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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!


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About Pierruiggi

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    Sees Sights Lift
  • Birthday 06/03/1984

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    La Plata, Argentina
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  1. Why not on steel? Have you thought about it? Over my development as a shooter I've noticed that at different times I placed my attention and focus on different things to produce accurate shots, and I don't mean visual focus. The visual focus I use for precise shots have always been on the front sight. But the mental focus has changed several times. On certain time periods it was "keeping the front and rear sights aligned, let the target take care of itself", then it could change to "focus hard on the target and then feel how you "bring back" your eye focus to the sights", then it was the "shooting bubble" (there's a thread here somewhere about that, I'll post it up). Right now, it comes in the form of a question (not doubt) "where will I hit?" My subconscious answers that question with either a fired shot, or more aiming. PD.: Here's the bubble thread. Bubble Babble (how didn't I think to title that thread like this?)
  2. In contrast with my usual 2000 pages long posts (sorry, I'm working on getting my point accross in a brief manner), I'll try to make this one short. Shooter H, I can offer some advice that helped me (and still do), -(Learn to and) Call your shots. I know a lot of people that can shoot accurately but can't call their shots. They depend on perfect sight pictures, conscious trigger pulls and a better than average pulse (steady hands) to get their hits. If, on a given shot, one of these components is lacking, they're in the dark. -Understand and keep in mind that a shot doesn't HAVE to be a PERFECT one to hit the A. Or maybe you could define a perfect shot as being the one that hits the A (anywhere). -Don't be affraid to "unleash" yourself and shoot past the edge of feeling in control (and I mean where the bullet lands, not safety-wise), you may be surprised to find that you can indeed shoot faster while retaining accuracy. -Cease trying to "aim at the target and release the shot", and start SHOOTING the target. Hope it helps.
  3. A couple days ago I sent a PM to benos asking him something. He replied and in a brief exchange of PMs he mentioned he enjoyed reading some of my recent posts. I replied to him with the following text, and he considered it would be good to post it in the main forums. I agree, so here it goes. I hope it's helpful to you, and as always, I'm open to opinions and critiques. Omar. "Thank you Brian, I'm glad you enjoy reading the "findings" that I post. You know, I put that in quotes because I don't mean to say I've found anything new. The things that I wrote have always been there for whoever wants to see them, and I'm certainly not the first person to notice them. Actually, I already knew they were there. You, mostly, and people like Kyle and Duane, and guys who have nothing to do with shooting have already told me about them. But no matter how detailed the description, how accurate the map, how many times we've been told what we're looking for, when you actually are in front of it, there's always a moment of "finding". It amazes me how you can discover something, revel in it for awhile (appreciating it for what it is), and then obsess with it, depriving the finding of its meaning and getting you out of the mindset that allowed you to find stuff in the first place. I've found myself (no pun intended) falling in that trap/vicious circle on more than one ocasion. Actually, I made a decision to break free of that vicious circle mindset. You see, up until very recently, I was a results junkie, pursuing the GM card, pursuing the win. I thought this was the way that guys like Steve Anderson and Jake Di Vita and Ben Stoeger trained, accepting only perfection. But I figured it wrong. If whatever I did gave me an A, it was great ("do it again, always like this!"); if it gave me anything else it was crap ("why won't you do what you have to do to get the A???"). It would be the same thing with the times. If something was in X.XX seconds it was great, if it was in Y.YY it was BS. This "way of seeing things" brought me so far. But only so far. I reached a plateau, and was actually reversing my progress. I couldn't understand why one day I was pulling off 4.5 seconds el prez's and literally 15 minutes later I was screwing up and missing ALL my reloads, for example. One day, right after a particularly bad practice session where nothing went the way I wanted, I came back home and read about Ben's performance in this years Production Nats, and how he ended 10th when last year he finished 3rd. And he said he shot better this year. That totally opened my eyes. I realized that all this anxiety over results (and anger over failures to meet whatever standard I came up with) was removing me from the shooting. If things went well, the pressure to make things go well again blocked me from noticing what allowed things to go well in the first place. And anger and frustration over a less than acceptable shot blinded me from seeing what caused that bad shot. When shooting, my mind was just this giant ball of expectation and judgement. Comparison and acceptance or denial. Black or White. It took a whole lot of introspection, and more mental energy than I've ever used, but I made the decision (not a promess to myself, not a trick to my mind; a real decision) to let go of that way of thinking. I'm just going to live each and every shot, not like it's the last one, but like it's the first one. It's not that I don't care if I hit or miss, it's that I realize that I can learn from it no matter if I hit or miss. I decided to enjoy each shot for what it is. I won't lie, my personality makes it hard to accept this new way of seeing things; but I've made some great breakthroughs. I've learned from misses, without falling in that negative self-talk abyss. I've finished first in matches, and I've finished 15-20% below my usual level, and I've learned from both experiences. I was pleasently susprised by that one. I don't make the mistake of thinking I've found the holy key to the land of good shooting, as this radical change of mindset has it's share of obstacles. But I have confidence I'll break through them, or maybe go around them. This weekend it's the Nationals in Argentina. I've trained all year for this match. It was suposed to be my benchmark for the year. I was supposed to reach at least 90% of whoever wins and finish in the top 10. After all, a lot of shooters set themselves goals like this. But maybe I'm not mature enough to succesfully set a goal like that and not fall in the traps it can create. Last week, less than 10 days from the Nats I changed my goal. Can you guess it, Brian? I'm gonna live each shot. Like it's the first."
  4. Do I really have to say this is awsome too? One day I'll look at my "great benos quotes" wordpad file's properties to see if it's a bazillion gigs big... EDIT: Actually I just re-read basically the whole thread and there's great posts from everyone! I'll share a little in-the-zone experience, but with a twist, it's not shooting related. I work at an office. I classify papers that deal with real state property based on where the property is located. In my province there are 136 "counties", each with a code. There are 14 different areas in the building I work to send those papers depending on which code they have. They don't follow a rational order. I process between 1500 and 3000 papers a day. I can do my job without breaking a sweat and with nearly no mistakes (some days it's 0 mistakes in the amount of papers I mentioned), I apply a stamp, and handwrite some stuff on the papers "automatically", but it's not out of rote repetition. I MUST read each one (all of them written at the leisure and customs of hundreds of different lawyers, judges, scribes and so on... trust me, they don't follow a fixed protocol) to know where to send it. And I simply do it without a thought. Subconsciously aware of what I'm reading and where I should send it. Actually, I do my job while talking with coworkers, eating a snack, thinking about shooting (of course!) and so on... But when I, for whatever reason, feel I must rush, everything goes to hell. I start to hesitate, write the wrong stuff on the wrong papers, messily erase or write over whatever screw up I made... 2 Lessons learned and 1 Question remain: Lesson 1: Getting in the zone is a daily event. We do it without noticing it. Lesson 2: Trying (to do anything) gets you out of the zone, with all the consequences that carries. Question: It's not the first time I notice this, so... why do I keep rushing/trying?
  5. Good stuff. I'll give it a try on my next practice session and see if the presence of a No-Shoot changes the way I engage a target. Thanks! EDIT: Sorry bk, I think your shooting is really good, but I feel inadequate to offer a useful critique to you.
  6. That doesn't bring me the best results. Is the seeing the front sight (or the slide, or a perfect sight picture, or a pistol shaped blur, etc.) all that's necessary to fire an A on a close (or far, or partially covered by a no-shoot, etc.) target? Sure. Actually, all that's necessary is the gun to be pointed at it (when the bulllet leaves the barrel). In my opinion, a better question would be: "How much input do you need from the gun to be certain of where you hit, AKA calling the shot?" This will vary from shooter to shooter and target to target. Some may need a perfect sight picture, some a soft focus or looking through the sights, some may need kinesthethic awareness (body feeling), some may need "the force", etc, etc. And, as a followup to the last question would be: "Is the method you choose to call the shot any slower (than other alternatives)?" I choose to see a "sights based" sight picture on every shot I fire. That is, I take 3 reference points to know where the gun is aimed: the front sight, the rear sight, and the spot on the target I want to hit. This doesn't mean they have to be perfectly aligned to know whether to make the shot or not, and where it will land. And just as important, I have proved to myself with a timer and on several occasions that (for me at least) it is not any slower than seeing a less precise input, i.e.: shooting through the slide, feeling, etc. etc. Actually, it's faster, because being certain of my shots makes me go more decisively to wherever else I need to go. It all boils down to the familiar concept of "see what you need to see", but a lot of people seem to have (what is in my opinion) the misconception that seeing a real precise input is slower. It's not. Speed is the same, action is the same, what changes is where you put your attention. But then again, it is so easy to rush... So easy to cheat myself. "It's only at arms length, get done with it and RUN to the next position", "It's a row of full sized poppers! SET THEM ON FIRE!", "this one's easy, the hard one is the 4 inch plate that comes next, aim more on THAT one...". All thoughts I clearly remember having (some more than once) as I shot. Can you guess the results of those shots? Right. But, this is not what I was writing about when I started this thread. What I wrote about was how when you are "in the zone", mental awareness of you and your gun coupled with a clear desire of what you want (hopefully what you want is "hit the A", instead of "win" or "go fast" or "don't screw up" or similar issues) can guide your shooting. That way, you cease trying to orient the gun to the target, confirm it's there (by whatever means you deem necessary) and fire a shot. You cease to be "John Doe shooting" and "become" the shooting, you cease to fire a shot and "become" the shot. And this is not dependant on your skill level, it is an experience, not a result. It's not even important (from a learning perspective, not result-wise) if you hit or miss with that shot. I was wondering if some of you have experienced similar things regarding that.
  7. I realized that aiming is different than wanting to align the sights with the target (no matter where your visual focus is at). Aiming is wanting to hit the target and at the same time the physical effect of that desire. I noticed that when I'm shooting with poor results, I try to "align the sights, then get them on the target, then keeping it there, etc". When I shoot alright, aiming becomes "getting the gun onto the target". But when I'm really shooting well aiming becomes "getting there", as in me getting there. Like gun and me aren't separate things, or like I'm the bullet or some other zenlike deal that I can't put into words. I'm not yet able to shoot in this state on demand, but this level of shooting presents itself occasionally (more and more often as I progress) in the form of a brief "shooting epiphany" that last awhile (usually until my observation of it becomes attempting to dominate the feeling). Sounds weird to feel one with the gun and "getting yourself" on target, but thinking about it, how often do you make your car or bike turn to the left or right? Probably not very often. You turn. It just so happens that "you" is in this case "you and your vehicle". Such a high state of awareness of your vehicle that your brain considers it's dimensions, reactions and capabilities as "you". What never ceases to amaze me about this zen stuff is that it sounds really mystical until you realize it's happening all around you at each moment.
  8. Sorry for your loss. I love my cats and dogs like I love my family, because that's what they are. They truly have quirks and attitudes and customs that make up personalities, like your Micro cleaning your son's face and I'm sure many other things that even when you saw her doing them every day brought a smile to your face.
  9. Hi, people! A shooting buddy and I have lately dedicated a lot of time to finding, recognizing and developing mental aspects while shooting. For example, noting when your subconscious mind is operating, when the conscious is, realizing when you are trying to shoot instead of shooting... In a sentence: to be aware of our minds. We noted that we had different "looks" when operating at different levels of mental functioning. (Kinda like in Rocky 3, eye of the tiger? hehehe) So we created a game, it's called "What were you thinking???" and it goes like this: Use whatever drill you want. The shooter shoots (really? no kidding?) and the training buddy is a "spotter". S/He'll stand in a place where s/he can see the shooter's face and body language and after the shooter finishes, the spotter will tell to the shooter what s/he thinks was on the shooter's mind at each moment in the string of fire (pay special attention at changing shooting positions, it is easiest to start thinking in the way to the next one --"wow, I shot that array really fast","crap, how did I shoot a delta on that close target?","I have to enter this position with the right foot","that was slow, I have to push myself and speed up here","did I hit that last popper?","you're doing great, don't mess it here", etc. etc.--). The shooter will then say how accurate was the spotter's "reading". Take a real hard look at yourself to see if the spotter was right. It's easy to say "no, I had nothing on my mind then" as a first answer and then using a more detailed scrutiny you remember thinking something, maybe a little thing, maybe not what the spotter said, but "something". And of course, honesty is necessary here, if you lie, there's no point in doing this. Shooter and spotter trade places and repeat. Try it out, it's fun and you can really learn a lot about yourself. IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: The spotter has to be able to see the shooter with as much detail as possible, specially the face, and this is difficult because of shooting angles, but please, for the love of whatever is sacred to you, DON'T STAND DOWNRANGE! No, not even "a little bit". We have found the safest but still useful way is to use a drill where the targets are straight downrange only (not to the sides), and have the spotter stand just behind the 180º.
  10. Thank you for reading and replying guys! Great stuff short_round! You're right, I shoot iron sights (production). I'd like to grab a scoped gun and try that "cones" idea! I just read the thread (including my own post), and I want to make it very clear to everyone (including myself, the next time I read this) that the "shooter's bubble" is not the "be all, end all" of shooting. It is simply shooting. Or, one of the many faces of shooting. It is a concept that I visualize, a mental technique that I (currently) use, to put myself in a state of mind that allows me to shoot and just shoot without distraction. Said more poetically, it is a river that I navigate that merges into the ocean of shooting. But I won't fall into the trap of thinking it is the only way, the only river. That's closing myself, deluding myself. In fact, I think many times we find a "something", trick of the day, or maybe something more profound, that gives us great results for a while, but then that improvement flatlines or even falls. I think that's because that "something" became dogma. The most valuable part of that "something" was its novelty, its purity, its "what you see is what you get" quality, its "there's nothing more to it" sensation. But we want there to be something more to it. In our (futile) search for (perceived, idealized) perfection we analyze that "something" so hard ("the key to this is...") that we taint it, pervert it. We have an obsession with wanting things to be fixed, frozen, defined, rigid, separate. I can't count how many times I've fallen into that spiral of "Well, I made a sub-second reload... (I have to keep reloading fast) but now I'm getting Ds... (I have to hit the target) I'm getting As again...! but now I'm shooting a 7 second El Pres... (I have to do X, I have to do Y, I have to do Z)." Wouldn't it be simpler if that was replaced with: "Shoot"? How many times have you found yourselves hitting a sub-second draw (for example) 5 or 10 times in a row, and thinking, "Oooooooohhhhhhh so the key was having the elbow outwards!" (for example). So you dryfire and livefire over and over and over with that elbow outwards, some time passes, and, suddenly you are below that second mark there, but you start hitting Cs, or when you don't have that elbow outwards you get a 1.5 second draw, or whatever. Wasn't getting better just learning "proper" technique and burning it into your muscle memory (or subconscious)? Well no, you just started giving importance and priority to something that was, in essence, irrelevant to shooting. Its sole function was allowing you to "tap" into the shooting. Once you think the goal is having that elbow outwards (or whatever), you lose sight of the real goal, shooting. What I believe getting better is, is (re)discovering things constantly. [EDIT to add a phrase and more accurately describe my line of thought... I hope!] In my experience, when the idea of "So, THIS is what I have to do to shoot well" appears, it's an indicator that a stall in growing/learning is about to occur, if you don't avoid falling into the "now-I-know-everything-I-needed-to-know" trap. When I sense that idea solidifying, I bombard myself with concepts that differs from whatever it is I consider holy-grail-of-shooting-of-the-moment, and see what happens. In other words, I try something "new" and see what happens. I think this whole "constantly try new things to see shooting from a different perspective" concept gives place to the realization that shooting is a unity, and allows you to feel or sense that unity. This is closely related with the trick of the day concept, I think, but my whole point is that tricks of the day can become dangerous if made to be more than that, tricks of the day. If you fix yourself with the idea of only being one way into shooting, you'll close all the entrances. Brian, thank you for once again reminding me that shooting is shooting, no matter into how many parts/steps we want to split it. Isn't it ironic that in our quest for completion we end up dividing stuff?
  11. Well, it's been a long time since I last posted here, so, nice to see you guys again. I warn you, this is going to be a long post, but please read it carefully, as I want to believe I wrote it, trying to break the barrier that language and writing places on us. Lately I've taken a more philosophical approach to shooting wondering about the value of such important and often mentioned concepts as neutrality, shot-calling, relaxation, awareness, and everything we consider is necesary for good performance, so it led me to the root question of what is good performance? "What is shooting well?" After some introspection, I concluded (at least for now) that shooting well is the continuous flow of the 3 fundamentals multiplied times whatever number of shots you must make. That means that anything that doesn't contribute to (1) find the target, (2) orient the gun to the target, (3) keep the gun oriented to the target until the shot breaks, or promote the seamless flow or merge between these 3, simply shouldn't be there. It's not shooting and it's keeping you away from where the shooting is. The 3 fundamentals, as Brian so "eye openingly" describes them, were not unknown to me, but the realization that they are parts of a unity (shooting) hit me like a pile of bricks. I believe I didn't realized this earlier because of the human tendency to separate things in blocks when truth is things overlap, merge, or fuse constantly. I would describe the flow of the 3 fundamentals by asking you to stop seeing them as 3. If they were colors, they wouldn't be red (1), yellow (2) and blue (3), they would be a gradient of red, yellow and blue, and placing limits on where the red stops and the blue starts is just that, placing limits (on yourself). Think of a continuous line (better yet, a circle) where the 3 repeat themselves one after the other (and into each other) seamlessly, the limits of this line dictated by the number of shots you need to make. instead of a series of segments represented by 1, 2 and 3. I remember reading Brian (in his book, here, or maybe both) recalling good performances as multiple inputs happening together and continuously instead of a series of events happening as this, then this, then this, then... So, surprise surprise, what I just wrote is nothing new that good shooters haven't known and preached for almost 30 years. Myself, I already knew this. But then again, I knew it, read it, even understood it. Now I've experienced it. Now it's mine. It's new because it happened to me. It passed from the realm of knowledge to the realm of experience. So, that ends (or begins?) the philosophical introspection. Measuring things (concepts, techniques) with this new-to-me yardstick, here's some things I noticed. I'll try to enumerate them as concisely as possible, but keep in mind this is nowhere near a complete list, it will never be. Awareness enables you to monitor and discover. It goes beyond the fundamentals of shooting. I believe it is a fundamental of learning. Relaxation permits you to control your shooting through awareness. You are aware of things happening, you have the thoughtless intention or desire for such and such to happen, relaxation is what will make it happen. Awareness and relaxation are what allows the previously mentioned seamless (and potentially endless) flow of the 3 fundamentals. Calling a shot confirms the execution (correct/incorrect, right/wrong don't matter, it goes deeper than that) of the fundamentals, and thus bridges the "gap" from 3 to 1 again. It closes the circle, allowing the cycle to be. It is the simultaneus completion and beginning of the fundamentals. Neutrality fuses the gun with the shooter. The lack of a conflict promotes relaxation but at the same time neutrality is the physical manifestation of relaxation. I even noticed things that would seem counter-intuitive, even opposite of what other (good) shooters describe. An example that pops to mind is grip pressure. I often read people employ a stronger (to them) grip when shooting close targets because (for them) it minimizes sight movement, so the sights never leave the A and this permits a faster split; and a lighter (to them) grip for longer/tighter shots because... I don't know. This is not the case for me. To me, as long as I remain neutral, a firm grip gives me more input, more "feel". Therefore, in longer/tighter shots I'm more likely to increase grip pressure. It makes me feel more connected to the gun, more aware of it. More like a unit between it and me, a part of me. It also gives me a feeling of stillness, of quietness. Remembering a description from Brian, it makes me feel as if the gun no longer oscillates, or sways, but instead as if the gun is motionless and the target moves behind it. On the other hand, on a close, "easy" shot, I'm more likely to "let go" more of the gun, because I no longer need as precise a notion of where the gun is oriented (2) at any given time, but I do need the more speedy (if perhaps less precise) operation of the trigger promoted by a lighter grip. I've also looked at my shooting problems from this new "3 fundamentals centric" vision of things. Allow me to present you the latest ones I've encountered, and how I'm overcoming them with the concept of "the shooter's bubble". Coming from a perceived stall in my growth as a shooter, the first problem I noticed was vagueness. Vagueness as in seeing the target (whole) instead of "the" target (spot), that is, sloppily performing fundamental 1, which caused the succeeding orientation of the gun and keeping it there to be sloppy as well. I proceeded to "brute force solve" the problem and make myself pick a spot in each target as soon as I possibly could, but then I encountered a new problem. As I drove the gun to that spot... I would lose the spot. Even when shooting a group, I'd pick a spot and try to burn it in my vision so much that I'd be unable to come back to the sights. And when I finally got to the sights... Where was that spot? So, I was finding the target and I may or may not be orienting the gun to it, and I would definitely have a hard time keeping it there, because I wouldn't be sure of where "there" was. I would call the shot and thus I would know where the shot went, but I couldn't "choose" where to hit. I couldn't "aim". I was experiencing the 3 fundamentals as separate events, with much doubt and "trying" in between. Going to the root of the problem, I noticed that I'd have a feeling of the target being "there" and my sights "here". I felt I had to bring the sights to the target literally, that I had to touch that spot to make them interact. I had lost the concept of aligning or orienting the gun to the target and replaced it with a need to feel I was extending the sights and touching the target. I felt sights and target existed on different planes and couldn't be aware of both at the same time, it had to be one or the other. This "wanting to pay attention here or there" caused confusion and doubt as to where my focus (visual and mental) was, and, eventually to no focus at all. Real soon double-vision would start to creep in, and even if I closed an eye (something that when I shoot well I never do) the "fixing on only one thing" was still there. Out of frustration I'd say, an idea burst into my head. "All this wouldn't happen if the sights and target coexisted in the same spot!" This made me click and I decided I'll try to visualize a bubble around me. I'm in a bubble, which has an infinite number of coordinates. The boundary of this bubble is right at the extension of my arms, I can touch it with the sights. From now on, no matter at what distance the target is, if I can see it I can assign it a spot or coordinate in my bubble, and that coordinate becomes my target, while the real target is simply behind it. This way: Finding the target (fundamental 1) is assigning it a coordinate in my bubble. Orienting the gun to the target (fundamental 2) is touching that coordinate-spot with my sights. Keeping the gun oriented until it fires (fundamental 3) is simply monitoring that my sights keep touching my coordinate until the front sight jumps. I'm happy to say I've had great success with this and I'm just beginning to explore it! I love the sense of unity it gives me. Makes me feel the target is there waiting for the sights to come blend with it. And it surprised me the speed at which as soon as I see a target, the assignment of coordinate and refocus to that coordinate happens. It's instantaneous. I see the target in clear focus just for an instant but it's enough to pick a spot/assign coordinate. After that, the target is just there, behind my spot, waiting for the bullet to arrive. Of course, I'm more than eager to see what else I experience. Thanks for reading, I hope what I've shared was useful, or at least entertaining.
  12. I received the replacement part today, as expected, the light works perfectly fine!
  13. At one point, I was watching the sights lift, and I found a problem. I'm aming at a spot on the target, right? well, when the sight lifted and I followed it, I'd have to "re-find" that spot on the target again to shoot. Like it's been said, watching is not the same as seeing. I'm experimenting with keeping my eyes "fixed" at a spot in a target, while keeping my eye focus flexible.
  14. Bad luck: I bought an Insight Technology M3 light from a friend. Short story, when getting out of a car, I inadvertently dropped it on a 4 lane road, walked 2 blocks to my house and when I realized I didn't have the light, I retraced my steps only to find the M3, in it's package... run over by, at least, a car... Good luck, tough light: I pickup up the trashed case, and inspected the light. Scratches all over the place, some lost material on it's side, and a broken cover plate/rocker switch. But the rest of the light was fine. No broken bulb, no shattered bezel, no bent o deformation on the body of the light. Went home, and since the switch is broken, I closed the circuit with a piece of metal and, sure enough the light turned on, full intensity! Good company support: I contacted Insight Technology and told them this story and asked them where I could buy a replacement part, and they offered to send me a replacement part free of charge! According to FedEx, my package is already in the country, passed Customs, and it's on it's way to my city. Thank you, IT!
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