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yosturm

Anticipating causing low hits

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I have a friend (seriously, I know how that sounds but it isn't me...) who is still struggling to shoot pistol well.  Everything I can see points to anticipating the shots.  He has been shooting pistol for about three years now and has some better days but in general he is still having a lot of trouble with this.  To give him credit, he is much improved from three years ago, when it was a very bad problem.

 

Right now, when running a USPSA style course, he will get a lot of C and B zone hits (bottom left quadrant) as well as quite a few misses (usually low).  But there are some A zone hits in there too so it is not that he totally sucks.  I have not been able to notice any pattern i.e. it is not like he misses most shots at first and then slowly gets better hits as he shoots.  Nor is it the opposite of shooting well and then getting worse.  It is just a random blend of bulls-eyes, very low hits on target, and outright misses.  I guess I shouldn't say random, sometimes it is like three in a row good hits, and then 5 misses.  One usually gets a little flustered when they miss a few in a row and that doesn't help the mental situation. 

 

Knowing that anticipating is mostly a mental thing, I believe a big issue is that he is shooting a .40 S&W and the little bit more recoil compared to something like a 9mm is just screwing with his head and has prevented him from "fixing" himself sooner, at least that is my feeling. Specifically it is an M&P and last year he replaced the trigger with an Apex.  I can shoot his gun well, so it is definitely not a hardware issue.

 

We practice every month or so and I have tried all of the things I can think of to help him "learn to not anticipate".  Dry fire practice, shooting with my 9mm pistols, loading the pistol for him and then handing it to him where sometimes it is loaded an sometimes it isn't, and other things.

 

Any advice or other ways to help train this away?  Are there any specific drills you might recommend?

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What kind of ear pro does he wear? Doubling up can help minimize the effect of the sound. I still jump a bit when I hear rifles shoot though.

 

If it's bottom left, it sounds like it's jerking the trigger rather than anticipating recoil which is an issue of technique.

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How many rounds / month is he shooting?

 

Is that .40 minor or .40 Major?

 

Indoor or outdoor?

 

Does he shoot a 9mm minor better?

 

How does he do with a .22 ?

 

How does he do with shooting steel?

 

Has he shot any groups at paper at 20 yards?  How does he do with that?

 

Any physical handicaps?

 

How's his vision?

 

What kind of times is he shooting?   Classified?  Do you have any times/scores for classifiers that he's shot?

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It might be jerking as @SlvrDragon50 said. One thing to try is have him shoot strong hand.  You can better see what he’s doing to the gun without the support hand holding it. 

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12 hours ago, yosturm said:

Knowing that anticipating is mostly a mental thing, I believe a big issue is that he is shooting a .40 S&W

If this is the case, no amount of coaching or training will fix this.  He needs to decide for himself that the recoil is no big deal.  You can have him step down to a .22lr and shoot thousands of rounds in attempt to condition him...but ultimately he needs to believe that "BANG-recoil" is not harmful/scary/etc...  

 

12 hours ago, yosturm said:

Any advice or other ways to help train this away?  Are there any specific drills you might recommend?

 

Make sure he is doing Focused Practice and not just Practice.  Practice is just lots of reps attempting to achieve a goal (part time, group size, etc...)  Focused Practice is being aware of every action you make and analyzing if is "good" or "bad" & finding a way to remedy the bad...which will result in huge gains.  

 

My suggested action plan would be:

1.  proper grip.  A good grip will mitigate recoil and reduce the desire to jerk the gun down.  

2.  proper trigger control.  1st:  slow fire/bullseye type shooting.  2nd:  trigger control at speed

 

Honestly this kind of a tough one that could probably be better diagnosed and corrected with some professional instructing.  

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Have him to focus on only one thing when he practices and that is have him concentrate on only one thing....watching the sights start to lift.   Don’t worry about aiming where the bullet hits...just try to see the sights move.  Do that every time he practices for a while.

Also, have him watch Rob’s video on YouTube called something like “aiming is stupid “.

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18 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

How many rounds / month is he shooting?

 

Is that .40 minor or .40 Major?

 

Indoor or outdoor?

 

Does he shoot a 9mm minor better?

 

How does he do with a .22 ?

 

How does he do with shooting steel?

 

Has he shot any groups at paper at 20 yards?  How does he do with that?

 

Any physical handicaps?

 

How's his vision?

 

What kind of times is he shooting?   Classified?  Do you have any times/scores for classifiers that he's shot?

 

Not a lot of rounds per month, he is more of a recreational shooter.

Probably Major, it is factory ammo not hand loads

He shoots 9mm better but it is not like using 9mm and he is an expert--he still exibits some of the same issues with 9mm, but then has more bull's-eyes also.

Haven't used .22 yet.

we do a lot of shooting steel (steel challenge plates).  At 15 meters, on a 10" steel he can hit it 40% of the time.

Groups at 20 yards would be pretty bad.   A 10 shot group on a 20" square with a 8" black would be 3 hits somewhere in the black, 3 hits low left in the cardboard, and 4 misses (low)

no handicaps

corrected with glasses/contacts

We are mostly three gunners so he has not shot an actual USPSA pistol match. 

 

Here is a video of him shooting at a three gun match earlier this year.  Note that you wont be able to tell much about his form from this video.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, uewpew said:

Honestly this kind of a tough one that could probably be better diagnosed and corrected with some professional instructing.  

 

Agreed, three years ago it was classic anticipation, like basically could not hit the target at all.  He progressed a lot in the first year.  But since then it has been a bit of a plateau.  And he has good days were we think he has finally figured it out, but not consistent enough to be the case.

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Pretty sure it's just jerking the trigger. Not gonna get fixed especially if he doesn't accept that he's jerking the trigger and misdiagnoses it as anticipating recoil.

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I have a tendency to do some of the same thing, I was better with my 9mm than my 40. I've found it's a combination of things.

 

First was my vision. I wear contacts and am near sighted. It took a while for me to realize I wasn't seeing the front sight as clearly as I needed too. With my Dr's help I tried some different strength lenses and now wear .25 less strength in my right eye. That gave me nice tight groups. Not exactly at point of aim, but I was shooting groups instead of patterns. 

 

Second was the gun. I was shooting an M&P in both 9 and 40. The trigger sucks. I shot someone's 2011 with a nice light trigger and my groups went much closer to point of aim. So now I shoot two 2011 frame pistols with about a 3lb trigger. Now I know I could have trained around this with more weak hand grip pressure, but it's much easier to pull the trigger fast and keep it on target if the trigger pull is lighter. 

 

The third thing I did was video myself from the side shooting both pistols and then played it back in slo-mo on my PC so I had a nice big screen to look at. I found two things with that, I was standing mostly straight up, not leaning forward enough. I was also anticipating recoil on the 40 and pushing the barrel down as I pulled the trigger. If you do this with him, load a dummy round or two in his mags and it'll be easy to see what he's doing as he pulls the trigger. 

 

The last thing I noticed corrected the shooting left issue. I wasn't gripping tight enough with my weak hand and I had a tendency to have my elbows point down. So I roll my elbows outward/up and squeeze tighter with my weak hand. 

 

Hope some of this helps. 

Edited by promtcy

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