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Sustained Fire cadence in Slow Fire

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weber1b
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Post by Bestdentist99 2/27/2022, 9:28 pm

Most people I know, including myself, get higher scores (and not because the 9 and 10 ring are significantly larger on the Sustained fire target) and group better than on the Slow fire target, even though the black on both is the same size. I find it much easier using both 22 and 45 pistols to keep the dot centered in the scope and on the center of the target in Sustained fire, especially Timed fire when very ample time is available to take the shot. Slow fire requires the exact, repetitive shot process to be executed 10 times in row which is both mentally and physically very challenging, which I believe results in lower scores and shot  grouping.
Although I’ve been involved in Bullseye sport for 4 years and do follow the accepted protocol of taking one shot at a time I often wonder what is idea behind this mostly followed Slow fire technique?
Thank you, in advance, for your input.

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Post by Tim:H11 2/27/2022, 9:36 pm

For me, I take my time. Focus on one shot and it’s process at a time. Someone else I know is done with a slow fire target in 3 minutes on average. You shoot your own game and what works best for you.
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Post by Jack H 2/27/2022, 11:16 pm

Even though it works fairly well to sustain fire 2 or more shots, I believe the only way to have the most precision is one shot at a time.  I might say sustained SF is a bandaid for not good enough at mental side of shooting.
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Post by Wobbley 2/27/2022, 11:41 pm

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Post by Wobbley 2/27/2022, 11:51 pm

It isn’t sustained fire cadence.  It really is a determination to break a clean shot without hesitancy.  This is what happens in sustained fire.  So in slow fire stop trying to “dress up the shot” and just take the first good shot you see.
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Post by Tim:H11 2/28/2022, 5:47 am

Jack H wrote:Even though it works fairly well to sustain fire 2 or more shots, I believe the only way to have the most precision is one shot at a time.  I might say sustained SF is a bandaid for not good enough at mental side of shooting.

Talk to a couple of shooters in the AMU and they’d disagree with you. Mental game, regardless of how you shoot, isn’t dictated by your shooting cadence. It’s dictated by you. If someone shoots slow fire a bit faster than what we usually see, it doesn’t mean they have a lesser mental game. They might have a very strong mental game and prefer to shoot they way they do for other reasons. I have a shooter in mind but I won’t name drop here, PM me. 

Example: I shoot DR all single action. People have argued with me in the past that double action during sustained fire is better because you don’t have to break your grip to cock the gun. I break my grip, cock the hammer, reacquire my grip and go into the shot. It works. I prefer it. I dislike double action one handed. The sights and gun move too much in a heavier trigger pull for me. Plenty of people will say “well you don’t have enough follow through, or get a stronger grip, or get a stronger arm...” bull. I don’t need to focus on that more than I have because I’ve developed a shooting method that works for me. The shooter that shoots slow fire quickly has developed a shooting method that works for him/herself. It may or may not have to do with mental game. It may be for other reasons. But I wouldn’t slap a label of an inferior mental game on it. Everyone is different.
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Post by Axehandle 2/28/2022, 6:04 am

Always shot slow fire a little quicker than most.  Shooting as a senior even shooting quicker than most I found that If I shot real slow fire I'd shoot a couple of good targets and then be worthless for the rest of the match.  Today If the gun returns to the target and the sights look good I shoot again.  Sometime 1, sometime 2, sometime 3, sometime 4, sometime 5....

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Post by john bickar 2/28/2022, 3:20 pm

Tommy Woods used to shoot SF at a TF cadence.

I have lots more to say on this (like Jason does too) about what I and other shooters do. I like what Axehandle said about "take it when you see it". You can tell if I'm shooting SF well if I'm shooting it quickly.
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Post by james r chapman 2/28/2022, 3:54 pm

Telling Jason he won’t be successful shooting S.A, now that’s a hoot! lol!
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Post by sharkdoctor 2/28/2022, 4:39 pm

Bestdentist99 wrote:Most people I know, including myself, get higher scores (and not because the 9 and 10 ring are significantly larger on the Sustained fire target) and group better than on the Slow fire target, even though the black on both is the same size. (Snipped)
I will take a different approach re: performance analysis by questioning the OP's initial premises.

I agree with the first: higher scores for most during sustained fire.  Well sure, it is half the distance and the rings are (appear to be) twice as large.  Now take a 25 yd sustained fire target and extrapolate it (the group) out to 50 yds.  Assume dispersion is twice that of 25 yds (it likely is more, but we simplify).  That scratch 10 at 25yd is now an 8, and so on. How'd you do?  Are you really doing better at 25 (in terms of minimal group dispersion) than 50?  If so, then why?  If not, then where does one need improvement?  I don't know the answers, and much better shooters than I are weighing in on possible explanations.  I currently am away from my materials for further analysis, but will try it myself (back to my HC siete anos).

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Post by Axehandle 2/28/2022, 4:51 pm

You guys are confusing me.  You shooting the 25 yard or 50 foot course?  The rings on my 25 yard timed and rapid fire targets are exactly the same size as the 50 yard slow fire rings..

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Post by Wobbley 2/28/2022, 8:39 pm

But they’re twice as far away.
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Post by bruce martindale 3/1/2022, 8:08 am

The issue is group size. Many will agree that once fundamentals are well grounded, for many shooters, the RF groups will smaller than TF, with worse SF.

One shot at a time, with delays, can more easily result in variations of mechanics. A HM could easily do it either way, lesser athletes less so.

Being a lesser athlete myself, l find better performance by getting SF done if everything feels good. My indoor avg is 91 right now. I always have a flyer or two.

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Post by Grunt 3/6/2022, 4:14 pm

SF has always been my weakness and remains the thing I spend most of my time trying to improve.  Now, I realize what I'm about to say doesn't really address your question, but it has been the key thing that has helped me improve my long line scores.  That is, SF is a matter of prioritizing the tasks at hand.  In order of importance they are:

#1. Break the shot clean (aka surprise break)
#2. Keep the sights aligned.
#3. Minimize arc of movement.
(Note: I'm assuming you have developed a good stance, position, grip.)

Not surprisingly, these are the same for the short line.  Yes, I've dabbled in using a sustained rate of fire for SF and I've found it unreliable.  Why?  Because you still have to fire that first shot, which is what you have to do anyway if you're doing it one at a time.

What has really helped me is raising the gun to the center of the target (I don't float it down, I go right to the bull).  As soon as the sights align I consistently increase pressure on the trigger while counting down from 6.  If I get to 0 before it goes bang, I terminate the shot, lower the gun, and start my process over.  I find that bit of time pressure (the count down) makes SF a bit like TF/RF where you have to get your shots off in time.  And that pressure helps me accept the imperfections that are more apparent during SF.

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Post by hengehold 5/26/2022, 9:36 am

I am a second year BE shooter and I also find that my SF groups and scores are more consistent when I fire them with a TF cadence. I shoot an indoor winter league at 25 yds and found that my groups during SF (25 yds) are close to twice as big as my TF groups. How is this possible? My best guess is that perhaps I maintain a grip that is more firm or am tightening up my wrist in some way when I shoot a sustained fire shot and am not doing this as much when I am shooting SF. I may never find out what is causing this increase in single shot groups during SF because it may be something that is nearly impossible to diagnose. The important thing is that I have come up with a way to get past this issue for now.

I decided to shoot my SF with a TF cadence built in. I currently shoot it in 2 shot TF strings (2 shots in about 5-8 seconds) until I have fired all 10 rds. I put the gun down in between the 2 shot strings.

Thanks for starting this thread. I find it interesting to hear what others have to say about the topic.
-TH

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Post by Oleg G 5/26/2022, 10:22 am

TH,

Are you able to call you shots? This question applies to both Slow Fire and Sustained Fire.
Let's start with Slow Fire, because calling each shot individually is an easier mental picture to maintain than that of an entire 5-shot string.
If you are able to call your shots in Slow Fire, do that every time you fire a Slow Fire shot.
For the GOOD SHOTS ONLY, also replay in your mind the entire short movie of how the shot progressed in accordance with your process. Such mental replay will train your mind on how to shoot the good shots. There is no need to reinforce what happpened when the shot has not gone in accordance with your process.
Like others have said numerous times on this forum, you should look into the scope to confirm  the shot placement that you called, NOT to find out where the shot went.
BTW, the definition of a good shot is a shot that landed within your ability to hold (wobble area). This may be a 7 ring, an 8 ring, or an X ring - depending on how stable your hold is at present.

If you are not yet able to call your shots, this in itself explains why your groups open up:
1. You need to focus more on your front sight / dot, so you can see the position of the sights at the time the shot goes off.
2. You should put more training time into executing your shot process with enough consistency to allow you to either take a good shot when the process is developing well, or to abort a shot when a key point in your shot process is not achieved.

BTW, you do have a written shot process, right?

Best Regards,
Oleg.
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Post by weber1b 6/5/2022, 9:00 pm

Bottom line, it's not better, it just works better for you. If it really was better, all the top shooters would do it. Better in the long run to figure out your slow fire. If you aren't shooting good slow fires, most if not all of your training should be on slow fire, at the competition distance.

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Post by adminbot1911 6/5/2022, 9:20 pm

The benefit of SF, I think, is the OPPORTUNITY to take 10 well-rested, well "breathed", well-aimed, non-rushed shots.  If one doesn't need all the time, why take all the time?  

And do I shoot a pair of successive shots in SF every once in a while?  Sure, when my grip feels great, and I'm feeling rested, and breath control is good, and my sight alignment is spot on, and the sights are where I want them to be during recovery, I'll squeeze through a second shot immediately after the first.  And if it doesn't feel right, I'll interrupt that second squeeze and bring it down and start the process over.
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Post by Soupy44 6/5/2022, 9:31 pm

The decision of shooting it with a TF or SF cadence might be better divided into still developing the foundations of your shot process, or more of a refining of your shot process.  

I'd be curious if any of the top shooters are taking multiple shots in SF, but I've venture a large bet any that do are very much the exception.  I'd bet this because a strong shot process mixed with time and the ability to reset and start over is a darn powerful mix.  

If you are still learning how to operate the trigger smoothly in a timeframe that doesn't tax your arm or grip strength, or wander into the territory of changing what your arm or grip are doing, then shooting TF cadence is a band-aid for your ills IMHO IF you are going for score.

If you are trying to make yourself better by practicing a better trigger operation that results in better shot process, then your time is well spent.  But at some point, you have to do those processes at a SF cadence.

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Post by Ed Hall 6/6/2022, 8:26 am

Soupy44 wrote:. . .  But at some point, you have to do those processes at a SF cadence.
Why? (Unless you're going to shoot Free or Air Pistol.)

Sorry, but I feel like picking a bit.

I've always considered the most successful (and boring) shooting routine, would be to learn how to fire a string of five rounds in ten seconds into a tight group and then perform that routine over and over again for all strings.  Even if you slipped slightly on a couple strings, you'd probably still score pretty well.

Just to add another thought: Look for positive indicators rather than negative.  Look for those things that tell you your process is unfolding, rather than things that don't look right.  Seek what you desire.

And, don't worry about score.  You can look for that later.

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Post by Soupy44 6/6/2022, 1:26 pm

Ed,

Fair point. Smallbore has something similar to this in taking multiple shots in standing without putting the gun down. Depending on who you ask it's the future or it's a fad.

I edit my statement to suggesting the OP work on shot process to the point that the cadence doesn't matter, but odds are with proper effort learning to shoot a slow fire cadence will be the pinnacle of your scores.

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Post by CR10X 6/6/2022, 2:04 pm

Here's my perspective on the topic. 

(1) For me I try to have the actual trigger process for firing a shot take the same length of time for a long line shot as for a short line shot from the start of the trigger operation (start of increasing trigger pressure).  All shots should have the same length of time for completing the trigger press from the instance pressure starts increasing.   

(2) What I need to see to shoot a 10 at the long line is a little different than what I need to see to shoot a 10 at the short line.  Yea, the rings are the same size for B6 and B8, but the distance is twice as far.  So what I need to see is slightly more precise, not in position, but in awareness of how the sights / dot is coming into and wobbling in the acceptable aiming area at the LL.  At the short line, its trust in the wobble no matter what and keep the trigger moving, we ain't got time to critique anything.   

(3) A long line shot process is the same as the short line except for one important thing.  The LL includes an abort if the time limit for my shot is exceeded, or I didn't see what I needed to see to complete an acceptable LL shot. (ie. I see the wobble went past the smallest time, etc.)  Better to keep 10 potential points in the gun than to complete a shot that is guaranteed to lose me 2 or more points.

(4) The short line shot process is the same except there is no abort option (ever).  I will always need to attempt 5 shots at the short line.  Why use the "same process" at the long line if I am not going to complete 5 shots?  I do not want to confuse my limited brain cells taking multiple shots at the LL because there is almost a 100 percent probability I will never attempt to do 5 complete shots sequentially.  Which I what I have to be able to do at the SL. 

(5) Even if I am running out of time or waiting on the wind, it does not take me that long to complete the shot, call it, bench the gun and start the LL shot process all over again.  Or to put it another way, I've never run out of time at the long line, even in the wind at Perry.  (Yes, I have and probably will again run out of time for RF strings, but that's a different issue. And I've shot my fair share of early shots at the SL too!)

(6) However for each LL shot I do try very hard to complete the shot, recover from recoil and get the dot / sights back to the aiming area with trigger recovery just like there was going to be another shot BEFORE saying the shot is complete, getting the gun back to the ready position and calling the shot. Yes, that's different that the SL, but I am getting ready for the short line strings by getting the gun back on target and trigger recovery.  

(7) So, to sum it all up.  For the LL I'm allowed to abort, but when firing a shot I recover like for a short line shot.  But I'm not going to attempt follow up shots without starting over from the ready position since I will need to do 5 complete shots every time at the short line.  For the short line I will mentally be prepared to complete the trigger every time the dot / sights are in or approaching acceptable aiming area 5 times.  

(Or as Grayson taught me: Short line mantra is "Trigger, Trigger, Trigger, Trigger, Trigger" without cluttering the mind with anything else.) 

Just keeping the discussion alive.

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Post by Wobbley 6/6/2022, 9:57 pm

Cecil, Would you say that a 10 at 50 needs the same precision in hold/sight picture as an X at 25.  I know it isn’t necessarily quite the same but when I practice slow at 25 I can usually call a center shot a solid X.
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Post by CR10X 6/8/2022, 5:55 am

I think I will answer the question this way because I do not want to use the term "precision" with hold or sight picture as that, in my opinion defeats what I want to think about / do for a shot.

The portion of the acceptable area for a 10 at 50 and an X at 25 are generally the same (for me maybe a little larger at 50).  I've shot a lot more 10x's and 100's with 8 or 9 X's at 25 (B8) versus 100's at 50 (B6).  When testing short line loads (standing, bullseye style) at 25 on a B8 using slow fire technique, most all the shots were well within the X ring (with the good loads).  But I don't want to use the time to see the wobble that close to the center at 25 yards when shooting TF / RF. 

The important thing for 50 yards is the direction / consistency of the wobble (ie. going towards the center of the area versus just movement in the area). 
 
At 25 for TF / RF, its just trusting the wobble and keeping the trigger moving.  That is important not just for completing the shot, but consistent trigger pressure (and grip) helps with maintaining a consistent wobble.  Hesitation / start - stop on the trigger produces uneven pressures that will increase or influence the grip and wobble and disturb the "normal" pattern that can be achieved with consistently increasing pressure. 

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