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Coping with others early shots

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Steve K
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Coping with others early shots Empty Coping with others early shots

Post by Packeagle 1/14/2023, 6:11 pm

Our weekly league doesn't have turning targets. We have a shooter who frequently (at least once per gallery course) fires before the start signal for timed or rapid fire strings. Every time he shoots early it throws off my shot process and timing. Sometimes it completely obscures the start signal and I feel rushed to "catch up." Other shooters have told me to use his early shot as the start signal, but even trying to do that throws off my timing. I shot my personal best Gallery Course this week, but pulled the first round in the second string of rapid fire into the 8 ring due to my reaction to his early shooting. 

What have you found helpful to cope with the effects of competitors firing early?

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Post by RodJ 1/14/2023, 6:27 pm

Unless the shooter has sort of neurological problem that prevents them from following the rules, it’s bad manners of them.  Frankly, it’s still bad manners if they DO have a problem and don’t bring it to the match director’s attention on how to accommodate them.  Jimminy crickets, I’d be a wreck after a couple times, waiting for an early shot every string.

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Post by Packeagle 1/14/2023, 6:42 pm

RodJ wrote:Unless the shooter has sort of neurological problem that prevents them from following the rules, it’s bad manners of them.

I agree, and I don't think he has any conditions, but just doesn't care if he shoots early. It's kind of an informal situation where no one is holding him accountable or enforcing the penalty. I'm beginning to get serious about my shooting. I've hit a couple plateaus now and have to work harder to improve, so I've really started to focus on things like my shot process and timing. The early shootings begining to have an impact on my mindset as well. Not trying to turn this into a venting post, I need to find a way to overcome the mental (pissed off/loss of focus) and physical effects (startle response) if I want to keep shooting there and improving.

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Post by SteveT 1/14/2023, 7:07 pm

Someone should talk to this person. If they are a new shooter, they need to know. If they are experienced, they need to know that it is not acceptable at this range or in this match.

If it continues to happen, the RO should call out the early shooter and subtract the highest shot on the target or two shots if he/she does it in both strings. We will usually give someone the benefit of the doubt if it is barely early and only happens every once in a while, but anyone doing it with any consistency should be called out.

If you can't hear the buzzer or fire command, then don't shoot. Hold your hand up for a range alibi. THIS DOES NOT COUNT AS A REFIRE. If you have a malfunction, you still get a refire. If this happens enough, maybe the shooter will get the message. If I wanted to get the message across I would say very loudly when asked "There was an early shot that covered the buzzer"

If I was the RO calling the line and someone was really doing it consistently, I would hesitate just a little if calling or stop the commands just before the buzzer if the system allowed it. Anyone who fires loses one or more shots on target. This is definitely not the preferred solution. The commands should be consistent. Intentionally making them inconsistent is not a good idea.

If the RO won't or can't do anything I would talk to my fellow shooters so the all of us on the line (or at least a significant number) don't shoot if there is an early shot. Again, hopefully the shooter will get the message. If nothing else, the errant shooter will complete his strings, then you can shoot your strings in peace.

As for getting over it, put everyone and everything else out of your mind when shooting. I know it is easier said than done, but with practice can be learned, or at least improved.

I often say that shooting with turning targets is easier than with commands or a buzzer. This is one of the reasons why. Maybe you can get the range or club to make turning targets.
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Post by Jon Eulette 1/14/2023, 7:16 pm

1) he's a cheating asshole if he does this all the time. RO needs to call him on it. Totally unacceptable!

2) your shot plan should allow you to block this out. It doesn't matter what's going on elsewhere on the firing line,  your focus should be 99% shot plan and 1% on range safety. His early shots are his problem not yours.

So you identified a weakness you have.  EXCELLENT! That's how we grow as shooters. So address it in your training. 
When most of us practice at a local range there are other shooters firing off rounds. Normal right. When we shoot SF others are shooting off rounds. Again normal. So work your shot plan and ignore the other shots.
Training is familiarity, you are making it acceptable to disregard other shots in your shot plan.

I have hearing loss and some hyper sensitivity to noise. I used to shoot on a local range with low roof and back wall. I had to wait for other shooters to shoot a minute or so before I began shooting SF. I had to acclimate. I would flinch from the sound of their gunfire.  It was part of my plan shooting that range to wait. Once my brain was ok with it I'd start shooting.

Work on it!
Jon
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Post by Packeagle 1/14/2023, 7:21 pm

I think I'm going to try and combine both of your suggestions Jon and Steve. If he shoots over the buzzer I'll request a range alibi. This should help bring attention to the issue. If he shoots way early as he sometimes does, it has much less impact over me, but I'm listening intently for the buzzer over the exhaust fan. I need to focus on only the buzzer sound and not the other noises.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 1/14/2023, 7:55 pm

Give it a shot - shoot the buzzer early? Very Happy I just did (on accident)for the first time last week and happily insisted to drop a shot for the learning experience. I don't see any reason an early or late shot should still count for score in any match.  

I used to get upset for days when other shooters would talk while I'm still finishing slow fire. Then I did it once on accident - I finished and everyone around me finished early and as a newbie (still) I was so excited to ask my neighbor about his gun that I started yapping. Neither of us thought a thing about it until RSO gave a quiet finger. I couldn't believe how easily, innocently (I felt) I broke my own top peeve. I don't sweat it anymore when others talk during my shooting.
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Post by Ray Dash 1/14/2023, 11:03 pm

Not going to lie, I hate it when others shoot before the buzzer because it screws my timing up also. Last week in league I got a little anxious and shot either right on the buzzer or a little before, it was hard to tell. I felt bad about it knowing that it screwed someone else up for sure.
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Post by Packeagle 1/14/2023, 11:06 pm

Ray, we all do it, and it wouldn't even be statistically relevant if this guy didn't do it daily. I've gotten a little heavy on the trigger prep myself and squeezed one off before the buzzer. I think we need to focus specifically on the buzzer and block all other sounds out.

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Post by CrankyThunder 1/15/2023, 1:18 am

Ok guys, calm down.  

We are all here for the fun and entertainment, cept of course maybe Jon.........

You got a early shot.... Put your gun down.   

Tell the range officer that there was a early shot and it messed you up and you want a range alibi.  

The range officer will either grant you a alibi or remove a shot from the offending shooters target, possibly both.  

Take your alibi round. 

If it happens again, ask for another alibi.  

Sooner or later one of your fellow shooters will take a alibi on a early shot. 

Pretty soon you will have a heavy unspoken range rule that shooting early is heavily discouraged.  

For what it is worth, I occasionally shoot early when I am on a range with fixed targets.  It is tuff going from turning to fixed but I try my best.  The good part is that the leagues I shoot in, everybody is accommodating and understanding, it is not like I am doing it on purpose.  

All is good at the after match watering hole.  

Good Luck!

regards, 
Crankster
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Post by Orion 1/15/2023, 1:46 am

Jon’s feedback was both to the point and entertainment. I second this feedback. Sounds like this guy is giving you good practice blocking out miscellaneous shots.


Last edited by Orion on 1/15/2023, 1:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by chiz1180 1/15/2023, 1:48 am

It happens on turning targets too, I have been at a match in which someone had an early shot and split the target like a playing card. Is it distracting? Absolutely. I have found it best to focus on my process rather than how everyone else is shooting. Early shots are way better than the guy next to you putting a shot into the bench.
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Post by Packeagle 1/15/2023, 1:51 am

I don't think it bothers me as much with turning targets because it's easier to tune out sounds when you're only focused on a visual stimulus as the go signal. It's really the shot covering the buzzer that does the most damage to my process.

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Post by Jon Eulette 1/15/2023, 2:02 am

Kommiefornia in its infinite wisdom (CRPA) decided to hold a state championship on whistle instead of turning targets around 91- 92. The winner of the match shot early shot on almost every rapid fire. The RO wouldn’t enforce the early shots. The competitor complained and blamed others. He was a complete asshole who ended up beating me by one or two points. I was pretty pissed off. So from that day forward I try to help enforce proper match etiquette on the line. Hard enough getting people to show up, last thing we need is a cheater to ruin the experience for all. We all have to decide what kind of shooter we’re going to be. Be a winner because of the truth, not your scores.
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Post by CR10X 1/15/2023, 6:07 pm

Just something to think about.   

Zins used to say something like: "You know you in the zone (groove, whatever) if the only gun you hear on the line is yours."

Now, I know from personal experience that with audible signals rather than turning targets, its a real struggle since we are tuned to an external audible rather visual source to key part of our shot process.  But, dig deep and imagine hearing the sound of what the actual signal will be, and exclude anything else that does not match. 

(I can apparently do this when my wife speaks and I'm watching the game.  But I don't recommend it.  I'm not as good at it on the firing line as I would like to be.)

CR

PS: Agree with the above comments.  Just don't let whatever you decide to do ruin your day or mess up your shooting.  Cheaters may take home an award, but you'll always know it doesn't have any value (except maybe to their ego).

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Post by Grunt 1/15/2023, 11:46 pm

chiz1180 wrote:It happens on turning targets too, I have been at a match in which someone had an early shot and split the target like a playing card. Is it distracting? Absolutely. I have found it best to focus on my process rather than how everyone else is shooting. Early shots are way better than the guy next to you putting a shot into the bench.

Yes, with turning targets too.  Years ago, with hundreds of bullseye shooters at a match, it was not uncommon.  In fact, you just expected someone to do it.  At times it was a tad funny (OK, I have a slightly warped sense of humor) but you'd get the BANG! and a half second later, BANG!, and then two more BANG, BANG!  It's like sympathy discharges.  Hard not a giggle a bit.

And yes, been too close when someone let one go into the bench.  Happened to a buddy one time and he blew a chunk of wood off the bench.  He just unloaded and stepped away to calm down.

I guess all I can offer is that with as often as it happens, just expect it.  Stay in your world, on your target, with your gun, and do what you know how to do.  That's someone else's 10 points, not yours.

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Post by chopper 1/16/2023, 12:30 am

I ran an informal league matches at our range this winter, without turning targets. I use the Bullseye Match app on my phone and run it through my guitar amp pretty loud for the old geezers who tend to shoot early. Generally 8 shooters on the line so I can pick out the early shooter. I said to them I would take 10 points off their score if they do it again, this alone curbed the early shots. I had a range alibi when my phone battery got weak and I had to call the line. I call the line at the same pace as this app and use my fingers as the timing space between the commands and the word "Fire".
 I also help the shooters when I can, with getting some sort of process started with these commands. Most of our shooters are 2-handed shooters. I believe if you listen to the commands and know the distance between them 2-3 secs and I use my process with that, I can block out everything else and concentrate on me.
 Lots of great advice here, do what you have to, ask the MD to talk to the early shooter and let that guy know he can be penalized 10 pts. for early and late shots. 
 Stan

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Post by Pinetree 1/16/2023, 2:32 am

We have turning targets at our home range, and whenever I hear an early shot I just chuckle to myself and think "well, there's a miss", and then go about my business.

I may not be the best shooter on our team, but I think I'm pretty good at blocking extraneous thoughts from my head while firing.
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Post by Steve K 1/16/2023, 5:31 pm

People do early shots for a variety of reasons. I run the local BE League and we are there for fun. There are no prizes or trophies, just a good time where we try to best ourselves. However, there is one shooter who comes occasionally and he often has an early shot. He does this for attention. He is the type who will be on the line for other types of matches and call out "Oh no, I forgot to load my magazines". We are a very laidback group. but not pushovers. We've learned to ignore his distractions and proceed with the matches. He is often unceremoniously disqualified which seems to work.

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Post by jglenn21 1/16/2023, 7:05 pm

I'm sitting here wondering why the big deal
 Early shot = miss/0  period. Turning targets or not. Enforce the miss. 

I think the OP needs to think on how he is executing his 1st shot in a string. Mentally , I count how long a given range takes to turn or start the beeper and count to myself that time frame. this allows me to be on the trigger Before the turn and execute the shot typically within the 1st second. Takes constant practice but really helps with rapid fire. Concentrating on the count and trigger helps me eliminate any other distraction.


Last edited by jglenn21 on 1/17/2023, 1:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by chopper 1/17/2023, 4:23 am

You couldn't say it any better, Jimmie G.
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Post by bruce martindale 1/17/2023, 10:32 pm

If your RO is well timed or  an electronic timer is used, count it out in your head. I am always worried about shooting early and that's a detriment to good shooting. I wish some ranges had lights in addition to a buzzer

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Post by NWSteve 2/4/2023, 4:59 pm

During my very first match (informal non sanctioned) some jackass was using a 22WMR (magnum) The concussion was distracting to participants in the next lanes and was noticed up and down the range.

 I was that jackass. It was the 22 I could shoot best, and I inquired as to whether it was aloud first. After learning it was so distracting, I showed up the next week with a 22lr, and have since been accepted into the group and we laugh about it. lol!

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Post by Jack H 2/4/2023, 7:29 pm

There is a certain range in Oregon where the first time I shot there I had a stop watch with me.  Their RF timed at 12 seconds.  So no worries on the slow first shot.  Can't blame the stopwatch either.  It's the same one we use at NCAA races
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