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Discussion Starter #1
Whenever I go to the range or wherever to shoot my rifle I end up with the same problem.It doesn't matter what kind of rest I use or sand bags, when I get my scope on target every time my heart beats it moves the crosshairs slightly keeping me from tightening up my groups.Is there something I can do (maybe put something in between the butt of the gun and my shoulder) that would help me correct the problem?
 

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You're not doing anything wrong, Habhammer....you're just shooting! ;)

What you're asking for help with has filled many a book, but I will offer a limited tutorial on what I do...which I'm sure will be blasted pretty quickly. :)

Using solid rests for your gun, both front n' rear, adjust the gun so that your point of aim is exactly where you want it, when you are not even touching the gun. While settled in comfortably to the stock, grip the forearm as lightly as possible, applying equal amounts of force with the webbing of skin at the base of your thumb as you apply to the trigger, with your index finder. If the gun surprises you when it goes off, you did it right.

I can't say if this is "correct", but it is how an old-timer taught me to shoot from the bench and I've been pleased with the results.
 

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Toss a sweatshirt or something over your stock to absorb the heartbeat shake. I do it anytime I need to be extra-solid.
 

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Learn to shoot without so much magnification, I dont usually see the cross hairs move with my pulse until about 12x or so. I've found I shoot just as well, if not better, at 10x than at 12x.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Yup - lower magnification of the scope, more solid rest for the rifle, more solid cheek weld on the stock, breath control and trigger squeeze will all enhance the body movement. Unless you can figure out how to stop the heartbeat and still live, you'll just have to shoot between the wiggles! :p
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Yeah. My CZ with the scope turned up to 12x at 50 yards lets me take my pulse :)

Good advice on the shirt/towel or whatever. If it kicks hard don't let it get a running start :eek:

I can hold rifles pretty loosely up to my Winchester .30-06 with the Decellerator pad. The other .30-06, a mauser with a pretty hard pad, is not so forgiving.... ow.... so it gets held tight and figure I give up a tad bit of accuracy. Not a big deal.
 

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Yup - lower magnification of the scope, more solid rest for the rifle, more solid cheek weld on the stock, breath control and trigger squeeze will all enhance the body movement. Unless you can figure out how to stop the heartbeat and still live, you'll just have to shoot between the wiggles! :p

I've read and seen where some SEAL snipers can shoot BETWEEN heartbeats.:eek: Now that takes practice.;)
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Ha! If I tried for a slower heartbeat, I'd probably never be able to re-prime it!

Think that bit on the SEALs was on the Military Channel on TV not long ago. Remember the same thing about between beats.
 

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Is/was a "mind thing" for me. I "try/want" to see the bullet hit. If i'm in my groove, it happens. If not, I just as well find something else to do!

I do it "one shot at a time". Forget about previos shot. No concern about the next.
"Make this one shot and see it hit" is what works for me.

Cheezywan
 

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Great ideas here! Something that hasn't been mentioned before is drinks and medications.

I've read/heard that in sports that require fine precision, competitors do not drink things like caffeine drinks (coffee, some soft drinks etc) because they increase your the beats per minute of your heart, thereby increasing the problem we are concerned about as shooters. I'm sure those who do biathlon don't drink too much of these drinks, as they have to go from skiing to shooting accurately throughout their competition. I think there is a method they use of slowly their heart rate down, called biofeedback (might have the term wrong!) but there is a particularly technique that can be learnt to do this.

Another thing that is worth thinking about is some medications can cause shakes and tremors if you take too much of them. For example asthma and other respiratory medications. If you're taking any type of medications, in the interests of safety first of all, and secondly your performance, it might be a good idea to read the information that hopefully was included in the medications packaging, or passed onto you by your doctor.

Another thing to think about is how tired we might be at the range. I know if I'm tired, it tends to play on my mind and my concentration needed to shoot as best I can is made that bit more difficult. It's a great feeling to know that the scope is sighted in properly, the rifle is in A1 condition, that my reloads have been prepared with all care, that my rests on the best are well set up and everything is as well set up as possible, but if I'm tired, my tiredness just plays on my mind and my concentration is not what it should be. The little things that would otherwise not trouble me too much, just tend to niggle away at me, and sometimes the more I shoot the less satisfactory things become. I think if you're worried about your heart beat putting you off, (and I think we all have experienced that at some stage!) it can become a little more of concern the more tired you are and the more you shoot.

If you're a shift worker like me, you tend to have shoot when you get the chance, so you have to make do with these things that trouble all of us.

Just my two bobs worth, if it helps.
 

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I drink tons of coffee, looove the stuff. But my idle heartbeat is 65 beats per minute, far from fast ;) Now shooting off hand ? It shows a lil more :D
 

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I drink tons of coffee, looove the stuff. But my idle heartbeat is 65 beats per minute, far from fast ;) Now shooting off hand ? It shows a lil more :D
Good for you! Just reporting what I've read and heard
 

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Practice, and practice some more. You can spend hours practicing and never fire a shot.

Get you some Snap Caps and learn how to squeeze the trigger. Get you're grip right, cheek weld right (very important), you're squeeze right along with follow through, you're shoulder placement right, you're breathing right and you're shot timing right and most of all, KEEP BOTH EYES OPEN. Get all this right and you still have both eyes open when the firing pin falls, and you didn't make any sort of a twitch, you saw exactly where the cross hairs were when it did snap, and the cross hairs are still on target with the follow through, then you can work on shooting between heartbeats.

Shooting between heartbeats is not a big deal. If you're in good physical condition, you're heart rated should be below 60bps. That's a full second you have between each beat.

Now with that said, you didn't say what kind of groups you're shooting but if they are very large, you've got more problems than heartbeat. Shooting off a bench and sand bags, if everything is in it's proper position, you're heartbeat should have very little affect on your group unless you're shooting extremely long ranges (600 - 1000yds).

My 14 year old granddaughter easily shoots 3/8" - 1/2" groups with her 260 at 100yds. She knows nothing about shooting between heartbeats. I shoot 1/4" groups with the same rifle. At 14 though, she has probably spent time practicing and has put more rounds down a rifle barrel than most hunters three times her age. Just this year alone, she has over 1,100 through her 260, a couple of hundred through her 243, and a couple of thousand through her 22 rifle and pistol.

I have a Sightron SIII 8-32X56 scope on her 260 and even on 32 power, the only time my heartbeat is realy noticable is shooting prone. Shooting from a bench and I'm properly positioned, it's very neglegable.
 

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BKeith,

Have you had to do anything special to get your granddaughter to shoot that much? My daughter hunts and likes to shoot, but not as much as I would like. I keep trying to come up with ways to make it more fun, since I've found very few kids to be interested in shooting for groups. It's truly impressive that a young lady of 14 is shooting groups at or under 1/2 MOA! What's your secret to getting her to shoot that much?

Good advice on the snap-cap practice, although I'm not one of those who buys into the "both eyes open" school of thought. I've simply seen too many great shooters who don't use that technique for me to believe it's essential...I think each shooter should try both methods and go with what they are most comfortable with. I will say this much, though: When it comes to quickly finding the sight picture with one of my LER-scoped pistols, keeping both eyes open helps a great deal. However, once I have the image centered in the scope, my left eye just naturally goes to sleep. :)
 

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Just try to keep it fun for them. I started her when she was about six teaching her instinct shooting with a BB gun that has the sights removed. After a couple of years of this I moved her up to a 22. They learn pretty darn quick when young like that and she has always enjoyed doing it, now it's just second nature for her. As for the both eyes open, I've always been heavy into instinct shooting, that's where I started and I just feel anything you can see with one eye, you can see twice as good with two. Also, if you ever get into long range shooting, 1,000 or more yards, it's nice to be able to have the spotter scope where you can look through it while looking through your rifle scope. You can make your shot and then see the vapor trail through the spotter scope to see where you hit. I learned that way, I much less problems with eye strain when doing a lot of shooting and I'm just on of those that feel it's the only way to learn. I also believe the right way to cast a reel is, cast with one hand, wind with the other, not changing hands to wind.

We generally spend on day a week at the range. When we go I take all four of her guns and she usually starts off with either her pistol or 22 rifle shooting one of the metal flip targets. We have a lot of little comptitions with different guns, about the only thing I can honestly smoke her in now is shooting the tightest groups on paper and long range shooting. So far I'm still limiting her to 500yds because she has a lot of misses beyound that (shooting 6" square steel plates hanging from stands) but everything else she can hold her own against me. We may each stand 10 shotgun hulls on the ground at about 25 yards and shooting open sights free hand with one of the 22's or see who can shoot the most in thirty seconds or she who can flip the most disc on the flip targets. Then we may put a flip target at 200yds and again with a 22, see who can flip the most, the quickest in one load of a Remington 52 semi (it has a 4x scope in it). I usually throw some clay targets for her and let her shoot them with her 22 also, so she just has fun. The thing is, now she's starting to beat her papa at some of these games so she gets to come home with bragging rights. I also take her four wheeler so she can ride down to the 400 and 500yds targets to look at them. The range we go to is about 20 miles from the house and I let her drive to and from (all county roads) so I let her drive to and from it, which also makes her want to go. One good thing about being a little *******, country girl, she been driving since she was 10. That's with her in the drivers seat and me in the passengers.

We do a lot of stuff that's fun for her, around the boring stuff of practicing shooting small groups in the center of paper targets off sand bags at different ranges while having to learn how to make wind elevation adjustments. Elevations are easy because I have those on her scope for different ranges out to 500yds.

Then I make her shoot some rounds through the 243 T3 Lite, off the bi-pod or some other types of rest that would be more typical of hunting shots. She does not like shooting it because of the recoil but she wants to deer hunt this year and that's what she's going to be hunting with so she knows she's gotta do it.

The boring stuff and 243 is just worked in between so we always finish up with at least and hour of some of her fun stuff she likes to do. Most of the time I'm the one having to make her pack up to go home. Even on the way back from the driving range or her golf lessons during the week (she's also plays golf) we stop at a small pit near the house that's about 100yds long and 30yds wide and shoot her 22's for a 1/2 hour or so.

I've found what ever you do with kids, if you give them good equipment, treat them more as very young adults and not so much as little kids, you will be amazed at what they can do. She's also a pretty good bass fisher and can throw a Shimano Curado Bait caster as good as most.
 

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BKeith,

I'm glad you can spend that much time with your granddaughter. My grandson is 1750 miles away when I'm home (do hope to move to Colorado Springs) Good tips!

habhammer,

Besides plenty of dry firing in various positions, besides sandbags under the forearm, fill a sock up with sand and stick that under the toe of the buttstock. Use it monopod and for final adjustments. As broom_jm suggested this would solidifly your position. Apply the fundamentals and control you breathing. If your still seeing movement in your scope then turn down the maginfication. Good luck and good shooting.

CD
 

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BKeith,

Maybe this should go in MikeG's thread on introducing people to the outdoors, but I wanted to follow up a little more. I can see there are lots of ways to get kids to enjoy shooting 22 pistols and rifles, but as you said, you kinda have to make her shoot the .243. My two questions are:

1) How has she managed 1,100 rounds through a 260 if she doesn't like the recoil of the smaller 243?

2) Why would she hunt deer with a 243 when she's easily shooting 3/8 - 1/2 groups with a 260?

Whatever she's doing to get groups like that would probably help the OP!

P.S. I don't understand what you mean when you say you are looking through your rifle scope AND your spotting scope, at the same time, while shooting at 1,000 yards. That sounds, well...impossible.
 

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I guess I need to clarify shooting off sand bags. When I mention shooting off sand bags, that is normally shooting with front and rear of rifle support for a steady rest. The cross hairs are on center target with the rifle at rest and just sitting there. It's just up to the shooter to maintain that position during the shot. I have a special leather and canvas rear support filled with sand that goes under the stock.

Yes, I have been very fortunate. My granddaughter has lived with me for most of her life. When she was about two, her father packed up in the middle of the night and left them with nothing. I have devoted most of mine toward keeping her happy and spending quality time together. There's not many days/afternoons we are not doing something together. You have to try and raise them right when they are young because she's getting to the age now where they think they know it all. Hopefully, she's had the morals, self asteem, religious beliefs to be her on person to do what's right and not need to follow the crowd when she knows they are headed down the wrong road.
 

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I've tried several times to post answers to your quesitons but for some reason it won't save

There's something that won't let me answer your questions. I just typed it again and tried another post, it gave the same error 404, sorry.

I'll try one answer at the time

Cartridge and caliber is not all that determines recoil. Her 260 is over four pounds heavier than the 243 Tikka, T3 Lite. The 260 also has a muzzle break on it when she's shooting targets. It has less recoil than the 222 she was shooting before I did the 260 for her.

Don't sell the 243 short, she easily shoots 3/4" groups with it. Just because she does not like to shoot it, doesn't mean she can't shoot it.

What she's doing is she has been taught through a logical progression over the past eight years or so and praticing. This has gotten her to where she's at now, and she has put forth the practice with the proper coaching.

The spotter scope trick is something I picked up from David Tubbs. It's not impossible and it's about the only way to determine impact at long ranges (800 plus yds). With my rifle scope and using splatter targets, I can see bullet holes as small a 6mm at 400yds. With the spotter scope I can see them at 600yds but beyound that, the only way is to watch the vapor trail and if you don't have someone spotting for you, you need to learn this little trick. Maybe it one of the benifits of being left handed and very amidextrous. I can do most anything lefthanded or righthanded but throw a ball. I can play golf left hand or right handed and I can shoot with either, using either eye to focus. My left eye is my dominate eye but sometimes I have to close my right eye a couple of times for a second or two to get my left working properly. After that, I can switch back and forth with no problem.

OK, finally got you the answers.
 

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I do most exactly what Broom_JM and Hillestadj said. I've found both to be the methods givng the greatest benefit to my shooting. That and making sure your trigger is as light as you want it for what you'll be shooting in the end (i.e. don;t set your trigger so light as a long-range shooter and then go deer hunting with it).

Now the theory behind the "both eyes open" is: when you close one eye, you cause strain on the other. This is not immediately noticeable but will affect your accuracy as you keep shooting. A long-range competitor might scoff at this, but if he's closing one eye, his "open" eye is suffering strain whether he recognizes it or not, even though he may be a national champion or something. So..... if you're only firing 15 or 20 rounds at the range or just out hunting and firing one shot, the eye strain probably isn;t going to affect your accuracy, but you don;t want to practice one way and shoot entirely another, when a long range shot is called for. An additional benefit to keeping both eyes open is peripheral vision. When you have only one eye open and you're concentrating on your animal through the scope, you won;t see anything moving into the target area, or at least your peripheral vision will be compromised to varying degree.
 
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