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p7fl

moving eyes before muzzle ?

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I know this has been discussed but my search is not coming up.

Working on dry firing I am really slow in acquiring the next target.  My eyes are clearly locked onto the front sight and I am moving the gun without breaking the front sight picture.

Know this is wrong...any drills, other than just practice to speed things along?

TIA

jon

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Posted (edited)

I do what I call my 5x5 drill.  Put two 10” plates 5 yards forward of shooting position and 5 yards apart so you’re facing them in a “V” shape forcing you to swing 45 degrees total.  If you don’t have room for the setup then the important thing is that the targets need to be far enough apart that you’re forced to make a deliberate swing from one to the other.   Simply practice going slowly at first:  sights on target, move eyes to next target, follow with the gun, stop on target with a perfect sight picture, and reverse.  Gradually pick up speed.  I use this same setup practicing reaction to the beep.  As you get better, make sure you widen the targets and add some in the middle, and force yourself to stop on the middle targets without mindlessly swinging through them.  I do some form of this dryfire almost every day, (literally till I get dizzy) and then take a break fir a minute before repeating (like weight training), and if I only have a short time to practice, this is the one I do.  This is a great way to train your vision if done properly.  It will build your muscles in your eyes as you'll discover.   “Properly” is the key word in alm this. 

Edited by jkrispies

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I'm in the same camp as JK.   In addition to his 5x5 drill (somewhat modified due to my space constraints) in dry fire I set up a scattered row of five small paper plates on a wall spread out over about 10' of wall space each at a different height.  I practice "shooting" them in different orders for the extra experience.  Go left to right, then right to left, then first, third and fifth, dryfire reload and take the second and fourth plates.  Just mix it up.

 

Each session I start out slow.  Draw to my first plate, shift vision to the next plate then move the gun, rinse and repeat.  If I start the session trying to go too fast, I find I'm cheating and not really moving my eyes as quick as I think I should be.  I'm actually following the sights which is what I'm trying to learn not to do.  I start off slow and work my way up.

 

I've also found that this is one skill that for me is very perishable.  If I don't continue to practice it in dryfire, I quickly lose the skill.

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Posted (edited)

I do much the same as JK.  I have mine quite a bit further apart though.  More like fifteen yards apart, split with the shooting position in the middle and about 10-15 yard shots on 10 inch plates.  I exaggerate the transition in the beginning.  With a 10 second par time, I slowly come up from low ready/holster with a hit on one, move my eyes and head to the other target, completely bringing it into vision without any gun movement whatsoever.  Only after completely acquiring crisp vision on the second plate do I then move the gun, find a crisp sight picture and squeeze the round deliberately.  Looking for the shot to break at, but no sooner than the 10 second mark.  Very deliberate  Move back to low ready/holster, and start with the last plate hit, alternating starting to the left and right.  After about 10 of those, or when ready to move on, I repeat, only now attempting to break the shot as the dot/front sight comes onto each plate, including from the start signal to the first plate.  After 10 of those, also at the 10 second par time, I repeat, reducing the par time in one second intervals every 10 "draws" until about 2 seconds.  Then reduce by half second intervals until the wheels fall off.  Back it back down to where I get all hits.  Finish by repeating the first deliberate, slow, 10 second par 10 shot interval.

 

This has greatly helped my transitions as well as first shot times.  I took this from how a practice drawing from a holster, of which I got from a Travis Haley video on deliberate practice that hugely impacted my draw times.  I also read a while back modern Olympians in many sports use slow motion, deliberate practice to improve and hone.  My 2 cents.  :)  

Edited by Hammer002

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As you can tell, the array matters less than the technique.  Having said that, I much prefer dry firing in daylight than indoors due to better light quality in the sun.  My 5x5 dimensions fit a 2 car garage during the winter months and when I practice in the morning before the sun comes up.  When daylight hours permit I’ll practice outdoors at different distances.  I have found that (maybe as I age?) it’s harder for me to practice with iron sights at closer rhan about 10-15 feet without getting double vision, especially when indoors.  Red dots I can do at any distance.  

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OP here...good suggestions. thanks.

Also, is there any value in adding clock/timer to the practice to measure improvement?

Once again from a dry fire perspective.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, p7fl said:

OP here...good suggestions. thanks.

Also, is there any value in adding clock/timer to the practice to measure improvement?

Once again from a dry fire perspective.

For eye movement, no.  Reacting to the beep, Yea,, if that’s the skill you’re specifically developing  but only after you’ve perfected the technique and have a realistic par.  Rushing to make an artificial and too fast time constraint will give you bad form and make matters worse.  I only use the tiner about 50% of the time.  For the most part, though, if you’re specifically developing eye movement alone then this is about technique and no timer. 

 

EDIT TO ADD:   I should explain why I’m mixing reaction to beep into these eye movement drills...  I use the same array to train my reaction time because I shoot Steel Challenge with rifles and sometimes rimfire pistols, none of which require a holster.  For this reason, if I do my job correctly I’ll get the first shot off before the beep finishes (-.40ish) so I need a transition and second plate to create a par scenario with a distinguishable 2nd beep.  In doing this it’s become very clear to me that having proper visual technique (along with the rest, of course) is essential, otherwise it shows in my inability to make par.  If I can’t make par, then it’s often more of an issue with the transition than the reaction time and my my usual fix entails a focus on the eye movement, and I’ll start making par again.  So... deliberate practice on eye movement for me is an interrelated skill in the reaction time drill, so I tend to lump them together in my practices.  

Edited by jkrispies

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JK: I am reading into your answer that I am probably also spending too much time confirming a hit at SC and then looking for the next plate.

Do your eyes move when the shot breaks, or do you listen or look for the hit ?

Great stuff..thanks. another JK :-)

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3 hours ago, p7fl said:

JK: I am reading into your answer that I am probably also spending too much time confirming a hit at SC and then looking for the next plate.

Do your eyes move when the shot breaks, or do you listen or look for the hit ?

Great stuff..thanks. another JK :-)

 

You should read up on "Calling Your Shots", especially as espoused by  Steve Anderson. Great stuff, and will help a lot.

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11 hours ago, p7fl said:

JK: I am reading into your answer that I am probably also spending too much time confirming a hit at SC and then looking for the next plate.

Do your eyes move when the shot breaks, or do you listen or look for the hit ?

Great stuff..thanks. another JK :-)

Well, JK, I've never shot with you so I can't exactly say if you're spending too much time on confirmation or not, LOL.  The fastest shooter I know preaches visually confirming the hits on plates before moving to the next plate.  Personally, my eyesight isn't good enough anymore to do that.  Instead, I see the dot on the plate when I pull the trigger and call that my confirmation.  Of course, this only works when your gun is zeroed, as I discovered to my detriment at my last match, haha!  

 

Generally, I've found the "make sure your dot is on the target when you pull the trigger technique" to work very well; with irons I need to re-learn to trust my eyes because it's a lot harder to do well, but the concept ultimately works the same whether shooting irons or optics.  I can tell you that when I'm shooting at the top of my game, I've had the RO call a miss on a sub-2 second run, and I've been able to tell him exactly where the bullet scraped the edge of the plate.  My vision isn't always that good, but it's possible.  As far as hearing the shot... well, in a perfect world it's unnecessary and probably just overcomplicates the run with an additional factor that only slows you down.  I know that I should turn off my electronic muffs and work purely off of visual inputs... but I don't.  For me personally, I listen for the hit as a confirmation as I'm moving to the next target.  The downside to doing this is that sometimes I'll hit the bolt (which makes very little noise) or I just won't hear the hit because my hearing is terrible these days, and I'll end up not trusting my eyes like I should and will shoot a plate more than once.  That slows down my run a lot, but it really entertains the people around me, which counts for something I guess.  

 

Here's my rule of thumb to know if I'm shooting too fast or too slow:  I feel good when I have four great runs and one horror show.  If you aren't pushing the limits enough to risk a miss, then you aren't going fast enough.  Five perfect runs mean that you're too slow.  More than one disaster, and you're being reckless.  Just my opinion.  (And, for the record, I shoot the first four runs just as fast and hard as the last run:  they're all at 100%.)

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I think the Hopkins Drill is great for getting the eyes to lead.  You arrange pasters on the wall (actually two walls but kind of beside the point) instead of targets.  Because they are so small, if you don’t lead with your eyes and really lock onto the paster, you will find the gun “hunting” around before settling on the target.

 

So whether it is the Hopkins drill exactly or just using pasters in different patterns, the concept really helps.

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The instant you call the (last) shot on the target you are shooting, immediately snap your focus to the center of the next target. As you gun is moving to the upcoming target, bring your focus back so that it is on the front sight as the sights arrive on the target. Repeat, forever.

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I tried the Matt Hopkins drill this evening for the first time.  Tougher to make the par times than I thought it would be.  I also see where it will help on my transitions.

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On 3/10/2018 at 9:02 AM, p7fl said:

I know this has been discussed but my search is not coming up.

Working on dry firing I am really slow in acquiring the next target.  My eyes are clearly locked onto the front sight and I am moving the gun without breaking the front sight picture.

Know this is wrong...any drills, other than just practice to speed things along?

TIA

jon

 

I had the exact same sensation, I was going from hard from sight focus, then target focus on the next target, then hard front sight focus again, it is timely but different for everyone depending on how developed their focal muscles are. 

 

If you need to have a front sight focus, try shifting your eyes to the next target while keeping your focal muscles back on the plain of your front sight. Think of moving your eye attention to the next target while the focus is back in the distance of your front sight.

 

More target focus you have, the simpler the looking at the next target method is, so try to loosen up your front sight focus to get a feel

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Learning eye movement is interesting, since it doesn't really need to be practiced with the gun.  If you find yourself with a few minutes to spare during the day, pick out a doorknob, a light switch, and  a power outlet, something like that.  Practice flicking your eyes back and forth.  Once you've got your eyes moving well, you can start following with the body, with the idea being to use the body to drive the gun to the next target.

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Like many others have said before, I use the Hopkins drill.  The dots can be catered to your space and level of training.  Indoors I use 2 inch dots and outdoors I use 4 inch dots.  I'm considerably closer indoors to the dots than outdoors.  

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On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 1:19 PM, jkrispies said:

I do what I call my 5x5 drill.  Put two 10” plates 5 yards forward of shooting position and 5 yards apart so you’re facing them in a “V” shape forcing you to swing 45 degrees total.  If you don’t have room for the setup then the important thing is that the targets need to be far enough apart that you’re forced to make a deliberate swing from one to the other.   Simply practice going slowly at first:  sights on target, move eyes to next target, follow with the gun, stop on target with a perfect sight picture, and reverse.  Gradually pick up speed.  I use this same setup practicing reaction to the beep.  As you get better, make sure you widen the targets and add some in the middle, and force yourself to stop on the middle targets without mindlessly swinging through them.  I do some form of this dryfire almost every day, (literally till I get dizzy) and then take a break fir a minute before repeating (like weight training), and if I only have a short time to practice, this is the one I do.  This is a great way to train your vision if done properly.  It will build your muscles in your eyes as you'll discover.   “Properly” is the key word in alm this. 

I love this, I do something very similar but more of a el prez style. Will definitely try tonight.

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3 hours ago, dkamps said:

I love this, I do something very similar but more of a el prez style. Will definitely try tonight.

?

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On 3/13/2018 at 7:38 PM, benos said:

The instant you call the (last) shot on the target you are shooting, immediately snap your focus to the center of the next target. As you gun is moving to the upcoming target, bring your focus back so that it is on the front sight as the sights arrive on the target. Repeat, forever.

 

Brian:

This was a great suggestion.

The follow up question is: if I am shooting paper, I lose the crisp front sight I see on the first shot, and the sight becomes fuzzy and slow to recover for a 2nd shot. How do I approach getting the focus back faster?

TIA

jon

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Maybe do some Bill Drills at 15 yards. With the goal being to keep the front sight in sharp focus for all six shots. In that way you train your vision to keep the front sight in focus for all six shots. Once you've mastered that, keep the front sight in focus for just two shots on a target might be easier.

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I would think Brian's transition drill is going to help you. It comes in two parts. Clearly you would have to move your eyes first to next targets so that you can transition faster.

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