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I would venture to guess that most here are familiar with the "aim small miss small" concept as it relates to target shooting. While I had been familiar with the concept for many years, I had never actually applied it to the target practice portion of my range time nor did I realize just how beneficial that it could be to improving my accuracy. Then one morning at the range (about a year ago), one of my shooting buddies that I hadn't seen in a while ask me why I was still using targets that had an 8" diameter, when my goal was to always hit the 1" bullseye (interesting question I thought :p).

He proceeded to demonstrate how he had improved his accuracy by changing his mindset through the target that he used. He took out a piece of 8.5 x 11 plain paper, applied three 1" adhesive dots on the vertical plane, attached the target to the backer board and punched in 7 yards. He then loaded six rounds in his XD 9mm and proceeded to hit 2 out of the 3 dots with two rounds each (one round landed just outside of the third dot) :eek:. Given that I never recalled him being quite that accurate before, I concluded that his suggestion had to have some merit so I decided to give it a whirl as I'm always looking for ways to improve my skills in anything I do.

In the ensuing year, I've found that using the technique has also significantly improved my technique and accuracy, as it forced me to:
1. Really focus on my sight picture (nothing but me, the front sight and a small dot).
2. Fine tune my stance, breathing, grip and trigger control as I get immediate feedback if I push or pull the shot even the slightest bit.

Note here that while I started with the 1" dots at 18', I have worked my way down to 3/4" dots at 25' (off hand with my center fire pistols). While I've become pretty consistent at the 25' mark, I definitely have some work to do now as I'm now stretching it out to 30' (it's amazing to me the difference that a measly 5' can make :(). While many of you may already incorporate "aim small miss small" exercises in your practice time, I thought that this might provide food for thought for those here who have not tried it (The targets below were a couple from my range visit this morning). Hope that it benefits some others here as much as it has helped me.

 
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I had not really thought about it like that.
But in hindsight, I probably do shoot more accurately at a smaller target.
 

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That's good shooting Buck. My son and I shoot at Spring Valley each weekend at the
15yd range using a combination of 8" and 5" targets. Not sure we're ready to go smaller yet, though my son could easily go to a smaller target when he's using his CZ75. That is one accurate pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very cool. I will definitely give this a try.

Thanks,
Samuel
Samuel ... It really does help. I occasionally look back at some of the early targets to remind myself that I've come a long way.

I had not really thought about it like that.
But in hindsight, I probably do shoot more accurately at a smaller target.
While the brain quickly gets the message that the margin for error is much smaller, it takes a while to fine tune the skills (at least it did for me).

That's good shooting Buck ..... Not sure we're ready to go smaller yet, though my son could easily go to a smaller target when he's using his CZ75. That is one accurate pistol.
Thanks ... my CZ 75b is definitely my most accurate 9mm as well.
 

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Buck, this is an excellent description of a physical and mental process to achieve what you describe.

1. Really focus on my sight picture (nothing but me, the front sight and a small dot).
2. Fine tune my stance, breathing, grip and trigger control as I get immediate feedback if I push or pull the shot even the slightest bit.
As my instructor, MSgt. Billy Taggert, taught us, "When all the rest fails, try sight alignment and trigger control"

His technique, through years of competition as a Master Pistol shooter incorporates something like aim small... The technique, widely known, is "shooting your wobble area." At six yards, with proper stance, position, breathing can the sights with normal wobbling or lack of the ability for any shooter to keep a handgun perfectly still, remain within the 1" bullseye at six yards. If the shooter can pull the trigger without disturbing sight alignment and with a surprise shot. The bullet will impact in the bull. As you move back the wobble area will remain the same but the bull will appear smaller, but if the shooter shoots the wobble area, the shot will be in the bull or very close. Does that make sense?

Aim small,miss small.

I like it.
 

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Thanks for this. I'll give it a shot (pardon the pun) next time I head out to the farm to shoot...
 

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PS. Love that CZ75. Wouldn't mind having one myself.
 

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Buck, this is the exact concept that I trained my daughter and my wife on, and the only way I target shoot. How I came across this is because I shoot alot, I decided to make my own targets. I started out getting used 8.5X11.5 copy paper from the recycle bin, and then a bunch of small red sticky dots. Then making it cheaper, I moved to a thin piece of cardboard with a hole in it (a shoebox side) and a bright orange paint can so I could spray a round dot at whatever size I wanted onto the recycled paper. Whenever a conventional target is used, the perspective of the bullseye is different than when it is a piece of paper with a single red dot on it. My father always told me that when you are target shooting a silouette of a human figure, to place a dot as if it were a button on his shirt and shoot at it. He always said that was aiming small, and hitting small. This is a great topic.

Jim
 

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.... The technique, widely known, is "shooting your wobble area." At six yards, with proper stance, position, breathing can the sights with normal wobbling or lack of the ability for any shooter to keep a handgun perfectly still, remain within the 1" bullseye at six yards. If the shooter can pull the trigger without disturbing sight alignment and with a surprise shot. The bullet will impact in the bull. As you move back the wobble area will remain the same but the bull will appear smaller, but if the shooter shoots the wobble area, the shot will be in the bull or very close. Does that make sense? Aim small,miss small. I like it.
RD ... I'm familiar with the "wobble area" concept (we all have one :(). It's very easy to see if you're using a laser or when you are using a high magnification scope. Learning to shoot within our wobble area is the hard part (especially as we increase distance).
 

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This is another application of the principal that the old time Archers like Fred Bear and Howard Hill used to hit extremely small objects hand thrown into the air. They called it "Instinctive shooting" and it is similar to Zen archery where you concentrate on the smallest part of the target until everything around it disappears and then you "become the arrow", or in this case, you become an extension of the front sight. A number of trick shots who shoot hand thrown blocks of wood with .22 rifles claim to not even use the sights, but just "point' the barrel.

You have made a very good observation that everyone can benefit from with a small amount of practice!!
 

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This is another application of the principal that the old time Archers like Fred Bear and Howard Hill used to hit extremely small objects hand thrown into the air. They called it "Instinctive shooting" and it is similar to Zen archery where you concentrate on the smallest part of the target until everything around it disappears and then you "become the arrow", or in this case, you become an extension of the front sight. A number of trick shots who shoot hand thrown blocks of wood with .22 rifles claim to not even use the sights, but just "point' the barrel.

You have made a very good observation that everyone can benefit from with a small amount of practice!!
Nice concept. Sounds fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I could use as little more info on the wobble method. I have never heard about it.
Highboy ... as I understand it, wobble is essentially the range of natural movement that each us has when we have our target sighted in (Unfortunately, no one is capable of holding a pistol or rifle perfectly still in an off hand position). Accordingly, the key to our off hand accuracy is to be able to:
1. Learn to minimize the movement (wobble) with proper technique and practice.
2. Learn to release the shot consistently within our "minimized" natural wobble.

Hope that makes sense.
 

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A classic and priceless technique!
 

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Highboy ... as I understand it, wobble is essentially the range of natural movement that each us has when we have our target sighted in (Unfortunately, no one is capable of holding a pistol or rifle perfectly still in an off hand position). Accordingly, the key to our off hand accuracy is to be able to:
1. Learn to minimize the movement (wobble) with proper technique and practice.
2. Learn to release the shot consistently within our "minimized" natural wobble.

Hope that makes sense.
Ya, I do get it. That movement is something that I have never overcome. I think that is why the longer I hold the pistol, the more movement I see on the front sight. It is evident with lasers. Thanks alot Buck.

Jim
 

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i am a competitive air rifle shooter. I practice indoors quite a bit on 1/16" dots at 10 yards. of course this is not offhand but in sitting position with rifle rested on my knee. Shooting those small dots is very revealing of errors of trigger control and breath control as well as consistant hold. I also shoot outdoors at ranges out to 55 yards and find that shooting at small targets like a single pellet strike as the target gets me the smallest groups. In competition we shoot larger targets out at 55 yards but i find that aiming at a single spot on the target (like someone elses pellet strike is better than aiming in terms of the entire target.

I shoot a sport called "field target". quite a marksmanship challenge. We have avid firearms shooters come out and shoot air rifle Field Target for the first time and walk away shaking their heads with their tail between their legs.

Y'all should give it a try.
 

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My dad actually taught me the 'aim small miss small' concept from the get go. Even plinking cans with a 22, he'd say things like 'Don't aim for just the can - aim for the 'a' in Campbell's.

It really does force you to buckle down and focus. Even when I'm using regular 10 ring targets at the range, I print them out at work in color and make sure the center dot is a different color from the black.
 

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I have worse eye sight at 55 than I did. I have to rely on muscle memory for any paper target beyond 50 feet. I have shot so much that at 75 feet and using my revlver I focus on the front sight and aim. The black area of a 25 yard target is very blurry let alone a smaller circle, Yes I have corrective lenses very strong ones. Yes I have electronic sights on some handguns not on others.
 
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