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Old 07-03-2017, 11:00 AM
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Advice for beginner?



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I shot my first match a week ago and had a great time.
I shot 16/40 both times. You can say that I'm hooked!
I ordered a Tack Driver stock for my Savage MkII.
The gun shoots well enough with CCI SV to see me thru for a while, I think.

What type of advice can you give me as far as approaching how I shoot?
I employ NPOA (the best I can) and am trying to learn to pick a spot on the animal and not focus on the dot in the scope. I'm used to shooting bulls where its a little easier to aim small, miss small.

I'm going to the range tomorrow to double check my scope settings and continue to practice. Any advice you have is most welcome.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:18 PM
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As I posted in another thread here (emphasis added):

"The 6-8" or so of trajectory difference between the chickens and rams is a HUGE factor. You must know your scope settings and aim points for all 4 distances and the ammo you are using. Shoot a lot of paper and shoot off a rest as much as it takes to have 4 good zeroes. A quality scope with target turrets is great but you can use a scope with mil dots and not change it during the match if you know where to aim.

Don't skimp on scope power. The bigger the target looks the easier it is to hit. The rifle isn't really moving around more at higher power - you just see it more easily.

Aim points like bottom of the body are easier to hold than the center of mass. For example, I use the same zero for chickens and pigs. I aim at the top of the chicken leg and the bottom of the pig's belly at the back of the front leg. My zero is a little above those points which puts the shot closer to the wider part of the back of the chicken and right in the middle of the biggest part of the pig, if I shot it well.

This is a tough sport. Those chickens have the target area of a business card. The rams are far, far away and the size of a paperback book. But if you only hit one, that''s one more than anyone who doesn't shoot silhouettes got. That's bragging rights."

Shoot at turkey & ram distances as much as you can. Rams are relatively big targets but average scores on rams are low because people don't really know where their rifle shoots at that distance. Turkeys are relatively the smallest besides being at a destance where the mythical "50-yard zero" so many people rely on is starting to fail. If you must have a primary zero, make it turkeys.

And paper, shoot lots and lots of paper. It's less fun but more educational.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:51 PM
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Thanks CardPuncher. I have been shooting paper and refining my zeroes to the best that my current abilities will allow.
Picking out a particular spot on each animal to aim at is what I'm missing currently.
I like the idea of "the top of the chicken leg". That's much more precise than shooting at the whole chicken.
I'm using a Mueller Eraticator currently and 25X is ok, but more would be better.
I have an older 8-32 Redfield silhouette scope out for repair now that will go on a different rifle once it comes back.
I'm going to the club tomorrow for more paper practice to start and an informal match with my buddy.

Thanks again,
Dave
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:36 PM
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After you have sight settings based on shooting from the bench, make a couple sets of paper targets and shoot them offhand (at the usual distances) to get a look at your shots. You are looking for groups, and if they are good, where the groups are located, Offhand sight settings often differ from the benchrest settings. You will also see patterns in the poorer shots telling you if you are dropi\ping the shot, jerking, or have NPA problems.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:23 AM
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Good advice so far.

Paper helps to gauge your shots (if you don't have painted backstops) and dry-fire helps with your shot process (NPA to follow-through).

An air rifle makes for inexpensive practice that you might be able to do at home. (Plus there is air rifle silhouette as well!)

You might want to reconsider the Tack Driver stock as it's a thumbhole stock and therefore will not qualify for Hunter Rifle.

If you haven't seen it yet go check out SteelChickens.com.

Welcome to the sport!
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:10 AM
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Tad different advice

Rule number one when you decide to compete in any formal shooting discipline is that when you practice you treat every shot as if it was going to be THE shot that wins the match!

Rule number two is you never violate rule number one.

Rule number 3 is to use targets, even paper ones, that are the same as the targets you are going to shoot at. If you are going to practice for silhouette then get some silhouette paper targets to practice on. Number of em on the web.

Since you are shooting at non-geometric targets, practicing on the geometric ones such as bulls eye one is not the same.

If you are going into bulls eye match then get that type of target to practice on.

Not as much of a deal breaker as rule #1 but helps.

It is a lot easier to shoot silhouette with mil dot scopes then with the traditional "crosshair" ones. The mil dots help you both from a distance and a windage standpoint and if you use em on known distance paper punching you can pretty much ignore them if you want but "between" the dots can also help you under different conditions like wind on that day albeit at short ranges like 25-50 yards not so much.

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Old 07-06-2017, 12:05 PM
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Thanks everyone! I have been shooting paper silhouettes to help refine my scope settings. This is the hardest and yet, the most enjoyable thing I've done with a firearm in as long as I can remember.
As far as the Tack Driver stock goes, I realized up front that it wouldn't qualify as a hunter. I wanted to find something I'm comfortable shooting and that might help me progress with my scores.
I realize as well that I'll need a hunter rifle at some point. Baby steps I suppose. Our club would rather you come out and shoot than worry about stock shape and trigger pull weight.
However, I know that if I want to get my official NRA classification, that will have to change.

Dave
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat McCoy View Post
After you have sight settings based on shooting from the bench, make a couple sets of paper targets and shoot them offhand (at the usual distances) to get a look at your shots. You are looking for groups, and if they are good, where the groups are located, Offhand sight settings often differ from the benchrest settings. You will also see patterns in the poorer shots telling you if you are dropi\ping the shot, jerking, or have NPA problems.
Pat,

What would I be looking for in my paper results to determine that I have an NPOA problem?
I know instantly when I jerk the shot because of that "perfect" sight picture.
The results from that seem to vary, but are mostly low.
Even with an Apachee trigger kit, the Savage trigger is less than preferable.
I've been spoiled by a Win. 52D and an Annie BR-50 recently. Now I feel every little nuance involved with this trigger.
Add to that I'm now having Failure-To-Eject issues with it.
I called Savage this morning and they are sending me replacement parts for this well documented issue. I digress . . .
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:49 PM
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Well, you already see the jerked shots, and the dropped shots MAY be from lack of follow thru (including especially exhaling at the shot).

The only way to be certain that you have the same amount of air in your lungs for every shot is to shoot during the "natural respiratory pause" (the spot where you pause after exhaling, but before inhaling). Trying to hold a partial breath leads to inconsistency due to impossibility of holding the same amount EVERY time (was it 50%, 49.6%, 52%), and the muscle tension from holding it (Try timing yourself while holding a partial breath, and pay attention to the feel of your chest and back muscles, then do it again in the natural pause), and from exhaling as you shoot (can't do it from the natural pause).

NPA problems usually show up as groups spread in various different directions, as you are using your muscles to fight the natural position, leading to movement in at least two (often several) directions.

If you want to really improve your offhand shooting, get a 10 meter air rifle (CMP has Daisy 853s for $100), as the slow velocity requires you to hold longer.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:30 AM
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Here is some more info:

http://www.riflesilhouette.com/

I recommend a Target Scope w a center Dot reticle or fine cross hairs. A Mil Dot reticle scope is to busy and distracting for me...but for starters, any scope will do.

Have fun Nosnil 22!
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Last edited by teetertotter; 07-07-2017 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosnil22 View Post
....What type of advice can you give me as far as approaching how I shoot?
I employ NPOA (the best I can) and am trying to learn to pick a spot on the animal and not focus on the dot in the scope. I'm used to shooting bulls where its a little easier to aim small, miss small....
So how's it progressing for you?
A simplification of the process is to build a position from which the sight picture is undisturbed by the trigger activation. How does that happen? 1) build the perfect position (think npa) until muscle memory controls the process subconsciously and, 2) press your trigger (dryfire) to develop that process subconsciously. Some 3-p shooters dryfire both engage a target visually (to develop the response to target-crosshair alignment) and with eyes closed (to develop the physiological process) to separate that process mentally from target alignment, to reduce its impact on sight picture.
The really good ones have an inclination to these processes without having to create a lesson plan to practice. And then....there's the rest of us.
Simple answer: adequate equipment + well practiced technique

Last edited by cowboy4; 07-08-2017 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Correct autocorrect
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:01 AM
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And then....there's the rest of us.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noremf View Post
It is a lot easier to shoot silhouette with mil dot scopes then with the traditional "crosshair" ones.

noremf(George)
But George...real men shoot iron sights.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:11 AM
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Iron sights

Quote:
Originally Posted by IHMSA80x80 View Post
But George...real men shoot iron sights.
Took the words right out of my mouth.

How true..........which is why I don't have any scoped rifles or pistols other then one for my 9 year old grand daughter and she is graduating to iron sights more every time she shoots so I guess I need to amend that to real men and women shoot with iron sights.

George
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2017, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat McCoy View Post
Well, you already see the jerked shots, and the dropped shots MAY be from lack of follow thru (including especially exhaling at the shot).

The only way to be certain that you have the same amount of air ivn your lungs for every shot is to shoot during the "natural respiratory pause" (the spot where you pause after exhaling, but before inhaling). Trying to hold a partial breath leads to inconsistency due to impossibility of holding the same amount EVERY time (was it 50%, 49.6%, 52%), and the muscle tension from holding it (Try timing yourself while holding a partial breath, and pay attention to the feel of your chest and back muscles, then do it again in the natural pause), and from exhaling as you shoot (can't do it from the natural pause).

NPA problems usually show up as groups spread in various different directions, as you are using your muscles to fight the natural position, leading to movement in at least two (often several) directions.

If you want to really improve your offhand shooting, get a 10 meter air rifle (CMP has Daisy 853s for $100), as the slow velocity requires you to hold longer.
Thanks for this Pat. I do shoot during the natural respiratory pause.
I picked this up from shooting Bullseye.
I will consider getting a 10 meter air rifle.
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