyer an email, asking how Cecil's post could help me.  Dave is a good translator, explaining that while Cecil was using area aiming, he was also helping the shot get to to get to the middle of that area - and his subconscious actuates the trigger at the appropriate time.


I got to the range early today, and used three of my four B-16 target printouts to sight in the Nelson, now mounted to my Salyer/Caspian frame (it works fine on the Caspian).  The third target was shot using Dave's original explanation of area aiming, to do my best to control the trigger properly ten times while the dot was reasonably stable within "the black", making no effort to do better than that.  

For the last target, I did everything I think I have learned, had my body/feet/arms/whatever positioned up so the gun came up already aimed at the target, and I mostly used "area aiming" while "thinking" I wanted my shots to fire when they were towards the center.  My trigger finger was building up pressure all the time, and I tried to NOT know exactly when the gun fired.   

Here's the result.
All the discussion in that first video brought up a lot of things I thought were useful, Cecil made it easier to accomplish, and Dave helped me understand what Cecil was writing.  

I went home with a big smile on my face. 

Grip 101 and limp wrists Img_3123
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Post by mikemyers 9/10/2020, 7:24 pm

The ideas up above pretty much eliminated my issue.  I know I can get better, butI accept that I've already gotten better.

I'd like to add on a new wrinkle.  Having watched both of the Master's Videos, I can accept that none of them have any "superpower" skills, but they've watched, and practiced, and discussed, and shot matches, and all of this added together, experience, allows them to reach the level they're at now - and they too will continue to improve.

For me, dry-fire is a huge part of this, and I do it most every night, paying the most attention to whether the dot moves when the gun "fires" - "trigger control".  I no longer practice or concentrate on "aiming", as I've accepted that area aiming is the way to go, and as long as I keep my shots in my "wobble zone", that is my current limitation.  

For reasons I can't explain, it seems to me that timed fire often gets me better results than slow fire.  Maybe that's because in slow fire there is too much time to "think".  I figure timed fire is the best way to practice slow fire anyway, so I'm content with this.

Which leads up to my new question - again, because of all the feedback here, rapid fire is no longer the nightmare I used to think it was, and for several reasons I'm no longer losing track of the dot.  This is mostly with 22, but I still do the 45 once in a while so I don't lose what I've learned with the 45.  On to my question - HOW DO YOU PRACTICE RAPID FIRE ?


  • After two days of trying to come up with a reasonable answer, the best I've come up with is to shoot at a steel plate hanging on the back of the range.  In my case, at 50 yards, I've got an 8" disc, a 12" disc, and a huge plate maybe the size of a person standing at that distance - 50 yards.  I have the Bullseye Timer app running on both my iPhone and my old Android phone, and unless you guys suggest something better, I' just going to shoot at the standard pace, and listen for the PING.  I'll start with the large plate, then work down.  


Two years ago, at matches at HRPC, a few of my rapid fire shots hit the target, and most hit the backing board.
Last year, at matches, most of my rapid fire shots hit the target, with at least a few in the black.
Now, most are in the black, and the rest are within the 8 ring.
I have no idea how much better I can get, but to be honest, a year ago, the below target was impossible for me.
What things did you guys do, or intend to do, to improve your rapid fire scores?

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Post by CR10X 9/11/2020, 11:51 am

FWIW

Train on (1) getting the shot off as the targets turn / buzzer sounds.  (By the way, take a tip from IPSC / USPSA shooters don't wait until the end of the buzzer to get started on the draw, so don't do that on the trigger either.  Buzzers take between .1 and .5 seconds depending on the maker and turners are generally about .5 seconds or less from start to full face.  Train not to waste that time, but don't screw the pooch and jump the gun either.  Trigger slack is taken up prior to the turn, pressure starts at the turn (no matter how imprecise the sight picture as long as the alignment is ok), and finishes just after the target faces.  A start beep and another beep at about 1.5 to 2 seconds can help here but again, its not a race.  It's training on how soon you can complete a trigger press that initiates from an outside signal (all the other shots start internally by the shooter getting back into the aiming area see item (2)) while maintaining COMPLETE control of the trigger process. 

Train on (2) seeing the sights at the shot and then seeing the sight / dot as it's coming down into the area of aim AND getting the trigger started again as soon as you see the sights / dot coming into the aiming area.  

(These training examples are the exact opposite of waiting / listening to hear a "ping" to confirm the previous shot.  Which is what you will wind up doing if you practice listening for the "ping".  Either you saw it and know where it went or you didn't (so you know what you have to go back and train on before (1) or (2), right?).

As you can see none of these involve "waiting for some confirmation", seeing the sights takes care of that instantaneously.  At the end of the string (or ever how many shoots you get off), you should be able to remember the shot call for all 5 in sequence and basically be able to score the string without even looking. 

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Post by mikemyers 9/11/2020, 1:06 pm

What worked out for me today is along the lines of some of what you just wrote.  I got to the range at 9:30, just in time for the rain to start.  I set up and shot at the large steel plate, then the mid-size plate.  The PING quickly got boring, and I switched to doing what Dave Salyer suggested, forget about timing, and get in as many GOOD shots, with my timing rhythm, as possible.  Dave suggested not using the timer at all, but I thought it would be good to take the first shot just when the first buzzer went off, giving me all the rest of the time for only four shots.

So, I was doing this:   "Train on (1) getting the shot off as the targets turn / buzzer sounds."

What you wrote about not waiting for the buzzer to finish is new to me - next time, as soon as I hear the sound, I'll take the shot.  Now I see what I was doing as a waste of time - I never considered that until I read what you wrote.


Reading on, I think you're suggesting I concentrate on getting off that first shot.  "It's training on how soon you can complete a trigger press that initiates from an outside signal"  My interpretation of what you wrote is go go back to the range and load only one round, then get good at firing that round as you suggested.  My target's not going to turn, but I can use the start of the buzzer for when to get off that first shot.


Unless you tell me this is a bad idea, I will leave the next thing you wrote until the next visit to the range.  Train on (2) seeing the sights at the shot and then seeing the sight / dot as it's coming down into the area of aim AND getting the trigger started again as soon as you see the sights / dot coming into the aiming area.   Again, unless you suggest it's wrong, I'd like to concentrate on one thing at a time until I get it right.


At the time I wrote the post up above, it sounded like a reasonable idea.  From what you've written, it now sounds silly.  To eliminate the PING I will shoot at paper targets or turn off the audio on my electronic ear muffs.  Until the rain washed away my target, I had already switched to a paper target before giving up for the day.

- - - - - - - - - 

On a totally different topic, in the Master's Video, the group suggested shooting in the worst conditions possible, deliberately, so as to be prepared for that if it happens during a match.  I've never been to Perry - not really even seen videos of Perry, but I find it difficult to visualize you guys shooting out in the open with rain coming down on you, your gun, your gear, etc.  I couldn't even keep my target up today - as soon as the backing board got wet, it bent and flopped onto the ground.  I did bring my raincoat, but after three hours, I was getting hot and thirsty, and while cold water helped, the heat was annoying.  Thanks to all my trips to India, I thought I was immune to getting so hot.

I get lots of ideas, but some turn out to be a waste.
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Post by mikemyers 9/12/2020, 6:14 pm

CR10X wrote:........At the end of the string (or ever how many shoots you get off), you should be able to remember the shot call for all 5 in sequence and basically be able to score the string without even looking......

Miami is a complete washout today, with a pre-hurricane moving over Miami on its way to create yet more grief and misery.  I spent much of the day re-reading the discussions here, considering your advice along with what others have been writing.

One thread I was reading reminded me of CrankyThunder's advice to be thinking WATCH THE DOT, WAIT FOR THE BANG while shooting.  Then I sat down with my Nelson to dry-fire against a blank wall, but this time with my half-inch black circle taped to the wall, to simulate how "the black" of a B-8 target looks to me.  Usually I just dry-fire against the blank wall.  I was trying to analyze what I do during dry-fire, and realized I was looking at the half-inch "target" with the dot in front of it.  What I think I've learned from all the advice here is that "trigger control" means the gun stays put when fired, not moving at all.  That started me thinking I should be staring at the dot, not the "target".  I tried that, but couldn't concentrate on the small red dot over the larger black circle from the target.

On a hunch, I turned the brightness way up on the sight.  Now the larger and brighter red done dominated my sight, and the target sort of faded off into the distance.  After dry-firing like this for 20 minutes or so, I realized the gun never moved when it went CLICK, and I had a much better feel for where on the target the hole was going to be.

I wouldn't dare write (yet) that I knew where the hole was going to be.  If I get to the range tomorrow, I'll compare what I "called it" with where the hole ended up, firing one round at a time.


OK, on to one thing I'm puzzled about in what you wrote.  I guess you can do it, but I wouldn't dare even try.  I'm constantly trying to NOT think, and repeating WATCH THE DOT, WAIT FOR THE BANG in my mind.  Keeping track of my shots or score as I go along goes against everything you guys suggested in the Master's Videos.  I figure I need to treat every shot as if it's the ONLY shot that matters, not what I did earlier, or might do in the future.  That's one reason I mostly avoid Shoot-n-See targets, as then you know what I'll be seeing, and thinking about......   Trying to remember all five shots is more than I can deal with - yet.


At times, I start thinking this whole thing is getting beyond my capability, but after my dry-fire session ended, I was please that the gun didn't move AT ALL when I fired.  One more improvement.  It's like learning how to play a musical instrument, when you think you're in a rut, but then realize you can do more than before.


On Sunday this will arrive:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/179135517X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Post by CR10X 9/13/2020, 7:23 am

You're not "keeping track of your shots" while shooter the string or shouldn't be anyway.  What you do need to do is see them well enough to remember each one when you finish.  Just about every really good golfer can tell you every shot they took for that round, club, flight type (draw / fade, etc.) yardage and position. 

And when remembering, the really good shots should stand out enough that you especially remember them because that's what you want to do next time. And I assume you've taken the advise given many times before about slow fire training.  Every shot that was acceptable should be review again after the shot to instill what we want to do.  

Shots that are not in our acceptable area are erased. We should not study things that do not provide positive feedback or instill habits we do not want. Another difference between good shooters and shooters that are not there yet is that the shooters that are not there yet are trying to figure out what they did "wrong". Good shooters are trying to learn and remember and instill the "right" (read consistent) things to do. Everybody shoots shots that are not in the expected / acceptable area.  The difference is that some dwell on failure and others look for and study success. 

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Post by mikemyers 9/13/2020, 9:04 am

CR10X wrote:1) You're not "keeping track of your shots" while shooter the string or shouldn't be anyway. 

2) What you do need to do is see them well enough to remember each one when you finish.  Just about every really good golfer can tell you every shot they took for that round, club, flight type (draw / fade, etc.) yardage and position. 

3) And when remembering, the really good shots should stand out enough that you especially remember them because that's what you want to do next time.

4) And I assume you've taken the advise given many times before about slow fire training.  Every shot that was acceptable should be review again after the shot to instill what we want to do.  

5) Shots that are not in our acceptable area are erased. We should not study things that do not provide positive feedback or instill habits we do not want. Another difference between good shooters and shooters that are not there yet is that the shooters that are not there yet are trying to figure out what they did "wrong". Good shooters are trying to learn and remember and instill the "right" (read consistent) things to do. Everybody shoots shots that are not in the expected / acceptable area.  The difference is that some dwell on failure and others look for and study success. 
Regarding #1, I'm not deliberately trying to keep track, but my mind seems to keep track of things on its own.  I don't "count" but I guess I've somehow learned to remember how many rounds are left.  Until I read what you just wrote, when a shot is gone, I forget it from my memory, and all I'm thinking about is the next shot.  I count all sorts of things, without trying to.  It just "happens".


Regarding #2, it's all wiped from my memory - if you were to say "hey, what happened on your third shot" I couldn't answer.  I know others do this easily.  I also know that if you asked me at 4pm what I ate for breakfast, I'd have to stop, and figure it out.  Like photography - once I capture an image I'm satisfied with, I clear my memory and only concentrate fully on the next image, or often, how I'd like to re-take the original image but do it better.  That's usually the case.  For one photo in 100 I smile and know "I got it!".  If it's a REALLY good shot, I remember everything.  If not, not.  For shooting, I might remember some details, maybe, but I couldn't describe my shots, in order, to someone even a minute or two after shooting.  The "screen" in my mind is blank.


For #3 and #4, no, this is the first time I've read this, but it sounds great - when I do have an excellent shot, I should STOP, and review what I did, which will make it more likely that I *will* remember for the future.  ............I know it's wrong, and you've totally convinced me of it, but if one shot went off aimed at Mars, that is the shot I *do* dwell on, because as you note later, I have been trying to figure out what I did wrong, so I don't make the same mistake again.   You and others have completely convinced me it is better to ONLY think about the good shots.


For #5, for 70 years of my life, I got better by learning from mistakes, and trying not to make the same mistake again.  It worked, but my impression of "me" was based more so on mistakes than what I did well.  I've gradually doing just what you describe, only "remembering" the good, and trying to repeat it.  But, on the second Master's Video, one of you suggested learning from mistakes.  I did't expect to hear that.  I guess he was "out-voted" by all the rest of the group who seem to feel the same way you do.



  • (Because I had prostate cancer a while back, the doctors office wanted me to talk to a "clinical psychologist" on a routine basis.  I was telling her about your comments a few days ago - I made a silly mistake and after figuring it out my first thoughts were "you dummy!!!".  She said that's an awful thing to do - because it re-inforces something inside a person that makes them really feel like a dummy, even if they said it in jest, as I did.  She was more forceful than even you, to only remember the good, and let the bad fade away into nothingness....).  ....and ALL the mind control books dwell on this, that thinking of "bad" behavior reinforces that this "bad" behavior will happen again, and I should instead fill my brain with good thoughts of good behavior, and assume that I will shoot at my best (and NOT think of anything I don't want to do).
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Post by -TT- 9/13/2020, 9:36 am

CR10X wrote:You're not "keeping track of your shots" while shooter the string or shouldn't be anyway.  What you do need to do is see them well enough to remember each one when you finish.

One really fun training exercise is to keep a sharpie and a blank target, and put a spot on it for every shot you take, going only by your call. When you finally see the target, it will tell you how well you're reading yourself!

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Post by Schaumannk 9/13/2020, 11:33 am

After 12 years, my shooting instructions to myself has  three elements.  

Know how long your hold is good.  (The dot will tell you when it is deteriorating which is pretty damn quick at my age.)
Don’t move the gun with your wrist. (Very tempting to do when the dot moves out of the black) 
When you pull the trigger, don’t hesitate on it, squeeze the gun,  or get any of your other fingers involved.   

When I think of it, I go back and read the Blankenship article on triggering in the Pistol shooters Treasury.  Highly recommended.  

As my good friend Dave Salyer says,  what you see in the scope is past tense.  If you can’t train yourself to trust your hold, and pull the trigger quickly and smoothly, it will be a long frustrating journey.  

If you don’t trust your hold, an electronic trainer can be helpful in convincing you   that your hold is good enough and how long it actually lasts.  

It will also tell you if your grip experiments are actually helping or if there is something else causing you to throw shots out of your area of hold.

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Post by mikemyers 9/13/2020, 2:57 pm

Schaumannk wrote:.....Know how long your hold is good.  (The dot will tell you when it is deteriorating which is pretty damn quick at my age.)
Don’t move the gun with your wrist. (Very tempting to do when the dot moves out of the black) 
When you pull the trigger, don’t hesitate on it, squeeze the gun,  or get any of your other fingers involved....
The following target is changed from what I did in the past by feedback from CrankyThunder, Dave, and Cecil (and too many others to mention individually).  I was at the range for 2 1/2 hours, and I was feeling hot, tired, and thirsty.  I had two objectives - sight-in the gun, and control the trigger.  Before packing up to go home, I wanted to shoot one last target as best I could, with no mistakes.  I'll post it below.

CrankyThunder wants my mind focused on WATCH THE DOT, WAIT FOR THE BANG to the exclusion of everything else.  The only thing that over-rides that is me realizing I need to start over, so I lower the gun, wait a bit, and start all over again.  There is no aiming at any point - my overly bright dot is surrounded by black, and that's all the aiming I do.  It's how I can accomplish Dave Salyer's Area Aiming.  I want to do more of what Cecil talks about, but my memory banks are already full following "WATCH THE DOT", which to me means pay full attention to the dot, and wait for something happen.  As Cranky suggested, I just continually apply more and more pressure to the trigger - at some point in time it will fire.

For the three things you just suggested:
a) I don't know how long my hold is good for, but I DO KNOW when I've gone beyond that point.  I used to shoot anyway, but now it hit my RESET switch and start everything all over again.

b) regarding not moving the gun with my wrist, that's an interesting point.  I don't know how I do this.  I need to pay attention and see what I'm doing now.  I know enough (now) not to do it, as Cecil made it seem obvious that doing so means the gun is no longer correctly aligned.  I think if I raise my gun a little above the target, and lower it, the gun is either aligned with the target or not - and if it isn't, I need to lower the gun, adjust my feet, and start all over again.  I'd like to think this is what I'm doing.  I'm not certain though.

c) Regarding trigger actuation, I have a choice of "shooting", or "just continuing pressure" until the gun eventually fires.  That's what CrankyThunder suggests I do, and that's what I'm doing now.  So far, I do better when I'm not aware of exactly when the gun will fire.


Regarding the target below, my immediate thoughts were that before I shoot again, I need to adjust the sights to the left.  But as I was leaving the range, one of the club members looked at the target, said I was doing very well, but I was "too heavy on the trigger".  He also said it might be because I was tired, which I know I was.  My plan is to adjust the sights, and return to the range tomorrow morning.



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Post by Schaumannk 9/13/2020, 6:23 pm

“Regarding the target below, my immediate thoughts were that before I shoot again, I need to adjust the sights to the left.  But as I was leaving the range, one of the club members looked at the target, said I was doing very well, but I was "too heavy on the trigger".  He also said it might be because I was tired, which I know I was.  My plan is to adjust the sights, and return to the range tomorrow morning.”




I’m not sure what this means.   If it means *jerking* it could be, for the shots that are out of your area of hold.  


Steve Reiter once told me that you trigger the same for your first shot and every shot in Rapid fire as your shots in slow fire.      This is why you should read the article on triggering by Blankenship.  
Teach yourself to go from zero to five pounds of pressure very smoothly and quickly without getting your other fingers involved.  


If it takes you more than a second from initially applying pressure to the trigger to the gun going off in these high master shooters opinion, you are lagging on the trigger and perhaps not smoothly adding pressure.  


A long roll will quickly identify this error.  With a crisp trigger, very hard to spot.  


I have had a couple of Nirvana moments where I have realized the truth of what these two high masters said.  
I always dry fire my last shot to make sure the gun is clear.   One time,  I had been loading different numbers of rounds and I quickly and smoothly pulled the trigger in the general direction of the target, thinking the gun was empty.    Gun went bang.  Uh oh.   Where is the shot?   Answer,  right in the middle of the x ring.  


Second example:  Camp Perry about four or five years ago.  Weather is terrible.   Raining to beat the band.   Can’t really see the target at all.  Just put the dot in the middle of the scope point toward the black and pull the trigger.    Result.   All good shots, expect for the two I blew by lagging on the trigger.  

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Post by DA/SA 9/13/2020, 7:15 pm

I've recently gone back to training with a revolver (DA) for that reason and it is working out well.

At the range with the pistol pointing safely down range...load five snap caps and a live round. spin the cylinder and lock it without looking. Proceed to dry fire Russian Roulette style. Don't stop when it goes bang, just cycle through all six and then start over. Your sight alignment and sight picture will improve and your anticipation/chicken finger will fade away. (and you'll shoot a lot of good shots!)

When I get to the range, I dry fire a bit, then do the above for a while, then move on to the Marvel and/or the .45.

I use a revolver because I like shooting DA, and since i shoot alone, I can't trick myself loading a mix of live and dummy rounds in a magazine for the 1911.
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