Have you checked your pistol? Make sure nothing has happened since the last time you shot well.
Well I shot PPC 10-15 years ago as a junior and did rather well. I haven't been into serious pistol shooting other than hunting for a long time. I'm starting to get back into it, this time going for airguns. I have been practicing offhand, one hand grip with decent results. I'm hoping to enter my first club level match next month and would like to be able to post a 230 out of 250 or better.
Tonight I stepped out for some practice and I couldn't hold a 3" group if I tried! I'm shooting 10yards, iron sights. I couldn't get my mind in the zone. I'm not scared of competition, I don't get nervous. I'm very well conditioned to the pressures of competition, I raced sailboats semi professionally and have competed in world championship level events. I've become so used to it that I no longer have to "recenter" myself I I'm not in the groove, I just do it.
I'm at a loss here. I had a good, filling dinner, no caffeine, well rested, good lighting, my son was asleep, not arguing with the wife, everything was good and normal. I didn't change anything from my other practice days. What can I do? I've put the gun away a few hours ago and have just been relaxing. I washed my face with cold water and am having a drink. I will go back out in a little bit and try again, but if someone has any tips to get me back in the groove it will be greatly appreciated.
This is my typical results with cheap ammo. I don't even want to post how bad tonight was!
Last edited by fast14riot; 10-31-2012 at 10:49 AM.
Have you checked your pistol? Make sure nothing has happened since the last time you shot well.
Will report back with results.
That's probably what happened right there. Shooting skill, especially with pistols, is a very perishable abilty. Since you haven't shot very much over a long period of time, it's likely a technique issue somewhere. Might be your grip, trigger manipulation, subconsicous mental block, and so on. It's hard to tell from an internet post what the exact issue is. My recommendation would be to seek out a good shooting instructor and go back to the basics and fundamentals. It should clear up any bad habits that creeped up on you over that hiatus and also help you re-focus your mind.
You said airguns right? What discipline? I shoot 10 meter and was taking 3rd place in most events we had last year. This year I was shooting with 2 herniated disks...I couldn't even stand correctly, aim or hold the gun without pain. Instant 40 point drop in average, I would have been better throwing the gun at the target. Yes the situation was extreme but with 10 meter any slight variation or pain or uncomfortableness in stance, technique, breath or trigger control will make huge differences.
Having shot competition before, you probably already know this, but I'm going to say it because I've watched it happen to people:
Go through a mental checklist upon beginning each trigger pull. Stance, breathing, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger squeeze AND trigger release. Many folks forget that last part. You know it's just going to be something in your fundamentals. Additionally, because you can't get those shots back, don't even think about that session when you have your next practice. Move forward. You'll likely do better anyway. Sometimes we're fatigued and don't realize it.
Will_1400, thanx. That's why I have been practicing almost daily. I'm using a totally different stance now than when I shot powder burners, so I have had to build an entirely new base. Things like grip and trigger control didn't really change much for me from hunting to competition. I may make a couple of phone calls to some of my old competitors and get their opinions on my mechanics.
SVrider, yes I'm focusing on 10meter right now and some various bullseye events. I completely understand what you went through with injuries and shooting. I had 5 knee surgeries and attempted a few competitions during recovery and even when it was my trailing foot I also dropped from regular podium finishes to mid pack.
Stalbot, that is great advice for anyone. I do use a mental checklist, but last night I tried some visualisation and writing down my checklist. I went back out and shot another 50 rounds with better results but was still getting a flyer when switching between targets. I'm working up to complete muscle memory which there is no shortcut, just quality practice.
Thanx for all the tips and advice. I'm headed back out this morning to put in more triggr time. Learning my "arc of movement" with this pistol is my goal for today. I know what my arc of movement is with my stance, but each pistol changes it slightly.
Well after going down the list of every minute detail, I finally figured out the appearant problem. I was unknowingly allowing my trailing foot (left for me) to toe out. I'm naturally crow-footed a tiny bit so it feel like I am severly pigeon-toed when I barely rotate my foot in to tension my stance. In my settling I guess I just let my foot go to a comfortable position. Once I got my foot toed in, my stance tightened up and so did my groups!
Whether this has actually helped physically or mentally I don't know, but all that matters is that it seems to hve helped me get back on track with my training. I was getting frustrated and putting 20 rounds through the gun was getting laborous. Now 50 rounds feels like a warm up! I am practicing every day.
10yrds, 3 shots, standing offhand. Note that the 10 ring is actually smaller than the pellet!
Crosman 1322, modified factory trigger, custom built rear sight, RWS Meisterkugeln ammo.
Nice shooting. At the risk of sounding like a d***, do that again, but for 10 shots at 15 yards with a legit firearm, not a pellet gun. I'm not trying to be an a**hole, but pellet guns are completely different animals than firearms. Also, 10 rounds will show if that 3 shot group was a fluke or not. I don't mean to be an a**hole, but I believe in minimizing variables as much as possible and hold myself to a pretty high standard when it comes to pistolcraft.
ONe handed offhand pistol is tough, especially if you have been away from it.
I'd try weight lifting, in a way that mimics holding the weights, the way you hold the pistol to shoot it.
If the OP were training for centerfire matches, I'd say using a pelletgun would be a cheap and easy way to work on the fundamentals, but would NOT completely satisfy his training needs...if you're going to compete centerfire, you're going to have to train with centerfire, or whatever your chosen platform is. But since it appears the OP is training for pellet gun matches, he's spot on with what he's doing, and highly skilled at that. Going to a 'legit' firearm would probably be conterproductive for an airgun competitor. The skill he's demonstrating with that airgun is impressive, and shows a definite mastery of the fundamentals beyond most shooters. I've shot a number of centerfire action pistol matches, but nothing in the competitive airgun arena. Having said that, I can definitely appreciate the skill(s).
If there are more precise shooters here (and there might be), I'd love to see some photos and/or preferrably video of said skills being demonstrated...as they say, it didn't happen without the pics...
Last edited by BOSS1; 12-07-2012 at 02:58 PM.
As I said, I don't like sounding like an a**hole, but color me unimpressed for the time being.
When I was shooting in competition both national match and ppc I used to dry fire for 2 hours for every hour on the range. Earned my master rating. Then after 15 years without much shooting went back to it. I was a very poor shot.
I went back to dry firing, and started out shooting a 4 inch gong at 50 yards with 22 revolvers and target pistols. The smaller target practice really helped, along with the dry fire practice. Now shoot 20 rounds a day at the 50 yard gong, almost every day, 22 rim fire, 38, 44, and 45.
As at this point I have no reason to doubt his claims, including his being former PPC shooter (seriously, how many mall ninjas have any idea what PPC is and thus woud ever claim it???), and since this is just all friendly conversation, I'll accept what he's posting at face value until proven otherwise. And moving forward on that perspective, I'll say based on my ~25 years worth of training and experience, that if you can repeatedly, consistently put 3 rounds in the size of a penny at 10 yds firing single-handed, you can feel pretty good about your skills. I will concur that we can strive for improvement tho.
Again, those shooters with superior skills, please jump in...post some photos of your multiple, smaller/tighter single-hand, off-hand, 10 yd. groups. I know I couldn't.
Well since this is Prac Tac I have to assume that you are pursuing pistol training for personal protection.
Square range training, no matter how much of it you do has very little to do with the reality of a self-defense shooting. Besides the fact that most report not seeing their sights, and those who do not really knowing whether they used them or just saw them since they were on the pistol they had between their eyes and the bad guy, a large percentage of the time you are so close that you cannot get the gun to eye level, thus physically preventing you from using the sights.
Work on drawing in reaction to human movement, not bells, whistles, or buzzers. Concentrate of one hand shooting within seven yards against a moving human (airsoft), and using open hand combatives if you drop your magazine or your pistol malfunctions. Level with yourself about range vs reality and enjoy your time for the range for exactly what it is...target shooting. All the best- George
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