Trigger timing, training, practice

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by WildRose, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    We talk a lot here off and on about trigger control and ways to practice.

    I was changing the batteries in the laser on one of my glocks last night when something dawned on me.

    One can get a lot of very good practice in by bying a cheap laser and mounting it on the end of the barrel of your rifle.

    Make a few pencil dots on some butcher paper or poster board and set them up at varying ranges.

    Set yourself up in your shooting position put the laser on one of those dots, and squeeze. Try to keep the laser from moving off of the dot... .

    Cheap practice, no ammo needed, and you dont' even have to leave the back yard. I've done it for years with the pistols and simply never thought about moving it to a rifle.

    Even a cheap laserlyte bore sighting laser would suffice.
     
  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    This is from another thread where the subject of breathing control came up.

     

  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    With long range shooting steadiness and trigger control are much bigger factors than at short range even things like your heart rat and how hard it is pounding can have a significant effect on the shot so relaxation really is critical.

    I've noticed myself at times over the years when trying to get on a target after great exertion that my heart beat alone can cause a jump of Several MOA from the desired Aim Point.
     
  4. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    At long distances your breathing and heart rate play a big factor in how accurate you are going to be. That is why it is so important to dry fire a lot so that you can time your shot at your most calm moment.

    In training, I was taught that the natural respitory pause between breathes is when you should take the shot. If you take a deep breathe and then slowly let it out, when that last little bit of CO2 is pushed out, you will notice that you come to a really calm point when you can feel your heart beating. Everything is still in your body except for your heart. That is when you can time your shot. That is if you have time but at long distances, you usually do have time in a hunting situation.
     
  5. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    That's the point I'm talking about. You can still push more air out if you try, about 1/4 more of your lung volume, but if you just relax and exhale naturally without forcing it, just before you begin to inhale there is a point of maximum relaxation of the daiphram and your chest muscles.

    Thanks for helping to explain it better.
     
  6. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    I am mostly a pistol shooter. I have hunted most of my life but just got into the long range shooting aspect with rifles in the last 2 years or so. Same principles apply with a pistol as with a rifle though. You have to be smooth on that trigger, you have to focus on that front sight and you have to keep breathing. A lot of people get that last one wrong. They hold their breath while trying to shoot. It's bad with both the rifle and pistol. After a while, your vision gets blurry because that is the first thing that starts to go when you have a lack of oxygen in the body, that and dexterity.
     
  7. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Yep and you'll start to shake pretty badly as well.

    It really is hard to teach people to just relax and let it flow.
     
  8. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Great thread.
     
  9. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    Another good way to get some trigger training on someone who has some bad habits with shooting is to have them dry fire first. Then without them seeing what you are doing, either load or not load a round and let the person shoot it. Watch their face, trigger finger and how they are holding the gun. You can see if they are flinching, jerking the trigger or just gripping the gun wrong. One can do all of this without wasting hardly any ammo. Once the person starts getting smoothed out, just drop a round in there and let the psychological effect take over. They will think its unloaded and will do everything right and drill the target. It takes a little while to break bad habits but you just have to get those good habits to be muscle memory. This is one good way I have done it without wasting a lot of ammo. If a person has bad shooting habits and they go to the range and just start slinging lead thinking that is going to fix their problems, they are just wasting rounds and money.
     
  10. alcesgigas

    alcesgigas Well-Known Member

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  11. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Yep, one I'd forgotten about. Good you brought it up.
     
  12. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I compete in over a dozen competitive egg shoots a year at 200 and 300 yards. Tough shooting, harder than it looks. While most shooters use a sub one pound trigger, many of us use the same set up as our LR rigs in order to develop our skills for the field. Assuming the rifle is shooting, and wind effects are not causing bad results, misses are generally due to two causes most of the time, even with seasoned shooters. One is the subconscious loss of trigger control. A shooter can believe they have contol over the trigger sqezze but in fact have lost concentration and do not realize they are jerking the trigger. The other, often not even considered, is very common when shooting targets that are not "paper", is sight picture. Wether shooting an egg or a mule deer, the tendency is to be looking at the target instead of the crosshairs. You want to see the egg break or the deer fall. Easy to do because the sight picture appears to be in a two dimensional plane. Just like shooting a pistol, if you don't place total concentration on the crosshairs, the shot will off. It's a lot more obvious with a pistol though. I have seen this on numerous occasions. If a shooter is missing the mark with an accurate rifle and you instruct him to focus on the crosshairs, they start hitting. Also have seen this when a shooter is getting .5-1 MOA groups on paper and someone else with the same rifle gets cosistant .25 MOA groups. It is also easy to subconsciousy loose concentration on this technique.
     
  13. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Good points. "Aim Small Miss Small".

    You aren't aiming at the egg. You aim for the yolk.

    You aren't aiming at the deer. You are aim for it's heart or spine.

    You aren't aiming at the target. You aim for the center of the bull.
     
  14. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for starting a good thread Wild Rose. Using the laser as you described is a great way to get visual feedback on your trigger control.

    My Daughter is becoming a rather serious small bore and air rifle competitor, as a result I recently discovered (and purchased) a great training tool. It is called a SCATT system. Much like your laser idea, an invisible beam laser is mounted on your gun or even bow. An aiming device is placed downrange, both are connected to an interface module that connects to a PC. As you aim, the computer draws a trace of your barrel movement on the screen. When you (dry) fire the device picks up the "click" and fires a dot on the computer screen. The trace changes colors in the last few tenths of a second before the shot and after the shot for follow through. The trace for each "shot" is stored in the computer for analysis. If you have the least little bit of a flinch or are twisting or otherwise moving the rifle during your trigger it will show up on the screen.

    These systems are not cheap at around $1400 but they are an awesome analysis tool. You can dry fire while looking through the scope and think you are rock steady. This device will tell a far different story. We all think we are holding steady, WRONG, and this device will prove it. As the old saying goes, you can't fix what you don't know....

    You can actually do live fire with the system as well by "aiming" the laser at a different place than your actual point of aim. This will allow you to see if you are tensing up or flinching during live fire when you might not during dry fire.

    I will do a full write up on this system soon, but anyone interested can just google SCATT shooter training systems.