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Dry Fire for Improving Shot Calling


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What drills & target presentations do you guys recommend for improving shot calling during dry-fire, specifically second shot calling?

 

I shot a major match recently, and found myself calling my first shot but already thinking about my next target or position, and not always calling my second shot.

 

I want to improve this as much as I can in dry fire, and verify it with live fire.

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I think you can still make some progress in dryfire, but you really have to have the mindset of aiming 2 different shots at the target, not getting one sight-picture and double-tapping. If you find yourself already turning your attention away before the 2nd shot, stop and address that issue right away. 

 

I try to score my dryfire runs in my head from the sights, and I do think it has helped me in live fire by stoking the desire to call the shot, essentially to be aware of where on the target the sights are and how they are lined up for each shot.

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Considering that shot calling is based on where the sights lift from at the beginning of recoil, removing the recoil from the equation removes the variable that makes shot calling difficult. What makes shot calling hard is that you have about a hundredth of a second to take a mental snapshot of what the sights/target look like. It's really hard to effectively train that skill when there is no similar time component.

 

Everything you're saying is true, but I wouldn't call that practicing shot calling. What you're talking about is more practicing how to aim. Aiming/executing the shot is not the same as shot calling.

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30 minutes ago, Jake Di Vita said:

Everything you're saying is true, but I wouldn't call that practicing shot calling. What you're talking about is more practicing how to aim. Aiming/executing the shot is not the same as shot calling.

 

potayto, potahto. I'm still learning how to call shots effectively, but for me, making the commitment in dryfire to see the sights all the way through every shot has been a tremendous help. Even tho the sights aren't actually lifting in dryfire, I find myself noting the position and scoring the targets subconsiously during live fire because I have been practicing it in dryfire. It has also helped me follow-through on 2nd shots before turning to transition or move. Perhaps at your skill level, this stuff is not as important, but if it helps the OP as much as it has helped me, it's worth mentioning.

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37 minutes ago, motosapiens said:

 

potayto, potahto. I'm still learning how to call shots effectively, but for me, making the commitment in dryfire to see the sights all the way through every shot has been a tremendous help. Even tho the sights aren't actually lifting in dryfire, I find myself noting the position and scoring the targets subconsiously during live fire because I have been practicing it in dryfire. It has also helped me follow-through on 2nd shots before turning to transition or move. Perhaps at your skill level, this stuff is not as important, but if it helps the OP as much as it has helped me, it's worth mentioning.

 

It's more than just semantics. We're talking about two different skills. As I'm sure you know, you can make large mistakes shot calling even while staring at the sights the entire time. We know that having the ability to aim and look at the sights does not necessarily translate to accurate shot calling. The short time component of the window of opportunity you have to call your shot can't be simulated in dry fire. You can't depend on the results of calling your shot in dry fire to be the same as in live fire. That doesn't mean don't do it, it means when it comes to shot calling you aren't going to get much out of it.

 

If your problem is looking away before you complete the shot, you can work on that in dry fire. The problem is there are a lot of people who are really good at looking at the sights, aiming, and pulling the trigger in dry fire but still can't call their shots for crap.

 

If you want to become skilled at shot calling you gotta do 90% of the work in live fire.

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Listen to Jake he has excellent info.  For me I shoot two rounds each at two paper targets A zones at 20yds or the distance you can't see your hits. Not crazy fast just my match speed 90% and pay attention to where you sights/dot is when the shots breaks. Then ask yourself where are my hit?  Check your targets and see how you did.  Also shoot the berm without any target and pay close attention to what your sights/dot is doing when the shot breaks. Really this is the easy part. For me making sure I call all  my shoots at a match.. Good luck.

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3 hours ago, Jake Di Vita said:

 

It's more than just semantics. We're talking about two different skills.

 

i'm sure that's extremelytrue, and I'm not after a prize for semantic correctness. however it's also true that working on the one skill, and incorporating sight awareness and target scoring into EVERY drill, dry and live fire, helped me tremendously in improving my shot-calling skills. Being aware of where your sights are as the trigger is pulled on each aimed shot in dry fire only needs the tinies bit more visual patience and blink-resistance to work in live fire too.  I found that only working on it in live fire I wasn't progressing very quickly, and I was having to think about it too much. it really made a difference to work on what you are calling a 'different skill' in dry-fire, and made it part of my subconscious normal routine in live-fire as well. If that is not helpful to the OP, I am willing to offer a complete refund of all fees, including shipping. :cheers: .

Edited by motosapiens
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Good question. I'm no expert, but I tend to think that probably wouldn't help in dryfire, but it might. In live fire it certainly won't hurt, especially since partials are the sort of thing where shot-calling is really important and can speed us up (by not having to go so slow as to guarantee hits, but simply to be able to see from the sights when a make-up shot is necessary). In general, I find that moving the targets further away in dry and live fire (10-25 yards) is good, because at closer ranges I have to go really fast in order to not easily line up the sights in the A-zone, but at greater distances I am more likely to have c's and even d's when working on pure speed. that seems good because those are the things i'm really trying identify.

 

Also putting the targets further away in live fire means i generally can't see the holes without really trying, so after each run, i mentally score the targets, then compare what's on paper with what I think I saw. Rather than do a particular shot-calling drill like the one a-matt describes, I treat *every* drill as a shot calling drill. 

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5 hours ago, ES13Raven said:

Thanks guys.

 

What about making the majority of my dry-fire targets difficult (partials, no-shoots, distance etc.) so I would have to pay more attention to the sights?

I tend to agree with you having to live fire to truly work on shot calling.  For me, the absolute most important part of dry fire practice, is having adequate lighting to crisply see your front sight.  Anything less than that, and you train yourself to accept a less than perfect front sight focus.  

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Travis Tomasie has/had a great drill on YouTube about calling your shots.  Two targets; one far, one next to you.

 

BE once told me if you know where your sights were, when you broke the shot you'll know where you hit the target.

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