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Old February 5, 2011, 02:08 PM   #1
spacecoast
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Need some advice for slow fire bullseye

This morning I used my new-to-me K22 revolver (S&W Model 17-5) to push my BE high score to 729 using the iron sights. I'm really pleased with my accuracy and consistency at 25 yard DA timed and rapid fire (averaging 87.3 for all six rounds) with a high rapid fire score of 95 and a low timed fire score of 84 today. For me, the theoretical disadvantage of using a revolver vs. a pistol seems to be reversed because I do well to average 80 at 25 yards with my Ruger Mark II.

However, I am still struggling to achieve decent scores at 50 yard slow fire. I still haven't managed to score as high as an average of 70 over the three rounds with any 6" revolver, having used both .38 special (S&W 686 and 14-1) and .22LR (the 17-5). I've tried both SA and DA, but can't seem to get any consistency at all, and often miss the paper completely with one or two shots. I could help myself considerably at slow fire, where the revolver/pistol choice shouldn't matter at all.

Any slow fire advice? One of my fellow shooters is urging me to get a red dot sight, but I'm a traditionalist and would like to stick with the iron sights if possible. My vision is decent (age 49) but the bullseye at 50 yards is a bit fuzzy. Is it all about the sights? Would exercises like balancing a coin on the barrel help me get steadier?

Last edited by spacecoast; February 5, 2011 at 02:56 PM.
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Old February 5, 2011, 07:50 PM   #2
kraigwy
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PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send you the USAMU Pistol Marksmanship Guide in .pdf format.

It will cover about every thing you could possibly want to know about Bullseye, including slow fire.
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Old February 5, 2011, 08:15 PM   #3
4EVERM-14
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The back line is the real precision part of Bullseye. It is important to make sure your gun/ammo combination can shoot tight groups at 50 yards. Most .22's shoot fine at 25 yrds but fly weird at fifty. It might be worth getting high quality ammo just for the 50 yard line to see if that makes a difference.
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Old February 5, 2011, 08:23 PM   #4
rem1858
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Spacecoast;

I have been competing in bullseye for a little over 2 years now.
Believe me that when I say that I am no expert, I mean it.
Although I do hold an expert card

I have gotten some good tips over the last couple years from some very good shooters.

A couple times a month I shoot along side of John Zurek and Steve Reiter.

What I have learned from my experience and some tips from the above high master shooters.

If you think about it, it is a real easy concept.
It is just doing it that is the problem.

Have a consistant grip on the gun.
Align the sights, and I do mean ALIGN the sights.
Accept your wobble area of aim, do not fight it, it is what it is.
Press the trigger in a way that it does not interupt the sight alignment.
If you do the above, most shots will be better than the 9 ring.

There is a lot more involved than what I wrote above, but it is the nut shell.
#1 being TRIGGER CONTROL.

I shoot a S&W M41 with a Clark barrel and an Aimpoint Micro H1 red dot.
Also a Rock River .45 with a 4 dot Match Dot.
The above have dots on them but the principle in shooting is exactly the same.

My iron sight guns are a 6" Colt Custom Python used for distinguished revolver.
A Dave Salyer built Beretta 92FS for EIC ball matches.

My best advice is practice a lot.
Focus on the front sight.
Do not worry about your wobble area.
Trigger control.

I use a sub six hold using iron sights with the Python, 92FS, IZH46M air pistol and TOZ 35 free pistol.
It works if you spend the time to get good at it.

If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Clarence
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Old February 5, 2011, 08:41 PM   #5
spacecoast
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Thanks to all for the thoughts and detailed responses. I guess what perplexes me most is how different it is shooting at 50 and 25 yards. If I can average 89 at rapid fire with a revolver, it would stand to reason, at least mathematically, that I could average at least 78 with the same gun at 50 yards (doubling the # of points lost from the max of 100 due to the doubled distance). The ring size may even grow disproportionately with distance from the center (I can't remember exactly) which would tend to make the loss of points even less.

I don't know, maybe at this point it's mostly mental and a lack of confidence at the greater distance. I really want to turn slow fire from something to be dreaded and survived into something I look forward to. I've been tempted to stand up to the slow fire line and blast away like it's rapid fire. Maybe the cadence of the repeated shots would help my own repeatability, but of course that's not really the idea of slow fire.


Kraig -

Thanks very much for the offer, I do have and have read the manual. I do try to follow what it says - doing the same thing every time, breath control, focusing on the front sight, gently releasing the trigger so that it "surprises" me, etc. I will continue to review. My practice time is limited, which is also another big issue I'm sure. It's just surprising to me that it hurts results so much more at 50 than 25.
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Old February 5, 2011, 08:52 PM   #6
rem1858
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Spacecoast;

You are thinking too much

If your hold is a little off at 25, then it will be way off at 50.

Next time you go out to practice, I would like you to slow fire at 25.
Do not attempt 50 yds.

If you can clean a 25 yd target slow fire, then go out to 50.
Just a little hint.
If you cannot do it at 25, you sure as heck will not do it at 50.

As far as the trigger goes, you said that it surprises you.
No, the gun going off should NOT surprise you(that leads to a flinch).
You should dry fire enough to know your gun to the point that YOU know when it will fire.

Someone told me this once and I believe it is true.
"90% of shooting disciplines is mental, the other 10% is mental"
Think about it

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Old February 6, 2011, 02:30 AM   #7
T. O'Heir
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"...You should dry fire enough to..." Not with a .22 unless you use snap caps.
Have you sighted in at 50? Trigger job done? Found the ammo that your revolver shoots best? How's your upper body tone?
At 49 your eye sight isn't going to improve. Sounds like you're nearsighted. Glasses will help. You can't hit what you can't see. No granny glasses though.
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Old February 6, 2011, 06:31 AM   #8
spacecoast
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Quote:
Next time you go out to practice, I would like you to slow fire at 25.
Do not attempt 50 yds.
Thanks, that does sound like a great idea.

T. O'Heir -

I have done a trigger job (change of rebound spring, smoothing of parts) on my 14-1 and it has been judged "plenty smooth enough" by a revolver guru at the BE range who regularly shoots 800 or better with his Model 14 and a red dot sight. I believe the sights are in pretty good shape, I'm regularly holding everything on the repair sheet at 25 yards and distributing pretty evenly around the bullseye. I'm in pretty good shape, can run 5 miles or do 20 pushups without a rest, although I do need to lose 20 pounds.

An addendum - 2 of my 5 all-time high revolver slow fire rounds (72 and 75 ) were accomplished the first time I ever shot BE back in November using my 686 and 158 gr. LSWCs with relatively light but not specifically target loads. I had no idea what I was doing then, not having read anything about BE shooting. Since then, using my hand-loaded 148 gr. DEWCs (or Federal Target .22LR), my timed and rapid fire scores have steadily risen with both calibers, but with no improvement (or a decrease) in my slow fire scores.
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