Is is just me? (probably)

no avatar
GordonS
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:12 pm

Is is just me? (probably)

Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:27 pm

Hi all,

I'm new here and new to airgun shooting, though I almost always research and learn before I do things, so I'm probably reasonably up to speed.

I've had my TX200 mkIII a month or so now and have probably shot 700 pellets through it, so I'm now learning how the theory of things actually works, or sometimes doesn't, in practice.

I shoot paper targets most of the time, so I can see how things work out. I have A4 sheets with around a dozen on them and will shoot probably five shots per target before moving on to another target.

Sometimes those shots group nicely (£1 coin at 30 yards), sometimes they group rather poorly, perhaps out an inch or so, and they tend to do this one group good, one group bad, one group good and so on.

I rather presume this is mostly down to me. Perhaps I get over-confident and mess up, perhaps I get tense and/or try too hard.

I wondered if anyone had an opinion that might confirm, dispute, advise or whatever that might make me a better shooter.

Hmm, another clue, sometimes if I shoot slightly prematurely, the pellet pretty much hits the centre-dot, suggesting that I'm zeroed well for the range and reinforcing the "too tense" suspicion.

no avatar
Outandabout
Posts: 646
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:13 pm
Location: Ferryhill Co Durham

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:39 pm

Hi Gordon
how are you shooting ? are you using a rest, kneeling, laying down etc,etc. How you shoot obviously has an effect on how the pellets group especially if you are shooting a couple of groups.
I find holding on target too long makes me slightly unstable causing unusual grouping. However every other group being "poorly grouped" seems odd?. Maybe you lose concentration slightly after a good group, thinking it's easy.
Try shooting a group, putting the gun down for a couple of minutes and take a second spell see how that works out. Even a third spell if it works.
Kevin

no avatar
GordonS
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:12 pm

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:00 pm

"Maybe you lose concentration slightly after a good group, thinking it's easy. "

Very likely. That's rather my own thought already.

I'm mostly shooting from a rest, sometimes a bag, sometimes my arm.
I'm not yet steady enough to worry about grouping from HFT-type positions.

no avatar
gary martin
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:21 pm

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:40 pm

it could be your hold on the rifle. spring powered rifles shoot best with a relaxed grip. just let the rifle do what it wants to do, don't try and stop it. also think about your follow through. when shooting a lot of beginners tend to move there head and look how the shot went. when shooting keep looking through the scope after the release. practice not just shoot lots of rounds. So in general, don't grip the rifle, follow through on your scope. as others have stated poor control can creep in when you get tense or put pressure on yourself. how many times have i had a single hole group with 7+ shots, try to get to ten and the wheels have fell off due to putting myself under pressure. good luck.

no avatar
tonyc
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 10:55 am

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:25 pm

As others, I suspect inconsistent hold and muscular tension are likely causes, and possibly inconsistent trigger finger so you are "pulling" shots. With practice you will sense that you've pulled a shot rather than the pellet being a flier.

Another point to bear in mind is 5 shots is not really enough to claim a representative group. Statistically there is a reasonable chance you can have 4 or even 5 good shots in a row whereas it's very unlikely you will have 10 in a row. When I came back to shooting springers after a couple of years shooting only PCPs I often found I'd get 4 in a ragged hole and the 5th would go wide. After some practice the number in the ragged hole (or main group at longer distances) increased but it still annoys me I'll often put 8 or 9 in a tight group then put one wide. And it is usually a matter of concentration - too much (= tension) or too little.

no avatar
GordonS
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:12 pm

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:22 am

Inconsistent hold is almost certainly a significant factor. Sometimes I realise I'm holding firmer, sometimes I don't. Often my overall grip is loose, but my finger-tips are a little too tight. Sometimes I notice that. Sometimes I guess I don't. On a bag, or rested on my left arm, often I don't use my left hand at all, so that aspect of grip should be irrelevant, but perhaps my right hand (I'm right handed) is trying to compensate. I don't yet use a glove, partly because when I borrowed one, I couldn't release the cocking lever whilst wearing it. Release and/or cock with the R/H and then swap whilst loading is a possible, I guess. I must keep revisiting proper artillery hold ... so far it's made little obvious difference, but that may change with practice.

I'd forgotten trigger finger and I know that I often curl the finger a little too far ... that's definitely something to keep an eye on.

I do often notice when I've definitely messed up the shot, but I suspect my sensitivity to that is still a little low. I guess as time goes on I'll recognise it more and more and things will improve in consequence.

All of which largely confirms the "too much or too little concentration", but also reminds and suggests a couple of other things to think further about.

Thanks all.

no avatar
tonyc
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 10:55 am

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:44 pm

Here are a few suggestions (anticipating that not everyone will agree).

Try practicing with one position until you achieve reasonable consistency. Whatever position you start with, you want it to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Using a rest might be a good start. My preference for long-range shots is to sit on the ground, or kneel on one knee, using a tripod as follows:

Rest the rifle on the point of balance (as you would in artillery hold) rather than further towards the fore end of the stock. You don't want the rest to be too hard, so the rifle can move under recoil but any movement will be absorbed rather than causing a bounce. Then you can focus on controlling the butt (with the lightest of touches) and your trigger action. You could use your left hand between the rest and the stock but I prefer to do as you are currently doing and not use my left hand... or I will put my left hand on my right upper arm (as when folding arms) or under my right armpit (depending on the rifle elevation). My left forearm then becomes a support for my right hand, enabling me to control any movement of my right hand and the position of the butt. I use a very light contact of butt/shoulder and cheek/cheekpiece, sometimes resting the bottom of the butt pad on my left hand. Take up the first stage and allow the point of aim to move across the target as you breathe but with the POA on target at mid breath. As you exhale stop mid-breath and squeeze the second stage. Attempting to hold on target for more than a second or two causes tension and wobble. If the aim isn't where you want it at the point you pause breathing just take another breath or two until you are relaxed and try again.

Once you have mastered one comfortable position you may find you have a much better feel for where you are going wrong with more difficult or less comfortable positions.

Good luck! :)

no avatar
GordonS
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:12 pm

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:50 pm

I started with the gun supported on the point of balance, but have been trying different points, trying to find a good trade-off between good stability of the gun and my ability to keep the aim steady. Your thoughts on left arm placement are particularly interesting in that respect, though will presumably not work with kneeling/standing unsupported. But then my own stability is more of an issue in that case than the gun's stability.

I think I'll find kneeling OK when I find out how to protect the arthritis in my right big toe from the effects of the correct foot placement :-/

Standing will remain a challenge.

Thanks for your thoughts.

no avatar
tonyc
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 10:55 am

Re: Is is just me? (probably)

Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:16 am

GordonS wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:50 pm
Your thoughts on left arm placement are particularly interesting in that respect, though will presumably not work with kneeling/standing unsupported.
Best when using a rest, which is why I like to use a small tripod from either kneeling position or seated on the ground. There are other positions where the arms can remain in a semi-folded position so the gun's point of balance is supported by the crook of the left elbow. This can be used standing with some guns. I find this works for me in a seated position with my TX200HC but the full-length TX is too nose-heavy.

Alternatively I find dropping to one knee (right knee on floor, left foot on floor with lower leg vertical) then placing left elbow on left thigh with left hand supporting gun at point of balance. Or when standing, tuck left elbow into the body with elbow resting on the pelvis, again supporting the gun with left hand at point of balance.

I've never had much success in a standing position with left hand holding the fore end of stock except with very light guns - too much wobble - though using a sling gives a bit more stability.

Besides my suggestions there are lots of options to try, so many hours of amusement... and frustration! :lol:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests