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 Post subject: Point of Focus for New Shooters

Master at Arms

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I have been prompted to make this post after the recent competition held at ACRC. While it was a great event which provided an opportunity to forum members to shoot together and learn in the process (and therefore such events must be held regularly), I feel the focus of post-competition analysis is not right.

New shooters are eager to learn and improve. That is very good and absolutely understandable. What should the seniors advise them? I think guidance about improving the basic shooting technique is the requirement here. We should not get into this that how many were in the bull? What was the POA? What was the POI? How can these be improved? etc etc.

WE SHOULD FOCUS ON IMPROVING THE BASIC SHOOTING TECHNIQUES THEREBY MAKING SMALLER GROUPS. The score is of no consequence here and as I say, good scores will automatically follow if a shooter is capable of making smaller groups. Zeroing the gun, adjustment of POA etc are minor issues which can be eradicated any time. However, if a shooter is making large size groups than it is a serious problem and in simple words "he is not yet a good shooter".

I will try to illustrate this point by showing some targets ..........

Image
Now here is a group of five shots fired from 20 M. Though the score achieved is 45/50 which is quite good but each bullet is hitting at least 1" away from the nearest bullet and the overall groups size is 3.7 inches. So I would rate it NOT SO GOOD SHOOTING, though the shooter was able to get 45 out of 50 points.

Image

Here is a second group of five shots fired from same distance and same handgun. The score here is 35/50 which is NOT A GOOD score. However, if you observe the shot pattern analytically you would realise that the shooter shot three bullets in less than one inch which is excellent. Fourth bullet is just an inch away. Fifth bullet (which incidentally gets him the maximum points) is quite far off and is actually an error on part of the shooter, a flier as we call it. THIS IS MUCH BETTER SHOOTING than the previous target. Now, if you just shift the MPI of the four bullets in the bull, this shooter would get around 48/50.

Someone may ask that the purpose in the competition is to get maximum scores. The guy in first target got scored more points so his is better. Not in my view. I feel that the second guy would be able to shoot better scores more consistently as compared to the first guy, after his gun is properly zeroed because he is capable of shooting smaller groups. The scores will automatically follow and he will finally be able to shoot something like this............

Image

An since the second guy can make small groups consistently, he would be able to shoot something like this when needed.......

Image



(PS: All targets have been shot by me and i have used them here just to illustrate the point)

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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I think this is a very useful topic for beginners. The few things which were advised to me were trigger control, breathing control, focus on the front sight and good grip really helped me in improving my groups. BTW sir, I liked the way you simulated a badly shot target and then the improved one :D

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

Sharp Shooter

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I will revisit my targets. Senior member on the very first day advised of the groups. Thank you for reinforcing the basics.


Last edited by Wajeeh Hasan on Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

Master at Arms

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Good topic sir.


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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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KBW shb thank you very much. This thread is definetely making it to my archives. I am facing the dilema illustrated in picture number 2 whereas my total score was ok but the overall group size was huge. Would appreciate it if you could visit my shooting thread and review the my target pictures from match day.

Though SB was kind enough to appreciate my imporved groupings from competition day I returned home with a feeling of failure......

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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Nice share KWB Sir specially for new comers. Thanks sir.


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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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nice efforts

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

Sniper

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@KBW
Sir, very well explained with target pics. But what should we do to improve our groups. Will practice of basics like trigger control, breathing control, focus on front sight and correct grip improve the groups. Second question, what is importance of practicing group fire if someone want to take part in practical shooting like IPSC or he is just training to get good SD skills and do not want to take part in any precision shooting competition?

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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@Mythbuster

Precission shooting and practical shooting are 2 different sports. IMO it is not possible for one to have a perfect group size during practical shooting because of the fact that one needs to take down multiple targets in a limited time in a non stationary position, but accuracy will count in both the sports. Precission shooting gives a shooter the luxury to pause between shots whereas practical shooting does not.

Though group sizes in both these sports do not count towards the final points but a better / smaller group size reflects the high level of marksmanship as per KBW shb's earlier statement

The common factor whereas points calculation is concerned amongst both these 2 styles of shooting is that if your rounds end up in the higher point circle on the target you score a high score. Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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@ Farrukh:
IMO Grouping is interlinked with both Precision and Practical shooting.

If you cant get a reasonable group from your hand gun and the bullets are spread all over the target, how can you be sure its not shooter error?? Get a decent size group (while doing precision shooting), and then you can zero your handgun, if the group is not in the center.

Then you can go on and shoot for higher numbered rings and better scores in both precision and practical shooting styles.

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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MB
Let's look at it this way that what does a shooter do which results in a smaller group? He does following things.........

:arrow: He adopts a stance which does not put extra strain on any of his body muscles. He is relaxed. The body weight or weight of the upper part of the body must not lean backwards as the shooter will no more be balanced once his upper body weight backwards. Keeping the non-shooting foot (if shooter is a right hander than his left foot) may be kept just a little ahead of right foot and instead of keeping the elbows tight and straight, the shooter may keep a slight bend in his elbows, just a slight bend. This will help the shooter in achieving an isosceles stance which is a very good one for general purpose self defence shooting.

:arrow: He holds the gun in a manner that it is neither too loose that the gun goes out of his hand after every shot nor so tight that his hands / arms start trembling due to unnecessary strain. His hand / hands exert equal pressure on the grip from all direction other wise the gun will unknowingly move in the direction where the pressure is being exerted. While doing all this, his trigger finger is free to move, without putting strain on rest of the hand.

:arrow: He acquires a "CORRECT" target picture, ie, he aligns the his eye, rear sight notch, front sight tip and the intended area on the target in one line and once the alignment is achieved, he shifts the focus of his shooting eye to the front sight tip. He "DOES NOT FOCUS ON THE TARGET". Target now appears as a blur in the background.

:arrow: He now starts squeezing the trigger with equal / consistent force, without giving any jerks etc, till the time trigger breaks. During this process, he does not even realise that the trigger has operated. This is called surprise break.

:arrow: After the gun is fired, he completes the follow through.

:arrow: While he is doing above, he keeps his breathing under control and tries to complete the above steps in less than 7 seconds, earlier the better. If he delays it more than 7 seconds, oxygen level in his blood starts decreasing which results in eyes getting watery, blurring, trembling etc.

When a shooter does the above steps with precision, five times (in a five shot group), he is rewarded with a small size group. If he relaxes a little on any of the above steps, specially in sight picture and trigger control, he shoots a bullet away from other bullet (s) which will result in a large size group. So it is repeating the same actions with precision every time which allows him to make a smaller group.

Grouping fire has nothing to do (directly) with any competition but it still remains the most efficient method to check the proficiency of a shooter or weapon. It is just like good footwork and good eye which a cricket batsman must possess as a basic skill. For a batsman who has good footwork and good eye, its just a matter of practice that he starts learning various shots like cover drive, square cut, hook, pull, glance etc etc and also the understanding to play them against different bowlers on different type of wickets. Similarly, a shooter with good basic skills would not face a problem in any discipline of competition shooting, may it be precision shooting or IPSC or IDPA or sniper shooting etc etc. With good basics, he will quickly learn the tricks / technique needed for that particular style of shooting (all these disciplines require slightly different techniques) . WITHOUT GOOD BASIC SKILLS HE WOULD STAND NOWHERE AND HIS PERFORMANCE WILL NEVER BE CONSISTENT / RELIABLE. He would keep shooting few in the bull and few way outside the target, thus achieving bad scores, in every discipline of competition shooting.

Rapid shooting which is a requirement in some of the competitions is not a different technique but doing the above mentioned steps in quick time which a shooter learns to do with practice. He even learns to shoot without aiming, if his basics are correct. BUT HE HAS TO PERFECT THE BASICS, FIRST. THERE IS NO SHORTCUT TO THIS.

Hence the pivotal importance of spending more time on perfecting the basic shooting technique.

regards

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

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Very comprehensively explained KBW sir!

The second point that you've mentioned, I try to explain to people many a times, but can get through to them! But you have explained it very clearly, maybe I should try explaining in the same words! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

Master at Arms

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KBW Sb excellent post. There should be no confusion now.


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 Post subject: Re: Point of Focus for New Shooters

Master at Arms

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This thread must be sticky !!!


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