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X marks the spot

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Post by radjag 5/29/2021, 10:25 am

I have found that I very often produce tighter groups in sustained fire than in slow fire. I have heard others make the same comment. In training I typically post 9 targets on one frame with the SF along the top, TF middle row, RF along the bottom. I squeeze them together vertically with just the width of the 7 and 8 ring separating the horizontal target rows in order to minimise the change in aiming point vertical position. This allows me to shoot 900's without having to change targets incessantly. Hence the relative group sizes are very clear when I retrieve and score the targets at the end of each 900.

My eyesight is far from perfect, but I have noticed recently that in good, bright, outdoor light I see the X in the center of the standard 25 yard TF/RF target quite distinctly - it appears to me as a white spot in the middle of the black. I now find that in TF/RF as I wobble around the aiming point I know when the gun is "spot on" because the red dot obscures the white spot, if I then complete the trigger pull smoothly the bullet will certainly be in the 10 and most often in the X ring. Excellent!

Depending on how steady my wobble actually is on any given day I now find that I am kind of timing the release to coincide with the red dot covering the white mark. I don't know whether this is a good process or not, but it does seem to work for me (albeit only in good light).

So, considering my typically ragged grouping in Slow Fire, it might be really helpful for me if the X ring of the SF target showed up more clearly and I could apply the same "cover the spot" technique. With the 45 if I am lucky enough to create an initial ragged hole at or close to the target center that effectively becomes a more distinct "aiming mark" for subsequent shots. I notice that some target vendors offer SF targets with a red spot in the middle - are those targets legal for competition? What about having a white spot? No doubt the NRA Rule Book lays all of this out and I'm sure that "modifying the target" by, say, adding a small white sticker would definitely be illegal in competition. But it is an interesting thought.

Keen to hear others views on all of this.

P.S. I just saw the comment from Alex P about Zurek using Photoescape apertures. It also now occurs to me that this "spot on spot" image is also very similar to Alex's "ring on ring" aperture concept (which I admit I have still not tested even though I have a full set of rings). It is all "deceive the eye/brain" into only seeing a single moving part I guess.


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Post by Wobbley 5/29/2021, 2:01 pm

AFAIK, the red spot targets are NOT legal.  However, for training purposes they may have some valu or just put a 1/2 white pastel in the middle.  But you’ll need to develop the recognition of dot placement.  Recognizing that you’re looking at the target (where you should be when usurping a dot) is a good thing.

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Post by David R 5/30/2021, 4:18 pm

To me a dot is like peep and globe on a rifle.  Its just a circle in a circle. 


And YES  I look at the X when shooting on the short line.  Its where I want the bullet to go.
David R
David R

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