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Why is the 5th shot so hard???

Forums Benchrest Benchrest Talk Why is the 5th shot so hard???

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    yenniedn
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    I've been spending the long holiday weekend getting to know my new-to-me Impacts and I'm very happy to report that I have two really good shooters (a 0.25 compact 500mm w/ superior liner shooting pellets and a 0.22 600mm w/ slug liner).  No reg creep on either rifle but I'm not sure yet if the Compact 0.25 suffers from the shifting POI others have mentioned because I've been playing around a lot with the scope, varying pellets, swapping LDC's, etc.

    So I've been shooting some pretty good groups (better than usual) while trying to dial in these two rifles at my 35yd target.  And just about every time I get a great one hole group through the first four shots, I always seem to choke on the 5th shot and ruin an otherwise stellar group!  

    Who else suffers from this sickness and what tips/tricks can you share to help reduce or prevent that errant 5th shot???

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by a Moderator.
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    qball
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    Because it’s the fifth shot? Next time count to 2 and start over when you get to 2. 

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    Odoyle
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    Make a mental note and start shootng 20 shot groups. Your first 5 shots should improve. Shooting live critters often also helps because paper targets aren't pests.

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    tommyb
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    Yen, you are not alone.  This is the 64 dollar question we all have and one for the ages. 

    Boy, did you open up ‘a can of worms’ with your 5th shot question. Lots of variables here that can contribute to this phenomenon ( I.e., bad pellet, unexpected wind gust, velocity change, unintentional gun movement or recoil, change in hold technique, etc); but much of the time I suspect it is the shooter and not the gun or ammo. 

    In my case, I think I choke because I get anxious about spoiling a good or great group, and my consistency suffered on that important 5th shot. I think this is common to many of us who shoot often and strive for optimum accuracy at specific and ‘known’ distances. 

    I will be curious to read others’ experiences and observe their feedback. 
    Tom
     

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    tommyb
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    Odoyle

    Make a mental note and start shootng 20 shot groups. Your first 5 shots should improve. Shooting live critters often also helps because paper targets aren't pests.

    I like this idea and will try it.  I get where you are going here. 

    Start shooting larger shot count groups and train your mind to adjust and “not think about the 5th shot,” especially  when it’s needed for scoring purposes. 

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    steve123
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    Anticipation makes us tense up which affects how much pressure we impose on the stock. It doesn't take much. 

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    Damien
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    I could be many different things. 

    1. The air gun  and ammo.

    . Make sure you are shooting quality ammo and your standard deviation is as tight as possible. Double check all screws and connections on gun.

    2. The shooter. ( the connection between you and the gun)

    The fundamentals 

    NATURAL POINT OF AIM

    TRIGGER CONTROL 

    FOLLOW THROUGH

    BREATHING 

    SIGHT PICTURE

    Research these fundamentals and practice them correctly and you will find you can out shoot the gun!!!! 

    Here are a couple of you tube videos to get you started.  Hope this helps. 

     

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    oldsparky
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    Top shooters and coaches say target shooting is more mental than we think. Some of my best groups were shot in my 20’s with scopes that I couldn’t see the bullet holes but would walk to the target then get surprised. When I was on a high school rifle team shooting aperture sights, we had a sporting scope to look at the bullet impact. There were times that gunny wouldnt let us use our spotting scope for a card. Just shoot at the bull. I now realize it was because he was trying to show us that we could get worked up and not shoot a good match because of that 15 pound object on our shoulders. How many times do you shoot a target especially when not benched and start snap shooting. Just my 2 cents

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    wimpanzee
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    I'll sometimes take a several second pause, even put the rifle down, and come back to shot 5 like its a new group. Dunno if it helps but it I often feel more relaxed.

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    Greenarrow
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    oldsparky

    because of that 15 pound object on our shoulders.

    Your noggin must be the size of a pumpkin if it weighs 15 pounds!  Ha ha

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    Motorhead
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    The 5th shot is no more difficult than the 1st or the 50th etc ….

    As a Competitive and successful Field target shooter the challenge has ALWAYS been consistency is doing whats required EVERY SINGLE SHOT even tho you get up, walk around, talk with others etc etc …. Your FOCUS to get back onto a target and regain your composure & resolve / focus is what separates Great shooters from Good shooters.

    It actually is very easy to make short shot strings of quite good accuracy and this gets increasingly difficult with more distractions staying at it for 3-4 hours straight which is common in a Field target match.

     

    It is of my feelings … that, once one possesses the skill set of a good shooter that said shooters MENTAL FORTITUDE becomes the deciding difference in just how long that focus to become & stay one with the machine / rifle / gun in which they are shooting.

    MENTAL GAME Absolutely !!!

     

     

    Scott S

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    bigHUN
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    It is mental…

    Back about decade ago I was already competing rings shooting, indoors and outdoors 80 to 120 yards/meters with a bow and arrow.

    I was training/practising like 2-3 times a week for 250 arrows (in the beginning let say 3-4 hours a day and later years about thousand arrows per week) and suddenly I got a problem missing the very last "X" in the round.

    They called it target panic. I was laughing at them. But it got worst.

    One of the International shooter guys sad, revers the order of rings….normally in competition you go 5 shots (or 3 shots) order in "Z" pattern. So I reversed the order and all came back to normal…How is that? So from that day I started practice/training shooting rings in random order.

    BTW, during all these my competition years I went through several target panic periods, some milder some really nasty shit I could not hold the pin/dot on the "X".

    I needed help, spoke to/paid couple coaches, and there I started getting seriuse with a mental training…also hide the dot/pin (cover it if you have to) and just concentrate for the center of the outer ring….and games like that.

    Ones you get to realize the value of the mental state (off course you need to grow to that level of good-or-bad shooting) you will realize that you can become a stronger shooter.

    I believe one of the best books which helped me the title is "Winning in mind", and the author was a airgun shooter…

    Sorry I have no air target competition experience yet but just to give you a picture, and hoping some may recognize my targets not much of a difference….ring is a ring, end every ring have a center…no matter how far is it…

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by bigHUN.
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    yenniedn
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    Lots of great knowledge and advice here – thanks so much!  Of course I knew it's probably more mental than it could be anything with the hardware itself.  I'm also an avid golfer and know fully well that the same drive or putt that you've successfully made a thousand times can become ridiculously difficult when the pressure's on or if you've lost your confidence.  There are very few activities more mental than golf . . . so I'll watch the videos linked above and try to heed the advice of more experienced shooters here and try to become a better, more consistent shooter myself!

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    pbike257
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    call it a head space issue…Once you get the space between your ears to settle on the fact that you shoot good groups and all that is required is to shoot another good shot to make a good group you'll have it.  testing a rifle should never involve that fifth shot issue.  what does the sixth shot do?  Long ago, a very good centerfire shooter (Gloria Wright) taught me that shooting groups is easy…  "all you have to do is put the last three shots between the first two".  That's how it was explained to me…she used to shoot way better than her husband Dick Wright too.

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    tommyb
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    pbike257

    call it a head space issue…Once you get the space between your ears to settle on the fact that you shoot good groups and all that is required is to shoot another good shot to make a good group you'll have it.  testing a rifle should never involve that fifth shot issue.  what does the sixth shot do?  Long ago, a very good centerfire shooter (Gloria Wright) taught me that shooting groups is easy…  "all you have to do is put the last three shots between the first two".  That's how it was explained to me…she used to shoot way better than her husband Dick Wright too.

    We ALL…wish it was that easy.  It’s not.  

    With all due respect to all the responders,…..  there are many many things which can adversely affect accuracy and the 5th shot mentality.  It’s not all mental.  There are things we all do that can blow the group, besides not having a superior mental focus. 
     

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    Centercut
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    Or, as is done here on AGN every now and then, just shoot three shot groups and call it good.  Doesn’t mean much, but hey, its a small group!  ;)

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    yenniedn
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    Yes, 3 shot groups are so much easier!

    But I've actually been trying to heed the advice in this thread and just getting more practice in general and my groups have been much better even through that 5th shot.  I'm also trying something very novel to me: instead of buying more and more rifles to put into the safe, I'm now taking the ones I already have out of the safe and actually shooting them.  Apparently, getting to know each rifle better seems to help your groups as well.

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    oldsparky
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    I am really good at shooting 1 shot groups!About the best I know of!

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    yenniedn
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    oldsparky

    I am really good at shooting 1 shot groups!About the best I know of!

    Well, this depends on if your one shot group is aimed at a bullseye.  If so, and you're hitting your target, this is a pretty noteworthy accomplishment.

    I, on the other hand, can be lazy to walk the 35yds out to my backstop area to replace my printed targets so once all the bullseyes have been shot up on a given sheet, I shot a random hole in some unused area and then try to put the next 4 shots through that same hole.  In all of those instances, that first 1 shot group is phenomenal.  The next 4 have (sometimes greatly) varying degrees of accuracy.

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    tommyb
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    Centercut

    Or, as is done here on AGN every now and then, just shoot three shot groups and call it good.  Doesn’t mean much, but hey, its a small group!  ;)

    Hey Mike, 

    I know many of our AGN shooters typically use several 5 – shot groups to assess accuracy, try out a new pellet, a new tune, etc.. I also see some others that may use 7 or 10 shot groups.  I know there is some research that you mentioned in previous posts ( I think anyway ); whereby 5 shots seems to be statistically the right amount of shots for measuring accuracy for a given group.  I almost always use a 5-shot group unless I am just curious to see how 10 shots might look. No rhyme or reason, I just do it for kicks. 

    My question is, are there any times that a shooter should actually use 7 or 10 shots for a group vs. 5?   I think the answer may be different strokes type of thing, but I am curious too.

    Tx..Tom

     

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