The Importance Of Follow Through

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The Importance Of Follow Through

Post by Baldrick314 » 18 Mar 2015, 11:00 am

This is probably something that doesn't need to be said to the more experienced shooters amongst us but for the less experienced or perhaps just a reminder of how important the basics are I thought I'd share.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been noticing a drop in scores when I shoot pistol. The match I shoot is a variation of steel plate challenge where you have 10 targets to engage at 25 yards. It's a pretty laid back match with no time limit so you don't have to rush. Every hit is worth 10 points and you have 4 go's for a maximum score of 400

Usually I score around 350 but recently those scores have dropped to late 200's - low 300's. It took me a while to figure out what I was doing wrong and after going through just about everything I could think of and breaking down each shot into stages I finally worked out that I was lifting my head and dropping the front of the barrel at the end of each shot so I could see the target.

I don't know why I started doing this and I wasn't consciously aware of doing it. Today I went out and made a point of concentrating on my sight picture through the shot. The result was that I shot 370. Of my 3 misses one was in the first frame and the other two were in my final frame. The last two both came after I had a malfunction with my pistol (both cases had slight bulges that caused them to sit slightly proud in the revolver's cylinder and caused it to hang up).

I can't say that I 100% would have hit those two shots if it wasn't for the malfunctions but I'm reasonably confident I would have. My previous best score in this match was 360 so by just paying attention to the follow through on each shot I was able to beat my best score and shoot a near perfect match.

One thing I found odd is that I have a previously taught a few of my friends to shoot rifles and one of the hardest things I've found to teach someone, and hence something I emphasise a lot, is correct follow through. So I thought when it comes to my own shooting I'd be all over it. Turns out we all need reminders sometimes.
.177, .22lr, .22-250R, 2x .308W, .30-30W, 7.62x54r, 8x56r, 9x19, .357 Mag, 12GA
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Re: The Importance Of Follow Through

Post by Jack V » 18 Mar 2015, 11:29 am

I'm not that experienced with pistols but what you describe is common. That's is why even the best shots in the World need coaches to watch them and pick up those form changes and mistakes . The coach does not have to be a better shot than the pupil he just has to have more knowledge and know how to teach and apply it.
We all get lazy , loose concentration and start taking it for granted that we are good shots . That's when you feel the coaches foot up your ass speaking metaphorically that is.
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Re: The Importance Of Follow Through

Post by Warrigul » 18 Mar 2015, 11:43 am

Baldrick314 wrote:This is probably something that doesn't need to be said to the more experienced shooters amongst us but for the less experienced or perhaps just a reminder of how important the basics are I thought I'd share.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been noticing a drop in scores when I shoot pistol. The match I shoot is a variation of steel plate challenge where you have 10 targets to engage at 25 yards. It's a pretty laid back match with no time limit so you don't have to rush. Every hit is worth 10 points and you have 4 go's for a maximum score of 400

Usually I score around 350 but recently those scores have dropped to late 200's - low 300's. It took me a while to figure out what I was doing wrong and after going through just about everything I could think of and breaking down each shot into stages I finally worked out that I was lifting my head and dropping the front of the barrel at the end of each shot so I could see the target.

I don't know why I started doing this and I wasn't consciously aware of doing it. Today I went out and made a point of concentrating on my sight picture through the shot. The result was that I shot 370. Of my 3 misses one was in the first frame and the other two were in my final frame. The last two both came after I had a malfunction with my pistol (both cases had slight bulges that caused them to sit slightly proud in the revolver's cylinder and caused it to hang up).

I can't say that I 100% would have hit those two shots if it wasn't for the malfunctions but I'm reasonably confident I would have. My previous best score in this match was 360 so by just paying attention to the follow through on each shot I was able to beat my best score and shoot a near perfect match.

One thing I found odd is that I have a previously taught a few of my friends to shoot rifles and one of the hardest things I've found to teach someone, and hence something I emphasise a lot, is correct follow through. So I thought when it comes to my own shooting I'd be all over it. Turns out we all need reminders sometimes.


You are dead right, regardless of how experienced we are we all need to step back a bit on occaison and look at what we are doing

Dry firing is good practice with a revolver, it shows all your flaws up and is one of the biggest tools I have when teaching new shooters(and checking myself). They should be trying to maintain the sight picture long past the shot and not worrying about what is going to happen when the pistol fires. I often load five and a fired case then spin the chamber at random so the dud is encountered at random.

An air pistol is the best practice you can get(cheap too), it doesn't have any recoil effect but it does train you to hold a sight picture.

Just my humble opinions.
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Re: The Importance Of Follow Through

Post by Baldrick314 » 18 Mar 2015, 12:33 pm

I do some dry fire practice (not as much as I should) and it does help. I've been caught before with an empty chamber/ already fired case, highlighted I was snatching the trigger when I was sure I wasn't.

I haven't had much chance to shoot air pistol but I've been told it's the best training you can get
.177, .22lr, .22-250R, 2x .308W, .30-30W, 7.62x54r, 8x56r, 9x19, .357 Mag, 12GA
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Re: The Importance Of Follow Through

Post by RealNick » 18 Mar 2015, 3:06 pm

Observed the same taking a pair of friends to the .22 range on the weekend.

One was hovering off the trigger, one resting on it. But both pulled the trigger like they were tapping a button... quick on/off it. Not a 'squeeze'.

Both did better once they improved the trigger pull.
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Re: The Importance Of Follow Through

Post by chacho » 18 Mar 2015, 3:08 pm

Baldrick314 wrote:I do some dry fire practice (not as much as I should) and it does help. I've been caught before with an empty chamber/ already fired case, highlighted I was snatching the trigger when I was sure I wasn't.


I still can't get in sync with the dry fire practice thing.

I get it. It makes sense. It just doesn't work for me.

When doing it I'm completely aware it's empty and have no inhibition over flinch etc. and do it smooth every time. As soon as I know there is a round in the chamber though it's different.
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