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Calling shots

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Calling shots Empty Calling shots

Post by Flytrap1 Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:54 am

Could some explain "calling your shots"? How do you practice this technique?

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Post by DavidR Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:04 pm

Its just being conscience of where the dot ( or sight) is when the shot breaks, if the gun is accurate and zeroed then you should be able to "call" the location the bullet hit the target.If you were able to then that is a shot that was "on call", it takes time to develop but it will come.
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Post by Toz35m Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:36 pm

An example is if your dot is perfectly lined up when you pulled the trigger and the shot went off and you did not move the sites you should be able to call your shot as a dead center X. Then your second shot and the shot went off and the dot was high at 12 o'clock but not out of the black you might call it a 9 or just inside the 10 ring on the timed fire target.

Irons work the same way but you have some more factors to consider. If the sights are lined up with respect to each other but your point of aim was high or to the right. The front sight may not be lined up with the rear sight. It will take longer to call shots accurately

It is a very important skill to have but like DavidR said it takes time to develop. When you develop the skill enough you should be able to get your sights adjusted in just a few shots depending on your skill level.
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Post by DeweyHales Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:24 pm

Calling your shot starts with an instant mental photograph of what things looked like as the shot broke.

Was the dot centered? Was it moving as the shot broke?

With irons, were the sights aligned? Was your sight picture correct?
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Post by Chris_D Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:17 am

Calling shots accurately comes in different stages over time and ability. When I was shooting in the 260~ 270 range, I could call gross shots there were pretty far out in the white. I could not call an 8 from a 9 or a 10 on a sustained fire target.

When my abilities improved to where I was shooting consistently in the high 280s low 290s, I became more adept at calling 8s and 9s on slow fire targets.

About 50% of the time, I make the call based on the "shot break visual image" and the other 50% of the time I can call based on how the shot broke or felt when it broke. Very often I know when I did something wrong - most of the time it is poor trigger control or making a last millisecond aim adjustment.

Prior to being comfortable with calling my shots, I would use the spotting scope for every slow fire shot to see where I hit. Now, for the most part, I only use the spotting scope to score the target at the end of the string.

I do believe that calling shots accurately comes when you refine your trigger control to the point where you are not forcing a shot and not forcing the pull when you think the sight picture is perfect.

Chris

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Post by CR10X Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:57 pm

Finally a great question!  What is "calling your shots" and how to do it?  This is probably the most important part of the visual aspect of shooting.  Calling the shot is the ability to actually see the relationship of the front and rear (open sights) or the dot and target (dot sights) when the gun fires.  Not when the trigger press started, not when we were just looking at the dot, not when the sights seemed to stop or not stop, but that moment when the bullet leaves the barrel. You need to actually SEE this relationship in order to call the shot.  Funny thing is that most beginners have trouble because they still "blink" (at least some)when the sear trips, or are staring at the target, not the front sight, or any number of other things such as trying to press the trigger.  Also people try to see the dot or sights when they are "still" and that ain't going to happen either.  Keep watching the sight / dot and press that trigger all the way through, evenly and with purpose but not haste. You will know you can call your shots when you can see the muzzle flash from your shot.  I could go on, but this is a start.

# 1, use plugs and muffs
# 2, see the dot or target with dots and only the front sight with open sights
#3, do not see anything else.
#4 replay that picture in your mind before scoping the target
#5 make a note of what you think it was
#6 then compare with the scope.

Good luck and keep thinking about this one.  It will get you to High Master.

Cecil


Last edited by CR10X on Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by CR10X Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:39 pm

Ok, now that we've gotten started with trying to call the shots, how do we get better at it?

Just dryfire.  That's really one of the best benefits of dryfiring.  There is no noise, recoil, or most times even target to distract us from watching (and developing the habit of always watching) the dot or front sight.

Pretty simple in theory, but in practice it takes training.

Cecil


Last edited by CR10X on Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Flytrap1 Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:16 pm

Thanks Cecil I appreciate you taking the time and effort to explain it to me.

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Post by Flytrap1 Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:19 pm

And everyone else !!!! Thank you all.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:29 am

Curious what the current consensus is on using, or not using, a spotting scope during matches.

My new (and only a few month into the sport) thinking is not to use one. If I practice the day before a match at the same range & same distance then I have already had the opportunity to make sure the sight is set correctly. From dry firing like CR10X mentioned, as well as a challenge from my CCL instructor to always see the muzzle flash, I believe I'm capable to call a shot within a point or so. My mentors in the league direct me to only focus on the good shots.

So then what does looking at the scope between slow fire shots get me? If I made a bad shot, between the sight picture at moment of shot release and how the shot felt, I know it. If I think I made a good shot, keep rolling with that.

I suppose if I were shooting outdoor and were accounting for wind it would still be beneficial? Or is there an aspect of competing that I'm not considering?

Thanks
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Post by CR10X Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:25 am

What does it get you?   Immediate feedback. And the important feedback is not how good the shot was score wise, but most importantly how good was your call? (Probably in the range of half a ring and on the hour clockwise) Think you can handle it while shooting a match? You're going to have to find out sometime.  And sometimes now is better than later (Consult me on my past memories on crossfires, lighting changes, and remembering to change to 50 from that last 25 yard setting if you don't have any of those memories of your own already.  I've already paid the point price for you.). 

Keep reading......

From my posts over at TargetTalk on the use of a spotting scope: 

What's the difference between a Marksman or Sharpshooter looking in the spotting scope versus a Master or High Master?
The Marksman and Sharpshooter is looking to see where the shot went, the Master and High Master are simply verifying their shot was as called.

Follow your shot process and call the shot. If you can't call your shot, you're just playing projectile roulette. Even without a scope, simply call each shot and mark it on a target beside you on the bench (pencil, push pins, whatever). Then you can check the scope or the target after a few shots.

But the exercise is really to begin to learn how to SEE the front sight / dot ALL the way through the shot process [to see the sight alignment.  Then identify the sight picture when the shot fired.  Call the expected location based on that picture and sight alignment. Then scope to see how well you did.  Scoping then is immediate feedback.] *added in addition to post on TT

CR

I wrote this many years ago on this very subject in "So You Wanna Shoot Bullseye".

“To Scope or Not to Scope…that is the question.”

Whether tis nobler to cast thine eye only upon the sight, and believing only in one’s instincts, finding one’s true center only in the minds eye until the walk of doom is upon you.
Or lose thyself within the tube of terror and face the reality of one’s own short-coming and frailty, the results hanging there, like little satellites orbiting the dark center of our souls…

What's the difference between a Marksman and a Master scoping a shot? (Why do we scope shots?)

Answer: The Marksman is generally looking for where the shot went, the Master is checking to see how close he called the shot to where it actually landed. (Shots should be scoped to confirm the shot call, not to find out where it went. If we need to scope for where it went, then we are not "calling" the shot.)

Any way you look at it, you eventually have to look at the results of your shots so why not go ahead and scope your shots? Not for analysis, but to confirm what you were supposed to have already seen when the shot was fired. And if the results are not similar, wouldn’t you want to know NOW, before the other 9 shots go down range?

However, do not dwell upon the scope as the source of all knowledge and let it determine what you will do next. That will be determined by you and what you saw during the shot versus the desired location of the shot(s); like a scope adjustment or a mind adjustment. Scoping is just a confirmation that you saw it correctly, or that you need to see it better. You have to decide which is best and what to do.

Personally, I scope for every shot at the long line (but not immediately and after reviewing the shot in my mind) and rarely at the short line (since I almost always know if the string had any outliers anyway).

CR

The following is my personal observation, but I think the language of "checking to see where it went" could be described in a different way to illustrate the comparison and feedback process that could help foster improvement. I do agree about not "living" in the scope and agonizing over shots. That is great advise! And I do think we are all probably trying to say the same thing, just in different ways and from different perspective.

A shooter should be calling the shot, no matter if scoping or not. Then the shooter can decide to scope or not. But here is the catch for me. if a shooter doesn't scope each shot for slow fire (training or match), then after X number of shots, how does the shooter know for sure which one(s) were exactly on call and which one(s) were not exactly but close or not when they do scope or score? The immediate feedback of observation of the result compared to the just completed shot process and call is lost. If a shooter is calling the shots well, then it's just positive confirmation. If the shooter is calling the shot well and the result are not there (but maybe on the next target over), then wouldn't the shooter want to know now? (And yes, I've participated on both sides in more than one crossfire experience.)

And when shooting open sights at outdoor ranges, the changing light can sometimes move the groups for some people (it seems to be a vision thing). So it was generally a good idea for me to keep scoping and see how the group was developing on the target.

I still believe a shooter should be checking the call first, not checking to see where it went. (A subtle but important difference in the shot process. ) Then if it is not on call, the shooter needs to work on seeing the shot, otherwise its just random chance. If a shooter is seeing the shots and calling them mostly center, but the group is not, then you can move the sights.

But here's the catch, a shooter can can only use the sights to move the group. A shooter that is trying to move the next shot based on the last one, will generally wind up chasing the sights all throughout the match. Gather enough information to know what the group size is first. And if the group size is too large, then clicking the sights is not going to help much. There are other issues, mechanical, physical or mental that may need to be addressed.

From my observations running matches for over 25 years and watching lots of scoring and conversations, most people always call that 8 (7, 6, whatever) a "flyer", but I've noticed no one seems to call that lonely "X" out of 10 shots a "flyer" (even though it probably was....).

CR


Last edited by CR10X on Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:39 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : (Dang formatting problems...))

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Post by Wobbley Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:47 pm

I’ve been experimenting with one of these.   

https://www.shootingmadeeasy.com/spot_shot/

This attaches to your eyepiece and a tablet connected by wi fi displays the results.  I can then record a string of fire.  Helps with my shot calls.
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Post by David R Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:30 pm

I have been trying to explain this to my wife.  She has only been shooting for 2 years.   She is improving steadily.  I keep asking her where the dot was when the gun went off.  She does not understand yet.   She will say "I dropped the gun on the last shot" or I tried not to jerk the trigger.  
This thread may help.

A while ago I used to put empty cases on a target in front of me where I thought the shots went.  This helped me.

David
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