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Mitch Gibson - Learning to be a shooter


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#21 Lance Jensen

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:36 AM

Your eye muscles are weak and untrained. Do some focus drills throughout the day. Our eyes are naturally not use to hard focusing. In everyday life we use a soft focus to find an object, then find a specific point. For example if I asked for the time, you would use soft focus to find the clock on the wall, then hard focus to find the hands. In shooting we must use our hard vision very quickly. If I asked for the time, your peripheral vision would locate the clock and your eyes would immediately hard focus on the number next to the big hand. You can train your eyes to do this by finding two specific points near and far. Work holding your vision on one point for a few seconds then move your eyes to second point. Make yourself use hard focus. After a few weeks you should begin to see a noticeable difference in what you see while shooting.
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#22 shootingbuff

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:11 PM

The finish on the G17 shows no visible damage. Glock wins.


Very funny and good to hear.
Jerry

A CCW isn't a totem, nor does it magically fiend off the bad element. Furthermore, a CCW is of no use if you can not employ said CCW.

BLUF:
You still have to hit the target.
One Shot Stop = locomotive with the target tied across the tracks.
Staying alive means you are aware, mentally prepared, proficient and fast in liberally applying proper shot placement.


Have you thanked a LEO, Firefighter, Medical / other emergency service worker, and least we forget the military lately?

#23 shootingbuff

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:24 PM

I practiced at the club yesterday, and found that I really couldn't get into the groove until I started behaving as if a timer had gone off. My trigger control was non-existent, and my follow-through wasn't there either. After pretending like I was at a match, I began controlling my trigger and following through. It also ended up that I shot much more aggressively and quickly, as well as with superb accuracy.


I feel a timer is a must as a log and a basket full of drills to do on any given day - that's just me.
Follow through when dry firing is a must. Cheat yourself on follow through with dry fire and it will show up in your shooting. Bad practice makes bad habits. Not saying that is what you are doing - just putting it out there.
Jerry

A CCW isn't a totem, nor does it magically fiend off the bad element. Furthermore, a CCW is of no use if you can not employ said CCW.

BLUF:
You still have to hit the target.
One Shot Stop = locomotive with the target tied across the tracks.
Staying alive means you are aware, mentally prepared, proficient and fast in liberally applying proper shot placement.


Have you thanked a LEO, Firefighter, Medical / other emergency service worker, and least we forget the military lately?

#24 SBD

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

Wow this got into the weeds fast. I have been a causal shooter for most of my life and never gave any thought to competition. It is clear that I wouldn't survive. Would be nice if someone could take time to discuss exactly how sight alignment and trigger control are achieved - verbally and for free please. Those classes are expensive and I think for the TDSA (where I took the CCW class) beginning combat pistol class is like 400 bucks plus you have to have 1500 rnds of ammo min. That is my entire shooting budget for the year! I love shooting, hunting and all the related stuff (I don't call them "sports" - sports are games by the current definition and for me it is not a game but more of a Zen thing). Nothing beats the focus needed to thread 5 rounds through the same hole are 100 with rifle or the skill needed to punch out the 10 ring at 25yrds with your favourite hand cannon. However the ability to shoot and run could come in handy one day and I would like to get much better at it. So...how bout some edumutation? I will start with a question. I have noticed that focusing on my front sight and keeping shots less than 2 seconds apart I can pull a nice group but if I spend too much time thinking about the sights and where the bulls eye is I start stringing the shots. What gives?

#25 TroyF

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:11 PM

Could be a number of things:
It's difficult for your eyes to maintain a hard focus for a length of time (unless trained to do so),
To ease the tremble we all have (natural wobble), you might hold your breathe. The longer you hold your breathe the harder it is for your vision to stay sharp,
The longer you hold the gun out there, the more wobble you will get (muscle fatigue),
The longer you hold position, that allows for anxiety to creep in,
The longer you spend holding position, you allow yourself to time the shot, and may flinch the shot off

Ive seen all of these things. Ive done em all too.


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#26 TroyF

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:12 PM

Anxiety builds tension, and there is no place for tension in shooting.
CLEET Firearms Instructor, USSA Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Krav Maga Instructor, Royce Gracie LEO Instructor, Cooper Institute Fitness Specialist. http://www.usshootin...ent.aspx?id=138

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#27 SBD

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 05:12 PM

Thank you for the reply. It was helpful. Let me tell you in more detail what I do. It is a hard focus on the front site and I do have to regain it after each round. Now that I think about it the times that I screw up royally I wind up shifting my focus to the target then back to hard focus on the front sight. I don't habitually slap the trigger and work diligently to avoid doing it...I do dry fire practice albeit not as often as I should. Often I use the same technique with breathing when I am shooting bow and rifle that is exhale and neutral. I find that holding my breathe causes the sights to move with my heartbeat and timing a shot between is more than I have the mental capacity to work. So is it more a function of stance, muscle memory and front site focus? The reason I ask is because when I start doubting sight alignment I do this in order: Align front and rear sights, check position relative to target, reacquire front site, try to double check front site on target without loosing hard focus on the front site then fire. If I just maintain focus on front site and only worry about covering the part of target that I want to perforate without trying to get all pin-point about it then I do fine - unless I stop and think about it. Is that how it is done in practical pistol? Or is there some specific order like hard focus target while drawing then align stance/shoulders/arms/hands, focus front site with target in soft in and bang? My stance is another issue altogether. Modified isosceles never felt right and I can't seem to break free from the good ol' modified Weaver which is not good if you are having to move...or so I have been lead to believe...please correct that if I am wrong. Two handed grip is exactly as taught by the folks are Carry Legal...haven't practised much strong or weak hand shooting but will if ever I get the hang of regular two handed defensive shooting.

#28 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:10 PM

You should buy "Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals" by Brian Enos. It has an answer for all the questions you have about shooting a handgun, and all the questions you didn't know you had. Everything we do is based on the experience that went into that book. The problem is practicing, and eliminating your bad habits. That is tough.

The TDSA class is practically a necessity, and you can shoot reloads now. I shot about 800 rounds during my class, and gave up very little shooting time while also having shot more than most of my classmates. I sold what was my favorite gun to afford the class, and don't regret it. I'd do it again tomorrow if I had any spares. Also, taking the class during the spring or fall is the route you want to take. That cannot be understated.
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#29 Lance Jensen

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:29 PM

Sounds like your closing your eyes the instant the gun fires... hard to diagnose anything on the internet. Come see us at TDSA and we'll get you shooting straight!
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#30 backer

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:35 PM

Sounds like your closing your eyes the instant the gun fires... hard to diagnose anything on the internet. Come see us at TDSA and we'll get you shooting straight!


Do it, AP1 improved my skills immensely.

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#31 SBD

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:31 PM

I am convinced. If I can shoot reloads then it will be easier to sell my wife on it. Thanks for the help. Oh..no I ain't closing my eyes.

#32 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:30 PM

Today was an affirmation that accuracy is the first fundamental. I had taken to just shooting groups last session, and improved markedly, and that held over to today. It seems odd that when shooting groups I didn't manage my trigger consistently, but when running the pistol today I did it seamlessly. I did a Bill Drill in 2.38 with five alphas and a charlie that was close to the line, and some X-Drills for the first time.

I did do some screwing around shooting to compare the feel of different powder types and bullet weights, but didn't really waste any bullets today. That left a good impression.

Also, I met Barry Greyson for the first time today. Cool mofo, and he had a fantastic idea for increasing the bearing surface on a 1911-style gun while improving its function. We need more people like him.
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#33 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

In the last couple months I've shot a little bit, and the trigger control is all there when I use my sights, but I recently noticed my shots moving back to the left. On my Glock the Dawson rear sight windage screw was not holding position and was rotating backward under recoil. I disassembled and degreased it, and put some red Loctite on the threads. After curing, it now takes a little effort to adjust the sight, but I don't have to worry about it ruining my groups. I might actually add more.

Also, I ended up giving up on the G17 (not a good choice for USPSA Limited but all I could afford when I started), which will be up for sale after another 1K rounds of practice, and ordering a 2011 Edge from Dawson Precision with all the bells and whistles they have to offer. Their lead time is short, less than a month. The main reason was my shooting schedule this year is going to be a battle for time, what with being a single parent and the kids getting to a more active age. It behooves me to use a permanent gun that's reasonable for Limited, a move from a usable trigger to an amazing trigger, and I'll be shooting major finally and not dropping points due simply to caliber. Now it's all me.
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#34 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:27 PM

Today I tried Saul Kirsch's method of shooting strong-hand-only (SHO) and weak-hand-only (WHO). It was fantastic. I had been using the Enos method that most people I've shot with seem to use, but I won't be using it anymore, at least for the foreseeable future. Accuracy WHO was drastically improved, and both SHO and WHO had much faster recovery time.

I also noticed that there was really no point in anything other than an initial focus on the target. My gun is always centered on-target at the end of every transition but I oftentimes look from target to sights and back, sometimes two or three times. I really just need to find it in my peripheral vision while focusing on my sights and prepping and breaking the shot. Good grief what a lot of time I've been wasting. The same sort of situation happened while shooting my AR. I did few rapid target engagements across an informal stage, and realized I've been wasting time in the same way when I 3-Gun.

I'm just about dying for the new pistol. I shot my brother's Greyson 1911 again today, and despite the out-dated front sight shape, it was a luxury.
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#35 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

I've started picking up my front sight lifting out of the notch with some regularity, so my eye muscles must be getting stronger. It's odd, because I find myself focusing with my eyes a lot more clearly in general, and immediately refocusing if I find that I slack and let my eyes drift out of focus for even the smallest amount of time. It's a weird experience.

I'm able to call most of my shots when I'm aiming, and shot a good group at 25 yards, with two called shots touching each other just above the bullseye sticker. Good enough that I think I'll begin shooting some at 50 yards to start benchmarking my accuracy. I've had the feeling that shooting groups is leading to slower shooting in general, and indirectly it is, but it's just me trying to make my hits 100% alphas. It actually pays off, really, because I'm not dropping any points that way.

That said, I did some runs this weekend where I pushed to beat the timer, and ended up point-shooting to hurry through the stage mock-up. It turned out very well in terms of good hits, because my all-ready good point-shooting was phenomenal, but I was aggravated by having to rely on instinctual shooting to go fast instead of aimed shooting. That's something I'm really trying to leave behind until my aimed shooting gets pretty fast. Makes me feel like I'm in a Taran Butler video when I manage to just blast away with short splits and get a bunch of As, and I sure as hell ain't no Taran Butler.
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#36 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:13 PM

Well, I haven't been able to do much shooting lately, because I've been transitioning to the new caliber, .40S&W, and waiting for the new gun. There was a lead time for Bayou Bullets of about 3 weeks, and a lead time on the gun of 4 weeks. They're both here now, and I need to make some .40S&W for the range report and so I can start shooting a pistol again.
I have to say that if I do this kind of thing again, I'd like to have a back-up gun so I can keep shooting a pistol. Not being able to toss a box in the car and run up to the club and practice has been shitty. But the wait is over.
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#37 dennishoddy

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

Very nice! Looks like a Dawson Mag well?

#38 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

Indeed it is, Dennis. It's a Dawson almost everything.
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#39 Mitch Gibson

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:55 PM

So, in spite of The Land Run and the CMP games, I was able to practice a bit at OKCGC. I shot some shotgun slugs at 50 yards and 100 yards, and got some really high groups with the AR that I'm currently attributing to the extreme wind I was shooting in until I can get to the normal range and see what the paper says.
Tried out the new pistol, which was amazing. The trigger prep is very short and the wall is very firm, even though the pull is set at 3lbs. It's fantastic! At the plinking range it was too easy to shoot, transition, settle the sights on the next plate immediately at the end of the cycle, shoot again, and repeat this over and over. I didn't have a chance to shoot paper closer than 50 yards, but I did end up adjusting the rear sight a bit to bring the POI up a few inches. I really really really really really need to shoot some paper.
During dry-fire practice it was a weird transition to the new pistol shape during draws, and I have to spend a little time relearning my hand placement during the attack. Disengaging the safety, and just dealing with it in general, during a really fast draw is going to be a learning curve also. It sort of FEELS dangerous to be drawing the gun and disengaging the safety and prepping the trigger on the way to mounting the gun as fast as I possibly can, as if having a dreaded AD is now much more likely.
The Blade-Tech holster I got isn't too tight but it fits the gun really closely, and I am hoping to reshape the interior a bit in the areas at the top of the slide and bottom of the dust cover. May not happen though.
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#40 1000YRDSHOT

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:29 PM

I shot some shotgun slugs at 50 yards and 100 yards, and got some really high groups with the AR that I'm currently attributing to the extreme wind I was shooting in until I can get to the normal range and see what the paper says.


Really high groups....due to wind? Mitch it sounds like your zero is off. If it was a tail or head wind then it is negligible. Unless maybe you are reaching out to touch the Taliban like that British Corporal who smacked two durkas at 1.5 miles. Were these shots supported? Were all the shots high, or was there a vertical line of shots? If you have shots in some what of a vertical line, then you're shooting during different times in your breathing cycle.
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