How do I get rid of tension?

ShtrRdy

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Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
2,525
Location
High Plains
I'm working on fine tuning my "shot cycle" and have determined that I usually have tension build up in my neck and shoulder as I'm about to break the shot. This is preventing my ability to group shots into less than 1/2". I think my follow through is pretty good. I keep the trigger pressed back and my head on the stock through recoil. I find that having the rear bag firm is very important to avoid vertical stringing.

So, if any of you have had to work through lingering recoil anticipation problems, what did you do to cure it?

Something that happened this past weekend that made it painfully obvious to me that I have a problem. I was shooting 3-shot groups off the bench. ( 3 shots is about all I can do and keep it together at this time ) Starting the next group I did some dry fire practice then placed a cartridge into the ejection port and closed the bolt. I did my best to get calm and relaxed and break the shot at the bottom of the breathing cycle. I had to keep breathing and waiting until the tension wasn't building before increasing pressure on the trigger to break the shot. I felt that it was a good shot. I then did some more dry fire cycles and placed a cartridge into the ejection port. A friend had a question so I paused to chat for a minute. Then I went back to doing some dry fire. ( I forgot that i had placed a cartridge into the ejection port ) I closed the bolt, got relaxed and tension free and broke the shot at the bottom of the breathing cycle. Talk about a surprise break!! My follow through was good. I looked through the scope wondering where the heck that shot ended up. Well, it was basically in the same hole as my first shot. Wowzer! If I could do that each time I could get a good idea of just how well that rifle can shoot.
 
Last edited:

MTBMaine

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Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
139
I'm working on fine tuning my "shot cycle" and have determined that I usually have tension build up in my neck and shoulder as I'm about to break the shot. This is preventing my ability to group shots into less than 1/2". I think my follow through is pretty good. I keep the trigger pressed back and my head on the stock through recoil. I find that having the rear bag firm is very important to avoid vertical stringing.

So, if any of you have had to work through lingering recoil anticipation problems, what did you do to cure it?

Something that happened this past weekend that made it painfully obvious to me that I have a problem. I was shooting 3-shot groups off the bench. ( 3 shots is about all I can do and keep it together at this time ) Starting the next group I did some dry fire practice then placed a cartridge into the ejection port and closed the bolt. I did my best to get calm and relaxed and break the shot at the bottom of the breathing cycle. I had to keep breathing and waiting until the tension wasn't building before increasing pressure on the trigger to break the shot. I felt that it was a good shot. I then did some more dry fire cycles and placed a cartridge into the ejection port. A friend had a question so I paused to chat for a minute. Then I went back to doing some dry fire. ( I forgot that i had placed a cartridge into the ejection port ) I closed the bolt, got relaxed and tension free and broke the shot at the bottom of the breathing cycle. Talk about a surprise break!! My follow through was good. I looked through the scope wondering where the heck that shot ended up. Well, it was basically in the same hole as my first shot. Wowzer! If I could do that each time I could get a good idea of just how well that rifle can shoot.[/QUOTE
Try this drill with the rifle unloaded.

Take aim, then close your eyes, take 4 DEAP breaths.

Open your eyes, notice where your crosshairs strayed to... adjust starting with your feet, then hips, then upper body steering the rifle back on target.

Repeat this process until you can close your eyes, take your 4 breaths and your cross hairs will stay on target. This will get your body in a “stacked” position ultimately reducing muscle tension... muscle tension is an issue in all sports. It’s the difference between hitting a driver 200 or 280... also effects target shooting.
 
Last edited:

ShtrRdy

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Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
2,525
Location
High Plains
Try this drill with the rifle unloaded.

Take aim, then close your eyes, take 4 DEAP breaths.

Open your eyes, notice where your crosshairs strayed to... adjust starting with your feet, then hips, then upper body steering the rifle back on target.

Repeat this process until you can close your eyes, take your 4 breaths and your cross hairs will stay on target. This will get your body in a “stacked” position ultimately reducing muscle tension... muscle tension is an issue in all sports. It’s the difference between hitting a driver 200 or 280... also effects target shooting.
I do this to determine my Natural point of Aim.
 

Bravo 4

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Jul 20, 2007
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3,606
Location
The South
A friend had a question so I paused to chat for a minute. Then I went back to doing some dry fire. ( I forgot that i had placed a cartridge into the ejection port ) I closed the bolt, got relaxed and tension free and broke the shot at the bottom of the breathing cycle. Talk about a surprise break!! My follow through was good. I looked through the scope wondering where the heck that shot ended up. Well, it was basically in the same hole as my first shot. Wowzer! If I could do that each time I could get a good idea of just how well that rifle can shoot.
That last sentence sounds like a possible solution. Do exactly that each time and not know if it’s really loaded or not. Try the ole “have a friend load, or don’t load, the rifle for you” trick. With you not looking have him load a live round or fired piece of brass (so you hear something being loaded) and then you go through your shot process, all the while not knowing if it’s really gonna fire.
Also your position or how the rifle/scope is set up might be bad for you and it is forcing you to muscle something so to speak. Hard to not get muscle tension when you’re having to use muscle.
 

just country

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Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
1,651
Location
78154
morning, US snipers r trained in shooting methods
to control ur heart beat. Ralph Troy Hicks wrote a
book for nightforce on fundamentals of long range
shooting there r 2 books I read both. the more u shoot
the better u get. justme gbot tum
 

sable tireur

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Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,503
I'm one of those guys that got all bunched up and tight at the bench right before I broke a shot. Awful and inconsistent!:(

Then I decided to take some of these matters into my own hands to make the decision to learn how to be mentally and physically prepared to shoot at the best of my abilities. There are several books and articles written by consistent winners which teach us how to concentrate and relax at the same time.:) But it takes practice because it doesn't come naturally to most of us.;)

One thing I do know and practice religiously is hearing protection. I cannot concentrate for beans without excellent hearing protection. I wear plugs and muffs. But this is just one small part of the whole equation. Do some reading and try the exercises suggested. Not just for a short time but really put your heart into it. You will be surprised at the results.:D

Enjoy the process!
 

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