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Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted
A couple of things to discuss here that may be of interest to some rifle shooters.

The photo below is of a couple of my recent strings fired on different days with a Tikka T3 rifle chambered for the 223 Remington cartridge. All were fired from the prone using an Atlas bipod for support at a distance of 50 yards. Each five shot horizontal row of dots was fired without breaking position. After the five shots on a row, I got up to reload the magazine and sometimes take a short break.




The first topic is the dot drill. I believe I was introduced to the drill by forum member offgrid, and I can recommend it as good practice and a test of the rifleman’s skills. Because of the cartridges being fired and the short distance to the target, atmospheric conditions, including wind, have very little influence on where the bullets hit. Accuracy (hitting the target, in this case a 1 inch dot) and precision (group sizes) are dependent upon the rifle, sight zero, ammunition, and shooter skill.

I find that using a target sheet with 20 dots makes it more demanding and difficult to achieve good results than just shooting groups. In a way the dot drill sheet is like shooting a 20-round group, except that the location of each shot in sequence is available for analysis. Being required to fire 20 shots at the same target sheet requires a high level of concentration for me, and helps avoid the temptation to discard certain bad shots or groups and pretend they were due to something other than shooter error. The one “flyer” at the start of the second row on the bottom sheet was, I believe, due to my laziness when getting into position to start shooting that string. And now it’s something to chastise me every time I look at the target.

The dot drill can be fired with any gun and at any distance if appropriate dot sizes are chosen. At a range of 50 yards a 1 inch dot covers about two minutes of angle. I consider that to be a reasonably sized target for me to practice with from the supported prone position.

The reason I am showing the actual targets from two recent sessions is to illustrate another point, the fact that not all ammunition is the same. That’s something everyone probably realizes on some level, but the two target sheets make it clear.

The upper sheet was fired with American Eagle AE223 ammunition, a 55 grain full metal jacket military type load. It is similar to the Lake City M193 5.56mm NATO.
The lower set of targets was fired using IMI 77 grain “OTM, LR, MOD 1” ammunition.* I don’t know how much of a “match” quality bullet that load uses, but although the ammunition looks like typical military stuff, including not having the annealing discoloration polished off the cases and it appears the primers are crimped in the cases, it is obviously more precise than the AE223. When shooting from a benchrest with the Tikka it usually groups just under an inch at 100 yards.

The reason I mention what is no doubt obvious to many shooters is that sometimes it’s not obvious to everyone. Occasionally someone will report on the results of a range session and express disappointment with the results and blame it on his shooting and/or rifle. More often than not, though, it will also turn out that he used inferior ammunition. There’s nothing wrong with using the cheap stuff if we’re just getting a feel for the rifle and the system or we’re not trying for maximum accuracy and precision, but keep in mind that although good ammunition doesn’t guarantee good results, bad ammunition can produce bad results even with good equipment and how well we use it.

* Although the IMI is “5.56mm×45” ammunition I have no trouble firing it in my Tikka that’s labeled as chambered for the 223 Remington cartridge. That is not always true of all rifles and it could even be dangerous to fire 5.56 ammunition in a 223 chamber.




Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
 
Posts: 40276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Vagabond Dreamer
Picture of Patrick-SP2022
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And now it’s something to chastise me every time I look at the target.


Do you keep your targets and note the related data about your shooting sessions for future reference?
I know I have kept some of my best targets, at least long enough to brag about them a bit.



Yeah, well sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
 
Posts: 3235 | Location: Texas | Registered: April 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by Patrick-SP2022:
Do you keep your targets and note the related data about your shooting sessions for future reference?


Not all, but many. It’s one thing to note in a log information about a sighting group, hits scored during a qualification, or something similar, and yet another to have the actual paper. And, yes; I have bragging targets saved as well. Someone here calls those “refrigerator” groups.

This one, though, I probably won’t bother keeping. I don’t need that grief staring me in the face every time I open my targets book. Wink




Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
 
Posts: 40276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for passing this idea along. I want to try it with my current favorite factory ammo. Frontier .223 55 grain HP match ammo. It shoots good groups, but the dot drill looks like fun, and a good test of me.
 
Posts: 880 | Location: Moved to N.W. MT. | Registered: April 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Telecom Ronin
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I stock up mainly on M193 and other 55gr so that in theory I do not have to change my zero on my ARs.

I say in theory because I have seen 55gr FMJ vary as much as 5" at 50m and some of the "cheap" stuff turns my otherwise ~1.5MOA rifles into 5MOA rifles at even 100m.

So Zombie head shots will be a challenge past 50m depending on which mag I grab Big Grin

One of these days when I am really bored I want to go through my stash and test each make and label the ammo cans with the dope adjustments.

And I agree the dot torture is great fun and helps a lot with fundamentals, I try to end each range trip by doing it at least once
 
Posts: 7257 | Location: WPA loving the weather..missing Texas | Registered: February 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
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I was first introduced to the idea of "reading" targets when I took my first class 20 years ago. At the end of our shooting qualification at the end of the day, the head instructor walked past each of our targets and made a quick comment. When he got to my target he said "nice group...consider getting a sight job" and I instantly realized he could read my sights being off, something I had been fighting over my past recent range sessions, and I recall being impressed with how, with just a quick glance, he could interpret what was going on with my shooting. As I developed some skill at reading targets I started to keep some samples of my own targets and probably have 15 + years worth.

The information I recorded on the targets grew over the years and started to include so many details that they were no where near as clean as your targets Sigfreund, but more resembled John Madden's "X's", "Os", and arrows scribbled on our TV screens. Wink

Often I'm focused on my actual shooting, maximizing my range time, and paying attention to safety factors such as watching what shooters around me are doing and so I found that while I would mark up the targets with pertinent info that needed to be recorded at that time before I forgot I saved the actual target analysis for when I got home. My practice is to temporarily tape my range targets to a blank wall at home and see if I can pick up any trends, make further notes, take a couple quick pictures of the target(s), before taking them down and storing them. If it's been a while since I last shot I'll sometimes refer back to a target for prep work before my next range session.

I haven't started shooting dot drills yet but have been following other shooter's posts on using them for several years now and see the value in the drill.

I'm curious about something though. When I bench rest a handgun and shoot a string (often 5 rounds per each of the 4 to 6 targets on the paper) I notice that, despite my best efforts, I see some variation in the groups depending on the location of each target on the paper, and it seems as though I'm able to establish a more or less "neutral" position for one target but as I shift aim slightly (up, down, left, right) to the next target I induce some pressures or tensions on the gun that are reflected in the location of the group.

I realize that my example is shooting handguns bench rest style and your post is about shooting rifles prone, and you mention shooting 5 rounds before breaking position, but I would think that transitioning to a different dot after each shot would still involve inducing pressures or tensions on the rifle as it is shifted...and yet I don't see the variation in shot location I would expect.

I'm sure this is one of those "Obi-Wan , ahhh so grasshopper" things Big Grin but I'll ask the question anyways...how are you able to transition to each target without an accompanying shift in hit location?
 
Posts: 4581 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by sigfreund:
I find that using a target sheet with 20 dots makes it more demanding and difficult to achieve good results than just shooting groups.

Yep, a 20-dot drill is challenging. Very little room for error, and every shot becomes its own group.

I don't shoot dot drills often enough. It seems like my range time just goes too quickly anymore.

The accuracy difference among .223 ammo types can be huge. IMO there are many AR-15 shooters who tend to use large targets at short distances, and thus never need or want the accuracy of better ammo. Dot drills are extremely frustrating to such shooters. But honestly, it's not what their shooting is all about.

Your upper target shows that the 55 FMJ ammo likely has only 3-4 MOA accuracy in your rifle. Not so bueno for dot drills.
 
Posts: 6154 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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MDS -- here's an example of what may be seen in dot drills, with possible comparison to 5-shot groups. I shot the target with my .22lr bolt action at either 45 or 50 yards. I used "hollow" 3/4" dots, so I could better place the shots to mimic technique issues.

Row numbers of the dot drills correspond to group numbers below.



#1 -- Occurs when the shooter/gun/ammo is quite accurate, but shooter technique has some variability. This vertical variation could be inconsistent position behind the gun. Possibly the parallax setting isn't correct, and possibly the shooter isn't setting up consistently behind the rifle. Could be an issue with consistent application of rear support.

#2 -- Lots of horizontal variation. Let's assume there are no hideous side winds. A likely problem is inconsistent trigger pulls, meaning that pulls are not going straight back. Dry firing and watching if the reticle jumps laterally helps here.

Another possibility for horizontal variation is resting the hand guard (or front end of the stock) on a hard & slick surface. If the rifle can easily move left and right, shots may show the same.

#3 -- Lots of vertical variation. Contributing factors could include breathing, rear support, and cheek weld, cheek pressure on the stock. Variation and inconsistencies in any of these tend to cause vertical stringing.

#4 -- All over the place. The rifle is probably sighted in OK, but accuracy isn't so hot. Could be a combination of many technique issues, or ammo that just isn't very accurate.
 
Posts: 6154 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by Modern Day Savage:
I notice that, despite my best efforts, I see some variation in the groups depending on the location of each target on the paper ....


Yes, I have sometimes noticed the same thing even when shooting rifles and would be interested in learning the responses of more skilled shooters. I can only assume that it has something to do with inconsistency in setting up and positioning my body when shooting—again, despite my best efforts.

I have been paying more attention to the “natural point of aim” concept when shooting rifles. I was introduced to it long ago, but mainly focused on it when I was shooting from positions other than prone.

I nevertheless noticed a pattern with the lower target sheet. In all of the strings the hits seem to almost follow a sine wave. The first is always higher than the second, and then they start moving back up again, with a peak of the “wave” at either the third or fourth target. Perhaps that has something to do with shifting aim from one target to the next because I’d get positioned most carefully on the first.

And I did decide to keep that one target to compare with future sessions if nothing else, even if it does mock me. Wink




Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
 
Posts: 40276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Vagabond Dreamer
Picture of Patrick-SP2022
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Getting mocked by one's targets does make one stronger.

I speak of this from experience.

Smile



Yeah, well sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
 
Posts: 3235 | Location: Texas | Registered: April 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If one were shooting prone with a coat, glove and sling, fritz's Dot#1 could be shooting on or off the heartbeat.


_____________________

 
Posts: 10836 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by RichardC:
If one were shooting prone with a coat, glove and sling, fritz's Dot#1 could be shooting on or off the heartbeat.

I've shot a fair amount prone with a sling -- but only once with a true shooting coat and a shooting glove. IMO the coat a glove definitely improve consistency and overall accuracy.

I disagree with the old adage of shooting during/between/across heatbeats affects accuracy all that much. With a sling and without a coat, I don't feel that my heartbeat rhythm effectively changes my POI. But breathing really does affect POI in slung positions.

We students tried this in an advanced positional course through Rifles Only (out of Kingsville, TX), when one student brought up the topic. We shot slung when really rested, with pulse rates of 70 or less. We did it with elevated pulses after running some laps, with pulses over 130-140. When our slings were so #$^%# tight that our left arms were going numb, we could finally see a slight blip in the reticle that was timed with the pulse. Slight blip meaning definitely way less than one click on the scopes -- i.e. less than 1/4 MOA or .1 mil. Honestly, my sling doesn't clamp down on the blood vessel which runs along the inside of the bicep, therefore I really don't feel my primary pulse with proper sling tension and position.

The effect of breathing cycles on POI was much greater, especially immediately after exercise. As in 2-3 MOA, at least, with some students in the 4-5 MOA ballpark. With this in mind, we had to break shots at the bottom of our breathing cycle to achieve consistent POI.

The POI error in the first circle of #1 is about 3/8", which at 45-50 yards is about 3/4 MOA. IMO that's much larger than the pulse effect.

As a final note, I don't know of anyone who tries to break shots anymore based on their heart rate -- it's just too small of a time window to work with. Especially when we consider the time it takes for the noggin to tell the finger to pull the trigger, the time it takes for the trigger break to actually occur, and the time for the firing pin to hit the primer. Sure -- these are all short time frames, but coordinating them with our heart rate just seems way too complicated.
 
Posts: 6154 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
it's just too small of a time window to work with.


That is definitely true for me.

A book supposedly written by a former military sniper mentioned timing his shots between heartbeats and that prompted me to try it myself. I first had trouble even detecting my beats, but when I could, there was no way there was enough time between them to get off a controlled shot. It also got me to thinking about my long-ago experiences with smallbore shooting. In those days I used a heavy coat and glove and a very tight sling high above my biceps. Although I could detect my pulse with the sling, I never tried timing my shots between beats.




Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
 
Posts: 40276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
The effect of breathing cycles on POI was much greater, especially immediately after exercise. As in 2-3 MOA, at least, with some students in the 4-5 MOA ballpark. With this in mind, we had to break shots at the bottom of our breathing cycle to achieve consistent POI.



Slight thread drift, this is why I find biathlon so amazing. Coming off cross country skiing and breathing hard and then trying to get control and put shots on small targets.

Back to thread.


--
I always prefer reality when I can figure out what it is.
JALLEN 10/18/18
 
Posts: 1924 | Location: Roswell, GA | Registered: March 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
MDS -- here's an example of what may be seen in dot drills, with possible comparison to 5-shot groups. I shot the target with my .22lr bolt action at either 45 or 50 yards. I used "hollow" 3/4" dots, so I could better place the shots to mimic technique issues.


I'll be saving this thread so thanks for the excellent information!

A follow up question:

quote:
#2 -- Lots of horizontal variation. Let's assume there are no hideous side winds. A likely problem is inconsistent trigger pulls, meaning that pulls are not going straight back. Dry firing and watching if the reticle jumps laterally helps here.


Although I've dry-fired rifles before, I don't think I've ever seen any discussion of rifle dry-fire drills or proper dry-firing technique.
Do you have any tips for dry fire drills with scoped rifles? For instance, do you go into your backyard and practice dry-firing prone or do you dry-fire while at the range before live fire? Is it best to dry-fire at the same targets and distances you expect to fire at or will any aiming point make do for dry-fire?
 
Posts: 4581 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by Modern Day Savage:
I notice that, despite my best efforts, I see some variation in the groups depending on the location of each target on the paper ....


Yes, I have sometimes noticed the same thing even when shooting rifles and would be interested in learning the responses of more skilled shooters. I can only assume that it has something to do with inconsistency in setting up and positioning my body when shooting—again, despite my best efforts.

I have been paying more attention to the “natural point of aim” concept when shooting rifles. I was introduced to it long ago, but mainly focused on it when I was shooting from positions other than prone.

I nevertheless noticed a pattern with the lower target sheet. In all of the strings the hits seem to almost follow a sine wave. The first is always higher than the second, and then they start moving back up again, with a peak of the “wave” at either the third or fourth target. Perhaps that has something to do with shifting aim from one target to the next because I’d get positioned most carefully on the first.

And I did decide to keep that one target to compare with future sessions if nothing else, even if it does mock me. Wink


I'm glad I'm not the only one noticing this shift in groups or point of impact when transitioning to a different target on the paper...and I'm sure that you are correct and that it is likely due to inconsistent body or hand position or pressure.

Although I was taught to shoot a rifle prone when I was a young boy I haven't done it in many years and so when shooting a rifle for accuracy in recent years it has been from a bench rest. I've read about, and practiced, the natural point of aim concept, but I'm confused by one thing. If I understand it correctly, the NPA concept involves establishing the correct shooter body position for each target, and then breaking that position to realign the rifle/reticle with the next target and then re-establishing the correct shooter body position for that target, and so on...

However you mentioned shooting the entire row of 5 dots before breaking position. Are the dots close enough to each other at the distance you are shooting that you can establish NPA for each of them without breaking position?

Oh, and if I had a dollar for every target that I keep with that lone flyer on it...well, I'd probably be able to buy a tank or two of gas. I probably recall the flyers on my targets as well as the fish I've missed landing while fishing over the years, as well or better than the good groups and fish I've landed...they serve as a reminder for me to work doubly hard at not making the same mistakes in the future that caused them...although I still manage to make those mistakes. Wink
 
Posts: 4581 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
I disagree with the old adage of shooting during/between/across heatbeats affects accuracy all that much. With a sling and without a coat, I don't feel that my heartbeat rhythm effectively changes my POI. But breathing really does affect POI in slung positions.

We students tried this in an advanced positional course through Rifles Only (out of Kingsville, TX), when one student brought up the topic. We shot slung when really rested, with pulse rates of 70 or less. We did it with elevated pulses after running some laps, with pulses over 130-140. When our slings were so #$^%# tight that our left arms were going numb, we could finally see a slight blip in the reticle that was timed with the pulse. Slight blip meaning definitely way less than one click on the scopes -- i.e. less than 1/4 MOA or .1 mil. Honestly, my sling doesn't clamp down on the blood vessel which runs along the inside of the bicep, therefore I really don't feel my primary pulse with proper sling tension and position.

The effect of breathing cycles on POI was much greater, especially immediately after exercise. As in 2-3 MOA, at least, with some students in the 4-5 MOA ballpark. With this in mind, we had to break shots at the bottom of our breathing cycle to achieve consistent POI.

The POI error in the first circle of #1 is about 3/8", which at 45-50 yards is about 3/4 MOA. IMO that's much larger than the pulse effect.

As a final note, I don't know of anyone who tries to break shots anymore based on their heart rate -- it's just too small of a time window to work with. Especially when we consider the time it takes for the noggin to tell the finger to pull the trigger, the time it takes for the trigger break to actually occur, and the time for the firing pin to hit the primer. Sure -- these are all short time frames, but coordinating them with our heart rate just seems way too complicated.


I'm certain that for the majority of shooters in good health that you are absolutely correct...but I'll mention myself as an example of an exception.

As someone diagnosed with extreme hypertension and various cardiac issues that include arrhythmia as well as resting heart rates in the 150s to 180s at one time, I can tell you that when I looked at distant targets through a scope reticle they jumped several MOA during heart beats...in my case I absolutely needed to first try to calm my heart rate to the extent that I could and even then, with my booming heart beat, I needed to shoot between beats as best I could to have any hope of hitting a small target.

I vividly recall watching my heart beat cause an oscillation in the reticle in one plane, and my breathing cause an oscillation in a different plane and i would have to try to time my respiratory pause to my heart beat pause...no small feat when my heart was beating like a freight train.
 
Posts: 4581 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
Picture of SgtGold
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
I disagree with the old adage of shooting during/between/across heatbeats affects accuracy all that much. With a sling and without a coat, I don't feel that my heartbeat rhythm effectively changes my POI. But breathing really does affect POI in slung positions.


My experience when shooting rapids is the above is correct. You are getting 10 shots off, including a reload, in either 60 or 70 seconds. You just don't have the time to waste trying to shoot at your long cardiac pause. Slow fire is another matter. 22 minutes for 22 shots gives you plenty of time.

quote:
We students tried this in an advanced positional course through Rifles Only (out of Kingsville, TX), when one student brought up the topic. We shot slung when really rested, with pulse rates of 70 or less. We did it with elevated pulses after running some laps, with pulses over 130-140. When our slings were so #$^%# tight that our left arms were going numb, we could finally see a slight blip in the reticle that was timed with the pulse. Slight blip meaning definitely way less than one click on the scopes -- i.e. less than 1/4 MOA or .1 mil. Honestly, my sling doesn't clamp down on the blood vessel which runs along the inside of the bicep, therefore I really don't feel my primary pulse with proper sling tension and position.


Those must have been some seriously in shape shooters. I used to shoot a match called 'the rundown' where you sprint 100 yards at a time from 300 to 200 to 100. You had 60 seconds to make it from one line to the next, then get off 10 shots . It went from prone to sitting/kneeling to standing the closer you got. Pretty much every shooter I competed with or worked with mentioned issues with heart rate and trying to maintain a stable POA\POI.


_____________________________
'I'm pretty fly for a white guy'.

 
Posts: 6339 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Modern Day Savage:
Do you have any tips for dry fire drills with scoped rifles? For instance, do you go into your backyard and practice dry-firing prone or do you dry-fire while at the range before live fire? Is it best to dry-fire at the same targets and distances you expect to fire at or will any aiming point make do for dry-fire?

Hopefully, offgrid will jump in, as he dry fires more than I.

You can dry fire without looking through the scope. Maybe not even being fully behind the rifle. This form of dry fire keeps your trigger finger used to the process. I often see offgrid do this in the morning before a match.

I prefer to dry fire while fully behind the rifle, looking through the scope, and in some kind of shooting position. Could be prone, kneeling, sitting, or from a tripod. If I'm in a hotel room at a match, my cross hairs are generally on a blank and blurry wall -- as the distance to the "target" is likely less than my scope's minimum parallax distance. While doing this type of dry fire, I try to grasp the rifle the way I would in a match -- loading the bipod, buttstock firmly into my shoulder, correct rear bag technique, etc. I also try to move the rifle to different "targets" between shots -- so I have to adjust bag position, bipod legs, torso position. Offgrid doesn't do this as much as I, but I firmly believe his technique behind the rifle is better developed than mine.

I don't think dry firing has to be done while shooting at targets that are the same distance as our live-fire targets. I do recommend dry firing at targets that are within your scope's parallax adjustment range. Thus, you can better determine if cross hairs are moving during the process of the dry fire.

As with live fire, dry fire should be "aim small, miss small". It's easier to see unwanted reticle movement if the aimpoint is small and distinct.
 
Posts: 6154 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by Modern Day Savage:
Are the dots close enough to each other at the distance you are shooting that you can establish NPA for each of them without breaking position?


Pretty much. I try to establish the best possible position for the first target and then adjust as necessary for the rest. Part of my reason for using the dot drill with a string of targets is to practice follow-up shots on different targets that are close together, but not at exactly the same location.

I have more trouble getting a good consistent head position and stock weld than positioning the rest of my body behind the rifle. I practice all that at home to include trying to develop and keep my body flexible. Often I will include dry firing as part of that practice, but I’ve found that detecting reticle movement during dry fire requires aiming at a distant target. Leaving the door open to make that possible is less than optimum in the winter. It occurs to me that I should practice dot drills by standing up and getting back down into position after every shot.

Another thing I sometimes do is dry fire a few times before switching to live fire for various purposes. It helps me remember what the trigger characteristics are like, especially if I haven’t shot a particular rifle in some time. It also seems to help me settle into position and do everything correctly when actually shooting.

As somewhat of an aside, that was something one of my agency’s snipers came away from an LE sniper course with, and he would dry fire a few times during the preparation period before a qualification. Although it probably benefited his marksmanship, especially because he did little or no training between qualifications, I found the practice questionable from an operational standpoint. My concern was that dry firing would probably not be desirable or even possible during an actual mission and therefore should not be relied upon as an aid during quals.




Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
 
Posts: 40276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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