SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  Mason's Rifle Room    Another precision rifle drill: the “Hunt and Peck” challenge. A new target 28Oct23.
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Another precision rifle drill: the “Hunt and Peck” challenge. A new target 28Oct23. Login/Join 
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted
The originator of this drill was the YouTuber 22 Rimfire ultra and his “Scrambled Numbers Challenge”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SEyZC7uNbM&t=5s
(I refer to my version as the “Hunt and Peck” challenge, but he deserves credit for the original idea.)

The challenge is to hit as many small targets as possible out of an array of 25 targets at 50 yards. The part that’s different than just shooting at a series of targets is that these must be engaged in numerical order (i.e.: 1, 2, 3 …), but the numbers are assigned to the targets at random on the sheet.
And if we’re also shooting for minimum time, that’s a significant additional stressor.

In working with the challenge I developed my own version with targets that are significantly easier to hit than the original 1/4 inch dots. Based on my own somewhat limited experience with the original 1/4" dots, it was extremely difficult to get a respectable number of hits even with a decent accurate rifle and ammunition combination.

I just got a new scope for my single shot Winchester 52E and today was shooting Lapua Center X ammunition—a very accurate combination. A heavy rest was set on a sturdy bench 50 yards from the targets. Weather was perfect: about 60°, clear, with calm to light wind.

The targets must be engaged in numerical order, and they are numbered upper left to lower right corners. I used the results from a random number generator, but your own random numbering might be faster.
https://www.calculatorsoup.com...number-generator.php


This is what a completed run looks like with the goal being to hit the heavy black 1/2" circles in the centers of the larger outside circles (# 13 may appear to be a miss, but I confirmed the bullet touched the center heavy circle with an ancient RIG .22 scoring plug.) The outer circles are 1 inch in diameter, the black circles are 0.5" in diameter, and the open circular area in the middle measures about 0.35".





In the pictured run which was my first today, I got 25 hits on the black circles and 22 hits on the open 0.35" areas in the middle; my second run wasn’t quite as good, but still satisfactory. My time for the first run was 371 seconds. To convert that to a standard score, I divide the number of hits by the time in seconds: 25 ÷ 371 = 0.067. Discarding all the leading zeroes gives a more reasonable 67.

In addition to the marksmanship, part of the challenge is engaging the targets in numerical order, and, if desired, on the clock. Even though the targets are close together, finding the right one and having the discipline to not rush any shots are the main reasons why I like this challenge.

I prepared the targets using Windows “Paint” and then imported them into a Word document. If you would like a blank target sheet sent to you, please email me directly. It’s possible, of course, to develop one’s own targets as shown in the linked YouTube video.

And although I shoot the challenge with a rifle and 22 Long Rifle ammunition at 50 yards, any of that can be changed: number of targets, distance, size of targets, etc.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




6.4/93.6

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 47399 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
in your pants
Picture of armored
posted Hide Post
Nice drill!
 
Posts: 4622 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
posted Hide Post
What does shooting them in numerical order but not in "position order" add? I mean, I can see that it adds the pressure element, and is a drill in scanning the target for the next number. You could add time pressure just by reducing the time of the drill. I don't understand at all what searching out the next number adds to one's shooting skills.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 53121 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
I don't understand at all what searching out the next number adds to one's shooting skills.

I’m reminded of something that I recall that Bruce Gray noted at one time (paraphrasing because I unfortunately did not record it exactly): “Gunfighting involves more than hitting the target.” Or as I interpret the observation, there are many situations in which marksmanship isn’t the only thing that is a critical factor to the shooter. Although I’d never thought of it in such a clear-minded and succinctly-expressed way, it’s something I’ve recognized myself ever since I started thinking of using guns for serious purposes.

That recognition has been a major reason for much of how I train people who carry or otherwise rely on guns for serious purposes, especially law enforcement officers. Once someone has developed the basic marksmanship and gun-handling skills to satisfy some reasonable standards under calm, unhurried conditions, then it’s time to start adding in the much more. Some of those “much mores” are the ability to reload and handle magazines quickly and efficiently, clear malfunctions, use night sights and artificial lights under low light conditions, move and take cover under fire, engage close targets quickly and far targets more deliberately, and even what to do when one’s firearm is completely disabled—to name a few.*

So, what does all that have to do with your question?

The value of the specific thing we’re referring to with this drill, like so many others, largely depends on the individual. For me shooting the drill with the pressure of completing it in the minimum possible time has helped me make the mental and physical transitions from searching for a target to engaging it quickly—and accurately.

I and my students fire many timed drills, most with multiple targets, but all the others involve targets whose engagement sequence and locations are clearly known in advance. This drill, however, adds what is for me a very useful component: “Now where do I go? Dam’, dam’, dam’; where is that thing‽” Because of the small size of the entire target array and the fact it will fit into the field of view of most scopes, it may not seem as though that would be so difficult, but for me and even for the originator of the drill, it can be. And because what should be easy and isn’t always, it also leads to frustration, and frustration leads to, “There it is: Shoot, shoot, shoot!”

When I first started shooting the drill I had a tendency to rush my shots after I’d had difficulty locating a target, and it wasn’t surprising that that led to a lot of unsatisfactory results. What I’ve gained from shooting the drill is greater efficiency in searching for the proper target, but more important, having the discipline to switch mental and physical gears into shooting properly. In some ways it’s like the guidance I give to LEOs during reloading drills: Reload as fast as possible, but then settle down and slow down for the shot.

Does all that have anything to do with developing useful shooting skills? To reiterate, it depends. For most shooters probably not. But although I am not in a position to participate in long range rifle competitions such as the NRL’s, I suspect the ability to find targets at different locations quickly and then engaging them accurately is pretty important. This drill is different in many ways from such competitions, but I submit that that aspect is similar.

And although most of what I’ve discussed is based on trying to complete the drill in the minimum time, I believe that even without that pressure it still requires the shooter to switch between two different mental states, and that can be of value in itself.

(This is obviously another of my long explanations that annoy some people, but you did ask. Wink )

* Added, perhaps to clarify my thinking:
All those things are distractors that can affect shooting ability. Being able to work through or ignore distractions won’t make anyone a better shot than they are when everything is calm and unhurried, but that ability (that comes through exposure and practice) can help prevent their becoming a worse shot.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




6.4/93.6

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 47399 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigforum K9 handler
Picture of jljones
posted Hide Post
The old mantra/thought process in CQB was “you can only move as fast as you can shoot accurately”.

Truth of the matter, you can only move as fast as you can process data. And since I realized this, learning to process data faster is important.

Doing drills like this, “covered pile” drills, longer distance disqualifying color drills, etc are important to me. A monkey can be taught to shoot well. Combining shooting with thinking creates a divided attention drill that helps processing at a faster rate.




www.opspectraining.com

"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"



 
Posts: 37117 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I agree that these drills are valuable. Coincidentally, my shooting buddies and I have been doing similar things lately: One drill has the shooter moving toward an array of two static and one moving target; a cadre then calls "2,1,Mike!", or "1,Mike,2!", etc, indicating the order in which the targets are to be engaged. It makes it harder for the shooter to "game" the drill. After the initial engagement, the cadre can then opt to call out a target to be re-engaged, which encourages good follow-through, and keeps the shooter guessing.

Another has two partitions setup, with a space between, imitating a doorway. The shooter waits outside the "room", while cadre manipulate the two static and one moving target in different configurations. The cadre can also use different "clip-on" targets to create a hostage scenario, or convert a hostile to a non-combatant. The cadre then exits the scenario, and commands the shooter's entry to the room; how the shooter deals with what's inside is on him, and his accuracy and decision-making choices are discussed afterwards. You can't game it, if it's different every time.

Any situation that makes it so the shooter doesn't know what's coming is valuable. These drills can be difficult or impossible to apply a time standard to, though.

I know my examples are a departure from the OP, but they're in the same vein of situation assessment, decision making, and problem solving. Starting from the beginning of the OODA loop, so to speak. Most drills arguably have the shooter jumping right to the "A".

This message has been edited. Last edited by: KSGM,
 
Posts: 2137 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Nice shooting. Pretty much any variation to a normal routine of left to right, then down, adds to the challenge.

As I see it:
- Scoring would be time divided by hits. So...just under 15 seconds per round on average.
- I suggest using a shot timer with a random start beep for each round. Breaks up your rhythm.
- Before each shot -- head off the stock, eyes out of the scope. Better if you completely break position -- needing to re-adjust rifle elevation and/or windage with each shot. Heavy rests front and rear allow us to get lackadaisical with our fundamental of "align gun to target, align shooter to gun".
 
Posts: 7867 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
One of the most challenging, but enjoyable, stages with numbered targets occurred occurred in the NRL's match just west of Craig, Colorado. It took me 3 years to figure out the stage.

Starting prone, bolt back, mag in. The shooting location had a slight forward tilt, we shot across a wide & flat riverbed/valley to targets on the opposing ridge. The downward sloping shooting position required a tall-ish bipod, and those with standard-leg-length Harris bipods had their hands full.

6 targets, all 16" diamonds, painted white. Quite visible first thing in the morning, but were more difficult to locate as the match wore on. Left to right, target distances were 1060 yards (the farthest) to 916 yards (the closest). Probably a good 100 yards between targets side-to-side, so we could only see one target in our scopes if we were dialed up enough for precision shooting. The most successful shooters generally used magnification of 15-20x. Targets had numbers near them -- IIRC 23 on the far left through 28 on the far right. Not numbered 1 through 6, and the shortest target distance had the highest number. Kinda messed up, really.

I could only see one or two targets bare eyed, under the best light. Searching for them through the scope was slow -- some targets were high on the ridge, others were lower. Some were in the open, others were surrounded by trees or bushes. I learned to memorize a feature on the ridge, then go down/left/right of that for a given target.

The stage allowed a maximum of 2 shots per target. A hit on the first shot was worth 2 points -- hit it and you're done. A miss on the first shot allowed a second try, worth 1 point per hit. The RSO tapped each shooter on the foot, said shooter ready. Then he announced which target number to shoot at, and a 25-second clock started. Target numbers were random, but we cycled through every target during the stage. 25 seconds may seem like a lot of time, but it wasn't.

By the third year, I realized I had to have my head completely off the gun when time started. Once I knew the target number, I swiveled the rifle to the rough target location, dialed elevation, got behind the scope, and hoped I was pretty much on target. Adding to the fun, the closer targets on the right were lower than the farther targets on the left. Lots of rear bag squeeze on the right, almost no rear bag squeeze on the left.

IIRC my score on the first year was 2 points of the 12 max. There were scores of 0 and 1 in pretty much every squad of 10 shooters. IIRC on the third year I scored 8, second only to Jake Vibbert (shooter extraordinaire and owner of JC Steel Targets) with a 9. High scoring essentially required fast and consistent shooting of about 1 MOA at roughly 1,000 yards. My third year on this stage was among the best shooting I've ever done. Unfortunately, the rest of the match didn't go so swimmingly.
 
Posts: 7867 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
Thank you for that suggestion, fritz. I use random start shot timers for other drills and qualifications, but hadn’t thought of its value in this one. I will definitely work that in next time.

The obvious disadvantage of solo drills is the lack of the surprise element, and the random start would add a little of that. Drills like the one KSGM described are very useful and more realistic than this one, but they require two people and more effort and different facilities to run. I like this drill because it is quick and easy to set up and can even be shot at a public range. (And of course the muzzle blast from a brake-equipped 300 Win Mag on the next bench over just adds to the fun. Wink ).

And that NRL stage has me shaking my head in wonder. Definitely much more than just being able to hit a target. Thanks for that description as well.




6.4/93.6

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 47399 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of huskerlrrp
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Thank you for that suggestion, fritz. I use random start shot timers for other drills and qualifications, but hadn’t thought of its value in this one. I will definitely work that in next time.

The obvious disadvantage of solo drills is the lack of the surprise element, and the random start would add a little of that. Drills like the one KSGM described are very useful and more realistic than this one, but they require two people and more effort and different facilities to run. I like this drill because it is quick and easy to set up and can even be shot at a public range. (And of course the muzzle blast from a brake-equipped 300 Win Mag on the next bench over just adds to the fun. Wink ).

And that NRL stage has me shaking my head in wonder. Definitely much more than just being able to hit a target. Thanks for that description as well.


Could be interesting to mix the numbers on different sheets at different ranges. 100-200 yard targets might need larger dots if you stretch it out. Who am I kidding, I can't do 1/2 MOA consistantly at 200 yards with my 22 LR.


 
Posts: 1789 | Location: North Cackalacky | Registered: September 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by huskerlrrp:
Could be interesting to mix the numbers on different sheets at different ranges.

Yes, the basic concept can be modified into many different versions.

It’s certainly much less expensive to shoot even high quality 22 Long Rifle ammunition than most centerfire, but I’d far rather run a version even with bulk 5.56 and an average AR using modified targets than to dump a mag into a berm just to make noise and raise dust.




6.4/93.6

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 47399 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
Another interesting session today.
I followed the excellent suggestion by fritz to use a shot timer’s random start feature along with getting off the scope and not chambering a round until I’d identified the proper target. I also used a bipod and rear wedge bag for support rather than a heavy bench rest. The results demonstrated how important (and difficult) it is to achieve a consistent shooting position for each shot. I’m back to sometimes completely missing the 1" circle of the targets and much more often not hitting the center 1/2 inch circle.

I didn’t completely break my shooting position as member offgrid has suggested to increase the humbling level, but I’m pretty sure that just lifting my head off the scope and using my trigger hand to reset the timer along with the delay between shots all had an effect. I struggled to achieve a consistent shooting position and when I managed that things were much better. Although I didn’t record my shot times, my goal is to get one off in less than 15 seconds; I sometimes managed that.

And out of frustration I interrupted the H&P drill to shoot some groups and managed sub-MOA with five shots twice in succession. The third was a bit larger, but was still much better than my overall performance with H&P drill, so it is not the gun and/or ammo. Rifle today was a Ruger 77/22 with Lilja barrel and ammunition was SK Standard Plus; usually a very precise combination.




6.4/93.6

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 47399 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
sigfreund has just summarized the challenges of precision rifle shooting. The #$@&% challenges which haunt all but the best-of-the-best, and most the robotic, shooters. His initial targets reveal that his rifle/ammo/shooter system can be quite accurate. The latest results reveal what can occur when we shooters are just a tad less than robotic.

offgrid was the first shooter around me who heavily promoted breaking position between shots on dot drills. Jacob Bynum of Rifles Only requires this regularly of his students. To be honest, I hate it -- because my weaknesses in building a consistent shooting position quickly become evident. But it's an outstanding drill.

The hackneyed saying in just about every rifle shooter's group is "my rifle shoots sub-MOA, all day long". Sometimes qualified by "when I'm doing my part". In reality, it doesn't seem to be all that difficult for rifle companies to engineer and build guns which shoot MOA or better. It's not 1990, when the phase "sub-MOA" was met with the same Gregorian chant as "The Chart" for AR15s. The weak link in shooting accuracy is almost always the shooter, and I only need to pass by a mirror to see the root cause of my accuracy issues.

Sigfreund gets it.
 
Posts: 7867 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
breaking position between shots on dot drills


Nobody ever told me this wasn't the norm. I can't remember ever not breaking position between shots. Might be because until more recently I never really shot much at paper and usually the targets moved so it's pretty much always see the target, find it in the scope, bang, rinse and repeat (or gut it and the work starts).
 
Posts: 51 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 13, 2022Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jxb:
… I never really shot much at paper ….

You address the point of the drill and how it differs from most shooting activities. And breaking position between shots isn’t something that has ever been discussed much because breaking or not breaking is normally a natural element of the activity and doesn’t need to be discussed.

The effect and value of breaking position in this drill to the limited degree of coming off scope and doing other things between shots are that they offer a bit of simulation of what naturally happens in certain shooting activities like hunting.

In other activities such as traditional competitive shooting, multiple shots are fired at stationary targets after the shooter has taken the time to assume the best position, including natural point of aim and all that. The same is true when shooting for load development or to otherwise test the precision of a rifle and ammunition from a consistent position that minimizes shooter and gun movement.

In positional shooting the shooters obviously “break” position when changing among prone, sitting, kneeling, and offhand stages, but they will try to assume and maintain their best positions for an entire shooting string. The same is true of a sport like biathlon that involves a lot of strenuous movement between stages: once shooters get to a shooting position and start shooting they try not to change anything between shots.

Even in the more modern sport of long range precision rifle shooting that also involves moving among various shooting positions, the shooter won’t break position any more than necessary if multiple shots are fired from the same position. There will be changes in points of aim as necessary for different targets from that position, but most shooters maintain the same position on the rifle and scope to the degree possible.

This drill isn’t for everyone, but I like it precisely because of the very unusual challenges it presents for something that can be shot at relatively close range and from a shooting range bench. And the suggestion by fritz makes it even more of a challenge and test than how I originally shot it. The last two times I fired the 25-shot drill my average times were a bit over 12 seconds per target, but they varied widely from less than eight seconds to over 18. Now I’m thinking about shooting the drill while using a tripod for support rather than just from a bench. As I mentioned before, there are many ways the drill can be modified for different goals.

I believe that this drill might be useful for hunters who are faced with finding and identifying a proper target, getting into proper shooting position, maintaining that position for the shot, and all while under a time pressure.




6.4/93.6

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 47399 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
For those who might find this drill useful, this is a modified target and a suggested scoring scheme for using it.





As before, the outer circle is 1 inch in diameter and the thicker inner circle is 0.5 inch. The modification adds a .25 inch circle, and all versions have a central dot that’s about 0.05 (1/20) inch in diameter. The dot isn’t a true circle when viewed with magnification, but it’s the best I can do with my graphics tools.

To provide a way of measuring one’s performance and (hopefully) progress, this is a possible scoring system for different hits:
1 inch - 1 point
.5 inch - 2 points
.25 inch - 4 points
dot - 10 points if the dot is completely obliterated by the hit; i.e., there’s nothing left of it to see at all. I originally scored any “touch” hit as 10 points, but because 10 is so much larger than the other scores, a lucky hit or two would skew things too much for my taste, and I decided to make it a little more difficult.

In addition and as mentioned before, shooting under a time challenge also makes things more interesting (or at least more difficult). But as I’ve also mentioned before, all these are just suggestions to consider for one’s own drills.




6.4/93.6

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 47399 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  Mason's Rifle Room    Another precision rifle drill: the “Hunt and Peck” challenge. A new target 28Oct23.

© SIGforum 2024