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Shooting high and to the right. Why?


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#1 Pitt Bull

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:43 AM

The last few weeks I have developed a habit of shooting high and to the right during controled pairs. Up to then I had really started to improve. I have become much faster. Now even when I take my time I am starting to shoot high and slightly to the right on the A zone of an Idpa target. Anybody know why and how to correct?

#2 Xfactor

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:09 AM

The last few weeks I have developed a habit of shooting high and to the right during controled pairs. Up to then I had really started to improve. I have become much faster. Now even when I take my time I am starting to shoot high and slightly to the right on the A zone of an Idpa target. Anybody know why and how to correct?

Do you mean just your 2nd shot, or are both shots high/right? Are you seeing your sights, and "calling" the shot(s) high and right, or is it a surprise to you when you look at the target?
The way a gun tracks in recoil is unique to every gun/shooter/grip combo, so it's hard to say if anything should be adjusted... but it sounds like maybe you have started shooting a little faster than you're seeing. Sometimes a good grip and refined muscle memory can let you get away with this to some extent, but it's always best to see your sights when the shot breaks so you "know" where the shot is going... along with that comes the discipline to "wait" to break the shot until you have the sight picture required to get the hit you need.
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#3 Jake Di Vita

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:13 AM

If your bullet is not impacting where you believe the sights were when you fired the shot, the sights obviously weren't where you thought they were.

As long as the gun in functioning properly (99.999% sure it is), the bullet will go where the sights are when it leaves the barrel. There are no exceptions to this rule for the type of shooting we do in USPSA.
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#4 Duane Thomas

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:55 AM

For a right handed shooter, typically high/right shots are caused by what we call "heeling the gun" which means that when you pull the trigger, instead of only your trigger finger moving, the entire hand moves, the right wrist bends backward, and the heel of the hand is driven into the bottom of the backstrap. Basically you're pulling the trigger with your entire hand instead of just the trigger finger.

Usually we see this with a person who is trying to pull a trigger that's really too heavy for them, or is trying to pull the trigger on a gun where the trigger reach is too long for them to get enough of their finger on the trigger - for whatever reason the person doesn't think they can pull the trigger using only their index finger, they have to pull with their entire hand. Of course this can happen even when those conditions aren't present, and one of the places it typically shows up is when shooters who aren't used to shooting fast start pushing the speed. They don't understand that "shoot fast" and "pull the trigger really hard" aren't synonyms.

Actually, if you think about it, not even your entire trigger finger should move, all movement should occur from the second joint forward.

I am convinced that avoiding pulling the trigger too hard is one reason that highly skilled shooters, the greater their skill level becomes, tend to begin putting less and less of their index finger on the trigger until they're pulling only with the very tip. The reason people put a lot of finger on the trigger is because it gives them more leverage to pull the trigger. Less finger on the trigger equals less leverage - which means it becomes very difficult to pull the trigger too hard. I'm also convinced this is one reason we tend to dote on light trigger pulls - because "pulling only with the tip of the trigger finger" and "heavy trigger pulls" are two concepts that do not work great together.

Anyway, the key to rectifying this sad state of affairs on your part is lots of dry fire practice, ideally supplemented by a serious Airsoft practice regimen, as well.
Pride and fear are emotions, which hope for an outcome. Outcomes take your attention from the present, where the shooting happens, to the future. It is totally impossible to do anything in the future, because it hasn't happened yet. The key to shooting your best is to be present as the witness of the shooting. Do not judge, do not give yourself anything to live up to. We can only shoot as well as we have trained ourselves to shoot. To try to shoot only induces stress. Be content with your current ability. And accumulate practice to improve that ability. Consolidate, build strength where you feel weakness. We cannot raise our ability until we accept our current limitations. Practice dissolves limitations. Matches simply define where the current limits exist. The game of shooting is all about redefining our limits.
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#5 Jake Di Vita

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:08 AM

In my experience, it doesn't matter how you pull the trigger as long as you can do it without disturbing the sights.

Experiment with Duane's advice for sure, but remember that all that truly matters is that the sights are on the target when the bullet leaves the barrel.

The means you use to get to that end aren't nearly as significant as ensuring you get to that end.
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#6 Pitt Bull

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:25 AM

Thanks for the help. I shot yesterday afternoon and really paid attention to where my sights were and pulling the trigger. I still missed a few high and to the right, but did much better. Slower but better. I will just keep following your advice. Thanks again.

#7 Duane Thomas

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:28 AM

Yer welcome. :) That's what we're here for.
Pride and fear are emotions, which hope for an outcome. Outcomes take your attention from the present, where the shooting happens, to the future. It is totally impossible to do anything in the future, because it hasn't happened yet. The key to shooting your best is to be present as the witness of the shooting. Do not judge, do not give yourself anything to live up to. We can only shoot as well as we have trained ourselves to shoot. To try to shoot only induces stress. Be content with your current ability. And accumulate practice to improve that ability. Consolidate, build strength where you feel weakness. We cannot raise our ability until we accept our current limitations. Practice dissolves limitations. Matches simply define where the current limits exist. The game of shooting is all about redefining our limits.
- Sam

Amateurs do it til they get it right. Professionals do it til they can't get it wrong.

"It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
- Paul "Bear" Bryant

"The only reason why Everest is the highest mountain ever climbed is because it's the highest. If there was one higher, I bet there'd be people trying to climb it."
- Jack Barnes

#8 Chris Christian

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 09:47 AM

+1 to Duane's "heeling the gun". Sometimes in double taps and controlled pairs the shooter is thinking about the second shot before they have properly executed the first shot. The hand tenses to control recoil and break the second shot as they are breaking the first. One way to break this cycle is to run some sessions shooting just one shot. Concentrate on breaking the first shot perfectly...if that shot is where you want it your sights are fine. Once you get the first shot back under full control try six round Bill Drills concentrating on each shot and mark their POI on target. If you can make the first shot good this can show you where your grip or hand pressure is varying.
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#9 Pitt Bull

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:14 AM

I shot this weekend and I'm doing a little better. I believe you guys are right I'm heeling the gun. usually on my second shot in controled pairs. Will work hard at dry fire and maintaining a firm but not crush grip this week. Then I'll see how it goes next Saturday.

#10 Dwight Stearns

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:40 AM

Many newer shooters seem to have a very consistent recoil anticipation problem and end up adjusting their sights to the point that they are sighted in for that anticipation (which for a right handed shooter will be down and to the left so the sight are adjusted high right). As that anticipation or pre-ignition push starts to disappear their shots will start to move up high and right (right handed shooter) and the shooter needs to readjust the sights. It's just part of their natural development. For a while the shots of the shooter in transition will want to go back and forth between low left and high right. Slowing down may cause the shooter to revert. The answer is to shoot as soon as you see what you need to see for a sight picture and adjust your sights accordingly. Don't worry.... You are just getting better.

Dwight
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