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Long Line advice/words of wisdom needed

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Post by xman 5/10/2021, 5:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Currently a Marksman shooting a M41, been shooting personal bests in 3 of the 4 last 2700s thanks to steady improvements on the short line. Its the long line that is just throwing me.

I practice every week at least 10 SF targets for the last 12 weeks or more and the practices are kind of c**p too. I have done the focus on the bull, tried focus on the dot. Have raised arm to bull, lowered arm to bull. Have even tried a dot bounce technique 12 to 6 that takes the dot through the bull till I am settled on the center.

I just cant seem to not have misses on a target. Most of the time it is 3 misses. Sometime less, sometimes more. Rarely have had zero misses. I time my 10 shot strings and use up about 5-6 minutes. Am not afraid to lower if I get shakes or wobbles or am not confident about my hold pattern or if holding too long.(Oxygen starvation)

My foot work is good as it is the same in TF and RF. I check my breathing each shot, hold half in at the point of aiming. 

I suspect my triggerwork/grip might be the source. I can call 8 out of 10 shots most of the time. Sometime the recoil is true ..up and down back to the bull. I have noticed on some shots that my recoil is in the shape of a horizontal comma like loop going to the right. (Am right handed). Those are not necessarily the misses.

Some other shooters have noticed that my follow through is really short after firing.

Next practice I think I am going to make like the SF target is a turning target on each shot and not aim as long. Might is a disaster but have to keep trying things.

Any words of wisdom from the forum?
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Post by xman 5/14/2021, 9:12 pm

robert84010 wrote:sorry bud but I was a Marksman, for six months because I listened to the Expert I trained with. I hardly ever shot 50 yards outside of matches.
It is great to have an an higher class shooting buddy to train/learn with. I will seriously consider the near exclusive shooting at 25yds. But what to do with all the 50s and 50 repair centers I have? Maybe give most of them to the local club that holds the 1800s. They expect to go to 2700s next year. (Hopefully)

Thanks for the insights and the kick in the pants.
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Post by robert84010 5/14/2021, 9:17 pm

turn them over and do blank target group shooting. perfect use for now. buying the book I showed would tell you that.   Long Line advice/words of wisdom needed - Page 3 1f600

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Post by xman 5/14/2021, 9:23 pm

robert84010 wrote:turn them over and do blank target group shooting. perfect use for now. buying to book I showed would tell you that.   Long Line advice/words of wisdom needed - Page 3 1f600
I have read blurbs about that training technique. Don't quite understand it and how it is suppose to help/work. PM me if you like. Or post here.
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Post by Schaumannk 5/14/2021, 9:29 pm

robert84010 wrote:sorry bud but I was a Marksman, for six months because I listened to the Expert I trained with. I hardly ever shot 50 yards outside of matches.
I think it is really hard to train yourself to ignore the fact that the dot appears to move outside of the black at fifty yards.   It is almost an irresistible temptation to adjust your arm or your wrist or your grip to move it back in.   I have the same problem with the fifty foot target.   

I don’t get much time at the long line because of  bad weather where I live this time of year.  Mostly wind.  It really is an easier target when you can get your head wrapped around it.

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Post by SteveT 5/15/2021, 7:22 pm

Don't try to shoot all 10's. The bullseye and the scoring rings are only there to distract us from what's important. Work to shoot as many "good shots" as you can. Don't judge a shot by the scoring ring. Judge a shot by how well you followed your process and how well you called the shot. I've shot good 7's and bad X's.
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Post by xman 5/15/2021, 7:40 pm

SteveT wrote:Don't try to shoot all 10's. The bullseye and the scoring rings are only there to distract us from what's important. Work to shoot as many "good shots" as you can. Don't judge a shot by the scoring ring. Judge a shot by how well you followed your process and how well you called the shot. I've shot good 7's and bad X's.
Seems like there is a bunch of differing thoughts and opinions. Might need a dart board to pick a methodology.  LOL. I call shots pretty good according to clock placement. For those shots clearly down the middle via shot break ..X or 10, Just about 100% on those. 

I too have had a few great 7s and surprise Xs.
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Post by Jack H 5/16/2021, 1:42 am

You might try iron sights on that blank target back.
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Post by xman 5/16/2021, 9:31 am

Jack H wrote:You might try iron sights on that blank target back.
I keep reading about this blank target thing. Can someone tell me about the theory and practice about it? If there is another thread that explains it ..point me in that direction.

I have a couple hundred leftover HP reduced centers that can I put to use.
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Post by Wobbley 5/16/2021, 10:35 am

The blank target exercise is a grouping exercise without the distraction of an “aiming point”  (black dot) to distract the shooter.  The object is to put two consecutive ten shot strings into an area equal to the size of the black at 25 yards, THEN you start shootings at a black dot equivalent in size to the target.  The purpose of these is to develop “area aiming” and trigger control as well as to iron out Stance, Grip and other foundational elements.
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Post by Jack H 5/16/2021, 2:24 pm

Wobbley wrote:The blank target exercise is a grouping exercise without the distraction of an “aiming point”  (black dot) to distract the shooter.  The object is to put two consecutive ten shot strings into an area equal to the size of the black at 25 yards, THEN you start shootings at a black dot equivalent in size to the target.  The purpose of these is to develop “area aiming” and trigger control as well as to iron out Stance, Grip and other foundational elements.

I will take the "object" one step different.  That is to learn what you need to see AT the gun while employing (learning to do) sight alignment and trigger control.  A long time ago I asked the old email list "How do you do sight alignment?".  That was an interesting exchange

Looking at the target theory works well, but should be put under a rock someplace until your knowledge is pretty complete, and your hold is pretty tight.  Stay focused at the gun until then.
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Post by xman 5/16/2021, 3:03 pm

Oh Boy!

Focus on the target
Focus on the Dot 
Shoot on the backside of a target
Shoot SF At 25 yards on a TF/RF target till you can get all shots in the 10 ring on 2 consecutive targets. 
Cut back on hold time. 
Do minimal 50yd practice, your SF skills/efforts at 25 will transfer to 50 yards.
Do dummy and live round drills (hard to do with a .22)
Moderate dryfire practice
Dryfire after wide/wild or not on call shots.
Get a handle/settle on stance, grip, dot movement 
Eliminate wristing, arm movement, shoulder shift to get dot into play/place

Have I left any out?

All are legitimate and I deeply appreciate the open messages and the PMs

Have learned, be careful what you ask for. LOL

BTW .... Several posts have mentioned ..."the book". What book is that?
Is it the AMU Pistol book or Marine Corp manual? Or neither?
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Post by Schaumannk 5/16/2021, 3:38 pm

Focus on the target
Focus on the Dot 






You can do either successfully.    Just don’t get in the habit of jumping from looking at one, then the other.    That’s the kiss of death.   
Some people actually change the size of the dot, and take a different approach between slow fire and sustained fire.
They make the dot smaller and dimmer, looking at the target for slow fire, then crank up the size and the intensity at the short line, trusting their hold and their triggering to carry the shots into the black.    

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Post by Robuc 5/16/2021, 4:46 pm

Wobbley wrote:The blank target exercise is a grouping exercise without the distraction of an “aiming point”  (black dot) to distract the shooter.  The object is to put two consecutive ten shot strings into an area equal to the size of the black at 25 yards, THEN you start shootings at a black dot equivalent in size to the target.  The purpose of these is to develop “area aiming” and trigger control as well as to iron out Stance, Grip and other foundational elements.
For me, the first shot was fine.  With subsequent shots, the holes in the paper became the aiming point and the distraction.   It this the spirit and intent of the exercise?

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Post by Wobbley 5/16/2021, 4:57 pm

When shooting a dot, look at the target...  at least that’s the theory.  Most tube Reddots are minimum parallax at 50 yards.  So if you look at the target it doesn’t matter.  With iron sights you MUST look at the front sight.  

The “Book”.  Follow this guide and you will learn faster.

http://www.ssppl.org/PDFs/USMCPistolTeamWorkbook.pdf
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Post by Schaumannk 5/16/2021, 5:04 pm

Robuc wrote:
Wobbley wrote:The blank target exercise is a grouping exercise without the distraction of an “aiming point”  (black dot) to distract the shooter.  The object is to put two consecutive ten shot strings into an area equal to the size of the black at 25 yards, THEN you start shootings at a black dot equivalent in size to the target.  The purpose of these is to develop “area aiming” and trigger control as well as to iron out Stance, Grip and other foundational elements.
For me, the first shot was fine.  With subsequent shots, the holes in the paper became the aiming point and the distraction.   It this the spirit and intent of the exercise?
So, you are moving your wrist to put either the sights or the dot on the hole of the last shot?    The purpose of the exercise is to teach area aiming, and focus on only *one*thing.  
Clearly if you do this exercise with irons, your eye is going back and forth between the target and the sights.   That’s not good.

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Post by xman 5/16/2021, 5:34 pm

Wobbley wrote:The blank target exercise is a grouping exercise without the distraction of an “aiming point”  (black dot) to distract the shooter.  The object is to put two consecutive ten shot strings into an area equal to the size of the black at 25 yards, THEN you start shootings at a black dot equivalent in size to the target.  The purpose of these is to develop “area aiming” and trigger control as well as to iron out Stance, Grip and other foundational elements.
Not to muddy the water ...

I have seen targets with only a wide black stripe either vertical or horizontal. IIRC they are for high level international shooting. I think they are designed for visual training exercises with rifle sights.
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Post by rreid 5/16/2021, 8:42 pm

Robuc wrote:
Wobbley wrote:The blank target exercise is a grouping exercise without the distraction of an “aiming point”  (black dot) to distract the shooter.  The object is to put two consecutive ten shot strings into an area equal to the size of the black at 25 yards, THEN you start shootings at a black dot equivalent in size to the target.  The purpose of these is to develop “area aiming” and trigger control as well as to iron out Stance, Grip and other foundational elements.
For me, the first shot was fine.  With subsequent shots, the holes in the paper became the aiming point and the distraction.   It this the spirit and intent of the exercise?
No.  Try it with a 22 so the holes in the target are not as noticeable. With iron sights, you should stay focused on the front sight.  The exercise may not be particularly useful with a red dot.
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Post by rsp 5/26/2021, 12:03 am

Well, I don't have an answer but I can say I'm still right there with you on this particular problem.

Tonight's 900: SF scores of 73, 61, 65. Several complete misses off the paper.

Timed and rapid, all 6 targets in the 90s, average of 94, only one paster needed.

At my range we shoot the B-16 at 25y for slow fire, so with all the shooting done at the same distance, it's easy to observe that my worst group in TF/RF is still better than my best in slow fire. That is, if I had stapled a B-16 under the B-8 repair center before each timed and rapid fire, even the worst 3 of those 6 B-16s would score a bit better than my actual slow fire did.

It's clearly something in my head that I am doing differently in slow fire. I am trying to make my slow fire shot process physically and mentally just like the first shot of timed and rapid, but the "mentally" part is not all there. My brain still knows it's slow fire, does it differently, and not for the better. I think I'm still holding slightly too long, looking for too perfect a sight picture, and worst of all tensing up as I break the shot in SF, whereas in timed and rapid I'm doing a much better job of sacrificing "perfect" sight picture in exchange for relaxed, calm, easy trigger presses that seem to come by themselves.

I have shot slow fires in the 80s and low 90s in practice, so I am chalking tonight's performance up to nerves, mental fixation on the negatives, and failure to relax and follow my shot process.

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Post by Jack H 5/26/2021, 2:25 am

After all this it seems to me you have been jumping past learning/training, and going to "practice".

When you train, you pick one issue and work on what it takes to resolve it to satisfaction.  Your first issue is/was getting all shots on paper. 
Use full size target backs at 25y or closer.  Hold center of that target back.  Just frame the dot with the square back.  Progress from there
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Post by Fezzik68 9/21/2021, 6:01 am

Gentlemen, I appreciate the advice. I am still learning when to abort a shot on slow but, my groups have tightened considerably. Flyers were in the 7 ring. I shot my personal best this Sunday 849-12x (25yds), cleared a timed, 99's on a timed and rapid. Slow fire & trigger discipline continues to be my main focus. Dry fire, dry fire, dry fire. My wife suspects I may have an obsession with this sport...

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Post by Jack H 9/21/2021, 6:16 am

Fezzik68 wrote:Gentlemen, I appreciate the advice. I am still learning when to abort a shot on slow but, my groups have tightened considerably. Flyers were in the 7 ring. I shot my personal best this Sunday 849-12x (25yds), cleared a timed, 99's on a timed and rapid. Slow fire & trigger discipline continues to be my main focus. Dry fire, dry fire, dry fire. My wife suspects I may have an obsession with this sport...

Perhaps for that mental thing not to be negative, learn to keep the shot going.
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Post by Fezzik68 9/21/2021, 7:32 am

Jack H wrote:Perhaps for that mental thing not to be negative, learn to keep the shot going.

Keep the shot going vs. force the shot seems to be my wall. Recovery shots don't seem to trouble me. First shot shakes/chicken finger is my Achilles. Dry firing has improved this over time. Sunday saw 5 'flyers' in the 7 ring out of 30 shots slow. I'm happy with that, and got them out of my head to focus on the process. I had only one shot out of the black in 90 shots, and I called it. First timed fire, first shot, second string. I don't expect to see big improvements, just move forward, always trying to focus on good shots.

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Post by Ed Hall 9/21/2021, 10:57 am

Fezzik68 wrote:Keep the shot going vs. force the shot seems to be my wall. Recovery shots don't seem to trouble me. First shot shakes/chicken finger is my Achilles. Dry firing has improved this over time. Sunday saw 5 'flyers' in the 7 ring out of 30 shots slow. I'm happy with that, and got them out of my head to focus on the process. I had only one shot out of the black in 90 shots, and I called it. First timed fire, first shot, second string. I don't expect to see big improvements, just move forward, always trying to focus on good shots.
Just to pick on you slightly:

You say "got them out of my head." Then, why do you remember how many shots were in the white and how many 7s you had, now?  Those shouldn't be stored for retrieval at all.  You can even tell us which shot went into the white.  You've really carved that shot into your memory.*  On the other side of the coin, can you tell us what the greatest number of tens (or even 9s+) in a row was during your Slow Fire?

As to aborting the shot, you should never look for signals to abort.  You should focus on the settle, expecting it to progress in the manner that produces the completion you want.  Seek what you desire.  Abort only if you don't see the correct settle.

* Just to show you aren't the only one that does this and how far reaching it can be, long, long ago  (not yet a HM). . . I had a very similar event, and yes, it's ingrained so deeply, that it still persists.  With my .45, I shot the first shot of a Timed Fire Target wide into the 8 ring at 2 o'clock.  I stopped everything, regrouped and fired the rest of the 9 shots into the X.  I made such a fuss about 98-9x, that it still remains vivid.

Since then I've taken more to reviewing successes, such as remembering my highest 2700's three individual 900 scores, the Slow Fire scores for a Center Fire match right after my .45 came back from Dave Salyer (100-98-100) and, more importantly, what I did to finally move to HM.  These sound like (and, probably are) bragging, but the more you try to be humble with mentioning failures, the more you will ingrain those failures.

Be as positive as you can be, seek what you desire and remember the successes.

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Post by Fezzik68 9/21/2021, 12:41 pm

Ed Hall wrote:Just to pick on you slightly:

I've read your articles, pick away. No thin skin here. I'm happy to take the constructive criticism from you.
I don't scope timed and rapid anymore, but I try to call them just the same. I have a picture of my scorecard on my phone in front of me, and shots of each target.
Aborting the shot means my hand wasn't settling, or started to shake more than I'd like, usually from over tightening my grip.
I have two target centers posted inside my pistol box, both 100 Slow, to remind me I can do it. Follow the process. Current goal is 90+ slow fire consistently.

I'll say it again, I appreciate the advice.

-Jim

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Post by Fezzik68 11/3/2021, 10:57 am

Well.
The power of positive thinking...
Focusing on what shooting a 10 looks like & scores have been respectable for the past month.
Last night post a personal best in leagues. 94, 98-4, 100-7, for 292-11.
Thanks for the kick in the butt, let's see how far I can take this.

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