Is It Possible To Study A Sight Picture Too Long...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Turkeytider, May 20, 2022.

  1. Turkeytider

    Turkeytider Member

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    Thus adversely affecting accuracy? I read somewhere where someone advocated that the instant you get the sight picture you want, " jerk " the trigger. I`ve tried to follow the age old adage of a " squeeze". I had an uncle who used to say, " Study long, study wrong." He was talking about analyzing upcoming greyhound races, but hey, maybe it applies to shooting (?). I do know that I study the 1" target at 100 yards with my 17HMR for what seems like a good while before squeezing off the shot. I`ll shoot an occasional sub-MOA group ( averaging 1.2 MOA ). Funny, when I shoot at a life size squirrel target at 100 I can put 8 or 9 out of 10 in the brain pan. I know I`m shooting quicker and more relaxed, too. As a newbie rifle shooter, would appreciate any input.
     
  2. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I agree with your analysis. I think that when the sight picture lines up and you're ready it's time to squeeze. When it's right it's right and waiting for "better" is just a waste of time and maybe a missed shot.
     
  3. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I have read that advice from a world class off-hand competitor, but his "jerk" is gentler than your feather's touch. . . so context!

    The time limit you run into is muscle fatigue and oxygen deprivation (leading to blurry vision first) if you aren't breathing. Solve those and you can study all day.
     
  4. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    Staring at the target too long is definitely detrimental. When we were shooting archery competition, the wife and I , both had a total shot sequence of less than 15 seconds. Setting stance, exhale to natural stop, aim , and release. 4-8 seconds of that would be aiming. After that the sight picture would degrade and the wobble would start. If you try and push through the shot will be bad. I was a demon in the wind. Speeding up my shot process to take advantage of wind drops was not an issue for me. Shot almost as good as normal. Those that tried to wait out the wind , by holding longer, shot poorer.
     
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  5. film495

    film495 Member

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    I find I shoot better off hand, if I let the sighting float around a bit more vs. trying to keep it totally still. If you hold it on the target, any drift will then be off target. If you let it drift off for a second and back smoothly, seems easier to me to pull as it slowly drifts back onto the aiming point. Just something I've noticed, maybe is has nothing to do with the sighting and I'm just more relaxed doing it that way - so, I shoot a bit better.
     
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  6. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I sort of follow that adage, but i heard it differently.....press the trigger when your sight is on target.
    Ive added learn to press quickly, or jerk smoothly......and run a light trigger to keep effort to a minimum.
    Off hand a few seconds is the longest ill have the rifle shouldered before firing.
    Shooting from rest (it depends on the stability and comfortability of my position) but i take as long asni need to get comfortable, tho my actual trigger pull is still a quick press as opposed to a drawn out surprise break.
     
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  7. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I shot as soon as I get the sight picture I want which is pretty quickly. Some folks comment on how fast I shoot but I win matches that way. To me, the longer you try to hold on target the worse it gets. Some folks take an eternity to shoot in my opinion. They are not able to outshoot me either. But I do have quite a bit of training and practice. It could help if you get an air rifle or pistol and practice at home. A Lazer trainer works too.
    It also helps to be familiar with your rifle and able to obtain a comfortable shooting position.
     
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  8. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    If a rifle has a two-stage trigger I like to stage it to the wall then when the sight picture is right it's just a further small squeeze through the break to fire it, not a long pull, and that way there's very little tendency to inadvertantly jog the rifle's alignment with your trigger finger.
     
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  9. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    Agree...as an AMU shooter said in a clinic recently, if your wobble is within the 10 ring, break the shot. Don't try to church (dress) it up too much, it generally gets worse the longer you try to hold it.
     
  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Target panic is a real thing. Usually it is only noticed with archery but does carry over to firearms as well. It can be overcome with an easily repeatable routine.
     
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  11. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Are you using a quality optic adjusted and properly mounted... if so it should be easy and study all you want.... if you rapidly tire or something is not correct you will only get worse.... part of shooting quickly for me is muscle fatigue when shooting offhand. The longer I hold the bigger my figure 8s get.
     
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  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yes. At some point, “not enough” turns to “just right” then to “too long”.
     
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  13. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I watched a movie once that dramatically improved my iron sight handgun and rifle accuracy. This movie advocated the use of something called “The Force”..

    Kidding aside, I am a pretty good shot when I do not linger on the sight picture and I shoot when my aim is “good enough” not perfect, because honestly, I do not think things are ever perfect when shooting. At least not for me.
     
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  14. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Adjust your natural point of aim to the target, take a normal breath as you raise the rifle. Exhale as the rifle goes into the "pocket", inhale; align the sights, exhale until sights align with the target.

    Begin to squeeze the trigger, let the sight wobble in its horizontal "8". You can't hold still. 5-7 seconds to break the shot.

    If you can't shoot in that time, come out of position, take at least 2 full breaths before you again rebuild your position. The second time you get into position, the shot will break more quickly because of the trigger pressure you applied the first time, unless you recock hammer/striker.

    The eye is the organ first affected by oxygen depravation, and sight pic will degrade as well as "wobble area" will increase.

    Dry fire practice will decrease the horizontal 8 wobble area. As long as the wobble is in the black you'll be OK.

    I've read some Olympic class and high master shooters are able to start-stop-start their trigger squeeze with the sight alignment movement, but to me, it takes concentration away from sight picture.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  15. AzShooter1

    AzShooter1 Member

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    Shooting Steel Challenge Matches it's not too important to get a perfect sight picture. When my sight is on the target I fire because I'm looking to get .18 -.20 split times.

    For accuracy shooting my ritual is much different. I hold with a figure 8 movement and try to maintain a 10 ring hold. It's impossible to do so I keep up with the wabble and squeeze the trigger. Even if I'm not centered in the 10 my shot will got there more than not.
     
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  16. Turkeytider

    Turkeytider Member

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    Thanks everyone. Appreciate the comments and suggestions. I bought this gun with scope included, a 2-7 Vortex Crossfire II. I think Vortex are pretty good scopes, I like the 3-9 that`s on my .223. Might benefit by a little more magnification on the 17HMR. I don`t know for sure, but it seems as though the slightest variation in the shooting process has a more profound effect down range on the 17HMR, more so than with my .223. I`ve found the .223 to be an " easier " gun to shoot accurately.
     
  17. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    A lot of this is tied up in muscle "loading." That's what the major limitation in archery is--you cannot keep a full "pull" on indefinitely.
    A similar thing occurs if you are trying to hold up an 11# rifle while standing. Whereas, prone, that it less weight to support for having more "ground" to transfer too. Put that same rifle on a bipod, and now your "muscle loading" is significantly lower.

    But, even a 2# pistol , just out at arm's length will "load" your muscles up. Eventually, you run out of ability to do All The Things at once.

    Above there are numerous, excellent, references to Goldilocks--that "just right" that is not too fast nor too slow.
     
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  18. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    Shot for 4 years on the USAFA rifle team back in the '60's, High Power & indoor small bore...the coaches back then taught us to break the shot in 7 seconds or less as our vision would begin to degrade beyond that point due to oxygen deprivation. That's with a full deep breath, the letting half of it out then beginning the squeeze. Target technique we're talking here for extreme accuracy to wring out the last possible scoring point.

    A perfect sight picture is impossible if shooting from any other position than sandbags. We were taught to accept the resultant wobble area (the figure 8 movement of the front sight across and around the bullseye center). Accepting the wobble, and with a continuous, deliberate trigger press with no hesitation all the way through resulted in a good shot within the wobble area...you can do no better.

    Dawdling on the shot in slow fire, will result in uncalled "8's" due to the loss of visual acuity. If you can't break the shot in 7 seconds, bring the heavy target gun down, re-breathe and start the shot process over again.

    Best Regards, Rod
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  19. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    If natural point of aim and a good sight picture has been established, environmental factors (mostly wind) is either negligible or been calculated and the shooter has rhythmic breathing and is not in oxygen debt, it is time. All the shooter can do is go through cycles of all of these things (compounded by other factors like eye and muscle fatigue) hoping something might change for the better, as time and opportunity continues to inch away.
     
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  20. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I was taught not to stare too long at a sight picture. Coaches told me about 7-8 seconds of concentrated focus begins a blur of the sight picture. I assuredly confirmed this in my own experience.
    This was in one-hand pistol competition, but I'm sure it carries on into other disciplines as well.
    Then I realized I did much tighter groups (adjusted for distance) in Rapid Fire than in Slow Fire. So...

    My own solution is to begin the trigger squeeze when getting on target (not before; NOT before) and keep the squeeze going until the shot breaks. No. I do not always do this. And my eyes fuzz out.
     
  21. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I've come to terms with me being the limiting factor, so I stopped over concentrating on sight alignment. If I know where the trigger breaks I've already taken up any pre-travel to the point that when crosshair or front sight breaks the bullseye, I'm firing. Doesn't much matter if the bullseye is an 8" steel plate, 1/4" orange dot, or a squirrel's earhole.
     
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  22. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Is best.

    If needing a kill shot on the first shot, standing, off hand target rifle, only squeeze the trigger when the cross hairs are in perfect alighment.

    In a long course of fire, this will result in jerking the trigger & a missed target.
     
  23. Turkeytider

    Turkeytider Member

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    Just a status update: At least for me, it appears the answer to my question is " Yes ". With my .17 HMR, started touching the round off the instant the cross hair hits the middle of the 1" target dot at 100 yards. While still room for improvement, both accuracy and precision have improved. Sub-MOA groups have increased as have hits centered on target.
     
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  24. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Good to hear!! Keep up with the practice .... :thumbup:
     
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  25. Turkeytider

    Turkeytider Member

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    Plan to. While the gun is fun to shoot, I`m definitely finding it to be more challenging than my .223 bolt gun.
     
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