What the fuck is wrong with me?

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Buck13
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What the fuck is wrong with me?

#1 Post by Buck13 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:58 pm

For background: I'm not a well-trained shooter. I've been shooting handguns for 40 years, but always infrequently (say three to six times a summer until about age 20, then less frequently) and informally. After shooting only once in the previous decade, I started going to the ranges again this spring. I think I've been seven times so far.

With my .22s, my 25-yard slow-fire groups started out at 4 to 6", and haven't really improved. By slow, I mean > 2 seconds between shots with an automatic, or after cocking a revolver and returning to aiming. Generally, I'd get each shot off within 5 seconds, although occasionally I'll get hung up and go ridiculously long. Shooting a 6" K22 (in single-action mode) and a 10" bull MkII, I don't see a consistent difference between the guns.

The weird thing is that when I shoot the Ruger slightly faster, my groups tighten to about 3". I've seen this with a couple of targets on each of two or three different days. On these, I'm probably going about 1.5 seconds per shot, although I haven't tried to time it in any way. I'm trying to shoot immediately on establishing anything like correct sight alignment, maybe even anticipating the timing as the front sight comes into position.

So, WTF?
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#2 Post by Bearlaker » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:05 pm

If you shoot all the time, your going to be a better shot.

Your faster shooting results reflect what you can do when you don't think about each shot.
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#3 Post by SwampGrouch » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:13 pm

Forget the timing. It ain't a race. Burn up ammo just learning what the pistols feel like to where you don't have to think about it. (One of the beauties of .22s.)

Whereabouts in WA are you, Buck?
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#4 Post by Buck13 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:35 pm

I live in Ballard, work at UW.
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#5 Post by rolandson » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:59 pm

to hazard a guess..
you seem to have answered your own question...the more rapid fire suggests that you are relying upon the intuitive and the slow deliberate suggests that you are thinking it rather than doing it.

is this something you want to fix?

try: move the target closer, slow down and instead of correcting with each shot to put it where you want it, make a hole and then put the next rounds as close to that hole as you can...then figure out what you need to do to move the group to where you want it...then move the target further out...

keep it up until you are able to repeat slow and fast to your satisfaction.

or as in my case...check your vision.
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What the fuck is wrong with me?

#6 Post by Paladin » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:19 pm

You are thinking too much.
An intellectual is someone that can change their mind after being given enough evidence.

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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#7 Post by rolandson » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:28 pm

Herb Ellis, a very accomplished musician, had this to say about teaching people to improve their guitar playing:
You can't think yourself to a new way of playing but you can play yourself to a new way of thinking.
Practice...and practice correctly.
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#8 Post by wlewisiii » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:53 pm

To riff on rolandson, the game I play with my revolvers is to stand at 10 feet from the target. First shot becomes the aim point. I shoot as fast as I can while still getting them all covered by my silver dollar. When I can, I step back 5 feet and repeat the process.

(I'm still at 15 feet with my 625. :shock: Oops. Used to be better at with .38 Special. Wonder why? :whistle: )
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#9 Post by inmediasres » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:24 am

One of the problems you might be having if you're shooting semi-auto is you're slapping the trigger between shots. It's tougher to practice on a .22 because you don't want to dry fire, but the rounds are so cheap that you could just practice it while live firing and you'd be fine.

Shoot a shot and keep the trigger fully depressed. Now, slowly lift your finger up off the trigger until you hear and feel the trigger reset. That is as far as the trigger has to go when shooting. If you lift fully off the trigger, you'll notice all this extra slack that does nothing but throw your shot off when shooting fast. When people shoot faster, they tend to let their fingers fly off the trigger and it results in pulling shots. Practice shooting slow a few times and checking for the reset. Then, shoot a bit faster, but keep making sure you're not lifting all the way off the trigger but only to the reset. When it came to shooting my G34, this did wonders for me and shrank my groupings by 75%.

Granted, this is only good for the Ruger.
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#10 Post by Buck13 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:23 am

Paladin wrote:You are thinking too much.

So, DON'T think about an elephant? ;)
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#11 Post by Buck13 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:40 am

rolandson wrote:Herb Ellis, a very accomplished musician, had this to say about teaching people to improve their guitar playing:
You can't think yourself to a new way of playing but you can play yourself to a new way of thinking.
Good point.
Practice...and practice correctly.
And thereby hangs the tale. Since my last trip to the range (a couple of weeks ago), I've been doing a few sessions of dry-fire practice with my K22 stuffed full of dry-wall anchors. Hopefully I'm not just practicing bad habits!

One thing that I *think* I may be doing better in dry-fire practice is focusing on the front sight. Since there's no concern where the bullet will go, maybe it's less tempting to shift focus to the target.

Now that I think about it, that might also explain my range results: It's possible that when firing faster, I'm more continuously focused on the sight. If I get to the range today, I'll look for that. Less than even odds that I'll be able to go out there, unfortunately.
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I'm only killing paper and my self-esteem.

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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#12 Post by MrBorland » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:31 pm

Buck13 wrote:Since there's no concern where the bullet will go, maybe it's less tempting to shift focus to the target.
I'm late to the party, but this is key. Concern about the target is a good way to make a bad shot. Even peeking at the target between shots is a real accuracy-killer. IOW, forget about the target.

As paradoxical and even ironic as it may sound, the target isn't really important; it's merely a recording device - it records how well and consistently you executed the only 2 things that do matter - a good sight picture, and breaking the shot without disturbing that good sight picture. Put your mind on these (i.e., the process of making a good shot), and the target will take care of itself.

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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#13 Post by TurretGunner » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:15 pm

Buck, I'm even later to the party.

Here's a few pennies. I concur with not even knowing where your shots are hitting and how you're grouping until you finish the string. I'd add a couple of things to the above list of what to pay attention to during your condcut of fire. Here's my list:

1. Sight alignment. You got a short sight radius. A tiny bit of misaignment get huge real fast.
2. Sight picture. What is your target? How's the lighting (shooting on a dim, indoor range or outside in the sun?). Size and shape of your aiming point can matter. How's the contrast between your front sight, the aiming point, and the background surrounding your aiming point?
3. Grip. Well, with a .22, it should not be hard to maintain a consistent grip during a string, since recoil is not making the gun jump around in your hand. But is your grip the same from string to string?
4. Trigger control. What was said above about "riding the reset" is helpful. Keep the same part of your finger on the trigger from shot to shot and string to string.

How do your groups look if you shoot off bags?
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Re: What the fuck is wrong with me?

#14 Post by Sonofagun » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:53 am

inmediasres wrote:One of the problems you might be having if you're shooting semi-auto is you're slapping the trigger between shots. It's tougher to practice on a .22 because you don't want to dry fire, but the rounds are so cheap that you could just practice it while live firing and you'd be fine.

Shoot a shot and keep the trigger fully depressed. Now, slowly lift your finger up off the trigger until you hear and feel the trigger reset. That is as far as the trigger has to go when shooting. If you lift fully off the trigger, you'll notice all this extra slack that does nothing but throw your shot off when shooting fast. When people shoot faster, they tend to let their fingers fly off the trigger and it results in pulling shots. Practice shooting slow a few times and checking for the reset. Then, shoot a bit faster, but keep making sure you're not lifting all the way off the trigger but only to the reset. When it came to shooting my G34, this did wonders for me and shrank my groupings by 75%.

Granted, this is only good for the Ruger.
I'm still working that last part out. I noticed it when shooting a defense type scenario and switching targets. While bracing for the recoil of the 45 I tend to stiffen up too much and jerk all over the god damn place. Trigger slap is one of the things contributing to error and after getting a feel for where the trigger resets, as you said, travel is of course less and unltimately No More Jerking. My control seems to be 100% turn around just by concentrating on a firm grip from my body to the gun and relaxed enough to actually feel what I was doing so I could develope a feel for exactly where the trigger resets.

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