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I'm a big believer in doing dot drills. Sure shooting groups is fun. Shooting groups really just show me how well me rifle, load....will shoot. Dot drills show me how well I can re-establish my position shoot to the same POI. Shooting to the same POI after breaking position is very challenging. Most of the LR steel matches I'm shooting, one shot, hit or miss, next target, re-build position... No sighters, to re-act to. Dot drills I believe are far better practice. When shooting a dot drill, I usually pick up my rifle, walk a few steps, get back on it... Or have rounds a few feet away, shoot one, get up w/o my rifle get another round....

Some of the matches I shoot have stage where we shoot weak side. I struggle with finding a proper sight picture, squirm around.... I need to practice weak side more. Shot this this AM with my Dasher. Shot the top dot strong side w/o getting up. Yanked the first shot, Cold Shooter. I don't buy into the cold bore thing, I'm far more likely to affect that 1st shot then a cold barrel. Put the next 4 basically in the same hole, gun works! Then I picked up the rifle/rear bag, got back down weak side, took one shot, repeat 20 times. Let my barrel cool between as needed... 1st weak side shot feeling good, I got this. A little sloppy after that. I have a tendency when I miss to shoot a little low and left weak side as the target shows, trying to figure that out, it's all in parallax. Just don't have the muscle memory to "fall asleep" on my rifle, open my eye to a perfect sight picture like I do strong side. Last match I shot where I had to shoot weak side, held a little high/right, did OK. I know that's not the answer....

It's taken me tons of rounds doing dot drills on my 22LR to get better at this. Center fire rifle 3/4" dot drill strong side, usually can clean. 1/2" not nearly as often. The best shooter here Colorado, instructor... Has told me many times, if able to hold a 1/2" getting up and down, exceptional shooting.

I you haven't shot a drill, try it. Prepare to be humbled. Post up your targets. Have fun!!





How I shot.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: offgrid,
 
Posts: 2284 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice
 
Posts: 3062 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Question - distance for 22lr?




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 5952 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
Question - distance for 22lr?


My 22LR/decent ammo is capable of 1/2" at 50yds. So, 1/2" dots at 50yds for me and my 22LR.


Distance, dot size doesn't really matter. Pick a distance, shoot a couple groups with out moving. Use that group size plus a little as your dot size. Have Fun!
 
Posts: 2284 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Telecom Ronin
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One of my favorite 22lr targets, I do 3/8s at 25 and 50 depending on wind. I just got 1000 rnds of Eley in....I will post mine this eeekend.
 
Posts: 6180 | Location: DFW is home but currently in PHX | Registered: February 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
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I did the dot drill, sorta, one day with a Rem 37 and a 40x (rimfire)

used some dot target similar to what offgrid posted, and also some target that was more of a benchrest target (squares )

used a bench (should have shot prone slung up, no rest or bipod)

it was not as easy as I thought it would be



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 5653 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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<< note to self -- never compete against offgrid in a dot drill >>
That's good shooting, even from your strong side. Weak side? Wow.

Dot drills show if we can consistently get in position behind the rifle, maintain proper eye position in the scope, and work the fundamentals. There are many variations to the drills, but most use....dots.

1 MOA dots are a good place to start. 1" at 100 yards, 3" at 300 yards -- for centerfire. 1/2" at 50 yards for rimfire. Make them smaller as you improve. A solid black dot can be a challenge for some reticles, and might be a little odd for those used to shooting at fine dots or crosshairs as an aiming point. "Hollow" dots are an option for an easier aim point -- these are essentially a black ring "dot".

Google allows us to make dot drill targets from PDF files with any printer. Search for "snipers hide dot drill", "rifle dot drill", "tack driving target", or similar.

The first stage is shooting the dot drill from a fixed prone position with a loaded magazine. Minimal changes in position are required, and thus this is the "easiest" way. Actually, there's no truly easy way.

Next, we can kneel or stand between shots. Single loading is an option.

Moving on, place single rounds a few yards away from your shooting position. Walk over to the ammo stash, return to your rifle with only one round, shoot, and repeat. The hardest dot drill I've ever done was in a Rifles Only course. The day was sunny, humid, and 90 degrees. My ammo was some 40 yards away, and I ran between the gun and ammo for each shot. In a 10 minute timed drill, I shot 17/17 1" dots at 100 yards before time expired. It's the best shooting I've ever done -- trying to control my breathing cycles, timing the shots, and not holding my breath. Strong side, however. Red Face

"Dot" drills can also be done from less stable positions with larger targets. Think 4 MOA dots from kneeling, 3 MOA from sitting, or 5 MOA from standing. Or whatever. The important thing is to think that every shot counts, and every shot is it's own group. With some practice, you will learn where the shot went without even the visual feedback of the target's impact location.

For steel match shooters, the know your limits racks ("KYL") are a variation on dot drills.
 
Posts: 4725 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am currently trying to learn how to shoot a springer air pellet rifle that was given to me. It's a Feinwerbau 124. Evidently PCP air rifles are easier to shoot, as they recoil less. However, there's a lot of pellet dwell time in the barrel compared to centerfire rifles, so any air rifle requires flawless follow through after breaking the shot.

At 30 feet in my basement, I'm shooting prone at "tack driving targets" -- 3/8" outer donut, 3/16" inner hollow ring. Only just beginning to understand the backwards then forwards recoil cycle, and truly crappy trigger. I'm now hitting the outer circle about 60% of the time. The inner circle hit rate is......lower.

This is going to be a long term learning project. Until my targets start looking better, I ain't posting no webz pictures. Nosireebob.
 
Posts: 4725 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 2284 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here’s a comparison between shooting dot drills and groups. I could have controlled the examples better by punching holes in paper with a rod, but shooting was more realistic. And more challenging. My first attempt was at 50 yards with my 22lr bolt action. Winds weren’t fun – 2 to 8 mph, switching from 10 to 2 o’clock without notice. Two of the four rows didn’t clearly produce the examples I wanted. Oops.

So I brought the target in to 40 yards and tried to watch the wind better. I used the hollow dots instead of the solid ones in order to have better aim points on the edges of the dots. In reality, most of our misses will be completely off the dot, rather than just clipping its edge. But the concept still works.



Row 1 dots & target 1 group (5-shot groups at the bottom of the page)
These results generally come from two different setups behind the rifle. There’s a group at 11 o’clock and another at 5 o’clock. The error could be caused by inconsistent cheek welds and/or not getting our eyes in the sweet spot of the scope. We commonly see shadows or donuts in the scope when targets like this are occurring.

Another possibility is parallax -- say for scopes with fixed parallax or if the target is closer than the scope's shortest parallax setting.

Row 2 dots & target 2 group
This is horizontal stringing. Assuming wind isn’t an issue (like it was this day), trigger control is a likely cause. Pulling the trigger straight back to the rear, without disturbing the sight picture is the key.

Row 3 dots & target 3 group
This is vertical stringing, which is my biggest problem. It’s often caused by inconsistent use of a squeezable rear bag. Breathing is another likely cause – breaking the shot at different parts of our breathing cycle and/or trying to hold our breath to break the shot.

People who shoot with firm or solid rear bags generally don’t have pronounced vertical stringing. IMO vertical point of impact becomes a big issue in steel matches where we shoot up or down at significant angles. In such situations I sometimes find it hard to get my eye in the sweet spot of the scope, essentially meaning my parallax is now out of whack.

Row 4 dots & target 4 group
The WTF situation. Shots are all over the place, but roughly centered on target in aggregate. Assuming the gun and ammo are up to the task, this points to the shooter – inconsistent fundamentals of marksmanship.

When these types of groups/dots happen to me, I pretty much shout W...T...F... During practice, I walk away from the gun for awhile, grab something to eat & drink, try to think of something else. When it happens during a match, well...I’ve got my work cut out while walking to the next stage.
 
Posts: 4725 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dot drills aren't the most exciting thing to shoot. The drills expose our weaknesses really, really quickly. They're work and they require the proper mindset.

For those who play golf, let me try an analogy of shooting dot drills to playing golf.

We all want to play 18 holes on a great course. We get multiple chances to whack the ball 300 yards from the tee, we get variety in our shots, we get to banter with the cute cart girls for drinks and snacks.

But let's say our short game ain't so hot. We have trouble chipping onto the green, and getting out of sand traps just sucks. So what should we do? Practice our short game, of course. But we tend to play 18 holes, because our weekend golf time is so short. Then after playing 18 holes, we snap a picture of our new Titleist uber mega distance mongo driver, and post it on the webz.

And we still can't get a handle on our short game.
 
Posts: 4725 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
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It's dot drill season for me.

Sent 100 rounds yesterday doing dot drills with the .223AI.

I like to use 1" shot-n-see pasters. You can buy packages of just the repair pasters. Provides instant feedback, which I like.

I shot them all seated at a bench, using two 10-round mags. So I'd shoot an entire page (20 dots), then pull the suppressor cover to let it cool while I reloaded the mags and stretched my legs.

I didn't clean a single one of them.

I definitely noticed that I'd throw shots if my head wasn't on the comb in JUST the right position. It's taking some practice after being off the gun all winter. I hate winter.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15631 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice fritz.

And not that I wish WTF moments for you, especially in a match. But it is nice to know that even experts have those moments.

I've been cold for awhile now but hoping to do dots this week with the 10/22.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 5952 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
Nice fritz.

And not that I wish WTF moments for you, especially in a match. But it is nice to know that even experts have those moments.

I've been cold for awhile now but hoping to do dots this week with the 10/22.


He called fritz an expert! Big Grin Big Grin




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15631 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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konata -- thanks, but I'm a long ways from an expert. The chasm between my scores and those from the match leader boards makes this pretty obvious.

exx -- How are you liking your 223AI? The concept of a 223 trainer appeals to me, however it's not in the cards right now. My 22lr works, but the wind tosses the 40-grainer around like a ping-pong ball once I get past 175-ish yards.
 
Posts: 4725 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Doing countless dot drills has giving me a understanding on how much I influence a shot, why I miss.... Not blaming it on a DA change, scope not tracking, angle of the shot, on and on... How does this translate to distance? I look at my worse shot on the above target. Common prone plate size/distance in a steel match 8" at 500yds, common shape is a diamond. Diamonds are tough! Translating the worse low shot from the dot drill to a 8" plate at 500yds shows how tough a shot that now becomes to plop down and hit with one shot. How much narrower of wind window, cuts it to less then half. That's a best case scenario, suggesting my rifle will hold vertical at distance like it does at 100yds. Go to a smaller target, 5" diamond....Fun Stuff!


8" target



5" target

 
Posts: 2284 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
konata -- thanks, but I'm a long ways from an expert. The chasm between my scores and those from the match leader boards makes this pretty obvious.

exx -- How are you liking your 223AI? The concept of a 223 trainer appeals to me, however it's not in the cards right now. My 22lr works, but the wind tosses the 40-grainer around like a ping-pong ball once I get past 175-ish yards.


It has met the needs well for the reasons I designed it.

I thought long and hard about a 40x repeater for a trainer, but I could actually build the AI for cheaper up front, even if long-term the ammo costs will be higher.

However, the reason I wanted it is that I can treat it like a full-on competition rifle - shoot it at distance, compete with it at local/regional matches that only have targets to 800ish - and yet still be forced to improve my wind calls.

I'm not ENTIRELY convinced that the AI has any more benefit than a straight 223, but I like to be different (I shoot 47 instead of CM), so that's why I did that. When this barrel is shot out in a few years, I already have a Krieger 4-groove blank sitting here, so maybe I'll switch to straight 223. We'll see.



In quick response to the "expert" thing - There are certainly a LOT of shooters out there better than I, but regionally, some folks have come to view me as some sort of "expert".

Looking back on it, at one point or another, there were people that I informally viewed as experts when I was getting started. I forget who said it, but "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". It's all in your point of view, right? We've been shooting for a few years. Someone just picking up a rifle may easily see our skill level as expert when compared to theirs. It happens. I try to correct them when I see it, as you did, but it doesn't seem to change much. Big Grin




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15631 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I still haven't eliminated the concept of a 40X trainer, but for now my Kimber sporter is pretty fun to shoot. There's definitely an up-front investment in a 40X.

You're a better man than me if you're willing to push the .223 bullet out to 800 yards in competition. I've shot that far, but I really struggled with wind calls. I'd feel more comfy with 500-600 yards with 223 -- target distances which are the core of my practice range. Keep us posted with your thoughts on the 223AI over time.
 
Posts: 4725 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
One Who Knows
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Fritz: "Every shot is its own group."

I really like this concept, and it is so true in a sport where one shot makes all the difference. It really is hit, or miss. Thank you brother.



The only difference between a wise man and a fool is that one knows it. Unknown
 
Posts: 1279 | Location: Missouri | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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All of this just really makes me want a bolt gun and 50 acres to just go have fun.

Nice shooting, guys.


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