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Quicker first shot times ?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Dave P., Oct 13, 2012.

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  1. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

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    I've been shooting at a local event which is basically falling plates
    shot with .22 rimfire.
    Question involves getting the first shot off quicker. We go from the
    low ready ( gun touching a table about waist high ) at the beep
    of the shot timer. On a good night I can shoot the 5 targets in
    around 2.3 to 2.5 seconds. I'm about .95 to 1.1 seconds for the
    first shot, this seems like something to work on for faster strings.
    Other than just more practice are there any ideas to work on
    making that first shot quicker, seems like there ought to be about
    a 1/2 second or so hiding there.
    Thanks
    Dave
     
  2. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    accepting a 'good enough' sight picture

    Time can be frittered away getting established in the right place on the stock.
    So practice shouldering on command so that your eye instantly falls in the line of sight and your cheek weld is consistently established.

    Prep your trigger as you fall into your sight picture.

    Soon as you first establish a 'good enough' sight picture on the plate accept it and finish the trigger press, rather than waiting to be perfectly centered on the first plate.

    Consider that the match starts on the go signal, not on your first shot. From your times I'm guessing you are probably accepting a 'good enough' sight picture after you've taken the first shot. If the 2nd to 5th plates fall when you get into a fast rhythm (sp?) you have the skill to do the same with the 1st plate. Mindset.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  3. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

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    I should have been clearer, we're talking handgun.
    The idea is the same, if I'm not fairly stable on the first
    target it seems to screw up the balance of the string.
    Dave
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The way to break a faster first shot is to:
    1. See the aligned sights faster.
    2. Break the first shot as, or before, your arms reach extension...depending on the distance involved and the size of your plates.

    Are you swinging your extended arms up on the signal?

    If you are, it is likely that your are either rising slowly or overswinging (vertically) and having to wait for the sight to fall back and settle. It also means that you likely aren't engaging the trigger until the sights settle on the target.

    I'd suggest the ways to address the issues above are:
    1. Bring the gun back toward your body, bring the sights up to eye level and push the gun out toward the first target.
    2. Engage the trigger as you see the sights, time your trigger press so that the shot breaks as your arms stop moving
     
  5. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

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    My biggest failing at Gunsite when working on timed tests was that when I presented my pistol my sights were never where I wanted them to be. A headshot from the holster in 1.5 seconds is hard when your sights aren't pointing where they need to be.

    The fix was practice. Lots and lots of dryfire. I do not know if this is your problem, but it was what popped into mind.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Bear in mind that bringing a gun up to eye level coming out of a holster takes a different technique than a gun that is already out coming up from a bench.

    A couple of things that will help with both presentations is:
    1. Bringing the gun up in line with your dominate eye
    2. Properly grasping the gun so that it is pointing toward your target...finding your natural POA.

    I found that tweaking the interface between the web of my hand and the inner curve of the rear tang offered greater improvements than varying the interface of my palm and fingers with the grip frame.

    OP - which pistol are you using?
     
  7. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    React to the beginning/start of the beep. That can knock 0.3 off the top right away.
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Do I detect a shooting style following the Weaver school/philosophy?

    If we start discussing engaging the other targets in the array, a common error of newer shooters is confirming the hit on each plate before moving to the next
     
  9. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

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    Ok, thanks for the discussion I'll try to fill in the blanks.
    Shooting at "bowling pin" plates, 25 feet around 48 inches
    off the floor. Pins are about 16in apart. I'm shooting a old
    Ruger Mark 1 with a 6 7/8 in barrel.....I like it and have had
    it for about 30 years.
    My stance is mostly weaver style, I'm right handed but
    my left eye is VERY dominate. I shoot the targets from
    right to left. I start with my arms not fully extended, wrists
    tipped slightly forward to get the muzzle touching the table.
    Legs fairly far apart to lower my upper body so the gun
    doesn't have as far to come up.
    Been working on trying to get the gun moving at the first
    hint of the timer beep.
    My thought is to get a shot timer and see if it will read the
    click of a dry fire if it's right next to the gun.
    Seems like the biggest chunk of time to be had is on the
    first shot.
    Dave
    Edit, I never wait to see if they fall. I complete the pass
    then go back after any missed.
     
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Don't worry about speed, just practice bringing the gun up slowly and consistently so that the sights are aligned and pointing where you want them to be at the instant that the trigger breaks.

    TRY to go slowly at first. When you're coming up on target consistently then you can stop TRYING to go slow and just do it at a comfortable speed. It may take a lot of practice before you get that consistency and can stop actually trying to slow yourself down.

    Don't TRY to go fast, even after you're consistently achieving the sight alignment/pointing/trigger break coincidentally. What you'll find is that as you train yourself to make this a comfortable and habitual action, you'll get faster without trying.

    Trying to go fast will just encourage sloppy technique. Let the speed come as you develop unconscious competence.

    The nice thing is that you can do this with dryfire practice at home. Just be very careful about being safe.
     
  11. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    My shot timer won't hear a "click". The timer is useful for the start signal reaction.
     
  12. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    Practice at home with a par time. Start it a tenth below what you are currently capable of and try to back it down a little at a time. End the session with a comfortable par time that you can "easily" make so you end the practice session happy.
     
  13. Jon_Snow

    Jon_Snow Member

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    The advice I was given at my first Ruger Rimfire match was to acquire a sight picture, then lock my arms and especially my wrists, rotating them at the shoulder until the muzzle touched the table/barrel in front of me. I found that this was the fastest way to get from 'low ready' to 'on target'. It was especially important for me since I shoot a 1911 in USPSA but I was shooting my MKIII (different grip angle) for the Ruger Rimfire match.
     
  14. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

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    I ordered a shot timer, couple people tell me their's will pick up a hammer
    drop if it's close to the gun.
    Should be able to use it to work out a quicker first shot. Idea
    will be to try a few different ways to get the gun up and maybe
    train myself to just be quicker on the beep.....we'll see.
    Thanks
    Dave
     
  15. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    A lot of them have problems picking up a .22 rifle shot, I don't know what brand will pick up a hammer falling.
     
  16. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

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    I'll report back when it comes in and I get a chance to play with it.
    It's a CED8000.
    If not I'll figure out something.
    Dave
     
  17. Blackstone

    Blackstone Member

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    I've got a CED and it struggles to pick up airgun shots even on the most sensitive mic setting
     
  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    FWIW, my timer won't pick up an airsoft shot, which is a heck of a lot louder than a dryfire.
     
  19. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    I just discovered today that the Android app "IPSC Shot Timer" will pick up a dry fire shot from my shotgun. I was using it do practice reloads tonight. Got down to 8 shots and a dry fire shot in 5.88.
     
  20. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

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    Here's the follow up.
    Got the CED8000 and played with it a bit tonight dry
    firing. First off it will not pick up the hammer fall on my
    Mark 1 Ruger, it will pick up off a couple of my revolvers
    if the gun is within about a foot of the timer.
    Set on a tripod next to where the gun comes up on target
    it works pretty good.
    Also using the par function with a second "beep" it's
    pretty easy to tell if your trigger pull beats the preset
    time.
    Will get it out to the range in the next few days and
    work with it some more.
    Taking this to the next level might involve one of those lazer
    targets,think combining with the timer might make a pretty
    good training tool.
    Dave
     
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