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Discussion Starter #1
I've often talked with McClure, Imas and others about trigger weight and its real effect on scores.

IMO there is no real advantage to a superlight trigger in our game. Certainly, when the wind howls and you have to fight your way onto your BANK of animals -- let alone hold on a spot -- light triggers are a recipe for trouble.

I was just comparing the scores shot at Perry by the ATC folks and the comparison is interesting:

With 2400 points possible, the match winning score was 2385-119X with a match rifle. That means anything goes for trigger weight. (It also means adjustable stocks, long sight radii, aperture sights front and rear with all the accoutrements, etc, etc.)

High service rifle shooter (AFAIK) was just 19 points (less than one percent for those of you who may have been Rangers or Maroons and are math challenged) ;-) lower in 7th place. SR means a rifle that, externally at least, is just like what the recruit in basic is issued. No adjustable stocks, no handgrip mods, post front sights, limited rear sight modifications, short sight radii and 4.5 (FOUR AND A HALF) lb triggers.

(There are a gwillion -- BIG number -- tweaks and internal mods done to SRs and anything shot at Perry is a loooooooooong way from what's lugged around by grunts in the field; but you still have to deal with a rifle that's a lot less user-friendly in terms of fit and sighting than those that the match rifle shooters get to use.)

Considering that this situation is nothing new (many years the point gap is smaller) and considering the myriad other disadvantages faced by the SR shooter, IMO it's pretty obvious that a heavier trigger is no real handicap in an outdoor environment where the unprotected competitor has to deal with mother nature and all the problems she can dream up. Certainly, our 2 lb triggers in hunter can't be much of a handicap...in fact, in less than ideal conditions, they may actually help. In our own game, we often see hunter scores equal or exceed standard -- and standard rifles definitely have at least theoretical advantages over hunters in other areas than triggers. Our own nationals seldom see much differeence between the top standard scores and the top hunters; and that doesn't take any account of the advantage that standards have just because they generally shoot earlier in the day when conditions are friendlier.

I'd be curious to hear other opinions...?
 

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If you are on the firing line & your mind is on the trigger at ANY TIME your already screwed,there needs to be nothing up there in your head except the target your fixing to shoot,nothing else.Really its like this comp.I'm on right now,its wireless.There needs to be a wireless connection between your brain & your trigger finger.You can shoot very good scores with a two# trigger.I really believe that the super light triggers leads to jerking of the trigger.If you have ever shot in the wind at Raton when its really blowing you'll know what I'm talking about.If your trigger is so stinking light your afraid to touch it you've already hindered your self.You need to have conifendce that when you touch it that it doesn't go when you don't want it to.Recently my daughter has decided to start shooting with me,she shot my guns,hunter pistol guns,tc contenders,my triggers are in an around one pound or so.A few weeks later she shot someone elses gun & the first thing she said she like my trigger a hole lot better.I know who's guns she shot & there a lot lighter than mine.The first thing & told her is when you came to the firing line your thinking was on something else other than on making the shot or that light trigger would have not felt so hard.Those two oz. triggers are good if your shooting inside or there is no wind at all or shooting a bench gun or if your name is Troy,Cathy,Ausgtine or even Nomad.Well my two cents worth,be good to hear what every one else has to say. Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for lumping me in with that company but the fact is that I only associate with those people SOCIALLY.
When everyone goes to the line, they're separated from me by at least one or two galaxies! :)

Have you noticed that Cathy seems to shoot her 40s with the hunter? (I 'think' that she was shooting the hunter both ways when she shot that recent 40 in 'standard'.)

Now if I could only achieve that subliminal trigger control...
(I can't understand why it's so difficult. Sandy claims that I never use my head when I'm doing things anyway!) ;-)
 

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Great insight Nomad... Great topic..

I realized something similar recently. I have a 10M match air rifle that I practice with in my basement (thanks to you intoducing me to Neal and he gave me a **** of a deal). It's a styer with a trigger that breaks right at 2.3 ozs... I have never lost a shot to that trigger. I come back to the "wall" rather easy and can pull through or sit on the wall...complete control.

Well Now I decide to set my 54.18 up at 3.0 ozs..you know a little cushion and all...LOL. !st time out I lost some targets w/ it..thought ..I'll get used to it... 2nd time out lost 3/40 ..LOL. Granted I never even touched the trigger until I was on target and pointed down range, but it went off when I did not intend it to.

The point about the trigger then being in your mind is a good one, and one that I have "proved" to mysef recently...


Good stuff guys....
 

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" If...your mind is on the trigger at ANY TIME your (you're) already screwed."

OK, guy, I'm dense, can you clarify that for me? I focus on the target, I wait for the dot to arrive on target and I DON'T think about the trigger? I know I've got some trigger issues but I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.
 

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Speed2 the only problem with what you have said about the trigger is that many shooters never reach that point in their abilities. This isn't a flame. What he is talking about is when you get to a point that your trigger control becomes a subconscious action. Most shooters never reach this level. It takes a lot of shooting practice and matches to bring your shooting ability to a subconscious level. That is the point when you can really work on the mental part of the game. The two parts go hand in hand.
I use a hunter gun in both categories because I shoot much better groups with my hunter. I'm not sure why but I think it had something to do with the weight of the gun as much as the light weight of the trigger. I think people tend not to pay as much attention to controlling the gun in standard as well as they do their hunters because the heavy guns seem to sit still so much better. Bill R
 

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Hornet, how do you approach the shot, do you come in from the top bottom or sides or do you hold on and squeeze?
Drags
 

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Well dwl what I was saying was,if I have tell myself look pull that dam trigger now I'mm already screwed.That happens to me more than the trigger going on its own & thats not an accindental discharge either.As I've gotten older its harder to bring the right mind set up on call when I need it.Don't really know how to explain it but its sorta like looking thru a dairy queen straw not a twenty inch pipe.More matches I shoot the better it is espicially the bigger ones,a big PLUS & I MEAN A BIG ONE IS SHOOTING AGAIST SOME RALLY GOOD SHOOTERS,that will allways bring your scores up,it also helps bring on the correct mind set. Larry
 

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Drags, If your NPA is right you will be on target or very close to it when you look through the scope. If you have to push the gun up, down, or to either side you need to first correct your NPA( Natural Point of Aim). Think of it this way if you are shooting on bags on a bench and you try to push the gun on one side to get it lined up just right it will not shoot right where you where aiming because of the side pressure. This is the same as NPA. The gun and your body shouldn't have any built up pretension because at the moment you break the trigger the tension will release and the barrel will move back as your body releases. I don't APPROACH any target in any particular way. I get my NPA as close as possible in both axis, elevation and windage and then I wait for the shot to come and I squeeze the trigger sloooowly. If you are right handed your left arm should always be relaxed and you never use it for an elevation adjustment. Elevation is adjusted by moving the butt pad up or down on your shoulder. If you have a tired left arm after a match you are using muscles in that arm and not allowing it to relax. Your left arm is nothing more than a mono pod so don't use any of the muscles in it or in the left shoulder. Windage NPA is corrected only by moving your feet not twisting at the waist. Once you learn how to do this it will stop many of those flyers that you thought should have been hits. It will tighten up your groups. Now this is IMPORTANT... when that little voice in your head tells you to stop and fix something LISTEN to it. It is right !!! Count how many times you have ignored the little voice and missed. Another thing I see is shooters being in a hurry to miss. Why do shooters have to be the first one to fire a round down range trying to beat the fire command out of the range officer's mouth. Take your time and make that first shot a good one. If you take the time to set your NPA correctly you will be amazed how fast you can go through the targets because the dot will come to rest in the target much faster and you won't have to fight it. Focus on a spot on the target, when the shot is there squeeze slowly, and follow through with the shot trying to watch it fall. I don't always see mine fall. **** I rarely see my hits. But I do no exactly where the dot was when the trigger broke. Because I was watching it closely and focused intently with only that target on my mind. Hope this helps you some. Bill R
 

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Hornet speaks wisely... but as always, there is another approach. some of us intentionally put a bit of tension in our back with twist and then arch/relax just a bit to allow skeletal and tendon support of our upper body as opposed to muscle support. also allows our center of gravity to stay where it is supposed to. if done correctly this will provide a soft stop for horizontal and vertical movement.
dave
 

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You can't argue with Dave's success. He's a heck of a shooter. I've seen other shooters use this style also and very successfully. It works also, no doubt. A high power shooter showed it to me but for some reason it just didn't work at that time for me. But I would never completely rule it out. Never know next year I might be using it.
In the end the best advice I can give is to experiment and find what works for you and your body type. When you find something that works don't be afraid to continue to experiment you will be amazed at what you will learn.
 

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Hornet60, to achieve a natural point of aim, does your stance tend to open toward the target and if so to approximately what degree? If open, to what degree, if any, would be open to much to make the position unstable?

Dave Imas, when you twist toward the target, do you allow your hips to open to the target or do you try to keep you hips inline with you feet and twist with your back only? Do you feel any tension in trailing thigh? Also as you tire throughout the day do you have any tendency to unintentionally unwind back to your NPA?

Tedfl
 

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dave imas said:
Hornet speaks wisely... but as always, there is another approach. some of us intentionally put a bit of tension in our back with twist and then arch/relax just a bit to allow skeletal and tendon support of our upper body as opposed to muscle support. also allows our center of gravity to stay where it is supposed to. if done correctly this will provide a soft stop for horizontal and vertical movement.
dave
Are your feet aligned open or closed in relation to the target line? In case I'm dense..LOL... Are you feet pointed to the left or right of the targets?

Air rifle practice has allowed me to try many things. I went from drastically closed (feet pointed way to the right of target line as I understand it), to drastically open... I have settled recently to just a smidge closed of the target line to dead nut center. interested to know where you stand, how about Dr. D?

Dave, would this be different if your balance was different? I.e. I shoot with a 50/50 dist of weight. I know some can really throw that hip forward and go 70/30 on the front foot. Ajj lent me a book and it went into the stance in quite a bit of detail, if I remember correct.. the less degree of cant in your hip, the closer you are to a 50/50 weight dist. It mentioned this being the case with stocky male shooters, while the 70/30 hip WAY forward stance being common among female shooters...



Chicken.
 

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Ted,
i try to twist at the waist, keep my hips in line and not open to the target. on rare occassion i feel tension (cramp) in my trailing thigh. this happens once or twice a year. usually when i haven't been stretching. i don't typically unwind during the day. i also put cant in my scope to force me to arch my back to roll my rifle into a correct horizontal plane. not a lot... well, some folks think my cant is huge but it doesn't take much. the point is to get my center of gravity back where it belongs.

Chicken,
my feet are closed to the target. how much twist and where your feet align with the target is particular to the individual shooter. i want to twist enough to get a soft stop without becoming a cripple. As far as Mr. Dadian is concerned... (i'm trying to see his stance in my mind...) i believe Dennis shoots just as Hornet suggests... using NPA. lined up with the target. Mr. Dadian is one of the finest rifle shooters i've ever had the pleasure of watching. When he is on he makes this game look ridiculously easy.
regarding the weight distribution... the intent of throwing one's hip forward is to bring your forward hip higher in elevation and closer to your elbow. Women tend to look like they are really throwing there hip forward becaue the typically have a shorter waist. significant advantage! the whole point, as we all know, is to support your rifle with bone... or something other than the muscle of your forward arm. belly, love handle, friction against your shooting vest... elbow on hip bone... whatever it is, it is extremely difficult to shoot this game well if your foward arm isn't relaxed. some folks start shooting with an extended forearm (supporting their rifle with muscle) and see some level of success but they also create a ceiling for their performance.
i'd suggest that when you figure out how to support your rifle without muscle with your body and position, exactly how your weight is distributed is of little consequence and will really take care of itself.
dave
 

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Alston,

Just like you to toy with a person's fragile mind. One guy says take your time and let the shot "suprise" you. The other guy says "PULL THE TRIGGER YOU *&##$!"

LOL

Seriously though I think I was even talking with you at the range one evening when I was experimenting with the "suprise" method. I was shooting turkeys and it was a blast. Never had the stones to take it much further than playing around. It is a weird feeling to apply pressure while your wabble is in the animal and let the shot break on it's own. I do remember doing this in archery with the non mechanical "tension" release aids...

I think that some shooters fall into (2) camps, some of us back and fourth...

1- I can hold on the target all day but when I go for the trigger it never fails that I move off

or

2- It's all I can do today to introduce the dot to the target...


One could suggest following the suggestion of article #1 for "condition" #1
and vise versa...?

Humm...Intresting

Chicken
 

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The great Gary Anderson used to teach that good shooters were versatile, able to use different trigger techniques depending on what the hold, the wind, the nervous system called for on a particular day. I'm having the best luck with a confident stroke right on through with a pause (to settle on target) of no more than about 3/4 second as the two-stage hits the "wall." But some days I can do it and some days I can't.
FWIW I agree with Nomad about weight. If the trigger behaves well, weight is almost irrelevant.
BTW, both essays are by Warren Potter.
 

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Sorry, couldn't keep quiet any longer. (Please note, tongue is firmly in cheek). Trigger control is a mental thing. Think too much about it and you are liable to end up with "performance anxiety". Pretty soon you begin to ask yourself "Will I be able to "pull the trigger" at the moment of truth, or will I embarras myself in front of all the little animals. All this could quite possibly lead to premature triggulation (usually found mostly in young, inexperienced shooters) which will ultimately lead to projectile dysfunction.....

Okay, I'm ducking now, begin throwing things... :lol:
 

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Jneihouse Thats funny and I have done all of that !.
George and tedfl I keep both feet parallel to each other and draw a line across my toes to the target bank. Feet only slightly more than shoulder width apart, taller guys usually use a tighter stance. That doesn't make sense to me but hey ya use what works!. So my feet are normally parallel with the target line. George... Speed2 wasn't trying to say to pull the trigger now, but rather he believes that if you have to tell yourself to do it it is already to late. I think he was saying that He believes, and rightly so, that it should be a subconscious act. WE all come at this in may different directions. some work better than others. and some just as well. But you must be willing to at times give up a few targets to gain more through experimentation. Any new part of your shooting will take weeks for you to learn properly before you can make a good judgement.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here're more statistics from Perry:

Comparing the top 20 match rifle shooters' offhand scores with the top 20 service rifle shooters' offhand scores, the top MR score was slightly better than the top SR score.

BUT... the AVERAGE offhand score among the top 20 using the MR was LOWER than the average offhand score among the top 20 SR shooters. 4.5 lb trigger and all.

Intorestink...
 
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