Author Topic: reducing the shakes  (Read 33437 times)

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2011, 11:49:17 PM »
I hesitate to speak up as you all have more experience. However, when shooting off hand it is possible also to learn to start just above the target, lowering the rifle slowly, slack, squeeze, and fire quickly at the top of the target while still slowly lowering the muzzle, there will be no side to side movement when you are directing the direction by going slowly down. I always hit 10 for 10 offhand at 200 yards at the rifle range in the Marines using this method. Few others could do the same. Just my 2-cents, and only trying to help. Good luck, James
Tried the dropping in from 12 O'clock; but hiding the target til on it troubled me some. Have also tried drifting in from 9 (and 3) O'clock and find that works while shooting chunk, x stix, staff, bench pretty well.  I'm hung (up) on coming in from 6 O'clock.  Now if I could quit the habit of pushing the rifle when the sight starts drifting in where I want it ::)  Blinking the ol eyeball helps clear the vision (sometimes) Cataracts do not help.   :(
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 02:43:44 AM by Roger Fisher »

Offline pulaski

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2011, 01:31:35 AM »
All  the advice you are getting is very good .(especially the excersize stuff)
You might also check your form . Offhand shooting is as much about form as all the other things . With out watching what your form is it is hard to tell .
Make sure your right albow is closer to your navel than to your right hip . Keep your right hand close enough to your left so that the fingers (when extended ) could touch or almost touch . Your body should be upright (not leaning forward)and slightly twisted to the right .
All of this will transfer more of the rifle weight into your right shoulder and rib cage which is stronger and fatigues less easily .
This is harder to type than to demonstrate . Hope it makes sense .
JM.02
Steve

Offline bgf

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2011, 01:45:12 AM »
I hesitate to speak up as you all have more experience. However, when shooting off hand it is possible also to learn to start just above the target, lowering the rifle slowly, slack, squeeze, and fire quickly at the top of the target while still slowly lowering the muzzle, there will be no side to side movement when you are directing the direction by going slowly down. I always hit 10 for 10 offhand at 200 yards at the rifle range in the Marines using this method. Few others could do the same. Just my 2-cents, and only trying to help. Good luck, James
Tried the dropping in from 12 O'clock; but hiding the target til on it troubled me some. Have also tried drifting in from 9 (and 6 ) O'clock and find that works while shooting chunk, x stix, staff, bench pretty well.  I'm hung (up) on coming in from 6 O'clock.  Now if I could quit the habit of pushing the rifle when the sight starts drifting in where I want it ::)  Blinking the ol eyeball helps clear the vision (sometimes) Cataracts do not help.   :(

Roger,
I'm with you on the push -- I think it is a subconscious attempt at followthrough, but it actually seems to work better to simply continue drifting (its very slow) until you see the shot hit (assuming you are at close enough range).  I would like to hear what James has to say about it.  Drifting up from 6'oclock always resulted in my shots going high, which might or might not be something I could fix with enough practice.

jmdavis

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2011, 02:52:34 AM »
This article may help.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2411860/Offhand-Holding-Drill


The best HP shooters spend alot of time practicing things like this and dryfire. ML shooters can do the same things.

Daryl

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2011, 04:35:37 AM »
All  the advice you are getting is very good .(especially the excersize stuff)
You might also check your form . Offhand shooting is as much about form as all the other things . With out watching what your form is it is hard to tell .
Make sure your right albow is closer to your navel than to your right hip . Keep your right hand close enough to your left so that the fingers (when extended ) could touch or almost touch . Your body should be upright (not leaning forward)and slightly twisted to the right .
All of this will transfer more of the rifle weight into your right shoulder and rib cage which is stronger and fatigues less easily .
This is harder to type than to demonstrate . Hope it makes sense .
JM.02
Steve

Can't use the Olympic position due to back problems. Have learned to hold the rifle out by the entry=pipe, with the forefinger running down the pipe- pointed at the muzzle. This eliminates much of the windage movement, leaving mostly elevation which also seems to be reduced.  If holding that finger curled like the rest, I get more windage and ore elevation movement. In other words, pointing that finger down the entry pipe eliminates a considerable amount of movement.  Like anything else worth while, it takes practise.

With a scope and holding the same way, I can come in from a certain direction, usually vertical, either up or down and take the shot. With irons, I try to hold centre, but take the shot as it comes in, using a caplock or modern gun. With the flinter, I find holding centre as well as I can works best.  There are times when timing from one side or the other has worked, as in shooting swining gongs. Other times, well, it's a miss.  I don't like the extra problem with slow ignition in timing for incoming holds.
I find the quicker I can take the shot, the better, with a flinter.  That doesn't happen often with a cap gun where slow deliberate holding and timing works. I am more accurate with a cap gun.

Daryl

Offline James

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2011, 04:45:31 AM »
I preface this again with that I only can speak for what has worked for me, I don't want anyone to ever think I am saying you are wrong, different things work differently for each person. I was not aware of the rule about not starting at the top. Side to side for me can be a problem as there is the issue of gravity wanting to bring you down some in a less than helpful way. Some have said lighter gun, I favor a little more weight as there seems to be way less possibility for wiggle with the slightly heavier gun if you are using the slow drift and fire method. I think going diagonal from10 to 4 might be a good choice if that does not violate any rules. My reason for this is you are utilizing gravity rather than arguing with it, if that makes sense, a horizontal drift allows for negative experience with gravity. I have very little flintlock experience I will add as a disclaimer. But shooting is shooting and there are ways to override difficulties and get better. I feel staying under motion or drifting is best, if you stop motion, I feel you open yourself to shaking or wobble. I know this as I have military injuries that make holding still impossible.
Pualski, I am not arguing with anything you posted, I just would like to give my reasons for my methods. I have found as a right hand shooter that I need to face to the right as you say. Maybe a little more than for you. Then as you say, stand straight. Not lean forward or back. For me I like my lefthand under the forearm, straight down. possibly braced against my belly if this does not violate the rules. I then like my right elbow to be stuck out nearly straight to the right. I feel I get decent stability that way. From there it's back to my various drift methods. Slow drift I find to be best, as the time for the shot to be made with accuracy is improved. The other thing I do is get my sights lined up right before engaging the target, and keeping them properly lined up while then beginning which ever drift method works for you, you keep the sights lined up right and then it's just a matter of knowing when to let the gun fire. This you are completely in control of when it goes off. Practice this and you will get to a natural firing at the right time to consistently hit. Seriously. Again, I'm not trying to school anyone or make you think I have a clue. If you disagree with my methods, please say why, so that I can improve. Thank you, James
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." P.Henry

Flinter

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2011, 01:21:58 PM »
I shoot offhand like James mentioned in post #15, except I start at 6 o’clock and move up. This way I can see the target and I will know which way to move. If I am shooting at a pie plate at 50 yards, I will start at the bottom; move up to center, and then fire. The longer I hold on target, the more I move around. 
A well balanced rifle helps too. My short barrel TC Renegade is more barrel heavy than my 44 inch barrel Jim Kibler rifle.

Mike

Daryl

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2011, 07:41:45 PM »
There are no hard and fast rules, James, as I see it.  There are suggestions of what can work for you, or we can make suggestions on what works for us.

Some clubs will not allow an elbow to touch the ribs or hip - to them, "off hand" actually means "off the hands"- it is a non-supported shooting postion.

We allow any style position you can think of, as long it's safe and are your standing and holding the gun in your hands.  LB favours his hands close together, like Roger. Some of us more aged and/or feeble types :D, cannot shoot that way.

Best 100 yard offhand group I ever shot was with a 22 pound unlimited BR rifle in .308. Yeah- I was only 22yrs. old.  98/100 on a postion target. Beat my best kneeling score by a single point. I used a dropping system as there was no other way to make the shots all 10 of them. When the cross hairs almost touched the top of the 10 ring, I squeezed off each shot.  My first 2 were sqeezed off too late, as I touched the X ring and dropped out to low 9's. I rasied the time of firing and received 8 tens in succession.  I think 5 of them were X's.

With a fast lock time, this sort of timed shooting works. I also found a caplock worked almost the same, but more time was needed, but timing the shot worked- from the side was my preference then. Now, it's raising from the bottom for apreference with cap guns, but I will take whatever is happening.

 For me, with a flintlock, this sort of timing does not work - at all. What happens if the ignition is a bit faster or slower or a hangfire could even have you 6" off the target, high, low or to the side depending on your angle of swing. How far does the gun actually move during the ignition sequence?  for the lfintlock, I have to try to hold on centre, through the shot.  So far, it seems to work fairly well.  With the weight training, I am holding better.

Please be aware that this in no way is a disparaging post, nor is it saying your post is incorrect - it is merely meant to bring to light, some of the idiocyncracies we have in offhand shooting of ML's in comparrison to modern rifles.

The variable timing adversly effects ball impact.

The only way to find out what works, is to get out and experiment- actually burn some powder.  You cannot learn to shoot without shooting, just as you cannot to build, without building.

Offline Pete G.

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2011, 04:46:12 AM »
I shot on a rifle team in high school back in the last century and our coach was very particular about teaching the positions. There was very little variation and "what works for one doesn't work for another" was not an option. His point was "Once you get to the Olympic level, you can start inventing all you want, but until then you do it my way." We had championship teams year after year. Now that was with standardized and very precise equipment and in no way is it even similar to what we shoot now, other than the bullets go down range, but the point is that although all styles don't fit all situations, you don't have to re-invent the wheel. Small adjustments can make a big difference in results, so experiment with a few different things, but the one thing holds true with any type of shooting, no matter what, is FOLLOW THROUGH.

Daryl

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2011, 06:35:09 PM »
Follow through, of course is manditory. Yers, there were rules for teaching shooting with modern guns - especially with  youngsters, who need strict guidance - they don't know anything, so standard form must be taught - there must be continuity amonst associations, and there is.  Here, things are different. The actors (or actingouters) are older and have usually been shooting for many years. They have their own style or shoot how their bodies allow them to shoot. There are no hard and fast rules.

Most modern guns have little or no muzzle weight. We 'invent' muzzle weight in the gun by holding our support hand back under the action, thus all weight forward of that becomes muzzle weight.  This position helps poor offhand designs to work. With a ML, this position is not needed and as I noted, some of us are unable to twist our backs into contortions to hold the 'standard olympic way' which is what was taught.

 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 07:20:33 PM by Daryl »

Leatherbelly

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2011, 10:24:54 PM »
I use a natural foot stance,90 degrees to the target.Hold across my body .If my rifle is light weight, I choke up on the forestock just enough to make the gun feel like it's hanging and squeeze and follow through. Sometimes the shakes occur if I haven't eaten before shooting.A LIGHT breakfast of corn flakes or fruit loops and only one cup of coffee. If you eat a big scoff for breakfast, you'll shoot the #$#$#, ask me how i know. I think it fatigues you with a full belly.
  An old buddy used to calm his nerves with half a glass of wine. He shot well! I don't recommend this practice but it worked for Terry.

William Worth

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2011, 05:49:00 PM »
Here's an embarassing revelation that possibly explains some of  (most of?) my shakes;  I dropped down yesterday to see how many push-ups and crunches I could do.

Whoa!  Has some geezer/body snatcher hijacked my body?? :'(


Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2011, 05:54:15 PM »
Here's an embarassing revelation that possibly explains some of  (most of?) my shakes;  I dropped down yesterday to see how many push-ups and crunches I could do.

Whoa!  Has some geezer/body snatcher hijacked my body?? :'(


I noticed that I could barely get 6 or 7 lifts with my left arm of my 5 or so lb dumbell kept at it and now she goes up full armlength 20 lifts no sweat.  Keep at it.

Daryl

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2011, 06:36:12 PM »
Quote
author=Roger Fisher - I noticed that I could barely get 6 or 7 lifts with my left arm of my 5 or so lb dumbell kept at it and now she goes up full armlength 20 lifts no sweat.  Keep at it.

Oh- I thought you were talking about one handed pushups, I can only do 6 or 7 with my left arm too. The right's good for a dozen or more. HA! ::)

William Worth

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2011, 07:47:49 PM »
You're probably cheating and not doing them on your fingertips instead of the palms pressed to the ground.....

Offline whitebear

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2011, 11:19:29 PM »
This is an interesting subject.   When I took the range officer/muzzleloading instructor course offered by the NMLRA (I was in the first ever class) we were taught that when you sight a rifle at a target you hold your breath to reduce as much movement as possible. 

When you hold your breath carbon dioxide starts to build up and this increases muscle strain, fatigue, nervousness, shaking and also eye strain.  There fore after about 10 seconds the buildup becomes noticeable as in the shakes if you hold the gun up long enough your vision will start darkening around the edges. 

If you go to a match and watch the shooters you will see some of them sight there rifles hold it and let it down, exhale take another breath or three and mount the rifle again.  What they are doing is releasing the co2 and replenishing there blood stream with fresh oxygen plus resting there arm muscles.

This helps tremendously, try it sometime.
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Daryl

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2011, 08:34:16 PM »
Yep- hyperventilate for 3 breaths, then let out only 1/3rd of the last - sighting quickly and take the shot. If you hold for more than about 4 seconds, 5 at most, without shooting you hands will start to move and shake, just as whitebear noted.

Many people hold too long trying for a perfect hold and it just gets worse. If they can let the gun down, they have an oportunity for another shot - if they 'go for it' they'll usually lament the shot after or while it's sound stops.

Holding too long can actually move you off target yet your eye sees the target bull under the sights. This happens often with apertures in prone. I don't know about offhand but do know that many times, guys hold what seems an awfully long time, finally shoot and miss. They say "the sights were dead in the centre, I don't understand why I missed".  I've done it myself - just last Sunday - couple times.  Perhaps what he/she was seeing wasn't the truth - same as with apertures shooting prone.  I know that when shooting prone and sighting a while, closing the right eye for a couple seconds, then opening it (no movement of gun in tight sling) and the bull is off to left or right a foot or more, sometimes. Eye fatigue is also cause for missing.

blunderbuss

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2011, 10:18:14 PM »
dumbells will help...

K
There are some of those around

Offline Michigan Flinter

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2011, 01:18:41 AM »
About a half hour before I start shooting I have a couple of big spoonfuls of peanut butter and no high test coffee but a good amount of water .I have noticed that it helps me keep the rifle steady. Another I try to have my rifle in good working order ,sharp, flint being number one.

zimmerstutzen

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2011, 04:07:27 AM »
My college rifle coach suspected but didn't know for sure that we all did better (50 ft gallery shooting with 22 RF's) when we seemed sleepy and dead.  More than a few of us were downing "sleep aids" before matches.  From Cammomile tea to Sominex.  Back then health food stores sold L-tryptophan tablets, which worked well too. 

Coach did have us run three miles after every practice.  Got to the point that my heartbeat at rest was under 55 per min. 

Working a farm, feeding the stock every morning gives me a work out.  Lifting and carrying 50 lb bales of hay, sacks of feed etc. 

leadslinger62

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2011, 05:48:39 AM »
   At our last shoot I tried the coming up from 6:oo. I shot better at 50 and 75yds. but worse at the 25yard target!! I also have noted that i shoot better in the WoodsWalk, shaded area. if I don`t have my wide brimmed Hat on......

blunderbuss

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2011, 05:12:10 AM »
There are no hard and fast rules, James, as I see it.  There are suggestions of what can work for you, or we can make suggestions on what works for us.

Some clubs will not allow an elbow to touch the ribs or hip - to them, "off hand" actually means "off the hands"- it is a non-supported shooting postion.

We allow any style position you can think of, as long it's safe and are your standing and holding the gun in your hands.  LB favours his hands close together, like Roger. Some of us more aged and/or feeble types :D, cannot shoot that way.

Best 100 yard offhand group I ever shot was with a 22 pound unlimited BR rifle in .308. Yeah- I was only 22yrs. old.  98/100 on a postion target. Beat my best kneeling score by a single point. I used a dropping system as there was no other way to make the shots all 10 of them. When the cross hairs almost touched the top of the 10 ring, I squeezed off each shot.  My first 2 were sqeezed off too late, as I touched the X ring and dropped out to low 9's. I rasied the time of firing and received 8 tens in succession.  I think 5 of them were X's.

With a fast lock time, this sort of timed shooting works. I also found a caplock worked almost the same, but more time was needed, but timing the shot worked- from the side was my preference then. Now, it's raising from the bottom for apreference with cap guns, but I will take whatever is happening.

 For me, with a flintlock, this sort of timing does not work - at all. What happens if the ignition is a bit faster or slower or a hangfire could even have you 6" off the target, high, low or to the side depending on your angle of swing. How far does the gun actually move during the ignition sequence?  for the lfintlock, I have to try to hold on centre, through the shot.  So far, it seems to work fairly well.  With the weight training, I am holding better.

Please be aware that this in no way is a disparaging post, nor is it saying your post is incorrect - it is merely meant to bring to light, some of the idiocyncracies we have in offhand shooting of ML's in comparrison to modern rifles.

The variable timing adversly effects ball impact.

The only way to find out what works, is to get out and experiment- actually burn some powder.  You cannot learn to shoot without shooting, just as you cannot learn to build, without building.
Let me count what all I could do at 22
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 05:24:14 PM by Daryl »

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2011, 12:52:59 AM »
High O2  low CO2 and no caffeine is good........ I holding on the target briefly and trying to stay on it through the shot works best for me.... Deer Hunting, I lean against a tree or some other natural support.  With  an M14 or M16 when shooting competitively years ago we learned to move the sight in a figure 8 pattern to preclude the wiggles
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jeager58

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2011, 05:09:51 AM »
what I do is pull up on the target. while taking one long blink take a deep breath. let half of the deep breath out and make sure the butt  is tight against your shoulder.
take aim and shoot. you dont put the stress on your arms  if its in a fluid motion. just the way I do it that works for me....Phil

Daryl

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Re: reducing the shakes
« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2011, 06:13:32 PM »
High O2  low CO2 and no caffeine is good........ I holding on the target briefly and trying to stay on it through the shot works best for me.... Deer Hunting, I lean against a tree or some other natural support.  With  an M14 or M16 when shooting competitively years ago we learned to move the sight in a figure 8 pattern to preclude the wiggles

I was wondering, Tim - where in that figure 8 was the bullseye and at what point did you squeeze off the shot?