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How to improve my rifle times?


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23 hours ago, Eyesa Horg said:

I can't seem to break the habit of wrapping my thumb around the stock. Seems when I don't, I don't close the lever all the way. Maybe due to my bad shoulder, I don't know! Gonna work on it this winter with some dry fire. I also have a bad habit of levering the first round before it's shouldered. A stop, start can't be good.:lol:

New shooter [maybe four years tops.]; still have a problem wrapping my thumb around the stock for the same reason. I'm still trying to avoid that, but haven't as of yet. At 85, I may be running out of time....

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Video yourself shooting. After all of the tips and tricks it comes down to what you do (or don't do) when the timer goes off.

 

The camera doesn't lie.

 

I discovered numerous errors watching video of myself. Not that I have corrected them, but I have watched them.:D

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5 hours ago, Griff said:

Shoot FAST?  Why?  I like getting my money's worth.  If I spend 60 seconds shooting a stage, it means I got six minutes of trigger time for my $15.  If I halve my speed or more I get less trigger time for my investment.  So I aim for the hat, feet, corner or less populated parts of the target.  I go home in the same car(truck) I arrived in, win, lose or draw... so...:P

Getting a fancy buckle IS getting my money's worth.

 

;)

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42 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Getting a fancy buckle IS getting my money's worth.

 

;)

Say... aren't you missing an accomplishment on your tag line?  ;)

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Just now, Badlands Bob #61228 said:

I think Phantom needs to update his resume.  According to his tag line, he hasn't done squat in the last 10 years.

 

 

Hell, I haven't done squat for many more years than that:o

 

But I did state: "Won a few things here and there in various other states...but who really gives a Cr*p."

 

Kinda covers everything...keeps folks guessing :rolleyes:

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I do pretty well with the rifle and for me my important thoughts are (in no order).  I'm not saying what works best for everyone, but what works for me

 

-work on that first shot shouldering,  if I miss that, i'm still fast but its awkward and clumsy.   

-  Have a good slick shortstroked rifle.   I went lightening fast after upgrading to a Boogie rifle

-  I have my lever wrapped with two layers of cord, closing up the gap to prevent a lot of finger flop in the loop.  The lever just rides just behind the outer knuckles so I run it with more of a flipping open motion rather than pushing it.  

-  keeping good shoulder tension stabilizes the rifle both for aiming and to have something to resist against for lever opening.   Keeping the right or lever arm elbow slightly lower minimizes shoulder pocket movement for a more atable position.   

-  I love a full buckhorn rear sight, works like a peep or ghost ring.   If I can see my bead in that opening, and its near the target, its a hit

-  I lever with only the middle and ring finger, leaving the pinky out,  thats the fastest for me since those fingers have the most range of motion.

-  I also slap fire where closing the lever equals firing the shot.  There is no delay or thinking about it, its second nature.  So I lever open and close/fire when the brain tells me to.  There isn't true aiming unless its on smaller knockdowns.

- I like a little pressure on the lifter and lever spring, having those too light leads to inconsistent actions and short stroking it or jacking rounds

- Know the sequence automatically in your head.   If I prep through it enough, I am not usually counting shots or targets.   I know what a single, double or triple tap feels like and give each target what it needs. 

-  Take care of natural point of aim.   Coming from a competitive highpower background, this was always the basis before firing, but a lot of people dont think about it at all.   Pay attention to stance, especially as it pertains to swinging right or left, you dont want the torso to be overwound or underwound.  But having your first shot be near to the natural point of aim will speed that first acquisition.

-  I echo watching videos to see what you are doing

 

Groundhog

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Groundhog, 107692 said:

 I also slap fire where closing the lever equals firing the shot.  There is no delay or thinking about it, its second nature.  So I lever open and close/fire when the brain tells me to.  There isn't true aiming unless its on smaller knockdowns.

Please don't do this folks...

 

Phantom

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On 10/17/2023 at 10:24 AM, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

In reviewing some of my LR stage videos it appears I need to improve my rifle times. I’m open to some tips and hints.
I know I can lever faster but I’m always holding back a little for good sight picture. That 5 seconds for a miss is always at the back of my mind.

Sight picture?

 

 

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10 hours ago, Groundhog, 107692 said:

I do pretty well with the rifle and for me my important thoughts are (in no order).  I'm not saying what works best for everyone, but what works for me

 

-work on that first shot shouldering,  if I miss that, i'm still fast but its awkward and clumsy.   

-  Have a good slick shortstroked rifle.   I went lightening fast after upgrading to a Boogie rifle

-  I have my lever wrapped with two layers of cord, closing up the gap to prevent a lot of finger flop in the loop.  The lever just rides just behind the outer knuckles so I run it with more of a flipping open motion rather than pushing it.  

-  keeping good shoulder tension stabilizes the rifle both for aiming and to have something to resist against for lever opening.   Keeping the right or lever arm elbow slightly lower minimizes shoulder pocket movement for a more atable position.   

-  I love a full buckhorn rear sight, works like a peep or ghost ring.   If I can see my bead in that opening, and its near the target, its a hit

-  I lever with only the middle and ring finger, leaving the pinky out,  thats the fastest for me since those fingers have the most range of motion.

-  I also slap fire where closing the lever equals firing the shot.  There is no delay or thinking about it, its second nature.  So I lever open and close/fire when the brain tells me to.  There isn't true aiming unless its on smaller knockdowns.

- I like a little pressure on the lifter and lever spring, having those too light leads to inconsistent actions and short stroking it or jacking rounds

- Know the sequence automatically in your head.   If I prep through it enough, I am not usually counting shots or targets.   I know what a single, double or triple tap feels like and give each target what it needs. 

-  Take care of natural point of aim.   Coming from a competitive highpower background, this was always the basis before firing, but a lot of people dont think about it at all.   Pay attention to stance, especially as it pertains to swinging right or left, you dont want the torso to be overwound or underwound.  But having your first shot be near to the natural point of aim will speed that first acquisition.

-  I echo watching videos to see what you are doing

 

Groundhog

 

 

 

All sound advice, I’ve seen Groundhog shoot speed rifle,  super fast.

 

For the OP , Do this 1st have someone who is a “fast shooter” watch your technique, make sure you have good basic fundamentals as Groundhog mentioned. Good back pressure with your hand holding forearm, no wrapping thumb and learning to time to hit the trigger immediately when lever is closed but also learning not to hit the trigger when there is a wider swing or small target. Some folks take they’re trigger finger out of lever when levering and time to hit trigger when lever is closed other and I think most keep trigger finger in trigger guard. As Groundhog mention make sure the lever is wrapped so your fingers don’t have a lot of movement in lever. 

 

Dry fire, use a ground snap cap to protect your firing pin.

 

Go to the range with a timer (lots of ammo) and look at your splits and try to improve them, use a target that’s big and close. Once you get your splits down switch to two targets then three targets etc, trying to keep your splits the same. Don’t be afraid to miss or you will never get faster.

 

AO

 

 

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11 hours ago, Groundhog, 107692 said:

I do pretty well with the rifle and for me my important thoughts are (in no order).  I'm not saying what works best for everyone, but what works for me

 

-work on that first shot shouldering,  if I miss that, i'm still fast but its awkward and clumsy.   

-  Have a good slick shortstroked rifle.   I went lightening fast after upgrading to a Boogie rifle

-  I have my lever wrapped with two layers of cord, closing up the gap to prevent a lot of finger flop in the loop.  The lever just rides just behind the outer knuckles so I run it with more of a flipping open motion rather than pushing it.  

-  keeping good shoulder tension stabilizes the rifle both for aiming and to have something to resist against for lever opening.   Keeping the right or lever arm elbow slightly lower minimizes shoulder pocket movement for a more atable position.   

-  I love a full buckhorn rear sight, works like a peep or ghost ring.   If I can see my bead in that opening, and its near the target, its a hit

-  I lever with only the middle and ring finger, leaving the pinky out,  thats the fastest for me since those fingers have the most range of motion.

-  I also slap fire where closing the lever equals firing the shot.  There is no delay or thinking about it, its second nature.  So I lever open and close/fire when the brain tells me to.  There isn't true aiming unless its on smaller knockdowns.

- I like a little pressure on the lifter and lever spring, having those too light leads to inconsistent actions and short stroking it or jacking rounds

- Know the sequence automatically in your head.   If I prep through it enough, I am not usually counting shots or targets.   I know what a single, double or triple tap feels like and give each target what it needs. 

-  Take care of natural point of aim.   Coming from a competitive highpower background, this was always the basis before firing, but a lot of people dont think about it at all.   Pay attention to stance, especially as it pertains to swinging right or left, you dont want the torso to be overwound or underwound.  But having your first shot be near to the natural point of aim will speed that first acquisition.

-  I echo watching videos to see what you are doing

 

Groundhog

 

 

 

 

11 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Please don't do this folks...

 

Phantom

Unless you want to shoot sub 2 second rifle strings.
 

Sorry Phantom, I’ve seen Groundhog shoot multiple times and his rifle is outrageously good.

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On 10/17/2023 at 9:11 AM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

If you're trying to hit the middle of the target you're disrespecting the rest of the Steel...

 

Phantom

 

 

"If you're not using the whole target you're not shooting fast enough."

 

    -Creeker-

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1 hour ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

 

Unless you want to shoot sub 2 second rifle strings.
 

Sorry Phantom, I’ve seen Groundhog shoot multiple times and his rifle is outrageously good.

Speed Rifle is different than Main Match.

 

Big and Close is different that not so Big and Close.

 

I strongly advise developing a technique that works under all stage designs. 

 

Unless I'm misunderstanding the technique...

 

Phantom

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2 hours ago, Arcadia Outlaw, SASS 71385 said:

 A video is worth a zillion words. 
 

Pretty much covers what Groundhog was saying.

 

AO

 

If you havent checked out Deadeye Dillards video’s you should !

He does great videos!

 

I think, regarding the "slam firing", I was talking about something different. 

 

Phantom

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2 hours ago, Arcadia Outlaw, SASS 71385 said:

Don’t be afraid to miss or you will never get faster.

When I first started it took me a long time to come to this realization. I practiced slow enough to always hit the targets and somehow thought I would miraculously get faster.

 

Randy 

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This applies to all guns...focusing on Stage times.

 

Lead Dispencer told me when I first started that so long as my misses don't add up to more than my Stage raw time, all is good. The misses will start to go away.

 

Put this philosophy together with what some have already mentioned (ie: Technique), and your times will improve.

 

Phantom

 

PS: Remember that non-trigger time is perhaps more important than anything else.

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On 10/17/2023 at 12:11 PM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

If you're trying to hit the middle of the target you're disrespecting the rest of the Steel...

Interesting. Never thought of it like this. 
 

Hugs!

Scarlett

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6 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

PS: Remember that non-trigger time is perhaps more important than anything else.

 

This ^^

 

How fast you SHOOT the rifle and pistols should be at the bottom of the pecking order if "improving my stage times" is the goal.

 

Transitions (which includes movement).

 

Shotgun is the only gun you load on the clock.

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1.  Dry fire.  A lot.  You have to be able to work the mechanism rapidly, to shoot fast.  So, do so.  Except for the time spent, and the reasonable wear on your rifle, this is free.

2.  Practice at the range.  A lot.  You have to put lead on steel, to find your limits, and then stretch them.  This is where you make the dry firing pay off.

3.  Shoot matches.  A lot.  Practice is essential, but consequence free.  You need to find your match speed, where you run your guns hard, but rope it in enough to make the steel ring.  Practice ain't the same as this.

 

Commit.  Get back to us in a year, and let us know how it goes.

 

Cheers,

FJT

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2 hours ago, Frederick Jackson Turner said:

1.  Dry fire.  A lot.  You have to be able to work the mechanism rapidly, to shoot fast.  So, do so.  Except for the time spent, and the reasonable wear on your rifle, this is free.

2.  Practice at the range.  A lot.  You have to put lead on steel, to find your limits, and then stretch them.  This is where you make the dry firing pay off.

3.  Shoot matches.  A lot.  Practice is essential, but consequence free.  You need to find your match speed, where you run your guns hard, but rope it in enough to make the steel ring.  Practice ain't the same as this.

 

Commit.  Get back to us in a year, and let us know how it goes.

 

Cheers,

FJT

 

I like this ^^^.

 

There are A LOT of good post here and many of them agree on many of the aspects.

 

One thing is for such.....  printing these post and putting a copy of them under your pillow won't

make speed come to you in a dream.   Ya gotta PRACTICE.     Ya dry fire/live practice a little, you might

gain a little speed.     Ya dry fire/live practice a lot, you'll start to see positive results.    And your competition

will also start to see the results.

 

..........Widder

 

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Not everyone is in the game for speed .

This is my day off work and I'm out playing Cowboys with like minded friends shooting guns and braking bread at the end of the day .

I don't care if I'm first or last on the score sheet .

I'm always here to enjoy myself and have some laughs wile playing with guns safely. 

Rooster 

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On 10/17/2023 at 7:43 AM, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

Here is some of Long Hunter's advice:

 

 

This!

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On 10/17/2023 at 10:24 AM, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

In reviewing some of my LR stage videos it appears I need to improve my rifle times. I’m open to some tips and hints.
I know I can lever faster but I’m always holding back a little for good sight picture. That 5 seconds for a miss is always at the back of my mind.

 
 
 
 
 

The answer is one shot drills. Do some dry fire practice starting from different positions (i.e. hands on hat, port arms, gun in hand, sass default, etc) and do one shot. Make sure you have something hanging on the wall to use as a target. Small post-it notes will work just fine. Don't make them too big because the point is to still force yourself to find that front site. But you want to get used to breaking your first shot as soon as you see the target behind your front site. 

 

Another thing I do is called "point practice" where I break down each complex movement (i.e. grabbing rifle, mounting rifle, acquiring sites, breaking shot) and do them painfully slow but perfect. I start each dry fire practice this way to ingrain the perfect movement in my mind. Then I put them all together but still not quick. Just smooth, perfect technique. Then once I have done about 10-15 reps that way I use a timer and go match speed.

 

THe first shot is where you lose the most time. The more comfortable you are with this, the more time you can cut from your rifle strings. For instance, starting with hands on hat, I can get 10 shots out of my rifle in an average of 3.75 seconds and my first shot is around 1.25. So a third of my rifle string time is mounting the rifle, acquiring sites, and breaking the first shot.

 

I have many variations on this drill, but to start, just do it very simple. Spend bout 10 minutes 3 days per week and you will be surprised how much improvement you make in a short amount of time. 

 

The second obvious thing to work on is slam firing your rifle. Without seeing video of your rifle strings, it is hard to critique. But if you aren't slam firing, you are loosing time. For me, dry fire did not help me much in this area. I did most of this practice at the range. 

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Lotsa good advice here.   I'll try some it myself.    Of course, I am not a fast shooter by any definition, so I can't offer any realistic suggestions. 

That being said, I am faster with a Lightning than any lever gun.  But that's not really something that'll help most folks.

But...

 

Here's something I've always wondered about.  Put a little more powder in the case.  That'll increase your muzzle velocity!  And that means the bullets are moving faster, so they will hit the target more quickly!  And in a game where things can be decided by a .001 margin, that very well might help in some way.

And if you'll buy that...   :) 

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9 hours ago, The Outlaw Travis James said:

The second obvious thing to work on is slam firing your rifle. Without seeing video of your rifle strings, it is hard to critique. But if you aren't slam firing, you are losing time. For me, dry fire did not help me much in this area. I did most of this practice at the range. 

 

Great advice here but can you please explain the process of slam firing?  I've watched other shooters do this and have tried it myself but just can't seem to get my brain and finger to cooperate.  It's probably a timing issue but darned if I can perfect it.

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29 minutes ago, Shawnee Hills said:

 

Great advice here but can you please explain the process of slam firing?  I've watched other shooters do this and have tried it myself but just can't seem to get my brain and finger to cooperate.  It's probably a timing issue but darned if I can perfect it.

If you want to slam fire your rifle, take the following steps.

 

1.  Get a Lightning

2.  Hold back the trigger while working the pump back and forth.

 

This also works on a 97.

 

To slam fire a lever gun, study this video.
 

 

 

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