Follow Through?


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torotoro
May 31, 2010, 06:19 PM
Perhaps I could just "Google" this but the thread on "Control" reminded me that, in my newbieness, I need to know exactly what follow through means, in regards to both long arms ann hand guns. TIA.

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9mmepiphany
May 31, 2010, 09:37 PM
in a semi-auto handgun, it is holding the trigger back until it starts up in recoil, releasing it to the reset point and taking up the slack for the next shot...so that you are ready to trigger the next shot as your sights settle back on target.

with a revolver, it is fully resetting the trigger and stroking the DA trigger through so that the hammer is released as the sights settle back on target

this doesn't always work at ranges which limit your shooting to one shot per second as you'll be shooting easily at 3 times that speed

with an air-pistol, it is pinning the trigger back and holding the sights on target until the pellet strikes the paper/steel...the pellet moves so slowly that movement will throw the sights/pellet off

Frank Ettin
May 31, 2010, 09:53 PM
I also teach it as keeping focused on the front sight as it lifts off the target under recoil and all during the recoil pulse. I find many new shooters like to lift their heads just as soon as the shot breaks to admire their handwork. You'll do much better if you can learn to "stay with the shot."

MachIVshooter
May 31, 2010, 10:18 PM
Really not a term that is closely associated with handguns and rifles, though it can be. It is most often in the context of shotgunning and moving targets, where if you stop swinging with the "bird" (whatever it may be, feathers or clay) after you pull the trigger, you will likely shoot behind it.

If speaking of moving targets, it also applies to handguns and rifles in this way, though the more frequently used terms associated with hitting moving targets with single projectile arms is leading or ambushing (fixed POA and wait for target to intersect with a calculated ET of bullet flight and target speed)

Follow through WRT to trigger pull is a whole 'nother animal, and is for precisely the opposite prpose; it is to prevent the gun from moving off of a static target.

The only thing that relates the two is that they are components in making firing a gun into a single smooth action, rather than a series of movements.

bigfatdave
May 31, 2010, 10:33 PM
In rifles and handguns, if you can keep focused on holding the trigger back and analyzing your previous shot you will reduce your flinch or at least move it to after it can hurt anything. Don't take the mention of a flinch personally, everyone will have some involuntary muscle action after a loud blast right in front of them.

It is discussed in these videos:
http://www.archive.org/details/Rifle_Marksmanship_with_M1_Rifle_Part_1
Warning, that is at least an hour's worth of GREAT instructional video on marksmanship in general and the M1 Garand in particular (chances are you don't need to be taught how to replace en-bloc clips). Worth the time, but about a lot more than just follow-through. I was delighted to find those early in my rifle-learning and refer back to them frequently as I prep for Appleseed.
The trigger principles apply to handguns as well, of course.

oneounceload
May 31, 2010, 10:36 PM
As mentioned, with shotgunning, it is the process of keeping your swing moving on the target line so that you don't stop your swing prematurely.

Frank Ettin
June 1, 2010, 12:58 AM
When you think about it, follow through means pretty much the same thing in anything.

In golf, keep the club moving through its arc even after contacting the ball.

In tennis, keep the racket moving through the stroke even after it contacts the ball.

In baseball, keep the bat moving through its swing even after hitting the ball. When throwing, keep the arm moving through its arc even after the ball is released.

In pool, keep the cue moving through its stroke even after it has contacted the cue ball.

In wingshooting, keep the gun moving smoothly even after the shot breaks (and to do so keep your focus on the target).

In pistol shooting stay "down in the shot" with the trigger pressed and your focus on the front sight through the recoil pulse, even after the shot has broken.

And so on.......

hammerklavier
June 1, 2010, 10:13 AM
Yes, you keep aiming at the target through the whole process, until the natural recoil has forced the gun off target. Follow through simply means that you don't quit early, "The ball has touched the bat, I'm done here," or "I've started to pull the trigger, time to think about something else."

David E
June 1, 2010, 12:33 PM
I also teach it as keeping focused on the front sight as it lifts off the target under recoil and all during the recoil pulse.

I specifically teach against this, at least as far as accurate rapid fire is concerned.

I don't care where the sight goes, I only care that it comes back down to the same point it left. At the micro-second it does, you can fire another accurate shot.

SleazyRider
June 1, 2010, 12:45 PM
Tell me more, David E, how to you know precisely when that occurs? It usually takes me several seconds to acquired a new sight picture, so what's the secret in aligning the sights for the second or third shot? Seems that my eyes automatically close when the shot is fired, and when they re-open, it's a whole new ball game. I'd appreciate your commentary.

David E
June 1, 2010, 01:10 PM
Tell me more, David E, how to you know precisely when that occurs? It usually takes me several seconds to acquired a new sight picture, so what's the secret in aligning the sights for the second or third shot? Seems that my eyes automatically close when the shot is fired, and when they re-open, it's a whole new ball game. I'd appreciate your commentary.

As with anything, it's a matter of proper technique coupled with sufficient practice.

Most people don't know "proper technique," particularly when it comes to accurate rapid fire, so they dismiss certain skills as either unachievable (calling the poster a liar) or think that only a very select few are gifted with this uncanny ability.

:et me assure you, it IS achieveable by nearly anyone with basic hand/eye coordination willing to learn the proper technique and willing to put in the practice time.

If you were my student, during our first session, I'd ask you to show me your current technique. I'd ask why you're doing this or that. Usually, the response is, "I don't know, that's just how I've always done it."

The student realizes HIS way isn't working and also realizes he doesn't know why he was doing it that way in the first place.

Once we establish that, I show them the "proper" technique and explain the why's and wherefore's of it.

It's basically a very good way to manage recoil. Properly done, the gun and sight come back to the same point it left without conscious effort on your part.

If I find the student is closing his eyes at the shot, I'd check to make sure his ear protection was present and working. (easily done in person, not so easy online) If it persists, I'd break out a .22 and start from there.

Let's presume we've cured the closing eye problem. Now, we need to "see faster," and be able to react accordingly.

If you want more information, please PM me. When I've done technique posts before, it seems that a whole slew of arrogant below average shooters (who are clueless that they ARE below average) tell me how wrong I am.

Frank Ettin
June 1, 2010, 01:21 PM
Tell me more, David E, how to you know precisely when that occurs? It usually takes me several seconds to acquired a new sight picture, so what's the secret in aligning the sights for the second or third shot? Seems that my eyes automatically close when the shot is fired, and when they re-open,...IME starting a new shooter with slow fire and keeping front sight focus helps overcome his reflexive closing of his eyes. And the eye is on the front sight for the next shot.

But as one starts to shoot faster, I agree with David E that using proper technique to manage recoil is one of the keys. And as the student comes to be able to manage shorter split times, continued front sight focus becomes less significant -- because the gun is coming back to the same place each shot, the reflexive closing of the eye has been minimized and the shooter is still "staying in the shot."

SleazyRider
June 1, 2010, 01:24 PM
Thanks for taking my question seriously, David, and for taking the time to respond. I am admittedly below average, and yes, you hit it right on the head---I need to "see faster." Try as I might, my eyes will always blink, even shooting a cap gun. I just assumed it was a reaction that the body simply couldn't overcome.

SleazyRider
June 1, 2010, 01:25 PM
And to you, Fiddletown, thank you very much!

David E
June 1, 2010, 02:24 PM
Try as I might, my eyes will always blink, even shooting a cap gun. I just assumed it was a reaction that the body simply couldn't overcome.

You should be able to overcome it.

1) Make sure you're wearing good ear protection.

2) Make sure you're wearing good EYE protection.

3) Next time at the range, do this: take a .22 and aim at the backstop. Focus hard on the front sight, but your goal is to simply hit the backstop, not a specific spot.

Squeeze the trigger slowly, but under control. IE; you'll know exactly when the shot will fire. Focus on the front sight at the shot. Keep the trigger finger fully to the rear and see how fast you can reacquire it after the shot.

Do 1, 2 and 3 and you should be able to overcome the sympathetic eye closing in short order.

SleazyRider
June 1, 2010, 08:50 PM
Sounds like a great idea, David E, and something I'll try on my very next range session.

9mmepiphany
June 1, 2010, 11:22 PM
It usually takes me several seconds to acquired a new sight picture, so what's the secret in aligning the sights for the second or third shot?

even with a blink, it shouldn't take that long to re-acquire the sights. i would venture that your grip/stance is causing the gun to "drift" while in recoil. with proper grip, the sights really should return to where they were before the preceding shot. my stated objective with students is to get them shooting 3-4 accurate rounds a second.

when you get better at trigger management, the appearance of the aligned sights on target should be cuing the next shot...so 5 rounds per second

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