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Bullseye Pistol: Training tips thread

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by bdutton, Mar 28, 2008.

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  1. bdutton

    bdutton Member

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    Here's the concept. Post a bullseye pistol training tip. Lots of folks have ideas... let hear them!

    Tip #1: When you go to the range to train (NOT PRACTICE!)... start by shooting at least 10 10's in slowfire for as long as it takes you (10 minutes or 2 hours!). The most important target in shooting bullseye is slowfire. If you fail to put together a good score in slowfire, you will be doomed to shoot a poor aggregate. Keep trying until you get tired, run out of time or run out of ammo.

    Like I tell folks who lament over shooting a poor slowfire:

    'Its pretty hard to shoot a 290 in the gallery match course with an 89 slowfire!'.
     
  2. testar77

    testar77 Member

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    I like it

    I wonder if we could get the mods to make it a Sticky??
     
  3. cdrt

    cdrt Member

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    Off the top of my head:
    1. Shoot as many matches as you can.
    2. Be consistent on how you set up; have your gun box user friendly.
    3. Read the Army Marksmanhip Unit book on Bullseye at least twice.
    4. Make a check list of things to take to a match and always refer to it before you go.
    5. If you reload, get good at it.
    6. If you shoot outdoor matches, practice in the wind (adverse conditions) once in a while. It's never always nice weather when you go to a match.
    7. If you're looking to get Distinguished, shoot the .45 match with hardball instead of just the occasional Leg match.
     
  4. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Member

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    Some excellent points!

    1. I'm workin on it.
    2 & 4. Being organized is a HUGE plus. -I'm workin on it!
    3. I've read it a few times. Certain to read it again. http://www.bullseyepistol.com/amucover.htm
    5. If you reload, or pour your own lead, NOTHING BEATS CONSISTANCY.
    6 Did some Ransom Rest testing my pistol today after having fit a tighter bushing. Still took time during the mixed snow and rain to shoot some slow fire.

    I'll add DRY FIRE practice. For my 1911, I have a piece of tire tread cut to fit in the back of the slide so the hammer doesn't take chance of cracking the firing pin stop. I pick a knot in the paneling on the wall and concentrate on front sight alignment. With red dot, before shooting, I close my eyes and visualize the dot in the center of the bull before I actually grasp the gun and put it there. Practice steady trigger tension. Until it goes click. I'll say the awful word... Followthrough.
     
  5. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I've been lifting weights 2 or 3 times a week since early January. My bullseye score has improved so much in the past 2 months, that's the only thing I can account for it.
     
  6. bdutton

    bdutton Member

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    Tip #2: If you shoot a ten, and you knew from the moment when you lifted the gun, to the second the gun went bang, that you shot a ten, you have discovered the mental part of the shot process. Savor that moment, file it into memory, and strive to repeat that moment.
     
  7. bdutton

    bdutton Member

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    Tip #3: Don't try to over think your shot process. Get comfortable... determine your best grip, stance, etc... then focus on only two things: Sight Alignment and Trigger control. Do these two things right, you will always get a good shot.
     
  8. mek42

    mek42 Member

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    For slow fire, don't be afraid to put the weapon down without taking a shot. This can be because you haven't fired after holding it up too long for good aim circles, you've noticed your mental game is off or any other reason that you're not happy with the shot you are about to take.

    You've got 10 minutes, feel free to put the weapon down without firing 2, 3, 4 times as needed.

    Showing up for a match, allow for relaxation time. If you were in a rush to get there after a later than usual shift at work, ask to shoot in a later relay. Don't just jump into the line still thinking of all those jerks driving too slow in front of you all the way from work. DAMHIKT.
     
  9. 10s&Xs

    10s&Xs Member

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    +1

    If find yourself thinking "Hang on...I can fix this shot... just a little more... almost there...." it's already too late. Put it down and start over.
     
  10. Fred40

    Fred40 Member

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    In rapid fire be ready to let that first shot fly when the target tuns. Nothing worse then feeling like your behind on your rapid fire string.
     
  11. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    Let's see if I can contribute anything useful...

    1. Buy good gear. Bad equipment builds bad habits. You don't want a bad trigger teaching you to jerk the shot.

    2. Don't be afraid to NOT shoot CF and .45. Build your skills with the .22 first. This also plays into #1 above. A top-flight .22 will do more for you (and be more fun to shoot) than a second-rate .22 and a second-rate 1911.

    3. BASICS MATTER MOST! If you are shooting poorly, go back and check your fundamentals. The issue is probably there.

    4. Dry fire. And shoot air pistol as well. You can really put a polish on your basics with a good air pistol. Not to mention that they are cheap to feed.

    5. Your first sight picture is probably your best. Get on target fast, align the sights, and start stacking the trigger immediately.
     
  12. bdutton

    bdutton Member

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    I would add that in timed fire, you should focus on a good shot first.

    I was taught that in slowfire, you shoot for points. In Timed fire you shoot for x's. In rapid fire, you shoot for tens.

    Rapid fire: Don't be too hasty. Get off the first shot within the first second of the target turning but don't rush either. Sometimes we may end up taking too long (we think) in the first shot and then rush through the final 4 because we 'think' we are going to run out of time. What sucks most is when you jerked off 4 bad shots and then count, 1...2...3...4..turn. CRAP! I HAD PLENTY OF TIME.

    You might find that getting off just 4 well aimed shots during rapid fire will get a better score than 1 well aimed shot and 4 bad ones.

    It also has a lot to do with confidence.

    Training Tip #4: Rapid fire training. 1 shot and 2 shot drills. Have a friend operate the turning targets, or call the commands or get an mp3 player with this the range commands and try to get off 1 good shot immediately after the command to fire is given. Then do the same to get off two well aimed shots... then 3... then 4... etc.
     
  13. 10s&Xs

    10s&Xs Member

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    I'll throw out one variation to that sequence of events, and it comes from the Zins/Moody school of bullseye thought. If you've got a perfect sight picture (the best you can get) it's too late to start moving the trigger. Pulling the trigger will always disturb the sights to some degree.

    Settle in to your target area (e.g., in the black but not steady on the center of it) and begin moving the trigger with consistent force before achieving your final sight picture. Your eye and hand will work together to finish aligning the sights.

    Takes practice, but it has helped my scores a great deal.
     
  14. bdutton

    bdutton Member

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    ^^^ Yeah That.

    +10 Dittos.
     
  15. Fred40

    Fred40 Member

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    I like that 10s&Xs.....I will work on that.

    Now here is an interesting thing. I'm new to Bullseye shooting. Been shooting less than a month and ONLY on Tuesdays for a couple hours. Yesterday I was all over the place! Talk about one step backwards.....so my "mentor" says to me "Shoot 10 shots at the back (blank side) of the target". So I flip the target and he says "now just try and get them in the middle of the paper". I PUT 6 SHOTS IN THE X-RING! had two that got away from me (that I called) and two just outside of the group of six! What is up with that. I've never shot a group like that.....looked like bench rest shooting. So what am I doing when I can see the black......chasing the bullseye?
     
  16. cdrt

    cdrt Member

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    Fred40

    I've done the back of the target thing as well. With iron sights, it's a good way to work on focusing on the front sight rather than shifting your eyes to the target...which is probably one of the things that caused your backslide.
     
  17. 10s&Xs

    10s&Xs Member

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    Exactly. Shooting at a blank target takes away that urge to make the shot absolutely perfect and forces you to pay attention to the fundamentals (i.e., what's happening with your front sight/dot when the trigger moves.)

    It's also a good way to work on "chicken finger." When I dry fire against a blank wall, that dot is rock solid and the trigger breaks perfectly. Put a round in the chamber and a bullseye in front of me, and suddenly the trigger feels like it gained 40lbs.

    Before I started shooting bullseye, I had no idea how complex pulling a trigger can be. :)
     
  18. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    I do the same, only with 6 o'clock hold. When I started doing this, my timed, rapid, and slow scores went up by 5 in a week.
     
  19. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    All very good suggestions.

    One other one might be to participate in the bullseye mailing list. Thousands of active bullseye shooters and gunsmiths (including some of the very best) opine every day.

    There are often 50 or more posts every day, but they are mostly on target as the list owner is pretty ornery about off topic stuff.

    http://lists.lava.net/mailman/listinfo/bullseye-l
     
  20. 10s&Xs

    10s&Xs Member

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    Thought of another one that's helped me - keep a journal of some kind.

    Write out your shot process.
    Keep track of what works and what doesn't
    Document your goals and your progress toward them.

    And I'd second bdutton's suggestion on the mp3 player with range commands, especially if the range where you practice doesn't have turning targets. In addition to helping you build a repeatable process (i.e., at "ready on the left, I raise the gun and start settling in), it lets you know if you're cheating that last shot during rapid fire.
     
  21. velocette

    velocette Member

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    Two things that helped me:

    1, At the end of your live fire practice, look at the first target you put up. (You did put one on top of the other & align them nicely didn't you?) What you will see is a large hole. The center of that hole is the true center aim point for your pistols sights. Adjust your sights in small increments until that large hole is centered on the X ring. your pistol will now be sighted in perfecly for your ammo & shooting style. If you check your first target after every shooting session you will be keeping track of how well you are sighted in.

    2, Buy a mid priced air pistol shooting 177 pellets and a pellet trap. You can then practice at home or any place with a 25 foot long area. Quiet, safe and very inexpensive but superb training.

    Roger
     
  22. Fred40

    Fred40 Member

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    Just read about Brian Zins grip and I think I might like that grip. I don't have big hands and I think his grip might work well for me. BTW....his grip puts your trigger finger centered over that first joint.....not on the pad of the finger and not just up against the edge of the first joint. This forces the MSH to shift further out (or towards your thumb) more than the standard grip. It felt solid for me.....I'll give it a shot since I'm not set on one yet anyway. I'm also going to toy with his "focus on the target and not on the dot" technique. This does not apply to iron sights but he does do that when shooting dots. Again.....I'm not set on anything yet...so I'll try it. Hard to argue with eight national titles......but I am aware of the fact that what works for him might not work for me.
     
  23. Round Gun Shooter

    Round Gun Shooter Member

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    TIP 70% of a good bulls eye score is a good state of mind. If you can learn to relax and think only of yourself and the shot you are taking, you can master the rest with basic fundamentals.

    Do not get into the rhythm of the other shooters on the line. Set your own and forget about them. You are the only shooter on the line that matters.
     
  24. PaulBk

    PaulBk Member

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    My $0.02

    +1

    And since an air pistol is pushing the pellet so slowly (as low as 300 fps for 7.9gr .177's), basics become critical, especially follow through. Helps me a lot.

    -Paul
     
  25. 10s&Xs

    10s&Xs Member

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    I tried it when I attended one of his clinics last year (which I would definitely recommend as a training tip) and found it to be very effective. Took some getting used to, as any change does, but for me, it felt like the pistol was far more stable and my grip was more consistent.

    Best way I could describe it would be seating the web of your thumb/trigger finger on the grip safety, and then kind of "reaching" forward with your little finger and rotating your hand just slightly as you grip the pistol to align the mainspring housing with the crease of the life line on your palm (the one that runs down around the base of your thumb). Basically it gets the MSH off the fleshy parts of your hand.
     
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