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on call?

This is a discussion on on call? within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I am posting in response to comments by many members who post their effots and results to achieve small groups. When I started rifle and ...


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Old December 25th, 2016, 09:15 AM   #1
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on call?

I am posting in response to comments by many members who post their effots and results to achieve small groups.

When I started rifle and pistol competition in the eighties, "calling the shot" was an important intermediate goal on the journey to a 10-X target, a concept that has taken a back seat to tinkering (and I love to tinker as much as anybody) with the rifle and ammo. I still consider it to be a valuable skill that is very relevant to rifle and ammo testing from the bench, but it is rarely mentioned in discussions about groups.

When a member posts a target, I want to ask, Did you call your shots? Did you call the shots in the cluster, and did call you call the erratic shot which doubled the size of the group? Honestly calling a shot bad does not improve your score, but it provides an opportunity to seek improvement.

Calling the shot is critical to full evaluation of the shot sequence: vision, position, weather, trigger control and follow through, rifle, ammo, and etcetera.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 09:53 AM   #2
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It's a great tool, especially if you can call your failures.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 01:39 PM   #3
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Its a great way for new high power shooters to get better quickly. Makes you very aware of sight picture and follow-through. I run the HP program at our club and I get to share some pointers to people just starting. Usually I have them begin by calling the quadrant (high right, low left...). Next is quadrant and scoring ring. Some very experienced shooters will call the clock position, and ring depth "wide 9 at 2 o'clock" with suprising accuracy.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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I call every shot I take especially with rifle. Not always right but more than 50 percent of the time I call it correctly. Its useful, especially when an otherwise good group has a big flyer. If you called it there, its likely you and not the gun or load.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shooter86314 View Post
I am posting in response to comments by many members who post their effots and results to achieve small groups.

When I started rifle and pistol competition in the eighties, "calling the shot" was an important intermediate goal on the journey to a 10-X target, a concept that has taken a back seat to tinkering (and I love to tinker as much as anybody) with the rifle and ammo. I still consider it to be a valuable skill that is very relevant to rifle and ammo testing from the bench, but it is rarely mentioned in discussions about groups.

When a member posts a target, I want to ask, Did you call your shots? Did you call the shots in the cluster, and did call you call the erratic shot which doubled the size of the group? Honestly calling a shot bad does not improve your score, but it provides an opportunity to seek improvement.

Calling the shot is critical to full evaluation of the shot sequence: vision, position, weather, trigger control and follow through, rifle, ammo, and etcetera.
Thanks, I try to do this when I can see the aiming point! I went out this morning and called the 'high right', last out of mag shot here.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #6
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Guess I'm lost on this concept. Are y'all saying that you are purposely trying to aim at the points on the target where the shots land? If so I call every shot in the center. They don't always land there though. If I call a shot at a location other than the same spot eac time how do you judge consistency and accuracy? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what y'all are calling, "call the shot."

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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:21 PM   #7
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Guess I'm lost on this concept. Are y'all saying that you are purposely trying to aim at the points on the target where the shots land? If so I call every shot in the center. They don't always land there though. If I call a shot at a location other than the same spot eac time how do you judge consistency and accuracy? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what y'all are calling, "call the shot."
PublicSafety400 I take it and believe it to be where did you see cross hairs at when the shot broke!

(I can usually see the cross hairs but the little dots fade away)

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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:22 PM   #8
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No question calling your shots will help a great deal in improving your scores. Practice I do is to dry fire some 4-5 times, plot on target next to me/score book by pencil where I thought they went and then actually fire a shot and then can see the bullet impact at the 200yd. line. Save ammo and yet develops your skill. Doing this some 4-5 times and then shoot a string of 10 off hand to test myself and ability to call the shots. Just a suggestion.

I tend to think the idea of "calling your shot" being done with issue/iron sights, but can of course be done with optics as well. With irons and where that post is when you broke the shot should indicate whether you have a good shot or not so good. You will know before looking at target if it went off right or left, low or high or you should know. With cross hairs on the target and you break the shot it obviously should be very close to where you were intending the shot to go. Keep in mind shooting off the bench/bag/bipod it is not conducive to building skill with the rifle other than checking initially the accuracy of the rifle and the loads you are feeding it. With sling and issue M14 sights the "human factor" becomes a factor in how good of a score you produce and if that post is off to the right or left, low or high from where you zeroed them and you noticed that as you break the shot, then calling it other than say a 10 or X you have made a correct call for that shot. You will know if the shot went into the center of the target before you look at it with practice.


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Old December 25th, 2016, 04:59 PM   #9
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PublicSafety400 said:
Quote:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what y'all are calling, "call the shot."
The "call" is based on the position of the crosshairs or of the front sight when the firearm begins recoil. It's like a flash going off as the shot breaks. How many of us can hold the firearm perfectly still during trigger release and through subsequent recoil? I can do that sometimes, but not most or all of the time.
Aiming at the previous bullet hole is called "chasing the bull" and can be non-productive and frustrating.

If you call the shot "good," sights centered on the aiming point, and the shot is an X, then you can be confident that your "zero" is good. If you call the shot good and the shot is outside the aiming point, then you might should consider adjusting your sights. If you call the shot "out," say to the right, and the shot hole is right of the aiming point, then your zero is probably good. With experience, you will be able to call the direction and distance from the aiming point very reliably. With more experience and good training, you will increase the percentage of "good" calls and "good" shots.

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Old December 27th, 2016, 11:32 AM   #10
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Mostly, it helps you keep your eyes open when the shot breaks. It isn't natural to avoid blinking when something is exploding in front of your face so you need to force it. It's ok to blink, just wait until the bullet is out of the barrel.

Your eyes KNOW that the scope is soon moving to the rear and they're not happy about it!

I am not always successful at postponing the blink but if I can force myself to stay on the scope, my scores go up considerably.

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Old December 27th, 2016, 12:21 PM   #11
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I've been to some Project Appleseed Shoots and we did 'call your shot'. My question is relating it to handgun (defense not target) shooting where you 'focus on the front sight' to almost the oblivion of the target. If that same focus was applied to the rifle front sight or scope cross hairs how would you know where to call the shot? Or more exactly, is calling the shot counter productive to focus on the front sight?


A key to marksmanship is to, "Focus on the front sight".

What exactly is meant by "focus"? Our eyes can only focus on one specific distance & object at a time. In shooting that needs to be the front sight. We naturally think we need to watch the target. But if you have a blurry target, blurry rear sight & the front sight is in sharpest focus when the trigger is pulled - you have what works best. Keeping the rear sight & front sight aligned and those aligned properly on the target, you need to focus not just your eyesight but also your mind. That can be a lot to juggle. Check out the link below - focus on the black "+" and when the pink dots disappear you have focus. Notice that when you first loose the pink dots, you will want to confirm they are gone and you will take your focus off the "+". Instantly the pink dots come back. I feel like I'm almost going cross-eyed but it is a kind of tunnel vision that works. See how long you can focus on "+" without pink dots. You can practice at this link regularly and improve your focus.
http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/ZRhSWd5.gif

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Old December 27th, 2016, 06:58 PM   #12
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When my shots go off it's usually a surprise so keeping the eyes from reacting to a surprise is not easy. I feel that if you are practicing proper breathing, holding a small aim, proper trigger control, tight in the shoulder, etc then you should place your shots pretty close to the same aim point most of the time. I'm sure I'm wrong, but calling the shot seems counter productive to marksmanship.

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Old December 27th, 2016, 07:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by PublicSafety400 View Post
When my shots go off it's usually a surprise so keeping the eyes from reacting to a surprise is not easy. I feel that if you are practicing proper breathing, holding a small aim, proper trigger control, tight in the shoulder, etc then you should place your shots pretty close to the same aim point most of the time. I'm sure I'm wrong, but calling the shot seems counter productive to marksmanship.

PublicSafety, I am no expert by any means but 'calling the shot' does have it's merits in shooting better groups... For me, at least, it shows me I do not have great marksmanship skills at all!

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Old December 27th, 2016, 08:01 PM   #14
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Not trying to beat a dead horse, but if you call your shot at a point other than where you intended then it means you weren't holding aim at the point you intended when the shot goes off. If you are holding steady aim when the shot goes off then how can you call it at any point other than where you were aiming? Maybe I'm just not grasping the concept but I'm not understanding. When I am bench shooting or lying prone I am concentrating on holding POA where I will get the POI I want. If I am holding steady POA then POI should be where I expected.

Not trying to sound arrogant but I dont have many shots that deviate far from intended POI. It is not necessary to hold the rifle steady through recoil as the bullet as already left the barrel before recoil begins. I had to look this up to prove it to myself. If anyone is interested I can quote the physicist that explained it.

I'm not trying to be contrary. Just struggling to understand the concept. It may be a valid concept but until I understand it I won't be able to practice it.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 07:59 AM   #15
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I understand 'call your shot' is used in off hand, seated/kneeling or prone where there is always some amount of wobble in the sight picture. You try to minimize the wobble with structure, breath control, trigger press and sight alignment. And you try to fire as you enter the target instead of when your sight picture is right square on the X (all marksmanship). As you press the trigger and shot breaks, the idea is to call where the sight alignment was exactly at that moment - trying to recognize induced movement from trigger, bad breath control, flinch, etc... working to recognize those factors and then you can correct them.

I don't think shooting with a locked down gun (bi-pod, sled) is benefited much from 'call your shot' unless you are trying to recognize ammo fliers or something mechanically messed up. If in those situations you thought everything was on the X and when you view the target you have fliers then you know something is wrong.

I hope some of the gurus here will let us know if I have this wrong cause I'm learning as well.

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