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Old January 22, 2012, 08:41 PM   #1
Navy joe
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Bullseye shooters, what's in your head?

Where is your mental process for each course of fire? I've shot a few matches, all NMC stuff and can usually pull off a bronze EIC which is not that great considering I'm getting there with scores around 235.

Last year when I shot I struggled for most of two weeks, I was as fine as I could be on slowfire but struggled with timed and rapid. Even though the times are generous compared to IPSC pace I'm used to I was freezing up, 1,000 lb finger, jerking, etc. The evening before the last match I finally did get my head right and my score went to 239 which was an achievement after a week in the 180-190s. I was even more happy because the 81-3x was a passable 50 yard score given the loaner gun and the gusting 25 mph wind across the line that was blowing down scopes and boxes.

Basically, when I know there is time pressure I blank out when the targets turn. The standard advice to break the first shot as soon as it turns does not work for me yet, probably because I'm not already moving the trigger. Then I shoot too fast.

I have to have a very conscious thought, I think what worked was me repeating to myself "sights, keep the trigger moving."

So, for each stage, what are the mental parts of your thought process?
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Old January 23, 2012, 03:51 PM   #2
Old Grump
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This is how I train:


Quote:
If you hold your arm straight out in front of you and hold your thumb up can you see the striations on your thumbnail clearly using both eyes, in other words is it in focus? You are a bifocal creature, that is you have an eye on either side of your face and they will turn in to focus on that sight about 30" in front of your nose. If you can do that then both eyes should be working and you can focus on the front sight, That is the hard part and you can see well enough to shoot like a marksman.

Next step is get snap caps for the caliber of your choice and insert it into the gun.

Get a plain sheet of typing or copy paper and in the very center of the paper use a fine point pen with black ink and make a little cross with 2.5 cm horizontal and vertical lines. No larger. Fasten that paper on a horizontal surface at shoulder height in a location with good light.

Pick up your chosen handgun with the off hand and place it in your shooting hand and get a good grip. Grip it firmly like you would a handshake, not to loose, not so tight that you shake. Extend your arm so the muzzle of your gun is no more than a cm away from the paper. Focus on that front sight with both eyes. You will see that the vertical line goes straight up the middle of the sight and the horizontal line sits squarely on the top of your front sight. Your front sight should now be centered in the notch of your rear sight and level.

Now with the gun cocked, your focus entirely on the front sight you play a little mind game. Imagine the sight is one solid piece attached to the trigger. When you pull the trigger back you are trying to pull the front sight back through the center of your rear sight. If you pull, yank, anticipate, jerk, grab anything but a perfect trigger pull those lines will move away from the front sight like a seismometer detecting an earthquake.

The objective of this exercise is to get 10 perfect shots and what you will discover is that when your focus is on the sight/trigger you will have no idea when the gun goes off. That will be your good shot.

Now the fun begins, switch the gun to your left hand and start over again. You will be sweating and hurting and mad at me but I will guarantee you that the top shooters do this and this is why they are top shooters.

Now the easy part, get your two handed grip and take 10 more shots but this part is pretty redundant. The whole point of the exercise is to get your focus on the front sight while your trigger finger squeezes the trigger without disturbing your sight alignment no matter which hand or hands you are using. If you can do that you can do it standing on one leg leaning over a table shooting through a door at an oblique angle or hanging by your knees from a trapeze bar. You will not know what position you will be in when you have to shoot but sight picture and consistent trigger pull will increase your chances of hitting what you want shot. Using both eyes will aid in your sight picture.
The only difference with live fire on the range is I am aware of range commands but the only thing on my mind is getting that front sight to come back through the notch of my rear sight by controlling my trigger finger. it forces me to focus on the front sight and that takes so much concentration it is almost like being hypnotized. 100 yards or 50' it makes no difference, the technique is the same.
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Old January 23, 2012, 04:42 PM   #3
MythBuster
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I shoot muzzleloaders in competition. I also shoot NRA smallbore and NRA Highpower.
Master class in highpower. I shot IDPA for a while.

I tried bullseye pistol and it is by far the hardest thing I have ever tried to do.

I could not master it. I gave up.
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Old January 24, 2012, 05:40 AM   #4
Navy joe
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I dunno, probably the hardest to get to that top 5%, but way easier than highpower as far as equipment and such. Folks are winning bullseye matches with 90% of the points, that might get you on the first page in Highpower. Perhaps my last rifle outing was just frustrating, regression always is.
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Old January 24, 2012, 05:50 PM   #5
brickeyee
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the only thing missing is that you need to find a repetitive position of your body that puts the sights on the target without changing your stance.

Bullseye is about moving your feet till you hit the target with the exact same stance and body position.

I shot many, many years of competition Bullseye.

Just like all the other shooters I stood at the line, presented the gun, then moved my standing position till it was on the target.
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Old January 26, 2012, 03:44 AM   #6
Mike38
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Check out the sections titled "Shooting Psychology" and "Zen in the art of shooting".

www.bullseyepistol.com
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Old January 26, 2012, 05:12 AM   #7
Navy joe
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Thanks all, lots to think on. Brickeye, I pay attention to my stance and my feet stay put. One of the things that really helped my though was I started reading Brian Zins and his opinion that NPOA with a pistol was a load of crap. So, if my stance is good and not strained I stop obsessing.
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Old January 26, 2012, 06:59 PM   #8
Clifford L. Hughes
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Navy Joe:

In bulls eye competion each string of fire must be approached with the fundmentals of competion: you mind must not stray. Concentrate on sight alignment, and trigger control one shot at a time or one string at a time. A lot of serious dry firing'will help. When I was shooting of several Marine Corps' pistol teams I dry fired this way. I put a kitchen chair, back facing me, about ten feet from a blank white wall. I used it as a make shift firing line. I used no target because I'm working of developing my grip, my trigger finger Placement, and my trigger release without disturbing the sights. A point that should be remembered is that no one, no matter what his skill, can hold a pistol perfectly still. When taking aim the pistol will wobble in a side ways figure eight: as long as the sights are aligned the pistol can wobbel the size of the ten ring and you will score a ten. However, the trigger must be released without disturbing the sight alignment. Live fire practice I shot cadence fire. As soon as the targets turned I would bust my first shot. As soon as I recovered from recoil, whether the sights were aligned or or not, I busted the second shot repeating Untill the magazine emptied. This is a drillthat helps to develope quickly sight alignment. It seem awakard at times but with practice it becomes second nature.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired

Last edited by Clifford L. Hughes; January 26, 2012 at 07:16 PM. Reason: wording
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Old February 7, 2012, 04:13 PM   #9
brickeyee
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NPOA is a method of making sure you have the exact same position and muscle rigidity for every shot.

If you start forcing yourself into different positions repeatedly the muscle rigidity will be different.

If it does not matter, whey have ANY 'standard' position?

You should be able to hit the same score no matter how you are holding the gun.

Since this is obviously incorrect there must be more at play.
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Old March 18, 2012, 07:59 PM   #10
Doug Bowser
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For practice in timed and rapid fire, use a tape recorder with the range commands and times on the tape. It is a great way to get your timing down pat. I have problems in rapid fire, with the revolver. I break the shot the moment the target turns and that gives me more time to shoot all 5 shots.

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Old March 19, 2012, 05:43 PM   #11
243winxb
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Focuse on the front sight. Keep squeezing is my thoughts. Practice on a blank piece of white paper. Always shoot as if rapid fire. 5 in 10 seconds. If you practice timed fired, you end up trying to make the perfect shot. This causes what i call trigger itus. Unable to pull the trigger.
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