Irish Olympic target shooting

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

After that, a few more minutes fiddling with hex keys and hooshing small things about and the trigger position was altered and the trigger finger position felt much better afterwards:

Trigger blade position

It’s been there before – notice that small detent that was dremelled out of the pistol grip to stop the blade hitting the grip during the trigger pull:

Trigger blade position

After that, I set up the camera mount to get some head-on footage for my coaches and went shooting

Firing point setup

First string

Second string

It wasn’t horrible – but that left elbow placement still needs a lot of work, and the sway still demands a lot more physical training, both balance work and gym work. On we go…

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