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Bullseye
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Post by Bullseye » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:34 am

Your Aorta pumps a lot of blood to your lower extremities, and as such has a lot of force behind it which is what drives you up and down with the pulse beat. Whenever I'm in my prep period I make sure to unbuckle my belt, undo the top button (or snap) on my shooting pants, and ensure my sling is located on the left pulse pad of my shooting jacket. See, the sling on your left arm can transmit the pulse to your rifle too. This is why I don't tighten the sling up like a tourniquet on my upper arm, the Brachial artery is also quite powerful and will show a pulse. You only want that sling tight enough to prevent it from slipping on the surface of your jacket. Unfortunately, the more heartbeat you see in the front sight, the more anxious you get, causing your blood pressure to go up even higher making things worse for your sight picture.

What kind of sitting position do you use? Crossed ankle or crossed leg? Where your elbows are positioned is also very important in prevent pulsing your rifle too. In the crossed legged position, you have to place your elbows into the pockets on the inside of your knees. This is the place just inside where the knee bones meet. When you sit down and cross your legs/knees you can feel them (the pockets). If your sitting crossed ankled, your knees are up actually in the air, so you place the right (back) elbow into the right knee pocket and the left (front arm) humorous, the part just behind the elbow, in front of the knee joint on the shin bone and use the bone and sling support there to steady your sight position at NPA. The sitting position method you use is dependent on the type of body you have. I have a long trunk and short legs, so for me the crossed ankle position is the only method where I can drop down, get into the sitting position, and still be on target when relaxed at NPA. If you have long legs and a normal to short trunk, then the crossed leg position is better and more stable position for you. This position is basically sitting on the ground Indian style with your legs crossed and knees flat on the ground, hence the name. When I try this position, with my body style, at NPA my rifle is pointing toward the ground somewhere in front of the target.

You are right, there are a lot of little things to learn to play well in the highpower rifle game. This is why you really need to find a coach/mentor to help assist you. One of the best things I like about shooting, is no matter what you can always find someone to help, when you need it. Shooting is one of the only sports where the competitors are genuinely there to help each other out. I can't tell you how many times I've assisted others in a match. I've even been beaten a few times with my own rifle, when I lent it out to other shooters whose rifles broke in the middle of a match. Would you ever see a pro baseball player toss his glove to an opposing player as they change the field, well shooters do the equivalent of this every time they share their equipment with one of the folks on the line. Of course, once you gain the knowledge to do well is it your responsibility to pass it on to another new shooter - as it was done for you, because you only have temporary custody of that knowledge, it is not yours to keep to yourself - at least that's the way I look at it.

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Post by Hakaman » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:29 am

That's some good info B.E., that I can use. My sitting position is the 'cross-legged' style, with a tight belt buckle (drats). Sometimes when I get into the sitting position I feel it's a struggle to get the rifle on target like you were mentioning. It always seems to be pointing low when in NPA. Maybe it's because of the 'tight midsection' (which I think is the case), or maybe the 'cross ankled' would be better? It's funny, this usually is my best scoring segment of the match, most of the time. Then sometimes, because of reasons I couldn't pin point, it turns sour, like this last time with my heart beat dictating the shot. For now, I am going to continue to use the cross legged position, because I know I can score well with it, but with the belt and button loosened. I know this will help because I 'now' know this was a problem.
Thanks, Haka

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Post by Bullseye » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:39 am

Stay with your basic sitting position. You can try shortening up the length of your sling a little (move the frog up one notch, if you're using a GI Leather sling) to bring up your rifle's muzzle. If you find yourself later struggling to keep the rifle on target in the crossed legged position then you can try the crossed ankle variation. The crossed legged position is steadier because your whole lower base is firmly on the ground. In the crossed ankle position you only have your buttocks and ankles touching the ground. Although, some folks are flexible enough to have the back leg/knee touching the ground in crossed ankle position, but that varies depending on your bodies personal muscle flexibility.

Also, you want to place your second magazine in a spot on the mat where you can easily reach it without breaking your position. Place the mag in the same spot, and orientation every time. This builds consistency, you reach down and pick it up in exactly the same manner each time you reload. You can also use the second mag as a visual landmark to set up your position from the prep to the firing stage of the match. This way when you drop down into position you're not having to reorient your body to the target. When you rise for the commands, you do not move your feet. This is very uncomfortable to do in sitting rapid fire but is very important. Also your stature is crouching as much as possible when you rise. Then as you sit you're just rotating back into the position you've already established in your prep time. I eject the spent mag and insert the new one without removing the rifle butt from my shoulder. By not breaking my position, I have a consistent hold when I start on the second magazine of eight shots. These are the things you must practice when dry firing. Work on the position and how you can place things around you to keep everything consistent. Memorize it and use this practice skill set on the range. You don't step up to the situation out on the range, you always fall back onto your training! When you are in the heat of the match, your mind goes into autopilot mode, and this is where your dry fire training will pay off. Your positions are part of your mindset, so you will revert right to them naturally - if you've trained well. Otherwise, you are not really being consistent and are flexing your positions to whatever happens each range session - not good for consistency or top performance. And most important - Stay mentally positive, no matter how bad things are going! You cannot change a hole in the paper but mentally you can affect every shot after negative thoughts creep into your mind, then you're on the slippery slope of poor performance.

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Post by Bullseye » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:20 pm

Hak-

Have you been out to the range since our last exchange?

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Post by Hakaman » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:37 pm

Bullseye wrote:Hak-

Have you been out to the range since our last exchange?

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Sorry for the delayed reply, but I have been very busy at work. As an electrical worker for the local utility, I have been working 14 hour shifts repairing a substation that has been damaged/flattened by a circuit breaker fault. Amazing damage that was high priority. Just the same, I have been taking a little break from the HP shooting til the weather cools down, but did get out this morning. I just get back from the range shooting HP league. I added some weight to the front end of my AR and seem to like it. I may need just a tad more to make a slightly front heavy, as it seems to be center balanced when my left hand is positioned just in front of the magazine. Today I shot an 82 OH, but felt good about it. My goal is to shoot an 85 or above. Even with a stiff breeze I felt more stable, thinking it is a result of the front weight. The first few shots were very controllable and the last few I seemed to tire a bit. Maybe I need to pause a little more between shots. On SRF I had a 94, better then I thought, because I had that heart beat in the front sight. I loosed the mid section of my pants, but it still bugged me? I am thinking of changing to the cross ankle style, but might need some tips to accomplish this. RFP I had a 91, felt like I should have done better. With the SFP I was pleased and disappointed with the results. I kept 17 of the 20 shots inside the 8 ring or better (nice tight group), and the other 3 shots were 7, 6, and a miss (#@%&*). The good part of those errant shots were that I knew they were bad when I pulled the trigger. I flinched on them. I still ended up with a 171. Now if I scored better on those 3 shots I could say I would have another 10 points or so and gotten a 181. I did gain a little confidence and satisfaction from today because I see potential. I did end up with a 438 today, just needing 12 more points to hit the 450 mark.
Things I noticed or need to do:
1) I felt my sling was one notch too tight, should have adjusted.
2) A desire to switch to, or a least try, the cross ankle technique for RFS. Have been noticing the heart beat distortion lately?
3) Work on not flinching, it cost me 10 points or so in SFP.
4) Add just a bit more weight to the front stock, or remove a bit from the stock to get a slightly heavier front end.
5) I did buy a nice optics set up, and I have been using it mostly for SFP.
Thanks, Haka

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Post by Bullseye » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:37 pm

That sounds encouraging. The extra weight up front will help stabilize the rifle, especially in windy conditions. As far as flinching, try concentrating more on the trigger squeeze and less on the actual shot break. This will prevent any muscles tensing up in anticipation of the recoil of the rifle.

In sitting rapid, some folks may have to cant the rifle's sights to prevent too much tension on the body. Canting the sights, away from your body, will help relax you more and put your head in a more natural position, but you'll have to add a little additional opposite windage to compensate for the canting. Try canting in in dry-fire practice and see how you like the feel of the position. As long as you cant the sights to about the two o'clock position, about four clicks of left windage should do the trick for compensating.

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Post by Hakaman » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:53 pm

I shot a session last evening in service rifle league, and it was about my avg. Feeling more comfortable with the front weighting and feel I will score better with better lighting. The evening lighting is very tricky and poor. The light is in your face through most of the match and the targets are in the shade because of the berm. I plan on shooting tomorrow morning which is just the opposite with the target getting the sunlight. I'm still seeing some bounce from the heart beat, it seems like this was not a problem in the past?, but is now. I had a relaxed fitting with my clothing, so that doesn't seem to be the issue. On SFP I had a nice grouping going on, 18 shots were in the black, but right of center, with two poor shots out of the black in the 5 an 6 rings. Trying to stay consistent so I don't get those brain lapse shots that make the difference between an avg score and a decent score. Decent for me is 450 and higher, avg is about 430 like I shot this time. I will see tomorrow when the lighting is better.
OH 80
SRF 92
SP 92
SFP 167
---------
Total = 431

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Post by Bullseye » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:06 pm

Ensure that your sling is not tourniquet tight around your upper arm, if it is then you will transmit the brachial pulse down onto the rifle via the sling.

Sounds as if you're getting back on track with the HP shooting. If the target is backlit then consider transitioning to a frame hold. The frame hold is designed for low light/backlit situations where you cannot acquire a clear integration between the aiming black and the white target background.

Remember the old saying in HP rifle shooting, "Light's up - sights up; Light's down - sights down." You must adjust your sights to account for the clarity of the light on the aiming black. Many atmospheric conditions effect where you interpret the target is via the sights. Your eye is seeing images that are distorted by mirage, wind, and light, and you must compensate for that by making adjustments to your normal sight settings. Generally a minute either way is good for compensating for light conditions. Unless of course, the conditions deteriorate to inconsistent sight placement on the target due to low light conditions, then you have to make a point of aim change to allow for consistent sighting.

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Post by Hakaman » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:02 pm

Ensure that your sling is not tourniquet tight around your upper arm, if it is then you will transmit the brachial pulse down onto the rifle via the sling.
You know, I was thinking about that. I will loosen it up a little and see if that helps out a bit. This has only been a problem this year, so I must be doing something different. Most likely it is as you suggest.
Sounds as if you're getting back on track with the HP shooting. If the target is backlit then consider transitioning to a frame hold.
A frame hold is many clicks of the elevation adjustment to sight in. My adjustment is 1/2 MOA and the bottom of the frame is about 1.5 ft.
Remember the old saying in HP rifle shooting, "Light's up - sights up; Light's down - sights down." You must adjust your sights to account for the clarity of the light on the aiming black.
What about side light?

thanks, Haka

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Post by Bullseye » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:03 pm

That is true, you will need to add approximately 6-7 minutes of sight correction to your normal settings to transition to the frame hold. This is why keeping a score book with sight dope is SO important.

With the target being side lighted you may have to add a minute of windage into the direction of the sunlight. See the black ball will appear wider on the shadow side because that edge of the ball is less defined by the light, but this is a mirage, and this causes you to unknowingly actually hold the sight blade slightly over to the non-sunlit side of the target to center up the ball over the front sight blade. So you compensate for that mirage by adjusting the windage over into (toward) the sunlight to place the bullet's flight path over to where the aiming black is truly located downrange, not to where it falsely appears to your eye way back at the firing line.

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Post by Hakaman » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:17 pm

SFP 178
RFP 95
RFS 89 (this is usually in the low to mid 90's)
OH 76 (drats)
=========
Total 438
Went out again this morning and shot with the retirees. The lighting was good and the wind calm. On friday morning they shoot reverse rotation with SFP first and OH last. Some decent scores until I go to the RFS and OH. In RFS there was a newbie who was interupting the flow of this phase by being totally unprepared and asking the RO for help, and the RO was giving him help while I was stuck in position and ready to shoot. I was discouraged with this going on and it affected me psychologically, plus tired me out. In OH, the last phase of the day, I was a little tired and the shots were scattered high and low. I might give it another try tomorrow morn as they shoot in the rotation I am used to. Just the same, I think this is the highest I have shot this year. Not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing? :oops:
Haka

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Post by Bullseye » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:25 pm

You're getting there, you just have to put all the phases together. Keep your chin up! Accentuate the positive, don't dwell on the negative - I think there's an old song that says that very thing.

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Post by Hakaman » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:09 am

I have put Point of Aim into practice on OH shooting, but have never used it while shooting prone. One of our expert shooters was watching me practice before the match and noticed a few errors in my set up. He informed me how to set up my POA and position, and remain in that position. I know you have mentioned this before, but I haven't used it for prone for some reason? We shot backwards last evening due to the waning light this time of year, and started with the SFP. I noticed how important it is to set up your POA, just as you have mentioned, and when i did, I found I didn't have to fight the rifle to keep it on target. I do find myself tiring out after about the first 10 rds of SFP, so I need to back off and relax, regroup, then get back into position. My scores were about average for me because I always seem to have errant shots. Nice grouping, but a few flyers.
SFP = 176
RFP = 93
RFS = 89 (used to be very consistent in the low/mid 90's, but something has changed? maybe not as flexible as last year, because of age)
OH = 76 (sigh, I will be practicing dry firing often this winter, as well as all my positions)
=======
TOTAL = 434

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Post by Bullseye » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:52 pm

I'm glad to hear you are working out the kinks of your position. It is good to have an experienced shooter just watch you, they can spot a lot of things that you are not aware is even happening. Once you get that position right, the sling holds the whole thing together and all you're doing is breathing, relaxing, aiming, sighting, and squeezing. Think of the acronym B-R-A-S-S. You're onto something good, keep it up!

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Post by Hakaman » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:41 pm

I shot my last SR League for the year, this morning, and did pretty good for me. I have a question for those in the know, how difficult is it to change hands for rifle shooting? I am left eye dominant and shoot rifle using my right eye. I shoot pistol with my left eye. I am having trouble keeping the rifle stable because of rotater cuff issues, and am thinking the right arm would better support the gun.
OH = 82
RFS = 93
RFP = 88
SFP = 177/7x

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