Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to shoot standing by Carl Benosky

I copied this off of the US Rifle Teams forums, and it rings true for me.

How to shoot standing by Carl Benosky
Shooting consistently good standing is a matter of rounds down range, with thoughtfully executed goal.

But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

#1 your hold has to be 10 ring to shoot 10’s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sight when they are not in the middle, it’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun don’t stop I don’t shoot…I start over.

#2 the shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving…it’s most likely moving out, and you've missed the best part of your hold.

#3 recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold, with lots of training (dry fire or live fire) will initiate you firing the shot. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

#4 don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in ball and dummy rounds drills and being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes they are a mistake and I over-hold, but the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip. This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yds, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably…so do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution…executed consistently” :smile: . I don't believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

#5 know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10’s are acceptable Mid-ring 10’s are not. If my hold was 8-inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9 but not accepting the shots out of my hold.

#6 rounds down range. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I've fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This is a picture to what I believe it takes to shoot good standings. I hope it gives some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting,
Carl does seem to know what he's doing.(ed.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Maryland State Service Rifle Championships 2013

I shot the Maryland State Service Rifle Championships over 2 days. For the first day (9/21) I got up at 5am, ate a bowl of oatmeal, and drove the 2 1/2 hours to warrior mountain. I was on relay 3, so I went to the pits first, and fired standing 3rd. I ate a sandwich in the pits, but I got hungry with low blood sugar about 5 shots in to standing. I was a bit of a wobbly mess, so I did not do very well standing that day. I did have a nice sitting score.
Rapid prone, I wasn't sure if my elevation should be 23 or 20. I went with 23, right 2 plus a little left for the wind, and ended up with a good group high left. The next string I went down to 20, and was centered low. Go figure.
I got rained on in slow prone, and that caused some problems. Actually, for the first couple of shots, the rain helped me focus on the front sight, and I shot x's. After that, the gun got slippery, and I had a hard time getting a good cheek weld, and holding position. In the end, I did at least shoot my classification.

Last First Stand X Sitting X R prn X S prn X Score X Percent
McGinnes Michael 174 3 196 5 184 0 179 3 733 11 91.6%

The second day (9/22) was the EIC match. I slept in a nearby hotel (7 C's Lodge, pretty nice), and only had a 20 min drive to the range. Nonetheless, I just felt crappy that morning. I'm not sure why.
So I'm relay 2, so I'm shooting 2nd (which I prefer). When I mounted the rifle for the first shot, it was all over the target. At that point, I should have taken the rifle down and started over, but instead, I shot a miss. That's right, my very first shot was a miss, and I knew it as soon as I pulled the trigger. I figured my day was pretty much over, but I kept it together and finished standing with an 82. I really do need to write down a shot plan for standing. It needs to include finding my balance in my feet, relaxing my legs, and relaxing my upper body, shoulder, and arms. I need to practice at least 22 rounds a day.

Sitting, I had a good position, and not to much pulse. I took it one shot at a time--breath, front sight, squeeze-- and shot a 98.

Rapid prone, I had a pretty good position. My goal was to break every shot in the X, and get a nice small group so that I could confirm my zero. I ended up with a good group, but a little too much to the left on the 9-10 line, netting me a 96. Which means I'm going to 600 down 24 points. That's not actually too bad, but it doesn't leave much room for error.

Then, I had a phenomenal stage and string in slow prone. For the first string, I really wanted to try to break clean shots, so that I could adjust my zero as needed. I decided to be brave about spinning the knobs as long as I broke a good shot. I helped to focus on each shot, and keeping focus on the front sight while I squeezed the trigger. The second string in particular I took shot by shot. I finished with a 92 and a 99, for a stage total of 191--personal bests for string and stage. As a result, I have the beginnings of a shot plan for slow prone. Roll left, place rifle in shoulder (high), establish cheek weld with nose in charging handle, roll right and place right elbow, lift and reestablish cheek weld. While looking at grass, relax left arm, relax shoulders. Breath, sight picture, front sight focus. I also have a new no wind zero (NWZ): Right four clicks. I started and ended with the same elevation, with a little fiddling in between.

I ended up with a 467, which I knew was good-- and gave me hope of getting EIC points -- But I hadn't realized that that was a person best for a National Match Course. I ended up 5th, 5 points and a few X's out of the money. In other words, if that first shot had been just a six instead of a miss, I would have finished 3rd, taking home a bronze and 6 points. As it was, I didn't even get first leather. Still, lesson learned: never give up.
Other lesson learned: if my wobble zone is the whole target board, take the rifle down and start over.

After shooting the Maryland State Service Rifle Championships at Ft. Hill/Warrior Mountain, I need to update my personal bests, and goals (new PBs in bold):

Personal bests to date:
Standing 97/100; 191/200 (spring league, M4)
Sitting 100; 196
R. Prone 100; 195 (2012 Creedmoor Cup)
S. Prone 191 - 5x; 99 - 3x(?) (MD State SR Championships)
Navy total: 474-11x (spring league, M4)
NMC total: 467-8x (MD State SR Championships)
800 Agg : 750 (2012 Creedmoor Cup)
Best Ball (NMC): 488

Standing: Clean, regular 90s.
Sitting: Regular cleans
R. Prone: Regular cleans
S. Prone: Clean string, 195, regular 90s ea. string.
NMC Total: 475, regular 470s.

Last First Stand X Sitting X R_prn X S_prn X Score X EIC_Ranking
Podshivalov Roman 96 1 100 1 99 2 191 6 486 10 Winner
Bloss Tim 94 1 97 0 97 1 191 4 479 6 Second
Read Justin 92 2 96 2 96 1 188 5 472 10 Third
Thomas Alex 91 1 94 0 96 2 189 5 470 8 High_Junior
Lechliter Leah 85 0 96 3 98 2 188 4 467 9
McGinnes Michael 82 0 98 1 96 2 191 5 467 8