Fixed the shoulder…

Sat down with (well, via email) my coach and talked over the current state of my shooting. Afterwards, I had a couple of points to work on:

  • Sway

The sway is horrible 🙁 It wasn’t that bad even before christmas. I think being out of the gym for a month has a lot to answer for here! Went back last week for one day (and did something unpleasant to my right leg which kept me walking funny and out of the gym for a few more days) and got back to it again again this week. The gym machines have smart cards you slot into them which store whatever your workout programme is (and they also store information on your progress) which is handy – mine is set to put me on the elliptical trainer for 30 minutes and the exercise bike afterwards for 20 minutes (once I’ve gotten to the stage where I can hack that) and I have some back extensions as well. I’m hoping that will help. If I can get the weight down to the 220-230lb range, I’ll be very happy. I don’t want to get a new jacket until I get well below where I am now.

I’ve also made up a home training rig with an old wooden stock and a lot of lead for weight, so I can do balance training at home. Need to do far more than I’m doing at the moment though.

  • Shoulder mount

The right shoulder mounting isn’t perfectly consistent. Or at least not enough for my liking, and that might have something to do with the repairs to the jacket.

  • Trigger finger position

The trigger finger is definitely inconsistent 🙁 Same issue that I have on pistol actually, in fact that’s where I first noticed it – some times I’m perfectly placed on the trigger with the fingertip pad, textbook-perfect; other times, I’m behind the trigger and the pad is pulling to the right, if that makes sense.

  • Left elbow placement

Placing the left elbow during the mount feels really flappy and loose and inconsistent, and I’ve not figured out how to fix it yet. Digging through Ways of the Rifle and Air Rifle Shooting looking for inspiration, but none has struck yet.

  • Head-drop

Dropping the head is the most noticable problem. The left elbow placement feeds into it – if it doesn’t outright cause it. The drop just doesn’t feel natural, it often sees me walloping my glasses off the sights, and it’s not consistent in the left-right axis (sometimes I’m pulling cheek and nose out of the way getting cheekbone to the cheekpiece and sometimes I have to give the rifle a hoosh to cant the cheekpiece into my face); and it’s also inconsistent in the front-back axis, which isn’t as prounounced as front-back, but I still see my glasses frame lining up wrong on the rearsight from time to time.

So this evening’s training was to work on things in that list, starting with the shoulder mount. A few shots to get the position I wanted clear in my mind and then a few minutes akward fiddling with a permanent marker and the problem seemed solved:

Right shoulder pad

Continue reading “Fixed the shoulder…”

UCESSA air postal so far

So that’s round six down, and here’s the composite group of all shots fired to date:

UCESSA Air Pistol Postal 2010/11 Composite Group to Round 6
UCESSA Air Pistol Postal 2010/11 Composite Group to Round 6

Not too horrible. Reasonably consistent, some fliers, but the bulk of the shots in the aiming mark, if a shade over to the right. I can live with that!

UCESSA 10m Air Pistol Postal 2010 – Round 6

Strange one this round. Didn’t feel particularly good, in fact it felt a bit off, but it’s the highest scoring round so far. Probably because I didn’t run out of energy on the last two cards, but still, nice.

Round 6 Group Composite

Cards and scores and card notes after the link… Continue reading “UCESSA 10m Air Pistol Postal 2010 – Round 6”

Shoulder mounted training…

After the painful results from the last two nights of training, tonight was a far more welcome success. The goal was to go back to basics and review the shoulder mount part of my shot routine. The club camcorder remains U/S so my replacement stills camera was pressed into service on the new manfrotto 3-section articulated arm that arrived in the post today.

Manfrotto three-section articulated armManfrotto three-section articulated arm

After setting up the arm and camera, there was some general tidying up of the range to do and new tapes had to be loaded into the megalink targets (they also arrived today – we were almost out, and target #2 already was out)

Paper tapes for Megalink targets

Prep work done, I got into position and even took a shot or two before noticing that I’d been so focussed on the camera setup to ensure I got training footage, that I never noticed I was off-line to the target. A bit of a shuffle forward, and suddenly the position tightened up, the hold became steadier, and things felt much more solid.

Training (18.01.11)

Some nice deep tens and a reasonably tight group (with one outrageous flier) followed.

Practice series 1Practice series 2

I’m quite happy with that given the last few nights, but it’s behind where I’d like to be. Ray’s just posted a 589 this weekend (well done Ray!), so that’s his seat on the InterShoot team pretty much nailed; I’m not sure I’ll be where I need to be by the next qualification match which I think is the UCD Open next Thursday. I’ll try, but it’s tight. I should be in better shape by Bisley, but right now everything is hampered by this jacket and until the weight comes down, there’s little point buying a new one, because the weight has to come off anyway to help with the hold.

*sigh* Never easy…

UCESSA 10m Air Pistol Postal 2010 – Round 5

Not a bad shoot, but could have been better. Turns out that shooting pistol (which depends on a smooth controlled trigger pull, especially with the lovely sand-filled feel you get from an old Baikal) and fingers numb from cold do not make a good mixture 🙁

The composite group for the round is still looking heavy on the trigger finger, but reasonably okay:

Round 5 Composite Group
Round 5 Composite Group

Cards and scores and card notes after the link… Continue reading “UCESSA 10m Air Pistol Postal 2010 – Round 5”

UCESSA 10m Air Pistol Postal 2010 – Rounds 2-4

Thanks to the inclement weather (ie. the range hitting -16C at one point), I simply couldn’t get to the range for most of December;  thankfully, the UCESSA made allowances in its rules for those of us who didn’t see that coming and so I’ve been able to catch up to where I should be over the last fortnight by shooting a round every time I went to the range for training. Things aren’t going too badly, the scores have been fairly consistent and the overall group for the past four rounds doesn’t have too many fliers or wierd patterns overall:

Composite (Rounds 1-4)

A little off-center to the high right. With lots of shots fired like this, this pistol target diagnosis chart is now of use:

Pistol shooting diagnosis chart
Pistol shooting diagnosis chart

So I guess I’m pulling the trigger a bit rather than pushing it straight back; but it doesn’t seem to be that pronounced, certainly not compared to the overall wobble in my hold. That wobble basicly just requires muscle tone and practice to fix; but to be honest, I’m not sure that’s something I’ll be doing – I do pistol for fun, I don’t really want to train at it as much as I do for rifle. A little shaving off the pistol grip under the pad at the base of my trigger finger might help a lot with the triggering – I notice I have to bend my finger back with my left hand to settle the pistol into the grip every time, and that can’t be right!

Anyway, here are the target scans and scores:

Continue reading “UCESSA 10m Air Pistol Postal 2010 – Rounds 2-4”


So tonights training and tuesday’s were a depressing kick in the pants. The goals were to patch the hole I found last time in my jacket’s shoulder patch under the buttplate of the rifle and see if that solved the problem of inconsistency I ran into at the UCD Open. The initial repair was done with a small strip of electrical tape on tuesday.

Tonight, I added a larger strip of duct tape tonight (oh duct tape, is there anything you can’t fix?). I did get some suede from ebay, but it looks to be more of a job to sew that on than I thought, so I just cut out replacement patches from it and I’ll try a more elegant repair when time allows. If I even get round to it before dumping this jacket for a better one.

The problem was, after the repair, I still had an absolutely horrible hold. In fact, “hold” was somewhat of a misnomer, as it implies stability. I was all over the place. Reviewing the video footage highlighted that (and pointed out that having the camera mount overhead was a good idea).

Training (14.01.11)

It could have been low blood sugar, I suppose, or it could have been the deterioration in physical condition caused by the poor weather keeping me away from the gym (yeah, right, poor weather…). But that’s the thing, I’ve no idea what was causing it. And the way that the sights didn’t seem to be adjusting the way I thought they should did my mental game no favours either. (I’ve since ordered a dial indicator and mount for the club so I can test the rearsight just to be certain, but I’m pretty sure it’s okay).

After a while, I just gave up in fustration and shot a UCESSA pistol round and went home. Not the best night ever.


Anyone seen these yet?

ZozzyTV screen in Stephen's Green
ZozzyTV screen in Stephen's Green

I figure, if anyone’s allowed upload there, that’s a fast way to show our sport to a lot of folks, right? So, I’ve uploaded these two:

Both taken in Kuortane in 2007. Must put together some more (and add the URL for here into the videos) and send them in. But for now, sending “zozzy 90002” or “zozzy 9003” to 53307 (costing 60 cents) gets those put up on the big screen, like at lunchtime today:

ISSF on ZozzyTV

First day back…

First day back on the range after the weather (turns out that -16ºC and three feet of snow preclude training) and I finally got to check whether the new camera mount worked out:

New camera mount

It’s a manfrotto articulated arm normally used for steadying lights and such. Turns out to be about a foot shorter than I’d like, but they make a three-section arm as well which will fix that…

Manfrotto 196B

As it stands though, it’s tall enough to be useful:

New camera mount

New camera mount height comparison

Unfortunately, my camera was badly injured before xmas this year and without a viewfinder, it’s not as useful a tool as it used to be (time to hit ebay for a new cheap camera). So while the mount is fine, I’ve no photos of shooting from this evening. Still, the results were pretty okay (97/100 with two fliers and the sights not quite perfect):


But far more useful was the discovery of what might have been the cause of the awful results at the UCD Open:

Jacket shoulder

The suede patch there is where the buttplate of the air rifle is normally placed while shooting, and when mounting the rifle there, the buttplate drops down vertically into place… and the heel of the buttplate got caught in a small hole in the suede:

Hole in mounting patch

The hole was small enough to not notice it until today; if it was catching the heel every few shots, that would explain why I kept getting wierd inconsistencies during the match. I’m not sure how best to repair that. I guess I might be closer to buying a new jacket than I thought 🙁