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Shoulder Position or why am I just now seeing this ?

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Post by jimsteele 5/9/2021, 11:00 am

I am trying to avoid dipping the dot in the tube while dry firing.
So I am trying to add strength and endurance to my shooting arm by holding for 20 seconds at a time, and five to ten repetitions.
  I think my arm was getting stronger (less sore) after a week or so, but just today I noticed that I was hunching (that is probably not the right word, but it describes the action pretty well ) my shoulder up. actually touching my chin.

If I lowered my shoulder to it's normal position, I could not hold the three pound gun still for even ten seconds.

So my question is: should I train,and shoot with my shoulder hunched up, because it seems stronger/stiffer that way.
Or should I try to shoot with the normal lowered shoulder position ?

I've been shooting for years, and I can't believe that I just now discovered this anomaly....Jim

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Post by james r chapman 5/9/2021, 12:07 pm

Hmmm watch Henderson and Shue shoot.
Cheek welds on shoulder
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Post by SteveT 5/9/2021, 12:30 pm

If the dip is fast and just at the trigger moment then it is probably more related to triggering than brute strength.

The rule of thumb is to move the trigger finger in the direction of the movement, so try moving your finger lower on the trigger. However, I have not found that rule to work all the time, so try different positions on the trigger and try different grip positions and tightness.
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Post by mikemyers 5/9/2021, 1:05 pm

First, regarding "I am trying to add strength and endurance to my shooting arm"...
I am trying to do the same thing you're doing, at home, for the same reason.  I keep adjusting things, but I usually raise my right arm with the gun, hold it aimed at a blank wall for 20 seconds (and fire once unless it's a 22), then lower my arm and rest for 45 seconds.  I repeat this for 10 "sets", then rest.  Lately after a five minute rest, I repeat the drill, then rest for another five minutes, and then repeat everything one last time.  [If it's not a 22, I dry-fire once or more during the time I'm holding the gun up).  My goal right now is more of a "holding drill" as originally described by Sgt. Keith Sanderson - he has YouTube videos about it.

For the last sessions, I tried wrapping a one pound wrist weight around my right wrist, but doing everything the same.  Dave Salyer built me a lead-filled magazine for that purpose, when I use a 45.  


About "I could not hold the three pound gun still for even ten seconds"...

For as long as I've been doing these things, I start to feel tired, and originally, one-handed, I couldn't even hold up my 1911 for five seconds before my hand started to quiver and I struggled to hold it up.  If anyone here was watching, I'd have been laughed at.  Oh well, it was a beginning.

What seemed to work for me, was essentially doing the same thing I just described, but for a much shorter session.  Over time, the length of my session increased, to the point where the whole session now takes 45 minutes.  For you, if you can only do the drill for a short time before your arm is tiring, put the gun down and try it later.  Over time, you'll get stronger, and you should be able to do the drill longer.



"should I train,and shoot with my shoulder hunched up"....

I'm no expert, but I would say absolutely not.  If you get better at doing it the wrong way, you'll always be doing it the wrong way.  Follow the advice here, and in the "Bullseye Encyclopedia".


A good summary:
http://marvinstuart.com/firearm/Pistol/Precion%20Shooting/Training%20Material/Keith%20Sanderson%20Dry%20Fire%20Training.pdf 

If I can find it again, Keith had an excellent video on "Holding Drills", which is essentially what you're doing, for the same reason.  I'll try to find it again, and post it.
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Post by mikemyers 5/9/2021, 1:29 pm

Added later.  Here's advice direct from Keith Sanderson:

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Post by Sa-tevp 5/9/2021, 1:44 pm

Keith Sanderson a few years later after lots of holding exercises.

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Post by james r chapman 5/9/2021, 1:46 pm

Shoulder Position or why am I just now seeing this ? E0284f10

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Post by Sa-tevp 5/9/2021, 1:58 pm

I've seen a picture of Alton Dinan Jr using the same technique in the April 1964 issue of The American Rifleman magazine.
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Post by CR10X 5/9/2021, 2:10 pm

Jim:  Here's my opinion on this.  

You just might want to do whatever you can do to help the scapula, shoulder joint and the rest of the arm all the way out to the gun keep everything in the most consistent position.  Finding out what helps stabilize the scapula is pretty essential as it is most of the support base of the shoulder joint and the lever arm (pun intended) for the one handed position of bullseye shooting.  

The main thing is to create the most stable support structure you can without inducing additional strain on other parts of the body (neck, back, etc.)  But anything that brings bone closer to bone as a body position will, in general, provide a more stable platform.  As you develop, the muscle groups will become more stable and used to keeping the bone on bone position stabilized.  As they get better at it, you can continue to refine your position even further. 

Most bullseye shooters will have even or raised shoulder position rather than a lower position. Most shooters are touching or almost touching the chin, others are really buried in there, like Shue.  Not only does it generally stabilize the shoulder and arm unit more, but it also helps to absorb the recoil more directly into the body mass. And it has the added effect of helping to reduce or eliminate extraneous head movement (dipping, turning, etc.) during the shot process.  Almost like a cheek weld in rifle shooting.   

IPSC shooters are really hunched into the shooting position (mostly isosceles) to create the best platform possible to absorb recoil and still pivot quickly from the hip.  We don't have to go that far for bullseye and are constrained by the one hand / one arm pistol support requirement.  

Just some thought, but find out what works best to get you stable so there's one less thing to worry about.

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Post by mikemyers 5/9/2021, 2:25 pm

CR10X wrote:........Most bullseye shooters will have even or raised shoulder position rather than a lower position. Most shooters are touching or almost touching the chin, others are really buried in there, like Shue.  Not only does it generally stabilize the shoulder and arm unit more, but it also helps to absorb the recoil more directly into the body mass. And it has the added effect of helping to reduce or eliminate extraneous head movement (dipping, turning, etc.) during the shot process.  Almost like a cheek weld in rifle shooting. .......

I will also try to follow this advice.  Thanks for posting.  I wasn't aware of any of that.
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Post by dapduh2 5/9/2021, 2:34 pm

Your dot could also be dipping because of weakness in the wrist and not the shoulder. I try to “lock” my wrist into position with my arm at the top of my pre-shot routine. It’s stiff before I raise, but as I get to the top before I lower I lock it in. As I lower I do it as one unified piece. 
 
I have also seen grip issues cause the same thing. If you are on target and after a bit notice the dot drop it could be from tightening your grip with the lower fingers on the pistol grip. Just another thought
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Post by CR10X 5/9/2021, 2:45 pm

Your dot could also be dipping because of weakness in the wrist and not the shoulder. I try to “lock” my wrist into position with my arm at the top of my pre-shot routine. It’s stiff before I raise, but as I get to the top before I lower I lock it in. As I lower I do it as one unified piece. 
 
I have also seen grip issues cause the same thing. If you are on target and after a bit notice the dot drop it could be from tightening your grip with the lower fingers on the pistol grip. Just another thought

Yep and also head movement will cause the dot to dip as well, but this is generally more slow and shooters gradually try to accommodate by changing other things like David mentions.

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Post by jimsteele 5/10/2021, 8:28 am

To clarify. my dip is a slow migration of the dot, toward the bottom of the tube as I dry fire train.
I assumed it was a strength issue since I am old, and out of shape, so I added a one pound fishing weight to the nose of the pistol, and tried to hold it up for 20 seconds ( to build muscle ).

I suppose my body responded to the heavy weight by hunching the shoulder up before I even realized it.

Thanks to those who offered advise and video links. Now I need to decide a path that works for me,. Hunched / un-hunched,
One pound weight / half pound weight.  So many choices / so little time.

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Post by bruce martindale 5/10/2021, 9:33 am

I USED to do it and for some reason like lack of training, I forgot about it until just recently. That and a pushed out arm improved my hold and resistance to recoil motion that affected the shot groups. You may also be altering the grip pressure during the shot. I have to resist that, and being too rough on the trigger. The latter goes hand in hand with the grip pressure you are using. Rough trigger motion can be countered by a tight grip but with a loose grip it is a disaster .

Next ting to consider is wrist angle; is it the natural angle established by grip pressure only while at the bench, or are you helping it?

Worth further discussion here. I used to add an upward tilt to snug up loose wrist play that exists at most any grip pressure.

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Post by msmith44 5/12/2021, 11:35 pm

james r chapman wrote:Hmmm watch Henderson and Shue shoot.
Cheek welds on shoulder
That's not from raising the shoulder but from extending the neck through the upper back. Raising the shoulder while exercising is an indication of undeveloped muscles surrounding the scapula. To raise the arm you need some shoulder strength but you have to be able to clear the shoulder joint so it can move freely and to do that the scapula has to move down. So, strengthening the shoulder capsule has to include strengthening the back muscles. Lifting weights with the shooting arm certainly helps but what really helps both the shoulder capsule and the muscles in the back is rowing. I had three major surgeries on my shoulders. My right shoulder is frozen, i.e. bone to bone. My left shoulder had a Copeland resurfacing and I'm learning to shoot with my left hand/arm (until then I'm a two-handed shooter as per Section 24). What I've shared is what my physical therapist has me doing to strengthen that left arm/shoulder/back. Try it it may work YMMV.

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Post by jimsteele 5/14/2021, 7:49 am

Thanks for all the information folks. Your replies caused me to research bones. and muscles that involve the shoulder.
What a complicated device it is.
I even took the opportunity to observe the better shooters at our Bullseye league when I had the chance. Some shoot with level shoulders, some are a little raised. None shot like Mr. Shue, Although many Olympic shooters do. So neither shoulder position is wrong.

I have reached the conclusion, thanks mostly to the advice from the folks who answered my post, that I should use whatever position works best for me.
   So I went to my range early one morning, to try to find out which position works best for me. I won't bore you all by telling you all the steps I went through to find what works for me. i am going to just jump to the end conclusion ...

I am jerking the trigger.


That's right. I have got to get this trigger right, in order to judge any other other alteration that I might make. So that's what I am working on.......Thanks for listening

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Post by CR10X 5/14/2021, 8:23 am

"None shot like Mr. Shue,...."

Probably not unless the winning score was over 2650.......

Sorry, couldn't resist.

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Post by mikemyers 5/14/2021, 11:58 am

jimsteele wrote:.....I am jerking the trigger....
......I have got to get this trigger right, in order to judge any other other alteration that I might make. .....
Of all the useful advice I have been given in this forum, there is one thing that tops everything else.
This video explains it:
   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li0rGtXh23I
Until a person gets this right, everything else becomes wasted effort.

Going through all the fundamentals in the Bullseye Encyclopedia in addition to all the feedback here, are minor compared to this.
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Post by BrianD 5/14/2021, 12:46 pm

So at the beginning all Mr. Leatham is talking about is "DRY FIRE".  Have you not heard that talked about 100's of times on this forum?  Also his statement at the end is "The process of pulling the trigger is different when you are shooting fast than when you are shooting accurately".  This forum is "BULLSEYE" shooting accurately.  I totally agree with him of "Hold" and "Trigger control'.  Also I have talked with him over the past few years because he has been at Perry and asked about the differences between action shooting and bullseye very interesting.  But you say everything that has been said is useless and in reality he is saying exactly the same as you have been told on this forum.

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Post by mikemyers 5/14/2021, 12:54 pm

BrianD wrote:So at the beginning all Mr. Leatham is talking about is "DRY FIRE".  Have you not heard that talked about 100's of times on this forum?  Also his statement at the end is "The process of pulling the trigger is different when you are shooting fast than when you are shooting accurately".  This forum is "BULLSEYE" shooting accurately.  I totally agree with him of "Hold" and "Trigger control'.  Also I have talked with him over the past few years because he has been at Perry and asked about the differences between action shooting and bullseye very interesting.  But you say everything that has been said is useless and in reality he is saying exactly the same as you have been told on this forum.
Hmm, the title of this video is "Aiming is Useless", and when I watched it, it implied everything a shooter might do to shoot better is useless until they learn how to work the trigger without disturbing the gun.  Very simple message.  That's all I meant, not what I think you think I meant.
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Post by mikemyers 5/14/2021, 12:55 pm

Oops, double post.
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