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Old November 2, 2012, 06:59 AM   #1
SerenityNetworks
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Autococker for dryfire practice

I've been working on upping my accuracy by using dryfire practice. I use the Laser Lyte device, so I also get feedback on my accuracy and follow-up. The practice has been showing good results. In two weeks of just practicing a few minutes about every-other-day I have reduced my group size 25%, evidenced by shots at the range, for standing position using a hasty sling.

I can cock my old single shot .22 without disrupting my stance too much. But trying to dry fire with my Marlin 795 and make use of the Laser Lyte is pretty much a waste of time. The issue is the cycling of the rifle for the next shot. It takes me out of position and rhythm too much.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I was wondering if anyone made an autococker for .22 semi-automatic rifles or there was a good DIY design floating around. If I could put such a device on my Marlin 795, I believe it would make the exercises so much valuable. When 'googling' for such a device, I didn't come up with anything specific for my use. But I did see a lot on such a device for paintball use, so at least something similar is already out there. I don't know a thing about paintball, so I was thinking about stopping by a range/course/store to learn more. But first I thought I'd ask about it here. With all the experience and expertise at this forum, I can't imagine that I'm the first to think of this idea. It makes me pause to think that the reason it isn't being done is because it is a stupid &/or unworkable idea, or there are simply better or less expensive ways to achieve the same goal.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance,
Andrew
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Old November 2, 2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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I haven't run into a solution for the rifle you have. But you should still continue even without the laser.
Dry firing is by far one of the best ways to improve ones ability to hold and release shots. Additionally the process of getting into position is valuable training. IMO having to break position is not a bad thing but actually beneficial. Keep dry firing any way you can. It really works.
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Old November 3, 2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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Well, now that I think about it, repeated practice in reestablishing my NPOA isn't bad either. I was just thinking about cadence.

But I'm still going to look into an auto-cock solution as time allows. It could be a fun DIY project.

Yet whether I ever get to the project or not, I'll certainly keep dry firing. It has significantly improved my shooting with just a small amount of time and effort.

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Old November 3, 2012, 11:17 PM   #4
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Seems this would be heavy if attached to the gun. An off gun lever or string might work better. Push/pull you off target a little though.

Timed or are you somehow actuating it?

IDk, you have me thinking about it now.
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Old November 4, 2012, 08:39 PM   #5
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I had a few thoughts in mind; all gun mounted. The CO2 setups I saw online seemed complicated and heavy, so...
1) Electronic. Batteries could be put in a pocket if weight becomes an issue. However Lithium Ion batteries are light and the 795 has a hollow stock.
2) Either touch or sound activated. Probably touch for proof of concept and then sound activated (similar to the Laser Lyte) for the final solution.
A) RC hobbies have a number of linear and armature servos that would have the power to cycle the bolt. The servos are light. Getting one with both enough power and speed to eject the snap cap shouldn't be an issue. But mounting it without cosmetically messing up the rifle might be a problem.
B) There are also wires (I don't recall the name) that contract when an electrical current is applied. That would be very light and potentially much easier to mount. But I know nothing on the characteristics of the wire or if it would be suitable to the purpose. It is just an idea to check out.
C) Combination devices, such as a servo that tensions a spring and then the spring provides the speed and power to cycle the bolt. The problem would be the complexity &/or machining needed might be beyond what a DIY project should be.
D) A solenoid device. (But that might be heavy and noisy.)

Anyway, I am just thinking aloud. I already have too many projects on the to-do list - and some are not optional :-) At best, it will be awhile before I can do much with the idea.

If you think any of my ideas have merit and want to check them out then let me know. I can expound on the ideas a bit.

Drew

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Old November 5, 2012, 01:22 AM   #6
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I'm going to send you the other direction...

Since stopping to cock your rifle slows the shot process to basically that of a bolt-action rifle,
you then get to see the benefit of making Each Shot Count...so you take a little more time to aim each one...
soon you find that the aim/great hit ratio increases...along with your speed of target aquisition...
and it'll give you increased finger/hand strength by spending a lot of time working the action!
Also smoothing it up as you go...

Watch a Biathelon competition...its much like what you are doing with the way they cock their specialized rifles nowadays...

Anyway, worry less about the extra shots...make the First ONE count!!
If I could have gotten every Private in the Army to learn one thing before hitting the range, that would be it!!
Unfortunately most of 'em play MOH vids and think that ammo is unlimited...Pray & Spray...
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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Well, a long the lines of the others, I always shoot at multiple targets. Maybe on the same paper only 8 inches apart but I switch every shot when shooting prone.
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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I hear you Big Shrek and others. There is certainly much to learn and much that I can learn with the conditions just as they are now. And you've provided me with several other benefits I hadn't considered at all. Thank you.

One thing I have battled is first-shot-stray syndrome. Whether standing, sitting, or prone, the first shot of a group has commonly been a little off target. It didn't matter whether I was in a timed exercise or one where I had all the time in the world, I would have a stray first shot then all the others right on the mark. Then I'd switch to the next target, the first shot would be off and then rest right on the mark. I'd pretty much concluded that it was mental, but sometimes I wonder.

I remounted my sights and tightened down everything on the rifle. And the next trip to the range (although very limited in time spent and shots fired) I didn't have the first-shot-stray problem. Yet I had also been dry firing (with no auto-cocker). So was it the equipment or did the dry fire practice cure my first shot strays?

Anyway, I'll certainly keep practicing with the setup I have now. The auto-cocker project is low on the to-do list. But if I ever find the time, I do think I'll give it a try

But even if I do give it a whirl, I don't think I'll ever be able to be a pray-and-spray shooter. As a kid I learned on single shots and over-and-under guns hunting frogs and squirrels. Before graduating to a semi-auto shotgun, I only had that one shot with the .410 on the over-and-under hunting rabbits and quail. Since I got the Marlin 795, a few times I have thought about aiming and then just ripping off 10 shots - just to see what it would be like. But so far I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. It just seems, well... wrong. (And my dad or grandpa would roll in their graves.)
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Old November 7, 2012, 12:40 PM   #9
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Does your "fist shot stray syndrome" have any relation to how hot the barrel is? If you change targets without standing and it still happens it wouldn't, but if you are talking about changing targets between flights and letting the barrel cool for a moment then it might. I am guessing it is not related, but just wanted to throw it out there in case.
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Old November 7, 2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062 View Post
Does your "fist shot stray syndrome" have any relation to how hot the barrel is?
Nah. I'm talking about the pause between the first shot between the two targets in stage 2, the three targets in stage 3, or the four targets in stage 4 of the AQT; literally moments between the targets. I strayed the first shot and make the next two (or three, or...). I reposition and reestablish my NPOA. I strayed the first shot and then make the next two... And so on.

One trip to the range doesn't indicate a trend, but after the dry fire practice and the tightening of equipment the problem seems to have gone away. I don't notice the problem when I'm dry firing.

Thanks,
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Old November 7, 2012, 07:14 PM   #11
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Dry fire practice works wonders. I wore out my marlin receiver doing it. May be more a reflection of the receiver than my practice though. I haven't decided yet.
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Old November 9, 2012, 11:47 AM   #12
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My take on it.....

Trigger control is an important part of accuracy. Dry firing is great for this. The laser is not needed.

Another part of the equation is being able to shoulder the rifle accurately. So I believe that the act of re-cocking the rifle and bringing back to firing position is beneficial.
Do this; dry fire, cock, close eyes, shoulder rifle, open eyes and see how well the sights are lined up. You can practice without dry firing also.
If you plan on putting your skills to some utilitarian purpose such as; hunting coyotes or tactical like stuff, then this is important. Practice shouldering and u should be able to get into firing position and everything is lined up to shoot.
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Old November 9, 2012, 06:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
Trigger control is an important part of accuracy. Dry firing is great for this. The laser is not needed.
Yep. I use the laser less than half the time. I try to remember to set a goal when I go to practice, whether dry fire at home or live fire at the range. If I'm working on NPOA then I don't need the laser at all and I don't use it. I may not even pull the trigger if I'm practicing with a semi-auto. But if I'm practicing with my 30-06 then I most certainly cycle the bolt between 'shots'. What I get from the laser is (1) follow up feedback. The laser stays on long enough that if it wiggles on the target then I know my follow up stinks and I'm not holding the rifle steady after the trigger pull. A wiggling dot might also mean that I'm jerking the trigger. And (2) the laser gives me feedback on the shot's accuracy. I have mixed feelings about this, as it's not the same as 'calling the shot'. The feedback is too immediate and sometimes I catch myself focused on the target, so I can watch the laser, rather than focusing on my front sight. Then again, sometimes I focus on the target, and not my front sight, during live fire. But I'm much better at staying focused on the front sight than I used to be. I just hope I can keep my focus on the sights when I have an animal in the sights :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
Another part of the equation is being able to shoulder the rifle accurately. So I believe that the act of re-cocking the rifle and bringing back to firing position is beneficial. Do this; dry fire, cock, close eyes, shoulder rifle, open eyes and see how well the sights are lined up. You can practice without dry firing also.
Absolutely! Checking my NPOA is always part of the process. Dry fire practice, even without pulling the trigger has been incredibly helpful with this discipline. I can dry fire on a regular basis at home. When I do get the chance to go to the range then I am NOT just learning; I am validating what I already practiced and learned at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
If you plan on putting your skills to some utilitarian purpose such as; hunting coyotes or tactical like stuff, then this is important. Practice shouldering and u should be able to get into firing position and everything is lined up to shoot.
Well, I don't do tactical stuff, at least not the pray and spray I commonly see. Every shot I take is intended to be aimed well enough to accomplish its goal. Hunting is my primary goal, even though I do enjoy plinking just for plinking's sake. So yes, my practice is mostly standing, sitting, or using a support of one type or another. I don't practice a lot of prone and (at least not now) and I don't use a bipod, because that's not the kind of hunting I'll be doing.

All that said, I agree with all the benefits everyone has expressed about dry firing without a laser and without an auto-cock mechanism - and I either already practiced or have since adopted the suggestions made here into my practice. I just think an auto-cock mechanism would add one more element of live fire to dry fire practice when simulating semi-auto use, nothing more. In Appleseed terms, it would let my practice 'the rifleman's cadence'.

I certainly appreciate the suggestions people are making and hope they keep coming. I'm learning a lot.

Thanks again,
Andrew

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