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IDPA Carry Optics Frustration


RangerTrace
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I've been shooting the Stacatto P DUO since January and I'm still having a very hard time with accuracy at speed.  I'm running the Leupold DPP and it's been properly zeroed.  During slow fire, I have no issues shooting a nice group.  But if I up the speed much at all, I'm getting clusters of shots at 5 o'clock, usually just inside the +1.   Keep in mind that I'm left handed.   I have never had an issue shooting iron sights, but the 2.5 MOA dot is wrecking my world right now.  FWIW, I'm shooting 147 grain Zero JHPs at about 905 FPS.  The dot seems to stay within the glass, but obviously I'm pulling the trigger at the wrong time.  

 

Anybody else have a similar issue?  If so, how did you overcome it?  I'm determined and too financially committed to give up and change Divisions.

 

Thanks in advance.....

 

Trace

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I tend to agree, but it was brought to my attention that I've been shooting these guns for a decade without this issue.  The biggest change is the DOT.  Other some some slight geometry differences in the new grips, my ability to draw and grip certainly hasn't changed much.  I think it's more about my vision, and ability to compute the visual impute.   

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No expert here, but maybe the weight of the optic is slowing the cycle and you are splitting before the gun has come back down all the way.  Personally, I feel like I am waiting on the gun when shooting 147s, but I came from Limited so that is likely a factor.  I would at least try some 124s.

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Trace,

Been a long time since shot with you, but do you shoot w/ both eyes open all the time, squint one, or shoot one closed? Remember,  Southpaw here too.... I never really felt that I could shoot the dot faster than irons until my eyesight finally got worse.    

 

-Mike

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11 minutes ago, dfwmiket said:

Trace,

Been a long time since shot with you, but do you shoot w/ both eyes open all the time, squint one, or shoot one closed? Remember,  Southpaw here too.... I never really felt that I could shoot the dot faster than irons until my eyesight finally got worse.    

 

-Mike

Well, I have an issue with my right eye (thanks to a high school fight) where it doesn't track vertically with my dominant left eye, so I try to shoot with only my left eye open.  

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It sounds as if the dot is distracting you from your sight picture. If you can shoot irons as fast, and with greater accuracy, and the only difference is the dot, then maybe you are focusing on the dot too much and not enough on the target? A lot of people "think" they are going to be faster with the dot, and, as a result, try to go faster than they normally would without a dot. Shooting with a dot is no different (in my opinion) than shooting irons...with both, you still have to have the patience for the sights to settle back to where they were before you pulled the trigger. 

 

It would be an interesting experiment for you to try, on the clock, a BIll Drill, with 2 of the same guns and ammo....one with a dot, and the other without....and check the splits and overall time. That might tell you where the issue is.

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8 minutes ago, GrumpyOne said:

It sounds as if the dot is distracting you from your sight picture. If you can shoot irons as fast, and with greater accuracy, and the only difference is the dot, then maybe you are focusing on the dot too much and not enough on the target? A lot of people "think" they are going to be faster with the dot, and, as a result, try to go faster than they normally would without a dot. Shooting with a dot is no different (in my opinion) than shooting irons...with both, you still have to have the patience for the sights to settle back to where they were before you pulled the trigger. 

 

It would be an interesting experiment for you to try, on the clock, a BIll Drill, with 2 of the same guns and ammo....one with a dot, and the other without....and check the splits and overall time. That might tell you where the issue is.

Great post and I hate to admit that I think you are right.  While I know the difference between sight focus and target focus, I think in the excitement of shooting, I shift between the two, without conscious knowing.  Tony Pignato suggested that I turn the Dot down as low as possible, while still being able to see it.  I've scheduled a phone interview with Todd J. tomorrow for additional advice.  

 

I have no doubt right now that shooting an outdoor stage, I would be much faster with irons right now.  In low light or an indoor match, I think I'd be faster and more accurate with the dot.

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15 hours ago, RangerTrace said:

Great post and I hate to admit that I think you are right.  While I know the difference between sight focus and target focus, I think in the excitement of shooting, I shift between the two, without conscious knowing.  Tony Pignato suggested that I turn the Dot down as low as possible, while still being able to see it.  I've scheduled a phone interview with Todd J. tomorrow for additional advice.  

 

I have no doubt right now that shooting an outdoor stage, I would be much faster with irons right now.  In low light or an indoor match, I think I'd be faster and more accurate with the dot.

I heard on Ben Stoeger's Podcast where I think he said he turns the dot up in practice to make it harder to see the target.  It makes him look through the dot to find the target and be target focused versus dot focused.  It sounds counter intuitive, but at the same time if you think about it, wouldn't you look at the dot harder if you were turning the dot brightness down, and have the opposite effect you are looking for?  Not saying to do this in competition but maybe try some different things out in practice, to work on being target focused.

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When I have issues like this it’s because I’m doing exactly what the years shooting iron sights trained me to do:

 

Find a spot on the target, bring the gun there, pull my focus back to the sight as it arrives in the A-zone.

 

It’s really hard to learn to focus on the targets at speed, but it’s the only way to shoot straight. Dot guns are anti-irons: If you aren’t seeing the holes get punched, then your are looking at the dot, rather than putting the dot on the target.

 

The only fix is to do a lot of live fire until it becomes habit to shoot the wrong way. 😁
 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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17 hours ago, GrumpyOne said:

 

It would be an interesting experiment for you to try, on the clock, a BIll Drill, with 2 of the same guns and ammo....one with a dot, and the other without....and check the splits and overall time. That might tell you where the issue is.


I did something similar to this with two slides and found that I was faster with irons inside 12 yards.  Past that, I was quicker with the dot and past 25 or so, it wasn’t a contest.  

I like to dial the brightness down a notch.  A big, bright dot distracts me from finding and focusing on the target.  A dimmer dot allows me to “see through” the dot to the target.  

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3 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

When I have issues like this it’s because I’m doing exactly what the years shooting iron sights trained me to do:

 

Find a spot on the target, bring the gun there, pull my focus back to the sight as it arrives in the A-zone.

 

It’s really hard to learn to focus on the targets at speed, but it’s the only way to shoot straight. Dot guns are anti-irons: If you aren’t seeing the holes get punched, then your are looking at the dot, rather than putting the dot on the target.

 

The only fix is to do a lot of live fire until it becomes habit to shoot the wrong way. 😁
 

I talked to Todd Jarrett this morning.  He says it was very frustrating for him and many others he's trained to switch from irons to slide ride optics.  He thinks it takes around 10K rounds of practice to get solid with the dot (I'm around 3K).  His suggestion was to shoot 5+ round strings at 8" plates from at least 25 yards.  Start slow and don't speed up unless you are getting all hits within the 8" circle.  He also suggested gripping the gun harder and extending the gun a little farther without rounding the shoulders. 

 

I have much to work on.....   

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2 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

Sounds like something my experience fully agrees with. But then, he’s not exactly short on shooting knowledge.

No doubt.  He is able to quickly verbalize over the phone.  So many people are amazing shooters, but being able to tell you what's going on, without doubt is comforting.  I'd love to be a cop in his area.  He was on his way to train with a group for 6 hours on the range.  

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Also try covering over the front of the lens on your dot and shoot.  It might be a problem with your eye, but it's a good way to see what you're looking at.  With both eyes open and looking at the targets, the obscured lens is surprisingly invisible.

 

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Oh, one more thing. Shoot things close and fast (5 yard or even less) with the dot turned off. You don’t need more than a crush grip and solid index to shoot a clean double tap or bill drill at that distance.

 

Get a feel for what you’re capable of, then turn the dot on and try it again. Without slowing down... and without losing the target focus you automatically have 100% of the time when the gun has no sights.

 

;) 

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2 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

Oh, one more thing. Shoot things close and fast (5 yard or even less) with the dot turned off. You don’t need more than a crush grip and solid index to shoot a clean double tap or bill drill at that distance.

 

Get a feel for what you’re capable of, then turn the dot on and try it again. Without slowing down... and without losing the target focus you automatically have 100% of the time when the gun has no sights.

 

;) 

Dang bro, you almost cancelled out your first post with this one....

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If there is one advantage to have been an iron sight shooter with presbyopia is that transitioning to target focus when moving to a reflex sight is no transition at all.  It's what I've had to do to shoot irons for the better part of the last 10 years.

 

I think that's one reason why my transition to CO from Production has been so easy.  I certainly haven't needed 10K rounds to become used to it.  The other reason the transition was relatively easy is that the same inability to see the sights clearly has made me rely on my draw and index much more to get the sights lined up (such as I can see) on target instead of looking at them during the draw.

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10 hours ago, RangerTrace said:

Dang bro, you almost cancelled out your first post with this one....


You can attack the same problem from different directions. ;)
 

What I was suggesting was to get used to looking at the target. While shredding it with two quick shots from the holster without a sighting mechanism.

 

Then repeat with the optic on, and just let the dot exist inside the glass while you maintain the same visual focus.
 

But don’t focus on it, and don’t let it slow you down.
 

Looking at the dot as it wanders around on the background, steering it until it is is in the A-zone just like you’d do with a front sight? That is a more precise description of the focus problem.

 

The solution is to learn how to focus on the target’s center and let your body bring the dot to point on which you’re focused. The above seemed to be a worthwhile first step for me.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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23 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

The solution is to learn how to focus on the target’s center and let your body bring the dot to point on which you’re focused.

 

Yes.  And I just thought of something.  Lots of clay shooting experience helped me with the transition, because clay shooting and wing shooting require 10000% target focus, to the point that one isn't aware of where the bead or barrels are other than through proprioception.

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So I had another 300 round range session yesterday and "think" I may have figured out one of the factors hurting my shooting.  The new STI Gen2 grip is slightly larger than the other stippled STI grips I'd been shooting and quite a bit larger than the Cheely E2 grips and SV signature grips.  I've got pretty short/fat fingers and when I have a proper, thumb over safety grip, I can just barely get the first half of my pad on the trigger.  And I'm having to reach hard enough that the back of the ambi safety is digging into the web between my thumb and trigger finger.

 

I've got some short curved triggers coming from STI, but I'm tempted to swap one of my grips for an Extreme Shooters grips to make my grip more comfortable.

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