#1 What is the optimum number of seconds for your final focus prior to releasing the shot.
Fucus as in concentration, or focus as in optical?
#2 Do you focus your crosshairs by releasing the lock ring on the eyepiece and turning the eyepiece as necessary? What is your actual procedure for doing this?
> +1 on Sludge's method. For paralax use SF, or AO. The reticle absolutely must be seen clearly, that is the base sight alignment, precedes your sight picture, in importance.
I have a few lower end scopes, and adjusting the eye piece focus other than at the range, where zero can be re-verified, is a no-no. The distortion from the poor glass, and lose thread fit on the eye piece, actualy apears to move the reticle.
There are only two seasons: Hunting season, and Getting Ready for Hunting season. -DAD
#1 how long do I wait before release. I might look at the animal through a scope for quite a while before deciding to shoot depending on circumstances but when its time it isn't long. Maybe a couple seconds max.
#2 To focus your cross hairs I find a blank spot on a house or building with nothing to look at except for the blank wall and then I focus the cross hairs till their clear. I check focus 3 or 4 times and readjust if needed. Once that is done its done. I never have needed to do it in the field unless its a new scope that I have not done this with and find it necessary. If I have a side focus or AO I might move this back and forth till it clears up the sight picture but it should not be necessary to adjust the cross hairs.
I have a huge, powerful heartbeat every 2+ seconds that really rattles my sight window, and so I prefer a military take-up trigger and I pull it back when I'm on the target. No surprise, and I have to live with the fact that it is easy to develop bad habits. If I get my angle on a game animal, I wait for the heartbeat, drop the crosshairs in place, and squeeze the trigger.
Most range masters are amazed at how long I can stay in the sight window and still hit the bullseye, but I do not recommend that anyone shoots like me. It is all wrong for everyone else, but best for my limitations.
For me the sight picture is directly linked to my trigger break. I intensify my focus on seeing just the crosshair(like the front bead on open sights). As this intensity hits max, the trigger breaks. All this occurs in under 5 seconds.
I focus my crosshair with the eyepiece adjustment when I mount the scope and check it before every shooting session visually.
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
For me it's all about trigger timeing. I can most of the time call my shots.
I try to go by the rule of take my time in a hurry.
I'm not a target shooter competitively as there are no rifle competition s close to me.
The 2 biggest problems I see with guys hunting is rushing the shot and taking WAY TOO LONG to shoot.
But there is a boat load that I don't know about shooting so.
As I am continuly learning about long range and precision shooting I did have a question, how many focus on the target, how many focus on the cross hairs??
Historically I have focused on the target but now I'm getting unexplained fliers that I know are not the rifle.
Sorry for asking such a greenhorn question but I'm getting very frustrated trying to get the best group my rifle can shoot. Thank you.
Grey fox; I was hoping more members would comment on your post. I will try your method next time I'm at the range.
Cold Trigger - My uncle was a famous range master - most police say he was the best ever, though he immediately bought up Gunnery Seargeant Carlos Norman Hathcock III's name if the issue was ever brought up. He said Gunny Hathcock could teach windage better than anyone he ever knew, so at least figure my uncle was pretty doggone good at teaching shooting.
I very clearly recall him scolding me on that very question.
He said, "Now I'm going to tell you, look at the target, but you're a damn college student and you're going to try to line up the target, the front sight, the back sight, and you're going to be shooting all over the place.
If I tell a brick layer, 'Look at the target', he's going to look at the target and he'll out-shoot you for as long a time it takes for you to learn to look at the stinking target."
Now, scopes in a hunt are a bit different. If he's standing, I let my eye peek at a point of aim above the animal, click and hold over for wind, but look at the shoulder blade (or appropriate place on the animal as I break on the trigger. I usually know right about where in the crosshair window I'm using as point of aim, though I don't trust many scopes right down at the bottom of the window. Spherical abberation throws you off a bit on most scopes. Zoom out, and sight him in the good part of the glass.
Practice this on deer and coyote silhouettes until you KNOW your scope's zoom, and how it affects holdover and drop. If he's moving toward cover, don't waste time peeking. Lead him and pull the trigger.