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Follow Through


Bart Solo

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Last Saturday I missed 4 pistol targets. I blamed my new 38 SASS Rugers. I blamed the stage writer. Mostly I blamed my move to a lighter powder load. I didn't blame myself.

 

The next day I took one of my 45s to the local range for some slow fire. I wanted to confirm what that the gun shot consistenrly left. If so I was going to have the barrel tweeked. Anyway, after about 5 shots I realized that either the gun has gotten well or I am now a better shot. I was consistently putting lead in the 10 ring from 7 yards. If it was shooting left you could have fooled me. I loaded some more bullets and fired again. The first shot missed the target entirely. The second hit the bottom of the paper. I took a deep breath, focused and hit dead center. I did that three more times. Off I went for about 20 more rounds when a bullet again departed south on the paper. As always I was seeing the front sight as I pulled the trigger. Then I started thinking about what was happening. Apparently I was pulling down on the trigger instead of squeezing. Not all the time, but every once in a while. Enough for 4 misses in a match. At the moment of firing the shot my mind was some place else and my barrel was pointing down.

 

I think my problem has something to do with what Doc Shapiro and others call follow through. Apparently good follow through requires a shooter to stay focused on the front sight even as the bullet is leaving the gun and that is what I was failing to do. Am I right, or should I look elsewhere for a solution to my problem? In a followup question, how does proper follow through square with the need to move your focus to the next target as soon as possible after breaking the shot?

 

Oh, I have concluded my 45 can actually hit the target dead on if I do my job.

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When it was shooting left, you had too much finger on the trigger. Now yer choking the heck out of it, pulling down in anticipation of recoil. LIGHTEN UP! Try this. Slide a cigarette or paper rolled to that size between yer palm and the side of the grip. Concentrate on gripping ONLY the front and back of the frame so ya don't crush the paper, and GENTLY securing the grip with your hand. Now trip the shot and see if it don't go right where ya pointed it. Ya ain't gotta choke the heck out of it. What'd that pistol ever do to you? :lol:

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If you do not follow through and make sure the bullet hits the target getting to the next target fast doesn't matter because it won't make up a 5 second miss.

 

You should stay with the sight picture on target long enough to know the shot is gone and will hit before moving on. You do not have to see the hit but know when the bullet left the barrel it was a hit.

 

Most misses happen when the shooter is shooting the last round in the gun. They start moving to the next gun or position before the shot is actually made. They look at the next target or holster and have not pulled the trigger yet.

 

When watching a shooter on the line to see how they do it, most people watch targets and not the shooter's hands. Also a training aid is to watch the shooter's hat. You can see the hat move in the direction the shooter is thinking and listen for the shot. Is it before the hat moves or after. After usually results in hits. Before results in move misses.

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Two drills that can help.

 

1. Live fire. load 1 skip 2 load 2. Spin the cylinder. Shoot. What happens when you hit an empty chamber by surprise may surprise you. Keep doing it till the empties happen with the sights rock solid on target.

 

2. Dry fire. With an UNLOADED revolver, find a small object, like a light switch and dry fire and see how fast you can go and keep the sights always on the light switch.

 

 

Very Best Regards,

BJT

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When it was shooting left, you had too much finger on the trigger. Now yer choking the heck out of it, pulling down in anticipation of recoil. LIGHTEN UP! Try this. Slide a cigarette or paper rolled to that size between yer palm and the side of the grip. Concentrate on gripping ONLY the front and back of the frame so ya don't crush the paper, and GENTLY securing the grip with your hand. Now trip the shot and see if it don't go right where ya pointed it. Ya ain't gotta choke the heck out of it. What'd that pistol ever do to you? :lol:

 

That's a good one! A really good pistol shooter I used to know years ago (not SASS) once told me it was like gripping a toothpaste tube in your hand, upside down, with the cap off. You wanna grip it tight enough not to drop the tube, but don't squeeze any toothpaste out. :)

 

BTW, I lack in follow through often when completing my last shot of the string. I'm trying to hurry up and finish the shot and reholster and it effects my follow through. My point is, you ain't alone.

 

Keep at it!

 

 

Chick

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Bart, something that you might want to look at is your trigger pull. It is possible that you need a lighter trigger. I can SO relate to what you're speaking of as failure to follow through is my biggest nemesis shooting gunfighter. From time to time I will have a miss on a pistol target when I know full well that I saw my sights on the target. Eventually I figured out that I sometimes hurry a bit too much and instead of aim, pull trigger, aim, pull trigger, I will aim, switch my attention to the other pistol and as I'm aiming it, I will pull the trigger on the first gun which has moved a bit following my head to the other pistol. So, I've ended up with aim, aim, pull trigger, pull trigger. I have found that a lighter trigger helps me although as a gunfighter, I don't want them too light.

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Bart, something that you might want to look at is your trigger pull. It is possible that you need a lighter trigger. I can SO relate to what you're speaking of as failure to follow through is my biggest nemesis shooting gunfighter. From time to time I will have a miss on a pistol target when I know full well that I saw my sights on the target. Eventually I figured out that I sometimes hurry a bit too much and instead of aim, pull trigger, aim, pull trigger, I will aim, switch my attention to the other pistol and as I'm aiming it, I will pull the trigger on the first gun which has moved a bit following my head to the other pistol. So, I've ended up with aim, aim, pull trigger, pull trigger. I have found that a lighter trigger helps me although as a gunfighter, I don't want them too light.

 

That makes good sense. Really makes sense because I cock both guns at the same time.

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Rippin Kid,

 

i see by your SASS number that you may have recently joined. And based on your post, your probably shooting GF.

 

Anyhow, if your a new GF, Buck D Law has some material that he has put together that helps new GFer's.

 

If he still has his information, he might be able to get you that info.....if your interested.

 

 

Best regards

 

 

..........Widder

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Rippin Kid,

 

i see by your SASS number that you may have recently joined. And based on your post, your probably shooting GF.

 

Anyhow, if your a new GF, Buck D Law has some material that he has put together that helps new GFer's.

 

If he still has his information, he might be able to get you that info.....if your interested.

 

 

Best regards

 

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

OH Yea Buck D Law got me started down the right track.

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The OP and answers gave me food for thought. I will have more misses on about the third or fourth stage than on the first couple.

 

will try some of these tricks and am sure that will correct the problem. Last shot misses usually occur by putting the pistol in the holster before the last shot is fired.

 

CW :FlagAm:

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And, nobody answered your question: "What is follow through?"

 

Follow through occurs when a shooter concentrates on the front sight before, during and after recoil seeing it lift as the round is fired AND holding the trigger to the back until the front sight settles back down and is sitting in the rear notch just like it looked before you fired the shot. At which point you release the trigger letting it reset for the next shot.

 

Most folks don't really know what it is and most don't do it. Most will release the trigger as soon as the shot goes off and start getting ready for the next shot. At speed it is very difficult to hold the trigger to the back. This is mostly done shooting slowly.

 

I do agree with the others who said that you most likely had too much trigger in the trigger guard.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Dang It Dan

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Follow through is important. Dang It Dan is 100% correct in his description. Matter of fact, he taught me a LOT, and I'm sure there's a lot more he could teach me!

 

Keep shooting groups. It should be part of every live fire practice session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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