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Using a dot to get better with irons


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#1 Motosapiens

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:42 PM

I'll stop hijacking gooldy's idaho thread and just start my own.  I had heard a few people say that shooting with a dot can accelerate your shot-calling development and general learning, and last year I was just about to buy one to put on my 22 steel gun when I conveniently won a c-more slide-ride at the 2016 idaho state match. So I shot some weeknight steel challenge in the spring, and practiced a couple times, and even on a 22, it seemed to be increasing my awareness of where exactly the gun was pointed *as it fired* (not as I started pulling the trigger. Perhaps not coincidentally, about the same I began to actually see when my SS gun was dipping down below the original shot when I fired the 2nd shot, and I stopped being surprised by the occasional mike or no-shoot on horizontal partials. That prompted me to experiment a bit with a lighter bullet (200 vs 230) and a lighter recoil spring (13 vs 14) to really start seeing what allowed me to fire a 2nd accurate shot most quickly and confidently. It also started becoming obvious that my grip was an important part of that process. A month or so later, using 200 gr boolits, I nailed down the last 2 classifiers to make M in singlestack. Hooray.

 

So then I got to thinking if standing still shooting a 22 with a dot helped my visual awareness significantly, it might help even more to get a CO gun and start doing some real movement-oriented dryfire and livefire. So I found a decent deal on a p09 package, complete with dot and extended mags. I've put 500-600 rounds through it now in practice, and I've been using it for most of the afternoon portion of my dryfire, which is diverse movement stuff (as opposed to the morning 20 mins which is most of anderson's first 12 stand and shoot drills). I'm also using the CO gun for the first half of my live-fire session, particularly the shooting while moving and dynamic entry/exit stuff.

 

It's hard to quantify after only a couple weeks, but I think I am definitely seeing more than I ever did before, and even just dryfiring the heavy-ass DA trigger while watching the dot has made more conscious and disciplined about my grip. I've moved my end-of-session accuracy drills back to 20 yards from 15, and still putting just about every shot into the upper A-zone.  I don't know if I'll ever shoot this gun in a match.... I don't actually like the gun all that much, but at least it's not a glock. Still, just using it in practice seems to be accelerating my learning curve, and what I'm learning seems to translate directly back to iron sights.


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#2 Will

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 06:57 PM

Goldie's thread got me thinking the same way. I'm in the midst of putting an Rmr on my carry to see what I can learn.

#3 racetaco

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 07:51 PM

I shot a M&P with a dot a bunch last year and it definitely helped me. I never got my draws as consistent and fast as irons but it improved shooting on the move, moving targets, and faster transitions. This coming season I'll be spending considerable time running a Delta Point Pro on a S&W victory 22 and my N frame revo for steel challenge. I'm not sure how much more gains I'll get in the short term, but getting good with a dot now will help when vision with irons becomes a challenge later in life.
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#4 Motosapiens

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:03 PM

I never got my draws as consistent and fast as irons but it improved shooting on the move, moving targets, and faster transitions. 

 

For sure, draws are a little slower, probably due to lack of dryfire focus on draws. I'm ok with that because I mainly want to use the dot as a learning tool, and I don't really GAF about learning to shoot gooder in a dot division, at least not while I'm young and healthy and spry.


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#5 busdriver

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 09:21 PM

Don't over-aim with the dot.


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#6 Chili

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 02:51 PM

I've got a dovetail mount coming for my Shadow for the same reason.  My one concern is the fact I shoot with one eye open in iron sights and shooting with the dot will likely be both eyes and target focus, not sure how that will translate for helping my shot calling.



#7 GooldMember

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 06:07 PM

As I have said many times in the past, I think if people would take the time to actually try it then they would have the same findings as you have had moto. I am completely convinced that shooting a high cap/optics division teaches you the skills to be effective in the other divisions. Regardless of whether they are high cap, low cap, irons or dot.

Fellow doodies, trust the dot. Learn with the dot. Shoot the dot.

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#8 Ben

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 07:36 PM

Just a thought here:

If you change to a different gun and shoot that gun.... won't you learn something?


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#9 barry owens

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 08:22 PM

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#10 GooldMember

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 09:54 AM

Just a thought here:

If you change to a different gun and shoot that gun.... won't you learn something?

That would only really apply if you weren't training with the first gun... Moto, as we all know, does train. Both dry and live fire regularly with his limited and SS guns. Switching to a dot for some of his practice is making him better with the irons guns in many areas though, even though the net amount of training remains unchanged. So it is clear that it is the dot that is helped him learn these skills more quickly. 

 

Trust the dot. Learn with the dot. Shoot the dot. 



#11 shreek

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 01:17 PM

A dot will show up crappy transitions and trigger pull and index and whatnot more easily than irons. Those skills can port back over to an iron-sighted pistol if the shooter pays attention to keeping them.

What a dot won't teach is all the other variable-focus stuff that's needed to be really skilled with irons.

We all know good Open shooters that aren't completely blind, yet still suck with irons.

Use the rules. Don't DQ someone who doesn't do anything DQable. -- Da Beard.

 


#12 GooldMember

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 02:02 PM

A dot will show up crappy transitions and trigger pull and index and whatnot .... 

 

....and shooting on the move, shooting into positions, shooting on the move, shot calling, and being aggressive (aka all the things that can make match performance significantly improve).

 

What a dot won't teach is all the other variable-focus stuff that's needed to be really skilled with irons.

We all know good Open shooters that aren't completely blind, yet still suck with irons.

I think with the comparatively low number of shots in this sport that require an incredibly hard front sight focus and the ability to align the sights to the target, the other skills can more than make up for deficiencies in those areas. I agree we all know open shooters that aren't good at irons, but I think I have seen fewer of those people than irons shooters who suck with a dot. 

 

Either way, I think the moral of the story is that cross training can be an extremely effective means of improvement. 



#13 shreek

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 02:15 PM

Depends what matches you shoot I guess. World Shoot this year would suck with irons if a dude couldn't switch to a hard sight focus fast but at most locals a good target focus is all they need for 97% of it.

I've got GM's in both Open and Limited, although I never was far into the top 16 at nationals so yeah, getting good with one helps a ton with the other, but I don't think it's the whole story.

Use the rules. Don't DQ someone who doesn't do anything DQable. -- Da Beard.

 


#14 GooldMember

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 03:02 PM

Depends what matches you shoot I guess. World Shoot this year would suck with irons if a dude couldn't switch to a hard sight focus fast but at most locals a good target focus is all they need for 97% of it.

I've got GM's in both Open and Limited, although I never was far into the top 16 at nationals so yeah, getting good with one helps a ton with the other, but I don't think it's the whole story.

I was mostly referring to USPSA, not IPSC. Regardless of match level in USPSA, I think one would be fine. The shot difficulty just isn't there compared to our IPSC brethren, in general.

And it seems like you think I'm saying you can be the best in the country with irons just by shooting a dot. That's not what I'm saying. If you want to be near the very very sharp end of this game, you have to train with the specific gun you compete with, that seems like a "duh" to me.

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#15 Motosapiens

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:55 PM

Just a thought here:

If you change to a different gun and shoot that gun.... won't you learn something?

 

Yeah, probably, but that's not the point. My primary focus for training and competition will continue to be limited for the time being. I'm using the dumb dot gun only as a practice tool because I think it's helping me learn to see what's going on better. By making it more obvious, I can start to get information I didn't use to see. Once I start to see it, I want to keep seeing it, even when I shoot iron sights.  maybe I could have just practiced harder and learned to see the same stuff with irons, but it didn't really seem like I was getting that much better at it, even tho it's probably the thing I was putting the most focus on in practice. Perhaps I just needed to look at it from a different angle.

 

Bottom line so far is using a dot on my 22 seemed to really make me more visually aware, and using it while moving on an actual centerfire gun is making me even more aware-er. I'm pretty much only using it for 10-15 mins a day in dry-fire, and 1/3 or so of a few live fire practices so far.  I  don't know if it will work for other people, but it seems to be helping *me* improve, and that's what I care about alot.


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#16 Motosapiens

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:57 PM

My one concern is the fact I shoot with one eye open in iron sights and shooting with the dot will likely be both eyes and target focus, not sure how that will translate for helping my shot calling.

i think that's a non-issue, at least for me, so far. I don't have a strongly dominant eye, so I shoot irons with tape on one lens (like Hoppy), and I shoot the dot without tape usually. 


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#17 Stubb

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 08:15 AM

I've got a dovetail mount coming for my Shadow for the same reason.  My one concern is the fact I shoot with one eye open in iron sights and shooting with the dot will likely be both eyes and target focus, not sure how that will translate for helping my shot calling.

 

Once you dial-in target focus on steel and tight partials, you'll fucking stack bodies at matches when you come back to shooting irons.


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#18 MemphisMechanic

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 01:54 PM

Once you dial-in target focus on steel and tight partials, you'll fucking stack bodies at matches when you come back to shooting irons.


Uncertain if sarcastic, or if discussing closer distance targets seriously...
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#19 Stubb

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 06:04 PM

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#20 GooldMember

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:50 PM

Uncertain if sarcastic, or if discussing closer distance targets seriously...

Who said anything about close distance? When I shoot irons now, I shoot almost everything target focused, and am simply aware of the front sight in the same way that I am aware of the dot with my open gun. The only times you need to reel it in a little bit is on the really tight shots, minis at distance, etc.




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