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Releasing the shot

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Releasing the shot Empty Releasing the shot

Post by front sight 12/13/2014, 2:34 pm

I don't know if you all know about Tony's Bullseye blog (http://www.tonybrong.blogspot.com/). I was looking at it and was intrigued by the picture but found the article even more interesting. I thought it would be interesting to some of us.


When to Release

Funny how things turnout. Over the past several years I’ve gone down the traditional road of trying to find the proverbial ‘sweet-spot’ for a classic release. You know, when the wobble becomes its most stable. Good Lord, if I could only do this on demand I’d have made Master long ago. I’m certain we all have room for improvement but when is the moment golden?

I’ve written about this before and there’s a secret about this process that I’ll get to in a moment. To me the perfect release has to do with knowing yourself and how the process typically plays outs. The perfect shot is when its released during the most stable part of your hold (duh), but generally by then, for most shooters it’s way too late. I’ve had more than one coach refer to this as being “behind the trigger.” The shooter sees the sights go to its minimum wobble, which visually provides psychological affirmation, and only then applies consistent pressure to the trigger. In the process he releases the shot long after the best part of their minimum arc of movement.

Releasing the shot Scatt

Seeing the perfect sight picture plays with the mind. And unfortunately what must be accomplished during the release process can feel extremely counterintuitive.

In an ideal environment, once committed to the shot a shooter would apply consistent and sustained trigger pressure long before the sights were to settle into their minimum amount of wobble. If that’s so, it begs the question: When do I start to pull the trigger with real commitment?

Since the conscious mind is being used as the initiator for all our actions it needs to be trained right alongside with our subconscious. Most human actions from a conscious perspective take about a tenth of a second to respond. That’s a huge stretch of time relative for what we’re doing. What it comes down to is not so much as when, but how well we’ve interpreted a flowing and non-static sight picture.
While dry firing, you should be far more aware of what is occurring during the last half or quarter of a second before the release—than the actual release itself. Most novice shooters dry fire in an attempt to learn how to release the shot well and consistently. That’s a great starting point, there’s nothing wrong with that, and it should be done extensively. But the next phase from an advanced standpoint is a shooter should know when to initiate the trigger. I don’t believe in a surprise trigger break (because your subconscious knows when that’ll happen), although this type of observation can provide a greater element of control.
So, while watching the front post or the dot, be very aware of what’s happening to that thing as it drifts across your field of view. One item that’s been reported by many Masters and High Masters is they’ll notice clues in the pattern and timing of their movement prior to and during settling in. Those patterns are generally different from one person to the next. Although for the individual, it’s not uncommon for those clues or patterns to be somewhat redundant from shot to shot. 

Look for those clues. Learn how it dances pretty much the same way each time and determine for yourself when you should initiate the commitment for your release.

It’s all about timing on a rather small scale. Remember, you’ve got to start a little early to arrive on time.
On the other hand if you’ve become familiar how your typical pattern plays out and then it doesn’t, that’s an ‘indicator of error.’ If that decreasing wobble pattern isn’t similar from shot to shot, take it from me it’s an omen of a different future result. This is another item most novices aren’t quite aware of: Masters and High Masters know when to abort much better than the rest of us and this is one of the tricks in their bag. When there’s indicators of error, it should immediately translate into a flashing red light on your mental dashboard.

front sight

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