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Top eleven bad habits of shooters

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Feb 24, 2008.

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  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well, this was written for handgun target shooting (Bullseye), but with the exception of a couple of obvious differences (#1 and #4) it's sound advice for any shooting sport. There's also a useful bullet impact target chart at the link for diagnosing handgun shooting errors.<br>
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    Top Eleven Bad Habits of Shooters<br>
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    1. Not Looking at the Sights. This quite frequently is listed as "looking at the target." A shooter may be focusing his eye on neither the sights nor the target, but since he does not see the target in clear focus he assumes he is looking at the sights. You must concentrate on sight alignment.<br>
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    2. Holding Too Long. Any adverse conditions that interrupt a shooter's ability to "hold" will cause him to delay his squeeze, waiting for conditions to better. The disturbing factor about this is that you will do it unconsciously; therefore, you must continuously ask yourself, am I being too particular?<br>
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    3. Improper Grip or Position. Suffice to say that you cannot fire a decent score with any gun at any range if you continually change your grip or position.<br>
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    4. Jerk or Heel. The application of pressure either with the trigger finger alone or in case of the heel, pushing with the heel of the hand at the same time. Apply pressure to the trigger straight to the rear and wait for the shot to break.<br>
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    5. Anticipation. Anticipation can cause muscular reflexes of an instant nature that so closely coincide with recoil that extreme difficulty is experienced in making an accurate call. Anticipation is also the sire to flinching.<br>
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    6. Loss of Concentration. If the shooter fails in his determination to apply positive pressure on the trigger while concentrating on the front sight his prior determination needs renewal and he should rest and start over.<br>
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    7. Anxiety. You work and work on a shot, meanwhile building up in your mind doubt about the shot being good. Finally you shoot just to get rid of that particular round so you may work on the others.<br>
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    8. Vacillation (Plain Laziness). This is a mental fault more than a physical one, which results in your accepting minor imperfections in your performance which you could correct if you worked a little harder. The end result being you hope you get a good shot. Just like you hope you will get a gratis tax refund, and you will get one just about as frequently as you get the other.<br>
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    9. Lack of Follow Through. Follow through is the subconscious attempt to keep everything just as it was at the time the shot broke. In other words you are continuing to fire the shot even after it is gone. Follow through is not to be confused with recovery. Merely recovering and holding on the target after the shot is no indication that you are following through.<br>
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    10. Lack of Rhythm. Hesitancy on the first shot or any subsequent shot in timed or rapid fire. Develop a good rhythm and then have the fortitude to employ it every case. Frequently many shooters will have fine rhythm until the last shot of a string and then hesitate, doctoring up that last shot.<br>
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    11. Match Pressure. If there are 200 competitors in a match, rest assured that there are 200 shooters suffering from match pressure. So what makes you think you are so different? If you are exerting all your mental energy toward executing the correct fundamentals rather than the arithmetic evaluation, your shooting match pressure will be what you feel when people congratulate you on a fine performance.
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Brian- At one time I was very active in Bullseye shooting. Your posts brought back fine memories. I shot with and was coached by a good shooter (Bill Blankenship)and I would add one of his secrets to the list. Last cigarette on Friday night, the next one when scoring the last target of the match on Sunday.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. j2jake

    j2jake Well-Known Member

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    Pat, if one could go from Fri night to Sunday afternoon why not just wait till the following Sunday and so on? Get my drift? Jake
     
  4. JB Logan Co. Ohio

    JB Logan Co. Ohio TS Member

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    Pat, never having shot rifle/pistol in competition except for rifle team in college (many moons ago) would you include coffee in the pre-match exclusions?

    JB=Jerry Beach 8503917
     
  5. mercedesman1981

    mercedesman1981 TS Member

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    JB, absolutely. The steadier the hand the better. I even eliminated chocolate from my diet.

    I went to the pistol range this weekend for the first time in 18 months and was surprised I can still fire a 97 -3x rapid fire.
     
  6. slowdp

    slowdp TS Member

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    My wife says the twelfth worse habit is simply "going shooting"!
     
  7. jackmitch

    jackmitch TS Member

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    no wonder i suck i think i do them all from timt to time.jackmitch
     
  8. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Crawling up on the stock. I caught myself doing that yesterday, and dropping targets because of it.

    Another BAD habit is malignment of other shooters. I have heard a lot of snide and off-colour remarks made by small people.
     
  9. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Missing the target that they shoot at!!
     
  10. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Squeeze the trigger and good things will happen. HMB
     
  11. aaastalker

    aaastalker TS Member

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    SHooting before the target develops..........
     
  12. starship

    starship TS Member

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    Anticipation has to be the worse....

    It's going left, no doubt it will be left, here it comes to the left.....

    STRAIGHT, what in the he!! is it doing going straight!!! ARGHHHHHH
     
  13. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    HMB- I was taught to never squeeze the trigger. If you squeeze, your whole hand will contract and you will "heel" the shot high and to the right. My coach told me to "think the trigger straight back" and always be surprised when the gun goes off. If it takes too long, put the gun down and start over.

    Pat Ireland
     
  14. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Pat,

    That is truly sad. Only when you squeeze the trigger, will good things happen. HMB
     
  15. Wildman23

    Wildman23 TS Member

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    YEA PAT I THINK YOUR WRONG AND YOUR TEACHER WAS WRONG SQUEEZING THE TRIGGER IS THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE OF HITTING THE BIRD. JUST SQUEEZE IT FAST IF YOU NEED TO DONT REALLY PULL IT. EVERY ONE IVE EVER TALKED TO SAID TO SQUEEZE THE TRIGGER NOT PULL IT.

    WILDMAN
     
  16. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Pat, are you interpreting "squeeze" to mean the contracting of the hand along with the trigger finger? That's not how squeezing the trigger works. The hand should remain motionless and only the trigger finger moves, which sounds like how you are doing it.
     
  17. berettaman7

    berettaman7 TS Member

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    Congratulations Brian in Oregon, this is one of the very best topics contributed to ts.com.

    Regards,

    Berettaman7
     
  18. RogerNRA

    RogerNRA TS Member

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    Because I am a rifle shooter, I squeeze the trigger. If the shotgun does not have a good trigger, squeezing the trigger can cause some problems. I shot an 870 and an 1100 nearly all my trap life and never noticed a trigger problem. I purchased a trap gun with an adjustable trigger and set it to break clean and light. Now when I go back to my 1100, the trigger is so heavy I seem to flinch trying to get the thing to fire. Never ever did I notice that before.......Roger
     
  19. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Once you program your brain with a good trigger it will reject the others. HMB
     
  20. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    First, my post about not squeezing the trigger was directed only toward bullseye shooting with a pistol. Obviously, when shooting a shotgun, you release the trigger.

    But, with a pistol, I stand by my comment that the trigger should be pulled straight back, not squeezed. Actually, the thought process is not to pull the trigger, but simply think about pulling the trigger while concentrating on the sights. The gun will go off when you are not expecting it to go off. The difference is subtle but important. This concept is not mine but it was drilled into me when I shot competition pistol many years ago (1970-1980). My coach who emphasized this was a former coach and member of the Fifth Army Marksmanship Unit (Ralph Thompson) and my shooting buddy, Bill Blankenship. I did see the several Olympic medals that Ralph and Bill won. I shot as a member of the Georgia State Pistol Team for three years and we achieved seven national team records and held 9 individual national records.

    Pat Ireland
     
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