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What are you doing to improve and is it working?

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What are you doing to improve and is it working? - Page 2 Empty What are you doing to improve and is it working?

Post by Jon Eulette 4/4/2023, 1:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

Are you going through the motions, or are you taking steps to improve your shooting? 

If your taking steps to improve and have had success, what did you do and how are you measuring your success?

1) improved scores?
2) tighter groups?
3) more consistent?
4) improving with the 45?
5) improved performance?

Not all improvements have direct score improvements immediately. Your groups could be improving but you're still trying to figure out how to get that group into the 10 ring, etc. Learning how to grip more consistently. Learning to finesse the trigger..........................

Share your POSITIVE improvements!
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Post by mikemyers 4/8/2023, 4:35 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:.......If you're taking steps to improve and have had success, what did you do and how are you measuring your success?.....

Share your POSITIVE improvements!
Simple answer, with very positive improvements.  I accidentally discovered several weeks ago that I could hold and dry-fire my two-pound Springfield SA-35 one handed.  Since then, I've developed a dry-fire routine, and did so every day, several times a day, up to the point (but not beyond) where my arm/shoulder/back felt discomfort.  As of a week ago, I could dry-fire the SA-35 every day, as much as I wanted, with no discomfort.  Starting yesterday, I switched to my two-pound 9.2 oz. Springfield 9mm 1911 Range Officer Target, and can now go through a dry-fire session of 10 rounds, one handed, and still feel good afterwards.  I'm only good for up to 10 rounds now, but before I couldn't do it at all.  This will improve

The time is spent applying pressure to the trigger gradually until the gun fires, without me knowing exactly when that will be, and unlike my SA-35, when the gun does fire, the sights don't change, thanks to some wonderful work by Dave Salyer.

I didn't want to post anything in this thread until I could do this for real, one handed, for 10 rounds.  It's a start.  My Les Baer Premiere II is lighter, and easier for me to shoot one handed.  I should get my car back next week, so I can try this with live ammo.


Jon, you sent me a list of suggestions long ago, which I follow as best I can.  They were helpful back then, and even more so now that I can appreciate them better.  Thank you.
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Post by TonyH 4/9/2023, 8:49 am

bruce martindale wrote:Have you tried reversed targets?
Was this question for me? If so, and you mean just flipping a target over at shooting at a blank target, then the answer is yes.
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Post by RodJ 4/9/2023, 10:41 am

In addition to keeping a daily journal (some days may be nothing happened, but I will note that factoid), I have been trying to call my shots at the 25 yard indoor range while conducting a training drill (lowering the sights into the bull and getting the shot off within a prescribed time - immediately, 1 second, 2 second…). I was also learning my new Eulette Precision Palm Springs Roll Trigger.

Last night the target carrier system got a workout, 50 shots, 50 down and backs. Amazing that they didn’t kick me out.

Oddly the “lesson” last night after 40 slow fire shots was not an improvement in calling shots: it was that I wasnt able to call my shots at all.  

High and right! Nope, low and left. Shocked  

4 o’clock! Nope, X ring. Evil or Very Mad   WTF?!

Analyzing this, I realized that maybe I couldn’t really see the front sight. The lighting is “okay” for plinking, but not sufficient to see the serration lines on the front sight in the particular shooting bay - which is what I try to do.  As they say, “welp, sumpin’s gotta change”.  Took a step back from the bench and, voila, better lighting on the front sight.  

Last five shots, 10, 10, 10, 10, … … 8 at 9 o’clock… Gads! Lol

Point is that by noting what was happening while I was shooting allowed me to analyze my shooting “in the moment” and possibly make adjustments or to confirm what was working and to follow that feeling.

Pretty cool.

Thanks, Jon, for starting this thread.

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Post by WesG 4/9/2023, 2:34 pm

I haven't been doing much at all for quite awhile. A little air pistol the last week or so. One thing that came back into my thoughts are that I maintain the grip on the pistol when it's resting on the 'bench' between shots. Results in fatigue. Need to think about that and develop a habit of relaxing my grip but not let my hand shift on it.

And get the shot off faster.

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Post by hengehold 4/9/2023, 7:28 pm

TonyH wrote:Once I reached the high end of the Expert and had somewhat decent (tongue in cheek) fundamental skills, I tried to pick out singular weak points that I had, and work on those for improvement. One of many was trying to "tighten my hold" and get better groups. I went a long time where I would have eight or nine shots in a pretty tight cluster and one or two outside the group (not necessarily following any pattern). I use the "Area Aiming" or "Shooting My Wobble" methodology, same as most do here. I had decent TF and RF scores (97+), but SF scores left a lot on the table. After trying a few things to help reduce wobble and hence reduce group size, I came up with a practical exercise that worked for me over an extended period of time.
I was training on a 50' range and using B-2 targets, which has a black that subtends the 7-ring. I made up some B-2 target centers where the black only extends through the 8-ring, and then used those during my training sessions, forcing me to hold my wobble in the black. After a period of time, I started to see a marked jump in my SF scores.....so then I made up some targets, where the black only extended through the 9-ring, which forced my wobble even smaller trying to hold the black. With some persistence and consistent focus the SF scores were in the high 90's.
I'll attach an example of the targets I used if anyone wants to try the exercise, but as usual YMMV. I think I printed these on the back of Air Pistol B-40 targets as they would easily fit and feed through my printer.

BTW, I tried using targets with a 10-ring black, but to hold a wobble that small was waaaaaay too mentally and physically challenging.WinkWinkWink

Thank you very much for sharing your training technique for SF. I also leave more points on the table due to SF than the other stages. I will try your idea of reduced aiming black (25 yd target fired at 50yds) to see how it works for me. 

-Trevor

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Post by bruce martindale 4/10/2023, 8:26 am

Earlier in my shooting days, I found 25 yd targets at 50 gave me better groups and made me more deliberate with hold and trigger build as did a half dollar sticker at 25 but they’re not allowed in competition…good memories for training

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Post by Arthur 4/18/2023, 4:08 pm

Until last Fall I shot irons exclusively. Mixing a dot in has helped me break more shots when my hold is best. This applies to both dot and iron sight shooting. I also upgraded my .22 and shot it a lot using my target turner indoors over the winter. For dry fire there is a nice painted plywood target in my back yard, 50 yards from inside the spare bedroom to the tree it's nailed to.  
Shot two personal bests so far this year. 

Best, 
Arthur

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Post by Wobbley 4/18/2023, 5:49 pm

Arthur wrote:Until last Fall I shot irons exclusively. Mixing a dot in has helped me break more shots when my hold is best. This applies to both dot and iron sight shooting. I also upgraded my .22 and shot it a lot using my target turner indoors over the winter. For dry fire there is a nice painted plywood target in my back yard, 50 yards from inside the spare bedroom to the tree it's nailed to.  
Shot two personal bests so far this year. 

Best, 
Arthur
One thing I found when I got used to shooting a dot was how my hold changed during my hold.  There is a “window” where your hold is smallest.  If you break the shot then you generally get Tens.
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Post by L. Boscoe 4/21/2023, 3:07 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Are you going through the motions, or are you taking steps to improve your shooting? 

If your taking steps to improve and have had success, what did you do and how are you measuring your success?

1) improved scores?
2) tighter groups?
3) more consistent?
4) improving with the 45?
5) improved performance?

Not all improvements have direct score improvements immediately. Your groups could be improving but you're still trying to figure out how to get that group into the 10 ring, etc. Learning how to grip more consistently. Learning to finesse the trigger..........................

Share your POSITIVE improvements!
One thing I have done is to stay with the 22 until I have small groups, which for me is 3in at 10 yds. I will increase the distance to 15, then 20, which is all my indoor range allows.  Then go outside.
I am 86, have some vision issues, and cannot stand for any length of time-this is not a pity party, just facts
about what is reasonable for me to expect.
Seated, I can go a long time, hours if need be. My two handed shots are within the 3in group, still working on the one handed.  I can deliver the occasional 3 in group one handed standing, but not consistent.
One thing I would like to do is settle on which pistol.  I currently have a Marvel conversion and a Ruger 22/45
both of which shoot well. The Ruger is almost a hair trigger, so I have put it aside with the idea that radically different triggers would needlessly complicate the breaking shot.
I thought about getting a SW 41, but don't know if that would help or complicate things.
In 45, I am set with two Les Baers, which I can shoot a decent group with, no better or worse than 22. I load my own 45.
Ok, sorry to be windy, but I expect there are those who have some ideas about which path to follow on the 
gun front.  The practice part I am on, doing a lot of dry fire, and exercise.  Maybe next year I can go to a  match.

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Post by RodJ 4/21/2023, 3:41 pm

That’s not windy! That’s frank and thoughtful! Hope you get some feedback on your training and ideas / questions.

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Post by Multiracer 4/21/2023, 7:12 pm

After three years off, I am just starting to shoot again. Mostly indoor league with iron sights and a few 1800 matches at 50 feet. Building strength as I go is the big improvement so far.


Last edited by Multiracer on 4/25/2023, 4:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by JHHolliday 4/25/2023, 10:05 am

More observation than progress:  I recently switched from iron sights to dots.  Not sure if age-related vision issues explain it but I consistently do better with dots, even with corrective shooting glasses for the iron sights (astigmatism +0.75).

Dots seem more intuitive and much easier to call shots when dry firing
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Post by Sa-tevp 4/25/2023, 6:27 pm

- Work with a coach. Master, High Master, member of the Olympic teams.

They can spot faults and correct them faster than I can.

- Practice live/dry fire with a red dot to see triggering errors.

Red dots give a lot of info if watched.

- Evaluate shot process steps to note every detail.

I found I was not checking my Natural Point Of Aim often enough. In International shooting it helps as you get fatigued but I had ignored it in Precision Pistol. Why loose a few points?
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Post by Jon Eulette 4/25/2023, 7:03 pm

NPOA changes throughout the match. Warming up, cooling down and fatigue all affect it. Every time you walk up to the line must be spot on. You mentioned international. Air and free standing in one spot for a while you need to make foot changes as necessary to stay in the center.
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Post by Soupy44 4/26/2023, 8:25 am

Now that I am practicing somewhat regularly, I'm doing 1 and 2 shot drills a lot.  In sustained fire, I'm not good at getting my first shot off in a timely manner.  In timed fire I think I've had strings where my first shot is 5+ seconds in.  In rapid, I have good strings when the first two shots are good.  Just trying to make that happen more often.

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Post by Sa-tevp 4/26/2023, 8:07 pm

I also like to go back and reread and rewatch material presenting Precision Pistol shooting information. 

For example, after a recent Bullseye shooting clinic I am rewatching segments from the CMP DVD video set "Mind Over Matter", as I am not the same person now as I was before and I may understand the material differently now. (A good video set if you ignore the narrator with the $300 haircut*)

I plan to go through my notebooks of collected articles (Zinns, Hall, Bullseye Treasuries, etc) and other books I have too with a new eye.

A variation of a Southeast Asian Forest Monk tradition of practice, study, practice some more.



* I'll cut him some slack for making/producing the video.
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Post by JHHolliday 5/18/2023, 10:58 am

I shot these cards at 50' yesterday.  Each were 20 shots, done as 4 X 5 shot strings lasting 20-30 seconds per string:

https://postimg.cc/mP8WHpmW

These are good for me, especially the one on the right which has 7 or 8 in the center.  Two things done differently:

1. speeding up trigger activation.  I noticed that trying to get a better sight picture takes too long and the hold deteriorates, so here tried to accept the wobble and more purposefully squeeze the trigger

2. dry firing recently against blank wall to concentrate on not disturbing the dot with the trigger

Checking my notes, I forgot to mention using a kind of self-talk (mantra, etc) with each shot: "Process over outcome, process over outcome".  ie focusing on the hold and trigger without worrying about the score of the POI


Last edited by JHHolliday on 5/18/2023, 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by bruce martindale 5/18/2023, 12:41 pm

For a new idea, read an old book. 

Each time you read,  you get a better idea of what you think they might have thought they said and what they really meant. 

I know I do. Prior knowledge influences and changes future understanding

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 5/20/2023, 9:39 am

Re-read the grip section a couple times in Bruce's book Feeling Center leading up to a recent 2700. Shot my EIC ballgun in the 45 portion of the 2700. The last couple years I've been very focused on grip and the strait forward and back grip, and gripping hard. Toward the end of the grip section in Bruce's book there are some ideas about how to hold a ballgun without so much effort. Dry firing the days leading up to the match I experimented with holding the pistol with these new ideas and found the pistol fitting my hand a little better (the big speed bump grip safety not hurting) and the trigger easier. So in the CF portion of the match I shot my Pardini 45 with rink grips and a 2 stage trigger at a total 3.5lbs.  I wasn't doing my best, so decided to shoot the 45 portion with my ballgun to prepare for the service pistol EIC. Well with my new, lighter grip on the 1911 (making use of its very aggressive stippling on the grips and front strap) I was surprised to find the hard walled 4lb trigger on my ballgun felt much lighter & easier than the 3.5lb 2stage Pardini. And I stopped using so much of my limited focus thinking about the grip. I shot better scores and had much more fun than I did in the CF portion with the Pardini. When the SP EIC came around we didn't have enough non-distinguished shooters but thankfully we still ran it because I was excited just to shoot it again. A few months ago I was struggling with this pistol so much I had taken the Pardini 45 back out of retirement. I can save weight in my box bringing just my ballgun.
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Post by only_8_ring 6/10/2023, 9:47 pm

SingleActionAndrew, that's a neat way of cross-training!

I'm still struggling through my "45ACP training montage" for the season. I can shoot 870s consistently in .22, but I struggle with the increased trigger weight and recoil on my .45 matches.

In order to get better at recoil recovery, I'm doing a drill where I start with the trigger back and work the slide to reset it. I'll put the dot high and left of a to-scale black bullseye target on my wall and practice resetting the trigger (let it go forward) as I bring the red dot back into the center and pull the trigger. I try and have the trigger break as soon as I get back to the center with no time spent loitering and waiting for things to stabilize. I know I'll have about 1 second each time to perform this maneuver during rapid fire, so I try and do it in 1 second or less each time I do the drill. It's really helping.

My major source of lost points during rapid stages with the .45 is misses due to running out of time, so this is a big help.

I do have a question for the helpful coaches in the thread: When you're recovering from a rapid fire shot, do you take 0.5 seconds while your dot to loiters in the black or 10 ring before your shot breaks, or do you just break the shot as soon as the dot is back in the black? I find when I get "in the groove" when shooting rapid, it's a lot like bouncing on a pogo stick. I'll break a shot (bounce up, in this analogy), recover back down to the 10 ring (fall back down), and break the shot immediately. Does one ever find the time to slow down a little after recovery?

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Post by Jon Eulette 6/10/2023, 9:56 pm

When I was younger and shot almost every day, during rapidfire, I could literally settle and break every shot. I recently looked at some old match results and saw that I consistently was shooting 199 or 200 with 16 to 18 X’s timed and rapidfire matches. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I just need to get the shot in the black and break it because I don’t have the same hold. I’m still shooting good scores, but the X count is lower. I think where most people fail is that they get behind on the trigger and as a result force the shot off. 10 seconds is plenty of time, but you have to break your first shot perfectly for the next four to be perfect. My version of perfect first shot is taking up pressure before the targets turn and breaking an excellent shot within the first second of the targets facing. I then like to shoot my last shot at around nine seconds. I don’t feel rushed at all. You have to get on the trigger squeeze while you are still in recovery and before you are back in the black. It also helps to have a really nice Trigger job :-)
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Post by bruce martindale 6/11/2023, 7:45 am

JHHolliday wrote:

1. speeding up trigger activation.  I noticed that trying to get a better sight picture takes too long and the hold deteriorates, so here tried to accept the wobble and more purposefully squeeze the trigger
You're likely trigger hesitant and stall/jerk while focusing on the hold. See what Jon says below. Since I'm deaf,  do wait to see target motion to initiate that good pull. A Sloooooow pull hits differently from a fast pull. Smooooth is the key. Ya gotta mash a 45, 22s require more finesse

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Post by Ed Hall 6/11/2023, 8:15 am

At the top of my game, my strings were somewhat automatic.  My closest description is that I would start the trigger while recovering from recoil and my subconscious would finish the trigger as the sighting system settled into the center.  Any conscious help resulted in wider hits.  I felt that my subconscious was adjusting the speed of the trigger operation - all I had to do was start the pressure.  But for this to work best, you have to recover to the center, which I was doing well back then.

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Post by JHHolliday 6/11/2023, 8:36 am

Ed Hall wrote: Any conscious help resulted in wider hits.  I felt that my subconscious was adjusting the speed of the trigger operation
I noticed what seems to be a subconscious effect occasionally during live fire practice.  Sometimes thinking hard about the shot process results in wider hits than times when the process happens more or less automatically.

For me this this "state" only occurs by accident, randomly, and I'm not sure how to make it happen. Maybe after 10,000 hours of mindful practice the subconscious figures out what to do  Idea
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Post by Ed Hall 6/11/2023, 8:53 am

JHHolliday wrote:For me this this "state" only occurs by accident, randomly, and I'm not sure how to make it happen. Maybe after 10,000 hours of mindful practice the subconscious figures out what to do  Idea
Actually, the best results are when the conscious can let the subconscious learn and perform.  Some of the trouble is that when the subconscious performs well, the conscious tries to make it even better, and when the subconscious performs below expectations, due to the learning curve, the conscious "knows" it can do better.  The optimum is for the conscious to tell the subconscious what it wants and then get out of the way.

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