I shot again this evening. My first target of the night was not a great start: 74. The very first shot was way out in the white, and I had a few more by the time my first ten shots were up. The string felt reckless. I took shots I should not have taken, and the second target, though better, had some similar aspects.
In both cases, the very first shot of the string was a flier. I seem to remember that same phenomenon happening on a few targets. On one target, the first shot was in the white, but then the next four were tens.
So, I will try to counter that first shot problem by not taking the first shot. Instead, I will dry fire the first shot on Slow Fire targets until I see a clean shot break. Then I will move to live rounds.
Another thought that occurred to me while I was shooting was a memory from a Small Arms Firing School I attended at Camp Perry a number of years ago. One of the shooters giving a talk proposed this:
Many of you want to hear us spill the secrets of great shooting. Well, there is no secret. The difference between a great shooter and an average shooter is just this: A great shooter doesn’t fire the bad shots.
So, underlying that idea is this: It is my decision to fire or not to fire. If I bring the gun up and something in the process indicates that the shot is questionable, there is no reason to take the shot, during Slow Fire. I should lower the gun, take a breath, and start the cycle over.
So, with those in mind, I finally did shoot a decent Slow Fire target. It was a 93, with all the shots in the 8-ring or higher (X, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9, 9, 8, 8).
It is good to end on a good target, but, wow, what a spread from 74 to 93. That’s a really big spread. Part of the game is consistency, and that first target was very telling. I need a little more focus.