Why do I shoot tighter groups with rapid fire?


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Ledgehammer
March 4, 2011, 02:24 PM
For some reason I've noticed my groups are tighter when I shoot quick 2-3 shot burst instead of slow fire. My slow fire groups aren't horrible but rapid fire I can usually put them real close. What's up with that?

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txhoghunter
March 4, 2011, 03:14 PM
Post a pic and we can help a little more. Other than that it will all be speculation

But regardless of the causes that is unusual, at least it is IME

bartman06
March 4, 2011, 03:28 PM
It might be that when you take slow deliberate shots you tighten your whole shooting hand and when you shoot quickly you don't have time to think.

That is only a wild shot in the dark. I'm only guessing.

243winxb
March 4, 2011, 03:42 PM
Its all in trigger control. Slow fire your trying to make the perfect shot, you stop squeezing the trigger & restart. It was on TV, a training exercise. Shooter holds & aims the handgun. A machine pulls the trigger for you, compared to you pulling the trigger. The machine fired shots are the most accurate.

JohnBiltz
March 4, 2011, 04:01 PM
I don't know but I just did the same thing about 2 hours ago. I'm thinking with me at least when trying to shoot quick I'm focused on my grip more than the trigger. So I'm either over thinking my trigger work instead of letting it happen or not focused enough on grip when slow firing.

doc540
March 4, 2011, 04:42 PM
Funny you should post this because a couple of weeks ago one of my mentors coached me a bit after a match.

He told me to set the target between 3 and 5 yards, draw, and fire two shots as rapidly as possible. Then, practice at that range until I could group the shots. When I was able to consistently group at close range, move the target back and repeat.

Expecting to embarrass myself, I did what he suggested.

I did NOT know I could shoot that rapidly and still be accurate.

I've already moved the target back one step.

Who'da thunk it?

Ledgehammer
March 4, 2011, 05:01 PM
@johnblitz - that's what I think is happening to me too. Over thinking the trigger pull on the slow ones.

Doc - I did the samething in a training class. The instructor had us draw and put two shots on target rapid fire. My shots were right next to each other. The instructor said I should shoot like that all the time.

RimfireChris
March 4, 2011, 05:11 PM
I think maybe "overthinking" might have something to do with it as well.

JWF III
March 4, 2011, 06:39 PM
I think maybe "overthinking" might have something to do with it as well.

That would be my guess.

With a shotgun, I know I'm better throwing the gun to my shoulder and shooting as quick as the butt hits my shoulder. If I shoulder the gun and wait to fire, I miss more often.

After a lot of practice (and sometimes just naturally), instinct will be better than thinking about it. A subconcious mind can process information much faster than a brain can think it through.

Wyman

Jon_Snow
March 4, 2011, 07:07 PM
Staying focused on the front sight is another possibility. When shooting rapid fire you have to stay focused. When shooting singly, especially when you're concerned with your group size, it's much easier to have you eye go to the target as soon as you break the shot (which is a no-no).

Slotback
March 4, 2011, 07:22 PM
Focus and trigger control.

ball3006
March 4, 2011, 07:32 PM
Because you don't have time to think about what you are doing, you just do it.....chris3

jim243
March 4, 2011, 10:42 PM
but rapid fire I can usually put them real close. What's up with that?


You have your eyes closed!!.

Jim

ThePenguinKnight
March 5, 2011, 02:01 AM
My guess is that the conscious mind is overriding the trained habits. It's a control thing we humans grapple with: we want a certain outcome, and we know the individual factors needed to get that to happen, so we try to directly control all the elements. Instead of relying on training and muscle memory and instinct, we sometimes try too hard to be in control and mess it up.

I've noticed myself doing this in all sorts of activities, including but not limited to shooting. I think this is a major contributer to that accursed "beginner's luck" that we've all seen, where the new guy beats you in a game of clays or pool or whatever. He's not trying as hard and he does what comes naturally; it works out well, so he keeps doing it instead of worrying about his technique or whatnot. Then he learns the "right way" to do it, and suddenly he can't shoot straight anymore, till he's gotten to some particular level of proficiency. Or maybe that's just how it happens with me :P

I suspect that, after a person suffering from the OP's condition gets past the point of being a casual or amateur marksman and really starts mastering their weapon, the difference between their fast and slow fired shots will be far less noticeable-- at least I hope that's how it works, because I'm one of those suffering right now :P.

[edit]
I'm not saying that anyone doesn't know how to handle their firearms or is a bad shooter, please don't misunderstand. Just that there's a reason my cop and marine buddies have much more consistent results than my regular-joe shooting friends. ....At least the former marine MPs who trained on the pistols. I don't know about the rest of them, really.

Gromky
March 5, 2011, 03:19 AM
ThePenguinKnight I think that's well put. My best nights shooting pool, I didn't think about anything. My best times shooting...I wasn't even considering the shot, but just lining it up.

The only way to really become great with a rifle is making every shot automatic and instinctual. It's hard to do that.

Ledgehammer
March 5, 2011, 10:39 AM
Great post guys. Yes I am a casual shooter at this point So no offense taken at all. I'm looking to start shooting competetive this year. So all advice is appreciated.

It reminds me of my golf swing. When I walk up and address the ball and swing naturally I usually have better results. When I stand over it for 10 seconds and keep realigning and pouring over technique in my head I'm less consistent.

I read a book years ago that wad called the inner game of tennis - that talks about how to find the elusive "zone" we all seek. Looks like it's time for me to re-read it.

Deanimator
March 5, 2011, 02:12 PM
You're not trying to make every shot "perfect" when you shoot more quickly.

This is a common phenomenon in NRA bullseye shooting.

When you shoot slow fire (10 shots in 10 minutes), you try to make every shot perfect, so much so that you wait too long to shoot, causing you to develop tremors and fuzzy vision.

When you shoot timed and rapid fire (5 shots in 10 and 20 seconds respectively), (assuming that you stick to the fundamentals) you don't have time to obsess over every shot. You line your sights (or the dot) up on the target, make the shot and move onto the next.

If you can't make your slow fire shot in 3 seconds or less, lower the gun and start over from scratch. Inadequate grip and sight picture don't get better the longer you try to stay on target.

Accurate shooting is like the martial arts. Real achievement comes when you don't have to think about it.

Lakedaemonian
March 6, 2011, 04:04 PM
When you take excess time you leave more margin for error. Let it be a fluid, subconcious act. This graduates your firearm from being a "gun" to an "extension of your hand." Dont let your concious mind get in the way of what your subconcious already knows.

NMGonzo
March 6, 2011, 04:06 PM
When you take excess time you leave more margin for error. Let it be a fluid, subconcious act. This graduates your firearm from being a "gun" to an "extension of your hand." Dont let your concious mind get in the way of what your subconcious already knows.

Yup.

If I rapid fire/flash sight anything I am a better shot than slow firing.

In particular with the sp101

mustang_steve
March 6, 2011, 06:13 PM
Likely you are second guessing yourself. I've found confidence is 50% of marksmanship...if you know and truly believe you will land that shot, you will perform far better than you would otherwise.

If you go into long range disciplines, confidence is even more immportant, as once you get to 400yd+ shots, you have to stop screwing around and take the darn shot. If you spend too long on it, Wind conditions will change and you have to start over...which means zero chance for improvement unless you take the risk of missing.

243winxb
March 6, 2011, 06:54 PM
Deanimator has good info. Very true.

Rich1951
March 6, 2011, 08:19 PM
Interesting question. I've wondered this for many years. I guess I always thought it was because the brain could more easily process the exact point at which the trigger was going to break if the action was repeated more quickly. Trigger control is probably the most important technique in shooting and it's easier for the brain to process if the gun is already on target. Just my humble opinion....

Shawn Dodson
March 7, 2011, 12:24 PM
I also shoot more accurately when I engage a target dynamically and fire quickly. My shot placement is better and my groupings are tighter. It's been like that since I was a kid. I don't know the exact reason(s) why I do. I just accepted it and never felt the need to correct anything.

JohnBiltz
March 8, 2011, 07:21 PM
I went out today and this time did much better. At a measured pace I put five out of ten in a inch and a half sticky and another 3 would have fit in a 2 inch sticky. My rapid fire was better as well it just seemed to settle in back on target by itself. I may be beginning to get the hang of this shooting thing.

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