Remaining January Cold Bore Shots and Groups

Here are the rest of my cold bore shots and followup groups for the month of January. I realize it’s rather boring. I’ll explain my thought process with all this soon. The accompanying text is really just some notes I jotted down for memory, but they do explain some of the particulars.

1/16/14
0.0, 0.1 left (This sight setting is 0.1 higher than all the rest this month)
FGMM cold bore

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10 Rounds FGMM 100

1/19/14
-0.1, 0.1 left
FGMM cold bore

FGMM Cold Bore

1-19-14 FGMM 100 yards

1-20-14
No wind
33 degrees, 985 DA
Cold bore 168 bonded
10 shots at 100, 0.1 low, 0.1 left

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1-20-14 FGMM 10 shots 100 yards
1/25/14

31 rounds
1 168 Federal Bonded
30 FGMM
11 @ 100 yards

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1-25-14 10 Shot FGMM 100 yards;
Total shots so far for 2014: 132

 

Rolling Out the Noveske

I got some scopes in the mail for testing, so I figured I might as well start shooting this thing now that I could put a sight on it. I cleaned and lubed it prior to firing (actually I did that a few weeks ago).  I put a US Optics SR-8 Red Dot (1-8×27) on it.  I’ll have a lot more to say about this scope in the near future.  The unloaded weight of the rifle in this configuration is approximately 8.5 lbs.

I don’t have any ammo to really test how well this rifle shoots, but I thought it just as well to see what it does with some Federal XM193 that I have sitting around. Ball ammo will be plenty precise to do most of the scope testing I want to do for a while, and I’ve seen this ammo shoot pretty well before (~MOA groups with 3-5 rounds). I figured a magazine full would get me started.

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The scopes came with Larue mounts, so while I normally might start out at closer range, I figured that he probably had it close enough to get me on paper.

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It’s not hard to figure you’re gonna be on paper when it’s this size.

I didn’t use a bipod, as I don’t have a bipod rail for this rifle. I rested the handguard on my pack while I supported the buttstock with my support hand. It’s not the optimal way to get good groups, but it’s not that bad either.  The mild recoil of the 5.56 didn’t move the sights at all off target, which was very cool for me.  It makes me want to shoot it with a bipod just to experience it, but it seems a bit much for a 5.56 AR.  

I had drawn dots on the butcher paper with a sharpie that were approximately 1/2”. The reticle covered the dots, but I was able to tell pretty much when it was on. I held on the bottom dot that I drew, and got a group a bit low and to the right. Without taking a trip downrange, I measured the distance from point of aim to point of impact in the reticle, and adjusted the turrets accordingly, 2.0 mils up and 1.8 mils left. It turned out to be pretty close.

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The cold bore shot was not the outlier in the first group. I don’t know what happened there. I was just watching this tiny group appear until that high one hit. The second group was likely mostly a matter of me not really being able to see the dot. Once I knew I would really be on paper I put up a target I could actually see.

12 Shot GroupIt turns out I couldn’t count very well for my first two groups. This one had 12 shots. It’s not a one-holer to be sure, but it’s not really too bad either. Here’s a more detailed look:

12 Shot Noveske Federal XM193 1-25-14 100 Yards

A 1.458 MOA 12 shot group with ball ammo off a pack just really isn’t that bad. I’m excited to work up some reloads. What I have on hand is quite a few 69 grain Sierra Match Kings (I came across them very inexpensively) and a few pounds of Tac. We’ll see what happens.

Total rounds through the Noveske: 30

1/13/14 Cold Bore and Follow Up Group

Sight setting= -0.1, 0.1 left

This morning’s cold bore, which was the fourth with the FGMM this year, was farther right than any so far this year.  I called it in the center.

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The follow up ten shot group was the largest this year. It was approximately 0.1 mils low, but reasonably centered left and right.

1-13-14 10 rounds 100 Yards

I would prefer for my cold bore shot to fit into my subsequent group, especially given such a large group. When it does it shows me that there’s no silly voodoo going on with the cold bore. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t, but I like it to.

This was not a particularly good day for my shooting, but I like to know what I’m going to do on a bad day as well as my best day.

Total rounds through the Remington in 2014: 55

It Grows

My AR has continued morphing into something that is closer to being useable. For several years this rifle existed only as a lower assembly, less trigger guard and stock. The idea was for a “precision” AR. I even had a semi vague idea of what I meant by that. I put a Rock River 2 stage trigger in. At that point the Geissle was fairly new, and just too expensive. I knew even back then that I wasn’t going to use the A2 pistol grip and standard trigger guard, so I left off the trigger guard.

I did a lot of research in the past couple weeks on pistol grips, because I knew there had been some new ones released since I’ve been paying attention. Why did I care? I’ve learned a little about what kind of trigger technique works for me, and what it takes to get my hand in the right position for that to happen.

When I first found the combination of the Magpul MOE grip and enhanced trigger guard I felt like it was perfection and there was nothing that could top it. It is very comfortable in the hand. Where I have found it lacking recently is that it places my hand just slightly farther back than I really want it to be for maximum precision. Since the rifle should be capable of a decent level of precision, this is important to me.

Oddly, what I’ve found is that the standard A2 trigger guard puts my hand in just about the right place. In all other ways, grip circumference, angle, the little nub that sticks out into my ring finger, I just don’t like it. My goal was to find something that felt as comfortable as the MOE but allowed me the trigger control I want.

What I ended up going with was the Bravo Company Gunfighter Grip Mod 0. The idea with these is to change the angle of the grip to allow for use of a more modern carbine technique. That was not as important to me as the placement of the trigger finger on the trigger and the overall comfort of the grip. The new grip did what I wanted it to as far as trigger placement, I like the angle, and overall it is an improvement for me. It doesn’t feel quite as good in terms of grip in the hand as the MOE. I have more to say on that, but not right now.

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Note the difference in grip angles between the BCM Gunfighter Grip, Mod 0 (top) and the Magpul MOE (bottom).

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The BCM allows my trigger finger the angle that I would like for best precision without having to “stand off” from the grip as with many other grips.

 

This is probably a good time to say that none of this is very important. Grips, handgaurds, trigger guards, etc., don’t mean too much in the big scheme of things. Ensuring personal capability to complete the “mission” is what is actually important. Finding serviceable tools is also important. Finding things that are close to being perfect belongs more in the realm of luxury than necessity. It’s probably more important to ensure a sufficient quantity of ammo and a reliable source of it to ensure regular training and practice than it is to worry about making the toys “just right”. It takes work to figure out what actually works and what doesn’t. Having said that, I do appreciate the luxury to configure a gun just like I want it and I think it’s interesting.

I robbed one of my carbines of it’s Magpul CTR stock temporarily so I could start to get a feel for my rifle’s handling. That was fine. I’m not sure exactly what I want in a stock, so having any stock on is better than none. My “maybe minute of man” carbine probably won’t notice the difference anyway.

I’m in a bit of a quandry over how to achieve the right comb height. The stock AR sight height is just a smidge too high when coupled with the standard stock height. I looked into the Magpul PSR stock. I don’t want a fixed stock, and looking at the PSR, the cheek riser looks awfully far back. In my research this is not an uncommon complaint from people who have tried it. There are also interesting looking riser systems. The one that had me almost convinced was the SAPR cheek riser. I really looked hard at that, but it didn’t quite look as quick and intuitive as I wanted. I decided to try the other route and lower the height of the sight that I put on it… when I get to that point.

What I have been strongly considering instead is the Nightforce Unimount. It allows for a mounting height of 1.125”, from the top of the rail to the center of the ring. It would seem that most other mounts are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.45”. I think if I can get that much lower it will give me the consistent cheekweld I need. I believe that it is also a cantilever mount that will allow me the correct eye relief since I don’t have a monolithic upper rail.

I installed a sling mount at 12:00 on the forend, and am using a prototype tactical sling that offers the same loop as the RS2. I’ve been trying to get this sling going for a long time, mostly for lack of parts availability. The buckle I’m using is supposedly the only sample available in the universe (or something along those lines), and it’s not perfect yet, so it will probably be a while. Mounting at 12:00 seems to offer no disadvantage vs. mounting at 9:00, but is very advantageous if the possibility to loop up exists.

I see looping up as a remote possibility with this AR setup, and it’s not as easy to do with the sling around the back, but I like the capability in theory. I may decide to eschew the loop capability altogether for this sling depending on how useful I actually find it. That would make the design a lot easier to perfect.

It still seems like a ways out before I’ll have a sight on the rifle to bother firing a shot from it. In a perfect world I would like to try several configurations from several optics manufacturers and compare them. My idea is to come up with several courses of fire to test my ability to perform with the optics for varying degrees of speed and accuracy at varying distances. I need to reach out to some optics folks to see if they’re up to some testing and public wringing out. On my list:

SWFA 1-6×24
SWFA 3-15×42
Leupold Mark 6 1-6 (this would cause an issue with the 34mm rings- mounts are expensive and I’m   broke)
Vortex Razor 1-6 (same issue with the rings)
Vortex 2.5-10×32 FFP
Nightforce 1-4×24

I have some U.S. Optics scopes on the way to try that I’m very excited about.  It should set the bar pretty high.  I’m open to other suggestions or testing samples. I anticipate each test to take up to a month so I could get to know the optic a bit.

The Stair Supported Position

It’s funny- I had thought about calling this “stair prone” (it was just to mess with you John). I decided to go with something that is actually indicative of what the position is. I am slowly working to cure my tendency to cleverly name positions “prone” that aren’t. Moving right along…

Prior to using the stairs I took a cold bore shot and a subsequent 10 shot group, presented below without comment.

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1-11-14 100 Yard 10 Shots

When most people see the following, they see stairs leading up to the next floor.

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When I looked up the stairs, I saw this:

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To be even more specific, I saw this:

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That’s the pallet I use as a target backer. Distance: 116 yards.

One of the things that I had wanted to do for a long time was to get very good at improvising support from whatever presents itself. Where I lived before, which was in town, walking around experimenting with rifle positions tends to bring the kind of attention I don’t want (a lot of my natural tendencies bring that kind of attention- such as dressing like a clown with teeth filed to sharp points- people don’t understand that I’m just like them). Now that I have some space to myself, I am a little more free to express my inner self.

Part of my motivation for this indoor location may have been that there were flood and storm warnings with high winds. It wasn’t that bad, just an occasional drizzle with some 20ish mph winds.  Still, having an indoor shooting location is a nice option.

One of the things that needs to be examined when shooting through an opening is whether the bullet will actually clear it. Of course the opening in this case is clearly large enough, but the line of sight is not the line of departure. In the early stages of a bullet’s trajectory it’s crucial to consider mechanical offset. It’s basically the same precautions one needs to take to keep from shooting the chrono (note to self: don’t let Alex shoot from this location).

4

The challenge with stairs is of finding a way to anchor the upper body. If that cannot be done the position will not have a significant advantage over a well executed unsupported position. The limitation I found is that since the rifle can only be pushed forward as far as the stair above it, the shooter is left “floating”. The key to finding an anchor is that most stairs have a rail, and most also have an adjacent wall. In my case I trusted the wall to hold my weight more. I had hoped it would also allow me to rest more of my body on it, but it doesn’t look like it. Without the rail at the wall I probably could have been a bit more stable.

5

For the first few shots I hadn’t realized that the bipod feet were floating. The tapered surface of the Harris caused them to lift from the stair below as I pushed into it. It got a little more stable after I let them out a few notches and they were back in contact with the stair.

The position had sort of a natural point of aim. I had to drag the rifle left or right so that the point of aim would be within a comfortable range of motion, but there was no perfect “one spot” that I could relax into. I saw my reticle’s center dot move rapidly along a vertical plane in an approximately 1.5” size movement. This seemed to come from some tension I put into the system.

I had to be ready for the shots to break, which means I let them happen without consciously willing the finger, but I had to be in a slightly elevated state of readiness due to the excessive movement. The trigger breaks were rapid, but I believe that they were also smooth.

Stair Supported 116 Yards

I called most of the shots in or near the white ~1” circle (it’s meant to be a true minute at 100 yards, so it’s just over an inch). The final shot I called near the bottom of the black 4 3/16” circle (supposed to be 4 MOA at 100 yards). All the hits were in the black, which is fine, but I have to keep in mind that the distance, 116 yards, is somewhat modest, the target was stationary, and I still have to work on getting my zero centered up better.

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View from the target’s perspective.

Total rounds shot through the Remington in 2014: 44

Cold Bore Shot 3 and Followup Group

This year my intent is to post most of my shooting on the blog. These posts are not intended to substitute for content, and not representative of my efforts to become a better shooter, but just to allow you to follow my attempts at getting and keeping my zero as close to perfect as I can get it. There is one cold bore shot that I don’t currently have a photo of to post, so I’m skipping it.  I also apologize for my less than normal promptness in posting.  I have just been very busy, and still don’t have an internet connection at the new place.  Back to the topic at hand. 

Based on the previous two cold bore shots and one 10 round group, I decided to shift my windage 0.1 left. I had run short of my own targets and don’t yet have my printer moved to the farm, so I had to use the Storm Tactical printable targets.

I have another load I have available, and also need cold bore data on. The goal is interchangeability with the primary load, so the hope is that it will work with no sight adjustments. This load is not expected to be quite as precise as my normal load.

On my first shot I couldn’t see the impact. That’s always kind of nerve racking. You figure it’s in the black, but hope that it’s on paper.

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As for the subsequent 10 shot group, it was a lot more satisfying than normal.

1-6-14 10 Shot FGMM 100

The uniformity was better than my previous group, as its shape is more indicative of a normally distributed group. I’m not really hanging my spirits on the outcome one way or the other, so it’s not that big a deal. I always remember that the next time could go worse or better. What I like to see is that the windage appears to be right on, and that the precision is better than before, estimated by the On Target program at 0.939 MOA. I had a difficult time plotting the hits, but after really zooming in, cross checking with the paper target, and through process of elimination, I think I got it narrowed down pretty well. I only had to guess on 2 shots, and being that the center of the group was shot out, it wasn’t that hard to guess.

What I find a little strange is that the group now appears to indicate a slightly low zero as compared with the previous one. Of course, what could be to blame is that the rifle’s potential group over the long haul is just larger than the 10 shot groups, and the groups that I’m seeing are just pieces of that larger group. That’s pretty likely, and that’s why I hesitate to make zero changes based on one group, although the windage adjustment seems to have been the right choice. I cringe that I used to make zero adjustments based on 3 shot groups. Confidence in one’s zero is not an easy thing to establish, but it can be achieved.

What I noticed is that I seem to be having better success with more pressure with the firing hand pulling the stock into the shoulder pocket. I had been pretty relaxed on this, because when I learned rifle marksmanship I picked up the bad habit of letting the sling do most of the pulling for me. Anyway, the bipod is sitting on ice, which makes it impossible to load. Even then, I’m not seeing nearly the jump I was a few months ago. It’s a work in progress.

These 10 shot groups are just an administrative thing. The plan is to find interesting places to shoot from that demand improvised positions and to do case studies in each one. It’s important to keep my zero as well tuned as I can. More on that later. For now, the amount of daylight in each day limits how often I can do this, so it’s still mostly dry fire, but I can do it outside now.

 

Total 2014 shots fired from the Rem 700: 23

Getting Back on Track

It’s been just over 2 months since I listed my short term goal as follows:

Develop the ability to hit an uncooperative moving target, no greater than 4” in diameter, inside of 200 yards at known or unknown distance, on demand, regardless of terrain,   conditions, stress, tiredness, fatigue, or time constraints.

The first month or so after stating my goal was spent with getting started measuring where I was at.  I never got past the first few positions to assess my current level.  Then I was off to training and busy with the Christmas season.

I’ve done a lot of figuring lately based on recent shooting, and it seems clear that my goal was excessively ambitious.  One of my more recent groups was a 3.3 MOA sitting group under time pressure and some mild to moderate exertion.  This was a 5 round group, so I consider it to be an optimistic picture of my capabilities, at least as they were at that time under those conditions.  Another complication was that the group was not well centered on the target.  So it turns out that I will need improvement both in accuracy and precision.  That’s not the worst part.

If the problem were just developing 2 MOA precision with perfectly centered groups from field positions under field conditions that would be one thing.  It would be a very difficult thing, but it’s at least on some comprehensible level.  What I think is nuts is expecting to get those hits “on demand” on a moving target.

I have shot movers before at on at least four or five occasions.  Both accuracy and precision are decreased when addressing a moving target.  The target’s speed and angle have to be taken into consideration and estimated.  A lead has to be determined in real time unless it’s some practice where the target speed is pre-determined and known.  All those factors are going to make getting hits at all a challenge.

This is not to say that I’m going to give up without really trying just because the course ahead appears to be hopeless.  I won’t know how close to my goal I might get without trying.  It’s even possible that I might find a way to accomplish it.  It also depends on how I interpret the goal statement.  I don’t expect to be able to shoot a 2 MOA offhand group, but I think I could find a steady enough position given a few extra seconds and terrain that was better than worst case scenario.  Essentially I need to be able to take a supported position at any level at be able to shoot 2 MOA or better.

I had a chart that I was filling out to see how my groups were under different levels of stress and exertion.  I’m not sure if I have time for diagnostics, but I don’t know how to fill that time most efficiently.

Assets:

-Sufficient shooting space on site = easier access than I’ve ever had to shoot when I want  to.
-A few hundred rounds of ammo
-A rifle that seems to shoot consistently
-The possibility of setting up a moving target system on site
-I have the “book learning” reasonably up to speed.

Liabilities:

-Day job takes up all the daylight on work days.
-I’m the busiest person I know (except for my wife)
-The rifle that is here is a minute gun at best.  More leeway would be nice.  My other rifle is on indefinite detention at the gunsmith’s.
-Only a few hundred rounds of ammo.
-No reloading set up on site.  Time frame for reloading space setup unknown.  I still have access to the old setup, but it’s not convenient.  Reloading and shooting at the same location would be a breakthrough.

I have my work cut out for me.  So much time and so little to do.  Wait!  Stike that.  Reverse it.

New KD Range

I walked out this morning (not this morning as you read it, but as I write it) and posted a target. It’s actually about 140 yards from my back door, but at the position I’m shooting from it’s exactly 100 yards (as the Zeiss measures it anyway). It’s hard to convey how nice that is. This is a recent development in my life; one of those opportunities that I wasn’t too chicken to take on.

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A pallet leaned up against a “T” post makes a workable target backer. I only have 100 yards set up for now. 200 and 300 will be easy to do once I have more time.

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The ground was pretty crunchy. Not the right day for me to be running around barefoot.

My cold bore shot was as close as one can reasonably expect to be, inside of 0.1 mils (one click) to the center of the target.

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If I were to take my cold shot as an indication of how “on” my zero is I would probably just call it good and leave well enough alone. Some guns are funny, and cleaning will change things, though I haven’t cleaned since I gave it the once over after my return from Texas.

A subsequent 10 shot group told a more complete story. The center of the group was approximately 0.42” right and 0.14” up. The On Target program figures the group size as 1.143 MOA, which is better than I’ve shot with this rifle for a while. It had been pretty much a 1.5-1.6 MOA gun for a while. The cold bore shot fits within it, so that is a nice bonus.

1-5-13 10 Shot Prone Bipod

The group seems to indicate the need for a zero adjustment 0.1 mils left, but I’m going to take one more shot or group before I decide to go with it.

 

Total 2014 shots fired from the Rem 700: 11

 

On My Obsession With Bolt Guns

One constant since the beginning of this blog has been that I have used a bolt action rifle almost exclusively. My first concept of the blog was to use a bolt gun as a one gun to do it all. I found out that my range of interest was included things that were too specific to be handled by a general “do it all” rifle.

I don’t think I was ever in denial that my fondness for bolt guns has been, in general, as much of an affectation as something borne of practical necessity. Something about the manual operation of a bolt action rifle made it more of a challenge that seemed worthwhile to accomplish, and something in my mind thought it would be cool to be able to be good enough that the manual operation wouldn’t put me at a disadvantage. I also thought that the operation and the limited capacity would force me to slow down and make each shot count for as much as I could.

I feel confident in my ability to cycle the action that it’s not really an issue any more. I also believe that ARs in .308 have gotten sufficiently precise and reliable to handle anything that I would be interested in using for cartridges up to and including the .308. That frees me up to have a less biased approach to action type.

The bolt action has certain attributes that make it useful in some ways. It is simpler and in many ways stronger than most semi autos. It’s a little more cut and dried to reload for, as you can worry about what the barrel likes instead of also having to worry about what cycles the gun correctly. It can be lighter than the semi auto due to the lack of a gas system and the accompanying parts. Lock time is usually a lot faster. Traditionally bolt guns have been more accurate, though this advantage has diminished to the point where in practical terms it’s probably meaningless. Where the bolt gun still rules is with cartridges that are bigger than the .308 family. If you need a lot of power, the bolt gun is still the way to go. Of course there are exceptions like the Barrett, but I have to live in the world where I can afford things.

On the other hand, there are disadvantages to the bolt action. A significant one is capacity and ease of reloading (changing mags). Currently most bolt action rifle hold four or five rounds in the magazine, and most of the time the magazine is internal and needs to be topped off via inserting single rounds into the action. Before the proliferation of scopes, it was pretty simple to use stripper clips to top off the rifle. The was relatively quick and practical. Stripper clips are cheap, there are no real springs to wear out, as in a magazine, so they can be left “loaded” indefinitely, and they are lighter than box mag. Conventional scope mounting made this unworkable, so now we have box magazines, which to me seem like an improvement. With a box mag the bolt action is limited to 5 to 10 rounds in most cases.

The conventional wisdom is that bolt actions are more reliable than semi-autos. From an engineering standpoint this is probably undeniably true. The problem is that the bolt action places the user, which I think is limited to humans, in an integral role to the function of the rifle. I’ve read a lot about instances of user induced short stroking. I have personally short stroked my rifle. Just after I repaired the broken bolt stop pin in the Sako I short stroked the rifle several times, likely trying to baby the action. I have read about numerous instances of misfires with the Remington 700. Gunsmith Charlie Milazzo has said that this is probably the result of the bolt not being completely locked before the trigger is pressed. I have done this myself, though not in a long while. Problems like this tend to be exacerbated when the user is under stress and does not have sufficient practice in their bolt work. With my current rifle, the absent FN (stuck in a gunsmith time warp), I have short stroked it once, and have had several magazine related malfunctions (perhaps 5) in just under 3000 rounds. One of my mags is on an older FN design and the springs don’t work well for very long.

Where an AR has more complexity in operation, more of its function is removed from control of the user. A properly set up AR should run a thousand rounds without cleaning. I have personally only run an AR carbine 500 rounds without cleaning. I don’t think I would ever even consider running a bolt gun for that long between cleanings, though expectations of precision in the platform play into cleaning schedules. I still think it would be interesting to compare stoppages in a bolt action and semi auto in a large scale study in which user error was allowed as a cause of the stoppage. The big difference is that the AR must be properly set up, while with the bolt action the user must be properly trained. One is easier than the other, though I don’t know that easier necessarily means better.

Subconscious Trigger Control

You have described only too well,” replied the Master, “where the difficulty lies…The right shot at the right moment does not come because you do not let go of yourself. You…brace yourself for failure. So long as that is so, you have no choice but to call forth something yourself that ought to happen independently of you, and so long as you call it forth your hand will not open in the right way–like the hand of a child.:

Eugen Herrigel, “Zen in the Art of Archery”

 

I’ve written a little on trigger control in the past, but something I re-read recently exposed something that I hadn’t experienced before or had forgotten about. I was reading “With Winning In Mind” by Lanny Bassham again. He has a section on subconscious trigger control. Something finally clicked for me after reading it.

What I had been doing before was a rather sequential redirection of my attention based on where I was in the process of firing a shot. There are different methods out there for the steps of firing a shot. I don’t think the particular method is important, just that all the bases are covered. What the methods seem to advocate is a serialized (one after the other) set of actions leading up to and through the firing of a shot. If one were to shoot “by the numbers” it could very well lead an obedient and willing pupil to follow them with one’s attention, one after the other. I think this was what I had been doing. When my sights were right I transitioned my attention to my trigger finger to make sure that the technique was perfect.

The problem with this approach, if Bassham is correct, is that the conscious mind can only really focus on one thing at a time. So when I transition my attention from my sight to my trigger, and trying to consciously control each step, I am probably leaving the quality of my sight picture behind when I move on to the trigger control step. What Bassham says is the solution to the limitations of the conscious mind’s inability to multitask is that the subconscious mind is capable of performing many tasks simultaneously.  This is beyond the capabilities of a “by the numbers” type approach.

I also believe that putting one’s complete attention into controlling a task seldom results in as good an outcome as something that is allowed to happen, assuming proper training. If the attention is on the task, how can that task be adapted to what is unfolding under real time. The attention is on the ball, not on the hand that is preparing to catch it.

I can maintain a sight picture as I press the trigger. In fact, what I found out is that an acceptable sight picture can lead the trigger finger to press the trigger without really thinking about it. Of course, there is the will to fire and I am aware of what I’m doing, but there is no attempt at controlling the entire process.  What there is a lot of is observation and awareness. That’s what all the dry fire was for, to get the technique to the point where it can just happen.

What was strange was that it just took the suggestion to operate the trigger subconsciously to allow it to start happening. Of course the framework for this had been building from the time commenter “RF” had posted on it some time ago on the blog. It might have even started earlier when I read “With Winning In Mind” for the first time, when shooting a 1911 was at the forefront of my mind. I have experienced subconscious trigger control before, but I don’t think I have ever been able to allow it to happen consistently with a only a simple decision to do so.

After reading this suggestion, it was just a matter of picking up my rifle, getting a proper sight picture, and letting the trigger press and the bolt work happen without trying to micro-manage the process. It happens a lot cleaner this way, in terms of time, steadiness, directing one’s attention, and the quality of the trigger break. The advantages are magnified as the situation becomes less predictable.

Thank you for reading.