Hmmm. Well, the blog’s been picked up by IrishBlogs.ie. Hope you guys find it to be in some way interesting, and maybe you’ll even give olympic target shooting a try!
Bah. Was due to go training in WTSC tonight, but it’s not going to happen, thanks to a miserable head cold. Damn virus. Sniffling and woozieness don’t make for a good hold, not to mention a risky drive to Wilkinstown from Greystones. On brighter news, applying for the air pistol licence tomorrow. Hooray!
After a rather bad training session at lunch, and a two-hour delay picking up the last gift for herself (thank you all the bad drivers who were converging on Blanchardstown Shopping Centre for making life so much fun for everyone else…), an excellent training session in WTSC.
Good shooting, perhaps the best I’ve ever done with an air rifle technically. Started shooting to warm up and the warm-up group was dead centre and all good nines or higher. Two shots to check sight adjustment (both in the same hole, both tens) and then Matt had me shoot a 20-shot match.
That’s the equivalent of a 570, which is grand, but what’s not recorded there is that we paused at shot 15 for a few minutes and I daftly continued straight on into the next five shots without doing any dry-firing to get my head back into the game. Cue the immediate appearance of a 9 and a bad 8. Daft, daft, daft. Lesson learnt though. And this is where the Anchutz owners can get jealous of some of the newer air rifles, which have a single button to switch from live-fire to dry-fire in the middle of a match for just this reason. But then, on the other hand, it’s a lot easier to be safe when you have to physically screw out or in the air cylinder to change over. And it’s not that much more effort…
got to a scanner eventually, here are the cards:
Anyway, later looking at the ten-shot strings (I’ll put up the scanned targets as soon as I get to a working scanner later on) we noticed that all of the bad shots were high and right. So there’s still something left to be tweaked. There are some possibilities.
It might be an inconsistent head position. We noticed last time that my head comes down on the cheekpiece in the wrong place sometimes, and while it’s not happening so often anymore, sometimes I forget and we get the same problem:
See the difference? It’s easier to compare directly:
So we modified the shot plan to try to tweak that error out. We’ll see how it goes…
The other major possibility is that it might be the trigger, and I had a bad trigger hand position anyway (when my hand opens, my forefinger is at an angle to the other fingers for some wierd reason, no idea why). So we took the pistol grip off, added a spacer to drop it down some, then turned and moved the trigger blade to meet my finger properly. Small change, but it felt much better afterwards. And it’s still a full five or six millimetres within the ISSF rules. Excellent!
Of course, Matt being Matt, we had to try something else first… 😀
And then to add insult to adjustment, Matt had to make the point that my beloved new buttplate, which does give me a much more consistent start in the shot plan, doesn’t quite do what I thought it did when I’m actually pulling through the second pressure on the trigger and releasing the shot:
Apparently this happens with all kinds of buttplates and is just what happens. It doesn’t seem to be hindering my shooting, and I’m quite happy with the buttplate so I don’t feel daft, but it’s funny to see nonetheless 😀
So I knew it couldn’t last. Today’s lunchtime training was awful. Couldn’t feel the inner position at all, my hold was worse than yesterday, and my mental focus was all over the shop. Hopefully, tonight will be better…
15 minutes spent just practising today. Never even pulled through the second stage on the trigger, just ran through the mount of the rifle over and over. Range time tomorrow night in WTSC, it’ll be interesting to see how the jacket and gear affects what I’ve been practising.
Also, found some new software on the net for printing targets called Target Express. Handy as it has ISSF templates for air rifle (and everything else) and lets you scale them down for distance. So I now have an eight-foot version of the ten-metre target to use 😀
Pity it won’t let you do that with a single target. Bought the software; well, it was only $15 ( â‚¬13 ) or so. Anyway, it might be useful for someone else, hence the mention.
Another lunchtime spent in my socks holding an empty air rifle. (Now there’s something I wouldn’t have thought I’ve have said in previous years). It’s surprising how critical balance can be; and how much you can focus on it in a quiet room on your own if you’re training for a short session. You’re less tired, more focussed, and you seem to get more done. Also, since you’re reinforcing the lessons every 24 hours, you retain more as well. Pity we can’t arrange for this for the squad on a daily basis, really…
These lunchtime training sessions are rather short; but that’s proving to be a strength, as you just pick one thing and watch that. Like today, for instance; I focussed on what happens to the fore/aft weight distribution in my feet in the last foot of lowering the rifle into position. It’s interesting – I watch that, everything seems to work better. Obvious lesson learnt there 😀
Must calculate height and dot size for a realistic target though.
Surprising how easy it is to train for 20 minutes during lunch. No jacket, no trousers, no target, just you, a glove and the rifle. Two minutes to put the sights on, fifteen or twenty minutes of dry-firing and working on getting the rifle over the centre of gravity and seeing how various placings affect the front-to-back sway, and then two minutes to tidy up and that was that. I’m a tad annoyed I didn’t do this before…
Another hard night’s fun 🙂 Got the new buttplate mounted on the rifle and adjusted to close to the old buttplate’s position by measurements, then shot a bit and adjusted to get it right. I don’t think it’s quite there yet, but it’s not the worst part of the process anymore, so on to what is! Also put the new blinder on the glasses. It’s enormous compared to the 6mm by 6mm one I used up to now, but as to whether or not that’s better remains to be seen. But until my head position is more consistent, it’ll be a help (I think – it might be better to have an alignment tool for my head position, but we’ll see).
Matt thinks I’m not training enough and that I need to dry-fire much more. So from now on, 10 to 30 minutes of my lunch break are being spent in a quiet office with the blinds drawn, dry-firing against a wall. I don’t even want to think about how odd it must look 🙂
My new MEC Contact II buttplate arrived today! â‚¬65 on Ebay as well, which was nice. Tomorrow evening will be installing and setting it up. Photos to follow soon!
Also, went to the Meath Local Sports Partnership’s lecture/seminar on coaching. Very interesting, and I’ll need to think some more about it, but it’s already shown me that one or two things I was doing for DURC were not quite right, and it’s given me some ideas to fix that, and to do other things. More later…