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Wrist Control

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robert84010
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Post by crmath 7/23/2021, 9:07 pm

First topic message reminder :

OK guys, I need some help.  I shot with the USAR Service Rifle Team in the 1980s.  HM, Distinguished, 4xPresident’s Hundred.  I like to think I know something about marksmanship, but I’m stumped.  I’m a firm believer in Bill Pullum’s concept of “the integrated act of firing a shot” - focus on doing all the right things.  Focus on not doing something that’s wrong is counterproductive.

My problem is this, and it’s stupid.  I’ve taken the opportunity of the pandemic to avoid squadded practice to dry fire.  I have a 60 shot regimen I repeat at least five days a week with a 1911 service pistol (4lb trigger).  Part of the regimen is 20 slow fire shots at a bullseye; I’m satisfied that most of my shots break pretty well, sight alignment stays stable through the break and into follow through.  When I go to the range and rack a round into the chamber all bets are off.  I can lift the pistol, take up the slack, align the sights, and lower my aim through the bullseye and everything looks just like it does at home.  As my hold starts to settle and I begin my squeeze the front sight starts to oscillate left to right and too fast to count. As I continue to squeeze the  amplitude increases to the point that the front sight almost disappears from the rear sight notch.  Abort the shot and try again.

The casual observer might diagnose my affliction as performance anxiety.  I know what that feels like - butterflies, knee-high wind, adrenaline shakes that just don’t stop - like a new shooter in the NTT.  It’s not like that at all; I wish it were - I know how to channel that.  The more informed might observe that l’m gripping much too tightly during live fire, maybe tightening my grip as I squeeze.  I believe the latter to be true, but it doesn’t feel that way.  Or I don’t know how to tell the difference.

Someone out there knows exactly the right words to make it click for me.  Something I should feel in my wrist? Something to focus on during dry fire to achieve a dependably firm wrist?  Something to make grip tension consistent?  Something to cure a serious case of operator headspace?

All comments and insights welcome, except “stop doing that”.

crmath

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Post by crmath 7/25/2021, 10:26 am

All,

The response to my plea for guidance is nothing short of overwhelming.  Thanks to everyone.

There seem to be some common threads and I’d like to organize a few of them.

A fair number of responders speak of the concept of area of aim like it’s totally foreign to rifle shooters.  For elite class international shooters that may be the case.  I think I can categorically state that for the mere mortal service rifle shooters out there that if you don’t see movement of the front sight you’re either not paying attention or you’ve stared long enough to burn an image into your retina.  I’m sure my hold standing was never good enough to hold the ten ring; aside from Range 4 at Quantico there’s almost always enough wind to prevent that.  All I ever tried to to was to center up my wobble area and let my subconscious break the shot on the way in. I didn’t always get tens but my shots were usually on call.  I see the same thing when I dry fire my pistol. I let my hold settle and get a lot of surprise breaks that look pretty good.  I try to make those repeat.  On the rare occasion that my sight alignment settles down during live fire my shots are within a ring and an hour of call.  Your comments tell me I’m approaching this all wrong.

The USAMU manual emphasizes that sight alignment is the most important aspect of the aiming process.  That I should focus on alignment, accept my hold, and just squeeze through it.  I know I haven’t mastered focus on sight alignment but my blank wall exercise is helping.  Several responders recommend that I emphasize it more.  My point of confusion is that there are several comments that suggest that the alignment error I see and try to manage is more likely from my trigger squeeze and grip than anywhere else.  I agree that trigger squeeze and grip are a source of error but suspect there’s another.  If I simply take up the slack and hold against a blank wall with no additional trigger pressure at all I still see alignment error that comes and goes.  It looks random but it’s large enough to be easily seen and begs to be managed.  Some folks say I should ignore it.  Others strongly recommend large doses of blank wall dry fire.  Clearly there’s work to be done to minimize the effects of trigger control and grip. What’s the real message here?  Is there more than one? Are the small alignment errors I see during dry fire related to the huge ones during live fire? While dry firing should I try to manage the small alignment errors I see or try to ignore them?  To me, sight alignment in pistol shooting takes the place of sight picture with a rifle.  Nothing else makes sense.

Several responders recommend that I revisit my grip and provide suggestions for doing so.  I think there’s fertile ground there.  My hands are smaller than average so there’s not much latitude for physical adjustment but I may be able to modify the tension.

Now to the real reason I started this thread.  The real roadblock to improvement is the debilitating wrist tremor that develops as I squeeze the trigger, but only during live fire.  The tremor is completely absent when I dry fire.  In my own judgment, it looks like I’m tightening my grip enough when I squeeze to cause my wrist to shake.  I can cause the same effect by intentionally tightening my grip without squeezing the trigger, but I can feel the difference in tension.  I don’t feel anything of the sort during live fire.  

Upon reflection, Jon was probably on to something when he asked about trigger weight and if I suffered the same problem with a .22.  I do, but maybe not as much.  I originally bought the .22 conversion for my service pistol because I suspected the forward balance of my M41 was straining my wrist and causing the problem (at the time it was present during dry fire, too - much diminished with a 1911).  I ordered the conversion about the time the pandemic shut down indoor practice so I embarked on a dry fire only program to work through it.  As I’ve said, I halfway succeeded.  The rest of the story is that I have an air pistol.  It’s not world-class, it doesn’t fit very well, and the adjustable trigger doesn’t allow much variation in weight but it’s pretty accurate and I occasionally shoot it at 25 feet at a scaled slow fire target.  If I keep my act together I can break 90 with it;  if there’s tremor present it’s much reduced.  So, given the tremor increases as I squeeze with the service pistol and it’s much diminished or absent with the air pistol, there has to be a relationship between my squeeze and the tremor itself.  

Why is the tremor absent during dry fire and what can I do to transition to live fire.

There has to be a mental management aspect to it.  Dry fire has pretty much eliminated the eight o’clock sevens, sequestered the ‘shotgun slap’ to a separate area of my subconscious, and noticeably improved my hold.  I thought it could cure the tremor, too.  It has, but only during dry fire.  How do I transition to live fire?  Back to square one.

I see that CR has posted something while I’ve been working on this.  It addresses the things I’m struggling with here.  Thanks CR, I’ll try to digest and formulate a plan to move forward.

crmath

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Post by crmath 7/25/2021, 2:36 pm

CR,

Thanks for the time and effort, it’s much appreciated.

I’ve been spending more time reading and writing than I have practicing, but gray cells are getting stimulated and that’s bound to help.

I’d like to focus on one topic from your last post because it’s a continuing conundrum for me.

Let’s start at the beginning of a shot.

As I raise the pistol I’m looking down range at my target (I have to make sure it’s mine).

As the pistol comes into my area of central vision I pick up the sights and check alignment in the white above the bullseye.  If they’re badly aligned (more than half a front sight width) I abort and readjust my grip. 

If there’s daylight on both sides of the front sight I take up the slack in the trigger and refine the alignment by adjusting my trigger finger slightly and/or fine tuning with my wrist.  

I then drop my aim through the bullseye and let it settle at 6:00.

If my wobble area isn’t quite centered (in the black, just not centered up) I adjust with my shoulder and probably my body too (just like with a rifle).  If it’s really off center I abort, adjust my feet, and start over.  If shots start to break left or right I move my feet (again, just like with a rifle).

If I’m satisfied that I’m centered up I sharpen my focus on alignment and start my squeeze.  The first thing I likely notice is that any alignment noise starts to settle down. My hold starts to settle, too. I concentrate on maintaining the alignment as I continue to squeeze.  If the gun goes bang the shot is probably on call.

In the case that the hammer doesn’t fall, continued increase in trigger pressure begins to precipitate the dreaded wrist tremor.  More pressure - more tremor.  If the gun does go bang during this condition there’s no way to call my shot.  The right thing to do is abort and start over.  I abort and start over a lot.

I know I need to be more assertive with my trigger squeeze; I was guilty of pausing to admire a good hold with a rifle, too.  It’s unsettling to know that disaster is just a heartbeat away when I start my squeeze.  I’d like to get the whole thing behind me, not just formulate a strategy to avoid it.

It seems to me that there are two joints in the system (ankles, knees, and spine excluded) that are neither locked nor supported by something solid.  The wrist and the shoulder.  The shoulder can affect point of aim, the wrist can affect alignment. In a perfect world both could be locked firmly and precision pistol would be a contest among gunsmiths and ammunition.  I certainly use my shoulder to keep my wobble area at 6:00 - even if the error is due to body sway.  There’s a wobble area within sight alignment too, yet I’m admonished to ignore it or let it accumulate rather than use my wrist to keep it centered.

The real issue remains that I’ve thus far been unable to transition dry fire success to live fire. Until I find a way to do so any refinements associated with grip and trigger control, while important, don’t do much for success on the range.  This is unfamiliar territory and I feel completely lost.  

I did try the experiment you suggested for using the fingers of my left hand as a sensitive surrogate for my pistol’s grip.  I used three fingers instead of two because the depth felt closer to the back strap to front strap distance on a 1911.  Here’s what I found:  I can feel the movement of the tendon that controls my trigger finger against the palm side of the fingers of my left hand.  That’s it.  No increase in grip tension that’s great enough to feel.  I can imagine that the movement of the trigger finger tendon might affect alignment slightly; I doubt there’s much to be done about it.  This is a great exercise, though.  Had I been increasing grip tension I would have felt it - awareness is the start of every plan.  It’s just as important to learn what’s happening if there isn’t a problem. I’m in my living room, I might still be tightening my grip when I’m at the range.


One thing I’ve learned for sure.  If you have plans for the weekend, don’t post a question on Friday night.  There’s a terrific bunch of guys out there that are ready to help.  You’ll be busy for a couple of days.

crmath

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Post by CR10X 7/25/2021, 3:27 pm

I would suggest trying something other than:

If there’s daylight on both sides of the front sight I take up the slack in the trigger and refine the alignment by adjusting my trigger finger slightly and/or fine tuning with my wrist.  

That's sometimes called driving the gun with the trigger finger and (for me) is very detrimental to trigger control and minimizing wobble.  It seemed to set up something like tremors since I felt I was using the same set of muscles that are close together (trigger finger and wrist) to both operate the trigger and trying to keep the sights aligned.  This type of control process tends to (from a controls perspective) oscillate out of control from conflicting actions and results. All of this is just my personal opinion and way of how I think about how the body operates when firing a pistol.  The actual anatomical conditions may not be correct, but this is how things felt to me when I was working (and still am working) on grip and trigger process.  Now I get my finger in the correct position and then grip the gun so it lines up with aiming eye when raised (see below). Once the grip is established, then I can get my finger off the trigger and safely load and raise the gun when I need to shoot. 

If the daylight is equal at the start, then the grip must be firm enough to counter the trigger press, do not use the wrist.

If the daylight is not equal, then stop and look at the amount on each side of the front sight.  Take your gun and regrip it slightly in the offset direction to help get equal daylight on both sides of the front sight when you raise the gun and align it with your aiming area.  A 1911 will seldom feel exactly right when you start and if it feels "right" then its probably offset some. 

Most people try to have the gun sorta pointing down the forearm, thinking that's the best way to hold it. It probably needs to be offset a little to the right so the back of the gun is more in line with your eye than your forearm.  What we want is a straight line from the sights back to the eye, not putting the sights in line with the forearm or entire arm.  It's not much of a difference, but if the change moves the wrist from its most stable position that your muscles can hold, then you're introducing additional nerve activity and muscles that are trying to control the gun's position.  

As to adjusting the placement of the trigger finger, you should not have to adjust your trigger position to get the sights in line once you have the gun in your grip as above.  If you have  standard 1911 trigger get the right side of the trigger more towards the first crease of the trigger finger, not in the center of the pad (fleshy part) of the finger tip. 

Check out some posts or videos by Brian Zins on gripping the gun.

Again, just something else to check out.  Everybody does things slightly differently and definitely say the same general things in many different ways.

The main thing is getting your wrist in the most stable position and moving the gun to enable that position to have the sights aligned with the intended bullet path.  If you have to move your wrist, then you might consider moving the gun instead in the grip before raising it.

CR

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Post by crmath 7/25/2021, 3:53 pm

All,

Just a quick (I promise) observation.

As there were no new posts to respond to, I headed for the gun room to dry fire a little.

I picked up the pistol, carefully assembled my grip, set my stance, and raised the pistol for the first shot in a blank wall exercise.

As sometimes happens, sight alignment was near perfect.  I adjusted my trigger finger slightly while keeping my attention on sight alignment until things looked right.  I have no idea what I changed, I just thought about alignment and the sights aligned.

I let my hold settle and started  my squeeze.  For the most part I could see tiny movements that were much too fast to respond to and the occasional misalignment that I simply thought back into place.  No conscious adjustment of any muscle tension, just noticing the alignment error and fixing it by force of will.  Again, I have no idea if the adjustment came from my wrist, a subtle change in direction of trigger squeeze or a change in grip tension.  All I did was squeeze, think alignment, and wait for the hammer to fall.  Every break was stable.  I repeated this ten times then rushed upstairs to post my observation.  I think this is exactly what I want.  I invite any and all comments.  I don’t see how it could be any better than I describe.  Now to get it to repeat with a round in the chamber!

I do know for certain that the debilitating wrist tremor is exactly that.  I can feel it. It’s not a magnified version of what I describe here.


CR,

I just read the message you posted while I was away…

Just a quick comment with respect to “driving with the trigger”.  I think I get what Gunny Zins is talking about when he discusses stabilizing alignment with the trigger.  I think what I describe is more like avoiding “driving with the trigger” ensuring I’m in the sweet spot for a straight-back pull.  If I was “driving” much I would see a small muzzle jump as the hammer falls?

I don’t think there’s any way I’m dexterous enough to make a grip adjustment to fix misalignment if there’s daylight on both sides of the front sight.  That can’t be more than a few milliradians of angle.

crmath

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Post by bruce martindale 7/25/2021, 9:44 pm

With added anxiety, l find that l lose fine motor control, ie the smooth trigger, and my trigger rate goes up. It's easy to add variable grip tension to thevstring it all as well. Anticipating recoil gives unwanted motions, maybe even your tremor.

Walking vs Running; trigger ( in pistol) is not natural. I had to deliberately slow it all down so I could really feel it as l stayed on target, as compared to a good hold and partial trigger build up followed by a jerk of the sights during the last " Oh-No second"

Speed comes later and with practice.

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Post by crmath 7/25/2021, 10:42 pm

Bruce,

Thanks for the response.  I agree with all you say.

It took me two years to relegate my “shotgun slap” to an isolated corner of my subconscious mind. I finally got my trigger control back. I simply focused on sqqquuueeezzzee and waited for the dry fire click.  I wish ridding myself of the live fire tremor was that easy.

crmath

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Post by crmath 7/26/2021, 10:14 am

All,

Thanks again for the  detailed and insightful advice.  A lot of folks have been very selfless with their willingness to help.

Several posts ago I remarked to CR that one thing I learned was to not post a question on Friday if I had weekend plans.  I further tried to say that I’d be busy for days.  The ever-helpful iPad editor restated the remark to read “You’ll be busy for days”. Not too polite when directed toward someone trying to be helpful!  I should have proofread more carefully, sorry.

In the short term, the process of studying the material everyone’s provided has taken my own introspective analysis to a new level.  That’s bound to help.  If I ever get past this live fire wrist tremor thing I might be worth watching.

Again, thanks to all,

Bob

crmath

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Post by bruce martindale 7/26/2021, 11:50 am

Not sure about others but while I WANT to grip the gun such that it's aligned naturally to my stance, (ie barrel at an angle to the arm bones). I invariably have my finger deep in the guard and even if I uncurl the tip to get a straight rearward pull, l wind up with shots off center. This also gives me a lot more trigger power and maybe that isn't well controlled?
 Seating the barrel inline with my arm works even if I need to move my head to the gun slightly. It puts my trigger midpad of distal phalanges and I can feel it better. Jury is still out....

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Post by crmath 7/29/2021, 1:06 pm

All,

I’ve tried to digest everyone’s analysis and advice, both posted here and via PM.  One common thread was that I should emphasize blank wall exercise more and that I should take blank wall training to the range.

My plan for now is to do just that.

I’ve modified my dry fire regimen to focus on slow fire only; 75% blank wall, 25% aiming point.  

I pretty much described what I observe during dry fire a couple of posts ago.  One thing I did notice (thanks to CR for insisting) is that I can make microscopic adjustments to my grip to achieve (near) perfect natural alignment.  Now if I see misalignment when I take up the slack, moving my trigger finger will be to achieve a straight-back pull.

Yesterday I took the blank wall training to the range.  What I found was quite instructive and, in a way, astounding.

I started by dry firing ten shots against a blank full face target at 25 yards. I struggled a little to maintain alignment (looked like nerves to me), but I did the best I could muster and squeezed through it.  I followed that with five live rounds.  The first thing I noticed was that the dreaded wrist tremor was absent! (A couple posters suggested that the presence of a bullseye might be forcing my subconscious to react in an unproductive way.)  I know I was taking too long and trying to be precise with every shot, but couldn’t force myself to be more assertive (another opportunity to improve); I aborted many, many times but finally got five rounds down range.

Then I went down range myself.  (I left the caps on the scope because I didn’t want to know what was happening until a string was finished.) I was somewhere between stunned and elated.  Four of my five shots were in a well centered group about four inches tall and an inch and a half wide. The fifth was about three inches to the left.  Although I wasn’t trying to be centered left-to-right my eye clearly did that for me; without a vertical reference the stringing was no surprise.  During the next exercise I alternated a couple dry-fire shots with a single live fire shot - with similar results.  I finished up with a series that replicated the first - ten dry fire, five live fire.  I ended up with a well centered group of 11 shots that’s about 1 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches tall and another group of four shots that’s about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches tall and displaced 3 inches to the left.  My take is that I need to continue this dry-fire/live-fire regimen until I consistently make all my shots like those 11 good ones.  Then I’ll see what happens when there’s a bullseye.

In the short term I’ve learned:

1.  I can make micro adjustments to my grip to achieve near-perfect natural alignment;
2.  The wrist tremor is somehow connected to the presence of an aiming point, and;
3.  The rest of my fundamentals are probably good enough to shoot a decent group.

I know that some of my focus shifts from sight alignment to the target when I dry fire with an aiming point.  I’ll make maintaining focus on alignment a point of of emphasis during dry fire. When it comes time to test the theory live fire with a bullseye I’ll try to do the same. If I can shoot a decent group without an aiming point I should be able to do so with one.

I know one trip to the range doesn’t prove much, but the results are encouraging.  On the other hand, a week ago I had no clear idea of what to try.  Now I have a structured plan for moving forward.

Thanks again to everyone for contributing.

Bob

crmath

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Post by RodJ 8/1/2021, 7:03 pm

This has been a fascinating read for this new BE shooter. Like a detective novel. At one point I wondered whether dry firing at the range might help. This has been very informative and given me points to address. Very fortunate to have a group that is willing to help diagnose and coach.

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Post by robert84010 8/17/2021, 9:12 pm

Bob,
you've had a few weeks to try some of these ideas. Any progress?

I think it can be a headspace issue for rifle guys at first. Even high level guys trying pistol don't realize how much movement you can see in the sights from not being completely comfortable and stress free.

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Post by mikemyers 8/18/2021, 11:09 pm

crmath wrote:......When I go to the range and rack a round into the chamber all bets are off.  I can lift the pistol, take up the slack, align the sights, and lower my aim through the bullseye and everything looks just like it does at home.  As my hold starts to settle and I begin my squeeze the front sight starts to oscillate left to right and too fast to count. As I continue to squeeze the  amplitude increases to the point that the front sight almost disappears from the rear sight notch.....
Sounds like a "tremor".  Two types of tremors include "essential tremors" and "functional tremors".   Essential tremors happen continually, and people have no control of them.  They have to live with them.
Functional tremors are caused by the mind - the word "anxiety" usually applies.
A Google search will explain this better.


If you look up the difference between essential tremors and functional tremors, you'll find out that if you have essential tremors, the same thing will happen because of physical issues, and there doesn't seem to be any good "fix" so far.
On the other hand, "functional tremors" are caused by your mind - it's you who is making the gun shake like that.
One test might be to shoot at a dirt wall, no target, no aiming.  You may find your tremors are gone.

If you find a "Clinical Psychologist", they may be able to help.
mikemyers
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Post by crmath 8/23/2021, 6:00 pm

I’ve been to the range twice since my last post - for three times total.

The second trip was pretty much a repeat of the first, though the group was a bit smaller.

The third trip was today.  I changed a couple of things from my previous two trips.  First, I took the caps off the spotting scope so I could evaluate every shot.  Second, I didn’t dry fire as much because I wanted to be fresh and shoot the best groups I could manage.  After a couple of dry fire shots my first live fire shot was in the middle of the pile of pasters from the last two sessions.  Just what I wanted.  The next not quite so good - then downhill from there.  The tremor reappeared and it was a struggle just to get the pistol to fire.  

After the third ten shot string I realized something.  Instead of just holding and focusing on alignment I was trying to aim at the middle of the blank target.  I loaded up again, forced myself to focus on alignment, and shot a much better group - and the tremor was gone.

I then tried a string of slow fire.  My first shot was a good ten, the second I called a wide 9 at 11:00 that turned out to be a mid-ring 8 at 10:00, the third was a center X.  I let the pressure get to me, the tremor returned, and the rest of the string was a disaster.  

Sounds like a waste of ammo, but there’s some hope.  I know I can make good shots and I know what I do to make them.  I just need to make them repeat without slipping into old habits when the pressure builds.

My analysis is, first, it’s a “headspace” thing.  Mental management and a revised approach to live fire will get me through this.  Somehow it seems that during live fire I start to be more careful after a couple of good shots and end up starting a battle between my conscious self wanting to accept my hold and my subconscious self clamoring for a better sight picture.  

One thing I noticed during dry fire is my execution is much more consistent when I use a “flat tire” sight picture rather than a 6:00 hold.  When I shot Service Rifle I used 6:00 for standing and “flat tire” the rest of the way back. I felt that 6:00 needed no evaluation - it was either there or it wasn’t.  I found my “flat tire” elevation zeros to be much less sensitive to changes in light. The “flat tire “ is more an area of hold thing that my subconscious may more readily accept.

I think I understand the difference between essential tremor and functional tremor.  I researched the topic quite a bit.  The source of both is the individual; one is controllable, the other is not.  To me, essential tremor is visible.  It causes the white space on either side of my front sight to shimmer.  Functional tremor is the thing I’m try to eliminate.  Without the assistance of a sports psychologist, I hope.

crmath

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Post by mikemyers 8/23/2021, 6:11 pm

crmath wrote:.......After the third ten shot string I realized something.  Instead of just holding and focusing on alignment I was trying to aim at the middle of the blank target.  I loaded up again, forced myself to focus on alignment, and shot a much better group - and the tremor was gone..............Somehow it seems that during live fire I start to be more careful after a couple of good shots and end up starting a battle between my conscious self wanting to accept my hold and my subconscious self clamoring for a better sight picture.............The source of both is the individual; one is controllable, the other is not..........Functional tremor is the thing I’m try to eliminate.  
My opinion - don't try to eliminate the tremor, because the harder you try, the worse it will fight back.  

Do things like what you wrote above, where the tremor is gone.  Enjoy yourself, relax, and smile.  Never try to "fight" it.     .......just my opinion, and I ain't got no degree in any of this!!   .......but I paid real good attention to what you wrote.
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Post by RodJ 8/23/2021, 6:46 pm

Hello CR
some of your observations remind me of mine, except instead of a tremor I anticipate and get flinchy (not sure that’s a word).
But I am just starting and unclassified so have no good advice. 

The only thing I’ve tried to get myself to do is release myself from the outcome and just focus on the process. The bullet holes are there only to tell me whether my process was any good and whether I followed it. That’s it. They aren’t a measure of who I am as a person, except maybe to tell me whether, on that day at that point in my training and learning, I’m smart enough to have sniffed out a decent process and whether I’m able to follow my own instructions.  

Okay. Truth be told, my score does matter to me.  A lot. More than I can admit, even to myself.  I want it badly.  Praise, accolades, adoration, a good star from my third grade teacher.  Almost as if I have low self image. My wife would laugh at that, but there may be some truth to it.  Zinns commented somewhere that a person should be having fun. That may hold a clue to some solution. Dissociate my ego and shoot for fun.

That’s what I currently think is one of the things that maybe gets in my way. Gotta get out of my own way. Have fun.

PS i dont think you’re wasting ammo, if it’s a set of clues. But I am not sure. I am fully behind you and looking forward to you making a break out! cheerscheerscheers

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Post by Jack H 8/23/2021, 7:14 pm

What Mike said is very astute.  Focus on alignment.  Let the target be an area.  Do not try to fight the sight to a point.  In training, the area should be a blank target back 10' away or at 25y away.  It would be best to adjust your sights so the holes are below the front sight where you can not see them.

Years ago LTC Miller had me address and hold position on a TF target at 25y.  He said do not fire until I say so.  Then Coach placed a blank target in front about 3' away and said shoot my string through it.  I did and the 25y target did have a decent result despite being hidden. 

Don't fight your wobble.  You can only work to improve it over time.  Not during a shot.
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Post by Jack H 8/23/2021, 7:18 pm

To Rodj
Grouping matters more than score.  Groups can be moved.  Groups show the results of good process no matter where they land.
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Post by RodJ 8/23/2021, 7:50 pm

Totally agree!  I see that I implied that score matters. Didn’t mean it quite like that so thanks for pointing that out. 

If I could only put them through the same hole I’d be in nirvana!  <|8-)

Jack H wrote:To Rodj
Grouping matters more than score.  Groups can be moved.  Groups show the results of good process no matter where they land.

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Post by Wobbley 8/23/2021, 11:16 pm

“Flat Tire” at these ranges is really Center of Mass.  if you can see it consistently it can work very well particularly in sustained fire,
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Post by crmath 8/24/2021, 9:32 am

I see “flat tire” as something distinctly different from center of mass.  When I shot rifle I covered up the bottom third of the bullseye.  For pistol (if it works) it will be something something similar - maybe I can convince my subconscious to accept a sight picture that’s between tangent and center of mass.  It’ll take some live fire work to find out.

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Post by Jack H 8/24/2021, 3:14 pm

Your ability for stability may allow for a "flat tire" hold.  For most of us, probably not.
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Post by chopper 8/24/2021, 11:55 pm

crmath wrote:

The big, and truly debilitating issue is a tremor in my hold, all in my wrist, that builds as I squeeze, and may exceed the 6-ring in width.  I’d say it’s mostly from 8:00 to 2:00 and fast enough to look like a pink streak when I use an ultradot.  I don’t experience anything like it when I dry fire unless I intentionally grip as hard as I can or push myself to muscle fatigue.

 I am having this same issue lately and it really manifested itself in my last match, not so much with the .22 but really came on after about 4 shots into slow. For me it's a grip issue I haven't solved and been fighting. For me Jon hit on it perfectly, my wrist has been operated on for ostio-arthritis a couple years back. I've developed less flexibility in it and need to learn a better way to grip. The harder I grip the gun the more I get the same issues you have above, and I can't operate the trigger smoothly and independently because of it.
 I'm glad you brought your trouble up and hope you can clear it up also.
 Stan

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Post by CR10X 8/25/2021, 8:31 am

Chopper:

As I've gotten older, I have had to modify my grip and trigger finger placement.  This came about due to some serious arthritic issues with the first joint of my trigger finger. 

I moved my trigger finger much further inward, into the first crease of the trigger finger (with a standard 1911 trigger).  This enabled me to actually increase my grip pressure and get a more consistent trigger operation since it no longer felt like I was "balancing" the gun on the forward portion of my trigger finger. (Other symptom was losing sensitivity in the forward pad too.)  Just make sure the rest of the trigger finger forward of the knuckle joint stays clear of the grip. You  may have to experiment with longer or shorter triggers to find the best length.  Trigger shoes did not work for me consistently. 

As a result of being able to get more "grip" on the gun, I was able to get a better handle on keeping the wrist aligned as well.  But the flexors that operate the trigger finger also run through the wrist as well, so there was a definite learning curve.

However, my slow fire string are now back in the mid 90's if I keep the trigger moving.....

CR

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Post by tovaert 8/27/2021, 9:41 am

The advice and discussion in this thread has been great for me, especially with the grip discussion. I also struggle with anticipating recoil and dropping the muzzle. I don't like that quick surge of adrenalin that happens when a .45 or 9mm pistol just goes off, and you don't expect it. I'm also used to "command fire" with my 14# AR service rifle, w/no recoil of any significance. I've decided to stick with metallic sights on my pistols for now, to train for sight alignment. One question...I have a MG2 EVO, sometimes the muzzle flips up and left after firing (I'm right handed). Then sometimes it seems like I can keep the sights aligned (and still almost on target) throughout the shot, and boom...10 or X. I feel like I'm using the same shot process, but obviously something is changing. From what I have read, it seems like I'm varying wrist tension? Are there strategies for "setting" the wrist so that it stays in a "stronger" position?

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Post by Jon Eulette 8/28/2021, 12:28 am

I’ve been following this post and giving it more thought. There are sports we play that require muscle memory and repetition to master execution of the sport. If we don’t master the technique or fundamental we generally are not good at the given game.
I reflected back on my shooting experiences and recently was out shooting and caught myself making an error that I immediately corrected and executed a good shot.
So we’ve been reading about wrist control. The wrist, the wrist, the wrist. Muscle memory controls the wrist. We all have our own grip and stance based on our body type and some personal preferences. Sometimes it’s because a better shooter told us to and we just did it not really knowing why.
So we have 5 basic fundamentals; stance, grip, breathing, aiming and TRIGGER CONTROL. If the first 4 fundamentals I listed are so so, you can still shoot 10’s. But you absolutely must have good trigger control to shoot a 10. 
Ok so right handed shooter has a wrist that will break to the left and a trigger finger that more often than naught will also push to the left when less than perfect.
The trigger finger has to be INDEPENDENT of the gripping fingers of the hand/grip. If it acts with them, trigger control suffers.
Ok so back to my error. I saw my red dot shifting to the left during the execution of a sustained fire shot. I quickly corrected and shot a 10. It wasn’t the fault of my wrist!!!
It was my trigger finger. No if’s ands or buts, if was without a doubt my trigger finger.
If you break it down, once we are in our shooting position we are completely static. We are not moving. I’m going to pretend here that our breathing is static as well as our hold. The only thing moving is our trigger finger. Then obviously when the shot breaks we have some movement.
So since we are static and not moving why does the wrist move? We are using muscle memory to keep it physically rigid and firm. How is it going to move? We are holding a 3# pistol out at arms length. Is that going to break or move the wrist? He’ll no, it’s your trigger finger forcing the wrist to break and execution of a poorly placed shot.
So through dry fire training (not practice) we learn how to grip with an independent trigger finger, a firm wrist and execute good shots. 
So throw in the mediocre hold while your aiming. Your brain does not want to pull that trigger. It wants you to hold perfectly still before it will squeeze the trigger smoothly. So you force the shot. A forced shot will break the wrist.
So work on each fundamental separately and master each one. And yep you have to work on trigger control the most. 
Accepting your hold and squeezing the trigger is reality for every shooter from marksman to high master. The difference is the HM accepts his reality better and executes the shot without forcing the shot. Be like the HM.
Jon
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